Two years ago we decided to purchase 5 acres of land up a canyon, in the mountains outside of the city we live in. My husband has been wanting to do this forever. Me, being as city girl as they come, had been pumping the brakes, trying to convince him our kids needed to live in a neighborhood with kids all around them. Well some land fell into our lap. The perfect land. Something that we had been looking for, but something you never find around here. We are at the bottom of the canyon so still close to the city. This was a must because my kids are involved in EVERYTHING. I spend most of my evenings being a taxi cab driver to my 4 kids. With this land we have the benefit of being out of the city, but we are still super close to it. We bought the land thinking we will build sometime, but we were in no hurry. That didn’t last long. Up for sale went our house. Our kids were not happy to be leaving their neighborhood full of friends. We assured them they would love it in the end. I think they still think we are crazy.
We talked a lot about this process and what the best options were. My husband has always wanted a shop. We have been told by multiple people, “If you don’t build the shop first, it will never happen.” So we (my husband, and me after a lot of persuasion) decided it was best to build a shop with an apartment above it, that we could live in while we were building the house. We thought this made more sense then paying rent for the next couple of years, yes I said couple of years. It would be better to put that money towards something that would be a big benefit for us in the future. So the building of the “shouse” began. A “shouse” is a word used for a shop house. We would be building a 3 car shop with about a 1200 sq ft apartment on top.
We sold our house quickly and headed to live in my grandparents house for a few months. They were living in their summer vacation house in Bear Lake. I was excited and scared all at the same time!
What the heck have we gotten ourselves into??
This is a question that still comes out of my mouth on a daily basis!
We are super lucky to have family that helped us out with living arrangements until our shouse was ready to move into. You know how it goes…we hoped it would be done by Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, before you know it…it is April. In November we moved in with my In-Laws and were able to stay in their basement apartment until we moved in to our shouse in April. Seriously almost 40 and living in my in-laws basement?!?! I never thought that would be us.
Below you will see pictures of that process. We are our own general contractor and do the majority of the work ourselves. Thanks to my Dad, my uncles, some great friends, and of course my handy dandy husband!
This has been a long process and we are just getting started. Like I mentioned moved into our shouse in April. It has 2 bedrooms and a loft for the boys to sleep in. Here are a few pictures of the inside. The outside is still not completely finished. We will still have to paint in the Spring.
There have been days I think, this is nice…. Let’s just stay here in
this cozy space. No house payment ever again sounds amazing.
We do love it, but we also need more room for our kids. I want a
house where my kids want to hang out. I would rather them be in
my house so I know what they are doing. So, we started the
process of building the house in September. I will post more about
that progress in a later post.
We now have a farm with goats, chickens, cats and a dog. The kids are learning responsibility and enjoying the outdoors. It really is beautiful up here!
This has definitely been a learning process. My kids are learning to get along in small spaces, and that they don’t really need a lot of stuff to be happy. Most of their things are still in storage and I don’t ever hear that they miss any of it.
I’m learning that I should NOT be a general contractor for a living. This is hard work. I have been stressing about ordering the right stuff, from windows and doors, to the wood that was wrong that I got in a fight with the lumber guy about.
We only live once right? We might as well take some risks, step out of our comfort zone, and enjoy the LITTLE moments along the way. Hopefully we will look back and say it was worth it.