The slow process of relying on others…

Throughout the process of building this house Dustin and I have continually confirmed the old adage that building things take twice as long as you expect them to. Often, it takes more than twice as long. We have found this especially true when relying on others; it’s been extremely difficult to keep timelines because we’re often stymied by external factors such as waiting for forms to be put in place and concrete to be poured.

So one lesson is simple: you’re going to be wrong about your estimates of time (at least until you’ve done this many more times than we have). It can be pretty painful when you’ve told someone you’ll get something done by a certain time, and someone else is holding you up.

Another lesson: write time lines into agreements with contractors. It can be hard to put penalties for not reaching goals, especially because you don’t want them to hurry up a job cutting corners, but at least writing down goals can give both of you a place to reference.

With all of that, there is an upside to being slowed down, it has given us the opportunity to work on other projects. Dustin is working on creating a little art studio in the shop. He’s had fun being able to do some finish work and also built some cool stairs / storage area. The whole process has been an exercise in using space as efficiently as possible (for example, we have one door which functions for either the shower or the toilet, whichever is in use).

Storage Stairs

Storage Stairs

I’ve been working up the gumption to post about a home automation system that I’ve been building in the hopes of reducing energy usage and collecting data (such as the water level in the cistern). I haven’t posted about it yet because I wasn’t sure that it would ever come to fruition. However it’s starting to progress despite my woeful lack of electrical engineering knowledge. So with that said, I’ll hopefully be posting a little preview of it soon. Until then, here’s a picture:

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