Liberty Nature Preserve


A garage?  A cabin?  How 'bout 2 in 1?

Follow us as we build a garage/apartment at LNP

** links to development phases at end of page**

A quick review and introduction

Before we dive into this next project, let's take a quick moment to look over our shoulder at the last 4 years, take a deep breath and exclaim WHOA!  Where did 4 years go?  It feels like, oh, say 2...maybe 3 years since we purchased the raw timber for Liberty Nature preserve and started this journey.  Now I sit here, hammerin' away at the keyboard on the laptop some 4+ years later, getting ready to lay out the next website page for our LNP journal.  It really has been an incredible and rewarding journey.  The opportunity, the dedication, and the hundreds of hours of labor and toil by Donna and I have delivered an amazing transformation.  We are proud of these accomplishments, yet humbled knowing the responsibility we have accepted as land stewards.  We continue to embrace this opportunity to make 44 acres a better place on this earth.

When we look back at all the changes we have implemented, we are somewhere between awestruck and exhausted.  Turning 180 degrees to look forward, we are faced with the stark reality that we have barely begun.  Ironically, it's this realization of the long road ahead that pumps adrenaline into our weary, middle-aged hearts and re-ignites our resolve to push forward. 

OK, so what have we actually accomplished?

  • We started by cutting in a 2000+ ft gravel driveway
  • built the pond
  • installed various structure and habitat within the pond basin for fish habitat
  • stocked the pond with fish and forage
  • built a covered dock and a smaller dock
  • installed many various birdhouses and nesting structures
  • planted 7 acres of native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and spruce trees
  • blazed some new and cleaned up some old walking trails
  • built a 10 x 12 small garage for storage (will serve as our LNP home for a little while)
  • built a smaller 8 x 8 shed for storage
  • executed a seemingly mile-long list of various miscellaneous projects that are too many to mention, but serve as the glue that holds it all together

So, where does that leave us?

Well, when we started this thing some 4 years ago, I predicted and hoped that we could get some type of modest living quarters by the 5th year.  How did I come up with that number; 5 years?  I dunno...guessed, I s'pose.  I had to come up with some kinda goal and 5 years seemed like a fair amount of time to get there.  I might be pretty close.  HA!  Donna would be quick to remind me that keeping a construction schedule promise would be a first for me.  My reward will be proving her wrong.  Yeah....right.  So much for personal rewards...

What's the grand plan for establishing living quarters at LNP?

As all things go, the first consideration is cost.  Thank goodness our loan officer is still willing to lend us the dough we need cuz it sure ain't in our bank account.  Knowing these earthly bounds limits us to seriously think out and plan how to make this work.  This is what we got...

LNP is a huge commitment for us.  We are putting all our marbles into one bag on this project.  We surely want to do it right, but within our means and capabilities.  We are confident that construction of a marvelous 5 acre pond is an asset for this property.  Part of that pond construction planning included establishing a building site.  We did so, and it is an awesome pond view.  The LNP home page provides a sneak peek at the intended goal  for this next phase of construction. 

So, here we are.  We have this beautiful pond view and an empty building site.  Yep, another blank canvas.  The painting we create on this new canvas is the next big commitment, so it's getting alot of attention as we wrestle with the details.  Regardless of what we dream, though, we always wake up and face the realities of construction costs.  Building a full-blown house at this point is way beyond our means.  Building a garage is not.  If we can somehow build a garage with the necessary living quarters contained within, we can pull this off.  The house can wait.  Here's the long range plan: 

  • Build a garage that will provide enough elbow room and simple living essentials
  • Use this single structure as home base for weekends and vacations
  • When we retire, cash out our principal home and roll the cash into building that long awaited complimentary structure that we will call our last home
  • Leave the cozy living quarters in the garage for a guest house, a Bed & Breakfast (hey, who knows?...right?), or clear it out for a really nice shop area. 


Oct 2013 Editor's note:  We continue to fight the good fight and our project still moves along one weekend at a time.  Regretfully, the LNP website suffers the most for lack of updates.  We are right now toying with completion of the drywall installation, so I have a helluva lot of web updates overdue.  We just uploaded a little more HVAC stuff and more will come....hopefully sooner than later.


Links to construction phases

Design and utility planning

Concrete foundation (and heated slab)

Constructing the shell (& utility power installation)

Siding and exterior trim

Interior construction

Electrical Installation

Septic System Installation

Plumbing Pressure Lines

Plumbing Drains

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

10 x 12 love nest

The Workshop


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