This house built with love

Message written on one of the beams of my house.

The name of my blog is Laura’s House Journey, but that title is far from accurate. The title should be altered to reflect the impact that my family has had on this journey. There is no way that I would be close to where I am today without them.

When I first dreamed of building my own house, I dreamed of a house with a high vaulted ceiling in the front and a loft in the back. The more I began to research, the more I fell in love with the modern farmhouse look.

As much as I really wanted the high vaulted ceiling, it terrified me. It’s so high. How would we ever be able to do that ourselves? I really wanted to do as much as humanly possible ourselves in the house. Was the ceiling even possible?

I was frustrated after last weekend, but we decided to give it one more shot before revisiting the possibility of hiring someone. I prayed that I would know how to proceed. We’re doing the entire ceiling in shiplap. Last weekend we were doing the lower parts and having such a hard time fitting each piece in. There must be an easier way. Then it dawned on me. If we only nailed the bottom of each piece of shiplap, the top would have more give and it would be easier to fit each piece in. We could then nail the top when we put the next piece in place.

Saturday morning we began trying this and it worked beautifully. We did not have to struggle to get one single piece in place. If you’re ever applying shiplap to a ceiling, I highly recommend this. In addition to installing the shiplap, we also needed to insulate between each beam.

After a full day of myself, my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew helping we put the last ceiling board in place. I was so excited! I’ve literally spent months dreading being on two plus levels of staging and finishing the insulation. It was a total team effort. Three-year-old Brendan even insisted on helping carry boards.

There was a board above the cross ties that we were unable to get out initially. We decided to write on it. My nieces kept making suggestions, but we finally decided on “This house built with love. Andy, Gayle, Laura, Krista, Kevin, Natalie, Lena, and Brendan 2017.” We were really struggling to insulate around that board, so we finally had to use a sabre saw and cut it off. We were all sad that our message would not live in the house forever, so after the board was taken down, I wrote it again on one of the rafters. We then insulated over it and covered it in shiplap.

My nieces asked if I thought in 100 years someone would find the message? Since the house is in the midst of a large piece of property owned by my parents, hopefully it will be found by family members In several generations. I hope that if the message is ever found, they will realize how much love went into the house.

Since we had to face nail the shiplap, we spackled the nail holes. My next task is to use a roller and paint the ceiling prior to taking the staging down. I’m still not a fan of two levels of staging, but I must say that I never once felt nervous working from there today.

My house is really starting to look like a home. It’s all because of the great love that my entire family has shown in this now two-year process.

Laura Reed

About Laura Reed

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person I’ve ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience – the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!