My apologies for the delay between updates! For the past few weeks I've been officially finished with my work for the season at Eighth Day Farm (except for thrice-weekly compost runs in the farm truck throughout the winter).

I've made quite a bit of progress on the house. I spent many hours stripping old (probably lead) paint from my door and putting on a new white coat. It still needs another coat, and I need to modify it to be compatible with modern locksets, but most of the refurbishing work is done now. I also spent a lot of time rust-proofing the trailer chassis, a job that's only about half-done now. At this point I'll probably wait until the warmth of spring to finish the underside.

My handier brother Jeremy came for the weekend before Thanksgiving and helped immensely in building my floor system. Since the house is above the ground, the floor needs to be insulated. As such, we framed floor joists over the existing plywood decking, shimming it to create a straight, level floor on the bowed trailer chassis. We cut most of the insulation pieces before we ran out of time and went home for Thanksgiving week.

After returning to Holland I finished building the floor (as well as some steps, featuring hidden drawers!). Eventually I'll sand it and finish it, but not until the exterior of the house is complete.

I'm heading on a road trip to southern California with my family on December 17, so now I've got just over three weeks to get the walls and roof built and weatherproofed. My folks have agreed to loan me some money if I can't quite afford it by then. (After Christmas I hope to start substitute teaching in Holland's public schools.)

Next steps: Build walls! Unfortunately my trailer needs a new axle and the part hasn't been delivered to the repair shop yet. I won't start raising my walls until then, but I can frame them indoors so they're ready to raise when the time comes. The same goes for my roof trusses.

At this point, it looks like a about a quarter of the lumber in my house will be reclaimed, and another quarter is unused lumber "reclaimed" from friends' garages. Aside from the financial and environmental benefits of using reclaimed/donated materials, I'll have a brand new house that's already infused with story and character - not to mention my own blood, sweat, and tears. I hate sterile spaces and houses that resemble furniture stores, so the prospect of a new house built of living memory delights me.

I'm in good spirits and optimistic, though I know the next two weeks of intensive building will be a challenge. If anyone's interested in getting some construction experience or putting their existing experience to good use, give me a call!

Here's a few pictures. For more, friend me on Facebook. (Someday I'll update my blog engine to handle photos better...)

The first coat of paint!

Finally, the finished floor.

Secret drawers!