CountryPlans Design/Build Forum

General => Owner-Builder Projects => Topic started by: UK4X4 on September 28, 2010, 07:03:54 AM

Title: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 28, 2010, 07:03:54 AM
So I've posted a few times, asked some questions and bought some plans.

So here's my long and winding intro

The build progress will be limited to contracted friends and hired labor and also our summer vacations where we intend to camp and develop the cabin as we go year to year, so onto the background.

I'm a brit currently living in qatar previously of many other locations ............

during our travels we fell in love with Grand Junction CO when we spent a year working there.

offroading - moab down the road, fishing on grand mesa, tubing the colorado river, hiking single laning on dirt bikes.............this location had it all !

My wife is latino and me being from a place where snow only exists every 20 years, we both also took advantage of the skiing at Powderhorn, its a family midsize resort but with zero lift Q's and 40 mins from town we were hooked.

Luckily here we did'nt really get hit by the global down turn other than I was transfered from a small office to a larger one....

being that we are surrounded by sand and gravel and not a hill in the whole country , we yearned for the clear mountain air and a view of the ski that was'nt tinted yellow by the dust.

Cunningly the internet is set up for global shopping, and as every one should know realtors can't be trusted...............

So I'm the proud owner of 10 acres of useless CO mountainside which I can only walk too, this we found out on arrival in CO where we had planned to start clearing and foundations...........

3 weeks of county offices later I have docs that basicly mean we have access, but will take a few years to fight through the courts, legally I have vehicular access but the owners have left the bulldosed trail to slowly return to woodland.

meanwhile we had three great weeks and we rumaged arround looking at other properties, seemingly fate spun us a deal on a small .5 acre lot in the developement next door to the ski lodge..................

needles to say we spent the build money on the second lot....hearts winning over minds

So the build was going to be a small off-grid cabin, the plot we now have has all the utilities but none of the space, so all the plans just got changed and year set back to boot.

Both plots are covered in very tall weeds commonly called aspens, this story will be about the smaller plot.

Due to the hike only option our three week vacation was a washout, build wise, but i managed to coerce a friend into helping me and a plan was set in motion.

Altitude 8500ft on the snowy northern side of grand mesa means snow comes early, leaves late and has a wet bit in the middle where the run off filters through the land.

So solar design .....mmmm in summer yep but the winter days will be shadowed by the 11,000 ft mountain just behind me..........

The plot is a U shape with a road below and behind on a corner, it has good drainage and the down hill side is 20ft above the road.

So I know you all love pic's so here's the start, we contracted my friends to chop tree's and a contractor to level the center of the plot, it the wife and I a day just to chop through from one side to the other with matchete's and a bow saw, to get the lay of the land.

I estimated that we would not need fill and we were right, however the quantity of the timber once down and the pile of roots was decididly rather large and took 5 truck loads to extra cost of course !

By other peoples prices for clearing and excavating I can say that CO is rather more expencive !

anyway enough of the waffling and a few pics !

Looking north into the property from the upper road, basicly it was harvested about 5-10 years back and all the pine removed, the aspens too a liking to the new sunlight and filled the area back with young growth, with logs on the ground bushes and sapling the property could not be walked though without a lot of work.



The day of purchase we hacked our way through from one side to the other with machete's

Seemingly the tall weeds needed some rather large toy's

We left a boundry of new growth on the view side and left the rear and sides with both new and old tree's

The pile of weed roots was larger than thought next to a small human friend

To be continued saving as I go !

Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: Squirl on September 28, 2010, 08:03:32 AM
Half acre lots generally have restrictions/requirements/ local quasi governments. Does yours?
Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: MountainDon on September 28, 2010, 08:24:02 AM
Grand Junction was on our list of finalists 25+ years ago too. But it lost out.  Good location though. Some good 4 wheeling around there (in CO) as well.

Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 28, 2010, 10:08:19 AM
The HOA is way easier than the Local government !

the restrictions are mainly on no trailers,and architecturally sticking to mountain designs and letting them know what we are doing

with the snowload you are physically limited to mountain designs!

and frankly why would I want a rancher with stuckpoo....(englishjoke)and and paper and chalk walls when it rains alot and have multiple feet of snow for 6 months a year

So yes went from free and easy into permits up the yin yang.

My first contact with the HOA was chopping down the tree's without their input................well sorry but you can't build the min size without taking out the tree's....

Mind you a few others have cleared 100% and have non mountain type structures .........they look so out of place its a joke

me I like the privacy and the idea to have a house in the mountains is to have trees etc on your lot

even with bears !

Q the bear paw prints on the tree's

To be continued mannana seemingly my uploads failed
Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 28, 2010, 11:54:43 PM
We decided on the entrance being where the plot and the road basicly has the same level, the front has the drop down and the rear has a large drop down so just after the bend was chosen.

being that we are season limited I decided to clear the center of the plot and level, trying to gauge where to build was dificult as you could'nt see anything.

The larger aspens were showing sign's of age with half dead branches so rather than have them fall later we took them out with the machinery at hand, 25ft of new growth was left all the way arround and the leaning aspens in the corner left in and also some at the western side of the property.

The site was levelled , but I still left the natural drainage direction in place.

The area cleared is probably larger than we need, but we'll be planting some pines back in when done to add back to the mountain feel.

Here's some more pic's

Any guesses on which furry animal climbed this tree ? we ate all our caniverous animals in England years ago.....Bear maybe ?

Full size excavator makes easy work of moving the cut down tree's


the cleared area ready for building, they did'nt go down as deep as I thought they would need to to get the grade, I was concidering a basement and then a 1/2 story on top with the first floor clearing the original grade and having a deck over it., but it looks to be only about 4-5 ft at the deepest end..

Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 29, 2010, 12:18:47 AM

So what to build and how !

