When politicians screw up your housing plans…

4 Dec

Now I know that you’ve been following along, acting like “cyber-stalkers,” as my family builds an affordable “alternative home” in Hicksville… um… er… South Mississippi. It’s okay, you can stalk us. We ain’t scared…

That’s not such a big deal, right?

Not the “stalking part…” The “building a home out of garbage” part… C’mon! Pay attention! I’m not writing all this stuff just to stroke my own gigantic, mega-meal sized ego, right? Well… maybe I am, but you still better keep reading! I’ve trapped your IP address, and I know where you live! LOL!

Well, we’re building our house out of shipping containers, and reclaimed steel salvaged from old aircraft hangars. And, that makes it unbelievably complicated, in the eyes of the locals. You see, we’re completing it using recycled cabinets, doors, and plumbing fixtures we harvested from re-models, and tear-downs. Hey! We’re poor. So, we need to make do, with what we can find. Our home is designed to be environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and green, green, green. And, to make matters worse (for the local authorities) we needed to be able to augment, or even completely power our home in an affordable and environmentally safe way. That means solar panels (photovoltaics) and maybe even a windmill.

Oy Vay! You’d think that we’re trying to build a nuclear weapon! But, we’ve become the talk of the town (neighbors are circulating a petition to get us exiled to “the north”) and we’re stirring up all kinds of controversy. So, suffice to say, Ronin is particularly pleased with himself, and has those poor rednecks right where he wants them…  Muuuwwwahahh!

Seriously, I thought I had it all figured out.  But, they don’t pay me to think, and I’m apparently an orifice, and not the oracle I thought I was. Because I never saw it coming…

Just when you think it’s okay to get back in the water…

They changed the rules.

The house we wanted to build has been banned because it’s “too large.” The rules for the main grant we’ve applied for now states that the home can be no larger than 2,800 square feet (of living space.) The ground floor can only be used for garages and storage, and doesn’t count in the 2,800 square foot number.

Most of this comes from new FEMA rulings about homes built within floodplains. I suspect that this is because some of the grant money is coming from the “federal rebuilding pool.” Anyway, for whatever reason, we’re back to square one.

So, I went back to my filing cabinet, and pulled out my favorite modular plan, from those gurus are hiveMODULAR.com. After twisting it a bit, it’s going to become the new container floorplan, for our house. This is actually the house we should have built all along, in keeping with “effective, affordable, and green.”

But, somebody threw enough containers at me to build the Titanic, and I tried to used them… all. LOL!

Anyway, I’m scrambling, doing everything I can to get new drawings and renderings ready, to go before the “powers that be” again. And, the house we’ll build, will look something like the floorplans I’m gonna show you, today.

Now, before you start screaming about “architectural design theft,” and “Oooh, those guys are gonna sic lawyers on you…” I already told the guys at hiveMODULAR what I’m up to. Paul Stankey at hiveMODULAR and I have been communicating, and although he didn’t exactly give me his blessing, the conversation went like this:

I appreciate you inserting credit where due.  It is not everyday people offer that kind of credit.  We are used to people just blindly stealing ideas, so thanks.  The only thing I require you to do is you have to make certain it looks and works good.  Too many times people steal ideas and tweak/subvert them such that the end result is much worse than their own ideas….

Keep me updated as progress continues….”    Paul Stankey – hiveMODULAR.com

So, basically, he won’t have me killed, unless I screw up his design, and make it look like he’s an idiot! And we already know who the idiot is, here… huh?  And it ain’t Paul. LOL!

Seriously, Paul could not be a nicer guy. In a time where the economy is hemmoraging construction failures, and projects are dying a miserable death before they even get off hardworking architect’s desks, he has been nothing but kind and helpful to me, without asking for so much as a cold beer in return. I’m gonna owe this guy big, before this is through.
So, without further adieu, here’s a quick peek at what the future holds in store for us, here in “Backwaterville.”
kleinhaus-garage-levelkleinhaus-mainkleinhaus-bdrm-levelOver the next few days, I’ll start describing “what goes where,” and why. Additionally, we’ll talk about how we power this beast, and how it will help us live with the land, “in a constant state of bliss.”
Stay Tuned!
The Renaissance Ronin

3 Responses to “When politicians screw up your housing plans…”

  1. Johnny Peepers December 5, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Right on bro. There are a couple of those type of cribs in my neck of the woods. I applaud you for going that route for your dwelling space. To heck with FEMA, building codes, and flood plains – the last I checked this was a free country. Of course, my research is restricted to the 1800’s.

    • renaissanceronin December 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

      Hey Johnny,

      I miss those days (well, I’m almost that old, on some days). Back then, I could have just built a fence, and built whatever I wanted and to hell with the neighbors, huh? LOL!

      How else can you build a “buckshot-proof” abode that keeps the rain off your head, and makes the neighbors mad, at the same time? I love America! LOL!

      Thanks for the comment.

      PS. I read your blog. Good stuff! You’ll fit right in here! LOL!

  2. johnny January 1, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    Thanks for good post!

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