Sturdy, With Views – “Calling Froogle Scott!… Is Dr. Scott ‘In The House’?” [Not In This One, Certainly]

Poster ‘DNAspark99’, [on the forum bcsportsbikes, 22 Mar 2013 and onwards; hat-tip RE Lurker] has posted images of a ‘building’ that is under construction, with this commentary: “So, my landlord has taken it upon himself to build a ‘toolshed’. For a roto-tiller. At least, that’s the entirety of what he told us – there are, however, some inherent communication issues. (He’s Korean, and not yet well versed in English (though certainly much better than my Korean)). There’s one door so far, and a lawnmower will not even fit through it. (I don’t think he knows that yet though)
So, this is the ‘project’ thus far. For one, the ground it’s being built is mushy moist marshland – your feet sink with every step. Which is always ideal for a good foundation – or complete lack thereof.
It may not be immediately obvious, but I don’t think this man has a background in construction.
It appears he owns a hammer and saw, perhaps a measuring tape, perhaps not. Certainly nothing like a square, straightedge, or level.
I guestimate that he has seen no more than 3 episodes of various home improvement shows, and maybe at best he’s driven by a construction site atleast once in his life. After all, “How hard could it be?”























And now, in time-lapse video:




A second time-lapse video [posted 2 Apr 2013], worth the watch for casual efficiency, for the horse, for the stuff falling off the roof, and for the paint-job:

69 responses to “Sturdy, With Views – “Calling Froogle Scott!… Is Dr. Scott ‘In The House’?” [Not In This One, Certainly]

  1. Thanks, that was really funny!!!

    Tragic, but funny.

  2. Ralph Cramdown

    “Truss me honey, I know what I’m doing!”

    The theme music is nice, but in keeping with the unofficial second subject of this blog lately, I think I’d humbly propose:

    • Regarding trusses, this guy knows less about construction than most 8 year olds with Tinkertoy.

    • Don’t you, guys, think you are laughing at yourselves?
      You are laughing at the Amerikan Building Industry :-)))
      Essentially, all new SFHs (repeating ALL ) are built the same way.
      Same building ‘technology’ are used. The only difference is half-inch of concrete pad underneath and nice finish outside. The frame is exactly the same :-))) Just walk to any construction site and watch…
      Shame on the whole industry!

      • What is strange, the government’s and public buildings (like washrooms at campgrounds) are build much better. Can be said, somehow ‘professional’ :-))
        Everything intended for poor lemmings are built the same way as depicted in this post

      • Yeah, no, SFHs are not built the same way. Even poorly built ones can’t hold a candle to this masterpiece. There are some dodgy builders but even a dodgy builder can’t build a whole house without someone noticing – the municipal inspectors definitely won’t ensure the bedrooms are, say, square, but they’ll meet structural code at least.

      • I live in a dodgy built home from post WWII. I’ve seen some stuff when I take things apart, believe me. And while there have been moments of extreme cringe on my own house, nothing like this, which I will never step inside. This is some kind of performance art piece representing the futility of human existence going on in this video.

        Don’t ever buy a house built during a boom. Any boom.

  3. In between bouts of laughter I managed to notice he actually did some ‘creative’ problem solving

  4. nails $50
    OSB $300
    2X4’s $500

    first snowfall … priceless

    thanks for the day’s best laugh

    • Ralph Cramdown

      I don’t know if it will go the distance to first snowfall. I hope the time lapse is still on when buddy climbs up to nail the sheathing on the roof!

      • I was surprised it held a person at all.

        Hey, maybe this is intended as an In-Law suite. That would explain everything.

  5. Whatever you do, don’t help him out putting the shingles on. And stay away from it any day when it snows. Also avoid it on very windy days. And don’t go inside it, either– the mould is going to be really bad for your health. And it’s only a couple of years until the OSB floor rots out, and the plain 2x4s underneath rot into nothingness.

    Thanks for the morning laugh! Whatever the landlord paid in materials, it was worth it for the entertainment!

