One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The house that God is building

We really didn't think we'd break ground on our new house until September. But God had other plans.

One of the men at our church, who is a local contractor, had a week in July that was open before he had a full schedule. We had a question to ask him about our house and he offered to use his crew, at his cost, to put in the foundation for our house. So during a week I was in the hospital with James, Mr. David and his crew were digging and pouring footers. Mr. David also coordinated and negotiated with the mason to lay the block for our crawlspace and with another contractor to pour the conrete pad for our carport. When all was said and done, the foundation work came in about 20% below our budget!

The foundation sat quietly while we worked behind the scenes with Mr. Joey, another contractor from our church who sold us the land and said he wanted to offer his crew, at his cost, to frame up our new house. He coached us through the planning process and spoke with some contractors on our behalf. The ball was rolling with the power company, the electrian, plumber, septic guy and well driller. Not long after, the HVAC guy, another fellow from our church, was in on the act. Mr. Joey and Mr. David both credit the Lord with giving them success in their businesses that allows them to donate their crews this way. We are grateful beyond words!

After a much-deserved vacation with his family, Mr. Joey returned with his crew and started framing our house. That was during two of the hottest weeks in August. Owen worked with them and LOVED it! He learned a great deal and demonstrated his ability to work hard over and over. I actually ended up back in the hospital with James during that time and the house kept moving along. By now, Vern was also working at his new job. Katie was pulling everything together at home and feeding the framing crew lunch every day as well.

It took two weeks to frame the house. The incredible heat slowed down a normally speedy crew which allowed us to keep up with what was going on and make a few little changes along the way.

Another contractor from our church, Mr. John, ordered our roofing and led a volunteer crew (as a volunteer himself and with his sons) to roof our house one Saturday. Our roof is metal and because it began to rain at the very end of the day, the last few pieces couldn't go up. As the last few pieces went up on the roof the next week, the plumber, electrician and HVAC guys were busying themselves in their respective areas of expertise. Everyone has been a pleasure to work with and have been available right when we needed them, thanks to Mr. Joey's planning and coordination.

After a few more framing issues were completed inside the house, the insulation crew worked their magic (for less than the cost of us just buying the insulation --how do they do that?), then the sheetrock crews (one for sheetrocking, one for mud--three times--and one for sanding) blew through the house in near-record time, resulting in a decrease in that bill too!

God keeps blessing us with gifts (a kitchen sink and faucet, dishwasher, microwave, money for an early inheritance) and discounts (sometimes contractors have given us their cost or other discounts--plumbing and HVAC)and sometimes we've had coupons for a discount or found just what we needed on a clearance rack!

At this point, we are within our budget, but we still have a ways to go and some things remain unknown, like how deep our well will be! But we do have a septic system in and we are working on trim work. Owen is learning all kinds of things and installed all the exterior knobs on the doors (he'll do the deadbolts when we get them and the interior knobs once we get to that point). He enjoys the hard work and the sense of accomplishment that he gets from this project!

We've taken James over to the land a couple of times. He loves it. Unfortunately, when he goes over there, his dressings and ostomy bag come off or come loose in record time. He is busy there, but he is busy here at home too. There is lots of dust at the house, but it can't get under the dressings and such unless they are already loose. We think that the difference is the lack of air conditioning over at the new place and that, with the humidity and heat, he just sweats over there. So, he will have to stay home for a while--until we have some air conditioning available, or until the weather cools enough and dries enough. Honestly, I think the air conditioning will be available first!

It is our earnest desire to build this house debt free. We may do without a few things initially, but we don't mind. Others have lived with so much less than we will have. Certainly we will have a great appreciation for all that is going into this new house! Indeed we already do!

I hope to share more about what we are doing, but share this as a history to get us up to where we are today. Owen and I are heading back to the house now to work some more and keep things moving.

Thanks for checking up on us. As always we love to hear from you! Please leave a note or send us an e-mail and let us know what's up in your neck of the woods!

Love, Stephanie

No comments: