Relaxshax's Blog


Tin Can Siding As A Cost-Friendly Alternative For Tiny House Builders?
January 10, 2011, 8:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Chances are you won’t see this construction method used on McMansions just yet, so it seems more fitting a method for experimental, non-traditional house-buildings/builders- US! I’m talking about tin-can siding for YOUR cabin or camp….

"The House that "AA" built". THOUSANDS of beer and soda cans as SIDING

I”ve been seeing more and more use of cans in this fashion, and have dabbled in the “art” a tiny bit myself. I’ve actually been stockpiling some cans which I might try to incorporate into this summer’s/2011’s “Deathwish-paced, hands on, tiny-shelter/house building workshop here in Massachuisetts, which I’ll be hosting (alongside my brother Dustin). This’ll probably be one of the few workshops where you might see something like this employed for the sake of experimentation and open-mindedness,

     Anyway, the use of aluminum cans for siding is pretty self-explanatory and the most basic rule to keep in mind is “The bigger the can, the fewer you’ll need.” Large tomato cans, “Juicy-Juice” and one-gallon cans work best, but as you can see in these photos just about anything will do- it just might take a little more patience. Simply hammer the cans flat, attach them with roofing nails/siding nails, and you’re good to go! Don’t forget tar paper or building paper as an underlayment though!

Yeah, I suppose rule #2 should  also be “Keep them fingers away from the cans when a’smashin’ ’em”. I’ve found that a swiftly descending boot always works just as well too and can sometimes save your arm/back.

For more info/details on the house shown, check out http://mosaik.wordpress.com/2007/06/15/a-can-do-house-a-new-twist-to-aluminum-siding/#comment-16338 This blog is pretty solid too….

Note: I know some of you might be thinking “Good god, that individual could have redeemed those thousands of cans to acquire the funds sufficient to purchase a few slices of toast! What a fool! Do keep in mind that these days, sadly, there are a great many canned-drinks out there (many energy drinks and iced teas) that do not carry a deposit, and therefore are simply thrown away- DO try to collect and incorporate these- they’ll do us no good in a crowded landfill.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


12 Comments so far
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they almost look like fish scales from a distance…looks cool but i wonder how loud it would be in a rain storm..ping ping ping all night long lol

Comment by Amy

I would think that “tin” cans would rust pretty quickly. Using tin cans would be an awfully lot of work for the return on time spent. There goes the “get big cans” savings of time. Those I’ve looked at in the example seem to be aluminum which won’t rust.

Comment by Karen Snow

Karen- yeah, you’re right- they would rust, but even so, they’d still last a VERY long time….and if an overly generous roof overhang were given, even longer. One advantage (amongst the obvious disadvantage) of the “tin” can method/use, is that with oxidation, your cabin/camp is no longer shiny and reflective, if you want its whereabouts and existence more obscured.

I wonder if cut/platic 2 liter soda bottles- unrolled- would work on a north facing side (out of the sun’s damaging rays?)

Comment by relaxshax

Yeah- prob no louder than a metal roof though- esp. considering that he most likely insulated the walls, which would block out a good deal of sound- its the walls that are can covered too, and not the roof, so the rain hitting the walls wouldn’t directly stike the cans in most storms….

But yeah, louder than normal siding- but prob not THAT loud….I guess I’ll just have to try it out sometime and see. Thanks!

Comment by relaxshax

wow! who knew? it looks so gingerbready or victorian. i suppose that in this day and age, in the right (or wrong) neighborhood, one would need to maintain constant vigilence or come out to find that parts of the house are missing…trunding down the street in the grocery cart of the “can man”.

Comment by kellicox

hey deek, this question has nuthin’ to do w/this post. i’m wondering and perhaps i have not gone far enough thru yer archives to find this out for myself, but do you have any vids or whatnot about handtools? like what’s a Good saw or very Reliable hand-drill? where to find them (i only know about an amish store)?

Comment by kellicox

Good idea for a post- we’ll have to do something on that down the road…thanks!

Comment by relaxshax

That is really cool! I wonder what else could be used as siding… I’m going to be trying to use various recycled materials when I build my house, so I’m going to add this one to the list of ideas. Although one thing I might do is paint everything to be a uniform color because I would have a sensory overload looking at my house… LOL

Comment by Sarah L.

One direct sunbeam and I’m blinded for life…

Still, interesting. Like Amy said, very fish-like.

Comment by Anne

For a more square shingled look- cut the round ends off a larger can, cut it vertically with tin snips/aviation shears, and use in the same fashion- it might look less fish-like (and uniform in color).

Comment by relaxshax

Oh damn, that is awesome. I tend to be so closed-minded about siding. These pictures are remdining why that’s ridiculous. Love how colorful it makes the house without the bother of paint too.

Comment by clickclackgorilla

I just started collecting cans to make siding(siding experiment) out of and was going to cut them and use the silver side to make it look uniform but seeing your house I love the colors🙂 and it saves me a ton of work! Thanks!!!

Comment by Therese




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