Tag Archives: shipping containers

Framing

Our friends joined us again on Saturday to help us get ahead on the house. Marlow was a contractor for a long time, and the ever-awesome Kat is always game for helping.

I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago, and it was throbbing pretty badly, so I got to sit (sort of–I was all excited and kept hopping up to look at things) and photo-document. I can’t thank our friends enough for all their help. Guys, you know when you’re ready to build, we are there!

Initially, we were wondering if there wasn’t a way to get away with not framing every wall, but the reality is, it’s good building practice because it works. Framing gives you something to run electric on, adds little cubbies for the insulation, and gives you a way to attach whatever finish (drywall, paneling, etc) you want. Plus, you need studs to have something easy to hang pictures from!

Note: We didn’t finish the bathroom or the kitchen. Hubs is finishing those as I type. Pictures to come.

We did not do studs the standard 18 inches apart. The reason for this is that our containers are providing all of the structural integrity of the house. The studs in our case are, again, for ease of insulation installation and running electric. We did them every four feet, except in the kitchen–we’re doing those standard so the cabinets will be secure.

In all fairness, it may be hard to tell from these photos–but when you are standing in it, the space feels very large. There are no hallways or wasted space, which helps.

Framing the first wall. Moo Moo is helping.

Framing the first wall. Moo Moo is helping.

A view from the dining area.

A view from the dining area. Those posts in the middle are temporary supports. They will be removed when the support beam is welded in place on the roof.

More of framing the first wall.

More of framing the first wall.

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The door into the bedroom, before it was finished...

The door into the bedroom, before it was finished…

Kat and Marlow cutting some wood.

Kat and Marlow cutting some wood.

Bathroom door to the left, bedroom to the right. The bathroom is framed for a two-foot pocket door, which means you have to allow a four-foot space initially.  The bedroom is a standard door width (32inches, I think). It will have a barn door.

Bathroom door to the left, bedroom to the right. The bathroom is framed for a two-foot pocket door, which means you have to allow a four-foot space initially. The bedroom is a standard door width (32 inches, I think). It will have a barn door.

I now know that framing standard walls is pretty easy–it’s framing for doors that takes a little more time.

There will also be a door from the bathroom to the bedroom. When you walk into the bedroom from the living area, you’ll be looking straight at the closet, so you’ll turn right to go farther into the room.

After getting the walls up, I actually felt like, “Oh, hey, there’s even more room than I thought. There’s even space for a little office zone for me.”

All in all, coming from the person who did no work, this was pretty cool. It was neat seeing how framing is really done. It’s also not super complicated. It seemed kind of like sewing–measure twice, cut once. And keep your body parts out of the nail gun’s way…

The following are just because I can:

Kitty approved.

Kitty approved. 

She got tired.

She got tired.

 

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Laundry

You know, I like to consider myself resourceful. Able to take on any challenge. Creative. Capable. Awes–

Um. Anyway. Back to the point.

When we first moved onto our property we had no way to do laundry. We had water, and we had a washer and dryer in storage, but there was no water line (just a water hose from the pressure tank in the well to the camper) and no wiring for electricity. We did have a cinderblock outbuilding which was structurally very solid, but which desperately needed a new roof.

I, being the sweet and slightly delusional wife I am, told Scott, “I can wash our laundry in a bucket. Plenty of people do it. It’s summer, so I can just hang the clothes to dry. You have plenty of other stuff to do without dealing with hooking up a washer and dryer.” I mean, my grandmothers grew up doing laundry by hand. Hard, sure, but just a part of life…right?

Picture this: it’s May, so summer-ish. I have a whole load of regular laundry to wash. I have a bucket. I have an old concrete foundation by the well house that I think will be perfect to set up on. I fill said bucket with water and a little soap, put the clothes in, and agitate for several minutes, then leave them to soak awhile. After a bit more agitation, I dump the water, add fresh, and agitate to remove the soap.

