It’s Hip to Be Square

While I worry my pretty little head about what liquid I should put in coffee, Manly Man Mr. EOS has been toting barges and lifting bales, climbing up scaffolding so many times in one day he falls into bed at night one exhausted puppy. All in an effort to put the cupola in place.

Not a store bought from the box cupola mind you, a built from scratch, as only Mr. EOS would do cupola. It’s the crowning glory of the Carriage House, siting so perfectly square atop the gambrel roof.

For those of you who hammer nails on the weekend, you can appreciate the intense labor of love the Carriage House is and how magnificent it will all be when it is done.

Words and photos by Mr. EOS:
Cupola build was going to be way too difficult for a solo builder to construct in place. So I mocked up the roof opening on the second story floor and build the cupola upon that structure. Inside, level floor, out of wind and rain. The pieces ware just tacked together with screws for the most part, but the framing for the base walls and window walls was nailed together.



Waited for a two day window of hopefully light winds and no rain in forecast. As it turned out, it took two full days to cart the pieces up and fit them pack together, with some adjustments along the way.

I have a pipe staging tower inside, and roof access via a framed-in skylight opening to a rather tenuous platform on roof. Still, access is tedious and I made a zillion trips up and down ladders. By end of second day the structure was relatively rain and bird proof. Now I can finish it off under slightly more relaxed conditions.


The red square represents where the windows in the cupola will go. I will have to rig up some remote way of opening windows since the height is prohibitive to reach up and open them, even for the Knicks new NBA draft pick!

This is how she looks so far. Do not adjust your televisions sets for the out of focus shot. Photography with fat fingers is not my strong suit.


I think this qualifies for non-girly girl hardly boring post. Agree?

29 thoughts on “It’s Hip to Be Square

  1. I hope you are keeping a diary of all the work. It would make a great book or entry to a magazine. Incredible work sir.

  2. Don’t let my wife see this. She’s after me to repair the back stairs, a simple fix that I could do, if it didn’t interfere with my golf game. If she saw you are building a whole house, I’d never hear the end of it. I second Anonymous above, incredible work sir.

    Two points for the headline too.

  3. Wow, he’s talented. Incredible work sir. What did he do before becoming a master carpenter/designer/architect?

    1. Computers and software design. So his mind lends itself well to the math of house design and building. We made a deal. He’d design and build the Carriage House. I get to decorate and determine interior finishes.

  4. I can’t even imagine the effort it takes to build a house. I’m like Bob O. I can fix this and that, but never endeavor a home, or one with any hope of staying standing.

    Mr. EOS, what precautions/requirements are there for living on the ocean, for hurricane, for rain and wind? Does the town demand series tie-downs etc?

    OT, I hate to do it in this post, but fans of FWIW would want to read about Corey Kupersmith’s final undoing. The Vineyard residents are thrilled he and his houses are gone.

    1. The weathervane is THE critical finishing piece. Much much conversation. You are too new to this blog to know that both Mr. EOS and I lived on MVY where the preeminent coppersmith worked. Travis Tuck created his first weathervane for the movie Jaws, and the rest, they say, is history. He’s dead now but his name lives on in a company that still produces vanes. Oh to have been smart enough to buy one back in 1975. Today, Tucks originals, rare to be found, sell for $50k and more. We might resort to bending a hanger into a bird-like shape and call it art.

    2. How about this Tuck and Holland vane? Each fish moves separately, like a school of stripers would in the sea.

  5. EOSr –

    That is a truly amazing, awe inspiring, testosterone producing accomplishment. You should rightfully be very proud, and you have obviously married a very talented man. I barely have the ability to wipe my own ass without sticking my finger through the toilet paper. But I actually think that is the most fun part! Do you agree? So I am most impressed by his talent!!

    Anyhows, what is it, if I may be so bold as to ask? Can I venture a guess? Is it like a little private clubhouse on your roof? A tree fort without the tree? A place where someone can go to be with their disgusting, vile, dirty little magazines, for some solitude and “relaxation”? Or is that just me?

    IF SO I WANT ONE!! Can he draw me up some plans with one that includes a hot tub and a round vibrating bed? Maybe a big screen HDTV to watch some porno flicks? So I will need cable. Please include that in the plans. And a microwave to make some Hot Pockets? Who doesn’t like them when you are He-manning out? Also maybe a pop corn machine?

    In this day and age, with the Slums committing atrocities every day, and with a President who continues to proclaim it is a “Religion of Peace™”, we all need a fortress of solitude.

    So this roof top cubby hole may just be the ticket!!

    Your Pal,

    1. Walt, um Anonymous, Fortress of Solitude, what a perfect name. The Carriage House will have many of the “amenities” you’ve outlined in the wish list for your own abode, with the exception of one or two items. I can assure you however, there will NOT be a popcorn machine. Mr. EOS has few rules but one strict one is never ever eat popcorn near him and never ever microwave popcorn, even if he’s nowhere near. Otherwise, the sky is the limit, figuratively and literally. Would you like to help me with the interior design aspect? You probably know more places to shop than I.

  6. The garage in NY has a rooster weathervane that I just might appropriate when Mrs. EOS isn’t looking. Around here, everyone has a fish atop their roof. That rooster would be the quintessential counterpoint.

