Author Topic: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12  (Read 108343 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #100 on: February 16, 2011, 03:18:02 PM »
First, I'm going to pull down the roof rafters (4 of them) that we put up late last summer and the ridge board.  I've decided that I don't need a ridge board,and I'm going to put the "loft" across the entire thing.  That way I'll be able to work up at that height without feeling like I'm going to fall off any moment (fear of heights) ... then I"m going to assemble some rafter pairs and stand them up one-by-one, tying them together -

You can cut some triangles from 3/4" plywood and make gusset plates to tie the rafter pairs together at the peak. They can also take the place of collar ties. The loft floor doesn't quite make the grade as rafter ties, but on a small structure maybe that won't matter all that much.

There are goods notes on the ridge connection and rafters in general  HERE.

The gusset plates is the idea Don, and yeah, the loft floor might not quite make it as rafter ties ... been thinking I might just bite the bullet and replace the loft floor joists with ones that extend out beyond the walls and just make a giant triangle of it!  They'd have to extend between 16" and 24" from what I can figure.  But it would be nice and solid then, I'm guessing.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #101 on: February 16, 2011, 03:23:23 PM »
You'll get there!  And congrats on working, even for the short term!  I know it's tough.

Sounds like some good plans on the cabin, which is half the fun after all :)  And perhaps I can help with costs by milling some of the lumber for you?  Figure the cost of lumber you need versus what we might be able to mill and I'm sure we can reduce costs significantly!

If you get the cedars dropped (wish I could help but I'd get a pro when it's near your home etc) have them bucked into lengths that work for you (8', 10', 12' etc) depending on what you want to do with them, then see if you can find a wetside portable miller who can come and mill them up.  The pro portable guys charge about 40 to 50 cents a board foot and with the Woodmizer mills can get something like 30% more lumber out of a log then a regular mill.  Savings can be considerable!  Would kill two birds with one stone then eh?  But be sure to consider drying!  They need to be dried correctly or will warp, crack, cup etc and you could lose 40-50% of you lumber if they aren't properly stacked and stickered and protected if air drying.  Though I imagine it's better over there then the east side where humidty can be a lot lower.

Anyway, hang in there bud!  You'll get there and maybe this time when it's roof working time we might be able to come out and help!

Well, the boss mentioned something about 8 weeks yesterday - which would be great!  but the recruiter said 6 - so I"m planning on 6, hoping for 8 (or more).

Yeah, I have to figure out dimensions for that lumber that I want milled out of the cedars ... but I don't think it will go into the shed/shack that I'm currently building - it will probably wait until the next one - where I want the road cut to - which means plenty of time for drying out the lumber once it's milled.

And yeah, I don't feel comfortable dropping them myself when they are only 30-40 feet from the house! ???  Beautiful might get a tad bit angry if I made a mistake. d*

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »
Wow, here it is March 30th already ... and the news is that the 6 week contract is done ... however, the really good news is that I now am on a contract-to-hire position (3-6 month contract, then direct with the employer - complete with bennies - yippie!)

Beautiful is really happy about it, too!  Now, once we recover a bit from having to dip into savings to make it this far, I will be able to start putting a few bucks aside for finishing the shed up at the ranch!

What gets me is that even tho it's still buried in snow up there, and will be for a couple more months, I think, I'm getting the itch to head up that way!  I want to get restarted and finish it up!   I keep looking at the webcam for the pass that's near my place (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/passes/LoupLoup/default.aspx) but I have to remember that the road into my property is shaded a lot more than the highway there.

And then there's the issue of putting together a jig for assembling my rafter/trusses so that it will go together faster.

So much to do... but I'm looking forward to it!

I find it interesting that my new position is with one of the states largest home builders...  which is owned by a large "forest products" company ... gonna get me some seedlings this spring!

Offline rniles

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2011, 02:05:43 PM »
Wow, here it is March 30th already ... and the news is that the 6 week contract is done ... however, the really good news is that I now am on a contract-to-hire position (3-6 month contract, then direct with the employer - complete with bennies - yippie!)

