I think just about every boy dreams of building his very own secret base. That’s exactly what reddit user kahnuck did. Except he’s not a kid any more, nor did he decide to build this shack as a secret base to discuss how icky girls are.
He built this amazingly affordable shack on his parent’s land using pretty much nothing but scrap wood and metal he gathered from the surrounding area. Only buying a few things from a local store.
But all of this begs the question, why?
Mainly just to get experience building something. I’ve read a ton of books on tiny homes and small cabins over the last few years, but I’ve never physically made anything. By using mainly reclaimed and found materials, I was able to gain a ton of experience at a minimal expense. Now I feel confident investing a little more money in my next project “
“So I started building a shack three summers ago on my parents property. I had no previous building experience, and no real plan.”
“The logs were harvested from wind-fallen trees around the property. I bought some 2×4′s to frame the skeleton of the structure, and some concrete blocks to prop the structure up off the ground.”
“In hindsight I should have turned the roof beams on edge in order to maximize load-bearing capacity.”
“I finally returned home this summer, and decided to continue tinkering with the shack. I picked up a window and door for five dollars each, and was able to get some scrap metal roofing from a family friend who just completed building her own log cabin. I randomly started infilling the walls with logs collected from around my parents eighteen acre property.”
“I found another wooden door and a lot of miscellaneous pieces of wood from a local scrap yard. The more you reuse, the more affordable making a structure like this can be. My mom and aunt decided to “spruce up my shack” by adding the colorful solar-powered lights…”
“The shack also benefits from a large amount of evergreens being conveniently located on it’s north side – somewhat sheltering it from prevailing winds.”
“I decided I wanted to add a look-out tower to the eastern side of my shack. There are a few local shipbuilders in the area who dump a lot of their scrap wood off on an old, rarely used, historic road. Luckily for me, most of the wood is still in great shape – the entire tower is built from that salvaged wood. I used old tire rims to prop the ladder and tower posts up off the ground, to minimize water damage and rot. “
“I decided to spend some money and get a few packs of cedar shingles to cover the outer walls of the shack. In total it took three bundles, at twenty dollars per bundle. Normally you only expose five inches of the shingle, but I exposed six-and-a-half inches in order to stretch the shingles as much as possible. I was reluctant to put any more money into this thing, but I decided the functionality this provides would make it a worthy investment.”
“I secured some sturdy logs to the tower in order to increase its stability and strength.”
“While I was building the shack, my parents were working on an outhouse. I was able to use a lot of their scraps to start filling in around the windows.”
“By attaching these thin strips of wood to the back of the structure, it gave me a secure and level surface to attach the cedar shingles to. I used a staple gun to attach the shingles to the wood strips.”
“Using logs found around the property, I started building a front overhang. The front posts are propped off the ground with bricks.”
“I decided the tower needed more secure ladders. Using a level and measuring tape, I marked along the logs at one-foot intervals where a notch would be cut for the step. After sawing along the markings, I notched out small piece of wood with a hammer and chisel. Lastly, I slid the steps into the notched out spaces, and secured them down with screws.”
“I painted the corner posts and bottom boards with fisherman paint I found in my parents basement. The cedar shingles should last untreated for decades, but the other wood isn’t as hardy, and needs some added protection.”
“I decided to cover the front overhang with a double layer of clear plastic – this provides shelter at the front of the shack, while still allowing light into the shack. The gap between plastic sheeting and metal roofing is covered by more scrap metal.”
“In the woods beside the old historic road, there was also a large pile of old lobster traps. I salvaged a bunch of wire mesh from them, and used it to reinforce the plastic sheeting. I also framed some of the wire mesh and used it as walls on the tower – it allows the wind to pass through the structure without shaking the whole thing.”
“Interior tower facing wall, nothing pretty.”
“The floor is composed of a few layers of sand and some square chunks of cement I salvaged from the lobster traps.”
“Western windowed wall.”
This is the finished product. It might not be fancy, but for a cost of almost $0…I’ll take it! He even built a nice bench out front to sit on. 🙂
Gotta say, as a kid this was my dream, to build a shack and tower exactly like that. Except I’d probably have called it the Secret Fort of Doom or something equally cheesy.
Good to see someone is living every kid’s dream. Next step, to become a Ninja Turtle and eat pizza for breakfast every day.