Author Topic: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine  (Read 163466 times)

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Offline freezengirl

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #100 on: August 23, 2010, 11:19:09 PM »
That is a most impressive home you built there.  Good job!  :) I have been looking at the plans on this site, reading all the commentary and trying to make up my mind about which plan will suit our needs best.  The Victoria cottage plan looks like it would work well on our property in Alaska.  I am going to be using all of the pictures you have posted along with other members to do a little arm twisting on my husband. ;D

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #101 on: August 24, 2010, 04:06:18 AM »
Thanks Freezengirl!  I spent a lot of time looking at pictures on here too before I started my project.  I didn't find a lot of construction detail type pics for the Victoria's so I made an effort to take and post lots of them.  Good luck!  :D
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline archimedes

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2010, 02:29:06 PM »
Hi Jeff

Really enjoying following your build.  Real nice job.

One more question about the FPSF.  You said that you have 2" of insulation on the outside edge of the slab.  But looking at the pics I don't see it.  Is there vertical insulation on the slab edge? 
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #103 on: September 05, 2010, 02:59:42 PM »
Yeah bman, there is 2" rigid insulation vertical around the perimeter slab edge.  It's covered with black 6mil poly in some of the pics.  The reason I did this (aside from my neurotic obsession with details) was twofold:  1)  Rigid insulation photodegrades rapidly  2)  To prevent water from getting under the slab.  When I used rigid insulating under the footers on my barn I noticed that the frost pushed the outer edges upward resulting in a quasi-bowl shaped piece of insulation.  Now even though I sloped the horizontal perimeter insulation out away from my Victoria's slab, I worried that frost would push the insulation upward channeling water directly under my slab.  My solution was to cover the vertical and horizontal insulation with a continuous piece of black poly to make sure the water drains outward.  Later, I covered the poly with roll roofing (a roll cut in half)  the roll roofing extends up onto the stud walls.  This should last a little while, but eventually I will probably put cement board on top of that...not sure.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 04:27:00 AM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #104 on: September 05, 2010, 05:28:55 PM »
Glad I found your thread!  Lots of things in there to learn from -- like cabinet making.  Something I might also do.

Did you use wainscoting for the doors?  It looks like the wainscoting we have in our home.

Great build!
Erik

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #105 on: September 06, 2010, 04:35:59 AM »
Yes, it's thin plywood with a beadboard texture.  It did not want to invest in a set of raised panel router bits at this point and the beadboard look has a nice cottage feel to it.  All of the rails and stiles are made from clear, straight grained hemlock I had drying in my barn.  I picked it up several years ago for 5 cents a foot.  The cabinet carcasses are construction grade plywood with a B side (no expensive furniture grade plywood was used).  I ended up having extremely rugged cabinets at a very low cost.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #106 on: September 15, 2010, 09:47:23 AM »
Well I've been working on a lot of odds and ends lately:  window trim, painting rafter tails, sealing concrete porches (thanks Meg!), getting woodstove hooked back up... I also just finished the upstairs floors.  

Last summer when I installed the 2x6 T&G pine floor/ceiling, I wasn't able to force out all the gaps between some of the more warped boards.  The problem with gaps is that they pack with dirt and crud and will only grow larger over time (due to compression shrinkage).  I was concerned that debris would work its way through the boards and end up falling from the ceiling downstairs and I don't want crud falling into my coffee anytime someone walks around upstairs.  I decided to use a trowelable wood filler and trowel out the whole floor.



I rented this three-disc random orbit floor sander from lowes.





Troweling it out. It was actually kinda fun and not as time consuming as expected.





Here's the stuff I used.





I started with 50 grit and got things nice and flat removing any cupping in the boards.  Then I used 80 grit.





After the first coat of wood sealer I sanded the floor and went back and touched up a few of the bigger gaps.  In retrospect I should have did another whole floor trowel because the touched up spots ended up being kinda blotchy.  The clock was ticking and I wanted to get the sander back and not have to pay for an extra day but I wasn't able to get all the sanding marks out of the floor.  Oh well, it looks pretty good and I'm way too fussy.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 03:46:41 PM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline kenhill

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #107 on: September 15, 2010, 10:34:07 AM »
I have the same issue, but have everything else in the cabin finished.  How bad was the dust from sanding?

