*Help our dreams come true*
Here, for your entertainment, is a story of some of my ups and downs in life and how we have gotten as far as we have to date ....
About 19 years ago, I was divorced after a 3 year marriage. I found myself oweing child support to the state of Oklahoma, in debt with credit card companies and paying on a mortgage on an old farm house in central Oklahoma that my parents had helped us buy.
After 6 years of struggeling to make ends meet, I was finally able to pay off our debts, and continued trying to have some sort of long distance relationship with my children as they were moved from state to state over the years.
I then decided to get remarried.
After 6 years of a lot of hard work, saving pennies and a trip to NE. Oklahoma, a decision was made to purchase a 5 acre area on the shores of Grand Lake. A Plan was put into motion. After the first year, some pads were bulldozed and a well, septic tank and lines were installed. Next, a well house / two car garage was built. The next summer, a travel trailer with a small bathroom and kitchen was purchased and set up to help provide some of the home amenities we were used to. The garage was sectioned off into two small bedrooms and a main area served as the master bedroom and living area. This became our new home which we shared with 3 children.
After 3 years of driving back and forth on the weekends to central Oklhoma to work on the farmhouse, it was finally ready to sell. The first month, it was broken into by some vandals and a large area of trees, in the most beautiful area of the property, were cut down by the local electric company to comply with their new easement plans.
After 2 years and 2 different realtors, the farmhouse finally sold!
I quickly found out that the money from the sale of the farmhouse would only build a smaller house at today's prices, so, I came up with the idea of building a large roofed-in structure and finishing the inside as money and time came along later. I located a local contractor, who specilized in metal buildings - and later on found out that he specialized in embesement, as well. After the structure was half way completed, and he had taken out over $25,000 in materials and draws, he just stopped comming to work and filed bankruptcy. After 5 years of living in a garage, all of this put too much of a strain on my marraige and I found myself divorced again and my son and I living by ourselves.
It was at this time of hitting rock-bottom and trying to decide a new plan, that I met my soulmate, Kaye. We have been married, now, for over 4 years. With a lot of financial help from my parents and many hours of work from all of us, we have finally finished the inside of our home. We have tons of pictures from every stage of completion, so if you are interested, just feel free to ask.
The outside structure of the home is made up of 14 inch I-beams, framed in with 8 inch C - channel. The outside walls were covered with traditional metal siding turned inside out, to provide a flatter surface, and then a 2 inch sheet of styrofoam was applied. Over this, metal lathing and 2 coats of stucco were applied, followed by a coat of a colored drivet-like product. The walls are over a foot thick and are sound-proof and, as a result, the home seems to be very energy efficient. The inside is of wood construction, with the kitchen and grand room upstairs, creating a nice view and living space.
I am a big fan of Frank LLoyd Wright and Bruce Goff, so if you happen to see a few things that look vaguely familiar, this is from whence the influence comes. We have over 30 tons of glass cullet from a glass company in southeastern Oklahoma, and some parts and pieces from Shin'kan,(yes,..legally obtained) which burned in Bartlesville, Oklahoma about 5 years ago. We plan to incorporate these materials into our designs. I have also incorporated the glass cullet in our front gate and surrounding flower bed, along with limestone, as Goff did, in construction of the Lutheran Church in Bartlesville. They go together quite nicely!
Here are some current pictures of our home, and changes that we are wanting to make possible, with a lot more hard work and a little help from our friends! Any way you could help would be appreciated!
Here is a present picture of our front patio and proposed porch project.
Its frame will be constructed of steel. It will be covered with treated plywood, lathing, cement and a matching color product. A deck, made of lightweight concrete will create a covered viranda. Triangular cut-outs will create the handrail, and the grills from Shin'en kan cover recessed lights on molded pillars. There are future plans, also in the works, for a 3 story tower, to be erected on the south end of the front porch. It will be a 2 story greenhouse with a cat walk up to the 3rd floor, performing as an observation room.
*The North End*
Here is a present picture of the noth end of the house and proposed wall project and view of front porch from this vantage.
We had to have a level pad made in order to have an area to park our vehicles, and we built a cinder block retaining wall to prevent soil erosion. I would like to cover the cinder block with limestone and glass cullet and top the wall with cullet, as well. A stairway would lead up to the patio, behind the restored Shin'en kan Chinese gate, instead of the present gravel pathway.
*Back of Home*
Wow! Watch that first step! Here is a picture of the back of the house, with a proposed covered walkway, that connects the home to the back yard. It will, some day, be so nice to be able to haul firewood in from this direction, instead of around and up through the downstairs livingroom!
*Continuation of the dream*
Down below, across the road, we have two nice size pads cleared off with septic system, gas and water hook-up, that we are reserving for two Honeymoon cabins, that we hope to build some day.
If you can, and would like to contribute, please feel free to do so and help our dreams become a reality ...
Gregg and Kaye
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