A retired mathematician bought this rotting hut for $100. What he did to her was amazing

Even in our time, when new technologies are being introduced everywhere, there are people who create amazing things with their own hands. Richard Aiken is a man with many talents and impressive life skills. He has a medical degree, he also has a doctorate in mathematics and chemical engineering.

The man worked part-time as an opera singer, wrote a book, and at the age of 65 began participating in sports competitions. And on his Facebook page, Richard calls himself a “rustic vegan.” Like many other people, Aiken dreamed of becoming the owner of a modest dwelling somewhere in the forest and escaping there from the shocks of the modern civilized world. After retiring, he started looking for a suitable house, but very quickly realized that the fulfillment of his dreams would result in an astronomical sum.

However, Richard soon had a great opportunity, which he hastened to take advantage of. Billy Howell couldn’t decide for a long time what to do with an abandoned cabin on his property in the middle of the woods in Missouri. After living in this hut for about 40 years, in the 1990s Billy and his wife moved to live elsewhere. And the house, deprived of any supervision, was gradually being destroyed.

When Howell saw an ad about finding an old house posted by Aiken, he decided that fate itself was sending him this man. When Richard Aiken came to look at the building, he saw only a dilapidated frame with a collapsed roof. Nevertheless, Richard considered the potential in this wreck and paid Howell a symbolic $ 100 for it, although he was ready to give it to an interested person and just like that. This happened in 2003.

First of all, Aiken conducted a real study and found out that the house was probably built in the 1830s. Then he got to work, realizing that he was working with something like antiques. “This hut has become a real find! Originally it was a two-story building made of massive beams. The beams were hand–hewn from white oak, and most of them were in excellent condition,” Aiken later said.

However, there was one serious problem with the shack – it was located “in the wrong place.” The fact is that Richard and his wife Mary had already fallen in love with a piece of land located in the Ozark Mountains, and wanted to have a house there. But Richard found a “simple” solution. He compiled a detailed catalog, in which he entered each part of the hut, and disassembled the structure. Disassembled, the man delivered the hut to the place of his dreams. Then restoration work began, with Aiken intending to reconstruct the hut as reliably as possible.

Richard and Mary knew that they absolutely needed a basement underground in which they could store food. They started to dig a pit, but at a depth of about 2 meters they came across a rock and could not go any further. The way out was found: Richard decided to raise the foundation to a height. With the exception of the concrete floor in the basement, everything in the house was made of natural materials.

When Aiken needed new logs for construction, he took them from the trees that grew nearby: white oak, hickory, ash, cedar. And although Aiken regretted that he had to take materials from living trees, he considered these cases “necessary sacrifices.” Gradually, the house began to take shape. Outside the building, Richard added a rustic veranda – the perfect place to sit and listen to frogs and songbirds.

In the future, the family plans to use the porch as a stage for music shows. The main part of the hull was made up of solid logs, but there were significant gaps between them. To fill them, Richard used a wire mesh, which he covered with a special putty made of cement, sand and lime. Inside the house, Aiken built a fireplace known as the Rumford Hearth. Such fireplaces were common at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they were particularly effective in heating rooms.

Indeed, the fireplace in the Aiken house emits so much heat that they can cook vegetables by simply spreading them around the edges of the hearth. The house turned out to be quite simple, but Richard included a lot of incredible details in it: the staircase to the attic is made of a fallen oak trunk, all metal fittings are made of hand-forged iron. In 2013, 10 years after Richard started the project, the construction was completed.

Today the house serves as a cozy shelter for the Aiken family. Proud of his father’s achievements, Richard’s son subsequently posted several images of the house on his social network page. Subscribers were amazed by the updates that happened to the hut, some of them also wanted to do something similar. And some users wanted to know if the house was for rent. But Richard Aiken has no intention of renting it out. For him, it’s more of a philosophical experience.

Although the process was sometimes difficult, the man began to view the project as something like meditation. “I hope I’ll never finish working with this log cabin,” he said. Yes, a person at any age can be a purposeful and creative person, remaining a worthy role model. And at any age, you can safely move towards your goal and create something beautiful!

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