This project has been in the works for over three years.

We are building on land that goes back in Cath's family to the days when Ohio was frontier. After wasting over $20K on an architect we threw out those plans and purchased a set off of the Internet for about $1K. We then learned that those plans were not buildable in Ohio without major revisions.

We implemented the required revisions, only to discover that the house was quite a bit out of our budget.

We redesigned again keeping in mind specific building practices that would significantly reduce the cost, yet preserve the features we were most interested in.

Hasbrouck Engineering was kind enough to provide us with a PDF format of the essential part of our plans, which we share here:

Note:  We changed the windows on the South side and the West side of the living room space at the last minute - those changes are not reflected here.

  • Front (North) Elevation
  • Right (West) Elevation
  • Left (East) Elevation
  • Rear (South) Elevation
  • First Floor
  • Second Floor
  • We had a few more challenges to address. The result of over a century of non-sustainable agricultural practices on our lot, combined with the natural geography of our site, was that we have only a few inches of top soil. Not enough to install a leach bed septic system. We hired a soil scientist to analyze our soil to help engineer an evaporative mound system.

    Here are a few snapshots of the soil test.

    The record low interest rates created a huge backlog at the bank which delayed our mortgage process by well over a month.

    Finally we "broke ground" on October 7, 2002. We had put most of the 600 foot driveway in last December. Breaking ground involved initial grading of our house site. Because we have opted to not install a basement, building the house on a slab, this process went fairly quickly.

    Construction Photo Album
    Note:  Many of these pages are large and can take a long time to download.

  • 07 Oct 2002 - Here are a few snapshots from the end of the first day.

  • 10 Oct 2002 - Here are the Footers being installed.

  • 11 Oct 2002 - Here are the Footers being poured.

  • 19 Oct 2002 - Here is the first plumbing being installed, as well as the first couple of ICF courses.

  • 05 Nov 2002 - After a long weather delay, the garage slab is poured.

  • 07 Nov 2002 - The house slab is poured.

  • 11 Nov 2002 - Assembling the first floor ICF walls.

  • 13 - 16 Nov 2002 - The first floor assembly continues.

  • 20 Nov 2002 -

  • 04 Dec 2002 - The interior wall framing begins.

  • 07 Dec 2002 - The roof trusses arrive, floor joist installation is well under way.

  • 15 Dec 2002 - The second floor is installed.

  • 22 Dec 2002 - The second story ICF is installed and the concrete is poured.

  • 06 Jan 2003 - The roof trusses are mostly installed.

  • 10 Jan 2003 - The roof trusses get covered with sheeting.

  • 19 Jan 2003 - More work aloft...

  • 25 Jan 2003 - Windows, Stairs, and Front Door get installed.

  • 01 Feb 2003 - Gable ends closed in, more windows installed, dormer work in progress.

  • 04 Feb 2003 - Dormer work nearly finished.

  • 09 Mar 2003 - Interior Framing well under way and HVAC work started.

  • 16 Mar 2003 - Plumbing, Electric, and HVAC work. Also, South Window finished.

  • 01 Apr 2003 - More plumbing, electric, and framing. Also, porch slabs and garage approach poured.

  • 05 Apr 2003 - Porch Framing completed.

  • 19 Apr 2003 - Siding installed.
  • 28 Apr 2003 - Drywall being installed.

  • We are building a garden shed across the driveway from the garage.     - Updated 16 Nov 2002 - and 30 April 2006

    We are also installing a home wind energy system (windmill).     - Updated 16 Nov 2002 -