My original plans for the off grid was a dog trot type of construction in stages with the central part having dual 6" insulated opening doors rather than walls on each side with inner windows and french doors, in the winter nights all snug and cosy when required and open in the day to warm the interior.

With the build being staged easily over time

the HOA has added a min 1200sqft building to that original small arrangement.

and an engineered foundation.

So post and beam is out, and a Shallow insulated foundation looks like it will be required, cost increases and staged building then becomes more dificult and or expencive.

So I'm juggling 

temp trailer ( will still require a snow roof to protect it)    and build a 20ft wide T building in 1 slow hit

or a Seperate guest starter cabin, then add a corridor -mudroom connection and then a single 20ft wide for the main house.

Cost is an issue too as we spent the build fund, and i don't want to have a loan so we'll be staged both by time and cash.

Permitting etc and admission to the HOA will take time so in order to break ground next spring or early summer I have to submit in jan or so to have things ready in time.

So I'll be posting some sketchs and plans for comment as we go.

Costs wise do we have a cost estimating thread anywhere ? ie floor by the sq ft - wall by the sq ft etc
Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 01, 2010, 02:54:40 AM
So the snows due to shortly arrive, and the last touches have been done,some of the saved large aspens stacked for usage as features
a couple or so bucked into 4ft lengths and a barrier setup.

The HOA surprised me with a 6 month build limit.................its not on the docs registered with the county so I'll either fight or ignore that one when I get to it.

My view would be what ever rules in place on the day of purchase are the ones I have to abide by !

The fall colors are out in force enjoy !

Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: MountainDon on November 01, 2010, 05:05:01 AM

Any guesses on which furry animal climbed this tree ? we ate all our caniverous animals in England years ago.....Bear maybe ?

Could be small bear. Sometimes you'll find long slash marks on the bark too. That's when then slide down.

Title: Re: Colorado ?X? - the Start - Hope I can edit this later !
Post by: MushCreek on November 01, 2010, 11:33:41 AM
6 months limit? Yikes! Where I'm building in SC, it's 6 months max between inspections. The inspector said I could drag it out for many years if I wanted. Of course, we're on acreage out in the middle of nowhere, without HOA's or even zoning.
Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on July 22, 2011, 01:29:26 PM
S enough of pictures of weeds and dirt onto the design !

some of which are re-posted as I included in my questions over the last few months

The first design was based on the 1.5plans but extended under porches on both sides


Construction was basic using simple form


then i messed with the roof line as snow will basicly cover the garage entries


The design firmed up and the construction changed to platform to allow for more versatility and also standard construction

The design was a winner with loads of room-

Costs however were high and really did we really need so much room in a vacation house
main floor had a large master- two more full building width rooms upstairs and an open loft in the center

Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on July 22, 2011, 01:36:13 PM
Downstairs was a double garage and an apartment

reality stepped in and a re-design was in order- or was it the wife !

So out came the electronic saw and I cut off the last 13 ft !

I still wanted a lower seperate apartment accessed through a door to seperate the two entities so I lost a garage- but can always build a seperate workshop later .

Lost the main bed to upstairs-

lost the utility room to downstairs under the rear porch

Added a bedroom on the main floor in its place

Changed the stairway to upstairs to acces via the kitch and add 4 ft to the usable space- I hate corridors

So here is the final design for your perusal !


Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on July 22, 2011, 02:14:51 PM
New floor plans

Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on July 22, 2011, 02:43:11 PM
May this year day of the soil inspection

Snow melt underway but definitly still arround !

Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: Alasdair on July 23, 2011, 02:20:30 AM
Wow! The plans look great - you're certainly a whizz with the drawing software, very impressive.

Now that I have read your post I seem to recall you asked for basement drawings from my plans which I neglected to send you. Sorry about that. If you are still interested or think they maybe useful I will make an effort to send them asap.
Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on February 27, 2012, 07:13:17 AM
We'll Al brought this thread back up- so I thought I should update it- I'm still in planning stage !

last summers visit highlighted the foundation issues in the area- with other owners of land explaining their reluctance to build especially the plot next to mine who's got a running spring where his entrance should be - they were so concerned they bought another plot 10km away and built their cabin there.

The house closest just had a 50k push pin foundation repair - his superior walls and gravel filled 48" trench failed- with 14" drop on the southern side.

While we were there 2 other houses were being repaired- one never even made 1 season before the deck started seperating from the house

The geotech on my plot was completed - sandy silt and clay 2000psi was the outcome
water at 8ft on the lower western side of the plot- no visual signs of movement seen.

The problems with the area seem to be confined to the spring run off- rather than frost heave- the quantities of water flowing through the soil is moving and re-distributing the silts and fine sands- causing the structures to move- think of building on a river bed !

The repaired houses on helical piles and push pin's to date have not required any more helical piles it is for the foundation.

Not cheap but seem's to be working for the repaired houses.

So how does that change things for me- well we have decided to go smaller and lighter- loosing the basement and garages- I have space to build alongside a garage.

Theory being a smaller lighter structure will be easier on the terrain, easier to adjust going forward

Foundation goes to being 12 off helical piles - grade beam and crawl space- The grade beam will be strong enough to be ridged and adjustable down the road- ie we will be using adjustable brakets from day one- not the pile top new build type.

The first supplier I spoke to was surprised at this - don't you trust an engineer ? well my answer was
lets see

 if I go permenant pile tops  and in 5 years I have movement- what do you have to do- his answer was cut off the existing ones - install new and level out..

I asked wether the added 10% cost adition for the adjustable brackets would cover the repair ? - he saw my point

He did mention his 25year guarentee..........I asked how easy it was to change his company name..... ;D

So in the crawl space I'll have 12 adjustment points going forward.

