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)
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
Announcements & Recent Updates
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 septic system (Fall 2015)
- Install water system (Spring 2017)
- Finalize house plans (May 2017)
- Prepare building site (June 2017)
- Foundation + daylight basement (July 2017)
- Mill / prepare timbers (August 2017)
- Cut joinery & raise frame (September / October 2017)
- Dry in structure (roofing + SIPs) (October / November 2017)
- Finish work on structure (2018 and beyond as time and budget allows)
What do our house plans look like?
2017-03-11: Currently we’re in the process of finalizing our plans. Although our plans have already had multiple revisions, our current plan is to have a 36×36 floor plan with a daylight basement / garage and a loft. Here are photos of the preliminary plans – a video to follow soon!
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 hope to have a number of smaller workshops for things like foundation work and preparing the timbers, and then a large, multi-day workshop for the joinery and raising of the structure.
We’re looking for folks interested in these workshops – preference given to those that are interested in multiple workshops.
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 will be listed below. To be sure you don’t miss out on a notification be sure you’re subscribed to our email list.
Dates: April 23 – 28, 2017
Location: Woolwich, ME
Event website: Click here
We just completed this workshop in Maine and had 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 are having a Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill delivered to our property by a Wood-Mizer representative and would like to extend the invitation to join us for the unloading, setup, and hands-on instruction with how to operate the sawmill. We’ll also be going through how to load a couple of logs and turn them into cants.
Is this open to just anybody?
We have space for up to 10 to joins us. If you’re interested, fill out this form, and we’ll extend invitations to those we think are the best fit. Preference will be given to those interested in helping on further aspects of the build.
Disclosure: This is not a event put on by Wood-Mizer.
We hope to put together at least one large workshop and possibly smaller ones in preparation for the big one, and we’re looking for folks that are interested in joining us!
Will this opportunity open to the general public to join in?
Unfortunately, no. This project requires skill, a generous time commitment and requires substantial organization to be successful. We’ll be considering each inquiry to determine availability, skill and project needs. We’ll be giving priority those with more skill and more availability. There may be opportunities to be in a backup position should someone need to cancel.
Will there be costs to attend the workshop?
Yes. We have no intention of profiting from this opportunity, but in order to provide the highest quality opportunity for those who do put in the time and effort to attend there will be a tuition fee. After the roster has been established a reasonable cost will be determined.
As we finalize our plans we’ll begin to crystallize potential workshop dates. If you’re interested in joining us, fill out this Google form, and also be sure to sign up to our email list for the latest updates.
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.
- Initial floor plan / renderings: FREE! We used Sketchup Software
- Professional Drawings / 3D renderings: $1800 ($2/sq ft) (subject to change with revisions)
- Jesse / Alyssa to date: 300 hours
- Friends / Family / Neighbors to date: 7 hours
- Volunteers to date: 0 hours
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.