Steel appeal

The SteelMaster Company has featured our T-House O’Steel on their blog!


JM -Apparently, staying faithful to steel has it perks! In our last blog post, Julie was clever enough to out me on what I was neglecting to say. Namely, that I had screwed up with the wooden studs/wall.

But I want to point out what I learned from this. Steel building materials are not only lighter but so much more reliable than wood – they won’t warp, shrink or rot. Don’t get me wrong: I still love the smell of sawdust as much as the next wood worker. But there are so many ways to engineer steel that I feel like I’ll never build with anything else. Here’s why:

The question of finishing the interior of the T-House of Steel took some figuring out: How were we going to finish the curved walls while leaving room for insulation? Luckily, I found just the thing from a company call Flex-Ability Concepts that makes something called FLEX-C TRAC which can match almost any curve you want to make it into.

The challenge with the T-House of Steel was to find a way to install the “FLEX-C TRAC” so that it could support a curved ceiling to finish the interior. Once the curtain wall framing the door and the window was built, I put in metal studs on the opposite end over the SteelMaster wall, connecting it to the interior arch angle.


Once I framed the second wall, I was able to connect the front wall with the FLEX-C TRAC following along the curve of the steel arches. The best part is, I could even connect some of the studs to the steel arch itself.


Now the inside has a structure onto which we can wrap the interior AND fit the insulation. There are many more choices ahead in terms of what’s going to look and feel best for the interior. More on that coming up. And if you’re wondering what Julie was doing this whole time, take a look at her here, spying on me.

JC: Yes, I’m always outing (and spying on JM 🙂

What I learned from him changing his mind (which he does reliably regularly), is that I’m allowed to change mine, too. Last week, when I visited the T-House (parked on friends’ property) I’d been thinking that the naysayers were right, that the space was just too small to live in. I had lost my vision for it, and couldn’t see how we’d figure it out.  Then, this week, we took my best friend and her husband over, old friends who live far away, who hadn’t seen the house at all yet. I was a little scared of their reaction, bracing myself for the inevitable question: “Are you really going to live in this?” I didn’t feel like I had the umph to sell them on the idea. In fact, I thought for sure it would not be feasible for all five of us to even stand inside at the same time comfortably, that’s how strong my doubt had grown.

When we got there, however, I immediately saw how wrong I was. I could physically feel my mind changing (a la JM) as our friends whipped out their phones with exclamations and started asking dozens of questions as they filmed and photographed both interior and exterior. I felt, suddenly, convinced of the value of this project, that it was beautiful and worth the effort. I saw that it was entirely possible to fit five, or even seven or ten people (snugly) inside. That we could downsize our lives like we had dreamed, and travel, and one day find the right property to live on. Yes, it’s true that the inside is still empty of what will be built, the electricity, the plumbing, the loft beds, even the toilet. But there is something there, something I have to keep seeing. That something is called Possibility.


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