The piles I'm planning on are 2 7/8" OD round tubular all angled out from the house to provide more lateral stability.

The first company to quote expects to get too around 20-25ft deep as per another repair done in the vicinty

Costs are about $1200/pin at this depth - I have 3 other companies quoting the work as I thought that was expencive for a days work and some steel pipe !

We'll see what the other companies come back with.

So during our summer trip we stayed on site in a small trailer we purchased through a friend- we had campfires every night watched the deer- admired the stars and loved our time there.

Only one scare - daughter behind the trailer - "Daddy there's a doggy"---"ooohh noo- I don't think thats a doggy" thinks bear and runs arround to the other side to see a small white tail munching on the grass.. 8)

Well the wife liked the trailer even though dad did not fit in the shower, with the foundation worries and not having a clear picture on the piles at the time- we looked for and found an awsome toy hauler trailer with a winter package.

So as we left CO we paid our money - we had some gravel placed and compacted and the trailer parked up ready for our winter trip.

Winter came and the trailer was snowed in till next may- we turned up on the 17th Dec to find 3ft of snow everywhere but my nice friend who's been helping us with local issues and keeping an eye on the place had kindly dug a parking space and cleared arround the trailer. !

So it was -6oC on arrival- I stoked the geny and turned on the propane and we had 22oC within a few hours- turned it all off at night as was worried about the batteries and the cold and not wanting to run the generator 24hrs a day.

it got to -2oC by morning - but the morning sun and some heating soon got us back up to temp.

Nothing like smokey hot wings


In place after we left ready for its winter in the snow

The wifes wondering if we even have to build ?

First snow

Snow while we were there

Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on February 27, 2012, 07:59:16 AM
From both the summer and winter trip we learn't more about our plot- the winter sun in the day streamed into the main trailer window- meaning a nice 20deg c temp with no heating on.

Note to self windows in the southside need increasing in size !

The deck facing the view to the North will be cold in winter- add a ground level deck to the South west of the house for those evening sundowners or winter afternoon BBq's in the sun

Size does matter On review of the cleared plot size- to fit the trailer - garage and house - we'll need to trim the plot out a tadd more.

We were very happy with the trailer size - comfy but large enough- do we really need a huge house--

oops HOA has a minimum 1200sqft- oh the wife wants to invite friend's -- OK we'll need a couple of spare beds.

So the size creeps up again...go arround and measure the flat we are in to get some sence of scale.

Being cozy in the trailer - do we really need a great room two stories high ? thats a lot of space to heat in the winter with no real gain in usability.

Going smaller - entry ways and staircases become an issue- they are always the same size - they don't shrink with the building envelope.

re-sale down the road  a 5ft wide bunk room is fine for a short stay- but if you wanted to live in it - american style- thats just a walk in closet.

So todays plans

26 x 36 house- perimeter foundation above helical piers

downstairs standard 8ft ceilings - plaform construction with trussesd roof- upper walls 6ft high at the sides with a pitched interior roof and squared off at 9ft high.

4 gables 12 ft wide with 3 large windows in each giving a lot of light and views out across the colorado river valley and heat from the sun in the rear.

garage to be built later alongside.

I'll be uploading some plans shortly
Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: Squirl on February 27, 2012, 08:12:57 AM
 ;D UK, If your going to live in it "american style" in colorado, you've got to get rid of the metric (Celcius, Kilometers ect.)  ;)
Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: UK4X4 on February 27, 2012, 08:19:58 AM
The basic floor plan so far

North up and deck to the North

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: Alan Gage on February 27, 2012, 11:53:50 AM
Regarding the south facing windows for solar heat gain:

Almost all windows you can buy in the US are made to BLOCK solar heat gain (the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient - SHGC). The lower the number the more solar heat it blocks. Most Canadian manufactured windows are the opposite. It all depends on the coatings used on the windows. It was extremely frustrating trying to find what I considered a reasonably priced window with the coatings I wanted.

I found out that Cardinal supplies the glass and coatings to pretty much all the window manufacturers and they have all their different coatings listed on their website with specs. I called the window manufacturer I wanted to use (Gerkin) directly instead of going through the supplier I was using to ask if I could get something other than their normal coating. The only listed options were regular or Low e (the Low e being 366 coating judging from the specs). First they asked why I wanted a different coating and then told me I didn't want windows to let in heat from the sun. I tried explaining it but it was all in vain. In the end they told me that Cardinal used to make a coating like that but didn't any longer so I was out of luck. It was pretty obvious talking to the guy that window coatings weren't his area of expertise.

I spent another couple weeks researching other options and then decided as a last ditch effort to call Gerkin again, hoping to get someone different. I got a gal this time and when I asked if I could get other Cardinal coatings she said, "if Cardinal makes it we can get it." I was stunned, it was too easy!!

And that's just how it worked out. As recommended by her we submitted a full quote through my building supplier (they only sell to wholesale accounts) specifying the 179 coating (now replaced by 180 I believe) for some of the windows. It came back as no extra cost for the different coating. Submitted the order and it didn't take any longer to fill than normal either. Sure would have saved me a lot of grief if she'd answered the phone the first time.

Anyway, it's great getting to harness some heat from the sun in the living room during the winter. I ordered the same coating on all my living room windows even though some face east under a large covered porch and don't really get any sun. Reason being the tint and color of the window coatings is slightly different and I was afraid it would be noticeable on windows in the same room (windows are close to each other on either side of an inside corner).

I guess that's a long way of saying make sure you get the coatings you want and don't be afraid to call the manufacturer directly.

