Vermont 10 x 16 Shed With Loft

Started by rich2Vermont, August 30, 2010, 08:46:56 AM

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Your porch really adds to the look of your cabin.  Great work!! [cool]



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?
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.


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.

Cheers, Rich.


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?

Thanks, Chris


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*
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.


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!

small cabin dreamer

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...

small cabin dreamer

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.
Visit my thread would love to have your input
Feel free to visit my Photobuckect album of all pictures related to this build


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
Find what you love and let it kill you.


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. 

Barry Broome

"The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master."


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 ;-)