The Goal = Turn Two 8’ Wide Metal Boxes Into A Shipping Container Home, Part #4

Priority #3 – My Bedroom & I’ve Got Coffee In My Hand Stair Access

Truth – My husband and I aren’t getting any younger.  Access to the second story (master bedroom) of our home was a major design issue.  Not only did the access need to be functional, user friendly, but I also wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing. Oh, and I needed to be able to carry my beverage of choice upstairs while traversing the staircase.

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Fact – A traditional staircase is 36” wide and needs up to 15’ of room to construct.  This was simply floor space that we didn’t have to spare in our footprint. My husband, always the practical man (God bless his heart), wanted to install an elevator like platform attached to a car winch system with chains.  I may have laughed outright 😉 Again, I am a PNW girl, but I have some standards!

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Initially, we didn’t have a good solution to our upstairs bedroom access.  Our state’s building code is very specific about the requirements. I couldn’t figure out how to meet their requirements and have the room to implement them in the floor space we had available to us.  Were the stairs going to be piece that derailed our dreams? Not if I had anything to say about it!

Side Note – If I could give any advice, it would be this: take the time and effort to develop a good rapport with your local B&P front office staff, your plan reviewer and most importantly your inspector.  Don’t ask them to design your project – do your homework and make sure that you have acquired the practical knowledge and good solid solutions to make your design work. But, this rapport helps when you get to an area like we did, our stairs.

And so, to the county building Dave and I went.  This wasn’t our first visit. We had already been in prior to this to introduce ourselves:)  When we asked what we could do for an option, the senior plan reviewer immediately suggested a ship ladder design.  He said that because the area we were accessing was a single room, less than 200 square feet and without a bathroom, there was an exception in the code that we didn’t need a staircase 36” wide.  

While this was awesome news for us, we (I specifically) just couldn’t wrap my head around how I was going to make it up and down a ships ladder with my morning coffee, evening beverage, laundry, etc.  As previously stated – I’m not getting any younger, and am sure I need 2 hands to climb a ladder to a second story – girl probs ;). This suggestion, of course, got my husband all excited about his elevator idea.  Oh, boy, I had my work cut out for me to find a reasonable solution that would work for everyone.

Again, because we had taken the time to build this relationship, B&P was more than willing to spend the extra time to help us find a solution.  In our county, we are the first (and only) home of our design. Additionally, they had next to no experience with even a wood built tiny home. The movement hasn’t taken hold and so they really had a limited knowledge base.  This also meant that they didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what they wanted to see. I can honestly say that the entire department was interested in our build and wanted to see us succeed. These people can make or break or build.  I’m thankful that we had the foresight to befriend them 🙂 This didn’t mean that we weren’t held to the same standard, it just meant that when we ran into a problem, they were more willing to lend some of their knowledge and expertise.

The Solution – Spiral Stairs

Here is where my ‘outside the box’ thinking skills became useful – Google became my friend. After our meeting with B&P and having a rough idea of what I could get away with for space for my stair footprint, I started searching the internet for options.  And the solution was so obvious, I don’t know why we didn’t think of it before – Spiral Stairs. Spiral stairs are unique in that they can be custom designed and built for your space.  I found an online company that had good reviews. Almost immediately I was put in touch with our awesome expert, Brett at paragonstairs.com who showed immediate interest in designing the stairs for our unique home.  After a few back and forth emails/phone calls, I had a preliminary design in hand that would fit into our footprint. Yes, the treads were narrow and the accent was steep, but it was 100% BETTER than a ships ladder.  

Side note – this is not an ad – Brett is just that awesome and went above and beyond for our project and build.  If you need stairs, contact him and tell him Jaimie sent you 🙂  He is amazing and you won’t regret it!

I emailed B&P with my discovery and asked, ‘If a ships-ladder would be acceptable, would they consider Spiral Stairs instead?  The senior plan reviewer responded that he would see what he could do – and a few days went by before I heard back from him. Much to his credit, he went to bat for us with the State Board that oversees building codes.  He requested on our behalf, and was granted a variance for the exact staircase I had submitted! Thank you, Jesus – that is the first thing that came to my mind!

Fast Forward – I remember at the very end of our build, right before the spiral stairs were to be installed, our inspector, who had been with us the entire project, commented that he just wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to pass the access to the second floor.  Are you kidding me!!! First, if he had a concern, shouldn’t he have mentioned it long before we come to the pass or fail part of the build?!?!? Second, not everyone designs their project completely in advance with all the elements pre-approved – thankfully, that is exactly what we had done.  So when Mr. Inspector made his comment, I quickly and easily had an answer for him – ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Inspector. As you can see here in our approved building permit and documents (100’s of pages), the stairs that we are installing have already been designed, engineered and pre-approved by the WA Board.  You don’t have to worry about them at all. Your job here is done!’ In fact, the stairs had been sitting in our storage for almost 10 months at that point, just ready to be installed. This was just one tiny benefit of all of our pre-planning and hard work paying off. An inspector that didn’t have a job to do when it came to our stairs – and that was our final piece to have legal occupancy ;).

Again, taking the time and effort to identify these seemingly small pieces of our build prior to committing to our project paid off in the long run.  Researching and finding solutions, having open dialogue with the building department, and educating ourselves saved us a lot of time and energy in the long run.  I promise!

The Bedroom

Now that we had an approved access plan to the second story, it was time to design our master bedroom.  Our room is comprised of a 20’ container situated on the back 20’ of the lower 40’ container. I knew I wanted lots of light and a glass door to access what would be our private deck right off our bedroom.  Because the space was dedicated solely for our bedroom and I didn’t have to fit anything else into the square footage, other than the stairs and door, the space was one of the simplest parts of our design. Compared to how many separate ‘spaces’ we have managed to fit into the lower 40’ container, (livingroom, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, bathroom & second bedroom), having an entire 20’ all to myself was heavenly.  

We did have a couple of design obstacles, including exact placement of the spiral stairs. We were planning on cutting an opening into the roof of the 40’ and a hole in the bottom of the 20’ to install the spiral staircase in.  This hole had to be measured precisely, because directly on the other side of the opening was the outside wall and future deck area. As I’ve mentioned before, it isn’t a simple process to ‘reinstall’ a piece of the Cortex metal once it has been cut.  Thankfully, these very precise cuts and the resulting structural reinforcement took place prior to Dave’s brain bleed. 8.5 months later, when we went to install the spiral that we had so meticulously planned for, it fit like it had been built in place.  Measure 3 times, cut 1 time 😉

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Our Private Deck

Off of our bedroom, we have a 20’ x 8’ cedar deck.  We designed and built a roof structure over the 10’ that is closest to the container for weather protection and left the other 10’ open to the sun.  Our hand railing was also our own design and build. It was my idea – and one I was pretty proud of 😉 The uprights for our railing are all made out of rebar.  What a process. In fact, it was in the middle of building our handrailing, that my husband suffered his ICH. Thankfully, we were done with the structural welding on our home just prior to his bleed and were working on the decorative pieces.  

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Ultimately, our bedroom, the spiral stair access  and our private deck are one of the most rewarding portions of our build.  We have 20’ all to ourselves. Our stairs are gorgeous, functional and most importantly, I can carry a beverage up and down with ease 🙂

Fast Forward – The structural pieces of the deck and hand crafted railing that my husband almost died over, to this day brings tears to our eyes.  We often talk about the specific section he was working on when he bled. Over the next couple of weeks, while Dave was recovering, and yet still so impatient to get back to building, his brother came and helped us.  He assisted in the welding of the next 2 sections of railing, and as hard as he tried and as much as we appreciated his help, those 2 sections will never be as meaningful as the 2 before them, and never as hardly fought as the 2 sections after them.

Have I Mentioned My Husband Is My Hero, And Amazing?

Dave picked up his welder just 3 weeks after his initial bleed, with little feeling having returned to the right side of his body.  He had fought to live just weeks earlier – his main motivation, to finish what we had started . He was determined to finish our railing and deck..  With the tenacity of a bull, he worked on those final 2 sections for 2 days – something that would have taken him half a day just weeks earlier. He was determined – and I never left his side, a ‘sous’ fabricator helping him more so much more than I ever had before. After those 2 days, and when the final railing upright was complete, my amazing husband had his first seizure. The ICH had caused so much damage to his brain, and the welding that he was too impatient to wait to finish until he was more healed had exacerbated the injury. The result was a seizure disorder that plagued him for years following that fateful day. In just 3 short weeks, my strong, able bodied husband who had worked 18 hour days, 7 days a week for years, had a 2” blood clot in his brain and a seizure disorder that prevented him from driving, welding or working.

