The Next Chapter in “The Saga of the Grain-Bin Home”

The Hero and Her Guide Are Defeating the Evil Budget Monster

As the voyage continues, Hannah and Mark trek forward on their journey toward the allusive ‘Grain-Bin Home’. An expedition like this is not for the faint of heart. It requires the passionate desire of a hero and the experience and knowledge of a trusted guide.

This story began a year ago with the idea of building a small home by repurposing a couple of used grain bins. The two steel bins would be connected by framed wood construction. This idea was dreamt about, discussed, thought about, revised, discussed some more and over the next several months, the preliminary plan emerged.

The collaboration of the hero and the guide in developing a plan before starting on an adventure like this is critically important to achieving a positive outcome. This planning stage is often as long or longer than the building portion. Turning a dream into a reality is the hardest part of the quest. It’s also the most exciting. It is the part where the imagining turns into the doing.

We prepared a proposal based on the preliminary plans. The dollar amount was more than Hannah wanted to spend. So, we went through a list of things that could be changed or removed to get the project closer to the target figure. This included things like radiant floor heating, Pella Designer Series windows with blinds between the glass, and a pass-through indoor/outdoor fireplace.

As we worked on these revisions, Hannah on the drawing and me on the proposal we were presented with some benefits of having an experience guide and the connections that come with them.

First, I became aware of some tongue and grove V-jointed 1×6 pine that a painter had, which had been stained the wrong color for one of his projects. There was enough of it to do the interior wall that we are planning to put stained wood on. It was offered to us at the cost of the wood…we bought it.

Next, I received a communication from my Pella representatives, that Pella Products of Kansas was going to have a “Contractor Garage Sale”. This was to reduce the number of unclaimed, mis-ordered or slightly damaged items taking up space in their warehouse. Hannah and I went to this sale. With some ‘on the spot’ creative solutions we made some idea adjustments and were able to get all the windows and one of the doors needed. This was a price reduction for the customer of over $23,000 from the original proposal. We will spend a portion of that savings on painting the windows so they will all be the same color.

We are on the cusp of transitioning to the doing.

Hannah is finalizing the design changes created by the earlier price reduction list and the windows and door that were purchased. At the same time, I’m finalizing the figures as per those things as well. In the next few weeks Hannah will securing the money needed, and we will be starting on this adventure.

Keep watching for the next chapter in “Saga of the Grain-Bin Home” and share it with others you think might enjoy this story.

How to Dream Big in A Small Space

The Strength of More Than One

A few weeks ago, I wrote about creating realistic expectations for customers and how important it is for the builder to honestly manage those expectations. In that conversation I spoke about Hannah’s project of building her home using grain bins.

This is going to be a dream project for both of us, but it takes planning and working together to make a dream come true. There also needs to be patience and understanding. Too many times people’s dreams become nightmares.

Her most recent floor plan has several changes from the first one. These changes are a normal part of the process (they probably aren’t the last). Some people don’t have the patience for this and plow forward throwing caution to the wind.

On the other hand, some of us tend to plan things to death. No dream is going to be built if there isn’t some action. That’s why it’s important to find the balance of planning and doing.

I think when Hannah’s dream project is finished she will agree that some outside ideas and input helped her project be better than if she hadn’t had any.

All of us have been made to strengthen and support each other. We accomplish more when we work together. In Ecclesiastes 4:12 it says, “…two people can stand back to back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together – it is very hard to break”. (ERV)

It’s like the two-horse rule. A single draft horse can pull 8,000 pounds so it would stand to reason that two draft horses could pull 16,000 pounds. But they can actually pull 24,0000 pounds. That is three times as much. Each horse has its purpose and working together can accomplish more.

This is the benefit of collaboration. The working together makes each of us as better as individuals and the dream stronger. Hannah and I are both slower more detailed horses. I think we might need to add a race horse to the team so that we can plow a little faster.


Keep following this blog and Hannah’s for more updates as the dream moves closer to reality.