Author Topic: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine  (Read 120345 times)

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Offline Jeff922

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A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« on: April 14, 2010, 07:14:50 AM »
This is my project:  A Victoria's Cottage in the Western Maine Mtns.  I regret not being more active on this forum, but it's not too late to start right?  Anyway, we started with the foundation pour in the fall of 2008.  I have been working on this pretty much full time for the last 11 months.  I have TONS of pictures, if there is a specific detail you would like to see just ask and I'll post it.  This project is a solo effort for the most part.  This has been a great thing to do with my time as I wait for the economy to get moving again. This has also been A LOT of fun!  
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 09:44:00 AM by John Raabe »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Jeff922

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Re: Hi, I'm finally going to post more pics. enjoy!
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 07:40:11 AM »
I'll try to post pics in order so you all can view the building process as it happened.




Most of the clearing was done by hand.  The lot was so thick it was hard to walk through.




Pile of saw logs that I kept.





Pile of slash and pulp logs.




I really enjoy chainsaw work - a large popple (aspen)




I watched this cow moose and her calf emerged from the woods.




Filling the form with two lifts of gravel.  My foundation is a FPSF with radiant heat.  I took the design from the NAHB design guide for an unheated space (I want to have that option)




Almost all of my formboards were recycled into the building as rafters and whatnot.










I used 7/8" pex - two zones.







The pour was about 20 yards.







The porches have a broom-finish.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Fred_47460

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Re: Hi, I'm finally going to post more pics. enjoy!
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 08:53:38 AM »
Very cool Jeff! I'm looking forward to seeing more!

   Fred

Offline John Raabe

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 09:45:53 AM »
Jeff:  w*

And thanks for the great update. If you don't mind I've retitled the thread so it is easier for others to understand the house you are building.

Keep up the good work!

That's a fine foundation and floor heating system. It is more work and expense than some other options but I'll bet you'll never wish you did it any other way. I've never had a custom client where we did in-floor heating to be anything but spoiled for other heating systems. :D :D :D

John
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 12:35:56 PM »
I'll keep the pics coming and try to bring you all up to speed.



The "thermal break" between the heated slab and the exterior porches.  Later, 2" rigid insulation slid in this gap.




My water level.  I didn't use any fancy transits or lasers or whatever.  This cost about $2 (food-coloring included) and was very reliable.  My concrete contractor didn't trust it so he set up his laser transit and I was within 1/4" all the way around.  I actually trust the water level more.  :)





This is the FPSF in action.  Notice how the snow didn't melt above the perimeter insulation conserving geo-thermal energy below my slab pretecting it from frost heave damage.  Pretty cool eh?





I raised my walls solo with the help of a single wall-jack.  Notice the "runaway" chain to prevent the wall from ending up in my yard.





Wall #3 going up.





Notching for the 2x10 band-joist.




One of my best purchases was a few lengths of chain and a handful of turnbuckles I found in a junk shop.  I used these A LOT!





more walls...





The rainiest June and July in recorded Maine history - I sure can pick em'.   





Using logs to position the beams.





The first beam going in place (the 6x12).  I used a block-n-tackle to raise all of my beams solo. 





This was actually a lot of fun (but also a little dangerous - I had to stay on my toes)






Dropping a beam into the Simpson Huc hangers (concealed flange). 





A local yard milled these hemlock beams for me.








I used the wall jack on really stubborn boards.








Two coats of Polyurethane were applied BEFORE the boards were put in place.








The bedroom addition has a small sleeping loft above.





Natural white cedar posts used on the front and back porches.





I had some cedars left over so I made this entrance gate.












"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline John Raabe

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 01:12:13 PM »
Great photos and a very fine project! :D :D :D

Nice looking wood - you will always love those exposed beams. Getting harder to find every year.
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Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 04:20:56 AM »
Okay, some more pics.  The next stage of the project was to build rafters and put them in place.  Again, I'm working solo so there was some interesting problem solving.




The only scaffolding I used were the two A-frames I made.









Notice that I have all my trusses pre-made and stacked against the back gable end.  Also, I used 2x10 rafters over the kitchen bumpout so I would have a deep insulation cavity.


  


My vent blocking.  It was easy to set up my big table saw at home and make all of these production-style.  





Site-built 2x10 trusses 16 OC.  Double 1/2" OSB gussets glued and nailed.  The collar ties were nailed on after the trusses were up.  This is DEEP snow country so I over engineered everything.








Proof that I do occasionally come down off my high horse.  :)




My dad came up for a week and helped me get the 5/8" OSB sheathing up on the roof.





Me and my wife.  The reason why I put the front porch post and beams up first was so I had a good solid place to brace this gable end while the trusses went up.





Notice the site-built ladder hanging off the ridge.  I made two of these and they were very helpfull.





Putting in my skylights.





My wife working on the kitchen bump-out gable sheathing.







Lots of ice & water shield used around the skylights.





Got the shingles on just in the nick of time.   ;)





Back porch shed roof with a firewood hopper I made out of scraps.





