Author Topic: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions  (Read 7124 times)

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Offline lshallenb

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12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« on: November 05, 2009, 11:50:54 AM »
Long time lurker but first time posting.  Bought the 14x24 plans last year and decided on a 12x18 for a starter home for myself, daughter, and girlfriend.  I figured something that small would definatley provide us all motivation to get outside more during the colder months and do something productive.  No room for a tv ;D.  Anyways, Iv'e been considering some modifications I wanted to run by some fellow posters.  I wanted to go to a 12 ft wall height using 2x6s and wasn't sure if this could be done safely without too much more work.  I would add fire blocking around 8 ft for safety and the added ridgidity.  The reason for doing this would obviously be to add more head room to the loft areas.  I was thinking i would just put  8 ft trimmer studs or a ledger board in to support the loft floor joists.  I know quite a few people are going to 10 ft walls, just wasnt sure if 12 ft walls done in this manner would be ok.  Would the loft floor joist still do the job of tying the rafters together despite being approx 4 ft down the wall?  The lofts are to be 6ft-8ft wide with built in beds with drawers underneath and some built in storage. I pretty much need these to be small bedrooms with a catwalk inbetween.  I guess I could go with some sort of prefab attic truss, but that wouldn't be any fun and not the look im going for.  The foundation is poured concrete footer with poured piers 6' oc.  I'm not cantilevering out the floor joists as per the plans, but will include a 2 ft and 3 ft popout for the kitchen and sawdust toilet.
    Also was wondering what others were doing to protect their main water line from freezing with the pier foundation.  My first thought was putting in some frost proof hydrants straight up into the house at 1 or 2 strategic locations.  However, upon reconsideration,  ive decided i value my sanity, which would no doubt be in question with a 6 years old girl and a grown woman in a house with only cold running water.  My current idea im running with is to build a small utility shed, maybe 4' x 4', on its own block, insulated foundation.  It would be tied into the house, and adjoining house and untility shed wall would be uninsulated.  I would insulate the crap out of the utility shed's exterior walls and the main water line would run into the shed to the hot water heater and into the house.  I figured a tank type water heater would also help keep the main line from freezing in a set up like this, or maybe just put in a small base board heater.  Im guessing there are better, simpler ideas out there though.  planning on using a grey water system and sawdust toilet for all "waste" water.  Haven't gotten very far on this project, just poured footing and going down over thanksgiving to pour the piers and backfill before things start freezing up down there.  thanks in advance for suggestions/advice.
       

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 01:08:59 PM »
 w* lshallenb. It's good to see another lurker come out of the woodwork.

First a question? Are there any code compliance issues? That is, will there be inspectors? That can influence the way things get done.

Is your water from a well or municipal supply?

Freezing weather is definitely a problem with seasonal use cabins. It gets even more difficult if you intend to make occasional cold weather use of the cabin like we do. If you are very well insulated one solution is to use electric or propane heat set low enough to keep the pipes from freezing. That could get expensive depending on the costs, but likely to go up over time.

We decided to build the plumbing in our cabin like an RV. We blow it out in preparation or reezing weather. There is no permanent connection from our supply to the cabin inside. There is a ready use tank inside along with the water heater, etc. All is drained and blown out when leaving.

As to the 12 foot high walls an 8 foot main floor ceiling height, I believe that would place a lot of outwards force on those upper 4 foot wall sections. If you could modify the plans to use a ridge beam rather than a ridge board that might make the upper area and roof easier to construct and to have the max headroom. That might require some engineering though? ???  The small size of the cabin would make it easier than on a 20x30 though.

