Build

Everything in life is built one step and one board at a time. Here we share the building story.

It’s Growing Season

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 2 comments

It’s Growing Season

Welcome Spring! Every fall I  plant garlic. This year, the green shoots popped up before the soil froze, and I covered them with a layer of mulch. Once the snow melted and the soil warmed, the green leaves shot out of the ground. There’s a lot of excitement around the homestead this time of year, “Mommy, the garlic’s up.” “Hey, guys, the potatoes are up!” “Have you seen any peas yet?” We stare at soil and wait. We sink our fingers into the moist ground and bury seeds. We plant flowers and watch the first butterflies drink their nectar. We watch the fruit trees bloom and with the rest of the county, fear this season’s...

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Barn Wood and Rusted Metal

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Build, Recent Posts, Salvage | 14 comments

Barn Wood and Rusted Metal

There was a barn across the street from our little homestead, a real leaner. We’ve watched it lean a little more each month. The weight of the two feet of snow two weeks ago made it lean to the point that it was unsafe, so the owner pulled it over. Karl was working on the big house when he heard it crash. He ran into the tiny house like a little boy, “The barn! I think someone is taking it down.” He went straight across the street, talked to the man, and came back smiling. “I can take everything I want and leave the rest. He’s just going to use it for firewood.”   Score! This is our second barn. The first one was a prominent barn...

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Join Us on the Path to Mortgage-Freedom

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Build, Recent Posts | 1 comment

Join Us on the Path to Mortgage-Freedom

“Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking. Traveller, the path is your tracks And nothing more. Traveller, there is no path The path is made by walking. By walking you make a path And turning, you look back At a way you will never tread again Traveller, there is no road Only wakes in the sea.” ― Antonio Machado It’s true. The path is made by walking. But in walking, we find community, and we learn from others who’ve been there before us. I am grateful to those who walked this path before us and took the time to share their story–we stumble less because of them. We gleaned a lot of inspiration from Rob Roy and other owner-builders,...

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Installing Windows – Light in the Big House

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Build, Recent Posts | 13 comments

Installing Windows – Light in the Big House

We’re one step closer to completing our master plan–building a mortgage-free micro-homestead. Our 1400 sq. ft. main house is dried in. You can do this, too! I’ve watched the big house grow out of the hill above the tiny house for over a year now. Slow and steady. I help when it’s possible to help and have done my share of pushing my comfort level – operating a sawzall and picking up giant windows to send them through the hole to my husband standing on a 30 foot ladder top my list.   I’ve had some fear watching the big house grow. First, it looked like an alien spaceship, a giant green blob on a stand. I thought, ugh, what have we...

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Our Journey to a Mortgage-Free Big House

Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 in Build, Recent Posts | 4 comments

Our Journey to a Mortgage-Free Big House

You know what’s fun!? Asking vendors for a cash discount. That’s fun. And they do it. Most businesses spend at least 2% on credit card fees. We always ask for a cash discount and most folks are happy to give us one. It’s fun to see the look on the cashier’s face when we hand over $5000 in cash. We wanted a mortgage-free home. We made a plan. We’ve worked this plan for five years. We’ve been working hard at this plan for five years. Hard. Like working two jobs, scavenging for materials, buying land, working soul-killing jobs, saving, building the tiny house, quitting soul-killing jobs, making decisions to stay home and save our cash...

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Building a Family Seat and Cultivating a Sense of Place

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 3 comments

Building a Family Seat and Cultivating a Sense of Place

In my last post I introduced you to Virginia, a dear reader and correspondent. In her letter she didn’t just talk about setting the day in your mind, she also talked about how we are creating a family seat here on our land. That term intrigued me. Here is a bit of her letter: My family seat is down below Sparta, NC. I say family seat, but I don’t even live there. It is home to my family since 1773 . That is what you all are building on your land. Family seat is an old English term. Not just a house or home but hopefully a seat for your family to have and come to for generations to come.  You can be so proud of what you are doing and how you all are working...

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Hooray for Progress!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Breathe, Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 4 comments

Hooray for Progress!

Thank you so much for supporting my work by buying my book! I am enjoying this feeling of accomplishment, and your encouraging words fill me with joy. I am also grateful for the support of other bloggers. Here are links to reviews of my book on Tiny House Blog and Tiny House Talk as well as some link love from Rowdy Kittens. Thanks, guys! Ella was sitting in the garden planting seeds when she said, “Mommy, remember when we didn’t have a fence around the garden?” I smiled at her sitting there in the purple hat she found at a Roanoke yard sale. She is so good at keeping me present and helping me appreciate my life. “Yeah, I remember that. The deer...

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How to Site a Home: Making Way for Our Main House

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 in Build, Recent Posts | 11 comments

How to Site a Home: Making Way for Our Main House

We’ve lived on our property for one year and one month now, watching the sun go through her seasonal dance through the sky. Being on the north side of our hill, we don’t get as much direct sun as we’d like, so we’ve spent a lot of time considering the best spot to site our bigger tiny house. I am thankful for the time we’ve had to watch the light change through the year. Where should we site the house? Tucking the house in the woods would be lovely, but in summer, we get lots of rain. Being totally shaded would encourage mold and mildew. Moving the house out of the trees and into the open spot right in front of the tiny house, would not only block the tiny house’s...

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Finalizing Plans for Phase 2: Building Our Main House

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012 in Build, Recent Posts | 33 comments

Finalizing Plans for Phase 2: Building Our Main House

It’s been almost four years since we decided to embark on this quest to build a mortgage free homestead. We spent a lot of time in the beginning deciding where we wanted to live, and how we wanted to build. We looked at tons of house plans, bought a set, and drew up our own using a very basic computer program. Building for cash is a good thing because it gives us constraint. We can’t build the home we think we need because it would take too long to save. Being determined to stay away from mortgage and debt has been a blessing in many ways. By building “cash on the barrel,” as my fellow tiny houser, Andrew, calls it, we are living with limits. Limits push our creativity....

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