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #108 on: September 15, 2010, 10:39:36 AM »
To be honest, it wasn't that bad.  The floor sander had a vacuum on it and it did a good job, but it had to be emptied often and there is a filter in there that needs to be kept clean.  The finer the grit, the finer the dust particles.  A box fan in the window helps too.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #109 on: September 15, 2010, 11:58:59 AM »
Jeff I wouldn't worry about it making to the downstairs as it will have to expand a good 1/4-3/8" before it will make it past the tounge.  I wonder what the filler will do when the wood moves.  Will it seperate and break up being such a small piece or will it stay put.  Let us know.  On mine I just left as is and yes it will probably be a booger the clean.

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #110 on: September 15, 2010, 12:18:35 PM »
I know there is a school of thought that says the gaps between the boards are a necessity to accommodate seasonal movement, but I tend to think that it's an excuse for sloppy work  ;).  The perimeter of the floor has a 1/2" expansion gap.  We shall see...
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Bishopknight

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #111 on: September 17, 2010, 08:03:34 AM »
Floor looks great Jeff!

Thanks for sharing the steps, (although it seems obvious now) I didn't know that about applying wood filler.

Offline Pat

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #112 on: September 17, 2010, 12:34:09 PM »
Jeff,

It was great following your progress.  Lots of similarities in construction cept I am too old to do it all myself. Did that growing up on the coast of CT building boats in back yards. Kudos to all your ingenuity and hard work.  The one thing I regret is that we built a foundation and partial basement instead of a slab.  Would have save a whole bunch in excavation costs and insulation costs. See our interpretation of VC at http://victormontana.wordpress.com/
Since I have been a cabinetmaker for the past 30 years the kitchen is my swan song

Thanks for the posts

Pat Abbe
"Grapefruit moon, one star shining, shining down on me" Tom Waits

Offline freezengirl

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #113 on: September 19, 2010, 07:57:07 PM »
I ended up ordering the 1 1/2 story plans because my husband liked them best.  I think we should have gone with the VC plans.  His big concern was the width of 16 feet, thinking it would be to uncomfortable when winter sets in and we spend so much time indoors.  I do not get the feeling that the VC plans are too confining at all.  Now that you are living in your home do you have any thoughts on the narrow floor plan? We are a family of two and my husband is gone much of the time so space isn't much of an issue for us. ???

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2010, 05:17:29 AM »
Abbea, thanks for the link to your blog.  I really enjoyed reading through it and looking at all the pics.  You have built a very fine home.  Great job!  It's really fascinating to see all the different interpretations of the Victoria's.  Your kitchen is something else!  I'm seriously considering a super-insulated structure for my next build.  

Freezengirl, my wife and I have always lived in smaller spaces, so we are used to it.  I think people can embrace small living as a lifestyle choice successfully but it takes a philosophical commitment.  One needs to become very good at prioritizing and constantly asking "do we really NEED this?" or "can we live without that?".  If your husband is not on board with this concept, it's probably a good idea to compromise and go a little bigger.  That said, if we build a small barn for all our "stuff", tools, bikes, ski gear, etc., I think the Victoria's will be quite comfortable.  Can't wait to see your progress.  Good luck!.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 07:28:03 AM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Chuck Adze

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #115 on: October 06, 2010, 10:36:37 AM »
Hi,
I am new here and what a great job you are doing Jeff.

I just happened by this site and it is great.

I just wanted to pass on a design guide for frost protected slabs from First Nations CA (don't know iif someone has mentioned it before).
It uses PT plywood as the form work and casts the sole plate into the slab (which seals it very well).
The best thing about this design (IMO) is that you can nail / staple metal lathe to the perimeter plywood and then grout or stucco, or have a base for stone or brick veneer.

