Author Topic: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update  (Read 1509143 times)

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2005, 01:26:54 PM »
Hi ChatBot,

The place my plans came from is a real mess -- I got them out of my head as I went along.  The engineering is designed so that you can just add on in increments as you go and as long as you follow the engineering tables.  The frames are all the same design so you are extra strong around the edges (loaded one side only) but it is great for expansion in any direction. ;D

Part of my design grew as I saw other places to dig between giant boulders - other places grew as I got 33' long beam logs and decided to use all of them.  Part of it grew as we decided we didn't have enough room in one area so added another room.  The shop took advantage of the backside of the above ground greenhouse wall.

This is best done in an area where you don't have officials to deal with.  My point is that housing can be affordable if you manage to cut the red tape.  Safety is still number one, therefore I required engineered guidelines to follow.  A shelter does me no good if only my arms and head - or possibly feet are sticking out of the dirt and horse manure. ;D
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline ChatBot

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2005, 01:47:15 PM »
  I hear that...and I love the look of your place.
 But what do you do with all your "stuff?"

 I don't see alot of closet room there.

 Did you make your place small on purpose, or was that the only option?

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2005, 02:06:29 PM »
ChatBot, please quit inciting my wife to riot. :-/

There will be more closets as other parts of the cabin get done.   ;D

She nearly had a cow, making me use Sheetrock in her bedroom closet.  I wasn't allowing Sheetrock but got some 1" fire rated free so put it there for her.  The east end of the temporary studio apartment area will have a pantry and storage closet.  There are more to be downstairs in the main room.  I wanted to build closets with cob but would have had to seal them with acrylic or plaster and seal them to keep her clothes clean.  ;D

Still need more places for stuff- lots downstairs in the unfinished area and shop - wife uses plastic drawers under the bed and finally got her dressers etc here too.   I just try to take pictures that don't show that. ;D
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2005, 09:50:34 PM »
Wouldn't gypsum plaster (sets up fast--not too bad for a closet) or even lime plaster work just fine?

Just as an alternative to drywall.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2005, 10:00:14 PM »
I think they would , Amanda, but around here it's rush - put a fire out- work- go somewhere else - put out another one - then eventually hang on to one part of the project long enough to get it almost done.  --Then I got lazy - the Sheetrock was free so my rules allow recycling- that's how I had to justify it-I shot nails in it and my wife taped and put on joint compound. :)

Another thing-- it seems that if I decide to do something, it always requires that I do 4 more things first.  Example:  Trim the edges of exposed plastic - no wood - -solution - get chain saw gas - chains - binders -trailer- fix flat tires - go to the woods -get logs- make trade deal with log owners- load logs- bring to my sawmill - sharpen blades - unload trailer -put log on mill after moving previously cut boards- cut boards - carry to trim needing area.  Nail on-  No wonder I never get anything done-- ;D
« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 10:05:54 PM by glenn-k »
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Offline JRR

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2005, 12:54:02 PM »
"If you're really gonna bake an apple pie from scratch .... you must begin with the Big Bang".
                                            ... Carl Sagan

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2005, 07:23:00 PM »
I know that feeling!

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2005, 07:50:44 AM »
Speaking of sawing boards,

Betty Bryant, a local lady, writes a email newspaper every week.  Here is an appropriate joke she published.

Here is another question from the Redneck Aptitude Test:
A front porch is constructed of 2x8 pine on 24-inch centers with a field rock foundation. The span is 8 feet and the porch length is 16 feet. The porch floor is 1-inch rough sawn pine. When the porch collapses, how many hound dogs will be killed?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2005, 07:51:55 AM by glenn-k »
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Eric Anderson

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #58 on: May 10, 2005, 06:54:26 AM »
Glenn,
I love what you done with your home.  I have recently finished Oehler's book.  My wife is currently looking at it also.  We are thinking about doing something like this in Northern California, although I am wondering how far away I am going to have to go to get away from any inspectors.  If you ever have a workshop at your place, we would love to go.  I like your building inspector a lot more than any of the ones I have met around here.  :)  Thanks.

Eric Anderson

jon rothwell

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #59 on: May 10, 2005, 08:29:14 AM »
This is a question for anyone who has ordered the $50 and over underground house book.... i ordered it online from http://www.undergroundhousing.com last week, paid for it, shipping and all, and have received no book, received no notification of it being shipped or anything, and no one answers the phone number given on the page.
Is this a scam??? I had paid 16 + shipping to come to about $20. Help please,
-Jon

Offline Jimmy C.