Title: Re: Colorado 32X36 - part 2 evolution of design
Post by: Rob_O on February 27, 2012, 02:10:58 PM
;D UK, If your going to live in it "american style" in colorado, you've got to get rid of the metric (Celcius, Kilometers ect.)  ;)

Yeah! You're in America, speak English!  d*
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: MountainDon on February 27, 2012, 05:26:56 PM
The English use the metric system, mostly. Beer is still sold by the pint in the pub I believe. Milk by the litre.  :-\
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on February 28, 2012, 06:15:41 AM

Metricated or imperial - so much for your independance still holding on to the old imperial system ! ;D

mm legally the UK is metricated-even our banana's have a european law controlling their radius

MPG is still on cars - but only litres sold in the garage- the price in gallons is too embarressing presently $2.25 a litre !
Pints are now actually 0.5 ltr glasses
Our spirits were in cc and now in ml

I grew up with both systems - the temperature one is the most Fked up in imperial
celcius is easy to understand.........0deg C = frozen water.........100deg c = boiling water

Farenheit to me is like kelvin - no practical relationship between known objects

I ltr of water = 1KG another simple relationship.

Now where they got the meter from - you'll have to ask the French !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: Carla_M on February 28, 2012, 06:34:08 AM
Agreed, F temperatures make no F-- sense.  n*  Feet and inches, pounds and ounces are little better. Very difficult adding up a list with measurements given in both feet and inches with fractional inches included for example.    It's crazy, we buy gas in gallons, soft drinks in liter and 2 liter bottles.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on May 22, 2012, 05:16:48 PM
So plans have firmed up- I have a builder lined up awaiting his estimate, I've seen his work and I like it.

he has to quote plan a and plan b

Plan a is ground work -utilities-foundation only and plan b is complete dry in - nothing on the interior

Foundation has gone full circle - I'm back to a stiffened poured crawlspace structure over a drained crushed rock back fill, basicly a 12ft x 12ft grid of 24x12 and 12x12  footings with a 6" re-inforced slab above poured in one with the 4ft walls with rebar bent through the corners all arround.

1 property nearby built on the micropiles- his house moved laterally - some moved and some stayed still bending beams and causing more problems than I want, his house has water running under it.....also under the closest one to me too.

This is the first time we've visited in Spring and seen the runoff in action, my down hill side is spring free !

I've moved the trailer into one corner so that we have space to build, the HOA has already complained about the trailer being on the property- even after their full agreement last August with no restrictions everyone said yes no problem.

I have sent a suitably rude reply- we'll see what they say

So within the next 4 weeks we should be able to break ground and dig out the 5 ft deep hole for the replacement back fill.

I'll upload some pics and the latest elevations tommorow when I get a chance
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on May 22, 2012, 05:28:37 PM
dug out and leveled the eastern corner
Positioned the trailer into its spot
Decided that gravel when wet is still muddy- so started on a sectional deck
Deck complete
A friend did the dancing with my daughter
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on May 24, 2012, 03:20:43 PM
2d view from google sketchup
Basic elevations
Basic foundation - crawl space with large rebar and stiffening ribs- no piles over 48" of crushed rock and drains
Rebar foundation detail. yep lost of heavy bar- will poured in one hit with rough trowled finish on the slab
Reviewed floor plans- cheimney in the middle due to snow
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on July 06, 2012, 02:14:53 PM
Its lonely in here, but what the h#ll

Today we got the stamped CO foundation after a month !- the redlines were few and minor- a surprise as rebar and foundations are all new to me

I supplied the original dwgs- the company ummed and aaared for 4 weeks - we have a disclaimer of course.

Buyer beware ! if your in a code area and a moving mountainside- however cheap it may seem- walk away !

What others here have for 5K mine will be closer to 25K and only 3ft above ground !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: Sassy on July 06, 2012, 02:28:33 PM
So sorry, but good advice...  what may look like beautiful property could be a financial nightmare.

Like our friends who wanted to build an underground home but had to finance through a bank - they jumped through hoops for 10 yrs - bank would approve after city/county approved, then back out...  when the price got up to $500,00 to 1 million, they decided they really didn't need it & are perfectly comfortable in the mobile home on the property.

The drawings of your cabin look really nice - hopefully it won't be too bad on your wallet.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on July 10, 2012, 06:52:46 AM
awaiting final quote from concrete chap and hole digger, for the foundation and 5ft of crushed rock backfill......

Costs - CO is a bit like CA in that regard- it simply costs more here than in other places.

Although I have found a pet plumber who'll work for beer and has the tools- electric I'll do myself- plus all the interior, I'm going to have to cheat and use contractors to dry it in

Mind you the 50 mile view will probably be worth it - down and across the colorado river valley to the bluffs the other side

this is taken from just above my property about another 750 to 1000ft up

property is center picture just to the RHS of the House, so it has some pretty nice amenities !- walk up and ski in !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on August 10, 2012, 04:40:35 PM
whopeeeeeeee after three weeks of letters from all and sundry today

I have recieved my building permit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Standbye for some pictures of a very large hole, a whole pile of crushed rock,a lot of cement and 4 tons of re-bar

This should be interesting for some- we will be pouring both the slab and the 4ft walls in one hit in order to mave a monolithic foundation,
crawl space floor will be roughish finish but the single poor will make the foundation stronger
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: mountainlady1956 on August 10, 2012, 06:07:53 PM
What a georgous view! It must be amazing to wake up to that in the morning. Can't wait to see more of your building pics   ::)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on August 13, 2012, 05:30:06 AM
View from two of the beds should be the same as that, the deck as its lower has a few tree's in front of it - but they are dead already and just need a push- but their in another persons lot  ::)

Still an awsome location hole starts tommorow - can't wait for the pics !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on August 28, 2012, 02:42:50 PM
Well the hole was late ! but building has officially started !

not sure how far we'll get by the first snows and finiancial decisions dry in or not to dry in !

dug out - electric ducts and drainage in, should be ready for a rather expensive pile of crushed rock to backfill 3ft then onto pit run and the foundation

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: umtallguy on August 28, 2012, 03:32:59 PM
put a rodent guard in that pipe... couple bolts through the mouth so nothing large can crawl in and die blocking the pipe.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - evolution of design 3
Post by: UK4X4 on August 30, 2012, 04:29:42 AM
Yep is has a grill over it,  but Ill be adding that fine mesh to for inesects

Plus I'll be extending it down to the roadside ditch on my next trip over as don't want the bank to be eroded from any water flow.

