CountryPlans Design/Build Forum
General => Owner-Builder Projects => Topic started by: rich2Vermont on August 30, 2010, 05:46:56 AM
Hi all - I've been lurking on this site for a few months now, ever since we purchased some land in Vermont. We're hoping to eventually build a house there, but first we wish to build a 10 x 16 shed with a loft (12 foot walls, 12/12 roof pitch, 2 x 6 studs). Due to time and money limitations, I'll be happy to get the deck complete before winter. The main stumbling block right now is just what to do for a foundation. I'm looking for a low cost, relatively simple solution that I can do by myself. I've read a lot and have seen many different options and opinions. I'm thinking that a pier and beam solution would work best, where the piers would be precast concrete embedded in crushed stone. The stone would fill a roughly 12 inch diameter hole, 4 feet deep. There would be 4 piers per beam along the 16 foot length, and 3 4x4 beams for 12 piers in total. I know that ideally I should instead be using a lot of cement and sonotubes, but it seems less practical for the location and my time/labor/cheapness. I've also considered cinderblock piers but that doesn't seem far removed from sonotubes. So, my question is, would my solution be sufficient for this building or am I talking myself into a load of future trouble? Note that in my area there are no building codes nor building inspectors, but I don't want that to be an excuse to be too stupid. Thanks!
I did a permanent wood foundation. You can see it here: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=4640.0 (http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=4640.0)
You have probably seen this article I did on post and beam foundations:
You could use the PT wood foundation shown near the bottom of the page. It is close to your idea. Notice I have a 16" diameter crushed rock footing called out. If you are in solid soil (well drained gravels) a 12" footing should work, especially with the short spans.
You should also check around to see what other small buildings have done for foundations.
Jerry's project (TheWire above) is a better solution for a full sized house
Here are a few photos of the location. The site for the shed is on the northern end of a ~2 acre pasture, bounded by road, woods and brook.
what part of vermont? my daughter just moved to Johnson.. looks like a beautiful spot from the pics!
Congratulations. I lurked for years before joining. About 7 years ago I bought 7 acres in the NEK of Vermont. I love Vermont . I hope to build something small at first. I'm trying to decide the same thing. Block or piers? . Somedays I think about digging footings and pouring the footing with vertical steel. Then staggering block and filling the block in with concrete. I think mixing the concrete yourself for the sono tubes would be alot of work, I know folks on here have done it. Block you could bring to your site. A concrete truck would be nice but might be pricey and might not be able to get to your building site.
This forum is a great place, people always willing to help out.
Good luck and have fun whatever you do. I can't wait to watch your proggress.
Hi Don - Yes! I've looked over your article many times. You'd be surprised at how quickly it comes up in Google search. It's probably my own self-doubts, but your reference to piers in cold weather areas didn't seem much like an endorsement. I had seen Jan Nikolajsen's Coyote Cottage and how he had used piers, on a relatively shallow depth of crushed stone. That building being in the Cascades, I figured it would work for me too. But, I'm concerned that what may apply there may not in Vermont, where it is probably wetter (except for this year). The PT wood post might be a good alternative, but I'm unsure about the soil (see below).
Jerry - I had not seen a PWF before. Very intriguing. Not sure that it suits my situation, as I'm on relatively flat ground and hard-to-describe soil. I honestly can't decide whether it's sandy or clay-y. I have a suspicion that it may be a lot of fill over a previously logged area, given that it's really easy to dig. We need to do a little more research on the history this weekend.
Pocono & Pete - we were fortunate to find these 10 acres in Topsham. It's a pretty easy drive from our home in north Mass., but otherwise fairly remote. No cell phone coverage (which we consider a plus right now), and a bit of a drive to groceries. But, should we get to that point and really want it, power & phone lines run along the road that borders the property. I haven't eliminated the possibilty of getting cement delivered - it's just that crushed stone is cheaper and more local.
I'm going to try to come to a decision after the long weekend. We'll be camping out up there and playing with chainsaws and stuff. Thank you all for your kind responses, and have a great Labor Day weekend. Here's a pict of one of my first projects up there:
Hey reb! Can't help you with the foundation as I did a crawlspace, but I wanted to reach out as I'm in the process of building a place in VT myself. I'm in the Bellows Falls area - quite a bit south of you. If you think I have any info that might be helpful, feel free to reach out.
I like your bridge a lot, very 8)
VT is really a great for nature lovers. My band is playing in mt pillier (spelled wrong) soon. We look forward to the trip .
It's difficult to believe that it's been 6 months since I last posted here. In that time we've managed to prep and build the platform, as well as get pretty far along with the design of the building. As one might expect there have been a few hiccups along the way. Here are just a few pictures:
Like others that have posted to this forum, I fashioned a water level to mark and cut all the posts. It worked really well once I got the hang of it, but it would've been easier with help.
A couple of things that slowed us down - the lumber yard dropped off 2x8x16's instead of 2x10's. Instead of taking a couple of hours, we decided to use what we had, shortening the width a few inches. I later ripped down some boards and filled in over the 2x8. We'll slap the actual 2x10's on when it warms up. Thanks to my daughter, son and his dog Scoober for helping build on a cold November day.
This was last weekend, before an additional foot of snow.
Once that all melts, we need to add a lot of cross bracing and some additional hardware cloth underneath. Meanwhile, I've been toiling bravely over Google Sketchup. I had a rough start with it, but I got the hang of it eventually. For those of you who chose to buy Country Plans, you're saving yourself many, many hours of pushing a mouse around, while cursing frequently and loudly. Anyway, here are some screen shots. the design is still in flux a bit. The number of windows and their sizes have changed considerably, and no doubt will continue to. The loft structure and floor will likely change as well.
We're hoping to get the frame up before Memorial Day, assuming the snow melts and the mud dries.
looks like a great building site reb5maccom!
You might consider covering the gravel with local soil to keep water from pooling in your piers.
a cabin project on this website had their pier holes pool water and the cabin started falling over!
lack of bracing did contribute to the issue though.
nice start, Thanks for posting.
Looking good! Is that a full time creek running under your bridge? Looks like prime micro-hydro to me. Good luck, keep the pics coming, Tickhill
Thanks, astidam and Tickhill. I will be doing more work under the platform after mud season. I just ran out of time last fall. One reason was that I had to deal with the remains of a hurricane that dumped a huge amount of rain there, just when I was about to set the posts:
It did drain nicely, and gave me confidence that I have less to worry about as far as heaving (or toppling!). But one reason I didn't do more than just the platform was to see if any heaving does occur. I left it as quite level, so it should be pretty easy to tell whether or not I need to do some adjustments in a couple months, or so.
Microhydro is a definite possibility here. It's not a large stream, but it flows well all year long. It's yet another topic I need learn more about.
How deep are the piers?
I dug as deep as I could go with the post hole digger - between 3.5 and 4.5 feet, depending on when I hit unmovable rocks. I had to be a little flexible in where all the holes ended up, due to the submerged boulders.
3.5 to 4.5.... deeper than what some have done and that is a plus. :)
I re-read the thread. I like the little bridge. What did you use to suspend it; cable, chain... ?
Note that in my area there are no building codes nor building inspectors, but I don't want that to be an excuse to be too stupid. Thanks!
I found a Vermont snow load map. It is in the link bel;ow. I see most of Vermont seems to be in the 50 or 60 lbs per square foot category, with some places at 70 lbs. That's a lot of snow.
First, I am not an engineer. I do have concerns about the proposed 12 foot tall wall with loft though. It appears there would be approximately 4 feet of upper wall with the rafters resting on the upper wall plate. The roof load plus snow load will create some large forces pushing outwards on those wall tops. I'm reasonably sure that if you were submitting these plans to a building code/inspection department they would not be accepted.
Rafter loads come down to the wall and are resolved into a straight down force and a horizontal force. The downward vertical force is placed on the foundation through the wall studs. That is the studs primary function; support the vertical load. The outward force is usually restrained by a rafter tie across the width from one sidewall to another at the rafter/wall connection. Rafter, tie and wall are tied together. The triangle formed is very strong resisting forces to deform it. Without a rafter tie that force will work on spreading the wall tops.
I used 60 lbs as a snow load in Don_P's rafter thrust calculator. Rafter forces at the heel joint, where the rafter connects to the wall top, come out at 233 pounds. That is each rafter presses outwards with that force with a 60 lb load of snow. That seems like a lot of force to me.
One solution for this would be to place an elevated rafter tie across the width. That is rather than have the rafter tie acroos the wall tops, it is moved upwards. To be effective in tying the wall tops together ithe rafter tie can not be any higher than the lower third of the height. Image below to explain that...
That would provide the necessary restraint to wall spread and some extra interior headroom. You might want to increase the loft wall height to provide sufficient headroom up there. Add collar ties and it would be a sturdy assembly. The rafter sizes might have to be increased with raised ties. If the rafter ties are oversized from minimal requirements they will also provide more room for insulation.
Hope that helps.
That dog sure digs neat, clean holes. Looks like he kept a pretty good pattern, too. Do you rent him out? :D
Well, like most labs, he's part goat, part dispose-all, and part backhoe. But no, I can only get him to make square holes, darn it. ;)
Thanks so much for your expert eye, Don. An old friend of mine who is also an architect had recently recommended collar ties too, as well as gable end beam pockets. I'll likely use a larger ridge beam than drawn and tie the rafters into it with metal hangers. The design doesn't really allow for rafter ties, but wouldn't the loft joists serve somewhat as rafter ties, even though they're 4 feet below the cap rail? It is only a 10 foot span, afterall. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm considering drastically revising the loft. After seeing the pictures of Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine again in this forum, we're exploring using some hefty beams on inset rim joists. Jeff922's work looks so amazing, though I'm unsure whether it would have any additional anti-wall spread effect.
1)... recently recommended collar ties too,
2)... as well as gable end beam pockets. I'll likely use a larger ridge beam than drawn and tie the rafters into it with metal hangers.
3)... The design doesn't really allow for rafter ties, but wouldn't the loft joists serve somewhat as rafter ties, even though they're 4 feet below the cap rail?
1) Collar ties keep the roof from peeling open/off under conditions of extreme wind. They do little if anything to prevent rafter tail end spread. There seems to be much confusion between collar ties and rafter ties and the purposes they fulfill. You are not alone on that.
2) Gable end pockets or cradles are required to support a true ridgebeam, a structural member. The ridge board is not structural. There is nothing wrong as drawn. The ridge board only really serves as a convenient method to nail one rafter tip to another and to provide proper spacing at the peak. It could be dispensed with and the rafter tips sandwiched with plywood gussets. They would look similar to a truss, be installed similar to a truss, but they would not be trusses.
The ridgebeam support does not stop with a pocket in the end wall to hold the ends. There needs to be a path to carry the load down to the foundation. The ridgebeam carries one half the total roof load (one quarter in each sidewall). That requires some sturdy posts in the wall. That path need not be straight down. It may be spread by use of headers and posts to go around windows, doors and other obstacles to a straight down path. The strength values have to be calculated to do this safely. On a small build as this some conservative guessing might be used. At the bottom end that load needs to be adequately supported by the foundation. Your center beam and posts may be up to the task, but I can not say for sure.
