We had already learned something of permaculture principles and practice and as we developed the property we did try to incorporate some of the principles but without proper study, and without a lot of spare time, we did what we knew, as easily as we could. Although our oldest son had left home, we still had three homeschooled sons at home so our living space was our priority. In addition, as well as falling in love with the land, Mac wanted to have a go at building a house himself, from scratch. (He had done extensive renovations on our house in town: lifting it up and building a basement underneath.)
We decided to build a large garage first: a two bay garage with a large room on one end. We started working on the garage even before the sale went through, as we wanted to minimise the length of time we had to pay rent. At that time the driveway had not been completed,
The farmer, who was also a digger driver, dug out the building site and septic tank hole, and we dug the footings ready for the concrete floor.
Because of the need for speed, Mac ordered pre built framing,
At that point Greg, our oldest son, came home for a few months to assist us with building the house, and was, indeed, a wonderful help. Mac's brother lent Greg his motor caravan (converted ambulance) to live in, which was great for us (less cramped in the shed) and for Greg (a bit of privacy and an inside place to smoke: the brother-in-law was a smoker too.)