Building a House

You thought I was going to talk about this, didn’t you?

I’m not.

This is much more interesting.

I saw the video on Facebook, and wondered if there was more to it than that, so I looked it up.  I wanted to see how much money she spent doing this.


She got a bit of help, hired people to do what she couldn’t.  But mostly, she and her kids did the work.  Oldest child was 17, youngest was 2.

Nine months.

That is gumption.

Now I feel like a lazy slob.



24 thoughts on “Building a House”

  1. Who else, in the entire universe….would allow children to play UNDER a building while it’s being propped up, in the mud, on cinder blocks?

    They’re a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

    Just a matter of time.


  2. Youtube how to videos are such an advance over how to books with static pictures. I certainly haven’t done anything as complex as build a house! (and in only 9 months, now that’s impressive!), but I have used them to fix my dishwasher, fix my washing machine, and learn to build a computer for/with my son. Such a great, easily accessible resource for learning how to do things and saving money.


  3. Well, they must not have put as much time and energy into contemplating the “look and feel [they] wanted” for their home as the Naugs did if this only took 9 months. It took Joe and Nicole 4 years, 1 stick shack and 3 garden sheds to settle on decor that they’re happy with.

    I wonder what the folks at Home Depot think about being “credited” twice on the BBH blog. I’m sure Joe and Nicole are hoping for some donated building materials, etc. by tagging them, but I think it would be more likely for Home Depot to offer to pay them to NEVER attach their company name to the Shitstead again.

    And I’m trembling with anticipation over their plans for the old “cabin.” I hope they turn it into a Shed and Breakfast.


  4. Definitely an upgrade from before. I have friends that have a similar off-grid setup, but it’s 2 parents and 2 children. And their lifestyle/ parenting/ work ethic is light years ahead of the Naugs. I can’t believe they’re using T1-11 siding for interior walls. This stuff is really for outdoor use and falls under California Prop 65 guidelines. Give me a break.


  5. Viral Introvert,

    According to Nicole the young couple is making the old shed their home. Eeeeeeeekkkkk!!

    It’s really sad that this is an upgrade. We lived in a small home in the Bay Area. We had four child under the age of 5. It was 850 square feet. We were really cramped and my kids were tiny. I cannot imagine double the amount of people in a home even tinier than that house. I don’t care how close you are as a family, that’s got to be nerve wracking to deal with on a daily basis.


  6. @Kentucky Bred: I seem to recall (or maybe it was just in my nightmares) one of the Blessed followers commenting to Nicole a while back that they would love to come out to the “homestead” to experience the Naugler lifestyle, and Nicole had responded something to the effect that she had actually considered doing such a thing – like, offering tours or overnights or some such nonsense, “in the future.”

    I can only imagine the breakfast options: Free-range hotdogs. Chef’s choice (i.e. mystery can of the day). Random-tree-fungi that they’re PRETTY sure are edible, according to what they’ve learned about foliage-ing on the internet. Even and especially Joe’s famous chili! 😉


  7. Oh good grief…they DO seem to be using T1-11 inside! (facepalm)

    A lot of people have thought of using T1-11 inside. It’s tough, looks terrific, has a good sturdy feel to it that makes conventional paneling look cheap. And it’s very very inexpensive.

    So why not use it?

    The biggest issue about using exterior T1-11 inside…is the amount of leaching formaldehyde in the air that’s legal/harmful. When it’s outside, leaching to the four winds, it’s held to a more forgiving toxic standard than something made to be inside a shut up dwelling where people breathe all winter.

    Also, exterior sidings are usually impregnated with toxins to prevent insects from eating them. Again…nothing you’d want to breathe all winter. This could be particularly nasty for the sensitive lungs of an infant.

    Looks like a wonderful irritant to turn the communal flu into communal pneumonia.

    As I said above… Darwin Award waiting to happen. Good luck to ’em.


  8. @Dinah I agree–that many people in that small of a space would have me permanently on edge if I lived there. You’d think Nicole would be too since she’s always claiming to be an introvert, but instead of giving themselves a private bedroom nook, the parents put their bed front and centre in the kitchen/living room/dining room space. Odd choice for such a self professed introvert.


  9. @KatataFish: the Darwin Award is reserved for adults who remove themselves from the gene pool. The Nauglers would just get a felony conviction as a consolation prize.


  10. @Dawn: Oh, so we can add introversion to her Inigo Montoya wordlist? (“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

    I am not surprised at all that the marital bed is full frontal in the garden shed. Tired and disgusted, but not surprised. There are a couple of explanations that fit with their general pattern of behavior. The first is that people who act like the Nauglers frequently show a kind of compulsion to spread their bodily noises, smells, and excretions as widely as possible. I won’t cite examples because (obviously) the topic is disgusting; let’s just say that the dad/husband who throws a fit when asked to clean up his own misses in the bathroom is just the tip of a nasty, nasty iceberg. The second is that they may think of their bed as private because they don’t notice their kids unless they want them for something, like a photo op or an adult’s chore list.


  11. I am not surprised at all that the marital bed is full frontal in the garden shed.

    One other reason might be just what she says, which is that the bed doubles as a sort of sofa during the day. I’ve lived in an RV. I buy that.


  12. I don’t know why they didn’t make Murphy-style beds given that they have so little floor space.

    I bet they didn’t know about the toxicity of the chemicals used on T1-11 and now they’re going to play up the “airiness” (draftiness) of the newest disposable dwelling. These are the sort of people who downplay the risks from radon.


