Randy, my trusty contractor and good family friend, says "Next year I’ll be hosting Randy’s Ski Training camp. We can do it in John’s shop. I’ll crank up the music and we’ll all do Hindu squats, power skips, jump rope, planks, roll outs, and turbo lunges just to name a few! Skiing is serious fun and it requires serious prep."
One advantage of being a little gimpy, though, is that we actually have made some strides in designing John's home. You may recall that we are buying a kit from Shelter Kit which is basically the shell of the home. My motivation for doing that is twofold, I want to actually use a hammer and have sweat equity in the home and the second reason is that I feel like we can control the quality better if I am involved daily.
I've been a paying member of Green Building Advisor for 3.5 years. I have subscribed to both the Journal of Light Construction and Fine Homebuilding for several years. In that time I have worked hard to understand principles of building science and develop ideas on how I would want to build an energy efficient home. I've learned the importance of air sealing, vapor control, methods of insulating a home, ideas about heating and cooling a home. As a result of this study, I think I need to be onsite during the building to make sure the home is done the way I want it to be. That's a little more detailed explanation of why I want to use a kit to build the home.
Anyway, we've got most of the layout done. My brother John has an old student version of AutoCAD which we used to draw up the plans.
I've asked Randy and the kind people at Shelter Kit to look at the plans to see if they can see ways to simplify the plumbing and for advice on window sizes and placement. Or if they see glaring problems that we have overlooked. It's not like we have the code memorized.
Carlton, our carpenter, is recovering from his horrible accident last fall where John's old pool house came down on him and he broke his right lower leg in several places (and ribs and a vertebra or two). He has pain and limps a little bit, but he is getting back slowly. He has been helping out with the plans. He researched to find out if we could use John's septic tank or did we have to install a sewer line. Thanks to Carlton's homework, we get to use the septic tank saving probably $10,000!! Whew. That is a relief.
Another great thing about Carlton is that he knows people where you get building permits. So we have an inside connection.
So even on vacation in the beautiful state of Montana we are getting stuff done on the house.