I share this part of our story, because it is interwoven into the very heart of our home.  It is the fuel that drove us through the hard times. It is the fire that pushed us to keep on going, even when it all seemed impossible.  When our dream seemed totally beyond our reach, we focused on what we had already accomplished. We focused on the hard stuff we had already made it through, including living.  Dave should have died that day in August of 2015. The doctors have no explanation as to why the bleed occur, and absolutely none as to why he lived. The location of the clot should have killed him immediately.  The damage to his brain should have left him paralyzed at the very least. Instead, 8 months after his bleed, and just 10 months after we had been given the go ahead to proceed, we were handed our Certificate of Occupancy.

WE HAD ACCOMPLISHED THE IMPOSSIBLE.  Not only had we successfully built a shipping container home, but we had finished it against all odds – even life and death odds.  WE CAN DO HARD THINGS. To this day, when things get really hard, we remind each other that we can survive the situation we are in. We have survived far worse and we can do it again.

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There is so much more to our build story, and our life story.  I promise, I will continue sharing with you how we made it through B&P and got our building permit.  I will share all the details of actual construction. But right now, when talking about designing our room and deck, I have to pause and remember the miracle I was able to witness.  The miracle of my husband and his desire to love and finish the hard stuff. His desire to give me the home we had both dreamed about.

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Building a shipping container home is hard.  But remember, if your still here, reading this blog, you’ve lived through 100% of your hard days.  If your chasing your dream of building a shipping container home or a tiny home, don’t give up! It isn’t impossible. Yes, it challenging in the beginning, and the middle and the end.  Yes, there will probably be surprises along the way that no matter how hard you prepared for, still aren’t expected. There certainly were for us. But remind yourself – if it was easy, everyone would be living in a gorgeous shipping container home.

Next up – The permitting process

Catching our dreams,

Jaimie & Dave

The Goal = Turn Two 8’ Wide Metal Boxes Into A Shipping Container Home, Part #3

Priority #2 – The Kitchen

Every woman wants a kitchen to call her own, especially a mother.  It’s her space, whether she is a gourmet chef or simply trying to feed the kids. Dave and I have 5 of those amazing big people together, and while 4 of the 5 aren’t living at home, I still wanted  to try and have a space where they could come and enjoy a home cooked meal. My kids thrive on mom’s cooking and not making room for their needs in our tiny home, even when they were older and no longer living with us, just seemed selfish.

Have you ever looked around at your kitchen – there are so many needed spaces. Counters, sink, cupboards, fridge, range, venting, windows and even more. I am a lazy woman in the kitchen and cooking and cleaning up after preparing a meal just is not my favorite thing to do.  Thankfully, my husband has taken over this chore for me in the past couple of years, God bless his heart. But in my laziness I knew I wanted -no, needed, a dishwasher. We may be planning on living in a shipping container, but priorities, people 😉

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Because our finished inside footage was going to be less than 7’ wide, I decided early on in the process on a galley style kitchen.  We were able to use standard size cupboards on one side of the room that encompass a large bar/seating area that gives us 32” x 48” of open counter space.  We can have 5 people at the counter for dinner, and while it is cozy, it works and that makes it perfect!

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In my research, I found a tiny family owned stonework store about an hour from our home.  While looking for countertops, I found a large, deep rectangular sink. I knew as soon as I saw it that is was perfect for our home.  The store was family owned and were more than happy to come and install our custom countertops and sink for us. They showed up on a Saturday in their little van and set up an outdoor cutting station.  They then came in and inspected our pre-work and told us it was terrible – no kidding. Funniest thing ever, because we took such pride on our craftsmanship. But apparently, to them, it was terrible. So after about 30 minutes of completely re-working our underlayment, they brought in the granite slab to cut and sand and router and make every single piece to fit perfectly for our tiny build.  If we ever build again, we will use them to build our entire kitchen. Look for family owned stores if possible. They take pride in their work and you aren’t just another number.

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I know I have mentioned that dreams do come true.  I have a tiny kitchen with a full size dishwasher and a full size oven range. Over the range is a microwave hood combo unit that sits in an upper wall full of cabinets. At the end of this length of counter and appliances, I got really creative.  Our cabinets are stock cabinets that we purchased from the local hardware store.(Trying to do things on a budget and they were hickory, which I love!) I took 3 of the standard sized cupboards and stacked them on top of each other to utilize the space we had left over and also provide us with a pantry/small appliance cupboard.   