    As for coastal building, there is a prescriptive code, dealing mostly with nailing schedules and hold-downs to handle high winds. Our structure has plenty of SImpson H8 hurricane ties nailed to the rafters. I have 4′ lengths of 1/2″ rod that I am going to use to create a continuous tie from the top plate of cupola to the roof framing.

    Back in my Vineyard days, one often heard commentary along the lines of “Give a hippie a hammer and he thinks he’s a carpenter. ‘Contractor’ status merely awaits the acquisition of a beater pickup.” My skills – such as they are – I really credit to my father. As far back as I can remember, he had serious mobility issues. We had an assortment of feathered critters and some sheep, all of whom specialized in escaping confinement. One of my jobs, as soon as I could walk, was to corral said animals and then repair the corral with whatever material might be handy. Most often, that material had little to no resemblance to what was traditional and proper. And then there was the endless maintenance of the seasonal rental properties, an endeavor of similar nature. Thus I developed an assortment of techniques and tools, along with some ingenuity and survivable misuse of some of those tools, that serves me well today. I had plenty of book learning, none of it particularly relevant to what I’m doing!

    Appreciate the compliments!

    1. I’m all for taking the Bedford rooster weathervane to RI. Easy to say when I own neither house. Weathervane thefts seem to have abated somewhat but it would be wise to rig up a deterrent.
      The carriage house is simply splendid. Almost a shame to have to cover up the beautiful framing. What is the expected completion date?

      1. The position of the future RI weathervane would require Oceans Eleven to steal. It’s pretty high up and inaccessible. But what does happen with regularity is big storm winds toss them onto the ground. Not pretty. There’s a specialized team of weathervane repairmen along many coastal towns.
        Completion date? Honey, back to you in the studio.

  7. New BFF Anonymous – Alas, this spacious 5′ x 5′ sky-manse will be vacant and inaccessible for all time. If ever there is to be an appearance of any of the delightful diversions you mention, it will be to properly celebrate the FINAL trip up the scaffold to finish the damn thing!

    And if the Mrs. nixes the rooster weathervane relocation, I’d consider adorning the yard with that now missing sculpture from Conyers Farm Polo Grounds. Surely you know where it went???

  8. Can’t thank you enough for expanding and spiffing up RI. I’m part of a group of your long-time readers who have formed a secret plan to become your uninvited house guests. Really … photos of ocean views, homemade pies, line-dried sheets, fresh-caught fish, elegant waterfront events … you cannot be surprised! I’ll likely be the only Arkie license plate in the state … does that mean I get first dibs on the best room?

    1. All depends on if the Arkansas plate has a Confederate flag on it! If yes, you WILL get the room with the best view. If not, and you’ve fallen to the PC police, and removed any trace of Confederacy linked to Arkansas, it’s to the Kubota suite for you!

      Just kidding. At some point in one of your trips to the NE, a meeting in RI would be most fun. It’ll have to be after the paying tenants leave (family crest is money first, family second, friends third!) but autumn is delicious on the ocean. All the summer dinks have gone. The place is empty, all ours.

      I think you were my FIRST reader to actually make a comment, a day I shall never forget. For you, any room in the house.

      1. What timing. I was just going to sneak in this cartoon about the Confederate flag but was wondering if it would be out of place. Thanks RLRR for the segue.

        Warning – viewing this cartoon could cause a micro-aggression trigger reaction, bouts of tears, or laughter, depending on your point of view.

      2. I’d like to think both flags could live in harmony. To push out the Confederate flag solely because some lunatic shot God-fearing people that all of a sudden now the entire history of the South is erased? You do realize the haters won’t stop at the Confederate flag. It’ll be all things Civil War. The forts. The statutes. Might as well just drag all the southern states and put them in Vermont.

      3. chris – excellent breitbart article. i’m a firm believer that history is a teaching tool, that our nation has survived this many years by certain successes and failures. i am not a fan of erasing/expunging history that some may find racist – it was a painful time for blacks, but it should be seen as a stepping stone for improving ourselves as humans. take the flag off the capitol. let the free markets determine futire sales of the flag on Amazon etc, not some surge of political opinion. i’ll end my rant by stating my thorough and utter dismay at the president today who said By taking down that flag we express God’s grace. God’s grace? NO, by taking down the flag we have caved to pressure from the left. sorry, i’ve been angry all day.

  9. Ummm … ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I was born in Philadelphia, raised in that area, and didn’t move to LR until my 40s. So I don’t qualify as genuinely Southern, and know better than to pretend to, However, having gone to college in Virginia seems to earn me some style points. I will say that the famous Faulkner quote I am about to misquote –“the past isn’t forgotten, it isn’t even past yet”– remains pertinent here.

    anonymous at 4:48, I absolutely LOVE that cartoon!

  10. Back to weathervanes. They can be worth really big bucks. A few years ago antique weathervanes were being stolen left and right from barns in northern New England. By helicopter. I’m not kidding.
    A copper weathervane which topped a barn in a nearby town was stolen a couple of years ago. The thieves even replaced it with a replica.

    1. I’ve seen Auctions of weathervanes that go into the millions. And one on Antiques Road Show was so rare it was almost priceless. It’s so yesterday for helicopter robber barons. It’s all about the quieter drone capable of picking off a vane.

  11. mr.eos is creating a masterpiece.
    Ingenious to build 5’x5′ cupola indoors,
    on perfectly mocked-up roof peak.

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