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #60 on: May 10, 2005, 08:52:42 AM »
Quote
i ordered it online from http://www.undergroundhousing.com last week, paid for it, -Jon


I order many times per year online. Most of the time I receive my package in about 10-14 days.
Some places wait until the last day of the week and ship everything ordered within the past 7 days.
This is done mostly by people living in rural areas to save on trips into town.
Hang in there and give it a little more time.
I totally understand the, I want it now fever!
Every day that passes is one more day you are not making progress to your goal.  
             

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #61 on: May 10, 2005, 06:27:28 PM »
Mike is the real deal. No scam. I spent the day at his place in Idaho about 3 weeks ago. He is strictly a low tech home based operation working out of small cabin in the backwoods of North Idaho. Let me know if you dont  get your book or make contact and I will try to let him know their is disgruntled customer out there.

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #62 on: May 10, 2005, 07:17:46 PM »
It's a pretty good idea to stay on top of orders.

I ordered stuff from one person who lost about half of that day's orders.  He was very nice about it, I got my book, I was in no particular hurry, it probably won't happen again.

On the other hand--One of the used book people lied to the order clearing house about having sent a book.  They tried to cover their asses by sending the book priority mail postmarked ten days after they told the clearing house that they'd sent it, and two days after the clearing house person talked to them.  Yeah, right.  Unfortunately, one never knows who is the recipient of the order on the used book clearing house (e.g. Amazon or Alibris)

And worst of all--a very expensive order was ignored.  The company, while still taking orders and issuing order numbers by robot generated email, had their answering machine tell us to send them an email, which they never answered.

In this case I called in Mastercard who had me wait a month before removing money from seller's bank.  Not sure what would have happened if they hadn't had money in the bank.  I might just have joined a long list of creditors.

A year later, just for fun, I looked them up, found no explanation--family crisis or whatever--for the lost month, and the same things they didn't send me were still "available" at the same probably too low prices.  I didn't reorder frrom them.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2005, 07:18:56 PM by Amanda_931 »

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #63 on: May 11, 2005, 05:00:28 AM »
Hi Jon,

You have absolutely nothing to worry about with Mike.  He has even called me on his dime to see how My cabin was coming along and things I have done on it.  

Let me know also if you don't get your book soon.  Mike is only interested in seeing that his methods reach the people who need them.  Sounds too cheap- He is writing a book for more expensive homes because many people don't take him seriously.  See pictures in this update for a cabin built by his $50 and Up Underground House book.

Sorry I was slow to respond - working out of town - dial up connection here-- no DSL like in the underground cabin :-/
« Last Edit: May 11, 2005, 05:03:46 AM by glenn-k »
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #64 on: May 11, 2005, 03:31:56 PM »
I hate people with DSL lines, at least I'm jealous  ;).

Not available this far from town, I asked the last time I paid the phone bill.  They had raised the dial-up speed from 10k to occasionally as much as 46k.  The gals in the office and I were agreed that that repair guy is cute--and competent.

If it's taken two weeks to get a book, send a nice email (preferably as a reply to the message that gave you the order number) asking what the story is.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #65 on: May 11, 2005, 06:04:33 PM »
Us trogolodytes have to stay up to date, Amanda.  Do you have a dial up accelerator service available, They help a lot-- I think you can even use an outside service if not available locally.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2005, 04:38:21 AM »
Yesterday on the way home from work, off in the distance 75 road miles away I could see my mountain gleaming like a giant diamond on the finger of a new bride.

Whoa-- that's kinda poetic -- have I been away from heaven that long ???  I don't like being down here in the bowels of the earth.  Maybe one or two more days.

We are working on a building for a septic pumping station.  Getting into Daddymem's work area.  Don't get too excited, Daddymem.  Don't want to see you drooling over those 4 big 10" sewage pumps.  Currently we are puddle welding and edge stitching decking to open web truss joists 50 feet long.  The building is 38 feet wide.  

Soon I will be able to go home and remain on the mountain relatively unmolested until the evil telephone rings and they once again call me back to hell to work on buildings for the masses.

This is pretty goofy.  See what happens when I have to get up too early

???
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Jimmy C.

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2005, 04:50:34 AM »
Quote
Us trogolodytes have to stay up to date  

I had to look up this word, Trogolodytes.
It all makes sense now.

