The Scrap House

Stop. Hammer Time. Or cliche time, at least. | May 14, 2009

Yesterday, now that you know Walter and Ethyl, I told you I’d introduce you to Clarence. Clarence is my hammer. No one else gets to use Clarence. My hammer, yah hear?  Pretty much the only hammer I can actually get a nail in straight with, it seems. Havard’s hammer is the Mammer. And Hyatt’s drill is the Mandrill. But it is actually a drill, not a mandrill.  Go figure.

Me and Clarence

Me and Clarence

So… we actually did work today. Kind of. We started siding, however, once we got the first double row done, Mr. Bill told us we were doing it wrong, so, with subsequent hissy fit, we had to start over on that. But between two layers of tar paper, a 1×4 cap, and liquid nailing the bottom layer of shingles… that wall IS NOT going to leak. I hope.



Havard kept working on the shed. It is starting to take shape.



It’s kind of big, but the size was arbitrary. Oh well. Other than that, I just worked on plywooding and cutting out windows. Windows are done, but I can’t finish the plywood until we finish the plumbing. So a mild hold there.



And so… You’ve seen the Ted, the Havard, the Hyatt, and even the Clarence. But there is a fifth member which we haven’t covered. The Charlie. Who can, randomly and alternatively, be known as: Charlie, Evil Charlie, The Sweaty Armpit, or The Guy In The Green Jacket(Everyone needs a trademark, aye?) He’s chief holder, cutter, passer, measurer, and moral booster.


I should probably also give an honorable mention to Jefferey. Who, to me, is Vanimal. He’s not part of the crew working on the house, but he does occasionally hang around. Why does he matter? Well, he managed to break out two of our fireblocks climbing down from the loft. Apparently 2×2 fireblocks don’t like supporting 160 lbs. To quote:

V: “Ahh… I hit my head.”

T:”Why the **** were you standing on a fireblock?!?!”

V:”Why are you yelling at me?!”

El fin. Oh well. Not permanent. Or so I hope. The brain damage might very well be, though.


There probably won’t be a post tomorrow, as Hyatt and I are going to be in AP testing for all of 6 hours or so. Fun. But either way, the house will probably be briefly unattended. Sorry. But Friday, we’ll see. So… in a Jeremy Clarkson voice, Goodnight! -Ted


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  1. You guys are cute, and weird, but We have a thing about hedge hogs in my family, and naming things too. You have some unusual names as well.

    Comment by Elizabeth Goertz — May 14, 2009 @ 1:04 am

  2. Wicked project guys, I like your style. The shingles look really good, I was a bit suspect of the finish until I saw that. I
    have built 1 small house on an island property I have in New Zealand and am in the process of putting a couple more up. All illegal so I’m building them bit by bit and hoping no one notices. Are you going to hook up electric and mains water, is any of this legal? Keep up the good work and as we say in NZ ‘fuck the rules’.

    Comment by phillip julian — May 14, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    • Believe it or not, it’s actually perfectly legal. If it had to be built to code, it wouldn’t be. However, our local building code defines any structure less than 12’x12′ to be a shed, which doesn’t need to be built to code. So we are just building a shed with a bathroom and kitchen, really. My next door neighbor is actually the building inspector…

      How remote is the island? Like taking a small boat full of 2×4’s to a deserted beach kind of remote?

      Comment by austinminiman — May 14, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  3. Hey, thanks for the reply. Yeah the Islands called Great Barrier, its about 4 hours by ferry from our biggest city Auckland. Its a big island but kind of remote. About 800 permanents. No mains power, water or sewage. Unfortunately it comes under the big city building regs. which are a pain in the arse. We have a similar rule about sheds, we can build up to 10m square without a permit. However, once you add power, bathrooms, toilets etc the regulators can call it a dwelling and demand compliance. The Island has traditionally attracted alternative types so theres plenty of illegal and semi illegal buildings and set ups so i kind of feel honour bound to push the limits and bend the rules. Not quite to your extent but you’re giving me inspiration. Cheers Phil.

    Comment by phillip julian — May 14, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  4. Yes, I LOVE the picture…

    Comment by Em — May 15, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

  5. Works a little different where i am at. Anything under 400 sq ft does not need a permit aa long as it does not have plumbing or eletrical. But you can always add the plumbing or electrical later, and then those need a permit. So everything I design is just a shed. So I add the other stuff once the shed is finished.

    Comment by Damon Talbert — April 20, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

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About author

This blog is dedicated to an experiment a group of three other fellow students and I are doing at our school in Buxton, NC. My Drafting III class and I set out to see if we could build a house for free. It's small, but functional. All the materials come out of dumpsters. And most of all, it's working.







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