It’s… 48 Feet of Frustration – times 2!

20 Oct

Greetings, you Corten Crusaders, You!

You all know who I am, already. I’m the guy building a home for his family, using shipping containers. And, that means that I’m “fighting city hall” tooth and nail. So, as I fight my fight, I’m helping other people build their own Shipping Container houses.

You’ve read about the “treehouse” project.

We’re taking segments of High Cube Shipping Containers (measuring from 16′ – 24′), and creating small modules, that, once reunited… will make up a small “village.”

You’ve read about the “Not in my backyard, you miserable bastard” project…

That would be mine. It’s a project fraught with “peril and politicians”.

I’ve dazzled you with the South Carolina – “3-2-1” project…

We’re building the “ultimate steel starter house,” for a new family… out of pocket.

You’ve read about our project in Alabama…

We’re giving a really nice lady and her 3 kids a home after her husband paid the ultimate price for his heroism and patriotism… G_d bless him and the U.S. Marines…

Now, I give you… the “48′ of frustration times two!” project! 🙂

Every once iJSn a while, you get involved in a project that decides to bite you in the butt, every time you turn around.

Today, I’m going to tell you a story, about a really nice lady who has suffered her share of set-backs, as she tries to build her ISBU  home.

She started this as a “married lass”, but that changed, as marriages often do.

She started this, with the idea that she wanted to do something “cool and different”, but the budget “dematerialized”, as budgets often do.

She started this as a way to live in the woods, and commune with nature, but nature has a way of biting you on the butt, too…

So, having to do this (essentially as a single girl), we’re starting over.

This is a hard one, folks.

This is a lady that works with autistic kids, and spends most of her time  helping children who really, really need help. So, in my view, this is a woman we really need to help. As a father, I can really appreciate her and her struggles.

A while back, we started building a home for a small family in South Carolina, using (3) 40′ High Cube ISBUs. The yield was about 927 usable square feet of single story home, with a terrific terrace on the roof.

We laid three ISBU’s side by side, and gutted most of the interior walls, to form a big cavity. Then, we filled it back up, with a
bath/kitchen/utility core, and a few partition walls.

We ended up with a  (3) ISBU – 2 bedroom – 1 bath house, hence the name; “3-2-1”.

Now, “North Carolina” is using 48′ containers. So… she gets some additional square footage. And, it looks like we’re going to spin the 3-2-1 plan, and do it again, with a few subtle changes.

Now this home, which will measure out at over 1,100 square feet, will be similar to the 3-2-1, but with several little twists;

We’ll use (2) 48′ High Cube ISBU’s and we’ll frame in between them. Why? Because in this case it’s actually cheaper to wood frame the gap, than to fill it with another container. Plus, it’s one less container to have to cut the sides out of. You have no idea how much work that is. 8′ floor joists, and similar trusses will close things off.

The home will sit on a (gasp!) conventional foundation. Originally, we were going to float it on pilings, but all the cards ended up being stacked against us.

SIPs get used on the roof, just like many of the ISBU homes that we build.

Beyond the extra square footage…

  • The Great Room gets a breakfast bar along the fireplace wall.
  • An elevated hearth allows for seating beside the fire, with a wood box built into the bench.
  • The sectional sofa is wrapped by bookcases that provide for storage and art displays.
  • We’ll use an elevated double sided fireplace, that views into the bathroom as well as the Great Room.

No, we’re not going to actually BUILD a fireplace, we’re going to use a pre-fab double-sided box.

Why? Because they are on sale, almost everywhere in America right now.

The pedestal tub will be positioned so that you can lay there, and watch the fire, as you soak in the tub after a long days work.

The bathroom corridor houses a built in refrigerator, a built in stacked washer/dryer, a full pantry, a laundry closet, a storage
closet, and an ample hot water heater.

On the other side of that corridor are the two bedrooms.

The bedrooms are pretty standard, but one gets a little better organizer closet. Guess which room is for the girl? 🙂

We aren’t certain yet, but it looks like each bedroom will also get a pair of sliding glass doors leading out to a small 8′ x 16′ deck.

This will provide a landing for the exit doors on each side of the house, as well.

Strip windows will fill the north walls, and we’ll place them at eye level to provide a panoramic view of the hillside behind the house.

Across the front of the house, we’re going to build a greenhouse, that is 8′ deep. This will allow produce production, as well as provide a toasty solar heat source in the wintertime.

Remember that when you build a sunspace onto your house, it’s between the house and the outside. By enclosing the south wall in a sunspace, you are able to use salvaged or low-cost doors and windows, instead of those pricey energy efficient beauties that keep trying to grab your wallet at Home Depot.  So, you save some hard earned cash, to be chinked away at as you prowl the clearance aisles at Lowe’s!

And rest assured that we’ll be looking at those clearance aisles every chance we get. The budget is “bare-bones” so we’re going to barter and recycle everything that we possibly can.

And this will also provide an opportunity for people wanting to build their own ISBU homes to volunteer.

What better way to learn, than to help someone else build their home?

Any takers?

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

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