the turn of the screw

The fungus is gone, ripped out with a crowbar and a few power tools, burned, all the wood around it sprayed with gross chemical anti-fungus stuff that a friend had lying around from his own battle with what may or may not be the “common house sponge” (OF DOOM).


And oops, I didn’t take any after pictures. Now, where there was once a wasteland of spongey wood is a neat little hole that has convinced me that I really, really need to put another window in to let in more light.

I attacked the screws on Monday, having decided that I would insulate the walls from the outside, rather than risk destroying the beautiful wood lining the inside walls. I got a hammer and a screwdriver. Someone who I’d very much like to tap on the head with my crowbar had the brilliant idea to paint over all of the screws. So it went like this: tap tap tap (my hammer on the screwdriver on the head of the screw to get the paint out of the screw head) and tunk tunk tunk (my screwdriving gouging out the paint around the head). Grunt grunt grunt (as I tried to ease those rusty mother fuckers out of the wood). Some cooperated.

“I think Popeye must have put these screws in,” Rabbit grunted as he tried to free up some of the screws in the bottome row. I had only wanted to work on one small corner because I had figured it would go quickly, and I would be inspired by the success. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Five hours later, two days later, and I gave up and we ripped all the boards out with a crowbar, breaking most of them, saving a few that I’ll be able to sand down and reuse. After reaching frustration high-water within five minutes the day before I decided on a new tactic. Screaming and cursing at the screws and the boards as loud as I could. First important building lesson: screams and curses are just as important as a good hammer and crowbar.

Workshop and Garfield and Rabbit all gave me their leftover styrofoam so that I could start insulating until my freelancing money arrives in my account. I started with some of the crappier peices to practice, shoving them between the beams, saving the best stuff for the space around the bed. With styrofoam insulation it’s not so important how thick you layer it, but that you don’t leave any little holes for air to slip in or out of.


I started working figuring that I could get a few things done with what I had until I had the money to buy the rest. But everyday I find another peice of wood (yesterday the two-meter long corner beams that I need to replace on the back corners, which would have costed about 8 euros each). Rabbit and I went dumpster diving at the building supply store last week and carried off at least 100 euros worth of lumber, all stuff that I’ll be able to use to replace rotten support beams and to build a bed and shelves.

With each little step forward and each new trash find, I get more inspired. It’s hard not to feel badass with a power saw and a crowbar in your hands. It’s hard not to feel taken care of when you find exactly what you are looking for, without fail, in the trash two meters away from you house and a kind fellow-diver helps you load it onto the wheelbarrow so you can take it home. So now I have a new goal. May the money never show up and may I rennovate my entire house from the trash. Trash house, I’ll call her, when she’s finished and I christen her with a dumpstered bottle of champagne.

0 Comments on “the turn of the screw

  1. Looks great! You never cease to amaze me with your ability to find all the things you need in the things that others throw away!

    Will you be insulating the bottom of the wagon as well? If so, how?

  2. I will be. At the moment the plan is to stick the Styrofoam onto the floor boards from underneath, and then to board them up. Still without a definite plan for the ceiling though…

  3. Pingback: My Trash House, from start to finish - Love and Trash, A DIY blog for people who do things differently.

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