Hello Linda Jo
I will share my experience on creating or growing a house, as you requested from your friends. First of course, you must accept the fact that I'm a friend and that the request includes me.
I built my first house when I was 13 with the help of my then best friend, Ludwig (Luddy).
It was in the in the midst of a deeply wooded area, but actually about 40 yards from my parents's house (just in case). The sides were made from orange crate slats - or maybe Apple crates. I don't remember. The roof was cardboard, procured from the local grocery. We told the owner we needed them because our parents were moving. It was merely a white lie because it was The Great Depression and our parents moved often. But the roof was not water proof and was rather mushy after the first drizzle. To us, it was the precursor of Hurricane Sandy. But we were determined and sneaked into a junk yard and found some corrugated tin. It was not considered stealing since it was a junk yard. Sort of. It was large enough to cover our 5 feet by 6 feet house. Not quite tall enough for us to stand but adequate for a guest or two, invited because they had taken a couple of cigarettes from their father's pack .
You are welcome to grow your next house in this manner. However you may need further help in getting a certificate of occupancy
Happy New Year, Linda Jo
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April 29, 2014