It’s enclosed! (well almost)

This weekend we finished the spray foam and installed the rest of the windows and doors!!

Friday we took the day off (because we had to be somewhere at 2 and didn’t want to get dirty and sweaty), so we went fishing. It’s our “thing to do to relax”. It was the best day for it too. We caught almost ten fish, some of them a fairly nice size too. We let all of them go except one larger sunfish. I ate that one on Saturday while the rest of the family had meatloaf (meat allergy means I get to eat fish more!

Saturday I finished the spray foam while C fixed one of the walls and worked on more of the electric. We ran out of spray foam with three small strips of roof left to go. Not too bad and we can finish next week.

Sunday we put four windows in and the large, extremely large, gigantic patio door. We first tackled the door. It was so large and so heavy. It took us about an hour and a half and a LOT of cursing to get it in. Not only is it in but the door actually opens and closes!! (it didn’t at first). The windows went to much easier!! I’m glad we started with the door.

All we have left is the front door. We haven’t laid the concrete yet. We framed it out before we left but I was too tired to start carrying 80lb bags of concrete down a hill! Tomorrow I will go out and lay the concrete. Then we can install the door on Tuesday. By the middle of the week we should have an enclosed house!


We started installing the spray foam insulation this weekend. It’s not hard to figure it out but it gets EVERYWHERE. You have to cover everything, including yourself. We were in full Tyvek suits with respirators, and goggles, and gloves and STILL got it all over us. We also had to cover or move everything in the house that we didn’t want to get covered. It was HOT. So hot. And tiring. After 2 days the upstairs roof is done and the downstairs roof is half done. I have also discovered that if I ever needed to create a new resume having the ability to learn new things, including running wire in a house, and teaching myself to install spray foam insulation, is a really great quality to promote!!

Here are some pictures:

Water system install

Last weekend we installed the large part of our water system, and also did some backfilling. The tires are now almost completely covered, the second floor is the same height as the hill as well. We bought a 2000 gallon water tank, dug a hole, put it in the hole, added pipes, and covered it up again (mostly). Friday we spent purchasing and transporting the cistern. It was as big as the truck!! Then Saturday C spent most of the day backfilling and moving dirt. Sunday we moved the cistern into the hole he made (which was quite entertaining and resulted in me falling and cutting my leg up on a rock) and added the pipe that will be used to pump water into the house. We also added the pipe that will catch the water from the gutters that will fill the cistern. The he gently backfilled in the cistern being careful not to break the pipe (which surprisingly we did not!). The next day it rained and we actually got some water in the cistern. It won’t be long until the house will have water!! It’s a bit exciting.

The reason

It’s been three and a half years of building. It’s been three and a half years of spending all of our time, money, and energy trying to fulfill our dream, but it’s been a while since I have discussed what exactly this dream is, and I think it’s time to revisit this.

When we decided to start this journey we were tired, poor, and beyond frustrated. We live in a system that is designed to keep you poor, and most people at one tragic event from being poor. For those people there is nobody there to help. Divorce, a car accident, a medical issue that leaves someone disabled are a few of the many reasons that people go from being comfortable to struggling, and most in this situation either don’t quite qualify for services to help or don’t want to seek that help because of the years of being brainwashed to believe that if you seek this help you are less than a person. These things are wrong.

We are activists. We aren’t necessarily the people that you will see out on the streets protesting (although we fully and vocally support the protests we agree with), but we are the underground activists. The ones that see the plight of the people and try and catch them before they fall through the cracks.

Once our house is done our real journey will begin. We plan to grow food on most of our 11 acres, food that will go towards feeding those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford good, healthy, nutritious food. We want to teach people to cook farm food on a budget (and I mean a BUDGET, we spend $120 a week to feed a family of 5/6), we want to help people decrease their dependency on utility companies by helping to install grid tie systems and energy and water efficiency products. We want to help people learn how to budget and use their credit to their advantage instead of being afraid of them like we were for so long. We don’t expect people to be like us but even implementing a few of our strategies could go a long way to helping people feel less stressed, which I honestly feel is the leading cause of death in this country. Change your environment and circumstances and you change your mindset, and most of the time you can’t do that without help.

Until we start voting for people who want what’s best for the people and not corporations we need people like us who can help pick up that slack.

A door!!!

Last Sunday we started building the deck that will be outside the door on the second floor. We needed it there in order to move the door that has been underneath the scaffolding and we needed to move the door so we can take down the scaffolding so that we can finish backfilling next weekend. I think the most annoying thing about this job is how everything has to go in a particular order and if you don’t schedule things out right you are left with having to fill time with other jobs. It’s very stressful. Once the spray foam goes in timing doesn’t have to be as rigid.

this is the door under the scaffolding.

we built a deck! It will be bigger later but we want to get kore if the inside of the house done first.

this is midway of pulling the door up onto the deck. This was HARD and took us several days to recover. I’m not sure C is fully recovered yet. He was on the deck and I was underneath. He would pull and I would pick until it was up about 8 inches to a ft. Then C would hold it in place while I rushed to screw in small boards to hold it up. Pulling it up onto the deck was the hardest. He had to stand on the unfinished part of the deck and pull on a rope that was attacked to the handle while I pulled on the other handle that was on the foot long piece of deck, all while trying really hard not to drop it, and this door was HEAVY.

success!!! We have a door!!! It looks really nice. It even has blinds that are inside the glass. It was about a $2000 door that was returned to Lowe’s and sold to us for $600. I can that a huge win.

We have walls!!

Our house officially has walls!! It really looks like a house now. Now we have to put the rest of the electric in the walls and we will be ready for some insulation (which we just ordered). I am really starting to not want to leave when we are there. The last picture I took was before all of the plywood was up, but it’s up now and looks so good!