Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dawdi Haus

A dawdi (dah-dee) haus (house) is a small house built on to the main house on an Amish farm.  This is how they care for their parents.

In years past it was not unusual for grandparents to be living in the home with the family.  Think "The Walton's".  

For many years now we have talked with my parents about doing this very thing.  In fact Lindsay used to always say that they could come live on her farm when they got old.  She had it all planned out - grandma and grandpa's bedroom would overlook the pond with pretty flowers and trees all around.  Even as young children they were learning to care for others, down to what would be a pleasing view out of the window.

My parents are not 'elderly', nor are they in bad health, praise the Lord!  However, their big house and yard are getting to be quite a lot to take care of.  More and more my dad says "We'll have to have someone come do that," rather than "I'll take care of that."  

Also it is just the two of them poking around that large house, unless we drop in or they have some of the grandkids over to spend the night.

I mentioned some months back that they had a contractor friend come out and draw up plans for adding on to our house.  They really liked them and with just a few minor adjustments the plans are perfect for them.  It seemed as if they were satisfied with the plans and waiting a while before going a head with everything.  Then my Dad put the ball in play - he had a realtor from their church come do a comparable market analysis and a few days ago they put the house up for sale!  The realtor told them that serious buyers in their price range would want to move quickly - 30 to 60 days for escrow.  When the house is sold they will put the things they are keeping into storage, and moving in with us until construction is done.  

They will be living in the master bedroom suite (which is huge), and will allow them to have a sitting area of their own.  Lindsay and Emily who currently live in that room will move to the basement.

This means that everything is getting into high gear.  We need to sort through all our old stuff and purge it!  This is a good thing.  We don't know when the house will sell so we must get ready now.  

Our portion of the house will remain relatively unchanged except for moving the staircase, which will actually open up our kitchen more!  

This is a big change for us all, scary for my parents, exciting, wonderful all at the same time!

We are excited for them and for us.  It is such a blessing to be able to do this.   


  1. I'm so excited for all of you! I know this is going to be a blessing. Can't wait to see photos!

  2. Thanks Tracy!

    The building will begin when the house sells. We are trusting God for HIS timing!

  3. I love this idea and so thankful you're doing it! Looking forward to learning more as time goes on.


  4. How great is this?! You don't see many people committed to respecting, honoring, & caring for their parents in this way. I feel as you do & have told my mother for many years now that when she gets to the point that she can't live alone, she's coming to live with us. No ifs, ands, or buts. She's still got at least a couple of decades before that becomes a reality, but I already look forward to that time because next to my husband, she's my best friend. I hope things go smoothly & that y'all have the absolute best time sharing your lives!

  5. How blessed you, and especially your children are to experience their grandparents living with them! I, too, look forward to your photos!

  6. It is sooo exciting to see this project underway.

  7. What a super thing to be able to do! I wish we could do that with my mother - she lives in a retirement apartment right now. Financing would be impossible at this point in time, but I would love to have her living her with us! I'm glad you can do that for your folks.

  8. How exciting for all of you and how wonderful that you're able to do this for your parents!!

    I look forward to any photos you might share of the process and the finished space :o)

  9. Truly, I believe, this is how it should be. We lived overseas for 11 years..Turkey, England and Italy. In Italy when Italians build a house they almost always include a small apartment of sorts for the day the parents might need to come home. They will rent it our until then. I believe America has really gone wrong with our parents, most grown children do not want to be bothered...even though it will be a transition for all, I am sure the Lord will bless you and your family for doing this and what a great thing for your kids...


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