This Chicken don’t lay eggs…

17 Feb

Lately I’m working on three projects at the same time, each one extremely different than the others.

So, I find myself looking at a lot of stuff built globally, looking carefully at how they (say it with me…) re-used, recycled and repurposed materials.

You’d be amazed at the creative ways that some resourceful people incorporate “a little of this and a little of that” to bump up the “Coolness Factor” and keep that building budget on a diet.

So, as I currently spend a lot of research time looking at cabins and small homes that should inspire us all, I give you:

The Chicken Point Cabin

ThisΒ  is a cool one.Β  Note the use of the large garage door as a movable wall, to open the views up to the lake.

Let’s face it. The cabin has great lines and the use of natural elements and it’s rustic nature just makes it look like it was always there.

(In fact, when I first looked at it, I thought it was someone’s idea of a really cool Forestry Building.)

The guys used a lot of recycled industrial equipment and even some ladder pipes to trick this lil lakeside beauty out.

How many things do you see in this cabin that you could incorporate into a Corten Classic?

I saw several, starting with that “garage door” wall…

BTW: Again, this very cool cabin is called the Chicken Point Cabin project, and it was designed by Olson Kundig Architects.


15 Responses to “This Chicken don’t lay eggs…”

  1. Jeremiah February 17, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    You would find this cabin. This is one of my favorite homes – well designed, simple and elegant. In other words, what we should all aspire to build but so rarely get the opportunity. Nice post.

    • Renaissance Ronin February 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Hey, you know what they say…

      Insane people all think alike…

      wait… that’s not it.

      “Great Minds Think Alike”… Yeah, that’s the one… πŸ˜‰

      I still think it ought to be a forestry cabin… πŸ™‚

      Inspiring, isn’t it?

  2. john PARKER February 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    really a beautiful use of recycled materials. i work around heavy machinery a lot and think about ways to incorporate it into a home. really steel is strong enough structually to do whatever you want with it i think.
    the space isnt very big square foot wise is it? but the high ceilings make it feel bigger then some 4000 square foot homes i suspect. thats what i want to do πŸ™‚
    nice high ceilings but small enough to feel cozy. looks like 20ft ceilings? what is the roof made out of? looks like its one peice in the first picture. like it πŸ™‚

  3. john PARKER February 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    o ya, love the concrete flooring! another thing i want to do πŸ™‚
    is it a concrete overlay of an inch or 2 or the original slab?

  4. ted yrizarry February 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Kinda digging it. Really like the door opening mech as well.

  5. john PARKER February 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    wondering how much it would cost for me to build that block wall….

    • Renaissance Ronin February 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      I’d figure about a buck-fifty per block… πŸ˜‰

      IF you shop smart and do most of that labor yourself.

      BTW: Laying concrete block is a great way to “punish unruly kids”…

      “You’re grounded until this here wall goes from here… to there…” πŸ˜‰

  6. john PARKER February 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    hm… says they are 98 cents online at lowes. not counting tool expenses and permit expenses and motar or footer costs…that means a 25×25 structure with 15 ft wall would cost….1687.50 cents plus tax. not bad for 625ft of space right?
    the question is how MUCH is all that concrete going to be for a foundation of such a building? πŸ™‚
    i have no idea how to estimate that. i know its sold by the bag or buy the yard…. but thats all i know 😦

    • Renaissance Ronin February 19, 2011 at 2:03 am #


      You CAN buy concrete block for under a buck a block (and less if you shop carefully), but you’ll still need to factor in the costs of steel (rebar), mortar, concrete, and that slab (footed) that you’ll have to set it on. Don’t forget to factor in the Lanacaine and back ointment… πŸ˜‰

      You can’t just drop it on dirt, either.

      Even if you only shoot a 4″ slab (I’d shoot at LEAST 6″), you’re talking about 8 yards of concrete (not counting the footings). There’s another $750 or so (YMMV). You still haven’t put a roof on, so don’t put your checkbook away quite yet.

      If it was ME, I’d plan carefully, measuring the distance of a trio of boxes (because that gives you a really comfortable “space” to build from) placed tightly side by side x whatever ceiling height I wanted, and then fly boxes off the top using a stem wall or evenly spaced pilings on the “wild side”. Using 40′ – 48′ boxes, NOW you have an opportunity to get a cool entry staircase (enclosed against any weather), an easily reclaimed garage space (covered) and a ground level utility/shop space with ample storage.

