When does “BOB” become “Robert”?

27 Nov


Ye inhabitants of the Misguided Menagerie! Welcome back! Take a seat! Grab a cold drink! Write me a big check… um…er… what? Did I say that with my “outside ” voice? Ah crap…! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey… ya can’t blame a fella for tryin… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about “Bob.”

Since when did we start sending Contractor Geezers into space? Huh?

Now, I’m not talking about Bob Vila. Enough has been said about ole’ Bob to fill several books, and most of it was even “printable.”

(Okay, there was that one incident in Tucson…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

I ain’t talking about “Robert.”

Are you talking to me? ‘Cuz… I ain’t talking about DeNiro.

Nor am I referring to “Robbie.”

Man… you know times are tough when Hollywood Robots are forced to take second jobs as Alarm Clocks…

If I had HIM, he’d be doing all my ISBU fabrication, so that I wouldn’t hurt myself with power tools and plasma cutters! ๐Ÿ™‚

I ain’t even talking about “Bond Girl” Tanya Roberts

Even though she was cooler in “That 70’s” thing… If she takes a second job as an alarm clock, I want on the list! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m just talking about “BOB.” Good old “Bug Out Box”… BOB.

Now most people who play out in the woods hear “BOB” and they immediately think of a 72 hour survival kit, in a … say it with me… box.

But I’m taking it a step further. I’m suggesting that you LIVE in that box…so it’s gonna have to be a little bit larger. After all,ย  your butt is probably bigger than it was in High School, right?

So, in order to make sure that you don’t get acid rain, or maybe even rocks and bottles falling on your um…er… butt… We were talking about building an octagon out of sturdy 8′ walls, and then replacing the wall segments by plugging in Shipping Containers to fill the gap.

This could be done over time, as things quieted down, or you could just do it right from the beginning.

And, in the last few posts about “BOB,” I showed you how I’d do it, if I were you.

But, I lied. I wouldn’t do it like that. If I ever built BOB again, I’d build it differently. I’d do it like this:

I’d take that octagon for a joyride, and then I’d give it something to brag about.

You see, anyone who knows me already knows that I spend a lot of time sleeping on the couch.

It’s not because I actually like the couch, it’s because… well… let just say I’m “a handful” and leave it at that. That being the case, if the world decides to throw itself a “I’m fed up and I’m going to explode” party…ย  I at least want the option of having my own room to sleep in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Al least that way I’ll get some of the blankets… ARGH! ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, the idea here is simple. Start with a 310 square foot Octagon, and then add Shipping containers to the “openings…” to form an insect looking thing that will shelter you from the storm.

Be that storm rain, sleet, or hail, this baby will prevail!

Hey that rhymes! It’s almost like I planned that! Whoa Dude!

The idea is to build it fast, build it cheap, and built it to last.

We talked about it’s beginnings, here.

We talked about pushing the boundaries, and even the roof structure and it’s SIPs origins, here.

And now, you see the “rest of the story.”

It’s pretty self-explanatory.

You’re just adding more space, because you never know who’ll drop in unannounced.ย  It’ll be that idiot “brother-in-law” of mine, the way my luck runs. But, IF it is… after he crawls away from the beating I’m gonna give him for wrecking my Corvette in 1997…

He’ll have his own room to recuperate in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And yeah, I’m only going to build ONE bathroom. The idea is to cover the basics, and then spend the rest of your time and money doing other things, like building chicken coops, greenhouses, and windmills.

So, money is a big factor, here. If they’re close enough to show up on your porch seeking shelter, they’re close enough to get the snot beat out of them for not lowering the seat in the bathroom. Finally, my wife will have someone to yell at, besides ME…

Here’s the deal;

The ISBU additions hang on the lip of the octagonal deck, and then get welded to the box next to them.ย  (2) Sonotube pilings are placed, (1) at each corner, to hold up “the ugly end.”ย  Now, put two more pilings about halfway between both ends.

(ISBUs FLEX, so they’ll “bounce” if you don’t support the floor at least every 10′ or so. Laugh now, but when your drywall starts cracking, your windows start leaking, or your stuff starts shifting around, your wife will make you miserable until you fix it… I guarantee!)

Plus… now you have a house with crawlspaces, that you can cram stuff under… stuff like the dogs, chickens, goats, pesky door-to-door salesmen, Amway Ladies, unruly schoolkids, Girl Scouts selling cookies for $17 a box (“Thin Mints…” my butt. The only thing that they thin is your wallet!), your loud-mouthed relatives… you name it.

And, its a good place to stuff your toys, too.

