Home Work #1

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 5:30pm

About this blog:

  • HOME SWEET HOME was embroidered on a framed sampler the living room at my grandpa and grandma’s farmhouse up on the mountain where we lived long ago and far from here.

    Those were the first words of wisdom I learned to read, write and understand. Looking back today, I realize how this inspiring motto guided me throughout my life’s work of building my own home . . . sweet and truly mine. That plus my collection of bumper sticker wisdom.

    I grew up, left home and explored various careers until I became qualified to teach Industrial Arts at my hometown high school. My plan to have my own home was in motion. I bought a modest little fixer upper at the edge of town. My intention was to fix it up, add an addition, live there awhile to make sure everything worked, sell it and finally start building my own home. I figured I could get most everything done during summer vacation. I was young and optimistic.

    I learned a great deal from that first building project. So much that I’ll have to tell you more.


Many people, perhaps most, need a home of their own sometime in their lives. Some might want a special home, a personalized one custom built for their requirements. A few will realize the only way to have such custom home is to dream it up and do it themselves. It is the dreamers and doers I want to talk to here. I want to encourage Home Owner Builders by telling of my life work building one home after another and the lessons I learned from the experiences.

First lesson is that home building is addictive. Even before my first project was finished I was planning the next and had a strong craving to get right to it so I could put to use what I learned from the first one.

Second lesson I learned was that building the home must be a full time job. It is a life changer very like a hitch in the military or going to college and requires equal commitment and dedication.

Third lesson learned from Home number one is to make a plan, actually lots of plans. That is where this blog will be very helpful. It will show how to plan what to do as well as what not to do. It will give ideas  how to avoid, bypass or subdue roadblocks to your plans. Build anything costs money so there is advice on minimizing costs and maximizing the value of what is bought. Managing money with budgets and bookkeeping as well as managing time with budgets and bookkeeping will be covered. Time is money. None should be wasted.

Lesson four, which should be lesson one is:  DO IT YOURSELF - ALONE! This is vital. Perhaps allowing help from a close family member but no others. When you decide to do this great work you will become popular. Willing helpers will congregate around you. Send them away. If they are insistent about helping I’ll give some ideas about dealing with them as politely and sensitively as possible.