Author Topic: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update  (Read 902693 times)

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MountainDon

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #575 on: June 30, 2007, 09:15:29 PM »
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What happens if, God forbid, there is a fire? Is there a seperate rural fire service ( funded by a levy of home insurance here ) which fights the fire, or does the local town brigade respond to fire calls in rural areas?
In my neck of the woods the fire fighting is done by the US Forest Service and/or the local Volunteer Fire dept. (supported by the county). It's based in a small development a couple miles down the trail from us. There is such an entanglement of private and public (National Forest) lands that fortunately they don't worry about whose jurisdiction the fire may be in. They just all get out there and do something about it.

A couple of weeks ago there was a small (12 acre) lightning caused fire that they took care of overnight. The fire hazard rating ranges from High to Extreme right now. There's still lots of green grass around... it'll start to dry soon, unless it rains. In the last week we've had rain go around us but not enough fall on us to warrant going inside.  :'(

« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 09:17:14 PM by MountainDon »

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #576 on: June 30, 2007, 09:29:56 PM »
We are at the ridge on the mountain - so we will get it from both sides, but we are 4 road miles from the airport and fire station there, and we are 3 road miles from another fire station and we are 4 road miles from another fire station  then there are more near by.  Choppers are stationed at the Airport during fire season - we are about 2 miles line of sight from them.

I'm not too worried.  Next mountain over had a fire last year - heres pix from my mountain.  I like to have the extra buffers between me and the lower part of the hill - driveways and fire trails on the back and fire trail and new clear area on the front.




glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #577 on: June 30, 2007, 09:34:08 PM »
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Nice way to document the project. It seems to get easier to do this show and tell every year. 8-)

(We're all becoming photographers and movie makers... or at least "content providers"!)

Content providing -- keeps the interest and learning level up. :)

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #578 on: July 01, 2007, 05:49:44 PM »
Went by my friend, Doyal's place today.  He saw me down town at the hardware store and said he had a little rock crusher to give me.  I went up and got it and while there asked permission on to take a picture of his rock wall.  It was the inspiration for the rock wall around our garden area.

He mentioned that it is not as hard as it looks - he started with a 2' x 2' corner post and it kept growing.



Doyal's Wall




Our Wall's
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 05:51:09 PM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #579 on: July 04, 2007, 10:13:00 PM »
I did this earlier but was not satisfied with the quality so 86'ed it.

Here is one that I think is quite a bit better.

Join me for a walk through the garden, on the roof of and around the grounds of the Underground Complex.  :)
[size=20]
A Walk Through The Garden[/size]




« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 08:21:00 AM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #580 on: July 07, 2007, 07:48:19 AM »
Changed the link in my previous posting so it was easier to find.  

Here is if you missed it before.  Same video - just not hidden by the picture.

Note that there seems to be a bit of a delay before Photobucket will play it full size but after it fully loads it will play.

Youtube does a much better job with the full size option so changed the below link to Youtube..




The new garden is growing so fast and big now that it is necessary to make more space somewhere in order to plant more things for the later part of the year and winter.  Looking for another flat spot with deer fence around it and water nearby....    :-/

This video was done entirely with the hand held Lumix TZ1 with image stabilization and  up to 50x zoom. Zoom is usable even in video.  I'm not sure if digital zoom is available in video but I think it is.  (Refurbished $148.00 from Amazon)


Lumix TZ1
http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001340.php

If you haven't seen the video, take a look if your resources permit -- it's much better than the first crappy one I posted.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 08:50:55 AM by glenn-k »

desdawg

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #581 on: July 08, 2007, 02:20:43 PM »
I like Mr. Owl. Could be Mrs. Owl for owl I know.

