Tag Archives: construction

I Thought His Idea To Do This With No Money Was Ridiculous. But It Turned Out AWESOME.

I think just about every boy dreams of building his very own secret base. That’s exactly what reddit user kahnuck did. Except he’s not a kid any more, nor did he decide to build this shack as a secret base to discuss how icky girls are. He built this amazingly affordable shack on his parent’s land using pretty much nothing but scrap wood and metal he gathered from the surrounding area. Only buying a few things from a local store. But all of this begs the question, why?

Mainly just to get experience building something. I’ve read a ton of books on tiny homes and small cabins over the last few years, but I’ve never physically made anything. By using mainly reclaimed and found materials, I was able to gain a ton of experience at a minimal expense. Now I feel confident investing a little more money in my next project 🙂 “

“So I started building a shack three summers ago on my parents property. I had no previous building experience, and no real plan.”

“The logs were harvested from wind-fallen trees around the property. I bought some 2×4’s to frame the skeleton of the structure, and some concrete blocks to prop the structure up off the ground.”

“In hindsight I should have turned the roof beams on edge in order to maximize load-bearing capacity.”

“I finally returned home this summer, and decided to continue tinkering with the shack. I picked up a window and door for five dollars each, and was able to get some scrap metal roofing from a family friend who just completed building her own log cabin. I randomly started infilling the walls with logs collected from around my parents eighteen acre property.”

“I found another wooden door and a lot of miscellaneous pieces of wood from a local scrap yard. The more you reuse, the more affordable making a structure like this can be. My mom and aunt decided to “spruce up my shack” by adding the colorful solar-powered lights…”

“The shack also benefits from a large amount of evergreens being conveniently located on it’s north side – somewhat sheltering it from prevailing winds.”

“I decided I wanted to add a look-out tower to the eastern side of my shack. There are a few local shipbuilders in the area who dump a lot of their scrap wood off on an old, rarely used, historic road. Luckily for me, most of the wood is still in great shape – the entire tower is built from that salvaged wood. I used old tire rims to prop the ladder and tower posts up off the ground, to minimize water damage and rot. “

“I decided to spend some money and get a few packs of cedar shingles to cover the outer walls of the shack. In total it took three bundles, at twenty dollars per bundle. Normally you only expose five inches of the shingle, but I exposed six-and-a-half inches in order to stretch the shingles as much as possible. I was reluctant to put any more money into this thing, but I decided the functionality this provides would make it a worthy investment.”

“I secured some sturdy logs to the tower in order to increase its stability and strength.”

“While I was building the shack, my parents were working on an outhouse. I was able to use a lot of their scraps to start filling in around the windows.”

“By attaching these thin strips of wood to the back of the structure, it gave me a secure and level surface to attach the cedar shingles to. I used a staple gun to attach the shingles to the wood strips.”

“Using logs found around the property, I started building a front overhang. The front posts are propped off the ground with bricks.”

“I decided the tower needed more secure ladders. Using a level and measuring tape, I marked along the logs at one-foot intervals where a notch would be cut for the step. After sawing along the markings, I notched out small piece of wood with a hammer and chisel. Lastly, I slid the steps into the notched out spaces, and secured them down with screws.”

“I painted the corner posts and bottom boards with fisherman paint I found in my parents basement. The cedar shingles should last untreated for decades, but the other wood isn’t as hardy, and needs some added protection.”

“I decided to cover the front overhang with a double layer of clear plastic – this provides shelter at the front of the shack, while still allowing light into the shack. The gap between plastic sheeting and metal roofing is covered by more scrap metal.”

“In the woods beside the old historic road, there was also a large pile of old lobster traps. I salvaged a bunch of wire mesh from them, and used it to reinforce the plastic sheeting. I also framed some of the wire mesh and used it as walls on the tower – it allows the wind to pass through the structure without shaking the whole thing.”

“Interior tower facing wall, nothing pretty.”

“The floor is composed of a few layers of sand and some square chunks of cement I salvaged from the lobster traps.”

“Western windowed wall.”

This is the finished product. It might not be fancy, but for a cost of almost $0…I’ll take it! He even built a nice bench out front to sit on. 🙂

Gotta say, as a kid this was my dream, to build a shack and tower exactly like that. Except I’d probably have called it the Secret Fort of Doom or something equally cheesy. Good to see someone is living every kid’s dream. Next step, to become a Ninja Turtle and eat pizza for breakfast every day. Source

A Boat Builder Had A Crazy Idea In The Forest. One Year And $11,000 Later, THIS Perfection Exists.

I’ve never met Brian Schulz, but he’s now my hero. He had an idea to build a Japanese Forest House in the middle of an Oregon forest… and after 1 1/2 years and $11,000, he completed it. What’s even better about this home in the woods, it was mostly built from natural, locally sourced materials. In other words, this place was mostly funded by his hard work and innovation – something truly inspiring. Take a look at Schulz’s home and his journey along the way below.

Inspired by Japanese architecture, this is the finished home in the woods of Cape Falcon, Oregon.

As mentioned above, the truly inspiring part about this house is that nearly everything you see was locally sourced.

Schulz said, “it is undeniable that the pursuit of local materials connects more deeply to your landscapes.”

“The simple act of searching adds richness to our lives,’ he added.

The entire idea started when he went to a recycling center and found a brass sink.

He started fantasizing about building an entire house around it.

So… he did.

He set out to salvage all of the necessary materials.

It’s incredible that so much of what you see in this house was pulled from his local surroundings.

Schulz says, “With deep enough pockets a person might be able to duplicate such a structure by writing a large check to a talented builder, but that would risk missing the point entirely.”

He also did quite a bit of traveling to find all the right resources. He conveyed that this was one of the best parts of the process.

“You meet people, you discover new places, you have adventures, you learn things, AND, you come home with beams, windows, doors, and shingles.”

No home would be complete without an outhouse.

A (mostly) natural outhouse.

This is Brian with a kayak that he built. He clearly has an unbelievable talent.

Schulz stated that the $11,000 cash mostly went to concrete, insulation and shakes. After all, it’s tough to build a home this awesome completely from your surroundings. All in all, he did a fantastic job that should inspire the creativity in all of us. As much as I love the house, his experience building it is absolutely priceless. Source: Cape Falcon Kayak A year and a half of work deserves some credit. Share this awesome house with others; inspire them.

These Engineers Used Old Highway Technology To Create Something So Unique

While rumble strips may never have woken you from a slumber behind the wheel, they’ve saved countless lives over the years. Late-night drives can be exhausting, especially for truckers who run on tight schedules and deadlines.

But these engineers weren’t satisfied with that telltale rumbling sound. They wanted those grooves to create beautiful music, so they designed different templates to do just that. Check it out in the video below.

Since 2007, engineers in various countries have adopted this awesome technique to make gorgeous highway music all over the world. They only work if drivers are going a certain speed, which gives a bit of incentive when it comes to obeying the speed limit.

I’d Take One Of These Tiny Houses Over A Mansion Any Day Of The Week.

Whoever said bigger is better must have never stepped foot into one of these tiny, but totally awesome houses. That, or they had already bought a mansion and didn’t keep their receipt.

The houses below are really quite amazing. I was already on board with the smaller home thing when I realized there’d be less cleaning, but now that I’ve seen what you can do with such little space, I’m very much into it. I won’t say tinier is better, since it’s subjective, but smaller is definitely super! Take a look!  

Millau, France

Machynlleth, Wales

Weston Super Mare, England

Ojai, California

Hampshire, England

Green Mountain, North Carolina

Seguin, Texas

Turin, Italy

Stanwood, Washington

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

(via Tiny House Swoon, H/T Lifebuzz)

These are so awesome. Tiny houses prove that quantity is definitely less important than quality. Most of these are a fraction of the size of the house I grew up in, but they are so much cooler.

Share these awesome lil houses with others by using the buttons below.

What This Couple Built In Their Snowy Backyard Made Me Insanely Jealous. Seriously…Wow.

Daniel Gray, a New Zealander visiting Canada to meet his girlfriend’s family, found a very unique way to spend some of his time during their cold December visit. With the help of his girlfriend (Kathleen Starrie) and her family, he built the most amazing thing in their Edmonton backyard.

I wanted to keep him occupied, not with my daughter necessarily. I wanted to keep him busy with something else,” Starrie’s mother Brigid Burton said with a laugh, “I didn’t want Daniel to just be twiddling his thumbs while he’s here in Canada so I thought, this needs to be something that’s got some meat to it.

And so the construction began. The couple, along with help from Starrie’s parents and even a friendly neighbour, spent five days building what you’re about to see.

They started out by clearing out some snow to create space.

Then the first layer of ice blocks, built from milk cartons they collected, added coloring to, and froze.

Building the spiral….

Laying blocks on top of the spiral. What is this thing?

All bundled up, working diligently on their creation.

All of the colorful milk cartons used in preparation.

Okay, it’s definitely coming along now.

Is that an igloo?

Daniel works from the inside.

And here’s the inside. Definitely looking like an igloo.