      Now… add those big truck doors (insulated, please) as movable walls, and you have a terrific space perched to take in the views and thumb it’s nose at Mother Nature.

      Not to mention the possibility of a rooftop garden, panel farm” and cool, low-maintenance SSMR roof.

      Just a thought…

  7. Jeremiah February 19, 2011 at 4:42 am #

    You’re also going to need to talk to a structural engineer (at minimum) and preferably an architect/designer to talk about layout and function of spaces, materials, etc. It’s certainly in your best interests.
    For the foundation, do not buy concrete by the bag….you’ll be mixing concrete from now till Kindgom Come. After talking to an engineer, build out your forms, set your rebar and get a cement truck out to your property and pour the foundation. You’ll save time and ultimately money because your slab will be uniform and far less likely to crack and fail due to non-uniform pouring.
    Good luck with whatever project you’re working out.

    • Renaissance Ronin February 19, 2011 at 5:33 am #

      Ah C’mon…

      You’re taking all the sport out of it!

      Admit it, if you do all that stuff… you throw out all the bragging rights and the tormented tales you can tell your kids.

      “When I was yer age, I walked two miles uphill in da snow to school, both ways. Then, when I got home, I carried a thousand bags of concrete from way down by the highway der and then mixed each one in water I hauled up from the ribber, a 5 gallon bucket at a time. And I opened those bags of concrete with me teeth, I did… πŸ™‚

      In fact the statue in the yard ain’t really a statue. It’s yer aunt. Da got mad cause she complained so much and he doused her in concrete to teach her a lesson. Who knew it’d get so hard she couldn’t gnaw her way out? πŸ˜‰

  8. Jeremiah February 19, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Haha! While I’m all for bragging rights and puttin a good muzzle on the nagging Aunt (i hear it works well for wives too ;-)), I’m a little more worried about someone building a) a foundation that won’t support a proper load and b) building a wall that won’t support a home…we are tasked with ensuring the health safety and welfare after all. πŸ˜‰
    DIY is almost always the way to go for me, but John sounds like he has a very steep learning curve to overcome before he starts tackling a full on construction build. knowhatimsayin!? πŸ™‚

  9. john PARKER February 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    all good advice, thankyou guys. πŸ™‚
    stone and concrete i think will be a big player for me in building, no matter what i decide to do.
    talking to a structual engineer or architect? that sounds expensive to me, and expensive isnt in my budget. i am in a trade and i understand the saying “you get what you pay for” literally, but the whole point of this is to be self reliant and sustainable i thought, and laying all the heavy pencil pushing work on somone else seems out of line with those goals.
    am i wrong?

  10. john PARKER February 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    i dont think therre are to many people left in this world, or at least the united states, that cam say they built their own home. and with internet research and books upon books at lowes for sale, there really is no excuse to figure it out yourself anymore. every one have a good night!!!

  11. Jeremiah February 22, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    I like how you pointed out the age old saying “you get what you pay for”. In this case what you’re paying for is the peace of mind that your home will stand up. To me, that’s worth the minor expense of talking with a structural engineer. Not to mention it’s almost always necessary in order to get a permit in the US, especially if building with concrete, stone and block. You’ve got coursing, rebar, forms and footings to size and design. For a single family home of modest size (between 1000-2000 sf) you’re maybe looking at around $1000 for structural services. This is money well spent in my book.
    The same goes for speaking with an architect/designer. I’m not saying it’s necessary to have an architect or designer do all of the drawings for you and work with the engineer (even though that is the ideal situation), but an architect will be able to help you with ideas on how to best organize your space to get the most “bang for your buck”. A well designed, or well laid out, space will cost less and function better. And a consulting fee to talk to an architect or designer isn’t going to be much either. Maybe $100-300 for a fairly in depth conversation and some sketches of ideas to get you moving in the right direction.
    So, say you lay out $1500 for your house. What are you getting for that money? Well, you’re getting a home that works, that functions the way you want/need it to, and a home that will stand up and stand the test of regulating agencies.
    DIY is important, self reliance and self sufficiency are important and not being saddled with a mortgage is important. But in this instance, I think you’re practicing a little of the “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. That $1500 spent, in the long run, will save you countless time and additional expense down the road.
    Good luck with your build.

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