  6. Except for the lack of foundation, this is close to standard Canadian quality.

  7. Froogle Scott

    I view it more as a freeform art piece, an installation, a site for the interplay between the organic forces of wind, rain, snow, and most compellingly, rot, in which the fallibility of humankind’s dreams and aspirations are made manifest. Particularly galvanizing is the unmediated interface between the products of industrialized deforestation and the local terrain, an offering back to Nature of the corpus to be progressively consumed. The artist engenders a powerful commentary on society’s fixation with the instantaneous and the temporary, and posits a tensional opposition between our depletion of the biosphere and our never-ending quest for human fulfillment.

    • Your riff reminds me: Anybody here seen any of the modern ‘vanitas‘-related time-lapse artworks depicting elaborate bowls of fruit rotting over weeks? The one I remember best was immaculate, and presented as a continuous video loop in a gallery — can’t easily summons the name of the artist via web search (anybody know?). The colour development as the fruit rots and collapses is quite stunning… not to mention the textures.
      There are various less pleasing examples on youtube.

      A time-lapse of the featured construction over the next year (or more?) should prove similarly arresting.
      A comment on “the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.”

    • Priceless!

    • Hah. I should have read down farther. Thanks for the LOL.

  8. What are the odds we see this on craigslist listed as a rustic laneway house for rent?

  9. I used to rent in New West. The place was “renovated” right before we moved in and boasted a new roof, new kitchen and pressed sawdust (aka “laminate”) floors, etc.

    The first big wind blew shingles completely off the roof, giving us water in the upstairs bedrooms.

    But the best part was the first major snowfall. I stepped out the back door onto the covered patio, but felt strangely uneasy. I looked up to see the whole patio roof structure sagging in the middle under the weight of a thousand pounds of snow, held together at a joint by a few screws *instead of a post*.

    We refused to go under it until the snow melted, then went out and propped it up with a 2×4 in case it snowed again.

    The landlords later sold this junker shack out from under us (after promising that they were not intending to sell) for a cool half a mil. It had great views of a skytrain station and a storage place.

  10. Maybe the guy was just building a tool shed like he said and was having a go by himself. Yes he should have got professional help (and why he needs a tool shed when he obviously doesn’t know anything about building is beyond me), but why are we laughing at the guy for having a go on his own. I’m a big fan of this blog, but I don’t see how this is related to real estate. This doesn’t look anything like a house and it’s being built in a field (or so it looks like that). Lots of people try to build tool shed’s on their own, whether or not the housing market is booming. This post just comes across as mean and a little bit racist.

    • Just to nip any kind of lunacy in the bud:
      The issue of ‘race’ is completely irrelevant to this post.
      This guy could be of any ‘race’, and we would have posted it, regardless.
      People of all stripes are capable of this kind of idiotic behaviour (and poor construction), and we’re not going to avoid posting something like this for fear of issues of ‘race’ coming up.

      • Fair point about how he could have been any race, but my point is why does he race even need to be pointed out to begin with.

        But no one has been able to answer my question on how this relates to real estate. Do we know he’s building a house? There has been no digging for pipes for water or sewage so really the guy is probably just building a shed. How does that show the lunacy of the Vancouver housing market?

      • Fair point, Jenny.
        This tale is only obliquely related to stories of RE in Vancouver, granted.
        At the same time, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know we fairly often post stories that are only oblique references to the market.

    • Oooohhh the PC crowd is out! Quickly, someone point out that the guy building the shitty shed is caucasian !!

      — a brown guy

    • Ralph Cramdown

      I absolutely believe that this guy was just trying to build a tool shed by himself. It is perhaps one of the best examples of the Dunning–Kruger effect that I have ever seen. We’re laughing at him because he thinks he knows what he’s doing, and he’s SO SO wrong. Contrary, however, to vreea’s assertion that most 8 year-olds with Tinkertoys could outbuild this guy, he’s obviously tried his hand at a Fink truss as one of the centre trusses — a concept beyond almost all 8 year olds.

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      • A triangle here and there would have helped.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Yes, vreaa. I reconsidered after I posted. There is one trusslike object which is beyond 8 year olds, but its execution isn’t any better than the rest. So I’ll admit that even though this guy may be aware of a concept or two beyond the grade three set, they’d likely still outbuild him.

