Welcome everyone! We are Jesse and Alyssa and we’re building our dream home on our dream land debt free. We’re documenting the entire build and using this page to keep you posted of the latest happenings!
To streamline our workload we will update this page with important details surrounding the project including video, photos, workshops, events, press and sponsors. Check back often.
Better yet bookmark the page! (Command + D on Mac | CTRL + D on Windows)
Announcements & Recent Updates
House Plans & Photos
Events & Workshops
Watch Our Videos (From the Beginning + Debt Free Home Series)
How Can You Follow Our Progress?
How Can You Support This Project?
Press & Media Coverage
Interested in Sponsoring This Project?
FAQs: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Who are we in more detail?
We are a modern day couple in our late twenties and early thirties that wanted to do things a little bit differently. We were tired of working corporate jobs and chasing the dollar. We knew “there has to be a better way”. So we set out on a journey to live life differently.
Where are we with the build?
The thing with building a house cash is that timelines aren’t exact – they’re more rough estimates. Here is what we’ve done and here is where we are at with projected completion dates.
- Install water system (Spring 2017 COMPLETE)
- Finalize house plans (July 2017 COMPLETE)
- Begin excavation of home site (July 2017 COMPLETE)
- Build and poor footings (July 2017 COMPLETE)
- Foundation, waterproofing + daylight basement (August 2017 COMPLETE)
- Mill / prepare timbers (September 2017)
- Cut joinery & raise frame (October 2017)
- Dry in structure (roofing + SIPs) (November 2017)
- Finish work on structure (2018 and beyond as time and budget allows)
What do our house plans look like?
Check out the video tour of our timber frame house plans! We will be building a 36×36 timber frame with a daylight basement. The basement will include room for two vehicles, a root cellar, small bathroom, utility room and space for a workshop. The frame will also include a loft. Our plans are not yet finalized so we may have some small changes coming still.
Here are current photos of what the floor plans and frame will roughly look like.
Noteworthy Events & Workshops
Throughout this build we hope to open up opportunities to the local community and our many friends from all over the world.
We’re looking for folks interested in not just joining us for the workshops below, but even helping out between workshops on the other numerous tasks we need to do to get this house built. Preference will be given to those that are interested in helping out on more than one aspect of the build.
We’re NOT looking for free labor so that we don’t have to do all of the hard work ourselves. If this is your mentality, this opportunity is not for you. We’re looking for those that see value in helping on a real-life owner-build and see value in being part of a tight-knit community.
Workshop opportunities are listed below. Whether you’re interested in one of these workshops or helping in-between workshops (such as weekdays), we are open to both, so let us know your availability by filling out this form!. Also, be sure to subscribe to our email list and add our email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to your contacts list so notifications and invites from us don’t end up in your spam folder!
Dates: April 23 – 28, 2017
Location: Woolwich, ME
Event website: Click here
We attended this workshop in Maine back in spring and it was a BLAST!! For the full scoop of what this workshop was like, check out our timber frame workshop page.
Here you will find multiple videos of the workshop, the total investment to us as well as what we learned from being part of the Shelter Institute family for a week.
Date: May 27th, 2017
Location: North Idaho (Specifics given in invitation to join us)
Time: 9am to 5pm
We had a Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill delivered to our property by a Wood-Mizer representative had a great group of folks join us for the assembly! Check out the video below to see this workshop in action!
Dates: July 29-31, 2017
Due to last minute cancellations Alyssa and Jesse put in 18 hour days all weekend and were able to pour the footings on schedule! We learned a lot about setting forms, excavation and had a VERY successful pour with help of a friend.
Dates: August 5 – 7, 2017
Many volunteers traveled several hours to attend and despite running into several confusing complications and brutal summer heat we had a successful day getting our first two courses of ICF stacked, rebar placed and learned a lot about getting things square and straight!
Dates: October 22 – 27, 2017 (it will be this week for sure but not sure if it will be 5, 6 or 7 days)
Location: Idaho Panhandle
CLICK HERE TO REQUEST AND INVITATION! Closes Sunday Sept 3 This workshop will be the actual cutting of joinery and raising of our frame. Shelter Institute from Woolwich, Maine will be driving their crew all the way from the east coast to conduct the workshop. This will be a $2,000 commitment to cover the cost of overhead, and there will only be space for 16 attendees. Preference will be given to those that have joined us for previous workshops.
How can you watch our videos?
We’re documenting this entire home build including not only the building but the strategy behind the project as well, including finances, planning, research, relationships and more! Navigate these using the tabs (playlists) below, otherwise, feel free to visit our YouTube channel.
How can you follow the build?
If you want to follow our journey, including our entire home build, there are many ways to do so including the ways below!
Once you subscribe, be sure to add our email to your contacts list, otherwise our emails will be spent to your spam or promotional folder (which none of us ever check!).
How can you support the project?
If you like what we’re doing and would like to support us along the way, all means of support are greatly appreciated! Here are some of the things you can do:
No Cost Ways to Support
Above & Beyond Supporting
What does it cost to build this house?
Since this project began over 18 months ago we’ve been documenting our expenses each month on our expense report page. To get up to speed on projects we’ve already completed (water, septic, driveway, cabin, solar, rv, generator etc.), costs incurred and other budget questions read over each expense report carefully.
We’ll also be tracking and publishing the cost of this project including materials, man power and much more.
Professional Drawings / 3D renderings: $1800 (first folks we worked with)
Full set of shop plans + engineering: $5000
Friends / Family / Neighbors to date: 120 hours
Warmboard Radiant Subfloor: $15,000
Logs for timber frame: $7,500
Windows / Doors / Garage Doors: $9,000
Press & Media
Interested in featuring this project on your website or another medium? We’d be happy to provide high-resolution photos, body copy and we may even be available for an interview. Please send us a short message via our contact form with who you represent, who your target audience is, the type of feature you’d like to do and what you need from us.
Sponsors & Partners
Have an excellent tool, product or service and share our passion for quality homes and craftsmanship? We’re always looking to build beneficial relationships with companies whose products we can genuinely stand behind. Get in touch with us via our contact form for more information on opportunities that are available.
That said, we’re designing our home so that it will be on-grid compatible. We’ll do the extra steps to lay the framework for bringing in power one day in case we don’t always want to be off grid or in case we decide to sell the property and the new owners would like conventional power.