Playing with power tools and a stubborn Mainer











It has been another busy week on the home front, however, there is not a lot to report. We have almost finished with one layer of insulation and boarding the entire first floor. As I wrote last time, it is actually starting to look like a house! There has also been a lot of framing inside which needs to be done, but doesn’t really change the look of the building.

Our next big task and one that I am absolutely terrified of is putting up the rafters. Hopefully that happens within the next week. Trusses would have probably been easier, but we opted for rafters. We could have bought the trusses and then just placed then on, but then the wood would not have come from our land. So far, all the wood in the house has been off our land. Trusses would have also been a lot more expensive.

In preparation for putting up rafters, each one has to be cut at the top and then a birdsmouth joint taken out of the opposite end. We had a piece of wood that we used as a pattern and then marked each of the 34 rafters before cutting them.

I really want to be an active participant in doing everything in my house. I think that sometimes my Dad still thinks of me as his little girl and not as a building partner. Well, I wanted cut the birdsmouth out of the rafters. Hesitantly, he let me. It was fairly terrifying as each has to be cut just right to fit on the wallplate.

I used a circular saw to cut two sides of the triangle and then a jigsaw to finish getting the piece out. It only took two or three to really get the hang of it and then it became second nature to me. It’s exciting to think that I am now proficient with both a circular saw and a jigsaw.

As a Mainer, I want to be able to do everything myself. I never want to ask for help or admit that there is something that I can’t do. That is one thing that appeals to me about homesteading. Raise your own food and live off your own land. I believe this is true with a lot of Mainers.

I think that this is one of the reasons that I really wanted to be able to sell my condo on my own without the assistance of a real estate agent. In addition, I was hoping that it would save me some money. However, I have decided that I need to list my condo and need to get it done this week. Continuing to pay for a home that I spend one or two nights a week is not smart. I need the money to continue with my new house.

There are many ideas that I see on Pinterest that I want to be able to do in my new house. Until I have the money from my condo, none of those ideas will be able to become reality. Hopefully it will sell fast. It is a lovely little place, just too far from my job. I am going to miss it. It was my first real home.

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!