Sunday, June 10, 2012


And we are back. Things ARE moving along, lately it has just been a lot of housekeeping stuff which is not really interesting or visually captivating.

We are just about ready to pour the second floor but it has been much of the same with cutting holes and installing little pipes sticking up out of the ground. So more little pipe forests. We did cut out the hole for the porthole window that will be the laundry chute, I will get a picture of that. The second floor takes a different kind of concrete that is lightweight and has pumas in it. This will have to come from Cemex rather than our local concrete source in Georgetown.

Kyle buried some more of the water pipes on the property so things are a little more automated now which is making life easier and keeping all the water storage tanks full all the time. The solar pump is now working to fill them all which is fantastic.

I have been doing a lot of metal grinding (much overhead, Grrrrr), trying to clean up the inside of the containers prior to the primer going on. Everywhere they hit the sides or ceiling while moving goods in and out of the containers over the years leaves little rust spots that have to be smoothed out before we paint or else the rust will bleed through. It is a very repetitive job, but apparently that is what I am good for;-)

Kyle also got the bedroom cut out so we now have two access points to the second floor when we pour the concrete in there. We have put our scaffolding up against this so it will be easier for the guys to get in and out and to run the big concrete pumping tube through.

The man behind all this madness, seems a fitting picture!

We got all the ICF blocks delivered which was a challenge as the truck that brought them in. The truck was a tandem which doesn't do so well getting up here and too boot it was VERY tall, it barely fit under the power lines. Needless to say the truck driver was NOT happy.

After researching all the different types of ICF blocks on the market we went with Fox Blocks. We have worked with Kent Yonkers of Performance Wall Systems out of Volcano, CA who has been a great resource. Fox Blocks have the highest recycled plastic to foam content of all the blocks in the industry and they are made in Bakersfield, CA which was important to us. And of ICF is one of the most efficient construction type and the best part, ZERO waste.

We also had all the VBuck delivered, thanks to Bruce Anderson at VBuck for bearing with me as botched the calcs and had to re-order. This is the vinyl supports that we will make up that will frame out the doors and windows in the ICF portion of the house. It is long lengths of rigid PVC, so no off-gassing and because they come in lengths and we cut and snap them together onsite there is less waste or mis-calculated measurements. They shipped from Utah and are 99% recycled PVC, no thermal bridging, energy efficient and no wood to maintain or worry about. 

So in the meantime we have been enjoying a few evenings on our future patio, it has been cool here so far this year so we have employed our repurposed fire pit - a salvaged drum from one of the many washing machines we had on the property when we bought it, thanks for the idea James Gundlach. It works very well, but....

remember to remove the seal plug prior to lighting the fire or else once at temperature the thing becomes a projectile. Learning the hard way sometimes.

No one was injured in the use of this washing machine drum as a firepit, but it was close!


  1. I'm really enjoying following your build. Great work so far.

    I am at a very early stage of container building - have designed my house and just bought 25 acres to put it on!! (2 hours south-west of Sydney, Australia)

    I will begin building after a big overseas backpacking adventure starting in a few weeks.

    It's exciting seeing other people forging ahead with similar ideas and principles. Keep up the good work.


    ps: you might find this link interesting - it is in your part of the world!:

    1. Hey Terry,

      Congrats on the land purchase, so exciting that you are starting on a container project on the other side of the world. Would love to see pics and your design if you get a chance. Always amazed at the different layouts people come up with, so much fun.

      Yes, we followed Marti through her building process and what a stunning home she ended up with. She worked so hard but it turned out gorgeous. Here is another couple in Oklahoma in the process right now -, you can follow. I think there is at least one container home in every state now.

      Best of luck with your project and if your travels bring you to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, come on by and take a look. We would love to chat containers!

      Stay in touch,
      Hannah and Kyle

  2. Hey thanks for the reply! I've started going back over your blog - we like a lot of the same things! (I LOVE that Costa Rican house)

    I've begun a blog - it's really only the beginning, but it has a few photos of my land and my final house design on it. I've been using Google SketchUp to give my ideas form and from that I made a cardboard model. (I can visualise better from 3D than drawings):

    I just Googled 'Sierra Nevada Mountains' - they look beautiful, exactly the type of landscape I love!! (Part of my upcoming trip is a 22 day trek along the Baltoro Glacier to K2 base camp in North Eastern Pakistan - followed by a hike to the highest point in Ethiopia in the Simian Mountains!)

    (and I hope you don't mind me adding your site to my links!

    1. Gorgeous property, what a find. And kangaroos to boot, it is stunning. Also jealous of your Google SketchUp design, I went this route and couldn't even make a square box with the program. You are smart to keep it one level, we have found that going to 2 stories has increased the headache, we will keep future builds to one story for sure.

      Have a fantastic trip, sounds absolutely amazing. We will be following your blog, so keep posting.

      Good luck - Hannah & Kyle

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