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 06, 2012, 01:02:21 PM
So crushed rock has been backfilled and placed- 4ft over the size of the foundation 26x36 the house but the foundation includes the deck too so its 36x36 of foundation and 4ft arround that 3-4ft deep.

I might repeat myself but heres the reasoning behing the foundation design.

80% of the houses built in the area have moved
some during building- some within a year- all moved within 5 years

Its not frost heave a such- it seems to be caused by the water run off in spring, the sandy silt and clay move and distort during the mud season.

Foundations have cracked in some cases before the house was even completed - one had the deck tear off the house within 8 months of completion

Basicly what supports weight today, may not tommorow, many foundation designs have been completed all under engineers design and signature.

I looked all all common designs and some obscure ones, the last was building on pre installed piles only to find one of them failed too due to lateral movement with some poles moving and some not.

the pre-manufactured foundation -superior walls -house closest to me moved 14" after a water pipe broke on the mountain above.

So I have resigned myself to the fact that the house may move at some point, in order to try and reduce and delay possible movement and its damage to the structure we have employed a few diferent methods

the foundation design is as follows

crushed rock and drains do two things-

the clay sandysilt has been removed down to 4ft deep across the entire area, getting us to more stable soils

The crushed rock cross links and provides a stable platform to build off- providing clear drainage away from the structure and being cross linked extends the support area to basicly 40ft x 40ft for a 26 x 36 house

Drains go to the north and south side of the property.

the foundation its self is basicly a large self supporting tub with stiffening beams in both directions all using #5 rebar throughout, no mesh all overlapping min36"

The reason behind this structure is that even if the house moves it moves in one piece- everything together, no parts cracking or seperating off- both the entry and side porch are all linked to the structure.

Its should all move in one piece, so untill the glasses start moving across the dining table and wlaking to the kitchen seems to be up hill - then its time to either pump grout or jack the dropping side.

hers some pics of the gravel work- the contractor has already built the forms and had inspected by both county and the engineer and they are poring the foundation in one hit- walls and floor together in one interlinked assembly- no joins occur on any corner rebar continous through all the stress points

heres the pics



Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 09, 2012, 04:35:30 AM
Another update- these things move faster than I expected- although there will now be a pause for the cement to dry, check the cash balance and decide the way forward knowing that winter and the first snows fall in 6 weeks.

In the last 10-12 days they constructed the forms, installed the re-bar had the engineer out to check it all and sign off on it

Then they poured on Thursday , as you can see they poured walls and floor in one hit, it means I don't get a smooth floor to my crawl space, but that to me was not as important as a structure with no joins to seperate later, all the supporting pins and props were removed as the cement hardened, if I plug the drains i could use it as a swimming pool !

here's the pics

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 09, 2012, 04:40:57 AM
So now I have a monolithic waffle grid foundation which supports the house - the front deck and the porch

backfilling will be in a week or so after things have dried off

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on September 11, 2012, 08:45:31 PM
It is looking Good, Robin Hood!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 18, 2012, 10:10:00 AM
Its been a week and the concrete has dried sufficiently to backfill.

Now its deciding what can we complete by first snow- and how we leave it over the winter- V's the budget

I'm leaning towards the following

Dry in the building with framing and sheet- fully wrap the building accept for the front door

nail ply over the window openings on the outside .

Roof wise I have two choices - take a loan and put on the metal roof- or don't take a loan and use titanian type roofing material and ice shield- and nail off thoroughly with battens on the edges.

And hope the winter storms don't peel it all off !

Front porch can wait and will make a nice project for me to do

North porch- un decided as yet- only real benifit is that it will stop the front part of the foundation filling with snow......

So what have others done- recomended way to leave it ?

Looking west
Looking south at the west end
Looking east
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Rob_O on September 18, 2012, 03:17:42 PM
You don't need to cover window openings if they have not been cut, leave that for next season.

I'd be inclined to do the roof sooner rather than later, you have a lot of time and money invested in this place and you want to protect it as best you can

Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: pmichelsen on September 19, 2012, 06:19:12 AM
I agree, if you're going to put all of the money out to frame it you should roof it too. Either that or hold out everything until next year. In my opinion it's just not worth it to spend all of the time and money to frame it but then leave it exposed.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 21, 2012, 02:20:12 PM
I'm tending to want to roof, but the contractor wants to do shingles as he's had issues with ice damming and ripping off the metal roof in the valley's even one who spent a fortune on the electric under roof heating.

He's talking about the snow moving on the nice slippy steel then doubling the ammount in the valleys

the snow gets stuck because of the grooves on both sides, then causing the ice damming and leaks

I'm thinking of large gaps between the sheets - with smooth steel run offs and some snow dogs to keep things from moving into the valleys

Roof etc is designed for the full 90# snow

Snow people please put in your thoughts !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Danfish on September 22, 2012, 06:06:10 AM
I have experienced metal, wood shake and composite shingle roofs in heavy snow country and find you cannot beat the composite shingle for overall performance and minimal problems.  The metal snow sheding is a constant nightmare and the forces involved can be surprising.  On metal, any obstruction to snow movement can result in damage.  I have a neighbor with a 6/12 pitch metal roof that developes a monstrous cornice at the eave every winter.  I also find that the expansion/contraction and wind are working hold-down screws loose (if a screwed application is used).  Only time I experienced ice dam leakage was on a wood shake roof installed before the days of ice barrier underlayment (most fire codes don't allow wood shakes, unless high cost fire retardent type). 

I have also had problems with color coated metal roof materials that badly fade or worse yet, the color coating begins to flake off.
My vote is for composite shingle.

With respect to your schedule for this winter approaches the thought of squeezing in framing and a roof in the remaining time seems pushing it.  I still remember last fall waiting for the roofer who was three weeks late and working in the snow and rain while the temperature dropped to 30 degrees.  Might be better to dress up site work and drainage and leave just foundation to weather out winter for a freash start in the spring.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 04, 2012, 08:04:39 AM
well we have gone ahead with the dry in......

we have electric at site - no more generator for electric !

and they have done the lower floor mon-tuesday

Must say I like the straight look of the I-beams even though I'd have prefered normal timber...

Should be decked today and probably finished the first floor by the weekend.

Got to say - hiring people for this stage hurts the pocket book- but the progress is fast

Snow has already fell above me on the mesa- 10,000 ft- the aspens are in full color- hope the mexi framers are faster than the snow !

here's a pic from last weekend- the build is pretty much center picture- we are still stuck here in Colombia working on my project, its in full swing and I can't get away so the GC sends me pics of the progress


Oh yea baby - sparks have arrived !




Just in case any one wondered - the hatchway will be under the front door mat !....I looked at hiding it in the electrical room but would be small and not allow full lengths of pipe to go down the hole.

Plan right now is to roof and cover with Titanium -and ice shield - and hope it lasts the winter ! the GC lives down the road so he can check on it for us when we are away.

My summer trip over has not occured due to the rig schedule down here  - I have 4 more wells to deploy before we can get up there, and miss the framing.

Still juggling options on the roof materials
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 11, 2012, 01:28:04 PM

progress is swift with contracted labor !

But I'm missing the contentment that comes with creating something- plans are one thing- hands on is what I'm missing

4 walls done - moving in the glulam visable beam with a spare track hoe

framing to me looks good with what looks like some good quality timber too if the photo's can be taken as seen

4x10 beams have been ordered and should be there by Fri-Mon

amazed the fresh back fill supports the weight of the tracks- either very dry or the backfill was well compressed.

the aspens are loosing their leaves in a hurry- the HOA I guess will soon be complaining again about the trailer

F# them !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Sassy on October 12, 2012, 12:46:07 PM
Wow, your build is looking great!  Nice to have a good GC  :)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 14, 2012, 01:49:56 PM
Thanks Sassy -Yep we are real happy with him and his brother who does the ground work

especially when they came up in the spring to level a bit more of the plot
and help move my trailer into the corner-

They had the wifes come up with wine at the end of the day !...

Well he got the 4x10 beams in by Thursday- found a job lot over in salt lake planed, sanded ready to go, more than we needed in odd lengths but we got them for the same prices as the 13ft ones we needed.

So he's going to run the offcuts as offset blocking arround the room and above the glulam down the center

So they have a bunch set already- but no pics yet-

The truss are on site already - the upstairs only has 6ft walls so they should go up pretty quickly- all four gables are identical

We changed the truss design - last month - so I'm back to a vaulted ceiling- cost a liitle more - but the design has more trusses and less hand framing.

So faster to get the roof on and hopefully beat the snow

We can't wait to get over there  and see it for ourselves- and then start planning the interior

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 23, 2012, 07:47:11 AM
Not so much progress this week, just the 4x10 beams set in place and some walls framed in downstairs - there was a delay on the 2x6 flooring delivery.

The roof trusses have arrived already, but we don't have anything to mount them too yet

Gluelam beam in place and looks good !


Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 05, 2012, 09:41:24 AM
progress has been slow- luckily the snow has been holding off

usually its snowed before November- but the sun is out and the upper floor is down - 2x6 T&G over 4x10 beams on a 36" spacing - it changes slightly over the stair well to match the walls- but can't be seen- you get a hint at the view from the windows.

These are from the week before last - so hopefully we should be putting up the trusses now.

We are so bummed about my work and being unable to visit during the build- its frustrating to spends weeks and months on plans - but not get to do any of it.

Praying that sandy stays in the east till we get her roofed in.

Here's the pics !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 08, 2012, 05:37:53 AM
OK - roofing has officially started !- sadly i don't remember seeing a crane rental on my list of expected expences

This was from yesterday - so I expect the trusses to be all up today hopefully

Glad I'm not getting on the roof- its high !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Danfish on November 09, 2012, 07:11:54 AM
Yes, amazing how fast those little oversights start eating up your contingency funds.

Those bluebird skys sure speak to your good fortue at this late date in the building season.  Looking at a foot of new snow at my job site this morning.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 09, 2012, 10:08:30 AM
So far the weather has been great - by now usually we are under snow too- the first storms comming through in October

I can only presume Sandy messed up the normal systems - yesterday I even postponed our Christmas visit for two weeks from the 15th to the 28th

as if it stays like this there will be no snow to ski on !

hungry awaiting more pics !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 10, 2012, 08:04:57 AM
So much for beating the weather about 4" of snow on the ground and we don't have the roof on - yesterday was rained and winded out- they were.nt able to get the sheeting on in the conditions- last night I guess the temps dropped and the rain turned to snow.

here's the update- they stacked the sheeting on the second floor and will be passing them up through the trusses

Photos from yesterday morning


Ski resort webcam next door- my weather check up location

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: intelijoc on November 10, 2012, 01:02:18 PM
whats your budget?
go Chelsea
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 10, 2012, 01:20:15 PM
My original budget was blown ages ago.

being that we decided to pay a GC and use contractors- things add up quickly.

