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John's Cottage and Hot Tub Structure --- Built by Dale

Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
I couldn't call this one Dales' Cottage, since I already started a thread by that name.

This is one that I built for a guy named John. I'm doing some other work to the property in the next little while, so this thread will document the changes. It's a small property in the city, so this will complete its development. The first 20 photos are of what we built last summer and the year before. Other things will be presented as they are built.


John is a hard core scrounge who is so tight with his money that he squeaks when he walks. Between my scrounging and his, most things we are doing include lots of salvaged materials either from my demolitions or stuff John has picked up from friends and from construction sites or from the many free piles that adorn Victoria's streets every weekend. Even the new materials you see, are items he has had lying around for some time. We are going to bang these materials together and then he swears that that is it, the property will be full. Leftovers will be given away.

John helps me with all of the projects, in order to save money and because he enjoys learning how things are done. I charge him $25 per hour which is less than others pay. The deal is that we work on his stuff whenever I don't have other work. All of this is happening just in time, since a neurological disorder is advancing at a rate which might make this impossible for him in as little as two years. All of the big rocks and pavers that you'll see, were moved to the property by John when he was a robust landscaper and jack of a few other trades. This spring and summer will be John's last hurah at the manly art of building. I'm glad to be involved. Luckily, his coordination is not affected nearly so much as his strength, so he expects to handle maintainance for a long time. His 20 something son is a great kid and helps out on breaks from university.

I will now load a ton of pictures and explain them later.

The Photos

1. View of the cottage from just behind the house. The cottage is only about 130 sq ft. on the interior but generous window area and light and the cathedral ceiling make it feel larger. The porch adds to the space.

2. The roof continues well past the front steps and porch. Notice the angle of the furthest left portion of the roof. The roof protrudes further out at the peak than at the eaves. This makes it look somewhat like the prow of a boat.

3. The roof overhang at the back of the cottage is about 3 feet wide. Ladders and other things are stored under this shelter. For a small building, the roof overhangs are huge. This is more effective in preventing water problems with siding, windows and doors than any fancy calking ever could. Maintainance of every component is lessened by keeping the weather off of it.



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QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The photos.

1. This west facing window bathes the interior in light starting about 2 hours before dark. It is the only window on the back wall.

2. There are four windows like this one, two on the North and two on the South wall.

3. The front of the cottage faces East. A big curtain keeps the sun off sleepers in the summer. By 10am. the porch overhang prevents direct sunlight from coming through the doors.
During the winter the huge amount of morning light is welcome.





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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The interior. The eye is drawn up to the 4"x6" rafters and to the salvaged leaded window. The roof is hugely overbuilt with a 20' long 8"x10" beam which sticks beyond both gables. That beam is the heaviest thing that I have ever moved myself at this height. 6 guys on the ground passed it up to me. They then pushed it close to position with me using 2x4s to push with.

I was standing on a big plank set at wall height which had several 2x4 legs and braces attached. I achieved the final lifts into prepared saddles by crouching under the beam and standing up with the beam resting on a foam pad between my shoulder blades. Several times I had to yell no, as others tried to assist. Everything was perfectly balanced and I needed it to stay that way. It went like clockwork. 16 years of demolition experience and good body mechanics paid off that day.



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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
More interior.


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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
Photos-The ceiling and floor while it was under construction.

When my photos were transfered from my old phone to the new android, all were rotated 90 degrees.

I hate finishing floors in tight spaces, so I sanded and varnished the floor before building the rest of the cottage. Rain during construction can swell and discolour wood floors. This is the third time I've finished a floor before putting the building on top. The varnish also protects the wood from being dented by things that drop accidentally. A final light sanding and varnish was done when everything was near completion.

Lots of drywall filler was used along the joint between the beams and the drywall. In order to preserve the look of the beams, insulation is above the beams, drywall and plywood in the form of salvaged styrafoam blue board, three inches thick.



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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The Hot Tub Structure.




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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The white T&G boards are reclaimed flooring from an old house. Someone salvaged it and they were unaware that it had been sanded too thin to be used again. I picked it up for free, all denailed and bundled. Half inch plywood was added on top of it,which gives a total sheeting thickness of 1 1/8 inches thick. 3/4 roofing nails were used to hold the shingles.



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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The hot tub roof and changing area has turned into an area for socializing. Permanent seating will be placed along the back wall. I know a preacher who is looking to get rid of church pews. That would make an ideal rear seat for this area.