Congrats on the new job!!
I do not entertain hypotheticals. The world itself is vexing enough. - Col. Stonehill in 'True Grit'

Offline OlJarhead

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,635
    • Team SEWA
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2011, 04:30:13 PM »
Awesome news!

Have you thought of buying a snow mobile?  I'm thinking a good used one would be an excellent investment for you -- that and a sled so you can tow supplies up.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #105 on: March 31, 2011, 09:17:13 AM »
Awesome news!

Have you thought of buying a snow mobile?  I'm thinking a good used one would be an excellent investment for you -- that and a sled so you can tow supplies up.

Yeah, I have thought about it - personally, I think I can do about the same with a Quad and have use year 'round, but a cheap used Snow mobile would be pretty nice to have.  I've seen a couple of the tracked vehicles, but they are a bit pricey :o

I'm going to keep my options open, tho!

Offline OlJarhead

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,635
    • Team SEWA
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #106 on: March 31, 2011, 10:51:01 AM »
Yeah, I have thought about it - personally, I think I can do about the same with a Quad and have use year 'round, but a cheap used Snow mobile would be pretty nice to have.  I've seen a couple of the tracked vehicles, but they are a bit pricey :o

I'm going to keep my options open, tho!

Quad won't get you there in 2 feet of snow though :(  That's what the old sled's for :)

Of course, with a good quad and a plow attachment you could make your way there and keep the road clear I guess....another option is to have the sled there and snow shoe in to it.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #107 on: March 31, 2011, 11:59:26 AM »
Quad won't get you there in 2 feet of snow though :(  That's what the old sled's for :)

Of course, with a good quad and a plow attachment you could make your way there and keep the road clear I guess....another option is to have the sled there and snow shoe in to it.

Yeah, I've given all those options much thought over the years... but you're right, a snow machine with a tow behind sled would be an awesome option - especially since the place is snowed in 4-6 months of the year

Offline duncanshannon

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 426
    • About Duncan
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #108 on: March 31, 2011, 12:57:52 PM »
Just found your thread and read the whole thing... good reading so far.

i'm a new land owner and going to be planning for a couple years... looking forward to reading about your build (and employment ;) )
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #109 on: April 08, 2011, 12:29:21 PM »
With the road looking like this:



only 10 miles from my property - and at the same elevation - you would think that I could get up there! d*

Nope - 3 years ago, I waited until all the snow you see in that picture was gone, and tried ... and still didn't make it by at least a mile. :(

When that's all gone, I'll know I have a couple weeks before I can even think of attempting to get in. 

Yeah, for the 6 months of the year (ok, maybe it's only 5) that it's snowed in, I think I need a snowmobile.  I think I'm going to look for one beginning next week, since this would be the slow demand time.  Prices should be good! :)

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2011, 12:00:44 PM »
Well, I finally have a date for going up to the Ranch! ... granted, it's only penciled in right now, but at least it is something to plan for.  Memorial Day Weekend!  [cool] :)

I can't wait - of course, a lot depends on the weather still - if the snow is out, etc... but at least I have something to shoot for.  And if that fails, I will have everything ready for the first available time after that.

But that brings me to my problem and a question as to a possible solution.  I've been looking at roof designs until I'm cross-eyed, and calculations, etc... and I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea to build  the roof on this shed as a gambrel style roof.  It would give me the best headroom in the loft, and from my own perspective would be a bit easier to put up.  I could conceivably make it so that the peak of the roof was only about 6' from the floor of the loft making it a whole lot easier than working on an 8' ridge.

So, I'm wondering what the rest of you folks here think, and then also comes the biggest conundrum of all - what angles to use... how to calculate the lengths of the rafters, etc... In reading about them online, I see things like 22 degrees, 30 degrees, etc... even 18 degrees, but apparently I'm a bit dense as that's an acute angle, and I'm not sure where that angle is referenced from ... from the long side of the rafter? or the end of the rafter?  It is a bit confusing (which may simply be caused by my lake of thinking about it (or is it just my lack of thinking) over the winter)...

