August 08, 2019 2 Comments
Funny you mention that on a long day like today. We are currently in the process of our second build which includes land this time, called Shellmate Island. So far with making this land livable, bringing in utilities, finding an honest and reliable General Contractor we are about a year + in and just starting the foundation!
The thing that keeps us going with the countless screams and headaches is thinking about the first fifteen minutes when it's all done and we are left by ourselves living on Shellmate. I am sure we will first dance and then instantly crack open a cold one and sit down and soak it all in. That feeling we will get in the first fifteen minutes of finally being home, and then long after, of completing something so hard is a constant reminder of why we go through this struggle we are currently in.
Our home is totally livable and has everything we need to survive but the small details (like the skirting and some other outside components) aren’t done yet and we’re 2 years and 1 month in. It became totally livable with everything we needed around 2 years. We moved in after a year but still used the bathroom at my mother-in-law’s house—much like camping!
There were some hard days especially in the first year while we worked full-time, worked part-time bartending weddings, and on every other day, we built our home. We took very little time for ourselves. We finally took one day off to go camping and kayaking and it made a world of difference. Sometimes on the hard weeks and days, you need to give yourself a break to recharge the batteries. And keep your eye on the prize. Your home WILL be done eventually. Also try to think incrementally. Instead of focusing on your home being done, focus on the task at hand and celebrate when that task is completed. Baby steps! You will get there!
My build was pretty unique, in that the bulk of the build process was completed in one week! I worked with a builder that offered what they called "workshop builds," though they have since discontinued the program. I gave them the floor plan I had designed, and they handled purchasing my trailer, lumber, materials, and some of my fixtures. I ordered whatever custom fixtures I wanted to swap in, all of my appliances, and brought some family members with me out to the builder's facility to spend a full week working on the house back in October.
The builder framed up the walls and installed the roof, as well as all of the trades: electric, plumbing, gas lines, etc., while me and my helpers handled exterior siding, interior paneling, flooring, trim work, and the like. When we left at the end of the week, we had finished pretty much everything that we were capable of finishing, and the house was about 75% done.
After we left, the builder installed some back-ordered windows, my custom cabinets, and finished installing things like my sink and my tub. Since the delivery of and subsequent move-into my house in December, I have completed additional trim-work, stained my countertops, built some storage, painted the walls, stained/sealed the exterior, and a bunch of other little projects. So, if we're being technical, my build is still going! ;)
Surprisingly, the build, despite it being condensed into a week, was the most stress-free part of my journey! My dad, sister, and I had a ton of fun working together, and only once, during our longest day, did we get a little frustrated (easily attributed to being hangry - don't forget to snack, y'all).
My hardest days were in preparing for the build, and after, while I was waiting for my house to be delivered—particularly when money was tight and unexpected delays or costs would pop up. I would feel like "Why have I chosen to do this RIDICULOUS thing?! Why have I spent all my money for this WEIRD lifestyle choice? Was it all a mistake?".
In those moments, it's important to let yourself feel: get angry, vent about your stress, or have a quick cry if you need to. But don't make any big choices while you're worked up. Take a hot shower, buy yourself dinner, get some sleep, and maybe take a day off. You will have a much clearer head and be much more ready to get back to work afterwards.
September 13, 2019 30 Comments
September 13, 2019 2 Comments
My name is Alan—founder at Dream Big Live Tiny Co! A few years ago, I quit my consulting job to pursue a life full of adventure. After traveling around the world for a year, I sold most of my stuff and moved into an 160-sqft tiny house. Now I spend most of my time showcasing incredible people living with less in pursuit of more freedom, as well as incredible tiny houses around the world!
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