If you do it right, and you use your noggin… you still won’t exceed the capacity of that fancy HVAC system I described in the previous post.

And best of all, the basic structure isn’t going to cost you more than about $25 grand to build, and it will last for decades.

With the help of three friends and your significant other to help nag you to freakin’… um… er… “keep you on the right track…” (Gawd… I hate it when my wife looks over my shoulder when I type… “Hi Honey! See? I put you in the post…”) to set the containers, you can build all by yourself… it in a month, or… one container at a time…

Stay tuned.

9 Responses to “When does “BOB” become “Robert”?”

  1. Dave in Larryville November 26, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    Good stuff Maynerd… er… I mean Ronin!

  2. Dave Yates November 26, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Hmmmm…. building a container home and maybe making the core octagon 2 levels, so you could put container top patios up there?

    Ronin, could you just afix some sheet steel panels on top of the container top frame, and put the ol’ umbrella and outdoor loungers up there?

    • renaissanceronin November 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

      HI Dave,

      You certainly could do that, but it would require a lot more engineering on that center octagon section. The idea behind “BOB” is to do it fast, with basic hand tools, and to do it “on the cheap.”

      Additionally, most people will want some kind of pitched roof over the containers, to allow for “weather shedding…”

      Plus, it provides handy attic storage space in each “wing.”

      But there’s no reason that you couldn’t section off a hunk of that container top, reinforce the roof, and build a “penthouse view” terrace…

      Rooftop gardens are VERY cool… and out of reach of the local critters…


  3. Andy in Germany November 27, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    I like the floor plan, and I REALLY like the idea of the office corridor to bedroom- that’s my kind of commute.

    Alas with land prices in Germany in double/triple figures per square metre I doubt I could even have a house so expansive.

    It’d be an interesting basis for an arts centre though- lots of studios, sunny studios for visual arts and non-sunny for other stuff, and a stage out front. Hmm…

    Just realised my youngest son is in the kitchen and quiet, so I’d better go and find out what he’s up to…

    • renaissanceronin November 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

      You know, I never thought of that…

      Ths IS a cool way to build a small “Art Guild” or frankly, a little commerce center! Andy, you’re a genius! ๐Ÿ™‚

      See? It’s just one more way that ISBUs (Shipping Containers) can make a difference!

      Live in ’em… Work in ’em… Heck… just store all yer crap in ’em… just USE THEM! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And Andy, this whole house isn’t but 60′ wide… Wait, lemme grab my calculator… that’s 18.28 meters and change… and a little less deep.

      (Um… I’ve been accused of being “a little less deep…) Hmmm… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      But for just pennies, you COULD build a profit center this way.

      But those Planning and Zoning Nazi’s would make you build another bathroom…. Grrrr!


  4. Madrigorne December 1, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I really like this. It looks like more of a hexagon to me overall but I still like it. I might build this first and stack one up on each wing additionally – with hatches and ladder access – I have a whole lotta of brothers and sisters, as well as nieces and nephews and cousins and parents and step parents and inlaws…
    I would dig a basement, or coopt an existing basement/foundation that some tornado tore asunder, and put all the “facilities” down there – bathrooms, laundry, root cellar, tardis, furnace, water heater, pipes, cables, ducts, conduits, et cetera…
    I might employ my crazy silo as a cistern to keep water flowing and water pressure up – just in case the summer finds the well going dry, but add crenelations to the top to make it look more medieval tower – in keeping with the Corten Castle theme… and hey since I’m at it pop a Helical wind turbine on top of it to dual purpose pump water and generate electricity. If I am lucky – maybe there will be more than one silo to repurpose… I would also try for those awesome photovoltaic roofing shingles and pitched pointy rooftops. Spray foam insulate the exterior and clad it in tudor style stucco with dovetailed timbers at the corners…
    I’d better start making a list…

    • renaissanceronin December 2, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

      Hi Madrigorne,

      Leave it to you… next you’ll be telling me that you’re gonna build it on a craggy piece of rockstrewn property, high above the tree lines… where the wind howls – but nobody hears it… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Muwahahahahhh! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And I’d believe YOU. You’re one of the most motivated people I know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It sounds like a “haunted village” to me, the way you describe it. Better build two. I want one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I bet after people read my posts, that’s exactly the kind of place they imagine I live!

      But, you WILL keep the sheep out in the yard, right? No pot bellied pigs running amuck down the halls?

      And NO “ATTACK CATS” PROWLING THE PERIMETER! Cats scare me… ;(

      That’s gonna be some list…

      Happy Holidays, you crazy person, you! ๐Ÿ™‚



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