Anyway, that's my thoughts for now.... what are the thoughts of the rest of you?

Offline John Raabe

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,532
  • Whidbey Island, WA
    • CountryPlans - About Us
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #111 on: May 02, 2011, 12:39:38 PM »
Forget angles and use the framing square. Layout the distance between the bearing plates on a clean subfloor snapping a chaulkline. Your layout is for an initial rafter pair that are used as templates to cut the rest. You can test these to make sure they are right before duplication.

See Wagner Chapter 9 Basic Gable Roof page 120 on...

Here is a scan of an image in the article on how to estimate rafter length.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:55:36 PM by John Raabe »
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #112 on: May 02, 2011, 01:06:00 PM »
Thanks John ... I did that last summer - sort of.  My problem isn't so much cutting the angle right as it is getting it up something over 7' above the loft floor (which is already 8' above the subfloor)

Darn irrational fear of heights that I have. 

Of course, I could be trading in one problem (fear of heights) for another - not enough "steepness" for the snow load.  That's one thing I really don't know about.  I wish I could just slap together the rafter pair and use some sort of crane to stand them up while I nail them to the walls and to each other.  I wonder if harbor freight has such a gizmo ... 10' tall should do the trick working from the loft floor, I would think....

Edit... :  Now you've got me thinking (dangerous, I know) ... I might be able to rig some sort of crane that can give me enough leverage to pull them to the upright position without to much difficulty... hmmm...

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,437
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #113 on: May 02, 2011, 02:35:55 PM »
build  the roof on this shed as a gambrel style roof.  It would give me the best headroom in the loft, and from my own perspective would be a bit easier to put up. 

A question that occurs to me about a gambrel roof is how to strongly connect the pieces. The gambrel rafter as used in the factory made sheds use rafter truss plates that are pressed in hydraulically in a press or large roller; not something that can be done with a hammer. Perhaps there is something and I have not seen it.

Dimensions (especially building width) etc. (snow load) would be most useful for anyone considering giving advice.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #114 on: May 02, 2011, 02:43:14 PM »
A question that occurs to me about a gambrel roof is how to strongly connect the pieces. The gambrel rafter as used in the factory made sheds use rafter truss plates that are pressed in hydraulically in a press or large roller; not something that can be done with a hammer. Perhaps there is something and I have not seen it.

Dimensions (especially building width) etc. (snow load) would be most useful for anyone considering giving advice.

Thanks for the reminder, Don ... it's Monday, and rainy here ... not a good combination for me to be thinking, but yeah, snow loads ... good question.  I'm going to guess, based on my extensive knowledge of watching the pass cam nearby, and my experience last year and 2 years ago ... that it gets 2-3 feet of snow each winter that stays for any period of time.  Of course, it doesn't seem to really start snowing until late December or early January.  Some wind, not a lot of sustained winds, a few gusts now and again, but I don't think there's much in the way of wind to worry about.

Building is a 12'X12' shed with walls 10' tall and a loft at the 8' level (so a 2' knee wall).

I've been crunching numbers, and I think an 8:12 might do just fine ... and lower the peak enough so that my irrational fear can be calmed a bit  d*  Maybe I just need to have someone standing around that I can hand my beer to and say, "watch this!"  ... that way my judgement is impaired sufficiently and I'll be really relaxed when I land and not have much damage (yeah, old wives tale, but still it does seem to happen that way)

BTW, your signature graphic had me going there for a second or two ... thought there was a bug in the system....

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,437
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #115 on: May 02, 2011, 05:15:33 PM »
SEAW, the Structural Engineers Association of Washington state, has info on snow loads. Most of it requires a subscription to access, But here is a report that may be useful. Scroll down and look for your county/city/town location. Snow load can vary a lot from spot to spot; moving just a few miles in the mountains can make a huge difference.

http://www.seaw.org/documents/WABO-SEAW%20Snow%20Load%20White%20Paper.pdf

Local building departments should also know.


