Using “garbage” to build bedrooms… The sage continues!

27 Jul

Welcome to ALTERNATIVE HOUSING 101.10:

As many of you know, we’re building a house out of “unconventional materials,” with the goal of providing affordable and durable housing to my family, located in Southern Mississippi.

Last time, we talked about the “envelope” we’re trying to build, and a description of the house from the top down to about… oh… halfway… or so!  LOL!

We’ve met a lot of obstacles head-on, but we’re still moving forward, albeit slowly…

I’m not going to recap previous posts, because (a) there’s just too many of them on this subject, and (b) I’m hoping that you’ll check them out, after you’re through reading here!

We’re exploring the house, one level at a time. The point here is to establish that even though “unconventional components” are used in it’s construction, it’s a relatively “ordinary” house, to the untrained eye.

You see, when people hear that we’re building a house out of “scraps and crap“ (that’s what the P&Z guy called it) they visualize a broken down old pile of rubbish, with flies buzzing around on the dilapidated front porch…

But, it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a solid, sturdy, efficient structure, capable of braving heat, cold, high winds, and torrential rains, without taking a second breath. And that’s what’s most important to us. And, we’re building it “cheap.” By “recycling,” and “reusing,” and even “reclaiming,” we’re getting the components for almost free. That’s right, FREE.

Sure, there is a LOT of labor involved. But labor hours are easier on the wallet, because I’m doing most of the labor, with the help of some “volunteers.”

(And if they do a good job, I’ll tell them where their children are secretly stashed…) LOL!

Oh relax, I gave them a play station, and a refrigerator fulla soda… Sheesh, I ain’t a monster…

Last time, we looked at the roof, and the Master Suite on the “top floor.”

It‘s a little bit deceiving, because there is a 5th floor, but it‘s just basically a staircase landing, and a sofa….  200 square feet of “hiding place…”

And, just so you know, my intent is to build the house in phases. We’ll move up, into the house, a floor at a time, as it gets completed. This way, we can work smoothly, and minimize the stress and trauma. Living in the middle of construction is a real pain…

Now where was I? Oh yeah…

This time, we’re gonna start taking the design apart, from the “Entertainment and Bedroom level, down…”

Going down…

Down one flight of stairs from the Master level, is the (dreaded) bedroom wing, located immediately below the Master Suite.

This is where we incarcerate the child…

The “private wing side” houses two bedrooms, one for Joshua, and one for the guests we’ll never have,  (both approx. 16’x16‘) will share a bathroom, that also doubles (er… triples) as a powder room for the Entertainment room that lives in the attached wing, over the Main Level.

We will build storage niches into every nook and cranny, to improve the bathroom layout, so that it’s livable. I know that we’re stretching our luck here, but we’re also stretching our dollars. I could have squeezed in a powder room, but it didn’t really make sense.

We’ll have few guests (In case you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re “rather odd”) and my son isn’t really gonna tax the limits of the bathroom, so we might as well let other people use it, too! LOL!

The bedrooms each sport two large organizer closets with a built-in computer desk and work center placed between them. Joshua’s closets are to be built “child height,” so he learns to pick up after himself, and it also gives him access to all his toys, whenever he wants. I’ll probably turn one of his closets  into a playhouse, as well, to keep him occupied, when he’s grounded to his room, for setting fire to the dog… LOL!

Joshua, this isn’t Korea! We don’t BBQ the dog here! Stop that! LOL!

And before you start off, I actually ate “BBQ Dog” in Korea, once. Once was enough.

Each bedroom has a built in “morning kitchen.” Why? Because I have a box of stainless steel “bar sinks and fixtures” to recycle. When he gets older, we’ll just figure out a way to keep him from turning them on, and flooding the place. (I’ll just turn off the water, inside the cabinet.)

Each bedroom has a “private” deck, that allows “outside space.” Joshua’s deck will be secured to Fort Knox levels, until he’s old enough to go outside unassisted.

The last thing I need is a “skydiving maniac of a kid” screaming; “Daddy, look what I can do! Catch MEeeeee!”

Forget “secured.” Think “dead bolted.”

Flanking the Bedroom wing is the 24’x40’ Entertainment Room. This is just the upstairs Main level. We’re going to build in a wet-bar, because I have a trailer full of cabinets promised to me, that were salvaged from a hotel remodel, after the hurricane. (We’ll see if they materialize.)

The “entertainment room” will be a place to park our pool table (if I can get it repaired), a card table for those all-night poker games, and a comfortable sectional so we can all snuggle up and watch scary movies.

After all, a kid’s gotta have nightmares, right?

We didn’t really “need” another “big” room. The “reality” is that we didn’t want to go up more than one “extra” floor in the “private” wing, because of wind exposure. (Again, roof surface area gave us dimensions to work with.)

So after calculating wind loads and “requirement data,” we opted to add three more containers to the main level, to form this “room.”

Because the house is basically solid steel and concrete, we think that it’s going to become a “shelter” of sorts in a big storm. So, we wanted enough room to house neighbors, and friends (like we actually have any) in case of an emergency.

(I can’t wait to lord it over the neighbors. “So who’s laughing NOW, you bastards? Hmmm? See? I TOLD YOU…”)

The “wet bar” will double as a “second kitchen.” In case of crisis, we can feed people on two levels, to keep the tribes separate. Nothing is worse than a mutiny at sea!

The entertainment room opens up to an 8’x40’ deck that looks out over the neighborhood, so we can throw water-balloons at those rotten kids next door, from “high altitude.” That 8’ deck will connect all the other decks together, so it’s more of a “companionway” than an “event space.”

The decks themselves are actually built in “panels” so that they can retract (up) into secure frames, to serve as “storm shutters,” in case of a big tropical storm or a hurricane. Plus, if we leave the house for any length of time, the “shutters” help secure the house against “enemy intrusion.”

Be assured I’m going to do that dance in the Homeowners Insurance office, when negotiating my premiums.

(Plus, building the desks in panels makes them much easier to install. The modified “truck winch” that raises them in case of a storm, will help me to install them, in the first place. And since I’m doing most of the labor, I’ll take any break I can get.)

And that’s the end of the tour of the third floor.

Next time, we’ll travel even farther into the depths of the house, to reveal (gasp!) the slave areas…

You know, that horrible part of the dungeon where all the dirty dishes, socks, and  baby toys end up…

Stay tuned…

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2 Responses to “Using “garbage” to build bedrooms… The sage continues!”

  1. Ashish July 28, 2008 at 5:13 am #

    The foundations of the future legend – Ronin’s Ark.

    I can’t stop myself laughing as I imagine huge torrents of rain as Ronin stands at the gate of his house saying things like Two Bitching Humans, two fat humans, two rabbits etc. lol.

  2. arvind July 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    using garbage to build house
    thats exciting…
    dint read ur earlier [post..will do it soon when i get enough free time…

Comments are closed.