Our Silo House (Part 1)
Hi Everyone! It's Briana here!
I am so happy you have made it over to my little corner of the internet and are here reading my blog. While this is my business website and blog, I thought it was also a perfect platform to connect with my followers and share a piece of my life and the process of building my home.
Over the next couple weeks, I will be blogging all about how I came up with the idea to build a silo house, the process of building from the ground up, all the behind the scenes stories and photos and so much more. I am welcoming you into my life and my home to see my unique, kinda tiny, super adorable HOME! So here it goes!
The summer after I graduated from Texas Tech University with my undergraduate degree, my sister and I were enjoying some precious R&R watching some of our favorite TV shows, (Fixer Upper and Texas Flip and Move being two of our favs). On one of the programs they were making homes from recycled materials and we saw homes being built out of cargo containers, old airplanes, and a SILO, also known as a Grain Bin! My sister made a joke to me that went like this:
"I COULD TOTALLY SEE YOU LIVING IN ONE OF THESE THINGS!"
Yes, that was the exact quote that started it all. Now keep in mind, if you don't know the relationship my sister and I have, she was referring to the fact that I am totally country and sometimes can take the COUNTRY factor to a whole other level (cue the country music, torn jeans, and dirty cowgirl boots) and the thought of me living in something like a SILO!
We laughed and joked about the idea, but fast forward another year to the summer 0f 2016 and the idea had never left my mind. I would stay up late at night researching silos and where I could purchase one in order to build my little tiny house. And BINGO, I found one in my price point and the size I was hoping for in Telephone, Texas. I started researching and putting my "proposal" together to pitch to my family. We are a close knit, tight family and we do just about everything together. First, I had to do the leg work and make sure this was going to be a viable, practical, and a logistically possible project.
This is the silo in Telephone, Texas before we moved in to it's forever home in New Mexico!
I learned more from Google on how to build a house, the licensing and regulations, contractor's lingo and building code, architecture terminology, and crunched more numbers that I thought I would have to. I had pictures, data, information, you name it laid out on the kitchen table. I was ready and I gave my elevator pitch to my family and new boyfriend at the time (now Husband). After looking at me like I was a little crazy, it only took a few minutes of convincing and they were all on board. As mentioned above, we do everything together and now building a house would be added to our resume and life endeavors. (Sometimes, I think we could have our own reality TV Show!)
Funny that I say that, because I was contacted by HGTV to film the building of our tiny house. It was exciting, we put together a video reel and had an interview with producers. However, once I submitted the architecture plans for the show, they informed me that the tiny house was 43 sq feet too big and my hopes of being a TV Star went out the window. (Cue the sad music!)
We might not of got the TV gig, but the show must go on. I was building this house one way or another. I didn't realize the leg work had just begun. After I had worked with an Architect on the design plans the real work and headaches began. I had to file an ample amount of paperwork with local, state government, obtain signatures, oh and let's not forget the money that had to be spent up front in order to just be allowed to submit for a building permit. The idea of a silo house was new to New Mexico and I soon learned that our state was stringent and strict with projects like mine being so unconventional. Not only was it round, it was being built from a recycled structure. One thing led to another and after my persistents the Construction Industries of New Mexico approved me to build.
The first steps pictured above, was the actual grubbing, leveling and forming of the foundation. I subcontracted the work out to a local contractor, who completed the foundation and other subcontractors that signed on to the project for the plumbing and electrical portions that had to be done prior to pouring the foundation.
Once the foundation was complete, it was time to reconstruct the silo that was in pieces of corrugated metal. The silo had old bolts that could not be re-used and I had to research and find a dealer in Idaho to provide me with new bolts. If I remember correctly, there is over 1,500 bolts on the bin that hold it all together. Now normally the bin is constructed with putting the roof together first and then using bin jacks to lift the layers from the ground up, however silos are not common in New Mexico and I couldn't find bin jacks to rent, so the work began. We constructed the silo from the bottom up, and talk about scary.
I owe a huge thank you to all the family to pitched in to assist in constructing the silo! This was just the beginning of what was to come next.
BEHING THE SCENCES: On the day we were putting the roof on the silo, we were sitting high up on scaffolding and I felt weak to my stomach. I didn't know I had a fear of heights until I was over 30 feet in the air holding on to scaffolding and pieces of tin with 25mph winds. I went in for lunch and my mom noticed I was pail and didn't look well. As the saying goes, "Mom knows everything!"
That night I found I was expecting and I was fired from that day on of climbing scaffolding and hanging off the side of the silo. So... I did what I do best and snapped pictures from my phone of my amazing family constructing the bin.
Stay tuned for Phase 2 Blog post coming next week!