Cody

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #582 on: July 17, 2007, 11:26:38 AM »
Hello from Kansas,
We are almost done with our 20x30 1 story project. drywall is up and ready for mud and trim, but it is summer and Im ready to start another project.  We have out grown our little one bedroom with crawl in loft before we have evan moved in, now expecting our third child. Our site is a flat hilltop and I would like to build an earth berm on grade. I have pouring over the internet trying to find anything I can on waterproofing and berming a pole barn style house. 12 foot  4x6 or 6x6 posts 4' in the ground, 8' out.  sheithed with foundation grade plywood. the post span would probebly be every 4 feet. water proofed and backfilled 3 1/2 - 4 feet above grade. I know the idea of using home depot pressure treated lumber is not exactly great but to use local materials would be nothing more than cow pies and corn stalks and neither hold up to tornadoes very well.
 we were going to just build another house on a pole foundation like the casons texas two story. but being on a hill with really bad winds we wanted some wind protection. The reason we thought of a pole barn style is  to avoild the huge cost of 4' deep footings of concrete.
if you think this would work could you please tell me your thoughts on how to waterproof and provide drainage to your footings when they are only square post. Thank You so much for any ideas

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #583 on: July 17, 2007, 05:55:46 PM »
Hi Cody - nice to see you here again.

I think we can put together enough information to get you going.  I assume no codes to meet.  The $50 and Up Underground House Book http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/UnderGroundHousing.htm has rule of thumb engineering tables in the back and tons of ideas.  Mike also covers the type of  on grade burmed construction you are considering.  Same idea - just burm it above ground.  Don't use the plastic barrier idea around the wood -- it didn't work -- treated should be fine but be sure to protect yourself from it by sealing it off from the living space.  Try to use a safer type treating and with the drains and umbrella it should be good.

Based on that 18" max earth cover on roof - 7" posts on 8' centers - The 4x6's should work fine on 4' centers and are necessary to keep 1" side boards from bowing from the backfill.  Are you covering the roof with earth?

From Bruces (member with underground house also) postings and suggested verbally by Mike Oehler, I would suggest an EPDM membrane (like pond liner) over the entire building and extending an extra 10 feet all around.  under the extended area I would put french drains under gravel with drain to daylight down hill.  I suggest looking the book over if possible - lots of reasons and ideas there I may not get covered.  It also tells you how to get light all around - 4 sides and roof if necessary.  I will be glad to answer any questions I can.  Drainage and grading are keys to success also.  As PEG says -- think like rain-- water always wants to go down and spread -- also think of things that can cause water to back up and go in.

Looking forward to helping you with this.  Glenn
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 05:59:21 PM by glenn-k »

Cody

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #584 on: July 18, 2007, 10:29:35 AM »
Thank you so much for your response. I am going to get the book before I get started, as of yesterday I didn't evan know it was an option to berm above ground with wood post and planks (or 3/4 inch plywood) rather than concrete. We want to only berm about 4 to 4 1/2 feet up from grade onto the sidewalls. Than put up a low pitched super insulated roof. at this point it will look like a squatty 1000sf rambler poking out above a berm. We have extreme summer heat and humidity and the cross ventalation is very important to us.  One of the stipulations to building another house is it needs to be more labor friendly. My husband just deployed for another year and with two, soon to be three kids I just dont have the energy I had with the last place. To be honest if I could put up a single wide I would but I dont think my family would last one spring wind storm or peak oil. I dont want to sound foolish but this is what I gathered from your response please correct me where I am wrong. I would put in a french drain, than attach EPDM to the wall down to the gravel covering the drain. extend it out from the wall over top the drain about 10 feet? Than start the berm So how deep do I put the drain? maybe under where the bottom of the floor will be? or on grade? Is ther any way to berm so that permeable gravel is against the wall rather than the heavy soil?
I hope you are enjoying your summer and thanks again for your time.
-Cody Bergman

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #585 on: July 18, 2007, 10:45:25 AM »
I'll make you a quick sketch to show what I mean based on hat you describe that you want.  The primary drainage would be off of the liner to 10 feet away.  Secondary would be the French drain.for anything that may want to get past the liner membrane.


jraabe

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #586 on: July 18, 2007, 11:22:28 AM »
Hi Cody:

You might consider a bermed wall as Glenn is suggesting and then have a 2x12 low-slope single rafter shed roof. You could insulate that to R-38 or higher, put down a roll roofing or an EPDM membrane and a few inches of sod. That would keep the house quiet and well cooled.