We had planned that I'd take 3-4 months of work and do it myself,
but when we did the math- I'd loose about the same in wages as the labor and GC would cost so I'm busy working- and paying some one else

From the GC's expected cost list- we'll be dried by 100K and another 25 ish next spring should get us windows, log siding and batt and board above.

The Foundation ate a lot of that - first draw for the ground work drainage - back fill and concrete- was 45K.

I'm in a 90#snow area too- so just the trusses were almost 7K- with the four dormers adding costs too

Things are more expencive in Colorado- especially when your an hour or two from the nearest town

If people are interested I can post the budget and costs so far, its seperated for labor and materials and should give you an idea

adding things like the 4x10 beams and the T&G flooring obviously costs more than just fiber board and joists- but I think the visual effects will be worth it when its all sanded and stained

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: intelijoc on November 14, 2012, 05:05:09 AM
Wow! We have the property in Park County, Fairplay and it's at 10k ft elevation.  Double wow on that foundation and backfill price-  but it is what it is- and best to get it done and enjoy!

What slope is that?  Copper Mountain?
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 29, 2012, 02:48:10 PM
Just a little slope called powderhorn in Mesa Co- don't tell anyone about it - no lift queues

Not huge- family friendly and reasonable in cost for the season pass.

Experts would find it limiting - but for us its fine don't have to worry about my 4 year old going over any cliffs.

Walk up and ski in.....if you feel like some exercise !

Progress is slow the GC has another house or two on the go- but the roof is on - and getting some technical felt for the winter

well thats if we get one - only 2 ft so far and the lifts open in 15 days

Its cold enough at -12celcius but it looks like sandy messed up the normal fronts comming in from the pacific

Good thing is it means no rot and water inside accept for that first storm.

Heres the pics- looks a bit shoe boxy without the windows - but they'l be opened up in the spring for the windows

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 05, 2012, 05:10:29 PM
Thought my thread had been deleted ! took a while for me to find it up here

Well the weather has held off for 6 weeks longer than normal- allowing the GC to get the place dried in for winter

Not a proper roof- but at least waterproof and will hopefully stay in place till the spring.

Windows etc will all be cut out later, and a temporary door will be put on to keep the furries and two legged beasties out.

After Christmas and our visit to site we'll sort out whats next- siding and windows probably - it really depends on whether we do the design change moving the living quaters upstairs, as I may need to change some windows arround.

So things may not stop till spring - just a short two months while we concider our options-and then layout the plan for 2013.

Savings are gone now- we decided to take out a small loan against another property i own which was fully paid off.

With this depending on what choices we make we want to get the whole exterior finished.

The HOA and neighbors can then not have any reason to complain.

Interior will then slow down to available funds and our time there.

Tommorow If I get the time I'll post the financial break down to date- we have used contractors for all so far

It should give people an idea of the costs involved for building Colorado.

I for one read others breakdowns - sadly the costs in other states are significantly cheaper- i should have been completed by now based on my original budget based on other building location costs.

So this weeks pics- Tyvek suit and a synthetic felt hat !


Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 06, 2012, 10:38:19 AM
So here's the breakdown from the GC- we are over budget right now by about 3K mainly the beams and a modification to the trusses ate that.

We were under by 2k on the permits

As you can see- costs in Colorado are higher than i've seen on the site so far......or I'm the only one being honest !   

Things that seemed out of order was really the rock back fill at 9K usd - seemingly crushed rock is expencive
The Overkill foundation ate a large ammount- hopefully that will be money well spent

the rest of the costs sort of aligns - 50% materials and 50% labor

1   Loan Closing Costs         $0.00    
2   Plans, Engineering, Soils Report      $2,700.00    This is the $2500.00 + plan copies ($725.00 paid)
3   Permits                         $5,544.00    $1800.00 impact fee and $2.00 sq. ft. permit fee
4   Surveys                         $0.00    
5   Excavation-Backfill, Found. Drain   $13,883.00    4' dig with gravel, drains and backfill
6   Foundation         $0.00    
   Material                         $11,920.00    Based on $135.00 per cu. Yd
   Labor                         $10,188.00    Based on $35.00 per l. f. on wall and $3.00 per sq.ft. floor
7   Waterproofing         $650.00    Waterproofer on concrete wall before backfill
8   Blasting                         $0.00    
9   Well System / Tap Fee / Line      $1,200.00    Water line brought in under foundation
10   Septic System / Tap Fee / Line      $3,350.00    Tank, pump and piping
11   Trusses                         $6,378.00    Overholt Truss engineering
12   Framing Lumber, Nails, Bolts, Etc.   $14,085.00    As per plan. Add $850.00 for 4x10 and 1x6 upper floor
13   Framing Labor         $11,232.00    Based on $6.00 per sq. ft.
14   Rough Plumbing         $0.00    
15   Rough Electrical         $0.00    
16   Rough Heating         $0.00    
17   Roofing Material & Labor      $6,900.00    Based on $3.00 per sq. ft. for asphalt demisional shingles
18   Sheet Metal-Gutters, Flashing   $0.00    
19   Masonry-Materials, Labor   $0.00    
20   Fireplace         $0.00    
21   Windows & Doors         $8,834.00 from an online quote for PVC windows Milguard   
22   Exterior Trim      $0.00    
   Material                         $7,326.00    Siding and logs as per plan
   Labor                         $7,488.00    Based on $4.00 per sq. ft.
23   Drywall         $0.00    
24   Cabinets         $0.00    
25   Interior Trim-Materials, Labor         $0.00    
26   Insulation         $0.00    
27   Garage Doors-Openers         $0.00    
28   Counter Tops         $0.00    
29   Tub & Shower Tile         $0.00    
30   Plumbing Finish         $0.00    
31   Heating Finish         $0.00    
32   Paint-Material & Labor         $3,276.00    Stain siding, trim and logs
33   Electrical Finish      $0.00    
34   Finish Hardware      $0.00    
35   Appliances         $0.00    
36   Shower & Tub Enclosers   $0.00    
37   Mirrors         $0.00    
38   Flat Concrete      $0.00    
39   Driveway Surface         $1,062.00    Road base for parking area after excavation and utilities are done
40   Extend Water / Sewer Mains   $0.00    
41   Gas Service-Extension Hookup   $0.00    
42   Electrical Service-Extension Hookup   $1,700.00    $950.00 for excavating line and $750.00 for service
43   Retaing Wall         $0.00    
44   Landscaping         $0.00    
45   Fencing-Walls         $0.00    
46   Common Labor         $0.00    
47   Stucco         $0.00    
48   Clean Up-Interior,Exterior         $0.00    
49   Finish Grade         $0.00    
50   Flooring         $0.00    
53   Builders Risk         $0.00    
54   Lot Release         $0.00    
55   Supervision-Overhead  15%         $17,357.40    
56   Construction Loan Interest         $0.00    
   TOTAL COSTS         $135,073.40