3) As drawn/illustrated, in my opinion, not really, although the narrow width may make it work out. As I stated, I'm not an engineer, just working from some aborted training and my gut feeling. And all that is worth what was paid for it.
Hmm, you've given me even more to think about it. I guess I need to learn more about structures and such, and soon. From your experience, would using a true structural ridge beam, with all the appropriate gable support, be a decent substitute for rafter ties? Assuming my foundation has enough support, too, as you say. Thanks.
Absolutely! A perfect substitute for rafter ties that would otherwise be in the way.
Ah, well then, that's something I can work with. I belatedly found this Fine Homebuilding article that explains this nicely:
It's about framing a cathedral ceiling, which, in a really lame way, is what we've designed.
The next question is how beefy to make the ridge beam. Or whether it should be an LVL. Where does one start in order to figure that out?
Nice link. Thanks.
The no brainer method would be to contact a local lumber yard / home center commercial department. Tell them the building size, roof pitch, location. They should be able to tell you what size LVL would be needed. They can also supply paperwork required if you were in a code area. They may or may not be able to advise on how to support the beam as in size of posts, headers etc.
Don_P has some experience and knowledge in this. If he can help he will. Understand the information will be unofficial, non stamped, and come with no guarantees of worthfulness and suitability. Worth everything paid for it. Priceless and/or worthless? ??? ;D
I ran some rough numbers and came up with a DougFir 7x12. Not sure if I did it right???
And I think a 6x6 DF could carry the load downwards.
No guarantee as to suitability or accuracy, no liability accepted, for informational and discussion purposes only.
Informed advice is always valuable, especially when it's freely given. And the only liability incurred is my gratitude. I'll use your rough numbers for now in my drawing. It's relatively easy to change. One question on rafters connected to a structural ridge beam - is it necessary that they sit on top of the beam, with or without a birds mouth, or is it sufficient that the beam is supported on the gable ends and the rafters can be attached in the same way as to a ridge board?
I do need to make some friends with the local lumberyard. They are pretty full service and get a lot of local lumber - there's a sawmill just down the road a mile or so.
As always, much thanks.
Now these numbers are very rough estimates from a novice non-engineer, but here goes. I tried to use the header sizing guideline from the ICC. They I took the ratings for a 20 ft wide house at 30 lbs snow load. For 3 - 2x12's they can span 12 feet 2 inches. I will round down to 12 ft for calculation purposes. So the total roof load for that area would be (12 span X 20 width x 30 weight) 7200 lbs. This is for a header in a bearing wall. A general assumption I am making is that there would normally be 2 bearing wall in a conventional framed house with rafter ties. So it would be rated for 3600 lbs for 3-2 x 12's
Now for your building at 10 ft wide for 16 ft with a 50 lb snow load (Vermont guess) I came up with a total load of 8000 lbs. My next assumption is that with a ridge beam would displace that load across three areas (2 bearing walls and the beam). This would give you 2666 lbs per bearing beam. So with these assumptions 3 - 2x12's would be able to handle the load. I would be comfortable with this if I was building a ridge beam, remember I am a no engineer. There may be flaws in my calculations/ assumptions.
You could even size up. 4-2x12's are rated to span 12'-2" for a 50lb snow load in a 20 ft. building and 14'-1" at 30 lbs. With a building at half the width it doesn't seem too far to stretch it another 3 ft. (estimating 6" each side for studs).
Another thing it says is that it would require 2 jack studs. I believe a 6x6 would be more than enough. But I am not quite sure about the definition of jack studs.
The best no brainer ultimate safe option would be to buy an LVL board engineered for this. The reason I gave for these is for calculation purposes and that LVL’s are not as easy to lift as one 2-12 at a time.
My only concern is that your center beam is cantilevered and this type of design is usually supposed to go straight over the foundation.
Here's what and how I figured this today. There could be errors.
I used 10 ft x 16 ft for the cabin dimensions. That does not include any overhang. 10 x16 = 160 sq ft.
160 sq ft x 60 psf snow load. VT seems to be mostly 50 or 60 with some 70.
That = 9600 lbs.
Then the roof structure itself, the dead load. Normal seems to be 10 psf, but I used 15 psf.
That = 2400 lbs, for a total of 12000 lbs.
The roof load is carried on three supports; two side walls and one center ridge beam. The ridge carries half the load of each slope, for a total of one half the total roof load. Each side wall carries one quarter of the total. Ridge = 6000 lbs, each sidewall 3000 lbs.
Don_P has graciously offered the use of his Windy Hill Logworks calculators to anyone fpr free. Thay are for use by anyone and used at their own peril. No guarantees or warranties are offered at all. They are great tools for planning. Results should be checked by a qualified engineer. The index page to the calcs are located HERE (http://www.windyhilllogworks.com/Calcs/CalculatorIndex.htm). In the near future I'm going to list it in an easier to find location.
I used one of the beam calculators, the simple beam, uniform load one. Data I entered was 6000 lbs load on beam and 192 inches length. If this is measured the same as joists it could be a few inches shorter, but I went with the actual length. Also note if there was a third ridgebeam support someplace along the length that would split the load and permit a smaller beam. That would also chnage the column loads, etc.
For the wood properties I used data from a table for Douglas Fir grade #1.
Maximum Allowable Fiberstress in Bending (PSI) 1322
Modulus of Elasticity (million PSI) 1.7
Maximum Allowable Horizontal Shear (PSI) 207
Then I plugged in different values for the width and depth of the beam. A combination of 6 wide and 11.25 deep passed all three tests.
I re-ran the calculator using wood values for DF #2 and it also passed.
No guarantees I did all that correctly. Hopefully Don_P will have time enough to critique my procedure.
Thanks in advance.
On to the column. I used the first column calculator from the beam and column calculator list.
(But first I used the ridge height calculator to determine the distance between the bottom of the calculated ridegbeam and the height of the main floor. 156 to 157 inches.)
I used that length for the column. That should likely be longer to reach the foundation, but I'm not sure how that is to be done. So I was happy with this number for general curiosity purposes. I used 5.5 x 5.5 for the column depth and other face values.
The height question brings up a question from me. Should this be calculated for each beam section if there was to be one from ridge to wall top plate level and then a second from there to main floor level? And again another calc for the length to foundation? Another variable will be using headers and two, separated columns to split the load around openings.
Allowable Compression Parallel to Grain (psi) came from a data table for DF. 625
Modulus of Elasticity (million PSI) 1.7 Again from a table.
Load on column entered as 3000 lbs, one half the total beam load.
The 6x6 passed all tests. I tired a 4x6 and it passed as well, but a 4x4 failed 3 of 4 tests.
A re-run with DF #2 also passed in the 6x6 and 4x6 sizes.
It would be interesting to see how others interpret this.
Thanks Don for links to the calculator. Also thank you for the clarification on the ridge beam carrying half, not one third the load. For the 6x12, if you only had access to dimensional lumber, could this be 4 - 2x12's?
..., if you only had access to dimensional lumber, could this be 4 - 2x12's?
I think so...
Sorry to be slow responding, playing catchup after a little lightning fun.
Yes, the 6x11.25 would be a 4 ply built up beam of 2x12's. If anyone gets into heavy timber we need to talk more, there is a different table of design values. Your jack stud comment is a bit right and a bit wrong. It takes care of the crushing into the beam however a jack is a short member, if you use that thinking on too tall a post with a significant load it'll buckle, its part of the check the column calc is doing.
Your beam methods and calcs look fine. It looks like you used the AWC calc to get the design values... excellent for a 3 ply or greater beam. Either that or you are a pro ;D
Here's some design values for typical 2.0 E LVL's
Plugging them in it looks like a 2 ply 11.25" or a single 14" LVL would do the trick. The single 14 would probably be cheaper. A 14" weighs 6.5 lbs/ft so 104 lbs for 16', reasonable for 2 guys on secure ladders.
On to the column calc;
The safe length to use is the longest dimension in an unbraced direction. If there is a floor bracing in one plane and a wall bracing in the other then that floor to ridge dimension is the height... make sense?
One further check is Fc Perpendicular to Grain to make sure the post doesn't crush into the beam. On this example with a 6x6, the post is exerting 99 psi on the beam IF the beam is occupying the entire post top. This would be the case with the built up 4 ply beam and the allowable FcPerp of DougFir is 625 psi, so we're fine there. With a beam narrower than the post top we need to divide the load by the bearing surface and make sure the beam is safe from crushing on the post top. The single 14" LVL is our thinnest beam so checking it; 1-3/4" thick x 5.5" bearing length=9.625 square inches bearing surface on the post top. 3000 lbs /9.625=312 psi perp to beam grain. An LVL has an allowable FcPerp of 750 psi, so that is a safe choice as well. (If you look at the bottom of the calc, Cp... this is the column stability factor. The column at this stifness, load, and length has lost 31% of its capacity due to being a tall slender column.
The rafters can sit on top or be hung on the side of the ridge with a hanger capable of supporting the load. The rafter load on the connection at the ridge is half the total rafter load. Half of the rafter is bearing on the wall, half is supported by the ridge. Your rafter is spanning 5'. Assuming they are framed on 2' centers the rafter is supporting a tributary area of 10 square feet. 10'x75 lbs per sq ft (60 snow+15 dead)=750 lbs per rafter. Half of this is supported by the ridge and the connection up there, 375 lbs. We can break out the simpson catalog and look at the specs on various connectors, my bet is a framing angle that'll take 5 nails on each leg will do it.
It looks like you used the AWC calc to get the design values... excellent for a 3 ply or greater beam.
Thanks. Yes, it seemed to be a handy easy access source. :D
Thanks Squirl, Mt. Don, and Don P., for all the info. This helps to start filling a gap in my education. I had build a 8x10 shed many years ago, using a Sunset book as a guide (and which had a couple of huge flaws). While the shed came out okay, I learned that I needed to know more about building if I wanted to do it again with a larger structure. Last year I participated in a small house build and learned a bit more, but had taken for granted the designs and methods used there as suitable to my own place. You guys have helped to remedy that assumption. That building was a bit larger than my design, but I don't think it was very well thought out, especially as to roof loads. I doubt that I'll not make any mistakes, but I hope to avoid the major ones. d*
I've altered my loft plan a bit. Not knowing whether I have access to some sizeable beams or, if I do, what they might cost, I moved the joists around so that I have pairs of them set apart by 2.5 inches, the pairs 2 feet apart on center. The idea is to eventually make them look like solid beams. The joists are set in joist hangers (Simpson HUS28, I think).
I've been boning up on the load tables, and see that it looks like I'd be okay using 2 x 8's on 16 inch centers. However, I'm not sure that still applies to my reconfiguration. Mt. Don, Don P or anyone else, how do you go about determining whether this is okay? Thanks.
I like the AWC online calculator for sizing joists and rafters.
I'm not sure what variables you used. The variables are, Species (use whatever is readily available in your local area). Size. Grade. Type of use. Deflection (see blow). Spacing. Live load (people, furniture and stuff in the structure). Dead load (the parts of the structure)
If I use Hem-Fir (common where I am), grade 2, 2x8, ceiling, L/360, 24" spacing, live 30#, dead 10#.......... I get a span of up to 11 ft 4 in.
2x6 and everything else the same is 8 ft 9 inch. If the 2x6's were spaced in double sets as you described I believe a well informed inspector might say that is would be fine. I'd be comfortable with that sizing. Those results will be different with different species, some better, some worse. Use what is locally and readily available.
Examples of common code-prescribed deflection limits and live load values are:
* Living room floors L/360 & 40 psf
* Bedrooms and habitable attic floors L/360 & 30 psf
* Attic floors with limited storage L/240 & 10 psf.
* Rafters L/240
That doesn't change anything with the roof.
Thanks, Don, for the confirmation. I'll probably stick with the 2 x 8's. And I've taken your earlier advice regarding the roof, changing the design to have the gable ends support a 14" LVL. I'll be up there in a couple of weeks to talk to the guys at the local lumberyard to get a materials estimate, as well as find a roofer and someone to put a driveway in. Then, all I'll need to do is pay for it all. Oy.
Went up for a day trip to check things out and meet with our driveway conractor. There's still an amazing amount of snow up there, and where there isn't snow there's a good amount of mud. The platform is still as level as it was last fall, though I won't feel confident that there was no heave until everything dries up. Some picts:
Dog flapping might help melt the snow
There's an entire picnic table under me
Yes, it is mud season
That's a lot of snow! Hopefully, we had our last snow last week d* At least our snow melts right away but then we have all the mud, too.
Exciting news! Tomorrow we'll have a driveway and we'll be framing and sheathing in 2 weeks. The lumber is ordered and will be delivered a week from Thursday. I just hope we're ready. I went up yesterday to add more supports and play with the new generator. In the process, I discovered I made a pretty stupid error last fall. d* We should not have bothered to insulate or add a vapor barrier to the platform then. I had been blissfully optimistic that, with a deck and a tarp covering it all, no water would get in. Wrong. A lot of the insulation was merely damp, and air-drying was all I needed to do. But a portion was sitting in puddles, soaked. What was really surprising was the amount of water puddled up on top of the vapor barrier below the deck. How it got there is a bit of a mystery. Unless the plastic tarp is semi-permeable, or snow & rain managed to squeeze up under it and in between the deck and joists. ???
I'll have to pull the deck off next weekend again and add back some insulation. Annoying, but not too bad. I'm very glad we used screws to put it all down. Here are a few picts:
I think we are framing the same weekend, I was going to ask you and the family up for a BBQ house raising !! ;D, driveways can be very exciting, wish I had one. Trudy
Hey Trudy - we'd love to come by some time! Good luck with your build, and let's hope for good weather that weekend. And if you get down our way, stop by. And bring your carpentry teacher & students (we're all amateurs down here). ;)
I have found that the more I think I know the more I do not ! I am so happy to have someone helping me that knows how to build a house !! Did you get that water cleaned up? I think all the Vermonters should get together for a big BBQ at the end of the season ;D
The Windham county contingent is working this weekend, too. We'd support an end of year b-b-q!
Hurray! We have a driveway! Now we're all set to have the lumber delivered this Thursday, with the build next weekend. It's going to be a busy week. Pictures and possibly a time-lapse video after.
Looking good ;)
Well, we're part way there. The weather wasn't very cooperative, but my friends and familiy were. Here are some picts:
Pre-building headers with rigid insulation, and creating a temporary addition to the deck (12' walls, 10' deck, needed some room):
One wall up, with sheathing:
Two walls up:
Three walls up:
Fourth going up:
Cap rail on:
Most loft beams in:
Some of the crew:
More sheathing on:
Green cube on the landscape:
Top of the future stairs loft beams:
As I left it yesterday:
I'm hoping to get a couple of strong bodies up there this weekend to get the ridge beam in place, though it doesn't look good right now. It'd be nice to keep most of the weather out. More next week.
Hey Rich you got alot more done than I did !!! Looking great and inviting !
This weekend's work, always less than hoped for, but we're got the big ridge beam up at least. We would have gotten the rafters up except someone (your's truly d*) forgot to get joist hanger nails. Still, given the unseasonably hot, humid weather, we did okay. Some more picts:
More sheathing on the sides:
Two gable ends up:
Getting the ridge beam in:
Nothing sounded better than the plop when the beam went in:
This is about the time I discovered the lack of nails. D'oh!
Inside the loft view, with the highly expensive temporary roofing ;) :
More or less as we left it yesterday:
We'll be back up it 2 weeks, as I really need to heal my cuts, scraps, and bruises and rest my poor muscles.
A little more progress this weekend, despite some awful weather. Went up on Friday, and I got started adding the remaining lookouts while the wife started building the porch deck. Between us, we got most of the rafters up and the deck all done. Saturday varied between a drizzle to outright downpour. Not real great for working on a roof. I did manage to finish the rafters, and added blocking between them. Also built the stairs, though I'm not entirely happy with how they came out. We had a really nice surprise in the afternoon -- some neighbors we had not met stopped by and invited us up to their place. Beautiful post and beam, with the beams made from their own trees. They used structured panels and had the wood stove going. It was so nice to warm up and dry out while sipping wine.
Today I finished the gable end framing, figured out how to get the fly rafters on by myself and actually managed to wrestle up some of the roof sheathing, before the rain started up again. No pictures of that as it's all covered by a tarp now.
First rafter up:
A bunch more:
Rafters and porch:
With rafters up, we could reposition the ladder:
The dogs seem to gravitate to the new deck:
The weather for much of the weekend:
Hopefully the weather will be better next weekend. I think I can get most of the roof complete if I get just one day without rain. Lets hope,
One more photo from my wife's phone, showing that we did indeed get some roof sheathing on: :D
We had a good weekend's work. I completed the major part of the roof sheathing, added blocking in the loft, and hung my free front door.
Through trial and error (I only dropped 3 pieces of sheathing) I figured out how to get the plywood up on the roof and placed without killing myself. Key in this was my purchase of a Gorilla Grip (http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Gripper-44010-Panel-Carrier/dp/B0007TYCA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308576447&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Gripper-44010-Panel-Carrier/dp/B0007TYCA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308576447&sr=8-1)), a clamp that allowed me to pull the sheathing up the ladder and get it in place, and quickly get it off to allow the piece to drop into place. The Gorilla Gripper costs a little more than I'd like, but it was worth it in the end.
I was finishing up the last few pieces, just as a thunderstorm was starting.
Unfortunately the rain started about 15 minutes too early:
I made many thousands of mistakes with the post-hung door, but it opens, shuts, and locks, so that's good enough for now. It's starting to look like a real place now.
For next week I've ordered the loft T&G, praying the weather cooperates enough to get a couple coats on poly on before we get it in. Also ordered some windows for the following week. Cheers,
Looking great. Excellent progress, especially considering the weather. d*
What are you using for sheathing? I've never seen that product before.
Ah, the Zip system. It's fairly new I guess, but it's combines house wrap (or roof felt) and plywood. The cost is slightly more than you'd pay for both, but not having to deal with house wrap makes it worth it, to me at least. I also don't have to rush to get a roof or siding on. Here's the website: http://www.zipsystem.com/ (http://www.zipsystem.com/) . It also is like nailing by numbers. As long as your framing is on 16 inch centers, you just put a nail in each black dot. A good thing for an inexperienced crew of friends and neighbors. The only downside is that the coating on the panels is a little bit slippery.
Looks like you have quite a crew helping at times - that weather doesn't look like fun though. Won't be long & you'll have it done :)
We had lots of extra rain this year but it's starting to get hot now...
I think I'm getting better about setting achievable weekend goals. As my parents were visiting, I didn't expect to get a lot done. Rain once again wasn't helping, nor was my lumberyard guy. Despite it all, we managed to get the loft floor on, with a couple coats of poly. I would have preferred to get more poly on before installing, but that just wasn't going to happen. But we're really happy with the way it looks.
My folks, lending a hand:
The (relatively) finished ceiling/floor:
Next week we're hoping to get a couple of windows in, and possibly (finally!) finishing off the roof sheathing.
awesome progress! excited to find another thread to follow too. thanks for the tip on the grip.... i'll be looking into that.
You guys are doing a great job on this - top notch craftsmanship. The weather can be a real struggle. I framed my place in ME the summer of 09 - the rainiest in recorded history. I still get PTSD when it starts to rain. Keep up the good work!
looking good. curious how you did that ceiling floor... because it looks like there is plywood down already... did you cut the boards to fit in between the beams ?? looks like you pulled up the plywood, put the boards in, and then put the plywood down again?
Thanks guys, I do appreciate the support. We were using plywood temporarily, initially to help get the gables, rafters and roof up, and for something to sit on while putting down the tongue & groove. We cut the T&G to length (either 15' or 12' depending on where it was going, down from their 16' lengths), put on a couple coats of poly, and then installed it. The plywood was removed as we made progress with the T&G. It'll be resused again for cabinet carcasses and maybe temporary stair treads. After that, maybe firewood ;) .
tks... thought maybe you doubled up with both. looks good.
Nah - that stuff is plenty beefy by itself:
i guess. place looks really well built. wonder how that material would work for a combo ceiling/floor in a larger cabin. do they use it that way? tks.
If you haven't seen the Jeff922's Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine thread, check it out: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=8803.msg113802#msg113802 (http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=8803.msg113802#msg113802). His pictures of his beamed ceiling definitely inspired my poorer, scaled down version.
Very cool cabin coming along nicely.
Thanks for the photos and the updates. Good work!
Added some modern conveniences this weekend, like a radio, phone, and windows! :P And I pretty much finished the roof (aside from some trim issues). It looks more like a real house now.
For a $15 application fee, the local phone company strung at least a 1000 feet of wire and hooked us up. Not a bad deal:
I had never installed windows before, so I took my time with these. I think I got 'em right - they open and provide light and everything:
We also added this nice little 18" square, stationary awning window that looks out on the brook in the back. Not cheap, but we like it:
From the outside:
It was probably 110 degrees on the roof yesterday, but the sheathing is finished. I'll have to fix a couple of issues here and there, but it really makes the place look more proportional and less elongated:
Nothing major scheduled for next week, which is okay. I need to knock a bunch of detail work off my list.
The stairs, step by step (pun intended ;)): it took a couple of weeks and a lot of forethought and visualization, but the stairs really came together nicely. I'm a little astonished that what I designed in Sketchup months ago is almost exactly what I ended up with. I know it's not my carpentry skills (or lack thereof) so I think it's more of an affirmation of the design tools. Anyway, pictures:
I started by building the platform, then attaching the lower risers. I plan to build in storage in all the underneath spaces:
I then framed the steps on the platform. I had a hard time visualizing these. It took a lot of graph paper, but once I started it all came together. There's a surprising amount wood and nails in those, but they are very solid feeling:
Then, I moved the ladder over and added the upper risers. I was really nervous these would be way off and I would end up dismantling the whole platform. But with some minor adjustments, they fit very nicely:
Next, I removed the ladder and added the treads. I had taken all the upper and lower riser treads home to work on them last week. I'm using the remainders from the loft T&G, trimming off the tongue and rounding over the edges. Finally, I cut and added the platform treads. I'll trim them up at home this week:
Eventually, I'll fill the screw holes with dowels, before putting some poly on them. Not for awhile, though:
Of course, now that we have stairs, we can also have some furry blankets to keep us warm when it finally cools off the fall :D :
Great job on the stairs! Isn't it good feeling when you see a project jump from paper to real life?
I really like your stairs. We currently have a ships ladder going to our basement and I have been toying with adding a spiral staircase or a regular steep stair case. We don't have to build to code and we have another entrance to the basement since it is a daylight basement. Anyway, what are the dimensions of your stairs (width, rise, run, and total height)?
A very nice job on a cottage stair. That is about the most comfortable small stair I have seen - not too steep but takes up little floor area.
Just joining the chorus..the stairs are great ;D
Thanks all. I really appreciate the back pats. The stairs have 8" risers, 10" run and are 2 foot wide. The platform is 20" x 48", so each triangular step is 20" x 24" x whatever the hypotenuse works out to be. The total height is 96". I was worried that the 8 inch rise would be uncomfortable, but it really isn't and it sure beats using a ladder (no hands!).
That doesn't meet code for a full-sized residential stair but it works well for a loft and 8" used to be standard for riser height (now 7.5" to 7.75"). The four steps on the landings keeps that height down as well.
If someone is building a full sized stair here are the typical code details:
You're quite right, John. I wouldn't recommend 8" risers in any more normal application. We aren't required to adhere to code where we are, though I'm mostly trying to. In this case, adding an extra step would, I think, given me a rise of 6.5", but would have taken up a lot more space (relatively). Besides, I like 12 steps better than 13 ;) .
A couple of questions.... do you have an regrets on using 12' walls? Do you think 12' walls would be ok if you are using 2X4's instead of 2X6's? I'm planning on building a 12X16 and was planning on using 2X4's and I like the amount of room in the upstairs with the 12' walls.
I would not suggest you let-in (notch the studs) a for a 2x ledger in a 2x4 wall. The old balloon frame builders did notch 2x4's for a 1x ledger and it might still work if all the studs and floor joists can be nailed together.
Hi Weasel - I have absolutely no regrets regarding the 12 foot walls. I had plenty of help raising them and they did save time and some lumber. I'm not sure about using 2x4's. I never really considered it as I want the extra insulation space. And the cost difference is not as big as one might think. And, as John points out, I wouldn't have been able to use a ledger for the loft beam support. The loft space is really nice. There's plenty of headroom, and also plenty of room for some built-in cabinets (to be built eventually). I look forward to hearing more about your build. I really like the size of our place - it's just right for us, for now.
Thanks for the reply. Rather than building a ledger I was thinking of just adding an 8 foot stud next to the 12 foot stud, and then place my floor joists on top of the 8 foot studs.
Also, what did you use for your floor joists on the first floor... and then the second?
For the platform I used 2x10's on 16" centers. For the loft we went with mostly 4x6 beams, using 4x8 beams around the stairway opening. The beams are on 32" centers.
I would assume that supporting your joists as you suggest would work fine, but I'm almost the opposite of an expert on the subject. Perhaps John or others would know better.
Yes, you can support joists by a shorter stud sistered to another stud. Remember to use a detail that includes fire blocking.
Great thanks guys... I'm just trying to get some ideas put together before I start my official thread on here... should still be a few months away.
I've been doing little detail work while waiting for a roofer to show up (still waiting, but Irene may have complicated things). I couldn't find 2 x anything in hardwood to trim up the loft edge, so I made my own out of some sugar maple. I took a 5 - 6" diameter log and ripped 3 sides of it, then fit into the loft. I really like how it sits proud of the rest of the floor. I used remaining loft beams for the railing posts. For the railing I found some white cedar and used maple branches for the slats. It was fun and not hard, with a set of forstner drill bits and a good whittling knife. Picts:
What a wonderful build, and truly inspirational.
The railing looks great!
It's very hard to incorporate natural shapes with milled wood and make it look so good.
Very very nice, reb.
Nice job on the railings.
It would take a pretty cold inspector to see if he could push a 4" diameter rubber ball through any of the those spaces, but that would be a code problem in many places.
Hey Reb, we need some of those railings in some areas at our place ;D Very nice!
Beautiful!!! Looks great!
Thanks all. I'm looking forward to getting the last section of railing on, and then some poly.
Railing done, and we have a nice new metal roof!
A few windows more...
I had an urge to spend some more money on windows before winter. I bought 3, all for the loft. That leaves 4 for whenever we can afford 'em.
In the back, installed:
The holes for the front - gotta love the view, and what a difference having natural light up there:
Front windows installed, including our current mess in the loft:
From the outside. They make the place look a little friendlier, I think:
Hey Rich, are you available for hire, I need railings too.... ;)
Hey Tracy - it's actually pretty easy to make those railings. Much of the wood I collected from the property; the posts were beams left over from the loft. The majority of the work in making the railings is in pealing the bark and sanding. I'd be happy to show you sometime.
Small update, no picts - we have a mattress! No more sleeping on cots! Woohoo! Also, got the rafters and gable ends all insulated. I had wanted to have the expanding foam insulation installed, but with the cost is 10 times as much as fiberglass, I really couldn't justify it. Of course, now I can't wait to get the 1x6 T & G up so we don't have to look at the insulation facing.
Things have been busy at work and home, so we haven't made it up to the property in a few weeks. The house is pretty much all insulated, and we found a great old kerosene heater that does a terrific job warming up the place. I finally gave up my desire to have foam insulation sprayed in. The cost was just too much, it didn't make any sense. So, we went with fiberglass, R-30 in the loft ceiling and R-21 in the walls. Good enough.
In the meantime, I've been building a log bedframe. The wood is mostly from a future dog park here at home - we don't have a whole lot of hardwood up at the property. I worked out a system of making the tenons on the logs that didn't cost a lot. And I used the same method for the slats as I did for the loft railing. I didn't make too many awful mistakes, but this type of furniture making is pretty forgiving. Here's some pictures of the process and the end result:
Strap the log to my crappy table saw:
Used a door knob hole blade, but I'd buy a better, longer one if I were to do this again:
Screw on a guide block - just a square piece of wood:
Run it through said crappy table saw, with the blade at 45 degrees, turning the block a little after doing all 4 sides. Usually 16 cuts per end:
With the block off:
With part pried off with a screwdriver:
Footboard complete, without finish:
The whole bed, finished, save the slats, which I need to buy today:
My only costs were around $45 for the birch plywood I used for the rails, the cost of the Rockler bed brackets, and one 1 15/16 inch forstner bit for the mortise. Not too bad.
very nice. thats fantastic for only $45!
The bed, in place in the loft. Nice to have that project under my belt:
Wow! Very, very nice! And I love your railings, too :)
Thanks Duncan and Sassy. I have to say, I'm having a blast with this stuff. It makes it really hard to return to the real world. ;-)
So nice to see your progess. I have pretty much buttoned mine up for the winter and will resume in the spring. Hope we can get together next year for that BBQ, have a great Christmas, Trudy
We're hoping to get up there a few times this winter, though I don't expect to get any additional work done until April or May.
Let's plan on a BBQ, or at least a visit next year. I hope we'll have a little more time to play next year. And, hopefully, the weather will be better! Have a great Christmas and a healthy winter. Cheers, Rich
It's been a crazy winter and I've only been up to our place overnight one night in the last couple of months. I finished up the insulation and reset the door in the frame for better weather stripping. But we've been busy planning for this year, once the warmer weather hits. We've decided we need to add a good-sized wraparound porch. As we don't have siding yet other than sheathing (on either side of the wall) yet, we figure it's better to do it sooner than later. Anyway, here's an early Sketchup drawing. Initially, this is to guestimate materials, primariy for the deck first. The roof structure is not filled out yet -- I'm researching hip roofs and compound miter cuts, some things I have not done yet. More as I get it refined:
I like your plan. I just tried my hand at a half hip gable end detail. I'm in a bit over my head. Sacrificed a couple 2x6's to the dimensional lumber Gods. Good luck to you and I look forward to seeing your progress.
I don't know if this will help or confuse you, I did it while figuring out a roof;
Sacrificed a couple 2x6's to the dimensional lumber Gods.
That's why I'm a carpenter, plumbers can't heat with their mistakes ;D.
Hey Don, I am going to re-hash this topic on my 12 by 16 backyard workshop thread if I have more trouble. I read how to do it at night and then did it in the morning without re-reading it, and I think I know what I did wrong.
Finally getting back up to Vermont after a very cluttered six months or so. Family illness, a job change, and plain exhaustion just filled up all my time. While things haven't eased that much, I need the theraputic affect of just being up there, as well as working on place.
I've started installing the T & G in the loft. This is the result of two weekend's worth:
Here's another view:
I've also ordered all the remaining windows, some of which should be delivered in a week or so. It'll be nice to put that big expense behind me. I'm still planning on the porch, but have to wait until the ground thaws a bit more.
We finally have all the windows in! What a difference it makes. Especially a double casement in the west wall that opens up a view to our nearby stream.
Here are views from opposite corners:
And the view out the double casement:
Slightly more progress. Tongue and groove is addictive -- the more you put up, the better it looks, the more you want to put up. But I figure it'll be another month before completing the loft. I can't wait. Picts:
I'm still working on our new, improved bridge. I can't decide to use 4x4's for posts/rail support, or local, rough cut trees. Stay tuned.
looks great. Where in VT are you? Fayston, washington CO here. near Sugarbush.
Please continue posting great pictures! I was planning on building 16x20 but I think I might be downsizing to 12x16 because of the budget. I really like the space the 12' walls give and the 12:12 pitch. Great job!
Maybe I missed it while looking at the pictures but what kind of windows and where did you buy them?
Thanks pj and aktundra! We're in Topsham, kind of in the middle of no where (which is a good thing). I chose the size as it sort of adheres to the golden ratio thing, and works for us as plenty large enough for out purposes. As far as windows go, I could bore you for hours about which we chose and the journey to get there. We ended up with mostly Marvin Integrity windows. The one exception is the little one over the stairs, which is the high end Marvin, as they only make that size for the (really) expensive line. While the cost for them all is more than I expected, I am loving these windows. They are beautifully crafted and will no doubt outlast me. We purchased them through the local lumberyard (Oakes Bros. in Bradford).
The one project from this past weekend that makes a noticable improvement - stairs down to our water supply and cooler:
[cool] ::) just lovely small home. I'm hoping to build a similar one but smaller as a guest house/ place for teens to hang out. Without plumbing or kitchen. Beautiful railings.
Thanks cath, it's been a blast, even after a full year now. It's a great sized project for someone eager but with maybe not so much skill ;-).
It's been a busy few weeks, and we're making good progress. I hope to mostly finish putting up the tongue and groove next weekend, except where cabinets and built-ins will go in. The cabinet project is languishing a bit, but I'm hopeful about getting some work done on them this week. Maybe.
Some photos, in chronological order. These show the current state of the T&G:
In the meantime, I started working on the porch. First up, posts in the ground, all of which came to be placed almost perfectly. Purely accidental.
Yesterday morning we got an early start on a beautiful day. I don't know if I'm getting really good at designing structures or I'm just really lucky, but this worked out really well.
What I have yet to get right is lumber estimation. I have about 7 more boards to go, despite a mid-morning lumberyard trip. We'll get it next week.
I am so very happy with how this turned out. It looks great and is very solid. Next step is finding, cutting and prepping some white cedar posts, and figuring out how to roof it all. Stay tuned...
Wrap around porch that is going to look good.
The deck adds a lot, it breaks up the vertical height and looks great!!! I like the cool bridges too! Nice job :) [cool]
Plus One on the speedfunks comment!!!
The base house was fine functionally, but???
With the roofed porch I can say "OH! So that's what he was thinking !!"
the covered porch will really help that place not look so tall and skinny, looks good. i like the way you did the boarder the oposite direction
Another month of weekend work on our place. I finished up most of the T & G inside, finally got the cabinet carcasses together and in, with face frames on. There are a lot of details yet to take care of inside yet.
But the project I'm mostly focused on now is the porch. I've found, cut, and debarked a bunch of potential white cedar posts.
But I was stumped (pun intended) as to how to anchor what is effectively a tree to the deck, while keeping it a little off the deck so it doesn't rot. Simpson doesn't make post anchors for round posts. An interwebs search turned up some expensive possibilities. But then I thought of a horizontal bar I had made outside for my daughter when she was into gymnastics, which used a 3/4 galvanized pipe screwed into a floor flange. So I adapted that idea to this:
Then, I just drilled a hole in the bottom of a post and ta-da:
In the coming weeks I'll be continuing work on the porch, thinking about a countertop, maybe starting on some built-in seating, and also working on the bridge. And loving every minute of it.
Looking great! I like your strorage ideas and the covered porch will make the place.
Very nice. What are your plans for a restroom? The porch really makes it look better. Doesn't seem as slender as it did before. Nice job with the reverse book shelf.
Weasel, we have a tented poop palace that will do (!) for now. Later this year I hope to put in a composting toilet in a little shed addition off the back. That's still pretty tentative - I haven't put a lot of thought or research into yet.
I love all the T & G. The porch looks like it will be a great place to relax. Very clever way to do the posts. Looking forward to watching the progress!
I'm making some decent progress on the porch roof, but it's a time-consuming job. The pictures below represent the last 3 weekends. First, I got all the posts in, with the doubled header attached. That went really smoothly.
Then I had the big lumber delivery in the hope that I'd get a lot done. A hot, humid and rainy weekend allowed me only to get the regular rafters in.
My first attempt at the hip rafter was a complete bust, so, I put that off until this past weekend. It took a lot of studying and 3 hours of checking, double-checking, climbing ladders, etc., but I finally got it in. The jack hip rafters were relatively easy after that.
I wanted the ceiling of the porch to at least appear like it was beadboarded, so I got some 4 x 8 sheets of 1/4" ply with a beaded pattern cut into them. The quality wasn't exactly equivalent to the price, but real beadboard would have cost much more. Anyway, I primed up some of it and put that up, followed by some 1/2" CDX ply. This all would have gone faster had I been more fastidious about making sure all the rafters were square to the house. As such, I've condemned myself to non-rectangular parallelogram roof sheathing hell. Nevertheless, the results are nearly as good as I expected.
I'm hoping to get the rest done next weekend, then save up to have the metal roofing guys finish it off.
The results are great! The porch will be great place to sit and admire your roof-LOL ;D
Thanks Cathy! The porch really makes the place feel more complete. I hope to actually enjoy at some point this weekend. I didn't sit much last weekend, trying to finish the roof. As usually happens, nature intervenes to slow things down:
But I did manage to finish up late Sunday. I hope to avoid ladders for a while.
We just need to have the roofer come and put on the metal roofing. And find the $$$ to pay for it, of course.
The porch posts really add character. It fits in so well with the natural surroundings. You're doing a great job! I love visiting Vermont, it is so beautiful. Skied there a few times. I was born in Massachusetts. We visited Vermont occasionally. The fall is my favorite time of year. The colors are georgous. Winter's a bit long though. c* (my cup of hot chocolate-brr) I've turned into a whimp :)
Your porch really adds to the look of your cabin. Great work!! [cool]
The place is looking great!
What difference a porch makes! Very nice! I presume you don't experience much snow there?? I found on our cabin that the falling snow, sometimes solid slabs of ice, can do serious damage as it falls and hit the next deck below or break porch posts as it picks up speed sliding down the roof.
Actually, in a normal winter, we do get a lot of snow. I'm not too concerned, though. The distance between roofs is not that great, plus we'll be putting the same standing seam roof on the porch as we have on the "main" house. But I have looked into snow arrestors. We'll see what happens this winter. Thanks for your kind comments!
With that steep of pitch I really doubt you are going to have much snow and ice build up on the shed roof. Love your porch roof as well. [cool]
Real has to me turned in to seeming very nice [cool] from something that was I hate to say it but ??? What the heck is he / are they doing?
As usual, we've been busy on various tasks at our place in Vermont. I finally stopped procrastinating and attacked the interior T&G. Over the past 2 weekends I spent 2 days sanding and cleaning up and 2 days varnishing. The phrase "wax on - wax off" (a la Karate Kid) kept running through my head. It's a very aerobic workout, but will never compete with Zumba. :)
I used a varnish made relatively locally by Vermont Natural Coatings. Like others on this forum, in the past I've used the Minwax Polycrylic with good results. But I knew I'd be working inside all day with little ventilation (needed to keep it warm to allow it to dry), and, while the Polycrylic is less stinky than some varnishes, I knew I'd be ill if I had to smell it all day. Additionally, it's been my experience that the fumes from Polycrylic react with gas combustion. After varnishing a floor at home, we can't use our gas clothes dryer for days, or the clothes take on a awful stink. Given that we're using propane for both cooking and heating, I knew I didn't want to woory about that.
Vermont Natural Coatings makes a variety of varnishes, all from the byproducts of cheesemaking. In fact the product is called PolyWhey. It has a VOC of around 100 (Polycrylic is over 300, I think). There's only a slight scent to it. It also dries quickly and clean up is just soap and water. Of course, the downside is the cost, but I don't mind paying a little extra for all the benefits this product gave me, plus I'm helping the Vermont economy a little bit. I used most of 2 gallons at $77 per.
I used a semi-gloss, though I had originally wanted to use a gloss (the wife vetoed that). I'm happy with the result. Here's a photo, though it's hard to get the full effect:
In other news, we have I direct vent propane heater that I've half installed. That'll get hooked up in a couple of weeks. Next week the roofers are supposed to finally show up. We're looking forward to enjoying the place this winter.
Very nice and crative work! Simply insperational.....
I'm considering building a guest cottage very similiar (10x14) - this dimension avoids building permits for us.
At this point, would you have done any thing differently? Do you have an approx. material cost for the whole project?
I'm glad you like our little place, Lavarock. It's been a blast to build.
Looking back, there's not all that much I would change. I would definitely beef up the foundation. I admit, I was looking for relatively easy and cheap solution there. I think it's adequate for now, but some posters here as well as on many other threads on this forum has left me with more than enough doubt. For peace of mind alone, it would have made more sense to go with a permanent wood foundation, at least.
Also, I would have left off putting in insulation to the platform until I knew it'd be completely watertight. Live and learn.
I have a big pile of receipts, lumberyard bills and whatnot, but I've been a little afraid to total them all up. I'll try to do that this weekend, but keep in mind that we still have the big expense of siding and trim, plus we're going to get a new front door, eventually.
Here's a little update on progress. The heater is hooked up and working, though there's some doubt about how well. Also, I put on a small addition:
I'm calling it the billiard room. In reality, it'll eventually house a composting toilet and tools,etc. Perhaps a battery bank too, someday.
Sweet looking place. One of my favorite builds here. d*
So, lavarock asked about the total material cost. Well, I added up all the receipts and, depending on what you call materials it's in the neighborhood of $15k, so far. I've included some tool costs, scaffold rental, some fixtures. But the vast majority is lumber, windows, etc.
I'm not overly surprised at that figure. I haven't really made every effort to keep the costs down, though I'm not sure how much I could have saved or where. It usually takes time and effort to save significant amounts of money on materials, and time is not really a luxury I enjoy these days. My last employer more or less sold me off to another company for whom I work on an hourly basis, as opposed to an annual salary. This is relatively new to me, but adjusting to having to work extra hours to pay for vacation days is not at all fun. But, it's still better than no job at all. And I have a beautiful spot to go to on weekends to decompress and play with tools. :)
I went up to Vermont last Friday, and got a pleasant surprise. My roofer finally got around to us and did the porch roof. I'm very pleased with it -- they did a great job, really smoothing out my errors.
As it turned out, it was just in time, as we got about 3 - 4 inches of beautiful light powder Saturday night:
Over the weekend I finished off the sheathing on the shed, and made a really awful door out of plywood scraps.
At the same time we no longer have a pile of scraps. With the garden tools in the shed, and the garbage piles mostly gone, I feel like we can actually enjoy the winter.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Looks real good Rich, The porch roof really adds to the overall look and gives the cabin great dimension. You should be proud!
What size are your loft support beams, as they look like they are 1 piece, not a few pieces made up?
The beams are mostly 4x6, except for the beams around the stairwell, which are 4x8, all doug fir. Initially, I was going to use built up beams, but my guy at the lumberyard suggested these instead. The costs were between $4.70 & $6.25 per foot, depending on width and lengths. I am far happier with these than I would be with built-ups. The color and grain really add to the whole interior.
And thanks Dave! All I can focus on now is getting trim and siding on, if only to make it a little less green...
your place looks really nice. I notice you have a direct vent heater on the rear wall, and you said your going to add a toilet to the rear addition eventually. Could you show some more pictures of the inside since you have added to it. I am considering building something this size to start but 15K+ seems steep to me for a temporary house for me to need it for only 7-10 years, as I want to eventually build a 20x34 home from this forum as a retirement home.
I don't have any pictures showing the inside with the heater, surprisingly. I'll take one this weekend and post it. At present, there is no connection to the shed addition from the inside, and I'm not sure there ever will be. If I were to add a door, it'd be weird, trapezoidal one under the stairs. It'll certainly be less convenient to walk around to the back, but more convenient than the current poop palace we're using now.
While $15k or more seems expensive, you have to take into account that we've not mitigated our costs as much as so many others on this forum. I know I could have saved a lot of money by using Craigslist more, or shopping at the Renew stores, or the budget lumber place down the road from our usual lumberyard. I simply didn't have the time and I've been able to afford to pay the difference. We too hope/plan to build a bigger place on our property in a few years, also to be a retirement home. This tiny house will help facilitate that place, as I think you need to really soak in the area to know what sort of house to build. The more time I spend up there, the better sense I have (or will have) of how I'll orient the place, how large it'll be, and what features we'll consider essential. Right now I envision a relatively small, 2 bedroom post & beam structure, but I expect that'll change.
I look forward to hearing more about what you're planning and where you'll build. Cheers,
Rich looks great, I have watched yours unfold has been a good source for my project.
Thanks, Colchester. Looking forward to seeing your progress next spring.
As requested, here's a photo of the interior with the heater installed:
The heater does the job, at least so far. Cheers,
I love the winders. I also like the direct vent heater, I'd like to put one in the basement for heat when the power goes out
Any more progress on this place, if i don't go with a A frame im gong to build something like this.. Nice place by the way.
Thanks, Impulse. I've been resting a bit, but not idle. Now that we have heat, we're enjoying that we have snow (none to speak of last year):
I did finally get around to the window casings. This wasn't all that simple as I had to fur them all out. I'm no finish carpenter, and it shows when you get close enough. But if you look real quick it's not too bad:
I hope to finally get the cabinet doors done this week or next, then try to get the countertop started at least. And we finally have a idea for the space between the kitchen sink cabinet and the stairs. I'm going to attempt to build in a futon chair. With luck, it'll be a comfy place to sit, plus we'll be able to have a guest overnight. It'll be an interesting design challenge. Cheers,
Place is coming along nicely, do you plan or are you living in it full time? I am looking to build small and cheap so i can enjoy life not having to work it all away for banks and what not.
Very nice [cool]
Thanks, Barry. Impulse, I would love to live in Vermont all the time, but I still need to pay a mortgage, etc. And, as nice as our little place is, sharing a 10 x 16 space with my wife and 3 dogs for longer than a week might result in violence. ;-)
My better half has pointed out that my last message could be misinterpreted to infer something about wife-beating. Rest assured that if anyone would get hurt, it'd most likely be me ;-)
LOL.. Yeah i would want to make mine just a few feet bigger each way but i tend to build to live in for the rest of my life and if i have a kid i would have to add on..
Your place looks awesome. What size are the loft beams you used, and do you mind my asking how much the LVL ridge beam ended up costing, and if you had it to do over, do you think you would use the 4 2x12's next time? I have commented on your place before and I would only have me and my wife to do that support beam in the UP of Mi, lots of snow load here too.
Hi Dreamer - thanks for the compliments. The beams are 4x6 except those around the stairs, which are 4x8. I'm happy with the LVL and would use one again. It really wasn't as heavy as it looks, and could be put into place with just the two of you, if only by degrees. When we got it up, it was just me, my son and my daughter's boyfriend. And it was a breeze to get in. The cost was $6/foot. I bought it long, at 20 feet, or $120 all told.
Very nice build. Topsham's a nice town, have you ever gone over to see the Barrel Man? I'm in Williamstown, half an hour or so north of you.
Hi Abbey - I'm embarrassed to say that I've not done too much exploring in the area yet. I hope that'll change this year, now that we're down to siding and flooring (mostly) left to do. I'd love to do some hiking in the Groton State park, as well as some brewery trips to Hill Farmstead and Alchemy, among other things. As I'm looking into solar, it seems like a good idea to seek out the Barrel Man. Meanwhile, come on over sometime for the 1 cent tour (that's about all it takes ;) ).
It's difficult to spend time driving around when you're working the whole weekend building. I was not happy when the Alchemist did not re-open after the floods, I miss the beer cheese spread and pretzel. Be warned, the Barrel Man is a talker, so plan on spending a good hour there, probably longer. He's a nice guy and he's always trying different things. You can always take a trip up my way too, I'm off grid and have a small solar system that I can show you. There's also a company in Williamstown that's doing solar hot water and they're planning on branching out into solar electric but I don't know if they have yet.
thankyou very much, so that doesnt seem bad at all. This seems more and more feasible every time I am on this forum, Everyone is very helpful here.
You're welcome. It's a good forum, for sure. So many people have been doing all kinds of different things and they're all willing to share what they've learned, what works and what doesn't so you can save a lot of time and headaches. I've been doing the whole off-grid and compost toilet thing for almost 10 years so I've got some experience with what it's all about.
Abbey - I'd enjoy seeing your setup. I don't think solar is in the budget for this year, but I'd like to learn as much as I can. I'll send you a PM sometime after mud season is well over. Thanks!
Well, it's spring, mid-mud season, but we're still managing to get things done as well as preparing for building weather. I'm almost done with my winter project. The countertop (inspired by MaineRhino) has 3 coats of spar varnish and wax on it, the pump's working and the stove get's hooked up a week from Tuesday:
Yes, I know I need to move the shelves. They're temporary anyway. I'll be making some bigger, longer shelves next week, hopefully. We'll get the cabinets varnished next week too.
I also ordered the siding. We'll be getting over 1700 lin. ft. of pine clapboards from a Vermont mill. I'm being a bit extravagant and getting them primed and with one finish coat, figuring that I'm paying for future leisure time. Maybe. As for the trim, I originally intended to go with fiber cement, based on recommendations on this forum and neighbors. But I agonized over it, as I've never used it before. Then I was focusing on the downsides - the weight (I'd be installing this solo, probably), the cost (isn't cement just rock? Why does it cost so much?), and that I'd need to buy some special saw blades and dust masks. So, I kept looking around and settled on something called MiraTEC. It's a wood composite product. It's really a compromise for me, as I don't like the Azec-type stuff - it's just too too plastic. The MiraTEC is uses wood fiber, wax, and resin, so it's at least more wood than plastic. But it has other advantages such as a 50 year warranty, it's a "green" product, and it's cheaper than fiber cement. It also comes in 16 ft lengths which works better for my 10x16 cabin.
I don't think I'll see a delivery for a few weeks, but I'm looking forward to covering up that sheathing.
Looking good... Just one question is the counter top curved or is just the picture? [cool]
:) Nah - it's the photo. I didn't have my good camera, and my phone isn't really good at wide angle but can do panoramas.
Spring is here and so is my siding order! This weekend I managed to get the trim up on one side and 3 windows. While I'm really anxious to see at least one side complete, I'm forcing myself to take it a little slow. Plus the lack of certain necessary things (like nails or gas) kind of forces a certain pace.
This Miratec is interesting stuff. Pretty dense and somewhat heavier than wood, but not uncomfortably so. One thing I found out quickly, pre-drilling for the 8d nails is very helpful. Otherwise, it was pretty easy to work with.
Here's how I left the house late this morning:
I'm also pretty happy with the spruce clapboards, but I haven't really done much with them yet. Here's a sample, just to see the color:
...and a closeup of just that corner:
I also did some odds and ends, including putting up the new shelves:
More next week,
I noticed a couple of details on the miratec. And that is a popular choice even with cement siding, much more fun to work with than cement trim. we take a plastic container with a lid and cut an X in the lid, slip that over a paintbrush and put an inch or so of paint in the container. You then have a good endbrush while you're working and it won't get full of dust or dry out. Paint any exposed end cuts or ripped surfaces on the miratec and siding before installing. It's also a very good idea to keep it up off the porch floor. I usually have painted flashing on the wall and lift the trim 1-1/2" to keep leaves and debris from constantly wetting and swelling the material. If you have a power planer I run a pass for about half the width of the backside to create a rabbet the window flange can go into allowing the unplaned portion to sit flat on the wall sheathing. One nice traditional cornerboard detail is to run each 1" thick cornerboard to the corner but without lapping them. Then run a 3/4" quarter round up the resulting inside corner formed by those unlapped corner boards. In a painted lady those beads are in a contrasting color.
And there I thought it was just a species. It truly is red spruce, ;D
Very nice little place! I like it.
Rich, the place is looking great. d*
It looks (at least in the pics) like the Zip sheathing made it through the winter quite well. Care to share your impressions of that product? Would you use it again?
Thanks, all. Don - that's a great tip. I had cut all the trim, primed the edges, etc., and then gave it all a coat of finish paint. The wood drip cap was the last thing I did on Saturday, and needed to trim it by a saw blade's width to get it in, so I neglected to prime that. I'll employ your tip next weekend. I did need to make an angle cut on the casing on the top of the windows so that it would fit over the metal flashing. And, I wish I had talked with you prior to putting the corner trim up. I considered and discarded other options, like a 45 degree mitered corner. I like the idea of the quarter round, but we're getting (whether we want it of not) a barn-like look.
Archimedes - yes, I would absolutely use the zip system again. I'm not unhappy that I'll be finally covering up those green walls though ;) . But, really, I can't think of any other solution where I could leave off siding for a year or more. Realistically, I had hoped to have some siding up before now, but with the zip panels, I didn't have to be too worried that it was going to rot out before now. For a mostly weekender builder, anything I can do to safely put a bookmark in my work and come back to it in a week or two, starting off where I left off, makes things so much easier. Plus, there is no way I would have as much faith in house wrap, no matter how well it was attached to the house.
It is very cute with the wrap around porch!
Well, to tell the truth, I wasn't going for "cute". Maybe a manly version of cute ;-)
Just a quick update, and then off for a few weeks for a family vacation and celebration (3 kids, now officially all full-time employed, if professions of their choosing! Plus wedding anniversary, Mother's day, graduation, birthday, etc.). I put up clapboard on the most visible and easiest section of the house. It went well, once I got comfortable with the spruce clapboards and the relatively short lengths of 2 to 6 feet. I also found that stainless ring-shanked nails are the only way to go to avoid splits near the ends (regardless of how much you blunt the pointy end of the nail). Everything else is just too big.
Anyway, here's some pictures. Theme for the summer - more red, less green:
Hi KSC- I'll post some pictures as early as this Sunday. I've finished almost all the trim and some more siding. Also installed a new door. Hoping to finish the front this weekend, barring any interruptions. - Rich
Rich - look forward to seeing them! Your cabin has been the inspiration for our cabin build. Jeremy
Hello from Missouri. I think I finally found a design I can get my wife on board with. Your place is charming! My question is do you have plans drawn, or are you doing it as you go. My building experience is minimal, and I would do better with plans. The ones I have looked at online have not given me the"that's the one" feeling that yours has. Thanks.
Thanks Doc! I have to look on a backup hard disk, where I hopefully have the SketchUp docs I made. When I do find them I can just send them or make them available somewhere. You're welcome to use them, and hopefully add your own improvements.
As promised here are a few progress pictures. I've finished most of the trim. I'm still considering what to do under the roof eaves, and how to do it. So, I'll continue to procrastinate until I can't anymore. We put in a new dutch door, to replace the construction site discard door we've been using up to now. The new door is not all the practical, but I've always wanted one. It would've helped if the big box store had handled it with more care, and the manufacturer used better quality framing, hinge screws, etc. I still think it's pretty cool. I finished up the front siding today, which I could do now that the new door is in. Anyway, enough blabbering, here's the picts:
This is the stream side, with trim:
Back side, with trim:
Wide view of the front, all sided:
Closer view of the front siding:
With family events and concerts, I don't expect to get anything more done for another month :( Oh well. Summers are like that sometimes.
