As I was finishing the podcast this afternoon I got to thinking about how long it had been since I had written a genuine blog post regarding our own tiny house build. It seemed like forever I thought to myself. So much goes on in the day-to-day of building a home that you either disregard as being anything consequential or that you are too tired from doing to actually write about. Now that I have time to think about it though I am reminded that at the very start of Tiny r(E)volution I promised I would not gloss over those small inconsistencies. I promised I would cover everything as best I could. That brings me to this update.
It seems our last real progress post was on July 17 when we roughed in the electric for our house. By calendar that truly is forever ago. By budget it seems like yesterday and by motivation it seems like a minute or two ago. So what have we been doing since then. Allow me to explain.
First and foremost I think it is important to remind ourselves (so as to avoid personal frustration) and others that we are building cash-on-the-barrel. In this age of consumer debt, consumptive indulgence, and a weakening economy, cash-in-hand it extremely important to us. We don’t want to find ourselves living in a tiny house that isn’t even ours; one that we share with a credit lender, as a matter of fact. To date our budget in expenditures is right at $8026.49. Our sponsorships add another $5339.13 to the bill giving us a nearly $13k house that far exceeds our initial idea of a $10k or less home. But we have paid every penny of the bill and can look even now at what we have an know that there is no overhead. It is because of this ethic though that we find ourselves virtually sitting still. Our construction fund has bottomed out for now. We still have our living expenses, our current overhead bills, and a lingering debt from previous years (that still has right at 11 months to a zero balance) hanging over us. While the amount is not staggering and certainly not near what the media tells us is the national debt average per household, it is still an uncomfortable place for us to be and one that literally wrings our every spare penny out each payday. Each paycheck allows us to put a meager amount away for building but without those funds we are left to do small projects and continue to plot and plan what is next. We do have our insulation already though as well as the plastic we are going to use for a vapor barrier over top of the insulation as well as our electrical outlets, and our flooring, allowing us some proof of progress. For the most part though we feel as if mid-October will be when we can jump on the next large project; our kitchen cabinets and countertop. We are okay with it though. Why?
- Our time away from building has allowed a healthy anticipation to build. It is important, we think, to wait sometimes for quality. The goal of us building our own home without a mortgage is to live more intentionally; a little slower with a little more purpose. Without a break-neck schedule before us we can enjoy each step of this process more thoroughly!
- In the meantime we have begun training a bit for our goal of a through hike of the App Trail. While we know this may not happen right away and shorter, micro-hikes are more realistic, we haven’t given up on the idea of a through hike and walk several nights a week to stay in shape and to prepare (especially with a squirmy one-year old daughter in tow!)
- Our pop-up camper and my parents 5th wheel has gotten more use. Yes, the weekends that should/would/could be consumed by building have actually given way to some great state park camping adventures in which we get to relax and strengthen our relationship with each other and with the natural world around us (as well as drink a few beers that usually don’t get attention mid-week).
I suppose – in short – what I am saying is that each day has a new project for us. Sometimes it is on tiny house and sometimes it is cleaning the bathroom or teaching our daughter “can you say grass?” Somedays I feel like I have fallen victim to my own ambition and other days I feel like God is just showing me more about my patience and His reward.
One day soon we will be back with videos and photos and great stories. Until then though we are still just living tiny in order to live LARGE!