Recently I was talking with a friend about our crazy adventure of selling our home in Massachusetts, buying land in Maine and building our own home. I promised to share pictures with her, so here’s a look at the journey we’ve had building our home.
We started in June of 2004, moved in to our uncompleted home in October of 2005, and over the next few years completed the house room by room. There’s still more to accomplish. We’re not exactly speedy. It’s taken us so long to build the house that Paul is worried I’ll be ready for a remodel before we actually call things finished.
This house is truly part of us. I designed it and Paul, my engineer, figured out how to give me what I wanted. It’s not grand, but it’s my dream house. We did everything on this project from land clearing to pouring the concrete foundation (that almost did me in!) to putting up roofing trusses by ourselves (in the middle of winter!). Only when I saw Paul on the roof trying to install steel roofing did I call a halt to the “do it yourself” plan and hire roofers. Paul and heights don’t go together very well.
I’m not sure if we were brave or foolish to sell a perfectly good home in Cape Cod and move to Maine to follow our dream without having another home to move in to. Goodness knows that I never anticipated living in a 27′ camping trailer for 18 months. I still get the heebbie-jeebbies thinking about that. A 27′ camper with the two of us, a kindergartner, and a dog fondly nicknamed “Psycho Beast.”? Frozen water lines, frozen poopsicles (another story), a 2′ x 2′ shower cubicle, no oven – just one gas burner and a toaster. Still, I look back on it and the adventure was worth it. Life rarely happens as we plan it and it certainly hasn’t been dull.
I hope you enjoy our photos. Click on an thumbnail if you want to view the images in a slide show with just the titles and no commentary.
June 2004. This 27′ camper trailer became our temporary new home. Little did we know at the time, this would be home for the next 18 months!
Putting in a driveway.
The driveway is complete! This was supposed to be a gently curving drive. I left the guys working on it and when I returned I had a driveway with a hard right hand turn at the end!
August 2004. Paul cleared the house lot, mostly on his own, tree by tree.
September 2004. The hurricane rains have ended and we’ve finally built the foundation footers now ready for concrete.
October 2004. The frost wall is complete!
October 2004. Insulating in preparation for pouring the concrete pad.
October 2004. The garage pad is poured and we’re getting ready to pour the pad for the rest of the house. That’s our radiant heating tubing in the pic.
October 2004. The foundation is complete! It’s much better for bike riding than the gravel drive.
November 2009. Paul’s installing the septic tank here.
November 2004. The garage has arrived. Some assembly required.
December 2004. Finishing installation of the garage trusses.
December 2004. Framing the house.
January 2005, trying to not get a wet butt.
February 2005. Still installing trusses. 33 of them! Working in a house filled with 12″ of snow!
February 2005. The porch framing is finally up.
February 2005. A work in progress. It was a snowy winter.
March 2005. That’s me on the mud room roof nailing siding on so the roof can be installed.
March 2005. The roof is going on! This is the only job we did not do ourselves. Paul’s not good with heights. The reason we built a single story house!
January 2005. Our happy camper home. Not so happy when the water freezes. Who knew we would spend a winter in this thing?
April 2005. When you build a house in the middle of winter, you end up with snow inside. And once you put the roof on, the sun can’t melt it.
May 2005. When you build a house in winter, the snow inside turns to ice and then needs to be chipped out so you can put up walls.
June 2005. We’re getting there!
October 2005. A most auspicious day. The potty was finally installed. VERY exciting stuff!
November 2005. Drywalling the kitchen. There’s nothing like living in a house as you’re buildign it.
March 2007. We finally install the flooring!
October 2007. Paul left Susan instructions and she installed the deck joists while he was on the road.
October 2007. Impatient as ever, I installed the decking while Paul was on the road. I may be geometrically challenged, but it turned out pretty good!
March 2008. Paul takes inexpensive, pre-built bookcases and puts them together as one built-in unit.
June 2010. The house cries out for landscaping (and that will happen eventually), but there is a benefit to a gravel yard. No mowing!