The guys in construction class, most of whom have four-letter names, do not know my name. I discovered this today–eight weeks into the program–when they wrote a list of assignments on the board with “Polly & Co.” in charge of drafting the tiny office plans. To be fair, we all knew exactly who that meant. My sister Polly and I stick pretty close together in Building Construction Technology class.
Years ago, Polly did a little drafting. Years ago, I read a book about architect Philip Johnson. Arguably, neither credential adequately prepared Polly & Co. for the task at hand.
We started by mapping out a 10′ X 14′ area in the corner of the classroom, to get a feel for the dimensions of the tiny office our class plans to build and sell. We rolled some chairs and a desk into our footprint, then invited the guys with four-letter names to test-drive the layout.
No sooner had we sat down to our graph paper than we were stumped by a simple question: How thick are the walls of the tiny office?
Our patient instructor guided us through layers of 3 1/2-inch studs, half-inch OSB, half-inch drywall, 3/8-inch rain screen, and 5/16-inch Hardie siding. Our walls will be 5 3/16 inches thick, unless we add interior shiplap over the drywall.
Incidentally, our instructor’s name, Kenton, has more than four letters. I notice the guys all call him “Tank.” I hope to avoid a similar fate. But I digress.
For the rest of the afternoon, we at Polly & Co. sharpened pencils, calculated scales and studied piles of detailed architectural drawings. We sketched and erased, sketched and erased, and sketched and erased, until late in the day, when we emerged with our masterpiece—a meticulously sketched, perfectly scaled representation of our future tiny office.
I present the first sketch by Polly & Co. …
It is a rectangle.