Gorgeous. I love the wrap-around porch. Jill really liked the interior paneling and countertops.
For a long time we've been trying to decide what kind of flooring to put in our little house. It'll likely be the last substantial project we'll do on this place, but we hope to have something done by fall. I always imagined finding some nice, wide plank boards of some sort. But, I've been ignoring a reality that makes a wood floor pretty impractical. This photo illustrates that pretty well:
We think we have a solution that's admittedly a compromise. Tile that kinda, sorta looks like wood. It turns out there are a lot of places that have it, but I found one that sent out free samples. I chose a selection of 4, of which we quickly narrowed down to two, as seen here:
While I'm not a huge fan of tile, it seems like this is our best bet. The tile come in a 4x24 inch size, I guess to seem more like planks. Anyway, if anyone out there has experience with this sort of tile, we'd love to hear about it.
would you have detailed drawings for this building that you wouldn't mind sharing ? I really like the way it's built and it is exactly what I would like to do.
I wonder if that is an engineered type flooring? I put down laminate with a thin pad on the back. We put it over old vinyl that was nasty to keep clean and dented and tore easily. This comes in 12x48 panels that click together. The brand I have is Dupont "real touch", but Consumer Reports has a recent issue where they tested all types of flooring and there are better brands that cost less.
Laminate is not real wood but a picture of wood. It looks good, is very tough and easy to clean. Downside - it can puff up at the edges when it is wet for a long time (you don't want to flood the floor to wash it). We had a leak from the ice maker on the fridge and I thought I was going to have to tear out a section and replace it. But I didn't get around to it and it is now fully dried out (over months) and has pretty much lost the puffiness.
Hi Aaron - my sketchUp files are on a hard disk (I hope) that my son has. I keep meaning to get it back, but something always comes up. But, as soon as I do, I'll make them accessible in some way to anyone that wants them.
John - I think you're partially right. This is definitely ceramic tile, but it also has a texture somewhat approximating wood grain. But it is definitely a picture that is printed on the tile. I don't think it's laminated on there. Out of curiosity, I looked around the web and saw a number of websites that describe this is digital printing and glazing on tile (this is one: http://www.floridatile.com/hdp-high-definition-porcelain).
But, here's a closeup of the sample. I think you can make out the pixels:
We have similar tile in a bathroom here at home, only not as high-resolution. If you look closely, it's like looking at a color picture in a newspaper. Much larger pixels. We've never had a problem with it, in over 15 years.
Of course, if I had dogs that didn't like to be wet 24/7, I'd just get some nice wide plank flooring. But that's not going to happen:
That's an interesting tile product. Should be very tough.
The laminate flooring I described would not be a good flooring choice with a bunch of wet dogs
After 4 months of weekend work, I've completed all 4 sides of clapboard. I'm very happy to be done (for now) making so many trips up and down a ladder.
The toughest section was under the eave, above the porch. Due to the way things are, the only way to get under there is on one's stomach or back. The cramped space, plus the slippery metal roof and lots of things to hit your head on made this a real trial. But, I found a couple of ways to make things a little easier. First, the "Rich Retention System (tm)". ;) I needed some way to keep from slipping every time I hit a nail. So I put some clamps on the standing seam, then clamped the board to the clamps. It wouldn't take a lot of force to have it all come apart, but all I needed was something to brace myself, as well as grab if things went awry. I also used some rubber backed mats to lie on. Here it is:
You can see the completed wall behind there.
Then I just wailed on the back wall:
Yeah, I still have the back shed clapboard to do, but I need a couple of doors first. And I need to do something different for awhile.
The clapboard looks great!
Thanks KSScotton, it's been a long chore, but well worth it!
For a change of pace, this weekend I added a little 4x9 deck off the back that connects the porch and the future composting toilet room:
Also, after 3 years of looking, finally saw this guy at the end of the driveway:
My wife is so mad she missed it.
I'm done with clapboard! Well, not entirely, but I need a couple of doors on the shed before that can happen. The second coat of paint is on, but the trim paint won't be done until next year. Maybe. Meanwhile, I've been busy with a some other tasks. Painted the front door, once my wife found the color she liked:
The color is "black forest green", in case you're wondering.
As we've had a couple of painful falls, I moved up a project I had planned for winter -- a bannister for the stairs. The first job on that was to find a newel post. I had spotted a wind blown balsam fir of about the right size earlier this summer. I collected that and some maple branches and cedar for the rails. The newel needed to be shaped to fit. I used the circular saw to give me a head start, and then finished off with my nice handsaw:
That evening I decided to play with the post a bit, just for kicks. You can see the result and where I ended up last weekend:
This weekend I got the rails in place first:
Then I spent the rest of the day drilling and whittling the stiles. I'm pretty pleased with result. Got a couple of coats of spar varnish on before leaving today:
A closeup of the newel top:
Looks great I like the railing.
your place is beautiful. Very nice. When you did your posts did you backfill the holes with gravel or cement? And did they move (wiggle) much while you were installing the floor joists and decking?
I need to do this but have been challenged by how to get the holes drilled right for the tenons on the cross rails?? My stairs are about 60 degrees and drilling with a forstener bit at that angle is impossible by hand (ok maybe not but so far for me it has been).
How did you do yours?
Well I finally got my old computer back with the sketch-up files with my original drawings. I know a few people have been interested in looking at it, so I've placed them in my dropbox, publicly accessible. As things are rarely permanent on the Internet, I'll post on this thread should anything ever change. This is where the file lives now:
small cabin dreamer - the holes for all my posts are backfilled with gravel and packed as tight as I could possibly make it. There was no wiggle in them afterwards. However, and I can't state this emphatically enough, don't assume that my choices for foundation structure apply to your own situation. My soil is very stable and packable, though it probably wouldn't perk. If it were any different, I'd have invested in cement mixing tools long ago. Truth be told, I probably should have anyway.
OlJarhead - it was a bit different doing the holes on an angle, and certainly more difficult. But I did do it all by hand, or rather, with a cordless drill and forsteners. The trick is getting the hole started at a 90 degree angle, then slowly tipping it to whichever angle you want. I did have to go back with a small chisel to remove material from the slightly u-shaped bore. This works best with stiles that are slightly larger than the hole, for which I whittled down to the right size. You don't see so much of the oval hole. Of course, if I had a nice drill press in my tool shop... But I guess I'd need a tool shop first. ;)
A shot from the weekend:
While there were a lot of good reasons to wait until warmer weather for it, I decided to start tiling the floor. I don't think I could have made it much harder on myself. I should have had some knee pads and a tile saw (and an un-winterized generator to run it). And as these tiles are supposed to look like wood, I staggered them long ways. My somewhat flawed plan was to put as much tile down as possible, then mark tile for the edges, bring those back home and cut them here. The major flaw was that I had to figure out just how far to put the thin set on those edges.
I do want to thank Danfish for introducing me to uncoupling membranes. Until I saw his pictures of his Truckee house, I had no idea what they were. But it makes perfect sense in this instance.
Here's my Saturday progress:
And where I left off yesterday:
So, now I only have to cut the tile, hope I measured everything right, lay it down, and grout. After my knees and back recover, of course.
Oh yes...knee pads...save the body!
Glad the Ditra worked for you. Your only challenge now is to put down thinset without getting it on those tiles already in place. In future, don't be afraid to run thinset into all those dimples in the Ditra. Scrape off excess (with no ridges) let set and when you come back to set tile you don't have to attempt to work thinset into dimples inside a restricted space. The second coat of thinset should bound without problems and lock into membrane dimples. In this case you can then back-butter tiles and control the mess. Important thing is to get those dimples packed with thinset to lock tiles to membrane. Thinset will not bond to the plastic membrane surface, the dimples are key to locking it all together!!!
Thanks Danfish. I probably should have asked you for some tips last week. I was pretty diligent about getting the thin set into the dimples. I would lay down a layer with a flat trowel, pushing it in, then coming back with the notched trowel. It shouldn't be too bad doing the edges, except maybe in the kick under the cabinets.
I finished tiling the floor. Thanks again Danfish for your advice. I brought up some smaller sheetrock knives to aid in pushing the thin set into the Ditra. I then buttered the backs of the tiles I had cut at home on a rented tile saw. I also bought a little 4 inch wet/dry saw blade that fits my cords circular saw. That worked well, if a little dusty, for the few tiles I had not measured well. I think it came out well with the gray grout:
My next project is to add some drawers under the stairs, but not all that soon. I have a few bills to pay off first. Happy New Year everyone!
Finished job looks great and should hold up for many years to come!
I think I may need to replace the asphalt shingles on my little shed roof with something a little more slippery. And this is taken before an additional 4 inches last week:
That an example of why we design and build to what the local ground snow load is. Or at least we should. Also an example of how the very local winds can foil best laid plans.
I love what you have done with your house.. the fact that it is in Vt is pretty cool too :) I was just up there visiting my daughter and meeting some new boating friends.. that is quite a snow load.. makes a wonderful case for metal roofing. we are all looking forward to seeing continued progress in the spring! jt
Thanks! It's been fun, but no where near the quality of craftsmanship of your place. I am finishing up my last little project inside, adding storage under the stairs, and covering up the stair framing. I hope to have it all done in a couple of weeks and will post picts then.
I thought you might like that snow load, Don. Yes, it's a really good illustration of the need to pay attention to the local snow loads, as I believe you pointed out to me some time ago (much appreciated, then as now). It's a small space, a little overbuilt, so I'm not really worried about it. Particularly as there's not much in there yet to worry about, mostly winter toys and stuff. But I'm hoping to get the composting toilet in there this year, if I have time and money to do it. I can just imagine sitting in there next winter, hearing the roof creak and not accomplishing the job at hand, so to speak... ;)
(much appreciated, then as now)
You are welcome. I'm pleased you listened and did a redesign. :) :)
I'm planning on getting a drill press and making a rig to give me 60 degrees so I can slowly drill the mortises at the right angle.
Besides, everyone needs a drill press right?
There's never a bad excuse to buy a new tool. ;)
I absolutely love the entire thing, it is a beautiful work of art. My fear in building something with such a small foot print was having it look like an outhouse or a shed, something no woman would want to walk in to (i.e. my wife). You have systematically proven that even a small building can be loaded with a ton of country charm. It is exactly how I would want to build my own, down to the finishing on the walls, railings, etc. I know now that what I want to build is possible and can be just as beautiful, thank you for sharing this build with us.
Thanks Adam, you're very kind. I'm sure that when ever you get your piece of land, your build will blow mine away. Best wishes.
hey Rich, that was quite the compliment from adam.. invoking the ultimate test of satisfaction.. building something that one's wife will find acceptable :)
i am interested in your pump.. i love the idea of having a pump at the sink.. where is your well? and how did you hook up the pump? is the pump frost proof? it appears to be a shallow well pump .. jt
To me your build has morphed into one of the best on this sight. Especially apparently in the spirit of what John set out to do here hosting this site. Every once in a while there is a build that comes along with balance and that has that should be there quality. It graces the country side well and is user friendly. It is neat and clean, well thought of to the point of being surprising and delightful. I to wish to go on record as well stating the pitcher pump is really cool. I indeed seen a few of those set ups as a 'kid' growing and being used full time. So much better than walking down to the spring or creek in the morning to fetch water even in the summer time let alone when it got chilly cold.
