Living Little - Living Large

    The concept was to downsize. This is the lot as it was in the fall of 2006. It is next to the house we used to live in and the building you see in the photo is the garage to our previous
house. When we purchased that house in 1991 it had two tax
lots, but we weren't sure this smaller lot was buildable. After
a boundary line adjustment which took into consideration the
critical habitat area around the seasonal creek on the land, we
were able to get enough space to build without asking for a
variance to the creek's buffer of 25 feet on each side.  The small building you see behind the garage has been moved.

The house we wanted to build would have a small footprint and be two stories. The first story would have a guest bath,
and laundry. It would also house Mike's guitar shop and my
art studio. Each room would do at least double duty, with the
stairway having a shower under it as well as the hot water heater and storage.  Upstairs, the one bedroom would also have an alcove for an office and the living room would share space with the dining room. 

We planned the plumbing to be stacked all in the same area, the deck to be under the big trees, the sound of the creek to be in most of the rooms and an out of rain shelter on the back and front of the house for access. When Clint layed out the footprint, everyone who saw it thought we were building a
small accessory building.

We moved out of our previous house on October 22, 2006 and into our Alaskan camper, and promptly left for a warmer climate, leaving our good friend Clint Crist with a building
permit so he could start the foundation.  He started it in "slimy" weather, and sent us this picture with a note not to
hurry home as things were wet and COLD.

The framing went fast, like usual. Clint and Mike were virtual monkeys, walking on beams and lifting up walls.

After lots of stuff, you can only imagine if you have done it
yourself, the pile of lumber and stuff started to look a bit
like the house Mike, Clint and I had designed.  The architect who drew our design never saw the site, so it was up to us to
fine tune the plan to fit the site, which Clint started when he
turned the house on the lot to take maximum advantage of every aspect of this special little spot. Here Mike and Clint
are working on the roof.

Mike seems totally at home in high places at this stage of the
house. We were blessed with good weather for most of the project and took advantage of it to prefinish everything we put on the house.

In this photo the outside is mostly done and we are living
in the camper in front of the house.  The porta potty is gone
and the downstairs bathroom is done, as well as the laundry room.  The trees are starting to turn and it is fall, we have been sleeping in the camper for a year!!  Thanks to friends, that wasn't too bad.  Jim and Judy took care of us for months in Baja, and Clint and Bird took care of us for five months on their land, and Bob and Sandy put up with us for a couple of weeks as well. We were stoked to be on our own land, the junkyard dogs so to speak, while we finished the house. From this point Clint went on to other work, and things slowed down as then there was only Mike, and me. You can imagine how handy I am with a hammer. But, I can varnish and paint, get materials and food.  

Here is another view of the house, showing Claudia's house, where we used to live, next door.

AND, in December we had a kitchen!!  It isn't done yet, but it is useable.  No more heating up water to wash dishes in the camper!  Thirteen months in the camper. . wow. I can't say we thought it would be that long when me moved into it.

As we work on finishing up the house we are very pleased with the decisions we made, plenty of which would have been wrong if it hadn't been for Clint . . . shhhh don't tell him as he doesn't like compliments. . . and we are very happy with the way things turned out.  You will have to visit to see how compact and useful this 1200 odd square feet of house turned out.  We do have a guest bathroom downstairs, but you will have to bring your RV or tent!!  

Mike and Linda
December, 2007


Work on the house continues but progress is good.  The more we live in this little house the more we appreciate it.  Here are some recent photos of work on the details:

This year we are extending our house project by adding a small shed, which will mimic the house in looks to free up Mike's guitar shop of all of our "toys" -
bikes, boats, tracking gear, winter gear, Baja gear and so forth.  It was part of the original building plan and now it will be done this summer. (2011)

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