Fri, 01/17/2020 - 7:30pm

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.


       Spend a few minutes to time travel with me. It won’t take long. We'll go back to 1997.
       My Sweetheart and I had moved here three years earlier. We built our home from scratch on property outside of town in a beautiful neighborhood near the ocean. When our home was nearly completed (Owner Built homes are never finished until the owner dies or is replaced. That’s just the way it is.) I turned my attention to my life’s work. I am a builder, an Artist Builder. Have been for about 50 years. I build architectural art, whole houses full of it. Our home, really a homestead, is where I work and earn a living with creative carpentry projects including models of home designs I dream of building someday. We sell these and other art in our gallery down by the road. 
       I have always known I would need to teach what I learned during my work years. 1997 was when I decided to start a school. I wanted to show people a special home they could build by themselves. I began writing how-to articles and essays about things like roofing that works better, lasts longer, and needs only one ladder for installation. Repairs can be made by the Owner Builder, with the same ladder. There’s no warranty to run out and the roof is beautiful in ways that haven’t been achieved in the roofing industry in hundreds of years.
      Then there's home siding so tough it never wears out. It bulletproofs the home like armor would, improves insulation performance, never needs paint, is shockingly beautiful, really easy to install, and can be done by the Owner Builder. In fact the Owner Builder will have to install it because this siding product is too radical for Muggle Siding Installers to cope with and . . .
       Okay, okay. I’m getting off into the weeds here. Back to the point.
       I decided to teach by example. I used my favorite design to build my ‘school’ house project. I chronicled it, took lots of pictures and wrote articles about each stage of construction. Y2K was upon us and we (my sweetheart and all our new friends who wanted to learn Owner Homebuilding) were ready for it. 
       Back to the future . . . 2020.
       Well, that was fun. Since Y2K/2000 the school, the art sales, the writing and media attention have kept us out of the poor house and off welfare until recently.
       Okay, that’s all the bragging I can handle today. Next time, more exposure about help and hindrance for Owner Builders.
       Still a clue: Agenda 21 - It’s been retitled Agenda 2030 but it can’t hide.