Good to hear from you again.

John

glenn-k

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #587 on: July 18, 2007, 11:29:07 AM »
Here is a pix of my suggestions -- they are only that.  

No guarantees that this is not labor intensive either - depends on resources and equipment.  Note successive drainage layers and being on a hill - water wants to go down and spread.


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #588 on: July 18, 2007, 11:30:15 AM »
Quote
Hi Cody:

You might consider a bermed wall as Glenn is suggesting and then have a 2x12 low-slope single rafter shed roof. You could insulate that to R-38 or higher, put down a roll roofing or an EPDM membrane and a few inches of sod. That would keep the house quiet and well cooled.

Good to hear from you again.

John

I really like that idea too.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline Cody

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #589 on: July 18, 2007, 03:20:29 PM »
Thank you both so much for your input. I thought that the liner follwed the wall strait down and then curved almost 90degrees away from the house, over the drain. I guess I need the book more than I thought. I will get pictures of the 20x30 up very soon, within a few days. Just to warn you though nothing real exciting to show off. Have a good night - Cody Bergman

Offline tj4orange

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #590 on: July 18, 2007, 05:22:07 PM »
I would love to see interior and exterior pics of codys' 20 x 30 place! :)

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #591 on: July 18, 2007, 07:15:27 PM »
Basing the liner on the original type underground house - Mike wanted the water to run off onto solid ground and be directed away from the structure.  John Hait went even farther with the umbrella technique to keep more dry.

The sloped soil moves most of the rain away - the sloped EPDM will move what gets through away - the French drain - briefly mentioned by Mike Oehler and verbally talked about to me on the phone by Mike, will take the rest of it away.  The whole thing is about how to move water farther away sooner.  Also the top needs extra so as not to tear when lightly backfilling then after backfilling attach and trim the top then flash over it .  Flashing is an adaptation to your use that I suggested - it will not be covered in the book as Mike went completely covered.  You can cover more and use gables and other means to get windows and light into the covered structure.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #592 on: July 18, 2007, 07:21:45 PM »
Following the wall straight down then turning would give you a big puddle of water and mud underground at that point just looking for a slipup in your waterproofing scheme.  Sloping out moves it away and gives you a buffer for any accidental leak.  Even getting most of it away is good so the ground can take care for the small stuff - then next line of defense is the French drain.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #593 on: January 22, 2008, 05:28:45 PM »
Well -- haven't done much around here for a while -- this year is the year of the prospector...but I decided that I wanted to work on keeping the shop a little drier in the storms as I have projects that could be done in there if the wind wasn't blowing through 60 miles an hour carrying rain halfway across the shop.

Shop floor is even with the peak of the roof of the kitchen area, then its about 16 feet down to the floor of the great room.

My point of posting this is that I made a door for the shop today - worked a bit on it yesterday.  Yeah -- it looks like crap but it was free.  Sheeting was left over from a building job cleanup.  6x2 1/2"x 12 ga. angle was from a medical building floor.  Pipe was pulled out of a water well. Screws left over from a job. 

The door measures 12'4 x 12' with the top cut at a 1 1/4" / 12" pitch to match the roof.  The pipe at the top is a torque rod to keep the far end from tipping in or out.  The entire left vertical 1 1/4" pipe is a hinge - pivots on a spacer over a 1" pipe- set on a plate for easy removal if repairs are ever needed.  The top pivot is a 1" pipe welded to a plate.  I shot a laser to the top from the bottom pivot point for center linup.  The bottom mount is welded to a concrete stake driven into the claystone and a 1/2" wedge anchor into the concrete.  It is very light -  everything supports everything else.  Sheeting is used as a diaphragm to keep the door square.  Corners etc are welded.  Sheeting stiffens the triangle brace to the bottom and the ribs in the sheeting transfer the strength to the top frame member. 



