Welcome to our Small Home, Simple Living, Minimalist Blog! We are taking the small home idea to a family-of-ten level! We are working toward being debt and mortgage free and living in a simple, sustainable way. This has meant making many choices - changing jobs, moving our family, building a home we can afford, learning new skills, and becoming more frugal and aware of how we live. This our journey of living "Simple On Purpose".
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Our Building Story - Part 2 Putting A Home Together
Our 2011 year started with finding someone to haul our pre-cut lumber for our house up to our land. Steve had also pre-built our outhouse in panels ready to put together first thing.
We were able to contract a man to do our hauling but it was delayed because of a wet spring and road bans. Finally on May 21 we where ready to load the trailer. We had some help loading which was wonderful! We got the trailer loaded and the lumber tied down ready to move it up north the next day. Here is What the pile looked like before we started loading...
Steve drove up the next day with three of our kids to help the driver unload the trailer by our building site. Again, that seven hour drive between home and our land has been a hard thing to deal with! They unloaded and organized the lumber in piles which they tarped. They also finished digging the outhouse hole and put together the outhouse Steve had pre-built.
In the mean time, my Mother (who had been ill with dementia for 16 years) was doing poorly. At the beginning of June she passed away. It was a really hard time and I was thankful we were home and I could be with my Mom when she died. About two weeks after the funeral, Steve was planning on getting back up to our land to build. I don't think we recognized at the time what kind of pressure we were under, but we were eager to start and we kept on going.
So we didn't get building until the beginning of July. Steve went on ahead with our son, Jeremy. He met his brother Justin at the land who had offered to help us start building which was wonderful as he is a builder by trade. Steven is a cabinet maker and has done a lot of building, but having someone there who was up on all the latest codes was such a help. Justin was also very cheerful in spite of the mud and he really encouraged Steve at this point! As I mentioned it was a very wet spring and they were working ankle deep in mud for the first week while they built the floor on the pilings.
I was glad our boys and oldest daughter could help with the process. Justin and Steve took time to teach them how to help and it was a good time for them.
We had pre-finished the plywood for the floor as it was going to be our finished floor until we could afford hardwood. So the sheets were all clean and shiny when they put them on. They worked in their socks on the plywood, trying to limit the amount of mud.
The walls are getting put together. By this time, I had come up with the rest of our family. We were staying in the cabin our relatives had built on the other side of the quarter.
First wall up! That is my kitchen window facing the trees!
Now we were on to the roof and thankfully we would have some extra help for a few days. Several family members were coming up to fish and were willing to help out with the roof. It made the job go so fast!
Steve was a little leery about framing the dormers himself, so having help who were experienced builders was a God-send.
We chose metal roofing for low maintenance and the option of building a solar hot water heater on it later (one of the reasons we chose black).
Our roofing help had left and this was Justin's last day with us. He helped put the door in and then it would be just Steve and I with our boys doing the windows.
Steve's engineering skills were really evident as they put this building together. Everything fit so perfectly together and every board was pre-cut and marked where it would go. He did that while working on the floor of our garage back home over the winter!
House wrap time. We all got to help and it went fast.
Windows: Steve would climb our tallest ladder and nail in a couple nails to hold it steady. I would had the window to him from the inside of the hole and then level it and hold it in place while he nailed it from the outside. Then he would put the pre-built cedar frames on each window. I was so glad when this part was done and he could get off that ladder!
The last few days we had, we started working on the interior walls. There were not many of these in such a small space!
I had painted this sign to put by the trail to the outhouse. I figure that if you learn to laugh about things in life, they become less of a problem. I have never been bothered with only having an outhouse....even in the winter. Sometimes when we leave, I even miss it. It gives new meaning to "nature calls" as we get a nature walk every time. :)
Interior walls: the half wall is the divider between the kitchen (back part) and the stairway. The wall in the back is: (right) the future bathroom and our present bedroom; and (left) a pantry/storage room. We ended up moving that pantry door to access from the bathroom because we changed our kitchen plans. At this point we were thinking of a smaller kitchen with a dining area on the left by the bigger window. As we realized as we went along that this place could be more then a cabin...that we were actually building a small home, we decided to expand our kitchen and add a dining area on later.
Front door, future stairway and living room.
This is how we left our place at the end of July 2011. In just over two weeks we had gone from cement pilings in the ground to this closed in, 16' x 32' small home! That was only possible because of Steven pre-cutting and pre-building as much as he could over the winter and because we had help putting it together.