The place I am in presently I built myself and built an all weather wood foundation (really like it), put 2" of foam on the outside used long roof nails to secure the lathe and used a bagged sand / grout mix to cover the foam.
It has been up for 20 years with no problems.

The new place I am thinking about building, I am thinking about a radiant slab (I live in Maine too).

Anyway...here is the web address (I hope);

ftp://ftp.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/chic-ccdh/.../slab%20on%20grade_en(W).pdf


Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #116 on: October 15, 2010, 12:18:33 PM »
Thanks for that info and link Chuck, good stuff.   :D

Things are moving along albeit slowly.  We are finally done dipping cedar shingles and have begun to hang them.  It's also very time consuming but it's looking good.  Here's a preview:










Notice that Meg is tucking this course of shingles underneath the aluminum flashing and tarpaper spline.





This house has 8 outside corners and 4 inside corners - it's a lot of shingle weaving.



"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline mountainmomma

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #117 on: October 15, 2010, 12:36:32 PM »
That is looking Fabulous!!!
 [cool]

Offline mseh

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #118 on: November 25, 2010, 05:09:02 PM »
Phenomenal! Gorgeous! You've sure done some beautiful work!

I bought the Victoria's Cottage plans several years ago and we ended up having something larger built, but I still hope to have Victoria's, or a modification, someday...! Sigh...

BTW, we're "up the road" in New Brunswick. Nice to see something being done so "close," relatively speaking! ;-)

I look forward to seeing more photos of the interior!

Offline IronPatriotTN

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #119 on: November 25, 2010, 09:34:13 PM »
From the stairs to the outside this is a beautiful project.

Well done indeed.  c*

~Ron

Offline novascroller

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #120 on: December 02, 2010, 03:28:27 AM »
what is the orientation of the house??  is the larger, sloping section of the roof with skylights facing south??

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #121 on: December 02, 2010, 03:54:05 AM »
Thanks for the positive words mseh and Ron!  Working alone in a relatively remote area can be a challenge.  The support I get from the like- minded individuals on this forum has been extremely helpful.  I'll be finishing the shingles in the next couple of weeks.  The exterior will be done!!!  I'll post a ton of pics. :D

Novascroller, yeah, the section with the skylights is facing south-east.  I drew a very accurate site-plan on autoCAD and had it facing directly south originally but there were a few variables I didn't foresee.  I had the idea in mind to get a little passive solar action - the kitchen bump-out roof overhang is shortened and the concrete slab (stained a dark color) could absorb heat.  But, like I said, I wasn't able to get "ideal" orientation.  I also didn't factor in trees on the adjacent property that block a little sun.  Live and learn... :D
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline babucat

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #122 on: December 15, 2010, 01:23:44 PM »
How much is the average total cost of building one of these kits to the level that you did?


Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #123 on: December 17, 2010, 05:15:20 AM »
Just to clarify, this is not a "kit" but a complete and very thorough set of home plans that I'm working from.  Help from CountryPlans as well as this forum can help you modify them to your needs.

Many people have asked me about cost and it can get rather complicated.  Here's some advice:  don't think so much about the cost of building the actual house  - focus your attention on SITE DEVELOPMENT costs.  Many people overlook/underestimate the cost of site development and there are so many variables that cost-comparisons are virtually pointless from site to site.  You must look at your water supply (well or city), electric hook up (overhead lines or underground, adding poles adds big bucks), driveway (gravel, pavement),  lot clearing (are there trees? are they worth anything?) and on and on and on...

The cost of building materials is much easier to estimate and actually rather inexpensive, however if you are going to hire contractors, add about 60% more to the cost of materials - labor is VERY EXPENSIVE.  

So take my actual numbers with a grain of salt, but here is a simple breakdown:


Land:  $18,000
Well:  $11,000
Clearing/Excavation/Gravel/septic:  $20,000
Concrete (pour only):  $4300
House (all building materials)  $26,000

There are so many other variables that I'm leaving out:  septic design, survey if needed, driveway permit requirements, various other permits...
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 04:11:15 AM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #124 on: December 17, 2010, 05:38:38 AM »
Making a little progress:





"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"