by Caleb Clark
What: We built a small house in our Southern Vermont backyard and documented the process, including:
- Actual costs in a public spreadsheet
- The Plan is on Houseplans.com
- 200-ish photos, including shots of plans.
- Blog posts http://www.calebclark.org/?p=1928
- Videos of sun studies and construction
- Link to sites, house plans, organizations,
Who: We are not professional carpenters, nor will we be quitting our day jobs. Laura is an elementary school teacher at The Neighborhood Schoolhouse. I’m the director of the educational technology program at Marlboro College Graduate School. I also worked as a carpenter in my youth, and have always been interested in real estate. In November 2010 we bought a house on tiny 1/8th of an acre lot, 1/2 mile from downtown, Brattleboro, Vermont. (200 miles North of NYC).
Why: I created this Clog because when I was doing research on small house construction, this is what I wanted to find on the Web. We also wanted to have a record for ourselves, and blogging is somewhat job related for me. My wife Laura came up with the “Clog” name and we loved it. We are “clogging” the project in the spirit of open source information.
The idea to build came from a childhood spent in a “back to the land” community in southern Maine in 1970s. Building your own simple house was common place and everybody seemed to be an amateur carpenter. When we bought our house it had an old garage that begged for help. I convinced my wonderful wife Laura it would be a good to invest our savings in something that could provide extra income. We also both like guest house possibilities, and enjoy being around people. In addition we wanted to shorten our needlessly long asphalt driveway and park near the road to reduce shoveling. Then we found out that our town offered $3000.00 grants to build second units, and we could get rebates from Efficiency Vermont if it was efficient. Our journey had begun!