When his wife's father gave them the parcel of land on the back side of the mountain, Tom was more than ready to move from the dingy house in town that they had rented since they'd gotten married six years earlier. The location was almost perfect--a wooded lot with river frontage and a grandiose mountain view. Now they needed the perfect house to put on the land.
His long time friend Richard helped him dream the dream. They studied the lay of the land to determine the best place to build. In the evenings, the two friends and Tom's wife Myra pored over magazines and made sketches of what their ideal house would look like. Soon they had the plans of exactly what they wanted. What they didn't have was the money to pull it off.
Building a house seemed like it was going to be an expensive proposition. They would have to wait a year or two or even more while they set money aside to buy the materials and hire the craftsmen they would need to build their house.
"Listen," Richard said, drumming a pencil on the kitchen table, "Let me be your contractor. I can get this done so you can afford to do it now."
"How so?" Tom said.
"We've got our friends," Richard said with a wink. He snatched up the house plans from the table. "I'll be back here Wednesday evening."
He rose and as he reached the door, he turned, "Never underestimate the power of friends. We'll get 'er done." He gave a thumbs up and went out the door.
On Wednesday Richard was there with Jerry, a friend who built houses for a living. Jerry checked out the building plot with a clipboard in hand and made notes. He carefully contemplated what he was looking at and let Tom know that their friend Jim would be by the following evening.
As promised, Jerry showed up the next evening in his pick up truck with Jim in tow. The two of them busied themselves with tape measures and wooden stakes as they laid out the building site. Richard took Tom aside and started making plans. Myra's uncle would bring his backhoe the following day to prepare things for the crew of friends who would begin the work for that weekend.
"There's just one thing I need from you for tomorrow," Richard said. "You supply the beer and the food for the guys for the week-end and they'll take care of the rest. You can pay for the materials later, but believe me, they're going to get you a good deal on all that."
The next morning pick-up trucks filled with their friends and loaded with tools began arriving. Tom headed into town to pick up two kegs and several cases of beer and enough food supplies to feed twenty hard working guys for the week-end.
He returned to a bustle of trucks delivering building materials. His friends were busy having a good sweaty time of jovial banter mixed with serious hard work. By the end of the first day a foundation was in place along with sewer and water lines.
Some of the guys brought tents while others just planned to sleep in truck beds or on the ground in sleeping bags. The kegs were tapped and the young men partied hearty into the night until weariness overtook them.
By the end of that weekend the major work had been done with friends helping friends, each with their own special skills. Jerry's crew led the carpentry work and got the framing done, Billy pitched in with the roofing, Roger was the drywall expert, Larry wired the electrical, and Jack supplied the plumbing knowledge. Anyone who didn't have a special trade followed the directions given by those who did.
They finished up on Sunday afternoon. Over the next few days the finishing like painting, flooring, and woodwork would complete the job. The following weekend the guys would come back to help Tom and Myra move. That Saturday night all of Tom and Richard's buddies would be over with wives and girlfriends for a housewarming party.
Richard had been right. It was amazing what friends could do when they put their minds and backs to it. The entire experience had been like one of those Amish barn raisings, except with beer, blue jeans, and pick up trucks. Building a house with friends helping was a lot easier than trying to do it by oneself.
When have friends come to the rescue for you? Have you ever been involved in building a house?
Be sure to be here tomorrow for a special announcement. In fact, be watching for announcements on several blogs.