Broken Branch Farm

Our farm projects and the building of our dome home.



Recent posts

Starting the process of trenching the field

Daylight or a Train? Setting Sights on C of O
This update will be brief, but we are getting close. The septic field finally, finally got started in earnest and is waiting on an inspection before it can be covered and graded.  Inspector is expected… Read More



Eucalyptus Floor beginsDressed Up with Nowhere to Go: More Finishing Touches, Still No Septic
So much work happened in the house this past week. The floor install is all finished except the staircase, the trim and door install went wonderfully and is finished, and the countertops in the bathrooms and kitchen were installed. The field has dried out finally but the septic field work has not begun…Read More


Kitchen cabinet install west side

This House is Like a Rollercoaster: Cabinets, Carpentry Mayhem, Paint, and Rain
Once of our daughter’s favorite things is Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen, which is an Audible original. In chapter one, the mouse in the story has a very up and down kind of day, and exclaims, “This day is like a rollercoaster!” Our house story sure has felt that way, and moreso recently. As I mentioned in a previous post, June is shaping up to be a very busy month for us… Read More

Completed Drywall: Entry view

First Finishes: Tile Stacked, Bricked, and Herringboned
Now that we have had our first year anniversary on official site work (the well was dug a year ago, though site work didn’t start for a bit yet), my husband and I are feeling the push to get the house done and move in… Read More

Southeast view with finished brick

Walls Around My Heart: Plywood and Sheetrock
For a long while now we have been walking through a house of framed 2×4 and 2×6 walls. All of a sudden it seems, there are true walls and the rooms begin to take shape. The change is dramatic. While there is still a day or so of drywall hanging work to do, most of the house’s walls have been placed… Read More

Creek begins to thaw and run

Getting Warmer: Insulation
Spring is finally peeking out from under the heavy blanket of cold and things are starting to thaw. The creek that runs through our property is starting to move. Last year we had a dramatic rise of water, but this year it is behaving itself and staying more or less within its banks… Read More


inspection stickers

Rough Approved: Little Stickers of Happiness
Finally! The rough inspections for everything have been completed. The engineering fixes were installed and the large amount of rough electrical work got finished. What a relief! We now have a bit of an over-engineered beam in the basement but compared with what was in place, I’ll take… Read More



Beams, Brackets and Hurdles: Send in the Engineers
Some very large and stressful issues came up in regards to the supporting structure of our house. While we know that our house is proving to be a challenge for our builder and the subcontractors… Read More


brick beginnings

Wonky Weather: A Merry December
After the big relief of having the roof completed, we had a few weeks of rest on site as some background things were happening. My husband got started on the electrical in his spare time but other than that little happened of note. The weather… Read More


img_0175Let It Snow?: A roof over our heads
All signs have been pointing to the first snow coming tomorrow. Yesterday as the temperature began its plummet to wintry climes, the first half of the house was completed! It is an enclosed space and protected from the weather. Siding and brick are still to come, but at long last we can take comfort in the fact that our investment in this big beautiful house is protected. Read More



As the Leaves Turn Golden: The road to enclosing
It has been a little while since my last post. My husband and I, as well as our builder, carpenter, and now the roofer, have been scurrying around solving problems. When everything holds its place in sequence, any delay in a decision or solution can be very hard… Read More



Rain Rain Go Away: A week or more of wet
One of the first things anyone who builds houses will tell you, or should tell you, is that your house will get rained upon before it is roofed. In Michigan and similar climates it just remains a fact of life for site-built houses. Our builder John was sure to warn us, and we are of course aware that a little rain is not ruinous…Read More



Upon this Rock: The foundation
The foundation and basement of the house took a couple of months. We were nervous, as it was critical that the basement measure exactly to the print in order for the house to fit. Unlike a traditional house, the kit measurements were non-negotiable and there was little margin for error… Read More


Solarium View

Heart Transplant: Framing the kitchen
This week has been very exciting, so I am posting a mid-week update. The custom kitchen extension is framed… Read More



Framing/T Blocking Finish

C’mon Let’s Vogue: AKA More Framing
This week the T-blocking and studs on the outer dome were completed. There are open triangles where the windows are going to go and the framing of the first floor within the dome is done. Now we can “walk through” the rooms… Read More



Meeting in the middle: Getting the dome framed
When the truck carrying the kit for our dome arrived our carpenter got to work laying out the riser walls on the waiting first floor deck (subfloor). It looked like a giant Erector set… Read More


Truck with dome kit arrives

Broken Branch Dome Home Project: Getting started
Everyone has a dream home. It is unique and different for everyone. Ours ended up being a dome. We searched a long time after we got married for a piece of land that would have what I wanted (acreage, trees) and what we needed (location location location)… Read More