[size=24]Trogolodytes[/size]

If you happen to be strolling by an open field and see a chimney incongruously sticking up out of the ground, you should guess that you are walking on top of a Troglodyte dwelling. Saumur has a very large number of cave dwellers, as does the entire Loire Valley region. When there were not caves, man dug into the sides of mountains for shelter. The natural Tufa stone of the area is fairly easy to cut and makes digging into the sides of hillsides not too difficult. Mankind has been living in caves or under ground since the beginning of time and there seems to be some positive reasons for doing so.

The Tufa rock of the Loire remains relatively dry, the average temperature in a cave remains a fairly steady 12 degrees centigrade, or about 54 degrees Fahrenheit, winter and summer, caves are sheltered from windstorms, and at no risk from fire. Some of these cave houses are simple rude shelters, while others have front glass windows installed, verandas, and central heating. There are also complete Troglodyte villages.



Two farms consisting of 40 rooms in the Troglodyte village of Rochemenier are open to the public. The entire village has 250 rooms, with the oldest part dating from the 13th century. It would seem to have everything an above ground village would have, houses, barns, village hall, stable, chapel, wine cellar, etc. Oddly enough, even though the personal rooms are very spare and small, they appear to be comfortable. Then immediately outside the front door of each room, is the large sunny communal courtyard. This affords not only light, but a necessary feeling of space as well.

If you would like to get an idea of what its like to be a Troglodyte for a couple of hours, then reserve a table at one of the underground restaurants. One such restaurant is Les Cave de Marson and is entered by walking down a curved incline of about 20 feet to its front door and into the cave. Suddenly, you are in a space that could only be described as looking like a cathedral with very high ceiling and many large connecting rooms. There are hundreds of candles lighting the place, and there is the aroma of fresh bread baking in the wood fire stone oven. The bread being baked in the oven uses an old recipe from "Gargantua," a book by the famous French author Francois Rabelais. Of course, the bread has been refined somewhat for today's diner before being included on the menu. Prepare yourself for a five-course dinner accompanied by red wine.





troglodyte \TROG-luh-dyt\, noun:
1. A member of a primitive people that lived in caves, dens, or holes; a cave dweller.
2. One who is regarded as reclusive, reactionary, out of date, or brutish.


Troglodyte comes from Latin Troglodytae, a people said to be cave dwellers, from Greek Troglodytai, from trogle, "a hole" + dyein, "to enter." The adjective form is troglodytic.



« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 04:53:34 AM by Jimmy_Cason »
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Offline Daddymem

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2005, 05:16:15 AM »
Quote
We are working on a building for a septic pumping station.  Getting into Daddymem's work area.  Don't get too excited, Daddymem.  Don't want to see you drooling over those 4 big 10" sewage pumps.  Currently we are puddle welding and edge stitching decking to open web truss joists 50 feet long.  The building is 38 feet wide.  

10" outlets??!  50 foot joists?  What are you building?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 05:16:37 AM by Daddymem »
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Offline John Raabe

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2005, 10:43:08 AM »
When the Lord of the Rings movies came out there was a short flurry of interest in "hobbit houses" — this is a somewhat romantic troglodyte structure.

For fun you might want to search the old forum on the word hobbit.

From what I have seen of Glenn, he is too big to be a hobbit. Also, the hairy feet seem to be missing. But that might just be the fact that we always see him with his shoes on.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 10:44:12 AM by jraabe »
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #70 on: May 12, 2005, 06:21:16 PM »
Unfortunately your phone company has to cooperate to give you DSL line access.  Two years ago they said, "maybe in a couple of years."  Now they're not even saying that., bless their little hearts.   :'(

In town they've got what is apparently a pretty fancy wi-fi system.  I think I'm too far away even if I was line-of-sight to their tower.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #71 on: May 12, 2005, 07:20:15 PM »
Daddymem, I'm building the roof over a sewage pumping plant for a Indian Tribal Gaming center.  They are building a great big new addition - motel I think and need a sewage plant the size of one for a small city.  It looks like 4 10" inlet and outlet pipes to the pumps.  The trusses are running the long way on the building - It's a little under 2000 square feet.  Decking welds  to top of trusses every 6" with rows about 6"6" apart.  I'm only doing the roof system so don't know much more about the pumps.   Possibly they are for fresh water but they are a few hundred feet from the existing sewage plant.

John, I have to keep my shoes on so the hair on my feet doesn't get tangled in the bushes and trip me.

