We bought raw land and started from there. First is to generate plans and get approvals, all of which we did ourselves. Permits in hand we started clearing the land and building.

Here we have the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's me clearing the site. New chainsaw and duds, looking sharp.

The leach field. Our turds' final resting place

Home for 1 1/2 year while we built the house. 28 foot trailer. It was cozy.

Forms for the concrete foundation. We did 60-75% of the work on the house ourselves, what we didn't we subcontracted ourselves. The foundation was much too big a job for me. We also subbed the timber frame, the panels, roof, and fire sprinklers. The rest is "sweat equity".

That's the concrete going in, about 90 yards.

The completed foundation is supported by 15 foot deep piers in the hopes that the house will stay firmly anchored to the hillside.

Steve gets busy now on the subfloor. The subfloor has to be ready before the timber frame can go up. I was on vacation and sabbatical from my job during this phase.

That's Kevin. He worked for us for about 30 hours a week for most of the project. One extra guy made a big difference just in the morale aspect. (Someone besides me was working, too.)

Glue and screw so we don't have sqeaks

The timber frame came unassembled from San Luis Obispo. It was put together here onsite by the crew that cut it. All joints are made with oak pegs and supplemented with steel straps in places where they won't show.

The frame is raised via crane. Timber frame construction is centuries old, but in olden times the crane's job was performed by bunches of people.

Each section is called a bent. The bents are raised in order and connected.

The last bent goes up. My 3 year old daughter Evelyn tries to get in the way.

The frame standing alone was like a piece of sculpture.

Maybe it doesn't even need any skin it looks so nice.

The house is sheathed in panels that provide insulation and walls. That's 5 1/2 inches of styrofoam insulation, better insulation than a beer cooler.

Roof panel going on. Note the crane. The very last panel to go up fell from about this height. Fortunately nobody was underneath. The contractor and crane had to come back another day, this was a schedule slip.

Inside will get walls soon. From here on out we did all the work. I worked at my job from 6:30 in the morning till about 3:00, then went home and worked till 10:00 every day on the house and all weekend.

Siding going up. I hired a couple helpers for this.

The completed house. We moved in about 14 months after breaking ground. We barely finished in time to convert our building loan into a mortgage. If we hadn't paid off the building loan in time it would have been co$tly. At this time no inside walls had any finish coatings or trim. Many windows werene't in yet. But over the next few years most of this work was completed. (It's still not 100% done!)