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1Instructables11,822Views15CommentsDayton, the one in OhioJoined September 29th, 2018
Just an average guy who has never built anything from scratch before this little backyard project. Being well over 50 didn't stop me and helped me overcome any self-doubts I may have had. I did have the occasional help of another - even older - person, who helped 'build' (or make) me as you will glimpse in this lesson. Learned a lot throughout this! Prior experience involved developing training materials for Digital Equipment Corp through the years to the US Air Force Institute of Technology.... Read More »

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  • GaryNDayton commented on GaryNDayton's instructable Back Yard Office2 months ago
    Back Yard Office

    Thanks, Ghostrider! I got a lot of the same 'do this or that or this way' by all the neighbors, alley architechs and fence leaners. It was the first new construction on the block in over 70 years - so it drew the curious. Who else uses oak flooring for siding? Yes, it was a total learning experience. Maybe one day, I'll check out the library. Thanks again for your supoprt!

    Thanks from Ohio! True: getting started is the hardest part as in your 'Make'; but think of the great feeling when you finish. Also true. Just couldn't keep her away from those 148 miles of backroads 3 times a week. Proof, we ALL gotta stay active!

    HI Duke, Thank You! The drywall was much more problematic as I used odd scraps and left-overs from job sites, damaged panels from HD, and all I could take away from Dayton's own Drywall Doctor. With as many times as I had to touch each wall and ceiling, I'd gone to something much simpler Fabric. I did have a hotline to all of the reclaimed wood, so maybe even real paneling/wainscoting. Even hanging chicken wire and covering it with real, organic Italian plaster would have been easier and more satisfying. The main thing I would have done differently was to either have a building 'Plan B' and build another something; or, figured out a way to unscrew those horizontal strips. Anything to give Mom some more time helping out. Can't ever replace that. Thanks for the question and for your nice...

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    HI Duke, Thank You! The drywall was much more problematic as I used odd scraps and left-overs from job sites, damaged panels from HD, and all I could take away from Dayton's own Drywall Doctor. With as many times as I had to touch each wall and ceiling, I'd gone to something much simpler Fabric. I did have a hotline to all of the reclaimed wood, so maybe even real paneling/wainscoting. Even hanging chicken wire and covering it with real, organic Italian plaster would have been easier and more satisfying. The main thing I would have done differently was to either have a building 'Plan B' and build another something; or, figured out a way to unscrew those horizontal strips. Anything to give Mom some more time helping out. Can't ever replace that. Thanks for the question and for your nice reply!

    Thank you so much for your very kind words. We had a great time together. I hope that shows in the result and the spirit that we never get too old to do anyhing. Thanks again!

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  • GaryNDayton commented on GaryNDayton's instructable Back Yard Office2 months ago
    Back Yard Office

    Hi again Dave!You make it clear that I am way out my tech environment and have no grasp of anything to do with home building, (but am learning quickly). I may have misspoke/miswritten with the thought that I could do a ground-up build. Re-considering and doing some research, points me toward the use of one of many Amish builders in Ohio (JDM Structures for example as they are partners with Unibilt Homes, here in Dayton) for a weather proof shell which I would then upgrade everything under, over and within. Under, I like the idea of an indulated super-slab with PEX tubing heating with radiant solar heated water/gycol as we've been heating water via sun for hundreds of years and have perfected it nearly to the point of boiling. Over: I have to research the raised heel and other options yo...

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    Hi again Dave!You make it clear that I am way out my tech environment and have no grasp of anything to do with home building, (but am learning quickly). I may have misspoke/miswritten with the thought that I could do a ground-up build. Re-considering and doing some research, points me toward the use of one of many Amish builders in Ohio (JDM Structures for example as they are partners with Unibilt Homes, here in Dayton) for a weather proof shell which I would then upgrade everything under, over and within. Under, I like the idea of an indulated super-slab with PEX tubing heating with radiant solar heated water/gycol as we've been heating water via sun for hundreds of years and have perfected it nearly to the point of boiling. Over: I have to research the raised heel and other options you mention. Packing the roof and walls with insulation to exceed Energy Dept ratings to come close to an R100. As we are all thermal machines, it would be great to have body heat supply most of the comfort, plus the benefits of 2 bodies generating some friction heat. Having a pre-built shell would allow a second, off-set wall to whatever finished width packed with batts running sideways with no thermal breaks. Within: Totally agree with NO combustion appliances. In the 1960s, the buzz was for all electric as the future with nuclear 'too cheap to meter', we know how that's worked out.... Mostly renewal electric is possible for such a small space. I've seen holigraphic fireplaces with realistic flames that produce heat and ambiance with none of the wood hassles of storing, cleaning, etc. Some some combination of solar hot water, battery backup and vertical axis wind generation could provide an all electric AC/DC house.I really like Light. the 10% seems kinda chincy. Each layer of glass reduces the view by about 10% so I'd like to limit the view loss. Operable, thick shutters can mitigate much of the night heat-loss while giving me the views I want. Rex pointed out that we often mistake "views" for "ventilation" as they are very different but often cojoined with poor results. Simple, fixed glass for windows, and operable openings for ventilation placed to encourage natural convestion currents (as your roofing system suggests).As there will be only a couple rooms, but several areas within the shell, I'd opt for sleeping toward the cooler, northern side as I prefer to snuggle down with a cooler facial breeze. Getting out of this thing in an emergency will not be an issue. For this I like the Commercial Code where every door is an egress opening outwards comlpete with bar hardward - I'm getting out of there in a hurry!I'll be tweakingt these ideas moving forward using as many suggestions as you and the other Master Makers can offer. Thanks again for your advice and for following along with this newbie!

