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Volcano Home: Man Builds House on Lava Field in Hawaii

Image: Image: Chris Adkins
Chris Adkins unloads gravel to help smooth out the path between the road and his new home in Kalapana, Hawaii. Once a thriving fishing village, Kalapana was buried under lava from Kilauea in the 1980s and 90s. Adkins says the lava on his lot last flowed in 2011. Jim Seida / NBC News

Chris Adkins unloads gravel to help smooth out the path between the road and his new home in Kalapana, Hawaii. Once a thriving fishing village, Kalapana was buried under lava from Kilauea in the 1980s and 90s. Adkins says the lava on his lot last flowed in 2011.

Adkins, a tax return examiner who lives and works in Hilo, 30 miles north, bought the .6 acre lot this year for $6500. He has $13,000 invested in his new home and plans to sell his Hilo property and move into this one when it’s completed.

“I think it’s pretty out here,” he says of the area, “It’s got a desert desolation to it, and I like being by myself.”

Adkins mostly comes out on weekends to improve his home and lava lot. When finished, like the handful of other homes in the area, his will be off the grid as there is no electricity nor running water in the area.

“I’ll have no mortgage, no homeowner’s association. It’s all a matter of perspective,” he says.