In the mail this week:
Mr Lloyd Khan
My story (short version): After a summer of river rafting I was pretty much homeless and headed for the land I had bought for $4000 a few years earlier. I built a shack (with a lot of help from my parents) in the fall, early winter; out of found materials – except the 8 by 8 hand-hewn Basswood posts i traded for a video about a local Arborist company – and 2 by 6 plywood floor which I bought. All else, foam, tin, windows, were from the garbage or very cheap.
I wanted to see how it was to build with recycled foam blocks, a technique a contractor friend devised a few years earlier. I have included some photos of the shack, where i stayed pretty much fulltime for 3 years,with no water or Hydro and a good hike from the road as I had no driveway.
Before and during this I worked in construction on several projects inlcuding straw bale, old round log reno, fixing an old sod roof and lots of labour odd jobs, which did not come easy as I am more of a photographer, filmmaker, kayaker than anything else.
After taking the plunge financially with the help of my parents I started to collect logs two summers ago. Spent most weekends hauling logs with my van and trailer or the use of Pauls log trailer and cherry picker….I have a few friends who cut trees for a living so there was no shortage of free logs from their jobs, all i had to do was get them off the clients property, i dont have that many pictures of that but it was incredible how with about 4 strong guys and some good Peaveys and log carriers you could move huge Spruce and Pine logs by hand! Later I milled them, it was a very affordable (except for all the beer i had to supply) way of getting wood, the only wood i bought for the house was for the stick frame kneewall, 2by4 strapping on roof, 2by 6 window bucks, and plywood for the temporary second floor. I plan to put the White Pine floor down this week. Downstairs is a floating slab, heated with water. I have an Amish wood stove (The Bakers Choice) which will eventually be hooked up to a range boiler to supplement domestic hot water.
Right now working as a painter, I hate it. Have to start making a living with my filmaking and publishing dreams…any advice appreciated!
Here is my website where on the HOME page you will find a bunch of pics of the house: www.lorenshen.com
Thanks for your books, you have a loyal (albeit small) following around these parts.