Our cabin is located in one of the many Case Study areas in the western mountains; yours may be too. I was told 50 lbs and designed for 80.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #116 on: May 31, 2011, 01:14:00 PM »
Have I ever mentioned how I hate banks?  >:(

Well, I can add to that employers that throw their hands up and say the equivalent of "Not my job, man!" ... especially when the paycheck doesn't show up on time.  Thankfully this isn't the fault of the people I'm actually working for, but the agency that I'm working through.  Hopefully I'll be direct soon.

So, since I have checks bouncing now (I subscribe to the idea that if it's not in the account, I can't spend it, so the account is always near zero, waiting for the paycheck), I've had to empty the various savings accounts to cover the incoming expenses ... which means the building account is empty now.  :-[

Granted, once the replacement check get here, I'll be able to fill it up, but it plays havoc with the "average daily balance" that I get paid interest on! :-\

I was just getting close to having my cushion in place....   This little "emergency" will have cost me $100 by the time I'm recovered from it, what with fees and additional commute costs (ferry tickets are expensive this time of year if you have to buy them individually)

Good thing I didn't head up this weekend, or I'd really been hurting.

So, I am going to take the attitude that this means I've had my "emergency" for a while and things are going to go smoothly for the next few months!  ;D

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #117 on: May 31, 2011, 01:18:42 PM »
Forget angles and use the framing square. Layout the distance between the bearing plates on a clean subfloor snapping a chaulkline. Your layout is for an initial rafter pair that are used as templates to cut the rest. You can test these to make sure they are right before duplication.

See Wagner Chapter 9 Basic Gable Roof page 120 on...

Here is a scan of an image in the article on how to estimate rafter length.



John, I was just looking at this and came across the image you had posted - Thanks!  For some reason today (and considering the way my day has been, I'm REALLY surprised), it made sense!  And something just went "Click!" in my brain and I think I might actually have an understanding and a good plan for making this actually work when I get up there next time!

So, belatedly, thanks!

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #118 on: June 06, 2011, 03:39:03 PM »
So, the plan was orignally to go up last weekend - and that got changed to this the weekend just past... which didn't happen either, due to end of school, friends needing help, etc....

So, I planned on going up on the last full weekend in June (hoping to squeeze in a little Radio Field Day as well).

 So I just got off the phone with Beautiful, and it turns out that the Missouri river is flooding, and that means that I won't be able to go up the last weekend in June.

Hmmm, 'What does one have to do with the other?', you ask.

My sister, who lives in Illinois, was planning on coming out to visit us, arriving on Thursday.  How does this fit in to the mix? well, one of the things on her "bucket list" is to travel across the country by train, which was how she was planning on coming this time.  And with the Missouri, at flood levels, they aren't too sure about some of the bridges they will be crossing.

Of course, they've cancelled the train for Tuesday (tomorrow), and rescheduled for Thursday - but she won't know for certain until THursday morning, and then she'll get here on Saturday ... which means the activities we were going to do on Saturday, won't happen.  The new plan is for her to stay until the last weekend and do those things that weekend.

Ah Man plans and God laughs...

Anyway - I'm looking at it now that I'll just have more cash to get more stuff done when I'm up there - and that I'll just have to keep going up later in the year (Guess I'll be needing that snowmobile after all  ;) )

I miss being up there - and now we're getting into the hot part of the year.

Soon, very soon now  :)

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #119 on: June 13, 2011, 08:57:43 AM »
Hopefully one of the framing/roofing experts will see this and chime in.

I'm trying to think of simple ways to create a set of rafters.  What I'm thinking of are basically putting the rafters together (no ridge board) beforehand and then setting them into place, swinging them upright and nailing the blocking in between the rafter "sets" as I go along (after nailing them to the strong-ties that tie them to the top plate).  What I'm looking for are ideas for simple construction of the two together.  Given that the peak is a 90 degree angle is it mandatory (or even "best practice") to cut them so where they butt will be a vertical joint? or can I "lap" them on over the other? (my first guess is that I need it to be vertical)? 

