Author Topic: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska  (Read 35946 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Yeti Dog

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2008, 11:42:52 PM »
Just another interested Alaskan in your project.  As soon as the snow melts and the ground softens a bit my wife and I will begin our 20x30 1 1/2 story up at mile 266 of the Parks Hwy.  I guess I am always curious as to what these places up here are charging for the materials.  You mentioned SBS in Wasilla, think those would be the guys to go through?  It gets cold up here so the spray foam sounds promising.

Were you able to get a good price for a materials list you submitted to SBS?

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2008, 02:57:35 AM »
SBS prices are usually pretty competitive with all the other yards. I was able to save about 10% by running my orders through a contractors account---I contracted part of the project (foundation and roof) through him. If contractors do enough business with SBS they give them varying discounts so he liked the boost to his account numbers. You can sometimes shave a little money by buying at Home Depot or Lowes but you need to be selective about the quality and many times they don't carry what you need.

The spray foam is really good but pretty expensive---I opted to only have foam installed in my large cathedral ceiling and did all the rest myself with fiberglass. The cabin is heated with Toyo model 73 (40000 BTU) and it performs perfectly---I used 40 gallons of fuel oil for the first five weeks and most of that was before the ceiling t&g was in place and also while the sheetrock was being taped, mudded and painted so it was cranked up pretty high to dry the mud and paint. Of course, this was in early winter so it wasn't super cold yet. 

My roof is 12/12 pitch on top of 12' walls so the peak is really up there (about 28' off the ground) Unless you are very experienced on that kind of framing and roofing, I would advise contracting at least that part out-----even my very professional contractor was not really thrilled to be up there. One more item: Be careful about OSB and the weather---it doesn't like being wet for long periods of time so you should try to get your roof on as early as possible. Vertical OSB on walls seems to survive pretty well.
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline Bishopknight

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Oxford Hills County, Maine
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2008, 04:57:29 AM »
House looks very nice. Please keep the pictures coming :)

Offline bigwalt

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2008, 07:55:38 PM »
rwanders

Your cabin looks great - the pictures really show the care and detail you are putting into building it.

I have a couple of questions which I hope you don't mind answeriing -

You indicated you contracted the foundation and roof - what was the foundation/footing design ?

Did you have to deal with any permafrost conditions?

What did the contracted portion cost you ?  Did you contract the foundation and roof separately - or lumped together?

Did you ever consider going with 2 x 10" wall studs on 24" centers to get higher wall R values?     

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2008, 09:44:10 PM »
BigWalt, the foundation is concrete piers (sonotubes)with 'big foot" footers set 48" deep----no permafrost and good gravel base on 100' high ridge. Foundation beams are 4x12 timbers. The foundation, roof and gable end framing, sheathing and metal roof was $16000 including all materials. Roof is 2x12 rafters and a 6x16x36' ridge beam with 5' eaves (better to throw the snow away from the walls). Total length of the rafters was 22' from ridge to rafter tail. Not the cheapest design I found after I took the plunge but it did make for a nice appearance----will post some pictures of inside of cathedral ceiling soon----over 800 sq ft of 1x6 T&G. Peak of ceiling is 25' above open area and 15' above loft area which means I lost very little loft space due to low headroom. Minus of design is more difficult and expensive building----what the hell, it's only money I would have watched shrinking in my brokerage accounts the last couple of months.e

Didn't consider 2x10 walls----staggered 2x6 would be even better. I originally planned to foam walls too which would have allowed R30 walls, but foam cost was so high it didn't seem to pencil out very well.
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline considerations

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,344
  • Joyce, Washington, (sort of)
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2008, 06:46:14 AM »
Those porchs are awesome.  I want one.

Offline Pritch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
  • Crusty Condo-Critter
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2009, 08:31:19 PM »
Looks great!  I'll bet you have a great view from that upstairs porch.  Do you have another thread going on this project?  I'm curious on the dimensions, floorplan, and wall thickness. 

-- Pritch
"The problem with quotes from the internet is that they're not always accurate." -- Abraham Lincoln

Offline harry51

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
  • California Gold Country
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2009, 08:56:11 PM »
Regarding the discussion above on horizontal cables as infill for deck rail, I scored some stainless steel welded mesh with 2" squares on craigslist the other day. I'll use that instead of the cables. It looks to be pretty hard to climb, even with little shoes.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2009, 09:26:50 PM »
Pitch: This is the only thread----the cabin is 24x24 plus the porches are both 10x24 making the whole building footprint 24x34. The roof eaves extend 5' to keep snow away from walls when it slides off the 12/12 pitch. First floor is very open with only walls around the bathroom and includes kitchen area, one bedroom area and small closet, a closet for stacked washer/dryer and a pantry closet for kitchen which allowed me to minimize cabinets and no upper cabinets at all. The loft is at the rear and is 10x24 and I used a 4x14 walkway from the loft to the upper porch. The walls are 2x6 and are 12' high including a 3' knee wall in the loft area which provides useful loft area (6' headroom minimum) of 10x19. The peak of the ceiling in the loft area is 15' high and is 25' above the open areas. No partitions in the loft area. Stairway is heavy timbers (4x10s). treads are 4x10 also.  One item which I didn't appreciate until I started work on all the railings for the loft, walkway and stairs ------over 50' of railings (lots of slow finish work). I drew a lot of plans at 20' wide before I gave up and went to 24' wide-----creates some extra framing challenges but really made a big difference with floor plan possibilities-----12' walls really helped loft space also and makes open area really nice and makes whole cabin seem more spacious too. I originally planned on ridge board but changed to large glulam ridge beam to avoid rafter and collar ties. The huge 816 sq ft ceiling with 1x6 knottypine t&g is impressive since it is entirely open with no beams or ties needed.
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline sourdough