Gotta throw in at least one hip roof to make things interesting.   ;D












Ya can't have too much ice & water shield.  I used a 5:12 roof pitch on this roof.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 04:38:15 AM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline jdhen

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 05:11:15 AM »
Wow, Jeff.  Very impressive work.  I've done a lot of the work myself too but not quite as dramatically as you have.  Nice job!
Jesse

Offline dug

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 06:03:25 AM »
Is that an 026 that you were using to fell those trees?  Nice saw!

Great job on the house! I am also building solo and can fully appreciate the sweat equity you have put into it.

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2010, 06:23:30 AM »
Thanks for the support guys.  More pics to come.  The saw is a Stihl MS290 farmboss, I think it's 57cc.  It's really is a great saw.  I've done a ton of work with it including a little milling with a granberg attachment.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 06:39:55 AM »
I'm sure this book has been mentioned before, but it was very helpful for me.  There were a few specific ideas I used, but more importantly, it helped shape the WAY I approached problems.  What I mean is that I didn't find specific ways to deal with problems, but it prepared my thinking process - tools for the intellectual tool-box.

"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline 325ABN

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 08:50:21 AM »
Great thread and a great looking job for sure! How much building expericence did you have prior to starting this build?

Offline MaineRhino

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 09:42:42 AM »
Nice work! I really like the gate too!

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 09:54:09 AM »
Thanks!  :D  I didn't have any construction experience.  I didn't know a "top plate" from a "anchor bolt"!  I do however, have considerable woodworking experience and a fair amount of handy-man type experience.  I worked for a company that made hardwood folding camp furniture for almost 9 years.  I made all of the kitchen/bathroom cabinets for this project - I'll post those pics when I get a chance.  I'm used to measuring wood with dial-calipers so it was quite a mental hurdle for me to accept much larger tolerances.  I honestly don't think my woodworking experience helped all that much.  Framing is just SO different.  I did study A LOT prior to getting started on this project.  I bought three books on framing and read them cover-to-cover a few times.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 07:55:02 AM by Jeff922 »
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Solar Burrito

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 12:48:32 PM »


How did you anchor these log porch posts to the cement? Some kind of bracket or rebar?

I want to build a similar porch but my log posts will be sitting on small piers... not sure how to attach them and make them look good.
Small Shelters, Off Grid Living, and Other Neat Stuff http://solarburrito.com

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 01:10:18 PM »
I thought about this issue long and hard but didn't come up with a good solution.  There is anchor-bolts cast in the concrete which stick up about 3"-4".  I drilled an undersized hole in the bottom of the posts and threaded them on.  My cedars were good and dry and I also sealed the end-grain with paint to reduce movement.  I'm sure there is not a lot of uplift protection like this, but it's a small surface area roof so I'm not really worried.  Something with a more aggressive thread would be better - like cast a long 1/2"-5/8" lag bolt upsidedown in the concrete. I suppose I could have wrapped straps up the sides of the posts, but that wouldn't be as clean looking.  Also, there is two thicknesses of asphalt shingles under each post just to get them up off the concrete.  They were really easy to trim and look clean.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Bishopknight

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 01:45:28 PM »
Jeff,

House looks beautiful, great job!

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 01:51:24 PM »
During the winter of 08-09, I made the cabinets for the kitchen and the bathroom vanity.  Cabinets are so darn expensive and I saw this as a real opportunity to save some money. 




Making parts.





Table full of mortise and tenoned rails and stiles.





A sample of the doors.





All the doors ready to go.





The carcasses ready to go - all plywood construction.





The bathroom vanity.







"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline SkagitDrifter

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 02:07:55 PM »
Hey Jeff-
Great project you have going there.
Sometimes I'm supprised how much you can accomplish going solo.
I love the A frames---I'm going to have to build me a set.
Keep posting the pics!
Great Job!

T
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

Offline Jens

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 04:31:38 PM »
great work!  Awesome craftsmanship. 
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!

Offline ScottA

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 05:02:00 PM »
Nice work.  [cool]

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2010, 04:43:00 AM »


The interior partitions for the bathroom.  Wet-wall plumbing complete.





Dry fitting the bathroom.





Started upstairs bedroom partitions - there will be two bedrooms.  I left the front upstairs window uninstalled and covered with clear poly so a boom truck can set my drywall upstairs when I get to that phase of construction.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Bishopknight

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2010, 06:45:15 PM »
Cabinets look great Jeff!

Very impressive for your first owner-builder house!  [cool]

Offline OkieJohn2

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2010, 02:04:24 AM »
Something to think about when framing bathrooms, is to install backer blocking for handicapped grab bars.  Where I currently live, I have the grab bars in the tub/shower combo and I have to say I really like them, there is a vertical one at the front of the tub at the shower end, and one at an angle on the back wall. You may not need them now, but it is nice to have secure blocking in place now if you ever consider adding them later. 
The problem with foolproof devices is that they fail to take into account the ingenuity of fools

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2010, 04:55:33 AM »
Thanks BK!  Okie, thanks for that tip!  That is an excellent idea.  We may eventually retire here, plus our aging parents visit a lot...
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"