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Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Really pretty stuff Dale. I like the size of the house too. A true man cave. My wife has a space of 6 x 7 meters for all her stuff and I was using enough for a small computer desk. I got evicted. Now, I have a small corner in our living room next to the morning garden, when my dog likes to stay. My space is 6 feet x 6 feet, maybe, yes her's is in meters. Why is it someone half my size needs more than ten times my space is one of the great mysteries of life. But then again, she would say I need four rivers, so perhaps I shouldn't go there...


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
John's house is full to the brim with foreign students, all of them young men between 14 and 22. Video games, television, horse play and loud skype calls in various languages dominates in the evening and on weekends. John really likes the boys and caters to their every whim, but the cottage has become his escape and he entertains his friends there when the kids invite their friends to fill the house to overflowing. It's a very well managed but also very full house. --------- Having the cottage has allowed the addition of one extra student. Running the house is John's primary source of income. The cottage cost about $9000.00 . With the extra income it will have paid for itself in 3 years and it should eisily last a century. The old age pension is still several years off and even then it provides a meager income. The home and garden are John's savings and insurance policy, long into the future. Had he not saved his pennies and set up this home/business when his health was better, he would be looking at a very different lifestyle in his later years than the relative comfort and security that he now enjoys. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I took too long filling in the text on the earlier photos ---- Back to the hot tub enclosure --- The black decking material was salvaged from a deck which had to be removed from a house that was being moved. It's the only quality cedar decking that I've had in a year. As luck would have it, John called and said he'd like to add a deck, one day after I removed this stuff and offered it to several of the neighbours. I returned the next day to find it still there. So , he only had to pay for trucking and denailing.

Timing was not with us on the cottage. John insisted on buying the new cedar siding which is of dubious quality. I encouraged him to wait for me to demolish something with high quality old stuff. The cottage spent the winter covered in tar paper and was not very attractive and he was anxious to make it a showpiece for visiting relatives. Two weeks after applying the siding, I tore down a building that was built around 1910 which had beautiful California cut, snub nose siding with a double drip pattern. This would have looked much better and it would last another 200 years. He should have waited. I won't make that mistake on my own projects.

1. This yard is set up so that each item is discovered as you walk from the front of the house to the back. From the road, it looks like any other back yard. That's important since we're stretching the rule that allows a "shed" in the yard.

2. All of the junk under the distant deck will be enclosed behind a wall of repurposed windows from renovations. The paving in the foreground is new and was done by John. He has gotten carried away with paving with a huge quantity and variety of materials.

3. Somehow, I missed including this shot which illustrates the continuity of the roof structure to the outdoor deck. It also continues to the rear. One 30 inch door is open in this shot. With the removal of 2 pins, another panel swings out for a 60 inch opening.

The cottage is the first thing I have built from scratch since I was in my twenties. Most of my construction experience even then was of a renovation nature or fixing up messes started by others. I was involved in constructing several second rate houses when I worked for a man of low character. I helped an old German guy construct many high quality additions. Since getting into demolition in 1995, most of my carpentry has been limited to shoring, building temporary walls and patching up after vandalism. There have been dozens of instances where I have been called upon to bail out some idiot or to fix up after a disaster but all of these projects were added to existing structures.

It was a cathartic exercise to plan something and then execute that plan without having to deal with problems that others set in motion. I've always known that I could do work of this quality and given the budget would not hesitate on tackling something 5000 sq ft or more. Now that I have a very successful "first attemt" under my belt, I have even less respect for shoddy builders and I have confidently added amateur architect to my resume.




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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
Other work moving two buildings put John's place on hold for a couple months. We finally got started and the following photos are the result. Less recycled stuff here. We're trying to use up all of the odds and ends kicking around from other projects. About 30% is reused stuff, 40% new stuff that John already had on hand and the rest was bought new.

Our first project was a breeseway-tool shed which is attached to the cottage with 3 big bolts. JOHN INSISTED ON BUILDING IT FREE STANDING but soon changed his tune when I demonstrated how much it would shake in the wind. The bolts minimize the visual connection while holding vibration to a minimum. They are set on an angle so that watter drops run away from the cottage.



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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
1. The breezeway is now complete.

2. Wisteria and clematis may eventually envelope the frames that John placed to either side of the cottage.

3. Another little project is done. The deck now has a little greenhouse enclosure under it.



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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3998
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
The glassed in area will be used primarily for tool storage. Enclosing it makes the yard look better and tools won't be as likely to rust in a well ventilated greenhouse.

1. The door is a good sized old window.

2. John is from New Zealand. This kiwi vine grows through an opening in the deck and recieves full southern sun. The roots stay nice and warm throughout the rainy season and it is easy to control moisture levels. The floor is gravel. A sump hose runs through this area and there is an electrical outlet that will no longbe rained on.



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