1 1/4" .065 tube steel makes a great hanging sliding door frame and would have worked on this but I didn't want to buy anything, and there was no room for a slider.  Framing could have been the same though.

There are strawberries growing on the sloped roof behind the door.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Torched

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #594 on: February 09, 2008, 08:40:53 PM »
I never thought I'd find a forum with a stickied "underground house" thread. ever. thank God I did, I thought I was alone.

I'm going the earthbag route.

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/earthbag.htm

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #595 on: February 09, 2008, 08:58:08 PM »
There you are.   :)

Yup -- we have it all.  d*

John invited me here to answer a few questions about the Underground Complex.

Now he can't shut me up.

Mike Oehler last recommended EPDM rather than plastic for a membrane.  Much more durable.  What are your waterproofing plans?

I would recommend French drains to daylight if you can.  Please tell us more about your project.  Here is fine to keep underground info together or you can start a new thread if you like.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Torched

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #596 on: February 09, 2008, 09:42:01 PM »
I think you have a good thing going, let's keep it all in here.

I've been reading a lot recently about how epdm is all the rage. one of my main concerns is waterproofing of course. I'm going to try to tackle the majority of that by proper location (hillside). I think that due to the natural shape of the dome, the water will be easier to divert away when it washes over. meaning that it won't hit a flat wall, but go around it splitstream style. not that I won't be skipping any waterproofing steps or french drains, just that it'll be that much more likely to have minimal problems.

I have a ton of questions to ask. I guess I'll start with the easiest. How did you dig your hole?

carla

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #597 on: February 20, 2008, 07:33:49 PM »
I made my way through this entire topic over a period of time. I have to say that for being underground based your place has a certain charm and warmth about it, even though the idea is certainly a strange one when you first think about it. At least it seemed strange to me. There's more light than I would have thought.

I especially like the front door.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #598 on: February 20, 2008, 07:46:40 PM »
Torched, Sorry I missed your posting, but Carla got me back here.  I'll start with yours.

First, I would say -- don't start until you have read Mike Oehler's book - The $50 and up Underground House. www.undergroundhousing.com

Uphill patio and uphill drainage is very important.  Get rid of te uphill water before it gets to you.  I highly recommend French Drains to daylight - down hill -- they could hae saved me a bit of trouble in a couple areas.

My ground is so hard I dug it with a backhoe and a jackhammer - and the usual hand tools, shovel, pick, bar, Bobcat.


Carla -- not even I have read through this whole topic.  Congratulations. :)

There is more light here than most regular houses due to Mike Oehler's designs and methods.  He has very good reasons for the way he has designed things and his ideas work.

Front door was my idea.  I was out at the sawmill one day and saw this nice big cedar butt, -- the center one along with several others.  They were too neat to not make a door or some item of interest out of.  Cedar seems to commonly have a large piece of offset wood to be cut off at the bottom of each butt section.

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #599 on: April 12, 2008, 06:10:34 PM »
Now -- the moment we have all been waiting for-- Glenn fixes something on the house.   ::)

We have talked a few times about the problems I encountered trying the new suggestion 6 years ago of charring (to prevent bugs) and putting plastic around the bottom of the posts on the underground cabin.  The charring may have been successful -- I didn't notice termites but fungal growth did what the termites didn't.



Yup -- that's a fungus growing there -- I think it's edible.

Fortunately the ground was so hard here that I only tried this on three posts.  The rest are placed on rebar pin, a plastic vapor barrier and a couple inches of concrete on top of the ground. Bracing is accomplished by diagonal braces inside  and earth berms outside.

Over 6 years, we have experienced slow deterioration of the 3 posts inside the plastic "protection" wrap, causing misalignment of the French doors between the kitchen, bedroom and suspended bridge between them.

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.