Jesse Stafford – Contributor Spotlight

KERF Founder, Debt Free Dream Home Owner / Builder


Jesse’s passion lies in helping people build things that change lives. He isn’t partial to any building method but instead is passionate about the ‘why’ behind any building method. One of his goals is to take housing back from the banks and put it back in the hands of the average person. He wants to help people build generational wealth through building quality, comfortable, and durable structures that are a sound investment, serve their occupants and add value to their builders, not the banks.

Jesse is the founder and visionary behind KERF and is a partner of the Debt Free Dream Home where he and his wife documented their 36×36 timber frame / ICF / SIP house build and developed their rural property. Despite having a large YouTube channel he felt it wasn’t the place to develop a community for others who wish to learn how to build themselves, and so KERF was born.

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Jesse is passionate about inspiring others to take a leap through sharing stories. We all have dreams and telling stories helps us see the path others take and develop to courage to pursue our own dreams. Helping others discover what excites them and demonstrate through action how it’s possible through sacrifice, creativity and a lot of grit to build things that change your life.

Building Things

It’s empowering when you realize that one does not build a house. Instead you do some excavation, build some walls, do some windows and a few door projects, make some cabinets, run some wire and plumbing. Over time a house is the product. Jesse’s passion is breaking seemingly unapproachable and seemingly complex processes down to the essential components so that anyone can understand how they too can build.

Tools & Equipment

Jesse won’t fool anyone for being a craftsman, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a tool nut. He really enjoys time spent on the sawmill, in the excavator with his family or running around delivering rock to neighbors in the dump truck as a “family activity”.


✓ Sawmilling
✓ Timber Framing
✓ Woodworking
✓ SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)

✓ Excavation
✓Radiant Heat
✓ Cabinet Buildling
✓ ICF Construction

✓Cold Roofs
✓ Budgeting & Cost Control
✓ Story Telling


DIY Chainsaw Mill vs Professional Chainsaw Mill

Whether you have timber of your own or have access to timber, milling it into lumber can be practical, affordable, fun and fulfilling. There is a growing number of methods to mill your own lumber, beams, cants and posts. One method that is becoming more mainstream is the Alaskan chainsaw mill. The Alaskan chainsaw mill has been around … Read more

Our Timber Frame House Plans

Designing and building your own home is no easy task. When it came to creating our timber frame house plans, we knew that we were going to pour our bodies and hearts into this project for many years, so we wanted to make sure that we started it precisely right. The Home Design Journey At … Read more

ICF Construction: Our Home Build Experience

When you begin the process of building your own house, many seemingly small decisions can make an enormous difference in the final product which is precisely how we felt during our ICF construction. As we journeyed further into our debt-free home build, we decided to build the basement of our home with insulated concrete forms … Read more




Debt Free Dream House Phase Four

Debt Free Dream Home Build – Phase Four

Debt Free Dream Home Build Story – Phase Four Log Selection & Delivery, Sawmill 55 Logs in 3 weeks, Plane, Oil & Stage All Posts, Beams and Braces for Timber Frame, 5 Day Timber Frame Workshop, Timber Frame Raising In A Blizzard Build Story Overview Partners Phase Four Overview Phase Four Highlights Phase Four Podcasts … Read more
Debt Free Dream Home Build Phase Three

Debt Free Dream Home Build – Phase Three

Debt Free Dream Home Build Story – Phase Three Excavation, Layout, Concrete Footings, Drainage, ICF Foundation, Waterproofing, Water Main and Rough Plumbing, Slab Prep, Hydronic Tubing Installation, Slab Pour, Steel Beam, Sill Plate Installation, Floor Framing and Hydronic Radiant Subfloor Installation Build Story Overview Partners Phase Three Overview Phase Three – COMPLETE Phase Three Podcasts … Read more
Debt Free Dream Home Phase 2

Debt Free Dream Home Build – Phase Two

Debt Free Dream Home Build Story – Phase Two Estate Sale, Off Grid Water System, Site and Material Planning, Buying A Sawmill, Buying A Backhoe, Tool Acquisition, Apprenticeship and Practice Build Story Overview Partners Phase Two Overview Phase Two Highlights Phase Two Podcasts Phase Two Contributors Partners Building Phases Want to do a news story … Read more
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