Sunday, August 19, 2012

The 5 year Plan - Railroad Car Home

Ever since Stormy was born I have been scheming on how to retire or at the very least work part-time.  This is the first time that I am putting the plan on paper and I'm hoping that by doing so, it will become more tangible.  Let me warn you that I am totally winging this, as I do most of my personal life.  I probably-should-have made an outline first but here goes.

 The first two things we are working on now are beefing up our home business and building a very energy efficient living space.  You will probably think we are nuts as I explain this to you, as most do, but we are totally jazzed about it.  My husband is a borderline hoarder (he prefers the term "collector") and he just happens to own two Alaska Railroad cars.  The plan is to build him a very spacious shop in between the two cars and remodel one of the cars as our new home.

The shop will be large with at least 3 bays and we we will do our best to keep it efficient.  We've gathered most of the materials needed to  build the roof this year and have not spent a dollar yet.  My husband is amazing when it comes to work trade.  Our ridge pole was traded for a brake job and a couple of cameras.  The lumber was traded for an old excavator that had been stuck in the creek for 5 years.  He is now currently negotiating getting some heavy duty tin for the roof from a cannery in Valdez.  We will heat it with a waste oil heater that he has and we are also planning on installing a wind turbine and solar panels to help out in the shop and the attached living quarters.  

The railroad car we remodel for the living quarters is already amazing.  It is already decked out floor to ceiling in beautiful wood.  A little sanding and staining and it is ready.  It is well insulated but we will plumb one wet wall and put in electricity.  It's pretty tight in there so we do plan on popping out a sun room.  Here's a link to some of my ideas.  The ceilings are high so we know that Stormy's room will include a sleeping loft.  To keep it efficient we will primarily heat with wood and use a tempering tank for the hot water.

Right now, we sell most of our music and electronics online.  This new area will allow us to have a storefront for the locals to shop.  Hopefully as people drop off or pick up their car from the shop or wait while it is being repaired they will shop in the store.  

So that's the dream.  It may be nuts but it's totally us.  This is only the broad outline and I will add details later and keep you posted on the progress.  Now here's a few selections from the store.  
The Commitments

Ipod Nano

Kodak CD1013


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