Ted Fort in Salvo, NC on the Outer banks and a group of students are building a 96 square foot house using completely found materials. The goal, and so far it’s working, is for the total cost to be nothing. I’ll let Ted tell you about it below.
Well, essentially, a group of three other students and myself in our Drafting III class at Cape Hatteras Secondary were sitting around one day and trying to design the smallest possible “livable” house on a drafting program we have. Well, we played around with some ideas, and we eventually decided that it really couldn’t be that hard to build.
Unfortunately, our drafting teacher’s supply budget was recently cut to nothing. So he had litteraly $0 to buy supplies for, well, anything. So we thought we could try and build it for free.
Since then, I’ve been spending a lot of time in dumpsters at job sites, at the dump, and generally scavenging. Luckily dumpster diving is one of my favorite things to do. We’ve had amazing luck getting materials.
***Update: Ted just put up a blog to keep everyone updated, visit The Scrap House.
We’re not trying to make an environmental, sociological, or materialistic statement, but I will say, the waste one finds is pretty incredible. In one dumpster I found 26 perfect 8 foot 2×6′s. I suppose when someone is building a two million dollar house, they don’t really care. I’ve even found several 4×8 sheets of plywood. That’s literally buying something just to throw it out!
We’ve only been working on it for about a week and a half total. We have most of the framing done, only one wall and the roof left. We have the front door, two windows, tons of plywood, a shower, a stove, a sink, cabinet doors, and a lot more… all found for free. It’s kind of a dumb experiment, but a fun one nonetheless. Theoretically we’ll eventually have a complete house with no investment but time a labor… and what’s a high school student’s time worth anyway?
The plan is pretty standard… essentially a WeeBee without the nook. The door to the bathroom is kind of cool, however. The door can close where it’s indicated on the plans, so it shuts off just the bathroom. However, the opening into the kitchen is the same size as the opening to the bathroom, so there are two striker plates. This allows the door to be locked in either position. As the bathroom doesn’t have a sink, this gives a room to get dressed in, but also allows the option for privacy if someone is in the kitchen.
We’re not sure about siding yet. Probably just going to use scraps to make clap-board. For the inside, of course we can’t find paneling or drywall for free, so our plan is to use old drop-cloths, which we will then stretch over the walls, paint, and sandwhich against the studs with some trim. That’s how the old theatres did it to reduce noice, so it should turn out well.
It’s been a cool project so far.. we hope to be done within a month.
When Ted and his group have completed the project I will post an update so that you can see the finished house.
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