House-Building Inspiration

When I was in high school, I used to read over house plan magazines that my dad brought home and spend winter evenings drawing my “ideal” house plan on grid paper. One of my favorite books to use as a reference was Your Dream Home: How to Build It for Less Than $3500, the best-selling non-fiction book of 1950. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever be in a position to build my own house but I’m still interested in the process.

For several months, I’ve been following a YouTuber called “Mr. Chickadee” who is building a timber-frame house and separate workshop in the woods all by hand. His videos are amazing. He never talks but he doesn’t need to: his presentation and editing convey all you need to know. I would highly recommend him.

Another inspirational video I came across recently on YouTube is “The Birth of a Wooden House” published by John Neeman Tools. The house is built by Jacob, a carpenter in Latvia, mostly with hand tools from resources nearby. His skill level and attention to detail are astounding. So is the videography: the documentary is 24 minutes long and my intention was to skip around, but when I started watching, I became riveted.