12x24 Pole House

Started by jstig, May 05, 2006, 05:02:33 PM

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I haven't been on here in awhile.  Ive posted 2 designs in the past and have come up with another idea.  this one is a pole house - I like the idea of a pole house because everything hangs from the support poles that go up thru the house - much like a tree house - which is the effect I am trying for.  I am wondering though how it will do in the Maryland winters - its a vacation house but it would be nice to spend some time in the winter - even though I might have to hike in about 1 1/2 miles or so - if the snow is too deep (with global warming that might be a moot point!!!!)  I would site the house on a south facing slope with a winter view - actually the view is better down the slope a bit than at the top - which is another reason to build on poles.  It gets kind of steep.  I worked out a rough concept in Paint and am attaching it here.  Feedback, critiques, advice are welcome and wanted.  Thanks.


oops  the attachment was in paint - i guess i will have to convert it toa jpeg first to get it on here.

Jim  :o


Here it is - I hope     :-/

Ailsa C. Ek

*scritch*  *scritch*   :-?  OK, color me stupid, but how does a bathroom out on a covered deck work?  Or are you talking something more like a hot tub area, with a powder room indoors?

Jim  jstig(Guest)

good question -  I will try and answer it!    :-?

There is a six foot deck all around the perimeter of the building.   All covered by the roof  -  I plan to enclose part of the deck area and open it to the inside to make a small entry area and a bathroom - it will actually be part of the house.   Its on the upper left portion of the plan.  The storage area opens to the deck. the bath and entry hall are part of the inside structure.   Hope this answers it.




Old book, inexpensive enough to buy used (if that sounds odd, there's no free shipping for used books, no matter how much you buy).  I believe it has tables for building where the foundation poles are holding up the roof.

And, maybe here somehwhere, there was a site posted that did that with houses in Hawaii and maybe Indonesia.  Tropical, and hanging over the cliffs.

John, of course, loves the post and pier foundation, not necessarily with the poles/posts also supporting the roof directly.

And of course you can insulate almost anything.  (Just keep the pipes from freezing!)  

I would like a sleeping porch, because I'm perfectly happy if my bedroom is downright cold (high twenties F. anyway) if I'm under a right heavy comforter (maybe two) with two dogs and a cat.  AND I can make a dash for some place warmer as soon as I get up..

glenn kangiser

Cool book Amanda.

Nicely illustrated.  Copyrighted pic from site as provided by Amazon for sales of the book.
"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.


Thanks for your post about the book.  I will prob get it just to see how feasible it is to build a pole house as compared to one of Johns plans.  The big thing as you said is to keep the pipes from freezing.  I am really enjoying the planning phase - dont know how many versions of my cabin I feverishly worked on - maybe someday I will build one of them!!



I like your basic design. You have solved one of the main problems of pole houses - by making the poles internal, the exterior walls can all be insulated. You do have some design work to do - figuring how to cantilever both the floor and the roof in two directions at the same time. And you have the issue of treatment of the poles. I would treat only the bottom (if it will be embedded - you could bolt untreated poles into concrete piers). You don't want to live with a telephone pole and the smell of creosote  :P

Amanda: Is that an old picture of Glenn? It doesn't look like an underground building so he must be lecturing on politics or the building codes!  ;)

Here are two other good books on Pole Construction:
• The Owner-Built Pole Frame House, by Barbara and Ken Kern
• Practical Pole Building Construction, by Leigh Seddon


I am such an authority! :o  Does anybody else here think I would look better if I shaved my legs? :-/  Possibly if I dressed like the fellow in the left foreground??

Anti-political, please, John - political sounds so filthy...


Yep, that's our boy!  (either one, actually)

www.dirtcheapbuilder.com if you can't find the Ken Kern book.  Charmaine may have either the reproduction or an original, new or used.  Although sometimes you get to talk to Kern's daughter about a reproduction  Information probably on dirt cheap builder.


MY place in missouri is basically a pole structure as you describe it with the floors hung off the posts.  Because I am wheelchair bound, the platform is low to the ground and ramped but I dont see why your elevated plan wouldnt work. But those cantilevers will be a real bear and Id have real concerns about stability.  Why not put  posts around the edge of the deck as well like the columns on a two story Louisiana plantation house.  Like a poor mans version of Oak Alley.  You could widen the decks a bit then too and get a lot of airy cool space on the upper levels.  As to the problem of freezing pipes.  Perhaps you could build a room on the first floor under the bathroom that would keep the pipes in an enclosed warm area.  Or run them all in a wooden shaft that is heated with a constantly burning lightbulb.  I know Ive seen this in some old book about pole building.  Heres a couple quick sketches in 3d