Jimmy, the Loire river valley is where we stayed in the troglodyte cave in the town of Troo.  Really a nice area.  We toured the area from there.  

Amanda, the dial-up accelerator is a compression program that is loaded on your computer and a host computer that compresses text and graphics.  It will greatly speed up normal dial up service with variable quality on the graphics.  It does not require DSL.  Just a normal dial up line.  MSN has it.  We have one called Accelenet at Sierra tel that kicks in and speeds up my dial up no matter where I call from if not on DSL.  Normal charges are about $5 per month - MSN includes it now.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Jon Rothwell

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #72 on: May 12, 2005, 08:14:12 PM »
Hey guys,
about the book I ordered. I received an e-mail from Mike himself, I was kinda stunned that the author himself deals with it all, I think its wonderful. I still am waiting for the book, but trust it will come in good time, just glad to hear from him. I guess I jumped the gun about the order..
Anyways, I don't have any of my own woods yet to build (i am a renter for now), but am extremely curious on the topic, and the possibility of having such an economic home is really intriging me, possibly enough to buy some wooded land and build myself a cheap underground home. I'm from upstate NY, around mostly farmland. For now I could only make practice homes on lots owned by friends, but eventually would love to do it for myself,
-jon

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #73 on: May 12, 2005, 08:40:18 PM »
That's the kind of guy Mike is, Jon.  Mike feels that everyone should be able to afford a home of their own sans mortgage.

Study his book- If you need help with anything feel free to ask..  If you compare his methods to other designs you will find that he has a reason for the way he does everything the way he does it, and it will usually be the most economical -not by a little bit but by a lot.

Try a small building to get started.  Wood shed, goat shed or any other type small building you may have a need for. ;D
« Last Edit: May 13, 2005, 12:26:57 AM by glenn-k »
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2005, 01:24:38 AM »
One thing to keep in mind, Jon, is that Mikes methods are for the safe building of a structure that is to provide shelter for you.  Most areas that have building codes will not accept them as is without greatly modifying them to suit their demands, whether they are safe for you or not.

One example is that the code requires the use of cancer causing chemicals to treat the wood in your underground living space.  Mike does not allow that in his methods.  He has safe alternative designs that probably will not be accepted by the local building officials.  Best to consider building in an area where codes are not a consideration.  Most of the code testing is paid for by big business and corporate interests, and a low cost or no cost method will never make it into the code books, because that is not where their interest lies.  There is no money to be made.  

If after 10 to 30 years one or two of my boards or timbers develops a problem, it is no problem to change or repair.  I could safely change any board or timber that may need it in a day or two.  I may use one of the extra days of life I gained by not dying of cancer from the dangerous chemicals I didn't expose myself to, to change those boards.

With a lot of work and possibly a variance and many modifications, one may be able to work with the local officials to build an underground cabin according to Mikes plans, but expect to encounter great if not impossible obstacles if this is the route you choose to take.  

I chose to press for my constitutional rights and failed to ask permission rather than submit to their requirements that I poison myself in an underground dwelling of their design.  Mikes designs are sound, engineered by a very well qualified engineer.  The difference between what they will allow and what it will cost you as opposed to Mikes methods may cost as much as $1,000,000 citing a specific example of a house I know of.  Read earlier portions of this thread for more information on this.

Nobody is guaranteeing that you will be able to build a dwelling that the officials will accept from this book.  What it does is show you a safe method of providing low cost shelter whether it is accepted everywhere or not.  The book tells you more about your options.  Mikes video's tell much more than the book, and are highly recommended as the next step  if you decide to get serious.  I have already proven it works.  That's what my cabin is about- an experiment in low cost sustainable housing.

The methods in the code are not sustainable over a long period.  When the oil is gone or out of economic reach, a great majority of the coded materials will be un-obtainable.  If this is not true, then why are we no longer building out of straight clear old growth boards ??? ???     .................They are gone-- that's why, or so few left they are mostly protected.  Why do we have people so allergic to new housing that they can't live in it ??? ??? ......... Their bodies reject the chemical soup that holds the new high tech materials together.  ---How about a little non-toxic dirt and real wood?  That's my choice.

When you take in the knowledge in Mikes book, you will never be without the know how it will take to provide shelter for you and your family if times ever get rough.  Better than that, Mikes low impact technology can provide a great home for you today if you work yourself into a situation where you can use it.

Glenn
« Last Edit: May 13, 2005, 01:31:14 AM by glenn-k »
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