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Overall this is a great site for discussing the owner-builder process, and it has been a great asset to me in the building of my home. Thanks to everyone who contributes directly and indirectly to keeping this site interesting and helpful.
Bill from Baltimore, MD



Posted by Michael in Huntsville, AL on 3/19/2008

First, let me explain the name: Katabatic Wind. If I have to explain the name, then it wasn't a good choice you say? Point taken. Basically, it is a cold wind blowing downward. What I am referring in respect to this journal is obstacles and resistance in one's path to build a house. This even more the case if you are an owner and not a contractor for a living.

But, don't let me bring you down (no pun intended). An uphill battle can be very rewarding. My hope is to focus on the beautiful view that will be seen from inside a cozy house atop that hill.

And I am not just referring to subs not showing up, materials getting stolen, rain delays, and more rain delays. I expect all that. It is the negative reactions I sometimes encounter when I mention my desire to build the house myself. It feels as if people would prefer to just call me stupid for wanting to build the house. That I am somehow so naive that I must believe you can order a house off Amazon.

They think they are doing a favor by trying to tell you what you are getting into. And if they were the first person to tell me that and I didn't know it - fine. Of course I worry about missing a code I didn't know or the rigmarole with keeping every thing and body straight. (I prefer to use a rig-a-marole for that). What I don't want or need is people acting as if I am deficient in a way that prevents me from doing the job. There are many difficult trials present in our history overcome by people with less means than I. What Alexander the Great did would seem impossible by today's standards. Ben Franklin was a fugitive at one point (I guess two from the Brits perspective). Even Frank Loyd Wright didn't have a degree. My point? I believe, I must believe, all - save death - is surmountable.

It reminds me of the documentary "Touching the Void". It's a very moving and gripping piece about a climber, Joe Simpson, in the Andes. He breaks his leg and his partner has to help him down the mountain. At one point, Joe dangles over a crevasse. Exhausted, his partner Simon cuts the rope tying them together -- in the end saving them both -- but at the time Simon thought he had just killed his friend. Thought dead by his team, Joe has to make his way back down the mountain. At so many points, I know I would have given up. But, somehow he manages. If you haven't seen or read it, check it out. 

So, when that wind tries to drive me back, to alter my course, I just have to tighten my resolve, and focus on that path before me.


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