The first step, of course, was to figure out where the money would come from. We found that almost any kind of financing was out of the question because the mortgage used to purchase the house and land “encumbered” the entire property. Nobody was going to give us a loan for something that they couldn’t take back if we stopped making payments, and how could they take away a building in our back yard?

So we’re building the whole thing ourselves, with cash. As we have a few hundred dollars on a free weekend, we work on it. Using shipping containers fits well with this approach. If we don’t have any money (or time) for a month, they’re not going to be damaged by the elements waiting for completion. They could also be purchased individually, so that we didn’t need a giant pile of money to get started.

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