      • Yeats was a top notch ‘accordion’ player, grasshoppers…

      • Vancityrenter

        Quoting Yeats? things are getting deep on VREAA today.

    • Geez, take a pill. Did you also refuse to laugh when Homer failed in his attempt to build a BBQ pit?

    • I agree with you. This is a mean spirited post with a holier than thou attitude.

      Its his land, materials and labor for his own use. What is it to you how he builds it. I give him kudos for trying, nobody is going to be perfect on their first time and I hope he overcomes the criticism to build it better next time around.

    • Froogle Scott

      > Jenny

      I agree that the original poster, DNAspark99, didn’t need to identify his landlord as Korean. Whether the original poster intended it or not, it does imply a linkage between incompetence and race/nationality that detracts from the story. That said, I don’t think most people here are responding to that aspect of the story. They’re laughing at the sheer ludicrousness.

      As for the whole thing being somewhat mean — definitely. But we still laugh. A lot of humour has an element of cruelty. But are we laughing at one particular individual, or at what the individual represents, and at human ineptitude generally? Really, meta-ineptitude, if you read about Dunning–Kruger effect that Ralph Cramdown links to above.

      What I haven’t seen anyone mention yet is that DNAspark99 has posted all these photographs, and even run a camera on his landlord, and turned him into a small-time Internet star. I’m assuming without his landlord being aware. No doubt there is some history/back story here that we are not aware of.

      If I feel a little guilty for piling on it isn’t because of race, or meanness. It’s more that this guy isn’t aware he’s been outed.

      • Yet surely there is a reason why realtors like to tell you a home was built by a “European builder” other than a fondness for sachertorte.

  11. I’m glad you found this, I saw it on reddit this morning and was late for work as I enjoyed watching this monstrosity evolve. Watching this man build this structure reminded me of how my brother-in-law describes people building the financing for their rental properties. He’s a mortgage guy at a bank and has described sitting with people who are literally grabbing $5k on a line of credit here, $2,500 on a credit card over here, some Canadian Tire money, a loan from a dead person and some change in their pocket, having my brother-in-law keep punching in different numbers to his computer until one works. I suspect when the heavy rains of the economic winter come, these financing structures will collapse just as quickly as the bizarre creation in this post.

    • Brilliant!!!

      That particular shed is a metaphor for the entire Vancouver housing market.

      Shoddily built, with no foundation and waiting for a collapse.

  12. Cyril Tourneur

    I really like what he’s doing with the bathroom there in the last picture. Wonder if he’ll spring for a proper toilet roll holder?

  13. This place will be on MLS for 1.6 million in 3 months

  14. Its like watching some get dressed. First they put on their pants. Then they put on their underwear. Then they put on their jacket. Then their shirt. Next their shoes and then their socks. Then they get in the shower. And then they are out the door on their way to work.

  15. pffft! … is that blm doing more strawman work? … roof goes on 1st no? … maybe doesn’t trust frame to get up there and load with stuff … no worries enough glue and tape can solve anything

  16. BTW, those dismissing this as a ‘toolshed’ should note that it appears to be at about 24 feet by 16 feet, for a square footage of at least 384 sqft, larger than some condos.

  17. Real Estate Tsunami

    I think it’s Farmer, building a barn for his horse.
    Farmer are you Korean?

    • Somewhere on this site someone (Nemesis?)said Farmer is sulking. RET, your comment is not going to help!

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Sorry, i forgot the smiley face.
        Never my intend to hurt anyone’s feelings.
        The Farmer has always been one of my favorite posters on this blog.

      • rod_jonsson

        maybe that’s nemesis building the van re bubble burning man effigy (?) … after all 2013 could be year paper gains get flushed … note symbolism of toilet roll on small pedestal

      • Ford Prefect

        rod_jonsson: brilliant

      • I trust that Farmer isn’t ‘sulking’; I don’t think he has any reason to be doing so. His thoughts expressed here have been appreciated by many readers.