Thanks so much poconos and Rick! It's been a wonderful experience and I've been happy to share it. Your kind comments are greatly appreciated.
That said, the pump is sort of a work in progress, but really more of an ornament at this point. It is hooked up to a repurposed garden hose and runs out the floor and to the nearby stream. I added a valve at the end so that (in theory) the water in the hose would stay in the hose, once the pump is primed and working. The valve also has a screen to try to keep out some dirt. It's really an ongoing experiment which so far has pretty much failed. It is far easier to take a bucket and fill it in the same stream than to spend even a few minutes priming and pumping like mad. And, no, it's not frost proof. I'm not sure how I'd even begin to do that. Anyway, I've put that project aside for now. Someday I'd like to have a better water system, perhaps using a solar-powered water pump to an elevated tank, maybe with solar convection heating (a friend built a shower doing this at the Thoreau Birthplace Farm in Concord MA -- very cool).
Here's a picture from last winter, showing how close the stream is to the house:
ahhh, definitely not frost proof! but cool just the same... and what a great location .. we stayed with friends in a cabin in NH where we took water from the lake.. somewhat similar setup.. plastic pipe leading into the water with a foot valve at the end to prevent backflow.. but we had an electric pump.. and it was summer use only, so no need to worry about freezing.. gotta love new england :)
Wow, it's been a long time between posts. It's been a busy year, but mostly working on our Mass. house, which has been sadly neglected over the last few years in favor of out little Vermont place. In between painting, deck repair, etc. at home, I did manage to do a few projects in Vermont. The exterior is pretty much complete, though not completely painted. I added a door to what eventually will be a tool room on the shed addition, allowing me to complete the siding. Inside, I've been working on storage areas a bit, though is still needs more work, whenever I get motivated.
We did enjoy having a lot of family and friends up this year, despite uncooperative weather. Anyway, here's some pictures:
The deck side of the shed (eventually containing the composting toilet, hopefully this year), complete and painted.
The other side, the tool room (to be) door. I'll need a platform and steps, again, this year).
Our storage space within the stairs.
Another shot, with some of the stair drawer fronts on.
Tent village, mostly my wife's family. Bigger crowd every year.
My family, some first-timers to the area.
Summer view. So glad we moved the hammock out of the woods.
And, I'll leave you with a nice fall shot.
Thanks for reading,
Great pictures. Looks like a beautiful place and lots of fun with the family. I love what you did with the storage on the stairs. Almost makes me wish I could fit some stairs in our little place. ;)
Is that [cool] or what....
Thanks for checking in!!
great pics.. glad to see you active again! Now my wife wants me to figure out how to put a set of stairs in our tiny house! But our footprint is 8x16, and two feet makes a big difference... maybe that will be the project for this spring :)
my daughter moved from VT to NH , so I am not sure that we will be visiting VT all that much in the future.. But, I have been wanting to sail on lake Champlain for a while, so who knows :) You have done a great job.. I am sure that you have already created lots of cool memories surrounding your house with plenty more to come.. jt
What a lovely little cabin!
Yet another long gap between postings. My excuse is that, so far, this year has really not been great for us. Between family members passing away, others with serious illness, and getting laid off my job, getting up to Vermont has been our salvation. We remain optimistic for the rest of the year, assuming I can find someone to hire a 58 year old software engineer.
I'm not sad at all at the old job ending. Nearly 3 years of consulting to a poorly managed company, no paid vacations or sick days. At least we have our little place, quiet and relatively secluded.
I finally got around to the tool shed door porch. Here's a photo from last weekend:
I'll also be replacing the front steps. The current (and original) ones were meant to be temporary. The new version will be wider, but not that much different.
Hope you all had a great Fourth. Cheers,
Gotta say, I love the cabin.
I know this is late in the discussion, but can I ask about the piers?
How were they installed? Piers surrounded by concrete/gravel? Was there concrete sonobouys, then the wood attached?
Sorry,I missed that part.
That part of the cabin build worries me the most. not the deck, framing or roof. The pier construction, leveling and bracing.
Hi HC - I really don't like admitting my mistakes, particularly in a public forum. But you should do as I did not, heed the advice of many owner/builder's, particularly Mt. Don, in thinking long and hard about the potential problems with my approach to the foundation. I used 4x4's set in 4 foot deep holes and packed with gravel. So far I've been fortunate that the soil under my little house is very stable, with little organic (plant) matter. And, so far, no heaving -- all is still level and plumb. Yet, I know that my foundation is under-sized, and not set in stone, so to speak. While I keep my fingers crossed that all will remain stable, I'm looking into what effort it may take to improve things. PWF is a consideration, as are larger piers, set in cement. I'm sure I'll be paying for my past sins and it won't be pleasant. My advice to you is to build your foundation such that you'll neither worry nor regret your choices.
Thanks. I have looked at pole built cabins and thought long and hard about that.
I sit and say it's not rocket science, but? That dang bottom part thingy has got me thinking like a damsel before high school prom.
I do not wish such a large place. And your's was damn fine looking
I know this is old, but I was wondering if anyone was willing to share the sketches, as the Dropbox link did not work for me.
What sketches or part of the project are you asking about?
Hi John & Tupelo - some time ago I posted my SketchUp drawings on my DropBox and mentioned that here, but have since removed them. I've changed computers since then as well, so I'll have to look around for them. Will post here or PM when I find them again.
Thanks for checking in. You did a great job on the stair and got a lot of function out of a small footprint.
Thanks Rich, I know I would never be able to duplicate what you have built, as it is awesome. But I have a small spot on my property, on the creek, that I would love to attempt one somewhat similar. Thanks for considering to share again.
You have the best built cabin on this site and its amazing how efficient you have used every space and built everything with quality and love.
Big question which I have been having as I build my 12x20 cabin. MICE! I am closing as many entries as I can even though I haven't installed the insulation in walls and ceiling but they keep getting in. My cabin is full with storage trunks to hold the futon mattress but the place is getting full w/storage containers and loosing its cabin appeal. I can't even think about bringing a sofa and a mattress is out of the question.
I have a this end up sofa which I am thinking of converting to a pull out bed so I can use both but will have to enclosed it to hold either a futon or air mattress. The air mattress doesn't take a lot of room in the storage trunks but I would love to have a log cabin bed like yours.
What wood did you use for the kitchen cabinet doors and countertop? Also the stairs?
My husband keeps telling me that the mice will always find a way to get in but it is discouraging that my idea of a cabin is the cozy feel of comfortable bed and constantly storing stuff when we are away which is frequent for we live three hours away from the cabin. After we leave we always leave the peppermint oil cotton balls but sometimes we are gone for months until we can come back to continue building.
Hi - Thanks for the compliment, but I assure you that there are far better built cabins than ours on this forum. We did the best we could with the time available to us, with what knowledge gained here and other places.
Knock wood, we have not had any rodent problem, at least so far. I've seen evidence of field mice, but they seem to be staying in the field. Then again, the house is small and built as tight as possible, and I can't imagine how any would get in. We have occasional mice here at our Massachusetts house, and keep a couple of traps set year round. It's not fun to deal with them, I know, and sympathize. I would guess that it'll get better as you finish the interior.
Our bed was a fun project, though I would like a futon/sofa for guests as well. Not a lot of space for that. Instead, we're thinking a tree house/bunk room would be cool. Not doable right now, but we're thinking about it.
The kitchen cabinets face frames are fir (if I remember right), as are the door frames. The door faces are poplar bead board. The countertop is made of maple flooring. The stair treads are leftover pine floor 2" T & G. The railing is mostly maple, though the newel post is balsam. Leftover 1" pine T & G for the rest.
Good luck with your build and the mice. I look forward to hearing more about it.
Thanks so much Rich. I will let you know when the mice have "left the building". Rich I have been on the site for many years and am amazed but not surprised how many cabin builders want to build a cabin just like yours. You have more fans of your dream build than anyone else although no one including yourself is looking for a fan base.
I feel your cabin should be the "mascot" or symbol of this website of what magic can be done to build the ultimate cabin w/o building a monster structure but using every space w/quality design w/o a big human print on nature.
You have inspired so many of us and know that those of us who have started building and those who are putting there plans together will have your cabin image in their minds and can only hope that we can come close to want you have created.
God bless your humbleness and giving heart in sharing your dream cabin process.
I for one go to your site first whenever I view country plans to continue to be inspired.
Very nice farm house style cabin you've built.
Wondering what roof and porch pitch you used, is the house roof a 12/12 and the porch a 6 or 8/12 pitch maybe?
Great interior layout also, really like the way the steps turned out with the shelf on the back side.
I am new to this forum, but I love pretty much everything you've done with your cottage.
I have 2 questions for you. 1. Your sketch up plans do not seem to be accessible any longer. Where can I get a copy now?
2. I am buying a piece of land in Vermont myself, would you consider building an example of your cottage for me? You don't have to provide all the interior finish work, but the shell and porch, etc.
Reply with answers if you're still on this forum. Thanks in advance.
Wow. You guys are so nice. karnf - thanks so much -- again! hobo99 -- yes, the main roof is a 12/12 pitch. The porch, I don't remember offhand, but I think it's 6/12. I'd have to look through my plan drawings to be sure though. If I find them, I'll let you know. Tinycottage -- welcome to the forum! I'll send you a PM with some info to answer your questions.
Thank you all again for your kind comments,
Just like Tinycottage, I'm new to the forum and I find your project very inspirational. We bought 2 acres in upstate NY and are looking to start build in the spring 2016 something similar to yours. Would you mind sharing whatever plans do you have in sketch-up?
Once again thank you for the great work and the inspiration you have provided to all of us.
Hi guango88 - I'm so sorry, but I had a devastating computer failure and lost my backup of the plans, along with a lot of other stuff. I may have another backup somewhere, but haven't the time to look right now.
I strongly suggest you look into the Country Plans that support this site, or endeavor to learn Sketchup (lots of youtube videos). Again, my apologies.
Any chance you found the plans for this great cottage? I'd love to build this but I'm not experienced enough to design it on my own. Building permit will require plans as well. If you can find them I'd love to have a copy.
Very awesome place rich2Vermont!
I'm building my 14x24 CountryPlan house right now and you've given me many ideas. I especially
like your 12' walls, the stairs, and the porch. Great work sir!
Great job on that project. I love Vermont. My brother is out there and has sushi nights at acouple different places. I'm heading out there this summer for his wedding. Your place looks extra special. Nice work
Thanks Matt. Idaho is pretty nice as well. I got my undergraduate degree up in Moscow. I'd like to get back out there someday, do some hiking and rafting again.
U of I is great my little brother is up there getting his in engineering