On the opposite side of the kitchen space, is our fridge/freezer.  Now, there are so many options for appliances and while you usually would choose your appliances towards the end of a traditional home build, when you are building custom and tiny, you need exact measurements to utilize every single inch of usable space.  While shopping appliance options, we discovered that we could purchase a ‘counter depth’ fridge. This meant that instead of our fridge sticking out 6” past our counters or into the walkway, it is recessed back allowing for a wider walkway 🙂

Next to the fridge, I have a full size stackable washer and dryer.  Mama is happy!

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All of the appliance doors open, except for our oven door which is about 1” short of opening up completely.  This was a beginners error on our part and would have been an easy fix if we had realized during the framing part of our project.  FYI – install a recessed range outlet. This allows for your range to sit flush to the wall, not protruding into the room an extra 1”.  Once completed, our galley kitchen has a walkway of approximately 23”. Legal walkway is 22” – so we meet that requirement 🙂

Side note – In a traditional wood home, you can cut in microwave and dryer vents and install them fairly easily.  Want to add a window over the sink or a door, no problem, just cut out the desired space. With a shipping container home, every single opening that we would need in the metal had to be pre-planned, pre-measured, pre-cut, pre-grinded, pre-welded, pre-finished.  Every single opening had to be created and finished prior to starting any of the interior work. This included the wood framing, insulation and sheetrock. All of these are combustibles, and because welding and grinding is such a hot process, we couldn’t take the chance of a fire later in the process.  As an example, when we originally laid out our kitchen we had almost 3” from the end of the upper cabinet to the edge of the window that was centered over the kitchen sink. When we actually installed our cabinets, we had less than an inch between the two spaces.

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Now, there are lots of reasons that measurements were off slight.  Our biggest obstacle that we had to overcome between the design stage and the building/installation stage, was my husband’s spontaneous ICH that occured mid build.  In wood construction, these slight deviations wouldn’t have been such a make or break issue. Wood is more forgiving, but with the metal, my husband had to be WABO certified to weld on our home.  It wasn’t so easy to find a replacement to step in and finish our build. With metal, when your measurements are off, there is simply no easy way to reinstall your metal Cortex siding and cut out another window.  

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Each of the early planning steps we took to complete our build, especially in critical spaces like the kitchen helped make our project successful.  If we hadn’t of taken the time and paid close attention, I am 100% confident that we would not have such a beautiful home.

I know that I am giving a lot of details about each step, but I know that we saved ourselves so much time, money and effort on our project by designing and laying out each piece of our home to the inch. When your building tiny, inches really do matter.  On your build, take your time. Do your homework and measure, measure and measure again. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Here is a sneak peek into what our kitchen looks like today – enjoy 🙂

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If your chasing your dream of building a shipping container home or a tiny home, don’t give up!  It isn’t impossible – if it was easy, though, everyone would have one 😉

Catching our dreams,

Jaimie & Dave

The Goal = Turn Two 8’ Wide Metal Boxes Into A Shipping Container Home, Part #1

Honesty First

My husband wanted to have the ‘WOW’ factor for our house. I wanted the most economical and yet livable solution available when you are trying to make an 8’ wide metal box your home. In the beginning, we talked and dreamed of the possibilities as far as design and stacking them together like Legos – everyone’s initial thought of building with shipping containers 🙂 We discovered quickly, it isn’t quite that simple or cheap to start stacking them willy-nilly. So we had to put some hard thought into what exactly we could and couldn’t live without in our future shipping container home.

My Husband’s Ideal Space

Dave is a practical man, with a ‘WOW’ factor mentality 😉 He needed a sink and counter, a hot plate would suffice with a mini fridge, a toilet if we could figure out the plumbing and a place to sleep. He was more concerned with the structural components, the welding and the infrastructure for the land. He didn’t really care how many windows we had, how the natural lighting would infiltrate the living spaces, where we were going to have space for our youngest son who was 10 at the time or where we would eat. He gave zero thought to laundry or family dinners, how his wife would stay clean or really anything that would make these cold metal boxes a home for our family. He’s a man – he could eat on an upside down bucket in the corner, off of a paper plate and take a shower in a portable tent behind a tree – God bless his heart 😉

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My Ideal Space

My idea of practical also takes into account long-term usability and how to prevent me from running wild into the woods or going even more crazy than we already felt even contemplating this build 🙂 A kitchen with full size appliances, a washer and dryer, a bathroom with a large shower where I could shave my legs – girl goals 😉 and of course an INSIDE toilet and sink, lots of storage, a separate bedroom for our son, a master bedroom large enough that I could walk around my bed to make it, a living-room space where we could have our older children over for family meals, and windows; lots of windows and natural light – and it had to be pretty. I might be a Pacific Northwest girl, but I like my comforts 😉

