Because the %#$@!! Gunny Said So… that’s why!

19 Dec

We’ve been running a Christmas Soil Cube Tool giveaway.

It ended last night (December 18th) at midnight.

And the winner is:

Walter Daniels.

Walter, watch your email. You should get a confirmation from the Soil Cube Guru, to arrange the delivery!

Congrats, Walter! Happy Holidays!

Now on to our regularly scheduled program.

From the “What are those Container Home guys working on?” files;

Project Morgana:

I was recently contacted by a couple who had purchased my book:

Introduction to Container Homes and Buildings

The wife had just taken early retirement – because her company was moving all it’s tech support jobs to  India. She was told that she could keep her job… if she was willing to relocate.

And I’m not talking about a relocation to Cleveland. I’m talking about moving to Mumbai!

There are words to describe “corporate right-sizing” but I’d have to wash my mouth out with soap if I mentioned them.

Needless to say, she didn’t take them up on their “generous offer.”

Her husband is retired military and gets a pension. He’s what we affectionately refer to as a “bullet-catcher”. He has my thanks for a life dedicated to serving his country. G_d bless him!

This left them with the ability to do something they always wanted. They were going to head for the hills! They love the mountains in the Spring.

Now, those hills are within their reach!

Big hills! Sierra sized hills! I’ve spent a lot of time in the area they are relocating (albeit “part-time”) to. Some of the best climbing and hiking in the world is just outside their doorstep. And while they won’t be strapping on any climbing harnesses any time soon, they’ll be able to wake each day to a portrait only capable of being painted by G_d.

I envy them tremendously.

“Spring in the Sierras”. It sounds like a song title, huh?

They wanted to create a “SMALL” house, that would allow them room to move around, yet was easy to manage. They didn’t plan on entertaining (it’s part of WHY they were moving to the hills part-time) and they wanted to do it “bare bones” but not TINY house style.

Morgana just wanted it to be “dog friendly”. They have a dog getting on in years  and she didn’t want him to have a hard time navigating the new space.

The Gunny” made it clear that he hates “parasites”… you know… “like local utility workers and postmen who deliver power bills“… So, “off-grid” was the mandate.

They wanted to capture the spirit of those wonderful “tiny house projects” that they had followed for years, but they didn’t want to have to climb any ladders to go to bed and they needed some extra space “for those days when you just don’t want to see your hubby laying around in his skivvies.”

So, I tried to capture the feel of some of those terrific Tiny Houses (like the ones perpetuated by “pallet-headed ilk” like Michael Janzen on his site – Tiny House Design ) while making the space large enough to avoid any impending “Fruit of the Loom” crisis.

Water comes from a well on the property powered by – say it with me – a photovoltaic panel array and electric pump.

Sewer is handled by a pre-existing septic tank system and leech field.

Note the slope of the “almost a gable” roof.

Low voltage lights and appliances (augmented by propane as a “tank farm” already exists on the property) will run off power produced by a rooftop photovoltaic array.

The sun will also supply all the home’s domestic hot water requirements. The water tank will be tucked up into the attic.

Gravity is a good thing!

We maximized one roofplane to provide the area required for that “Photovoltaic farm” –  to allow Morgana and her cranky hubby to generate their own power from the sun.

A stormwater collection cistern fed by the roof slope will irrigate the family’s vegetable, herb  and “native” flower gardens.

And, that roof is still steep enough to shed both rain and the occasional snow flurry.

By using PV Panel “risers” we’ll create a plenum under the panels to help cool the SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) – SSMR (Standing Seam Metal Roof) on those hot summer days, further reducing the insulation work load. Plus, we get that  surface great area for water retention and that means water harvested for the garden!

High efficiency windows throughout. Lots of windows on the south side will increase solar heat gain in winter.

Hardiplank siding (run vertically) over SPF (what else?) means high efficiency and low maintenance.

This exterior maintenance plan is important, because “The Gunny” offered to “kill me two *$#@!! times” if I built him something that required him climbing up onto a ladder in his lifetime.

Um… I know Marines… He means it!

Also note that there is NO wood stove or fireplace. “The Gunnythreatened to use my head for a  quote – “%^*$@!! wood splitting wedge” – unquote …

… if I failed to figure something out that didn’t involve him “fetching %*^#@!! firewood”.

Personally, I think perhaps ole’ Gunny needs a mouthful of soap.

And man… Marines are kinda violent! Who knew?

Anyway, fearing for my personal safety…

A “Mini Split HVAC Unit” will heat this incredibly energy efficient home without any extra heat source required. Now “The Gunny” won’t have to break a sweat “trying to pound me into trail mix”…

Not shown is a waist-high “suspended garden”.

Gardening is a great hobby, some would even go so far as to say it’s therapy…

For some of us, it’s um… a necessity.

… but let’s face it – it can be backbreaking work. In the front yard of  Project Morgana is a “vertical garden” that attaches to the pilings actually holding the house up off the ground.

In this “suspended garden” are a series of planter trays that make gardening a breeze. No bending, no stooping, no cursing like a Marine…

Well, okay, “The Gunny” will still probably curse. I just hope the corn covers it’s ears!

(Oh stop groaning, you were thinking it too!)

Potted plants can be dropped into many different sized trays to create a colorful wall of fragrant flowers AND a handy outdoor pantry full of tasty veggies perched up off the ground, so the critters can’t eat ‘em… and the dawg can’t help water them…

And, once they start to ripen, you can open a window from inside to reach out and harvest them!

(And if Bambi comes to visit your salad greens? You can reach out that window and drag him right into the kitchen!) 🙂

Enough for now…

You’re seeing this project “as it evolves”… so feel free to ask questions or even make comments.

And I got my bar of soap ready for you “potty-mouthed jarheads”!

You’ve been warned.

Stay tuned.

And relax…

Michael knows I’m just kidding him. We’re pals.

And sure… that obviously means he’s not too discriminatory when he chooses his friends…


3 Responses to “Because the %#$@!! Gunny Said So… that’s why!”

  1. Lisa December 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Sweet! It reminds me of my own little house!

  2. Dave December 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Yep… that’s a dandy design Alex. Like it lots…



    Happy Hannukah!

    • Renaissance Ronin December 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

      It’s cool, for sure.

      Think about what this house could do…

      And Dude… Hanukkah is already a memory! You really gotta keep up, ya Gentile, you!! 🙂

      Are ya staying warm?


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