Cutting out the recess or the side ledgers before the walls are erected, using a router, would be a good way to secure the ledgers.
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 jdhen

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 05:16:58 PM »
Welcome, Ishallenb.
I'm using 2x6 12 ft sidewalls with a 14x36 and it can be done but have a few extra people available to lift the walls!
One problem I could see with using the 12 ft sidewalls with the 12x18 is that on the long sides you wouldn't have enough room to layout your walls.  With my project, after erecting one long side, I barely had enough room to raise the walls because you toenail the plate to the inside line and so it sticks out 12'-6" which for me only gave me a few inches between the top plate and the first wall to gain leverage to raise the wall.  For you, you'd have to let the sole plate hang over the wall and pull it back in as you raised it.  Sounds almost impossible to me!  Still, I'm a novice at building so maybe some of the experienced members could tell you how to do it.
Jesse

Offline Beavers

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 05:32:24 PM »
 w*

Nice to see another person building a small house!  The wife and I are building a 12x16 to live in while we build a larger house.

We did 10' sidewalls and there is more headroom in the loft than I expected.  I added a domer on each side, and that opens things up way more than 12 walls would of IMO.

With the loft floor joists not tying the rafters together you need a structural ridge beam to hold the roof up.  You then need a peir directly under the beam on each gable wall.  Without the pier all the weight of the roof is placed on a floor joist.  I didn't figure this out until I started to frame the roof, and had to add some stuff to take the roof load since I didn't have piers on the gable ends.

For the plumbing, I built an enclosure out of PT plywood for the pipes to fun from the ground up into the house.  I'm planning to fill it with the styrafoam bead insulation, also going to put in a wellhouse heater.  Also using a gas tankless water heater in the house.  They are pretty small and don't take up much room at all.


Good luck with your build, and looking forward to some pics!  ;D
"Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have" - Thoreau

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 06:20:18 PM »

One problem I could see with using the 12 ft sidewalls with the 12x18 ...

Good point!! Maybe the easiest way around that would be to shorten the walls a little. 
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 lshallenb

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 06:50:12 AM »
Thanks for all the great info and ideas everyone.  I especially like the idea of dormers as opposed to 12 ft walls.  I think ill go with with 10ft walls with dormers.  When I get done with design drawings I think I'll bring them to an engineer to help me size the structural ridge beam among other things.  Hopefully it wont cost a ton due to the small size of the building.  I'm planning on framing the walls in place, not on the ground and then raising them.  I have a little bit of framing experience and that was how i learned.  just put down the bottom plate and lay out a template on the plate for the rest of the framing, then go.  it will be awhile before i actually start on the framing, probably not till next spring.  I think im going to take some travel assignments for my job this winter to make some extra cash.  Ill try to remember to take some pics of the property and foundation when i go down later this month though.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 07:44:44 AM »
I'm planning on framing the walls in place, not on the ground and then raising them.  I have a little bit of framing experience and that was how i learned.  just put down the bottom plate and lay out a template on the plate for the rest of the framing, then go. 

 ??? I've never seen that dome except or filling in an unusual or very short section. I've only built a dozen or so structures over the years and have always laid the wall out on the floor of the building being built. You can get all the door and window rough outs done easier on the floor than in the air. As well you can square up the wall and install at least one or two sheets of sheathing to lock in the squareness i you have the helpers to assist in raising the extra weight. Seems easier that way to me. ???
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 lshallenb

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 09:31:03 AM »
Don, the framing i worked on were all interior non-load bearing walls.  it was an old historic building my boss and i gutted and framed out for some large, highend, apts.  with the enclose spaces, and multiple walls, there would have been no way to frame it out other wise.  you definatley have much more experience in construction than myself and i can see the multiple advantages of framing on the subfloor and then raising the walls.  i may indeed try that first.  it would definately beat being up and down the ladder all the time.  i guess i just though i would frame it up the only way i personally have ever done it.  ohh, and no codes in my neck of the woods.  the guy i bought it from did run municipal water and electric to site though.  im sure it was not cheap.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 in southern illinois with questions
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 10:24:19 AM »
Interior renovations are a whole different ball of wax.  ;D  With an existing ceiling it's difficult to tilt up a wall, but for new construction, before the ceiling or whatever is up, even interior walls are easier if built on the floor and tilted up.
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?