Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The mortared brick vs the mortgaged brick

We have finished making the bricks needed for the foundation of the dome. Today I timed myself, while I made the last batch of bricks. On my own, it took an hour to make 16 bricks. This is not factoring in the time taken to gather the materials, but the available materials are a byproduct of the excavation of the foundation ditch, which we had to do anyway. 16 bricks at $2.50 a brick in the store ( for this size and weight ) would have cost me $40. Sixteen mortgaged bricks, paid for over 30 years would have cost me $120 ! The equation I used is a simple one, using a calculator and third grade math. I multiplied by three. In other words, a house paid for over 30 years is about three times the cost of the same house purchased outright. That also means that it's triple the price for each component, down to the brick. So by making my own bricks with free raw materials and my own labor, in real time, technically I am making $40 an hour. However, I am saving $120 an hour, when compared to mortgaged bricks ! Not a bad wage. Today, I made 32 bricks over two hours ( 16 in the morning and 16 in the evening ). Compared to living in and paying for a mortgaged house, two hours of brick making is the same as a $240 payday. And I had many daylight hours left to do other things, such as visit with friends, meet a new neighbor, make a broom out of bunchgrass, play guitar, hound the used car dealership who still hasn’t sent me my title and registration after eight months and two citations, watch the scarlet colored sunset and emerging crescent moon, and write this journal entry. If I wanted to spend a full 8 hours of repetition making bricks, I would have been able to make 128 bricks, more than enough for the entire foundation...$960 saved. Making bricks is fun, especially with friends.


Cynthia Castle said...

Hola Trevor! Great informative blog!! I love the bricks...more than papercrete...I guess this is the foundation for your second dome right??? Tell Don I say hello......cynthia

trevor.reichman said...

Howdy Cynthia,

We are back to the first structure ( the dome ). I need to get shade before I get skin cancer :)

The second structure will be a bigger project and take more time.

The bricks will be used to true the foundation of the dome. Still looking into papercrete for a future project.

I have been following your blog, too. I sure wish we still had our ocean here, but all we have are the reminders.

Stay in touch. I will let Don know that you said hello.

Yurt Mama said...

Trevor! I was in Terlingua for 12 days over the holidays and you were no where to be found.

I hung out with the beautiful kelliegh who assured me that we are in fact, neighbors!

I bought a vintage trailer this weekend so I hope to be down there real soon to put it on my land.. hopefully you'll be around!

I love this blog, btw!

~Anna Oakley