Post & Beam Bliss: A Little House down by the Pond

By August 19, 2010September 22nd, 20114 Comments
by Julie Moir Messervy

A small post & beam house gives us a place to enjoy the pond and surrounding nature. Here’s a look at how it all came together.

Watch as the pond house gets built and finished. Video: Val Khislavsky.

What is it about little houses that engage our imagination and entice our body to inhabit them? The way I see it, a little house is our primordial cave – to quote myself, “a burrow, a hollow, a hub, a berth: home.”

The finished pond house. Photo: Julie Moir Messervy.

I had always wanted a little hut of my own, where I could write, think, and even sleep close to nature. Plus, our pond needed a destination point. So when a little post and beam structure came up for auction this Spring, built by students from Randolph Technical Career Center, in Randolph, VT, it seemed like just the perfect thing.

Students from the Randolph Technical Career Center re-assemble the post & beam structure. Photos: Julie Moir Messervy.

We outbid the next bidder by $1 and won the structure. So the young men who built it took it apart, brought it in a truck to our house in late April, and reconstructed it in only 2 hours in a driving rainstorm under the guidance of instructor Tim Murphy. I’m glad to say that program will make another structure like ours next year for the losing bidder.

Fine Woodworker Bryan Shaw works on the pond house. Photos: Julie Moir Messervy.

Then we needed to finish it. For this, we hired a local fine woodworker, Bryan Shaw, to build its Fabral metal roof, put in flooring and siding, and to install screens in the door and window openings. The result is a perfect-sized 10′ x 12’ house complete with sleeping loft. The minute it was finished, Steve and I found an old painted table and some pine chairs so that we can play cards and drink beer down there. What fun! The next phase will be planting around the little house to settle it into the landscape, but that can wait until fall–for now, we’ll just focus on enjoying it!

The views without the bugs, thanks to carefully-installed screens. Photos: Julie Moir Messervy.

Here are some more images of Bryan’s Work:

A Japanese Tea House that Bryan built with his teacher Iwao Nakajima, who designed it. Photo: Marion Brenner for the New York Times.

The magic is in the details. Photos: Bryan Shaw.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Carol Wood says:

    Oh what fun! Will you really SLEEP in it? I would!

  • Ann Carton says:

    It looks very well already in the landscape proving that less can be more.

  • Max Messervy says:

    Wow, the house looks great, good work Mom (and the rest of the team)! Looking forward to taking a sleeping bag out there on the next visit back East!

  • Erica Bowman says:

    Wow. I want to take a sleeping bag out there too, if only to wake up and view nature’s framed garden through that fantastic diagonal window.