Home Again Home Again

Hello lovely people!

I’m back from the Pacific Northwest! I’ve been home for a couple months with little time to make progress on my small future home, but am snailing along all the same despite back-to-back visiting with friends and family. Building isn’t as urgent this summer as it was last summer, so I’m able to go at my own pace with the ultimate goal of finishing it in time to move in by the time I graduate. Plans for the next few years have changed as I’ll be transferring to Hampshire College this fall so I’ll be in the area and able to come home now and then and build when I can.

Over winter break, I sanded down my front door and was able to finish refinishing it when I got home for the summer:

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I also successfully and securely installed the final window. Our dear friend Michael was visiting from India and I was very pleased to have his help figuring out how to make this final tricky window fit in its rough opening. It felt really good to be recovering and developing my problem-solving building skills.

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And then I got my siding! People had been asking me what I would side my house with and I continued to answer with “whatever I can find.” I knew I wanted something reclaimed and ideally I wanted weathered barn boards for board and batten siding. Weathered boards in good condition are often hard to come by and expensive when in good condition, but I got in touch with Erich from Deconstruction Works and got a great deal on some weathered hemlock siding from a house up in Dummerston, VT. My dad and I drove up to check it out and loaded up Erich’s truck and trailer. I was also able to learn about the history of the building and met Rick, the man who built it in the 1970s with the help of his friends and family. He showed me photo albums of the construction process and send me some via email later on (three of these are pictured immediately below).

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1978 New siding on, before battens:
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1982 building reached height of construction- beautiful, though incomplete 🙁 :
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Present day, in process of deconstruction:
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Loading up the truck:
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I agreed to take much more than I needed (about enough for another two tiny houses) because Erich needed somewhere to store it. I’ll be selling what I don’t use, so let me know if you want some weathered hemlock!
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I feel honored to be able to carry the history of the siding as I repurpose it for my own home. This interaction rekindled my urge to use reclaimed materials – not just for the low-impact, but also for the connections I make through it and for my house to have stories behind it and community behind the stories. When completed, my home will have been created by many more than just me. I am so grateful for the contributions I have gotten so far, be it financial support, words of advice, links to resources waiting to be reclaimed, connecting me with other people, donating your time, skills, and interest to help me build, and providing me with the materials themselves. This will be my home, but I invite you all to come visit and share the space with me, just as we’ve shared the building process thus far.

I hope to complete the siding by the end of the summer and begin some interior work. Thank you again for your support! And note the new follow button on my blog; you can now get a notification when I publish a new post.

P.S. Sarah Hastings (who proposed the bylaw for tiny houses in Hadley) visited for dinner! Fun to reconnect with her and ponder some about the future of tiny houses and alternative living movements. I’m really bummed that her bylaw was rejected by Hadley and look forward to the Northeast warming up to possibilities of alternative dwellings. Greenfield has begun a small house discussion on their own (though clearly inspired by Sarah) and I hope Hadley will eventually come around.

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