This blog will tell the story of how my family and I cleared some land and built our own home.
I am not a carpenter, mason, electrician or plumber. My work history includes 10 years as a carpet installer (fuzzy side up) * and I currently work in the Information Technology field (have you tried turning it off and on again?).
My wife Ruth was an artist.
Most of the knowledge we gained in building the house was gleaned from books (it was just before we got on that internet thing) and talking to people who were also building in the area as well as some tradesmen who didn’t mind sharing their knowledge.
In the late 1980’s Ruth and I were living, with our four children, in a rental unit near the middle of a row house. This row house was one of three arranged around a parking lot. Next to those houses were another group of identical homes which was across the street from another group of row houses. There were a few apartment buildings sprinkled throughout the area which were home to a fairly temporary population as there were often people moving in or out.
The street we lived on often looked like the parking lot at the mall.
On our side of the street the row houses were brick and looked to be in decent shape. Inside, the units were well cared for but the construction left something to be desired. Walking across the floor felt a bit like bouncing on a trampoline and at Christmas time our tree would shake like it was out in the wind.
The walls were not soundproofed to any great extent as we could hear our neighbors when they argued and when they were being friendly.
The fireplace in our unit had a damaged chimney so we could not have a wood fire but there was one benefit to having thin walls. Heat. One of the neighbors installed a gas fireplace on an adjoining wall and when they turned it on, the heat coming through the wall made us turn down our thermostat which was kind of nice considering the cost of natural gas.
The next post will start at the beginning of this journey –The Search Begins