And at last, the incredible multi-colored igloo built from snow and milk carton blocks.

It looks incredibly cozy. I want one.

Gray says he is very proud of his accomplishment but, he’s also very happy the job is finally done. “It was a lot of work so, it’s nice to actually have it there,” he said, “It’s been joked about that I have to sleep in it but, I don’t think it’ll be happening.”


Source: Reddit 

If that doesn’t inspire you to use winter’s wrath (i.e. snow) to be creative, nothing will. I think I’ll build an igloo this Winter and just hibernate. Wake me up when it’s Spring. 

Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Dirty Cops, Michael Brown Sr., And A Whole Lot Of Elvis

This week for BuzzFeed News, Elise Jordan goes back to her hometown Mississippi to visit the world’s most notorious Elvis shrine. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed and around the web.

1. The Last Days Of Graceland Too — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Tim Soter

Paul MacLeod’s Graceland Too — a house-turned-shrine to the King of Rock ‘n Roll — ushered in decades of tourism to the small town of Holly Springs, MS and made its eccentric owner a local celebrity. But when MacLeod shot his handyman dead at the property and died himself two days later, Graceland Too came to symbolize more than an innocuous hobby. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

2. America’s Dirtiest Cops: Cash, Cocaine and Corruption on the Texas BorderRolling Stone

Illustration by John Ritter, Image of Alexis Espinoza in illustration by Gabe Hernandez/”The Monitor” / AP Images

An unbelievable romp of a story by Josh Eells on the rise and downfall of the Panama Unit, an elite anti-narcotics border task force — led by the son of a sheriff — that took bribes from some drug dealers and used police resources to rob others. “They were running around like that movie Training Day.” Read it at Rolling Stone.

3. Michael Brown Sr. and the Agony of the Black Father in AmericaEsquire

Photograph by Barrett Emke for Esquire

John H. Richardson spends a heartbreaking, yet hopeful, Thanksgiving with the Brown family, as Mike Brown, Sr. reflects on his son, goes to church, and grapples with his new life in the public eye. “At one point, he lowers his head and hides his face under his hat brim. When he lifts his head again, his face looks exhausted and stoic and agonized, like a man determined not to cry out under torture.” Read it at Esquire.

4. Construction Work is Getting More Deadly, but Only for Latinos — BuzzFeed News

Staten Island Advance / SILive / Via silive.com

While construction work has gotten safer for every other group over the past decade, the deaths of Latino workers has been on the rise. David Noriega reports on the startling trend. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

5. The Town Without Wi-FiWashingtonian

Photograph by Joshua Cogan for Washingtonian

Green Bank, West Virginia is a town where residents are banned from using technology most of us can’t imagine living without: wi-fi, cell phones, Bluetooth. It’s become a haven for people who believe their medical problems stem from electromagnetism but, as Michael J. Gaynor explores, not all the locals are happy about it. Read it at Washingtonian.

6. Chris Harrison: The Reigning King of #BachelorNationGQ

PHotograph by Art Streiber for GQ

Taffy Brodesser-Akner hangs out with Chris Harrison, the charming host of The Bachelor, as he navigates having recently become a bachelor himself. “It is hard to believe that a man whose job is to be a human seismometer of romantic chemistry can be so oblivious, but maybe it’s the sort of thing where the cobbler’s children have no shoes, or doctors can’t operate on themselves.” Read it at GQ.

7. The Rise of the Black British Actor in America — BuzzFeed News

Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount Pictures

Lacking opportunities in the UK, many black British actors, such as Selma’s David Oleyowo, have recently found success in the states, writes Kelley Carter. “There’s a black British Actor Renaissance of sorts occurring, largely because black Brits aren’t finding the type of work in the United Kingdom that allows them to explore the depth they’re seeking from their roles.” Read it at BuzzFeed News.

8. Food Fight: Dallas Chefs Take on the Morning NewsD Magazine

Photograph by Kevin Marple for D Magazine

Zac Crain dives into the embittered battle that has been publicly stewing for the past year between a top Dallas food critic and the city’s best chefs. “It was like watching Frankenstein and seeing the townspeople head up to the professor’s operating room with pitchforks and torches.” Read it at D Magazine.

9. The Talking CureThe New Yorker

Illustration by Leo Espinosa for the New Yorker

Margaret Talbot visits Providence, Rhode Island, where the mayor has secured millions for an innovative program aimed at closing the “word gap,” the disparity in words learned by poorer children compared to their wealthier counterparts. The program is just one complex example of national efforts to tackle educational reform. Read it at The New Yorker.

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