Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We hammered things!

This past weekend Dave and our friend Ralph and I went up to Vermont to learn how to build a tiny house! This is a workshop run by Peter King (check out the website - and look for upcoming workshops - here).

It was a two day workshop, and we were building a 12 by 20 structure for an herbalist who is currently living in an even smaller tiny house on the land. The house we helped with is laid out for a kitchen and main room (although no bathroom), and a loft with a dormer.

Here's Peter, talking to us about the basics, and the reasons that he decided to do these workshops:


The things Peter mentioned that stood out for me were that, for one, this stuff isn't rocket science. Anyone can learn how to build a structure - all it involves is basic math, and basic tools, and a few easily learned rules. And two, he believes strongly that housing is just too darn expensive, so downsizing in a drastic (for modern standards) way allows you to live debt free (so that you can work less!) while also having a lighter impact on the planet.

Here are Dave and Ralph, listening to said talk:


First wall, going up!


Our progress near the end of the first day:




Cutting out windows:


The next couple of days I'll post photos from the second day, and also a couple of details from both days. Overall, it was a fantastic way to spend a weekend, and we lucked out with a crew of lovely, thoughtful, interesting, fun and hard working people. It was also really great to meet and work with the owner, Khumpani, who is living his life with an inspiring level of dedication to his ideals and to the earth. Plus, he is friends with some fabulous cooks! I can't believe how well we ate all weekend - fresh baked bread, hearty soups, barbecue chicken, apple crumble, corn bread! Best weekend ever.

Also, Peter's ability to manage the project was remarkable. He was constantly juggling the roles of teaching and project management, and I thought he did a tremendous job. He somehow managed to keep track of all the little jobs that had to get done, kept everyone moving, paused to answer questions, and got a team of total novices to frame a house in two days. It was also fun to chat with him at meal times about his views on housing and lifestyle - he had really helpful things to say about finding land, books to read, and skills to acquire.

1 comments:

Allison C October 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

Looks like a great weekend! Maybe I need to do something like that--I want a reason to get some more power tools. (And I need to convince Craig I know what I'm doing a la a class.) Impressive to get several great shots while working and learning.

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This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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