In 2004 Myron and I were living in an upscale suburban town, barely making ends meet and dreaming of owning our own home. We didn’t have any money to speak of and getting a mortgage was out of the question. still, we believed we could find a way. And so began, our journey to building our own cordwood masonry home with our own hands. Now I sit on the patio of our mortgage free do it yourself home and find it hard to express what this journey has done for myself and my family.
I won’t tell you it was an easy road. I won’t tell you I didn’t make a million mistakes. I will tell you, that it has all been worth it. Every tear, every bruised limb and drop of sweat was a milestone in my path to self-awareness and it empowered me in ways no one could have foreseen. This blog is not about the “right” way to do anything. It’s about doing everything in ways that work and resonate for you. My goal is to inspire and perhaps enlighten rather than impress.
Our home is far from finished. We still walk on the original floor sheathing and the bathroom doesn’t have any drywall, still its all beautiful to me, because we built it. I know every log in my walls, every nail, screw and truss. They are a part of me and each contains a story. As, you read this blog, you will hear some of those stories, some funny, some scary, but each a lesson learned. I was never one to do anything the easy way. Perhaps you will learn from my mistakes or better yet, decide you can do it better and embark on your own path to self-reliance. Or maybe, you’re already walking your own path and you’re looking for inspiration to keep you going. Either way, I hope you will join me on this journey, because although I’ve gained much, there is still much to do and I need your thoughts for inspiration too.
Years to Build Our Dream Home
Hardwood Face Cord Harvested
Concrete Blocks Laid One by One
Pounds of Hand Packed Mortar
2004 - Coming Home
There is no question, that when we decided to build our cordwood masonry home with our own hands, we had no idea what we were going into. We believed we’d finish it all up in a year or so, HA! Still, it was the beginning of a grand adventure that would serve to define our lives and our relationship the world around us.
2005 - Friends & Foundations
We may have done the manual labor ourselves, but we couldn’t have accomplished our dream without help from family and all of the crazy friends we met along the way.
2006 - Finding the Rhythm
After Myron finished the foundation and did the hard work of getting the utilities run to the building site it was finally my turn to see if I had what it takes to build the cordwood masonry walls.
2007 - Roof Here We Come!
In the spring of 2007, Myron told me there was no way we were going to get the roof up before 2008. It sounded like a dare to me and I was off and running . . . or should I say, “off and building!”
2008 - Moving In
We spent the spring and summer installing the roofing, windows and doors. In early autumn the hot water heater in our camper flooded the floor with 2 inches of water and so the race was on to move in.
2009 - Settling In
The devil is in the details. After the big push to move in fast it was tough maintaining the momentum, but we had to carry on.
2010 - Gardens & Paths
With the inside temporarily under control we shifted our attention to the exterior work and the landscape of our woodland home.
2011 - Let There Be Light
A new family member and plenty of sunlight to watch her and my garden grow.
2012 - Country Living
Enjoying country life for its simplicity and quiet understated elegance is the greatest reward I have found in our journey.
2013 - Growing Strong
Vegetable gardening and a new addition to the family help our family grow strong and more self reliant.