Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A New Shack

As I mentioned in my last post, my Dock Shack was torn down recently and a new structure built in its place.  This had been long overdue and, even though I was a displaced person for a few months, it was a good thing.  Here is a picture of my old dock shack in its glory days.  Notice the awning over the front of the shack.  That was my idea; there was no awning when I took this job seven years ago.

The day finally came for me to clear out of the old Shack.  A temporary pod was dropped off for me to occupy during the building phase.  I liked it, but in spite of the promise that I would have plenty of notice and time to move out of the old shack, I was informed I had an hour to move out before they were to haul it away.  So, I threw everything into some boxes we scrounged up and got out.  I also spent the next 12 weeks trying to find everything that was tossed haphazardly into those boxes.  To this day I still can’t find some of those items.  

They decided to try and move the old shack in one piece in the hopes that it could be put to some use in a new home somewhere.  I found out later that the guy they hired to haul it away lowered his bid for the job with the provision that he got possession of the old shack.  Personally, I say more power to him.  That shack had more spiders living in it than Carter had pills.  Some were poisonous.  Here they are putting a strap around the shack to keep it on the forks of the forklift.

It looked like it was going to be lifted with no problem, but that was not to be.

The shack was too heavy and everyone in the immediate area was pressed into service to hang on to the back of the forklift to try and budge the little building.

You can see here how small the footprint was that the old shack left.  It measured six feet by eight feet.  About the average size of a jail cell, I’ve been told. I can’t tell you how many thousands of hours I spent in that cell; sometimes, during the summers, six of us would squeeze in at one time if it started to rain.

They finally got it over to the flat bed truck and loaded it on.  I said my final good bye with a big smile on my face.

Then the building project began.  The job took longer than originally estimated because one of the building crew quit the day before this project was due to begin.  There was a crew of two who built this from start to finish except for the subcontracted brick work and roofing work.  Look at how small the old shack’s footprint looks as the new foundation dwarfs it.


The frame took on the appearance of a skeleton at first.

Then the plywood sheets that would form the outer walls were applied and it started to look like a kid’s fort or tree house project.

Next we add a roof just for good measure.


The building is being built up high off the ground to comply with the building codes for hurricane protection.  Remember, we are on the coast here.  So the second picture above is of the porch you step on to enter and exit the building.  In the next shot we add the insulation and hurricane proof windows.

The next step is to add Steps and railings.

Concrete siding is applied and then it is painted.


The finished product is one of the best built buildings I have ever seen.  The quality of craftsmanship that went into this was well worth the wait.  If I were to be stuck on this property in the path of an approaching hurricane, this is the building I would take cover in, it is built that strong!

My office is the door on the left and the Ship’s Store is the door on the right.  There is an adjoining door between them inside the building.   Here is a picture of the inside of the Ship’s Store.  Not all of the fixtures have arrived yet and nor all of the planned stock, but you can get an idea of the feeling and look that the store will have.

So, that is how my winter was spent this year.  Listening daily to the sounds and enjoying the sights of a new building taking shape.  Good grief!  It just about drove me insane!