Thursday, April 29, 2010


"He who considers things in their first growth and origin.......will obtain the clearest view of them." Aristotle, Politics

When I tell people I am building my own house one of the most common responses I hear is, " I could never build a house, I can't even put together this table I got from IKEA."

If you are building a house, the single most important thing you can do before disturbing anything on site is to spend every second you can on location. It is a wonderful feeling getting to know a piece of land. I have spent countless hours at our site and have a much different kind of love for this particular piece of the Earth now, than when we first started the buying process 3+ years ago. I know where the sun rises and sets during each month. Almost every morning I hear and see a crow as he heads down from the mountain tops calling along the way. Later in the day I will see what I believe is the same crow flying by with another crow. If the wind is out of the East it is almost always chilly. I know where the water runs when we have downpours. After my time at the land yesterday, I now know why the water in our barrels is disappearing.

Yesterday out at the land I was shoveling more dirt when I heard the noise of metal scraping on metal. A sound you don't hear much out in the middle of nowhere. I walk around the front of the house to see a couple of the local horses drinking out of my water barrels (see foto). I was wondering how the water level was going down so fast. Now I know.

I got the Aristotle quote from "The Owner Built Home" by Ken Kern. A wonderful resource for many diferent types of building. The quote is at the beginning of chapter 32 Floors. The words of Aristotle were at first hard for me to grasp, but after spending many hours digging out the first "room" it started to make more and more sense. The more time you have on your site, the more organic your home will be. The more time you have to become part of the land, be quiet and listen. The land will instruct you on how and what to build.

When you are assembling something from IKEA. This is a man made item made for a man made setting. When you are building a home. It is man making a structure that should work with the ever changing natural world. When you take the time, building a house is easier than most people think.

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