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We Compliment Each Other

Initially, our individual ideal spaces were quite different. But in our separate visions, we both addressed items that not only made our future home functional and solid, but also usable, comfortable and inviting. As we started to think ‘outside the box’ at all the possibilities of what our shipping container home could become when we combined our ideas, the magic really started to happen and our imaginations and creativity took flight. Our number one realization – when you are building tiny, you can have nice finishes and still not spend a fortune because of the small footprint. Suddenly, granite counters, tile showers, stainless steel appliances, zebra flooring, spiral staircases, multiple bedrooms and a large deck overlooking our valley right off our master bedroom were our reality, just on a very small-scale.

What Could We Live Without

We had lived in a much larger home prior to building our tiny home and took a hard look at what parts of the house we used in our average American family home. We only really used the kitchen and bar seating area, occasionally the living room to visit if company was over, the bathroom and 2 of the bedrooms. We rarely, if ever used any of the other rooms of the house. We knew that we could live with a living room, kitchen, laundry space, bathroom and 2 bedrooms. Now, to make it all fit in as small of a footprint as possible – exactly how many containers could we get away with using was the hard question? We decided that if we could get away with 2 shipping containers – a 20’er stacked on top of a 40’er or 480 square feet, it would help keep costs down and the footprint on our very hilly land easier to build on.

The Initial Design

I am an accountant, not a designer or an architect. So, I opened up my Powerpoint on the computer and started stacking rectangles on top of each other, because after all, that is what we were working with. I then dug into our local building code for the minimum square footage requirements in the spaces that we wanted to include in our home. The bathroom, bedrooms, stairs and entry points/doors had to be certain dimensions in order to meet the code for our state. With only 480’ to work with, the challenge seemed daunting. But, I have always loved a challenge – and so I measured and moved and measured and moved, over and over until I got everything to fit in the 480’ we ‘thought’ we had – Success!!! Or so I thought…

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Back To The Drawing Board

To the casual observer or newbie like ourselves, 2 shipping containers provide approximately 480 interior square feet. But – and that is a very big BUT, when you start adding things like framing, insulation and sheet rock you lose approximately 6.5” on each interior wall in order to facilitate those basic finishes. Metal conducts moisture – and mold was not something I ever wanted to deal with inside my home. Taking this into account, we knew we couldn’t frame directly up to the metal interior walls. The obvious solution was to build a wooden framed box inside our metal shipping container using 2 x 4 construction and make sure that the metal and wood never touched each other, ever. (Because the strength of our home comes from the metal box, we didn’t need to use traditional 2×6 construction except on the end walls where the doors were for wind shear.)

To simplify for those who are new to the shipping container building process like we once were – when you add the framing, insulation and sheet rock, you lose approximately 6.5” on each interior wall and suddenly your 480’ tiny home, really becomes a 406’ ‘super’ tiny home.

Note – Our interior living space is 1” shy of 7’ wide – cozy living at it’s finest! Don’t worry, you get used to it. It does help to have the right size furniture to make it all work together – no oversized lazy boy recliners for us 😉 I know that in the world of tiny homes, our 406’ is a mansion, but moving from a 2,000 sq ft home to 406’ was a huge obstacle to work our minds around.

Now – to rework those rooms sizes to fit into the space we really had to work with. Back to the drawing board to design our shipping container home for me!

More to come… but until then, what is your dream? Never be afraid to chase it!!!

Chasing our dreams ~

Jaimie & Dave

The Dream = Shipping Container Home

They Called Us Crazy

In hindsight, we probably were a little crazy; or maybe a lot. But, everyone’s adventure has to begin somewhere, and this is where our’s began –

‘that tiny life love’

I remember it clearly – the day ‘that tiny life love’ story started – the day that my husband talked me into building a Shipping Container house on the 5 acres of rocky, hilly goat country that we had just purchased in southwest Washington.

Let’s Rewind

Do you ever just dream of something more?  Do you look around, or look at yourself in the mirror, or look at your bank account and ask yourself – ‘There has got to be more to life than this?’  That was us.  No matter how many hours we worked, or how much we saved, the constant challenge of keeping up with those around us just weighed us down.  We just didn’t want to do it any more; so we made a radical, life-changing decision to rewrite how our story was going to go.  Little did we know how little control we really had 😉

Our initial goal was to be mortgage free after building a tiny house on our new property.  We had a little nest egg saved and some basic skills.  My husband is a fabricator, so metal was right up his alley, and I, an accountant/controller, have never been afraid of a challenge and loved the thrill of problem solving and thinking outside the box (pun intended).  How hard could it be? ‘WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS! No one else has, but WE CAN!’ – That was our pep talk to ourselves daily 🙂

It wasn’t very elegant – the start of this journey.  We spent months searching the web and reading every available piece of information on how to build a shipping container home.  And after all those months of research and learning, we were almost exactly were we started. Knowing next to Nothing about how to build a shipping container home!

