Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Learning Process

About a month ago, I had finished building a 20’x5’ roof panel and was ready to put it in place. I had called on a group of guys to come with tractors, jacks and trucks to help with the process of fork lifting this panel on to the top of my house. The past couple of days I had not been feeling to well, and on this particular day I was pretty bad. So I was sleeping in the car as people arrived and the 20’ panel was dragged outside and my house was hooked to a truck and moved so the tractor could get as close as possible.

When all was set, the panel was on the tractor, which was on a trailer bed - ready to rock and roll. One of the guys, a contractor walked into the house, looked around, and said “Ya know, I don’t think the structure is ready to handle the weight of the roof.”

This is where we run in to the limits of our knowledge and experience. Neither my dad or I have built a house before, let alone one on wheels. Also given we are building this structure out of new materials (Sing panels) and inside out and backwards it just wasn’t ready yet.

So at this point I was feeling even worse, a bunch of people had taken time out of their day to bring their tractors and trucks to help… and I wasn’t ready. A couple of the guys went on to tell stories of professional contractors and builders working on projects where the structure wasn’t ready for the roof and a three story building collapsed, or an entire wall slid off a house. This made me feel a little better, even professionals make mistakes.

After everyone had gone home and my disappointment had settled, I sat down and made a list of everything that needed to be done before the roof went up. Now I am almost through that list! Just a bit more research on using rods to tie walls together, and steel framed windows. I am hoping that within the next month the roof will start to go up.

Off to work,


Monday, September 24, 2012

Picture Post

Jeff Holtby ( a talented blacksmith and I working hard on my custom fleur de lis brackets and my cloths rack king post.

Off to work!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Slowly but Surely

Much has happened since the last time I wrote. Joy, mistakes, progress, stress and life has happened. In the last four months I have become an apprentice shoemaker, I have gotten six stitches, I have gotten the last wall up, I have attended the most wonderful camp for Unschoolers - Not Back to School Camp (check it out here - I have been questioning my priorities.

I have been spending two days a week learning to make shoes. Is this a distraction… or is it an opportunity? Is it more important to spend a few more hours working on the trailer… or shall I spend time with friends? Is blogging at the top of the list… obviously it hasn’t been. At the moment I only get to spend three full days working on the house a week. That is not a lot. In my current situation, I have one more year in the house I am living in. That right there is a big push.

I am viewing my actions as investments. I am putting so much energy in to a house so that in the future I will have a beautiful, inexpensive roof over my head. I am spending two days a week working for free making shoes. But the skills I am learning will perhaps be a source of income, and are a guaranteed source of intrigue.

I am realizing that this journey of building a house is more about the path then the final destination. When I wake up in the morning excited about what the day might hold, and go to sleep satisfied with the day’s work – it is clear, life is good.

I will now be posting once a week to share progress, updates and goals!

Getting stuff done,