Author Topic: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house  (Read 3935 times)

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Offline Mark.alan65

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Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« on: August 17, 2016, 05:33:04 AM »
Well it is official, we just bought 20 acres with a old house and barn. The land is fully wooded, and goes from the top of the hill/mountain down to the bottom. The house is rough, and has some rot. I would guess without opening the wall, that the sill is rotted from the poor deck addition. So it looks like my wife and I have a project. The inside of the house is a full gut job. But I do have county water, power to the house, and a septic system. I would guess that the septic needs attention.

Let me see if I can attached photos off of the real estate site.










Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 09:48:10 AM »
Cool :) Hope it goes well for you!

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2016, 10:07:42 AM »
Congratulations!  I too hope that the house doesn't become too much of a time or money sink.  You might keep in the back of your mind a complete scrape-off as an option.  I wouldn't have considered it years ago but I've come to realize that sometimes starting over the is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable.

Good luck with your plan going forward.  Are any of those trees suitable for making lumber?
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 11:18:25 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I get what you are saying about doing the full scrap off. It will all depend on what I find when I open the walls up. I do know that the floor is solid, as in no sag, squish or flex when walking on it. I am worried about what damage has happened from where the deck was added and the amount of rot on the siding. I wanted the land, and the house on it was extra. For the price I paid no matter what I end up having to do, it would still be worth it.

I will let you know what I find as we continue.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 12:48:23 PM »
As others have said sometimes financially it is better to start over than to create a "money pit".  I guess it all depends on what you find.  If the rest of the house is sound and the deck side is the problem then maybe it would be worth it.  It hasn't been the first time that someone has had to replace the sill and studs that attach.  The siding looks to be something very common and shouldn't be too awfully hard to find.  Be interesting to see what is really at stake.   ???

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 03:02:29 PM »
Thanks Red.

If only it were that easy. Lol the wife has already found the siding that she would like on the cabin. We are going to use this place on weekends and such. We look after my parents so we don't want to move out that far for now. It is only about 35 min. from our house. We would like to remodel the house and when we retire live in it full time.

So from what I am told the old wood will be replaced with hardy plank, the roof will go metal, and be extended over the deck or a portion of the deck. The windows and doors will be replaced, along with the insulation. So yes I agree a new construction might be much easier. We will have to see What happens when the fun begins.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2016, 03:38:34 PM »
Don't they make the cement siding with colors formed in?  I like the idea of a no-maintenance cabin.  Or at least a close proximity thereof! 

I'm planning on metal roof and metal siding for our place.  Put it up and forget about it. [cool]

Are you in north Alabama?
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 04:02:35 PM »
Yes I am in north Alabama. We made one big loop. Here to Raleigh, Melbourne FL, Destin FL, back to Huntsville.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 06:05:29 PM »
I'm familiar with prefinished Hardi, a factory applied paint. Not worth the hassle and expense IMO. To put a roof over that section of porch would take a gable turned 90 degrees to the present roof if I'm seeing it right.

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 04:59:09 AM »
I have also been reading about the LP Smart Siding. It looks very promising, if installed the correct way. I have a friend who is a contractor, and he said that he is using it now, along with many of the other builders around town. It is easier to work with, can be cut with normal saw blades, and comes in 16' lengths. People have even dropped it in water with very little change. It is also much cheaper than Hardy. So I don't know what would be the best rout to take. I personally like real wood.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2016, 09:02:29 PM »
I have also been reading about the LP Smart Siding. It looks very promising, if installed the correct way. I have a friend who is a contractor, and he said that he is using it now, along with many of the other builders around town. It is easier to work with, can be cut with normal saw blades, and comes in 16' lengths. People have even dropped it in water with very little change. It is also much cheaper than Hardy. So I don't know what would be the best rout to take. I personally like real wood.

I don't know if they are a problem in your neck of the woods, but up here porcupines are known to chew up plywood and T1-11 if it's exposed at the bottom of a cabin wall.  The glue apparently tastes delicious.  I checked out the LP SmartSide web site but couldn't find much info on how it's made.  You've got me curious if it is something that porkies will want to snack on or no.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 05:52:55 PM »
I can't say for sure that we don't have them, but I have never heard of them being around this area. So I hope we don't.

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2016, 10:30:01 AM »
I will post up pictures a little later, but the rotted sill plate has been repaired. If people would have used flashing, and gutters none of the rot would have happened. I have installed a door going to the deck on the side of the house, and four large windows down that side. One by the door, one in a bedroom and two in the master bedroom. I have also added a new front door, and two large windows on each side of the front door. I will be starting the other long side wall next weekend.


Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 11:31:34 AM »
Has anyone ever heard of a sloped bottom chord gable end fame truss or a structural gable end frame? I believe the roof was framed using this method. This is the first time I have seen this method used on a house.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2016, 11:49:28 AM »
Are you describing a truss with a cathedral ceiling, like a scissor truss?  Or is this a single slope like a shed roof?

I have been looking at ways to build my cabin with a high cathedral ceiling and scissor trusses is one option.  For the gable ends, a flat bottom chord on the gable truss acts as a hinge line when subject to lateral forces.  If instead I use a scissor truss on the gable end and build a wall with a peak to match the truss, then there is no single line to act as a hinge.  If this is what you're describing, that may be the reason why it was used.

Or it could be like most houses, a series of compromises fixing a range of mistakes that somehow gets inspector approval.   [noidea'
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2016, 11:56:06 AM »
If you look at the pictures of the house at the top of the post, I believe that the roof is around 4/12. I have not measured it yet. I am talking about making a triangle with the roof rafters setting on the top of the rafter ties. All of this was built out of rough sawn wood that is rather large. I have not opened it up all the way at this point, so I can only see the end of the rafter/rafter tie. I will take some pictures when I open the gable end. The finished ceiling in the house is only about 8 ft.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2016, 07:06:09 PM »
Yes, if I'm understanding, it is sort of common in older work. The ceiling joists often overhung the walls to create the soffit and the rafters simply had a level cut on the bottoms rather than a birdsmouth and sit on top of the ceiling joist. If possible when I run into that I nail plywood gussets on each side of that poorly connected joint, into the joist and into the rafter. I believe it is transitional between the old raising plate method and "modern" framing.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2016, 07:22:05 PM »
Thanks guys, I get the picture now.  I think  :-\

Something like this?
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Don_P

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2016, 03:09:25 AM »
Keep the CJ square out to the end of the overhang, level cut the bottom of the rafter and set it on top of the cj.
Sorry to be short... off to build a bridge with the schoolkids... in the rain, thinking of plan B  :P

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2016, 04:59:01 AM »
Yes something like that. The CJ runs out past the side wall making the soffit like Don said. I was shocked to see something like that on the house. I guess it was easier to frame up the roof like that, then install kind of like we do trusses today. I cant wait to see what the remainder of the "truss" looks like.

Now that we kind of understand what was going on, and Don has confirmed that this was not some crazy farm framing idea, Is there any way to raise the inside ceiling height a little without tearing off the whole roof and replacing with new trusses or rebuilding form scratch?

What is strange is the fact that the house has a ridge board looking to be about 2x8 or so, but it is supported at both ends by very large posts in the range of 4x8's. I am not sure why you would do that.


Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2016, 08:55:23 AM »
A pseudo-structural ridge?  Sounds like yours is a fusion roof, with a little of this and a little of that and a little extra magic to make it all work.

As to raising the ceiling, it seems like you ought to be able to jack the roof up and put in a top plate or two.  Put on some diagonal bracing to keep the rafters and joists firmly together and jack and shim under each joist 1/4" at a time all the way around.  Drop the joists back down and anchor with hurricane ties.  That ought to work, no?
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2016, 10:06:56 AM »
That might be one way of doing it. It has a two layer top plate now. Maybe I will know more when I open a gable end or start ripping sheetrock off and can get a good look at what is going on. We are not talking about doing a full vault or anything close to that. I would be happy with an additional few inches, but a foot would be ideal. Yeah I know that's a lot. The bad thing is the roof is very solid.

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2016, 06:20:56 AM »
Here are a few updates. All windows on the front and long sides have been replaced, along with a door added to the deck side. All siding has been removed, and the rot has been repaired. The windows have been trimmed out, and the new siding has started.

 







Offline ksBrandon

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2016, 05:46:24 AM »
Wow, what a change!  Looking great, keep it up!

Offline Mark.alan65

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Re: Just picked up 20 acres with an old house
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2017, 04:59:00 AM »
Here is a little update. All structure issues have been fixed, most of the outside has been covered with new siding. The soffits and under the porch have been covered with vinyl. I still have to add siding to the front gable that is behind the porch, but I will need to remove the shingles so that a water barrier and step flashing can be added before I put on a metal roof. After that I will start adding metal to cover the eve's and exposed trim around the house. I plan on putting on a new roof over the main part of the house, but I don't have to be in a big hurry since the old one is not leaking. Here are some pic's of the house as it sits now.