Bootstrapping a Home

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  • Fri, Sep 17, 2021 - 08:06pm



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    Bootstrapping a Home

I am starting what I hope will become a content oriented permanent thread in General⇒MaterialCapital. I have decided to call it “Bootstrapping a Tiny Home”, instead of “Building a Home” because what I am SPECIFICALLY interested in is the “how to” of going from completely exposed to the elements to putting a dry roof over your head.

I am consciously incompetent in this field, at present.  I failed wood shop in 6th grade; or the wood shop instructor failed me — take your pick (if you knew the story I like to think you’d lean toward the latter).  I’ve extensively remodeled and built enough houses, but always by hiring someone else to do the actual construction.  I’ve made the money to hire others to build my houses by starting and running businesses.  I don’t regret that, per se, but I’d like to remediate it somewhat.   I don’t actually want a new career as a home builder, but I want to know that I can create a shelter for myself — AT LEAST A TINY HOME or cabin in the woods.  I think that is a key part of resilience, arguably even more fundamental than growing food (which I already do, at least minimally).  It’s a bit of remediation. And it is more than a bit of practical.

I was expecting something like this thread to already exist, but here I am, and I don’t see anything with a title that sounds even close, and I certainly believe “Material Capital” is the place this belongs.  If someone already has a thriving thread on specifics of bootstrapping a home, I am open to having this post subsumed. But, perhaps, it is best to keep the thread on its own, because I have a very particular intention for this thread: building myself by building a roof over my head.  A simple roof, but solid, and one that can never really be taken from me, nor denied me, because I carry it all inside my head.

In this case, I already have the acreage: 21 acres in Hawaii   Imagine you do, too: bare acreage is quite cheap, in many areas of the US and even cheaper if you expand out into the world.  If the cabin or tiny house is small enough, you can probably/hopefully get away with constructing it without a permit.  Or permit it as “storage shed” and just don’t tell them you intend to store yourself in it.   Start with little.   Repurpose stuff, if possible.  Maybe make some new friends, if you need help raising a roof.     That is the idea and the ideal here.   My hope is to start by building a one-bedroom house and, if that is too small, to add on or rebuild to suit.

To get things going, here is the simplest, step-wise, yet well-constructed cabin (built to last) tutorial I have found so far:

And here is something for building the inside of each of all of both of you:

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