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Living in the last frontier since 1969
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2009, 06:41:15 AM »
RW:

I like what you've done.  Thanks for putting your project on this web site, you've already answered some of my questions regarding insulation, and heating.

I may draw on some of your experience with more questions if I get my project off the ground this summer.  I want to build in Willow, but am already running in to hurdles.

The Mat-Su borough wants $500 just to apply for a code variance on set back from the lake.  I don't have room to stay 75 feet from the water because of the shape of the lot.  I can't apply for the variance without a site plan and survey, and that really can't be done until the snow melts.  They said it will take 90 days for the permit.  So much for the building season.  If I can't start until August, I doubt I could get it buttoned up before winter returns.  Ugh!

I can also see that there may be issues over set back for well/septic with the DEC.

If I get underway, I may hit you up for the name of the contractor you used since you're only about 20 miles up the road. I don't know the low down on any in the valley.  I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be framing a roof, or putting on the roofing.  I did my residence in Anchorage 18 years ago, and have no desire for any more high ladder stuff.

I can't wait to see some more interior photos of your place.  If I run in to so many obstacles with the MSB to make my project undoable, I'm considering some land up in Eagle's Nest as a backup.  I prefer the waterfront, but I'm starting to get desperate.

Cheers.


Offline lonelytree

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2009, 10:05:37 AM »
RW:

I like what you've done.  Thanks for putting your project on this web site, you've already answered some of my questions regarding insulation, and heating.

I may draw on some of your experience with more questions if I get my project off the ground this summer.  I want to build in Willow, but am already running in to hurdles.

The Mat-Su borough wants $500 just to apply for a code variance on set back from the lake.  I don't have room to stay 75 feet from the water because of the shape of the lot.  I can't apply for the variance without a site plan and survey, and that really can't be done until the snow melts.  They said it will take 90 days for the permit.  So much for the building season.  If I can't start until August, I doubt I could get it buttoned up before winter returns.  Ugh!

I can also see that there may be issues over set back for well/septic with the DEC.

If I get underway, I may hit you up for the name of the contractor you used since you're only about 20 miles up the road. I don't know the low down on any in the valley.  I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be framing a roof, or putting on the roofing.  I did my residence in Anchorage 18 years ago, and have no desire for any more high ladder stuff.

I can't wait to see some more interior photos of your place.  If I run in to so many obstacles with the MSB to make my project undoable, I'm considering some land up in Eagle's Nest as a backup.  I prefer the waterfront, but I'm starting to get desperate.

Cheers.



I was led down the wrong path by the Code Compliance people on my land use permit. Anything that requires them to think outside the box or written regulations causes them to brain freeze. Ask for the manager and plead your case. Make him show you exactly where it says you have to do anything. One of their people told me that it if I had to helicopter a surveyor in to get a distance, then that was my problem. They did not need the measurement per the manager on the next trip. She could have cost me ALOT of money. I did lose a day and a half of work and $50 of drafting supplies.

Believe only half of what they say and only if you verify it in their regulations.

Good luck, you will need it.
Mike

Offline sourdough

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Living in the last frontier since 1969
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2009, 03:11:03 AM »
I hear you Mike.  I've already received some conflicting information.  I am going up there next weekend to check out the snow situation.  It would be a lot easier to skip the well/septic and haul water, and put in an outhouse.  (that's up for discussion with my wife)

We'll see how it all pans out dealing with the Mat-Su borough.

Offline steveqvs

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2011, 12:23:34 PM »
Just found this site the other day.  I know you haven't posted in awhile.  I love the cabin you built and wonder if it was from plans you purchased somewhere or if you came up with them?

