The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Moved in (Photos)

Everything went well on September 1, and we moved our things into our new home. It was an easy move – we only had to transfer things a 1,000 feet down the hill. We moved most things in our minivan (without rear seats) and several things with the truck and a small trailer (heavy and bulky things). We made only 7 or 8 trips (I didn’t keep count).

We moved a few things in the following days, like some furniture that was stored in the garage. We spent the next few days unpacking and settling in. I’ve been doing some various projects that needed completion with more yet to be done. Thankfully, they aren’t things that must be done right now.

I took a few photos on Saturday morning (9/10/2016) and am sharing a few of them. Be sure to click on each photo to see a larger version.

The house is very comfortable. It is, of course, pleasing to the eyes. It also has built-in air conditioning. The week after we moved had several days with temperatures around 94° and lots of sunshine. At night it would get down near 70°. If we open the windows overnight, the house cools off (the thermometer would read about 74°). In the morning, we close the windows, and the house stays cool all day long. It may get up to 80° because of the frequent going in and out, but it feels cooler than that. We haven't even needed to use the ceiling fans.

The power system is doing great! We added 690 watts worth of panels on the roof. That helps the batteries to charge more quickly, but the greatest benefit is having sunshine for more hours during the day than we did in the previous location. We have no trees to shade the panels here like we did there. We start harvesting power from the sun almost immediately after it comes over the horizon until about 12 hours later (at this time of year). The batteries have been charged by 10:30 every morning, before the peak charging hours. We haven't had cloudy weather yet to figure out how charging will go at those times.

We are really enjoying our new home! It is so roomy, spacious, and beautiful! I can’t help but be in awe of it. Although I did most of the work on the home, years ago I asked God to be the one to build it. I give Him all praise, glory, and honor for such an incredible home. We are richly blessed!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016 -- MOVE IN DAY!!!

We’ve finally done it – we’ve gotten the house ready to move in!

The children and I have worked non-stop during the last two months in order to have the house move-in ready. All the doors were framed and trimmed out, all other trim was completed, baseboard installed, cabinets built, plumbing finished, water system hooked up and operational, bathroom fixtures installed, installing the solar power system, and a slew of other things that needed to be done.

There are still some projects to be completed later on after we move, like railings, closet shelves, some light fixtures, etc.

But, we’re moving in today!

I did a walk-through video yesterday in the midst of finishing up some things in the house so that you can see what it looks like just before we get all of our things in it.