      • Well thanks Vreaa. I am not sulking actually. Just busy trying to make a home built solar cooker for soup and stew. Found the design on the internet. It’s just a couple cardboard boxes and aluminum foil. So easy a kid could make one so I have to give it a try. With housing so high who can afford electricity anymore.

        That Korean’s shed by the way…..I am sure it’s an Ark!

      • Insurance fraud would be a rational plan for this structure. Until the insurer asks to see the permits.

      • Farmer, when I was a kid I did make one of those solar cookers for a science fair. It was a fun project at home, but was a little less exciting in the classroom. 🙂

  18. I did say it was for you amusement only. (For those who were taking this too seriously… =b)

    Although if such construction standards applied to anything that was built recently, it would indeed be a scary thought.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      It is a scary thought.
      Remember, new houses have only a 10 year warranty.
      I recently puchased a $10 pillow that had a 10 year warranty.
      I sleep like a baby, unlike if I had bought one of those newly builds for a million.

      • In fairness, a $10 pillow is a pretty simple object to warrant. A house with thousands of man-hours and $100k+ of material? Not so much.

  19. Carioca Canuck

    That was an absolutely priceless time lapse video. Thanks for the laugh, it made my day.

    It’s apparent that he does not own a tape measure, and that his two primary tools are a hammer and his boots. He is suffering from “dimensia”…….as in he is “dimensionally challenged”………

  20. Does anyone have the MOI for West Side Vancouver?

  21. Realtor behavior

    The most amusing story in a while! This “toolshed”, “shop”, “house” or whatever seems not able to stand a toddler’s kicks, not to mention horses’ kicks.

  22. uhmmm 2 questions….

    1. building permits? Looks larger than a shed size.
    2. inspections? bylaws any one? and what about that guy who built a tree house for his kids…. maybe this will be a goat house?

    • Any structure of less than 10 sq m does not require a building permit according to the BC Building Code. This structure is probably in excess of 3 times that threshold. It would need a permit.

  23. Heard this from someone today. Earlier this week, she had to help her daughter move from one of these coloured buildings near BC Place ( Why?

    He daughter rents a condo on the 15th floor, but her “asian” neighbour installed something in the washroom / toilet (I didn’t ask so I’m not sure what this “thing” was). Anyhow, whether that “thing” was at fault or not (I hear blame in the voices), the end result was that the next door unit developed a BAD leak. It flooded her apartment and drenched all the nearby units down to the 10th floor.

    There was a few inches of water in her unit. All her shoes were soaked and the TV pretty much doesn’t work anymore. Apparently there’s at least $1m in damages (estimate). As for the units below, they get a perpetual shower.

    So either this is a case of some more shoddy worksmanship / design — or a great example of the seemingly limitless economic downside of owning a condo (at least in recent Vancouver). Even if the condos were worth $1m each… congrats, the owner now owes twice that minus insurance.

    Either case… good grief Vancouver! This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a similar story — but at least she was just renting.

  24. That’s why we call it “Vantucky, folks…

  25. I don’t know why, but I found this hilarious. I love his industriousness, and his ability to push forth and finish the job, despite not having a clue what he’s doing. Not a single design flaw, misalignment, mismeasurement, or missing piece slows him down. He just keeps pushing, keeps cutting, keeps pounding, and damned if that thing doesn’t go up. And it’s painted! Those shelves inside look like bunks on an old merchant ship. Maybe he’s building a low rent rooming house? With the horses next door, he could maybe run a discount dude ranch/hostel type deal?

    • Yeah. I like the bit in the first video where he tries out one board, then chooses another. A very ‘organic’ process; the building ‘grows’ rather than is planned. There is arguably something to admire about the way he’s barrelled on regardless.

      However, high possibility of something like this in future:

    • Indeed, the building will not become photogenic until many years after it collapses into a weather-beaten, moss-covered pile of rubble. Then someone will snap a picture of it and win a photo contest. Perhaps he’s taking a longer view than any of us give him credit for.

  26. The thread has exceeded 50 pages now. On a random page I clicked on I found this:…../page55

    (both the top picture and the ones towards the bottom or both good for laughs.)

  27. can you say “grow op”

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