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2011, 02:28:39 PM »
The plans were the product of many hours, most of them late at night, and huge stacks of 1/4" graph paper where I drew and revised, sometimes radically, many different designs. As I got close to my final design I consulted a structural engineer friend about potential issues. His input convinced me to change from a ridge board to a ridge beam and also to modify my foundation plan somewhat. I also removed some eave braces i had thought would be needed to support the 5' eaves. Some design elements such as the walkway from loft to upper deck came from other homes I had seen. Some were resulting from the site itself----that's where the big covered porches came in to do justice to the 100' bluff. The huge eaves came from living in Valdez, Alaska where the average annual snowfall was 330 inches and i lived for a time in a 1 floor house that disappeared under the snow. That experience also led me to covered porches to make them useful year round and eliminate some snow shoveling. The 24x24 inside led me to eliminate as many interior walls as possible to maximize usable space---ditto to using a pocket door for the only interior door to the bathroom. The huge window areas---13 counting the exterior doors which are mostly glass came from the wife who is always looking for more light in the Alaska winters.
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline steveqvs

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2011, 04:19:17 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I see you have well planned your cabin out.  I was worried that 24 x 24 would not be large enough for us but I just love how you extended the roof and the double porches.  To me that does make the cabin biger and offer extra floorspace even if its outside.

thanks
steve

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2011, 09:51:48 PM »
If you find you need more space it is fairly simple to extend the length---wider than 24' will require the upgrading of a lot of specs i.e. roof will probably require trusses and foundation beams and floor joists would require significant upgrades.

You could also make the loft bigger----I wanted quite a bit of completely open area over the living room and kitchen area so kept loft to 10x24.  Extending may make it a little cramped for a stairway though. I considered using a spiral staircase---it saves a lot of space but getting furniture up and down can be very difficult. Winder staircase is next smallest but can be tricky meeting code requirements in many jurisdictions. Loft "ladders" are often forbidden for lofts where people will be sleeping and are usually only approved for "storage lofts''.

Don't skimp on insulation----I filled between 2x12 rafters with 11 inches of closed cell foam---walls and floor are fiberglass batts. I heat cabin year round on about 300 gallons of fuel oil in an area that drops to -35 and lower in winter. You may not need to go to that amount depending on your area. But, remember----it's really difficult to increase insulation values after you find them inadequate and a cabin that is cheaper to heat or cool and comfortable will always be easier to sell in the future and momma will be happier and---when momma ain't happy----ain't nobody happy.  

Use graph paper to draw plans---makes scaling and picturing spaces and fitting things like cabinets, etc much easier.  I went around measuring spaces in my main home to provide guidance to me and avoid future "aw shits".

You're certainly welcome to borrow any features that will satisfy your needs and good luck to you and your family----building process was a lot of work but, it was very satisfying---nothing like looking back after each day and seeing something that you created that will probably outlive you.

ps: You could also just close in the upper 10x24 porch if you need the floor area----that would give you 1056 square feet of heated area total plus 240 feet of first floor porch.  Oh yeah---the extra 2' of depth on a porch or deck will cost little extra but, the effect is very apparent when compared to an 8' deep one.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 10:07:29 PM by rwanders »
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline NickSully

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2011, 11:39:01 AM »
Thanks for the great build thread!

I'm starting the process myself of finding some land near Anchorage that I can build a similar cabin and you gave me some great ideas. I love the catwalk to the upper level balcony!

Great work once again! 

Offline RIjake

  • Yankee Redneck
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
  • Western Maine/Franklin County
    • Direct link to the pics
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2011, 01:34:12 PM »
Great looking place. 

A couple questions for you regarding the platform framing.  How far are the floor joists cantilevered over the beam?  Also what did you use for floor joists, 2x12 or i beams?

Offline rwanders

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • St Augustine, Florida
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2011, 03:48:24 PM »
Floor joists are wood Ibeams---cantilevered about 18 inches----foundation beams are 4x12s --three rows setting on 12" sonotubes with "bigfoot" footers---down a little over 48 inches in ground.  subfloor is 3/4" OSB T&G----floor is really solid, no bounce at all.

See you are in Maine----really recommend big eaves----I get no snow pileup against cabin when steep roof sheds snow--leaves 4 feet clear along both sides including ramped walkway----no shoveling to get in or out. Plus no snow on porches---makes them usable year round rain or snow.

Spent several months in New Hampshire and got up to Maine a few times----a lot like places in Alaska. 

  

Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida

Offline RIjake

  • Yankee Redneck
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
  • Western Maine/Franklin County
    • Direct link to the pics
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2011, 04:55:04 PM »
Thanks for the info.

I took note of the eaves on your build.  I really like the look of the extended eaves and the snow factor is a bonus.  It also seems to hide the 12' walls too, making them look more like 10's.

Offline Akcorn

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Welcome to the CP-Forum
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2017, 05:59:43 AM »
Hello all!  I am getting started on building a very similar 24x24 cabin. It doesn't look like RWANDERS photos are available anymore. I'm hoping by some chance that somebody has these pictures saved and can repost them or email them to me? I'm mostly interested in interior pics and floor plan/layouts. Thank you!!!!

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 439
  • Building a remote cabin in Alaska
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2017, 10:48:50 AM »
Yeah, Photobucket's recent changes has made a lot of internet forums all higgledy piggledy.  I did a search using the terms "rwanders cabin Alaska" and one of the links looks to be his library on Photobucket.  If you go there you may be able to view the pictures he has available.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline azgreg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 154

Offline Akcorn

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Welcome to the CP-Forum
Re: 1 1/2 Story Cabin nearing completion in Alaska
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2017, 10:15:52 AM »
Thank you gentlemen!  [cool]