  13. @JennyIslander, you are exactly correct. It very well could be a compulsion. Part of the “all of this is natural, so it must be good”. I’m going to bet that includes sexual relations. It’s not my mentality, however it does exist. I wonder if there’s a DSM classification? I’ve never looked. And yet again, I have some poverty stricken family. I don’t recall them ever flinging bodily fluids around or rutting in front of one another. This family is literally a breed unto themselves. And regarding the new shed: it’s going to slide, shift or possibly blow over. Do they honestly believe gravity or weather doesn’t apply to them? It’s going to be a fantastic disaster at some point. A ladder for stairs. Jesus christ almighty.


  14. @Old miss: While remote diagnosis is only useful if it helps to predict someone’s behavior, I can say that many, many people posting at support forums for people raised by narcissistic parents would be unsurprised by the Nauglers. The scale of what they do is astounding, but it’s really just the far end of a bell curve.

    Tangent: I’ve noticed that clinical descriptions of certain personality disorders don’t do a good job describing what it’s like to live with the disordered person, day after day. I’ve assembled a list of experiences that are widely reported among the children of narcissists. I won’t quote the whole thing here, just a few items. Some I’ve already seen played out by the Nauglers; others, I fear, are pending.

    *Foul habits, no shame. Everybody else has to deal with their pee, poop, smells, etc.
    *Never, never, never, never, NEVER in error. Even if they have to literally argue that down is up.
    *Don’t understand childhood ages and stages; pile responsibilities on little kids, refer to grown kids as babies.
    *Don’t believe in privacy in the first place and believe in it even less as their children age. Losing the bedroom/bathroom door is practically a rite of passage for adolescent children of narcissists.
    *Pick one or more children as the pretty dolls who get tea parties, treat some other children like the ugly dolls who get punished, and ignore the rest.
    *Discipline depends on the parent’s mood; if the parent feels bad, the child is bad (or the parent goes and picks on the child they have singled out as the ugly doll).
    *Big emotions are somebody else’s problem. If there is a big emotion happening, somebody else must accept the overflow. If the parent is happy and gleeful at 2 a.m., somebody better wake up and be happy and gleeful too.
    *Very jealous of attention paid to anyone else, even their own kids.
    *All attention is good attention. Terrified, horrified, disgusted, annoyed, resigned, loving, worried…it’s all good.
    *Time is optional. There are no deadlines or start times. Things only happen when the parent wants them to happen. If reality disagrees with this idea, reality is being a meanie head.
    *Children exist so that somebody can control them and harvest things from them. They never freely choose to leave. If they do leave, somebody else must be controlling them and getting all of their money, work, attention, etc.


  15. @Jenny Islander, aha! I had no idea all of those behaviors are exhibited with NPD. Granted, I have little experience with it personally, as I tend to remove people like that from my life as quickly as I notice it. I worked a good, long time with patients and clients that were mentally ill. I don’t need it in my day to day. I noted *if the parent is happy and gleeful at 2 a.m., somebody better wake up and be happy and gleeful too*. Can you imagine what the opposite emotional response is like? I just shuddered. Thanks for responding.


  16. @Old miss: I am absolutely not a professional in the field and I have never worked in any field even tangentially connected to the issue. I can’t even definitely connect the behaviors reported by posters in the support forums with diagnosable narcissism, because of course most of their parents refused to admit that anything was wrong with them at all. Many of them spent years trying to figure out why their families were so bizarre, burdensome, and harmful, as did I, and they finally settled on narcissism as an explanation because the available checklists fit the facts. But because professionals see people in a clinical setting, the checklists aren’t complete.

    ETA: And, yes, forcing somebody else to wake up in order to have unpleasant feelings at them, or even just talk because they’re sooooo boooooored, is commonly reported in the forums.


  17. They had help from family and friends. She also likely hired contractors to do the more technical parts like electrical, plumbing and HVAC, that require a licensed professional. Also, I’m pretty sure she didn’t draw up her own plans. There are lots of house blueprints you can buy online for a modest price.


  18. They had help from family and friends. She also likely hired contractors to do the more technical parts like electrical, plumbing and HVAC, that require a licensed professional.

    Not as much as you might think.

    Dave and I put an addition on our house once and we did all the wiring. We hired an electrician who lived down the road to stop in every day and check what we’d done. He then would tell us what to do next. He signed off on it so we could pass the inspection. His fee was a fraction of what it would have been if he’d done all the work.


  19. Jenny, as I read that list, I kept wondering how many Duggar kids will end up on those forums.


  20. @BLB: That’s a whole other can of squick I don’t want to get into, except to note that as nutty and harmful as the Duggars are, and as rice’n’beans poor as they would have been without that TV deal, and as rudimentary as their much-ballyhooed homeschooled education and domestic skills have turned out to be…the Nauglers have outdone them in most of that. (Hopefully not all of it. But I’ll stop here because this is not FJ.)


  21. She also likely hired contractors to do the more technical parts like electrical, plumbing and HVAC, that require a licensed professional.

    Actually, no. You aren’t required to hire someone to DO the work, but you may have to hire someone to sign off stating that the work is up to code.

    I can still picture my mother, in 197*, six months pregnant and on a ladder, ripping out the original wiring in our 1922 bungalow (cloth wrapped!) and rewiring the whole house. THE WHOLE HOUSE. My parents simply hired someone to come inspect and sign off on the work. She used the old Time Life “How-to” books. She replaced the switches too which I thought was a shame. The top button was “on” and the bottom button was “off”.


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