Truth

The internet was about 5% helpful; meaning it was also 95% not helpful.  There are a couple of resources from other DIYers, but nothing that worked with what we wanted to do.  But hey, who needs an instruction manual on how to build a shipping container house?  How hard can it be to put 2 metal boxes together and make it livable?  And it couldn’t cost that much – I mean you can buy shipping containers all day long on Craigslist. Easy peasy! –

Our family was right – we were definitely crazy!  We will own that 🙂

Here is the honest truth; it was hard, and expensive.  I am not going to lie or sugar coat this part and tell you that it was no big deal, because it was a big deal.  It was really, really hard and very, very expensive.  But again, there was not much usable information available on just how challenging and expensive it was going to be until we were already well on our way.  And then we only figured it because we were living it.  Every evening after work, every weekend, every vacation day and holiday – yes, even Christmas.

We weren’t quitters.  This was OUR dream and nothing was going to stop us.  And we had our pride too.  Yes, you read that correctly – OUR PRIDE.  All the people who said it was silly, and crazy and there was no way we could live comfortably in the same box you see on the bed of a semi driving down the road – yes all those people who said it was impossible.  We refused to let them see us fail.  True, we could have taken the easy route and built an ‘off the grid’ container that would have been much cheaper.  But, we wanted to live in it and be comfortable and healthy while living in it; and all those corners that we could have cut meant things like – not passing inspections, mold and moisture problems, unsafe electrical, leaky plumbing, poor venting, pesticide soaked flooring – just to name a few.

Fast Forward Ahead 

And so, 10.5 months from the time we got the go ahead to proceed from our local Building and Planning department, we held in our hands our Certificate of Occupancy for a Single Family Residence.  We had done it – we had accomplished what we set out to do!!!

Not to shabby for an accountant wife and a fabricator husband who had a massive brain bleed mid way through our project, if I do say so myself 😉  I know that I mentioned how hard and expensive it was – did I forget to mention that my amazing husband had a major brain bleed in the middle of our project that left him with a 2″ blood clot on the left side of his brain?  So, when you add a life-flight helicopter bill and 4 days in the ICU to the cost of building our house, we realized exactly just how hard and expensive our dream of building a shipping container home had become.

That Was Where Our Story Get’s Really Exciting!!! 

That’s where we got to see miracle after miracle take place; the first one being that my husband LIVED after suffering his major ICH that left him with little feeling or sensation on the right side of his body and a seizure disorder.  That was where we got to see those same family and friends who said we were crazy step up and help us continue building our dream.  When my husband could barely walk or talk – they got to be part of something amazing too!  That is where we got to see God take our pennies and give us hundred-dollar bills and grow our faith by leaps and bounds.  That is where we got to see our persistence and never-give-up spirits keep fighting.  That is where we got to see exactly what we were made of and for…

God saved my husband’s life – period.  Our dream, our goal to turn 2 shipping containers into a house – that gave my amazing husband purpose to get out of that hospital bed and to work through 5 or more therapy sessions a week so that he could finish what we had started.  And finish we did!

That silly, crazy dream – it was just the beginning!  We thought we knew exactly what we were doing – we had it all planned out.  And that is the beauty of our story – that simple dream has turned into our new life’s story, and the dream is still growing.  Everyday, just like the flowers and vegetables infront of our 406 square foot home.

So, I Ask Again

What is your dream?  What are you working for?  Do you look at your life and ask yourself, is there more to this?  Our dream started as turning 2 shipping containers into a mortgage free house.  God took that dream and multiplied it and grew it by turning 2 shipping containers into a home.

So, welcome! We are glad you are here. In the past 4 years, we have learned so much about building and health and life and diet and living and loving. We can’t wait to share our story with you and invite you to learn as we do.  We will be covering lots of different topics like simple living, food, diet, exercise, chemical free options and we will continue sharing our story on how we got here and it all began with our dream to build a shipping container home. We hope you come back soon!

Chasing our Dreams~

Jaimie and Dave