The Scrap House

When framed, split.

February 1, 2010

I don’t want to begin this post with the stereotypical “I haven’t posted in a while” speech. Yet by mentioning it at all, I have. So I won’t. Don’t read anything before this sentence.

I’m finally back at the location of the scrap house for the first time in a while. Said location is now my front yard; how convenient! The house is still up on the moving rig, waiting to be placed on pilings, but either way I figured I could get a little work done on it. I thought I had enough cedar shakes to finish. I don’t. In the famous words of Lassie, “Oh well.”

But I got about half of the final wall done. Here’s the thing… I didn’t have any more shake nails. I did have tar paper nails though, which are like shake nails but they have little plastic retainers on them. See where this is going? I did; for about an hour and a half!

Ahh; such a friend and such an enemy. Amazing the places one’s mind goes when sitting on the ground fixing individual nails. I’m pretty sure I invented perpetual motion in that time, but then I started thinking about peanut butter and forgot it. Ironically, the trash can I was using to throw the plastic pieces in was an old recycling bin. Go figure.

Eventually I got, uh… this much done.

The house survived the move wonderfully. All the windows and doors still open as they should, everything is as square as it ever was, and even though we’ve gotten a fair amount of rain and 50+ MPH winds over the past months, I’ve yet to find any leaks. It’s a pretty solid little hut. I need to give a long belated thanks to Leo Carmosky. He called me a while back as he wanted to donate some tile. He was from Pennsylvania and was down here on a fishing trip. We really appreciate his donation and hope he had a great stay on the island! Sorry I didn’t get to meet you in person; I certainly enjoyed our conversation on the phone. So thanks for everything you left us.

I’ve also done a little scrounging in my absence. Well, actually, I can’t say that in good faith as I’m always scavenging. Rather, I did some scrounging for the house. There; that’s better. While up in Richmond, VA I found some nice cabinet doors next to a dumpster. I think they used to be part of some sort of entertainment center. They seem relatively new and are quite nice. I’ll most likely cut them into individual panels and use them as cabinet doors.

They have a really nice red accent on the edges. Classy, aye?

I also thought I’d take a moment to point out this is not the smallest building in my town. In fact, just a quarter of a mile down the road is one quite a bit smaller. It’s the, or was the, Post Office. It hasn’t been active since the ’70s, but is still kept original for historical purposes. I believe it’s the smallest Post Office in the country, if it’s not it has to be close! I’d say it’s around 70-80% of the size of the scrap house.

Extreme lens flair! Adorable, isn’t it? Plus, how many post offices have you ever seen that have a mail box out front? It’s not owned by the government any more, it’s just on someone’s land.  Being a government building, though, I think we can assume this cost a tad more to build than mine.

Down the road in the other direction, there’s another building of almost as minuscule proportions. It’s an art studio behind the gorgeous Pea Island Art Gallery, owned by the awesome Kimmie. During the summer our island is a rather chaotic tourist destination. And as such, there are a myriad of generic, massive, ugly vinyl sided testaments to the evils of mass-produced architecture. Generally, only the older buildings deviate from this and provide any form of design. However, Pea Island Art gallery is the exception. Built to resemble the old life saving stations, it is only a few years old. Despite its age, the details and form are not only beautiful, they are in keeping with the history of the island. If you’re ever in Salvo, NC, make sure to stop in.

But behind this structure is the smaller cousin. It’s actually an art studio, but given its design and small size I thought I could throw it into this grouping.

And the reverse;

There’s also a really neat little bridge, but it’s not truly related to the gallery, as it goes back to another home in the woods.

Alright, that’s all I have for the time being. So I need to end this post somehow. I haven’t done this in a while, so I’m getting a little rusty. What about telephone poles? I like them a lot for some reason. For one thing, they’re mostly a lie. The majority of telephone wires are underground these days, so telephone poles are really for power. Oh Tesla, we hardly knew thee. But somehow they simultaneously interrupt a landscape and add to it. They’re like a flock of birds; one never sees only one, and each one is seemingly the same, yet their beauty is found in the harmonious repetition of their existence. Plus, how else would you ever find a lost dog?

This post was brought to you by River, who is more a reference than he is a dog. And one that few will get either way.

Peace for now. -Ted

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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.