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Building a Home by Hand

Posts: 65
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
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I’ve always believed that it’s a rite of passage to build your own home.
As an architect (by training) it may have been somewhat engrained in my thought patterns.
I’ve redecorated and refinished a few times in the past, but now I’m finally building a home with my own two hands (with a little help from other hands.

I prefer to call it a home rather than a house.
Technically it is more like building between spaces.
There is a pre existing wooden structure with a deck on top... so I’m building a half dug out cave house underneath a floor.

The space used to house my rabbits and chickens in the past, so technically I’m moving into the chicken coup.

The build is mostly out of salvaged and reclaimed materials, some gifted pieces, very few things bought. Kind of like putting together a patchwork home. I’m also experimenting with some natural building techniques and finishes, and hoping to get into more natural/ non toxic builds in time to come.

Using this thread to log progress.
I build a bit backwards and sometimes I will start finishes before having structural elements in place.

There is no plan, well kind of there is, but that changes on a daily basis depending on what tool I pick up and what I’m working on.

Join along for the journey...
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Posts: 1603
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Do you mean, ' Build a house by hand" using only hand tools?

I did once to see what it was like, I have used that experience for 45 years to try and talk people out of it.

If power tools are available, its a much better use of time and energy to use them when you can.
I still use;
- hammers instead of nail guns
- chiese;s instead of routers
- electric drills and screwdrivers instead of a hand drill or a simple screw driver
- I use electric saws generally but do use a good quality hand saw often.

I forget to use ;
- nail bags
- tool belts
- carpenters pencil, i use a biro or a nail!
- ladders, I use drums, chairs, wood stacks etc because the ladder is 30 feet away!
Posts: 43
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
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If you are picking up a tool and going to work, you might make a list of all the things that have to be done for your build, and try to order them in sequence so you don't have to rip something out because you forgot something.  Even in the simplest build I sometimes forget a step because I went to lunch, or the store, or to sleep and didn't finish and went on...crap I forgot to nail it down...
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