When I moved into this house, nearly 18 months ago now, I didn’t have time to do it right. So many urgent things had to be done — and I’m talking bleach-the-mold-off-the-walls urgent, rip-entire-walls-out urgent, tear-off-rotted-rooms urgent — that many niceties got neglected. Boxes went unpacked. Stuff got stuffed … wherever.
Besides, after having lived small for 10 years (between Cabin Sweet Cabin and that crumbling fifth-wheel in the desert), I had just spent the previous three years in house with an attic, a basement, and a garage. This house … not so much.
Then there was the teeny, tiny problem of closets. This place had not a single one. Not. One. Closet.
Nooz you can use (if you’re really into alternative housing): grain-bin homes. (I love the stuccoed one, but I’d like to know how you keep these things from getting hotter than the hinges of heck, long about August.) Tip o’ hat, MJR.
You forgot to add how useful those bags are for picking up dog poop. I live in a blue state and the closer you go to civilization, the more likely it is that you’ll have to bring your own cloth shopping bags. Misguided political correctness.
I’m grateful to have a solid roof over my head (and Ava, Robbie, and Kitsu the cat would say the same if they could speak) as the rain pours down all week and the season’s first high-wind warnings go up.
This sense of security I owe to you.
I owe C-B, S.H., M.K., L.P., and especially Anonymous and the Mysterious Rockefeller for the latest round of help, which repaired the section of roof that collapsed while the rest of the roof was being refurbished. I also owe many of you, especially Paul Bonneau, for construction advice.
Or so the envelope said. The return address (I looked it up) was the HQ of the Council on Foreign Relations.
My correspondent has a sense of humor.
Based on what was in the envelope, my correspondent can call him or herself Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, Rothschild, Medici, Windsor or anything else great heart desires. It would fit!
In their own world, they must have Rockefeller-level pull. They somehow talked their local post office into sending the priority envelope without either a postmark or the required tracking sticker. (Hilariously, this put my postmaster into a high huff. She was ready to write a nastygram to the postmaster of “New York 10065,” informing them that they’d broken the law!)
So, with no means to identify Mr. or Ms Rockefeller, or even have a clue as to where in this vast land their secret Lair of Largess might be, I can only say an inadequate wow. An inadequate doublewow. And an inadequate thank you.
Up goes that last remaining, recalcitrant section of roof. And off my heart and shoulders comes that rather heavy burden.
Not long ago, I rolled my eyes and said the tiny-house movement had jumped the shark. Then this morning, friend G. sent me to this site. And this 192-square-foot house, the Axia.
While there’s a suspicious dearth of info (the link to TechDwell’s pdf brochure is 404), it’s a for-real thing. Portland, Oregon, is building a village of these for the homeless.
If they’re as easy to build (and unbuild) as they say … well, that’s remarkable. On price, on tech, on a number of measures, they’d beat the usual overpriced tiny house hands down. (That is, if somebody doesn’t get carried away and order all their yuppified options.)
Yes, yes, go ahead and tell me you can build something like this yourself out of old pallets, cardboard boxes, and strapping tape for much less than TechDwell’s basic price. That’s true. Joel’s Secret Lair is similar and cost less. But the tech on this is intriguing, as is the ability to tear it down and move it. Also, you can add your own options (solar, rainwater catchment, etc.) for less than they cost from TechDwell.
The look reminds me a bit of the UnitOne cabin. But if the TechDwell Axia is all it appears to be, I’d rather have an Axia.
Gads, what a great artist’s studio. Or guest house. Or pool house. Or vacation cabin.
Gads, it was 80 degrees yesterday. Eighty in October in the Great NorthWET. There are entire summers when we don’t see 80. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this warm this late in this corner of the world.
Supposed to be “only” in the 70s for the rest of this week. Oh, poor us.
With construction catastrophes keeping the house in chaos, I’ve been trying to de-clutter to help deal with the fact that every time I organize stuff in one area, it immediately has to be moved back out because … oh, the roof falls in or somesuch.
So I’m whipping myself into a crusade to de-stuff.
As confessions go, it’s a boring one, so don’t get excited. I’m not about to admit that I’m secretly an ATF agent or that I do strange things with lace-clad armadillos. But there’s definitely something I haven’t been telling you.
It’s about the very mundane (albeit often hair-raising) matter of home improvement.
Roofing crew arrived at 7:30 sharp this morning. Never saw any group of people move so fast and with such coordination and obvious expertise. Freakin’ impressive!
After they’d been here three hours I went outside and took pictures of their astounding progress.
Then I came back in, figured I’d play with the dogs a bit, quit being jumpy from the noise and chaos, and try to get some actual writing done. Sat down on the floor to toss a nerf ball for Ava. Looked up. And … whoops.
The heavy, old-fashioned wooden beadboard ceiling in one room had dropped three inches in one corner. The only thing keeping it from dropping farther was a clothing hook. I put that hook up there to hold a curtain rod, so I know all too well how insecurely attached it is. Very insecurely.
You know how a couple of you said that putting all that heavy material in stacks on the roof should be no problem? Well, should be. And it wasn’t a problem as long as all that weight was up on the main beam where you saw it in the photo yesterday. But the roofers decided to pull the material down and stage it on what used to be a porch.
They put most of the weight on that corner — and the former porch (now sleeping nook) pulled right away from the rest of the house. You can see daylight. And since all that heavy beadboard had never been properly attached to the rafters, down it came.
Not the roofers’ fault, of course. How would they anticipate something like that? Mike, the same friendly handyman who rescued me earlier this summer from a large hole in the roof, will be by later to temporarily brace it up. But … well, if it ain’t one damn thing, it’s always another.
The section of roof originally constructed by government-employed chimpanzees has been turned back into something rooflike and is under wraps. The roofing materials were just delivered (to the top of the house, yet!). Tomorrow morning … things get serious.
Meantime, I don’t think the dogs and I will be comfortable spending too much time directly under all that tonnage up there. Is this old roof structure really that strong?
Nervous! But very, very excited, too. And looking forward to a leak-free NorthWET winter.
I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.
Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it