Why do you want to build your own/build small?

Started by Jared Drake, January 09, 2006, 01:15:37 PM

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Jared Drake

What's your motivation? Are you doing a small cabin as a retreat ocassionally? Or will it be your permanent residence? Downsizing now that the kids are gone? I'm wanting to build my own and build small for one reason: family. I met my wife at the factory we both work at, but we work different shifts. Day care for our two girls would literally cost more than we save each month, and we do a great job of saving. We're not in debt to our eyeballs like most people I know. I get off work at 10pm and she starts her shift at 10 pm. We literally see each other for about 30 minutes a day. Now that we're working Saturdays, I see her a few hours on Sunday before she has to take a nap before work. We feel like single parents.
So, I'm hoping to save enough money by building my own and building small that I can leave this job and take a job with a city somewhere making quite a bit less. I want a day job, Monday - Friday. I want to see my stepson play football on Friday nights (or play in the band. I was a band geek, too) We miss out on life. So, for us this isn't just fun. It's a dream that I hope works out. What's yours?


I can certainly see your motivation.  I'm single and all the "regular" houses being built are too big for me.  Don't want the utility bills, taxes, and cleaning up of a larger space.  I hope to use it as a retreat for a short while and then live in it permanently.  

Jimmy C.

My motivation is
#1 "No Mortgage Payment" while still making the same amount of money that I am now. It has always taken all that I earned to raise my three boys and give them a decent and safe place to live.

#2 One of my boys moved out last year and another will be going out on his own this year.
In 7 or 8 more years my youngest son will be ready to leave the nest.
This caused me to start thinking about building a place in the woods for my wife and I to live out our Pre-golden years.

#3 I will have bragging rights to the fact I built it myself!
The hardest part is getting past the mental blocks about what you are capable of doing.
Cason 2-Story Project MY PROGRESS PHOTOS

Ailsa C. Ek

Lower mortgage payments will be lovely (whether we end up building or buying, our mortgage payments will still go down - not that we have too much house, just too much town).  But the main reason I want to build is creative control.  That and a sense of accomplishment.  And being able to contribute something rather than sitting back & letting my husband pay for it (I'm a housewife).

Why small?  We have way too much stuff.  I'm taking the move as incentive to purge, but knowing we're moving into a place that is less than 1000 square feet (we live in an 1100 sq. ft. split level now with a garage that is packed floor to celing with random crap) would really give me incentive to get rid of things.  And smaller places have so much more charm.  (Yes, I am a Not-So-Big-House groupie.)


Always wanted to design and build my own house.

Felt liberated when I bought a house and was the person to call when things broke--none of this landlord nonsense, I was in charge.

Small?  I'll fill up any space I live in.  Only way to handle that is to have less space!


My family and I, have lived in many houses over 7 years, only one of them more than 850 square feet.  We are used to small spaces.  It is what we know.  Once the kids get a bit older (they are 7,4,2, and 5 weeks till due), they will need their own spaces, and we will have to go up to say, 1000 sq feet or so.  Kids don't all need their own room, bedrooms don't have to be large, and their is so much wasted space in the average house, that I could probably halve the sq' and make a more comfortable house.  That is my opinion, giving the way we have found that we like to live.  I can't help building.  It comes just about as naturally as breathing to me.  I have been building since I was a little kid, and am almost fully self taught (if you include reading), and have built everything from cars to houses, and almost everything that goes into them.  We are taking a bit of a vacation right now to have our baby, and I still can't help it, though we are renting, I am remodeling!  The landlord is paying materials, and we are working out the rest, but I am building and installing custom cabinets right now.  Our goal is to live mortgage free, on acreage, homesteading, and doing what we want to do, rather than what we have to do.  buying, renovating, and selling houses is the best way I can see for us to get there, so that is what I am working on right now (I'd rather be building our cabin/cottage/homestead.

Sorry, I am really long winded today!


I want to build myself for A.) the satisfaction of doing it myself, B.) the lessons it'll teach about construction techniques and C.) the knowledge of providing shelter should a natural (or otherwise) disaster strike like it did in New Orleans.  That catastrophy taught me one thing....I should build some new self suficency skills and sharpen the ones I have.

I want to build small because A.) less materials, less cost to build, B.) I feel excessivly large spaces are a waste (to some degree), C.) less expensive to heat, D.) less expensive to cool, E.) less impact on the property I'll someday choose, F.) less to insure, G.) less taxes and H.) I feel small homes promote family unity.  Sometimes, less is more.