A Shop, A Place, A Space, A... Home

Huge news in my near future! My mom and I just put down money on a chunk of rural property about 15 miles south of my current rental house. She just sold her previous house so we’ll be able to buy this outright and now owe anyone for it. The property is technically in Chimacum, WA, on the Olympic Peninsula.

It is 5 acres, about 1/2 wooded (Alder/Maple one side, Western RedCedar the other), cornered into a huge 80 acre forrestry lot (still owned by the company that just sold/closed the local paper mill). It has a private well installed (recently recertified), recentely recertified septic tank, and existing foundation (former house removed in 2005, reasons unknown) that looks like it’s in decent shape.

The big thing is that there is a huge metal barn/shop, which is insulated, wired for both 120/240v power, concrete slab floor, a large loft, and 10-foot pass-through doors. The rafters between the ground floor and the loft aren’t great for lifting abilities, but could probably have a few heavy beams installed into them to provide lifting points, say to remove a truck bed and install a gasifier!

Another major thing for me is that while I technically have 2 neighbors, I should be far enough seperated from them to not have to worry about my damned allgeries 24-7. Also, with the shop, even if my neighbor mows his field, and the wind happens to be blowing straight at me, I can just hunker down in the shop and keep working. No more “drop everything where it is and hope I make it inside on 1 breath of air”

There is also a “play cabin”, which is pretty much just a 12’x12’ stick-frame with plywood walls, a roof, and a door. Between that, the shop, and a 29’ travel trailer my friend is selling, we should have more than enough sleeping places while we build the house on the site.

I haven’t had a true “home” since I was about 7. Everything has been precarious rentals, living with my parents between said rentals, and my school years where I was officially “living” one place but spending my weekdays in a different city 50 miles away.

Satellite view of the lot: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwBiuqz6mPYmMF9PT1MxT2ZhWG8/edit?usp=docslist_api


Congrats Brian, nothing better than owning a piece of America. Good luck with everything.

Congratulations Brian .

I know you will enjoy !!

Well, this lot is falling through for me. :confused: Unfortunately, my elderly mother is the one with the money, so her choice is law. She doesn’t want to have to “fuss” with building our own house, unless absolutely needed, so the more-or-less clean slate lot, “Sandy Shore”, is no go for her.

Fortunately, a secondary lot, “Windridge”, has opened up for us, with a house. It’s still a very “doable” plot of land. I’d have 4 neighbors, closer in, and on all 4 sides. That means I’d still need to wear my damned respirator any time I am outside (asthma triggered by grass juices from cutting, or by most fragranced fabric softeners/drier sheets.) Also the land is sloped, semi-marshy in areas, and entirely covered in sparsely planted Cedar trees. Just enough trees to shade the entire lot and make building/working anything a PITA, but no where near enough to use for fuel/construction materials/etc. It was quite obvious that there was no way I could become self-sufficient on that lot.

Then there’s the pluses of Windridge… First off, the current owner is a 5th-generation German Master Carpenter and he built the small shop and house himself. The craftsmanship shows. The shop is fairly small, though bigger than many of my shops. The house is really too big for us. It is extremely well insulated so heat will still be cheap. It is timber-framed with mortise&tenon and lap-joints, and just freaking beautiful. It’s only about 95% finished because Owner’s wife passed away in '06 and he lost the drive to keep building. It still needs flooring in a bedroom and the handrail installed on the staircase, among a few other things. Because it’s not finished, banks won’t finance it, which is fine for us as cash buyers.

Here’s the BIG thing, and what this whole deal really sort of hinges on, for me: Note how I said he was a 5-generation Master Carpenter, and how he has retired since the passing of his wife. We are offering him more money to leave the house/shop “as is”. Meaning he can take what personal items he would want, but we’ll handle clean-up, donating anything neither he, nor we, want… and…

He would leave almost all his tools with the shop

This would be a huge win-win-win: Wally is done and too old to really worry about moving stuff; his son doesn’t do woodworking and would otherwise need to drive a Uhaul up from where ever and then worry about selling the tools later; and I’d inherit (and cherish) a fully stocked wood shop, including things like planks of Black Walnut.

Currently, my tool stock includes: 3 handsaws, 8 hammers (blacksmith/woodworker), a small tablesaw, a small bandsaw that doesn’t cut straight, 1* 120v home MIG wleder, 1 angle grinder, 1 “sawsall”, 2 “Skilsaws”, 1 socket/screwdriver set, 1 drill (powerful but only spins one way at one speed), 1 brace&bit, and a small bunch of cheap assorted chisels/files/punches. Far from an 76-year-old 5th Gen Master Carpenter’s work shop!

Well, Wally likes the idea of being about to make a clean exit without causing his son a bunch of trouble and has accepted our offer, tools and all. :smiley: