About the Cheap-Ass Curmudgeon...
“One man's trash is the SAME man's TREASURE! "
- Cheap-Ass Curmudgeon
Michael Van Hall (The Cheap-Ass Curmudgeon) began his career in the construction world building residential houses the conventional way—in the shape of a box, as most builders do. He remodeled dozens of homes, built two health clinics and completely overhauled a restaurant. Then he discovered another way of building and another way of being. He found something deep inside himself he never knew was there—his inner Curmudgeon—just itching to come out and play.
He has led workshops on many unconventional building techniques and artistic methods.
He has built with every imaginable building material, including but not limited to: adobe (dirt), straw bales, tires, rocks, firewood, cobb (more dirt), papercrete, concrete, old lumber, pallets, cans, broken pottery, bottles, wheels, metal grates, trash, trash cans, rubble, trees, mirrors, stumps, tin, metal can lids, soda bottle caps, fiber-plaster, railroad ties, old chain-link fencing, jars, marbles, cream cans, and even old refrigerators.
He has built in-ground cabins, underground tunnels and rooms (all with shovels and picks), a giant bird bath for ravens, a huge swing for two (hung from 20′ tall steel poles), an earth oven, a straw bale house, a cordwood cabin, numerous adobe buildings and walls, and a giant water heater using mirrors to reflect the heat of the sun. He has dug a huge grotto 17′ deep (by hand) with a waterfall cascading down to a fishpond, and tunnels that you'd never know weren’t old mine shafts.
He and his co-Curmudgeons have built secret doors to secret rooms, drawbridges over moats, toilets at the tops of towers, showers in tall chimneys, and a host of other fabulous things. They play on huge teeter-totters, ride giant swings, and pedal around hand-made trikes built for two.