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  • GaryNDayton commented on GaryNDayton's instructable Back Yard Office2 months ago
    Back Yard Office

    Thanks for your knowledgeable and well-informed reply, Dave! Wow, where were you when I could have benefited from your experience?! Things I never would have thought of, but some the things you mentioned are worth a comment. I will look into the mags listed and do more on Best Practices. On 2nd and 3rd and 4th thoughts, I would have done the whole thing differently - mainly using Rex Robert's "Your Engineered House" (not any newer versions with Charlie Wing, as he ruined most of Rex's ideas and included none of the sample plans - which was the whole point). I would have bunched the re-claimed sticks into 4x6 posts for each corner; planted those and put up the roof as to shelter all the subsequent work underneath. Sort of like the Amish barn raising approach, except I didn't ha...

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    Thanks for your knowledgeable and well-informed reply, Dave! Wow, where were you when I could have benefited from your experience?! Things I never would have thought of, but some the things you mentioned are worth a comment. I will look into the mags listed and do more on Best Practices. On 2nd and 3rd and 4th thoughts, I would have done the whole thing differently - mainly using Rex Robert's "Your Engineered House" (not any newer versions with Charlie Wing, as he ruined most of Rex's ideas and included none of the sample plans - which was the whole point). I would have bunched the re-claimed sticks into 4x6 posts for each corner; planted those and put up the roof as to shelter all the subsequent work underneath. Sort of like the Amish barn raising approach, except I didn't have a bunch of young kids to scramble around up there! Then laid out the floor and last, simply 'hung' the walls so they extended past the floor. That would have given me all the floor area to work on (an impressive 53 sq ft). And, with much lighter walls, could have done as you suggest with just paint. Great suggestion! I agree with the windows as the 2 larger ones 'do snag a bit' as the cranks carry more than their share of the load. They are usually partially open all the time, it's not a big deal to give them a closing push from the outside. They are double-paned and at $10 and $8, priced right. The rear ones work perfectly as they were designed with center cranks, both free. The 4th window - the door - was $20 with hardware. The roof proved a challenge due to it's completely unorthodox design. Overhangs would have been nice as it is on the back side, but would have changed in a bad way, the clean design of the other 3 sides. To prevent any water intrusion, the Re-Store had a huge linoleum flooring sheet that I used to make a shower-type tray over the entire thing (some of which is visible) before the Ondura went down, essentially a double layer over the vinyl over the sheathing. So far NO leaks, no runs, but a few errors as your point out. I like the rain channels as you suggest for the walls, the gaps are so close, so far no damage to the tar paper and it air drys quickly (no warpage either with the oak being used outside) which maybe due to the fact that they aged well over 100 years in a previous life. I do re-treat the entire building every year with a fresh coat of preservative - relaxing and it keeps me close to what's happening.All in all, it's worked out fine during every season. I have a small space heater and fan which keeps things temperate no matter what weather. A huge maple tree provides the shade for the office which makes it a nice place to hang out. I've had as many as 5 other people inside and we've all enjoyed it - the acoustics are incredible.I'll use many of your suggestions on my next project, a true small house built with SIPs and a pier foundation. Thanks again for your encouragement! Gary

    Hi Kink! Nice to see another WWII Boomer era 'whippersnapper' also with limited tools! Life doesn't present me with the time you and Dave have invested with your knowledge and skills, but we shall see. Thanks for the encouragement and support as this newbie tries to figure out "What's Next"!

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