Regardless of how they meet at the peak, I fully intend to have plates (gusset?) on each side of the joint for strength and stability.

Anyone with an idea on this?

Thanks

Offline Karl

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • N. Central Washington
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #120 on: July 01, 2011, 11:40:19 AM »
Pre-building rafters was pretty easy on my 8x10 with 7 foot walls.  Might be trickier with your height and span.

I wouldn't lap them because then your gusset plate has nowhere flat to go.

I didn't have room inside to trace them out so used the back wall and made a plywood template.  Worked it out off the center line of the building and never even had to calculate the actual length.  Cut 5 inches off each end to mach the baseplate on my saw made cutting easy.  I'm still not good at cutting the birdsmouth but at least it's in the right spot.

Cutting Jig


Tack the peak together and then put a spacer in the birdsmouths that is exactly your building span (including sheathing).  Now fully nail the gusset plate.

Nailing Jig


Screw down a strip of plywood to adjust them before fully sheathing.


Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #121 on: July 06, 2011, 05:16:04 AM »
Thanks Karl for the tips!

Looks like the place to be in really on the other side of 97 and further north.  Sheesh.  I did look up that way, but wasn't impressed with the realtor I had.... maybe I should have tried someone else.

Our road in is so bad that last night I was told that Beautiful didn't want to go up the property anymore  :(

So, I might be trying to make a change in the near future.  I love the place, but it does have some serious drawbacks.  Like the estimate I got was $14,000 for a well, and of course, the road in. Plus inaccessible for quite a bit of the year.

Dunno.  We'll have to see.

Again, thanks for the tips!

Offline OlJarhead

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,635
    • Team SEWA
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #122 on: July 06, 2011, 05:47:32 AM »
Sorry to hear that!  Call Rick Gerig at Desert Realty (dirtcheapdirt.com I think).

Maybe he can help you out.

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #123 on: July 06, 2011, 07:12:11 AM »
Erik, thanks for the heads up on the realtor.

Looks like he's got some nice places on his site.  The problem will be getting what I already have sold for the $$ I'd like to get... I think.  And I'm still not 100% certain that's what's going to happen.

It's just a bit frustrating.  But I know from experience that if I expect to get to the property more than once or twice a year, she's going to have to at least want to go, too.  Besides, selling mine and buying something else is way cheaper than the alternative (I know that from experience, too)  d*

Also, it might mean being closer to some of the rest of you folks out there!

Offline JavaMan

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Rock Of Ages Ranch - Somewhere in the Okanogan
    • The Lodge at Rock Of Ages Ranch
Re: Plans Change, and now I'm starting with a 12 X 12
« Reply #124 on: July 06, 2011, 10:04:43 AM »
Well, it seems there are a few other options that have occurred to me, but I'm not sure how practical they are.  I'm still thinking them through.

One thing, though, is that I've at least got an understanding that I need to get up there and finish what I've started.  I think it will help with selling the place, if that's the route we take.

Part of my own issue with getting rid of this particular piece of ground is what I had originally hoped to use it for, at least part of the time.  That being something of a "retreat" center for missionaries, clergy, and other church groups.  Again, I'm not sold on the idea that it will work for it, since it's not on a lake or river, doesn't have a stream or creek running through it, but is simply a wild piece of mountainous ground.  It does have a nice area that could be almost a natural amphitheater, and there is a lot of woods all over the place.  Conconcully, quad city in the summer, is not that far away, and the terrain on the property is such that it would lend itself to zip lines, etc...

Heck, I even came up with an idea for a pool if I could manage to put in a good enough well to fill it!  ;D

Push comes to shove, I might be able to accelerate the payoff and simply purchase another chunk of acreage that does have a "water feature", etc... which would be more of a vacation piece for us.

Nothing is ever a simple as it looks, is it? ???