Moved and Re-Assembled

Many thanks to Marshall who put in night hours with me in the rain to get this house moved and put back together.   Next project will be getting electric to the house and the interior built out a bit.

New Foundation

Friday is the big move of the house up to the main campus.  Marshall and I rapped the foundation on Wednesday.  Project nearing completion.


I was  fortunate to become reconnected with Danny (pictured above when he was living in the woods in North Austin with his wife Maggie) who stood on a Billboard on I35 to raise awareness of homelessness and MLF.  Today he and Maggie look very healthy and are putting the pieces of their lives back together in an MLF home.  I learned that Danny has 20+ years of steel work and house painting in his past and when I mentioned the Micro House he was very excited to join us.  He is joyed to be working, and volunteering with us after the 1st time out.  He may be the best caulker I have ever seen, he outlasted the student volunteers by 3 hours, and sent no text messages.  Just work!

Wow those colors are wild, I am not sure how I feel, how did you decide on the colors…….?

We embarked this semester on completing the Micro House even though to most it appeared finished.  Cayce and the volunteers who work this summer to make the cottage warm and inviting gave the new class the freedom to consider the houses as a conversation, a canvas and a way to draw people to its interior to learn the story.  The new colors are in a way are an announcement to the community that “I AM HERE.”  The feeling on our Saturdays together working on the house is a complete break in the academic structure.  The colors are freeing.

We studied a village in Portland OR called Dignity Village to get additional inspiration.  http://www.dignityvillage.org/

Here are some images from their community and the additional colors on the micro house. Patrick

Hi Gang,

Our goal as a class will be to finish this project by November 5th for the 35 anniversary of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (the site that hoses the Micro House) and the 100th anniversary of UT SOA.   Hundreds of people will see the project and learn about MLF through our work.   I am very proud of what has been done thus far, but we are only half way.  There is a facet of this project for everybody in our class (friends, family and interested volunteers as well), from moving the structure and  site preparation,  re-assembly, interior design, a green wall, color coordination for the interior and exterior, landscaping, promotion and most importantly a master plan with MLF for uses of the cottage.

Our 1st project will be removing the front porch, painting and new site preparation which is about 50 yards closer to the main cluster of buildings at CMPBS.   We would like to start the work on Friday 10/1 or Saturday 10/2.

We were super excited to have Alan Graham out to the MLF Cottage prototype.  This was his 1st time visiting the Center for Maxium Potential Building Systems and our humble construction project.  He is always pumped-up and positive which is very inspiring as well as a man of action and communication.  It was very important to Cayce, Steve and I to share the house will Alan and get his approval to take it to the next level.   Alan shot an iphone video and posted it the same day here.  http://www.youtube.com/user/mlfnow#p/a/u/0/nXing8NwMVU

PLY – Walled

Here is what Cayce had to say when she email these photos to in July.

“So we worked hard this past weekend – 10 hours Friday and Saturday, 6 hours on Sunday.  I’m happy to say that the project is largely finished.  Really the only remaining thing is to install the outlets, fans, and light fixtures.  None of us know how to do this, so we’re hoping that Patrick can help us out when he gets back in to town in the middle of August.  I know I speak for everyone who worked on this project in saying that it was a ton of fun!”

Taking a  break – Ana (orange shirt) came out Sat. and Sun.  She works hard and never complains.

We stained the floor dark – it really brings out the pine on the walls (which has been given a slight satin finish).  To me this really says “Welcome home.”

“Joyce is a former student of Steve’s.  She came out to help Sat. and Sun.  I’m not exaggerating when I say we couldn’t have done it with out her.”


After much deliberation on which company would be the optimal combination of price and workmanship (open vs closed cell)  we choose Healthy Solutions, LLC. Their web site is http://www.healthysolutionssprayfoam.com .  We really like that the owner had a baseball themed motivational speaking business as well and figured that if there was a problem Steve could go out to the mound, spit and kick some dirt around.   All and all Cayce, who supervised, was pretty satisfied and impressed with the now cozy cottage.    Look at the bottom picture to see how neat and organized this UT crew is.   This house will now officially float if moved to the gulf coast.

We were able to get started painting.  We cleaned all of the siding and primed it with kilz where it looked like there was some mildew.  We painted the porch rafters a sky blue.  We were only able to get the front part of the house painted, but the trim is an off-white, and the siding a buttery-yellow.  I’m really happy with the color – it’s such a happy yellow!

This week, we’ll be meeting with the person who is donating the spray insulation.  We’re going to push to get a bigger group of volunteers next weekend.  We’d like to put the rest of the siding up (above the porch).  As silly as it seems, I forgot we hadn’t done it.  And I’d like to finish painting a first coat.  I think it’s do-able if we’re able to get a few more volunteers next weekend.

It’s going well and we’re getting closer!


Above is Jacob.  He’s in high-school, but Patrick knows his mom through the film school.  He helps us every weekend.  He and I hadn’t worked together much yet, but we spent all afternoon painting together.  He’s a ton of fun!