Problems: I am soaking wet within three minutes from a mixture of splashing water on myself and the summer humidity of Arkansas. There are bugs everywhere. There is vegetation everywhere, and I can’t figure out where all these rusty old-fashioned nails on the ground came from (I’ve had a tetanus shot, thank God), and did I mention that I have a bucket of wet clothes I need to hang on a line? Did you know clothes that have not been spun in a washer are heavy? Yeah. Like they weigh down the clothes line to within an inch of the ground, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the dog from grabbing a pair of my lacy unmentionables and running off. My clothes line, along with my very obvious camper, is also just in sight of the road, so I’m trying to determine where exactly we rank on the redneck scale and whether putting my nicer pieces of clothing on more obvious display increases or decreases our score.

Note to self: Your grandmother may have done this, but folks used to own way fewer articles of clothing. And they were washed less frequently. 

Ring, ring–

“Hey, baby. What’s up?”

“Yeah…about me handwashing our laundry. I just did a load, and I think I was being unrealistic about the chances of that happening often enough to keep us in clean clothes…”

“Oh, I know. I’ve already got the washing machine in the truck. I’ll get it hooked up within a few days.”

Good man, my husband. Smart too.

Happy New Year

The new year has me pondering, as I’m sure it does many of you.

You know, when we sold our house in late 2013 and moved into the camper, I thought it would take three months to find land and build a simple, but liveable, structure. Being the practical-minded person I am, I prepared for six months. It’s been 13.

After spending the entire calendar year of 2014 in “transitional housing” I’m ready for the next phase of our living arrangement. Honestly, some days, I think I’m going to take up drinking before we get there.

But then I think, if we’d built a regular building, as we’d intended, we’d be spending nearly triple the amount we’ve estimated for the cargo container. We’d have a 15 (if not 30-year) mortgage. And it would take easily 2-3 times as long to build.

So, you know…it’s been worth the wait, I think. I’m happy to say 2015 will be about something besides buying or selling or building. It’s going to be about living. And sharing some of that living with you, kind readers.

UPDATES

Of course, I know what you’re really interested in are some updates. Well, I’ve only got a tiny one. As you may know, it’s been raining for approximately 29,408,209 days. Or a week. Whatever. Since our first step is welding, and Hubs is not going to weld in the rain, we’ve been in a holding pattern. However, tomorrow afternoon is supposed to be dry. If welding happens, I’ll  let you know.

Since it’s been raining for so long, and since we’re mostly shaded, and since the containers scraped up the ground as they were moved…it’s muddy, y’all. So, for Christmas, Scott put in stepping stone all the way from the parking area to the front of the camper. It’s the best gift I could have asked for.

Cranes, trains, and automobiles bb

The crane guy was supposed to meet me at 9 this morning. At 8:15, he texted me saying he’d driven by early, and was sorry to say he didn’t have any equipment small enough for my job. His tone was very professional and genuinely apologetic–and I give him props for swinging by early on a Monday. He suggested we call a local construction company that he knew had smaller cranes.

Despite it being my first full day on vacation from the day job, I’m ready for this project to get going, so when I received that text, I looked up the number and gave it a ring. I left a message, but you know how that goes–on a Monday morning, I figured I might not hear back until tomorrow. Imagine my joy when Pat (that’s his name) called me within an hour and was able to meet me this afternoon (!!!).

The very pleasant and professional Pat came by and chatted with me while we walked around for him to assess the situation. He said he feels forklifts are really a last resort, and while we have room for one of his smaller ones, we’ve still got enough trees (even after all the unfortunate tree surgery that’s occurred) to be just a little problematic.

HOWEVER.

He has an all-terrain forklift that he said will do the job easily. AND they can do it sometime this week. He’s heading to another job site, then will go to the office and check the calendar and call me to schedule.

After all our setbacks with moving these things, I am so, so grateful to have some good news, and to have had a professional person come out at no cost and tell me with certainty his company could do it.

Oh, and his company can also move the 4th one we put at our storage facility–and at a much lower price than I’d gotten from anyone else.

Hallelujah.