In earlier times it cost 6K to clear and level the plot
another 1K to dig and level the corner where I put the trailer
REBAR too was missing aprox 1.3k   
Crane rental for the truses was 1.5K not on the list
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Windpower on December 07, 2012, 12:27:48 PM
Thanks for posting the costs. 

Looks like concrete and 'fees' ate a large chunk
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 18, 2012, 05:32:27 PM
Yep costs are higher than I expected and higher than I'd planned

Location - distance from town- soil problems and permits up the yin yang

According to some tax details some of the houses in my HOA are over a million

So I guess I'll be expencive for me- but cheap compared to some others

Mean while winter has landed with 2-3 ft forecast for the next few days- resort next door is open with all lifts running

Just thought I'd post the Tyvek install- again more than usuall as it will be the exterior of the building for the next few months

Its taped every 48" and plastic washer stapled to try and keep it on the walls

Alos had my new front door installed- not quite as I planned but will suffice for a snow free interior

10 days to go before we see it in the flesh and dig out the trailer !


Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 06, 2013, 11:12:30 AM
Well we looked discussed and measured almost everything

I think we are going for the following - not changing anything framed so far, accept for a a few window size change

Upstairs east end - front door below

master 13ft x 13 ft with 13 x 7ft bathroom behind the kitchen - 7.6" ceilings over the kitchen and bedroom and a little bedspace above for my daughter---who's 5- roughly 11ft x 13ft with 3ft side walls

rest is open -to the cielings

small 12ft x 12 ft deck above lower deck on north western gable- for summer sun and views- and not getting in the way of the snow exiting the roof

Below electric room becomes shower-wash
bathroom stays the same

two double beds are possible - with another living space by the french doors
beds - south west corner
north east corner each to the support posts

leaving an 20ft x 13 ft open space with bar- kitchenete

basicly two living spaces- upper being for owners and guests below

Or the kids can hang downstairs while the parents can cook and socialise upstairs

Lower deck is covered - - upper deck is open - for catching a few rays.

Not much internet so pics will floow when done

Presently not skiing as twisted my ankle last night on a slippy step - probably get out the wooly hat and do some framing while were here @!

As a note its been-20oC at night ----roughly -4oF

The trailer manages to keep us a 20 above ice cube making and quite comfortable this year with the added electricity meaning no worries about the batteries and generator- but its nice to know we have a backup if required

For those worried about wintering in your trailer while you build - its possible

We cover all the windows at night with double bubble foil insulation and makes it much more cosy- than sitting with the alumininuim frames conducting the exterior temps inside
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Wildcard on January 06, 2013, 09:03:24 PM
     Love your build and the info you are providing. I am in Australia but am considering going down the green card process to come to the US. I have been researching motorhomes etc and a lot of people have tons of good info on camping in the weather you seem to be in. One thing i liked was stacking hay bails around the gap between the flooring and the ground. This stop wind drawing the heat out of the caravan and helps keep the heat in. Another thing lots of people are concerned about are pipes freezing so they run lights in the cargo bays and rap the external hoses with heat rapping. Please keep up the good work. The HOA's are something I need to do further research on, they seem to be a bit power crazy. :)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 15, 2013, 09:19:54 AM
Thanks for the support !

yep read about the hay bails - but with so much animal life arround here i was unwilling to provide free lunchs and a breeding ground for all the little critters

we have already had one mouse inside the trailer- found frozen in my wooly ugg boots

I have enclosed and heated tanks- under body- but to us still not worth the risk - so its pot showers and a flannel.

Good luck on the green card- I've looked into it- only real option for a foreigner is the green card through investement

500KUSD minimum- worse thing is the min 10 emplyees which you have to keep for three years - so only leaves you with restaurant/ service type businesses

Main green card sponser in the US is....................................................Dunkin Donuts !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 24, 2013, 03:21:27 PM
A few pictures from our last trip

view from the ski lift - you can see both the house and the trailer !

View inside down stairs looking north east
Inside down looking south west- center pole is temporary just needs removing

soon to be upper living area !- side walls are 6ft high with a 9-12 cathedral truss

Birthday present to self- dewalt saw and stand !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 24, 2013, 03:28:27 PM
Laid out master- bath and kitchen rough layout - leaves us with 1/2 the upstairs for the new great room - not two stories but looks good to me !

poked a hole in the tyvek and sheeting and took a couple of the views  from the new upstairs great room
This is looking North across the colorado river valley and I70 which you can't see as its in the canyon and over to the bluffs beyond
The big aspens in the way are dead......hopefully this spring they'll fall over !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on February 13, 2013, 09:41:34 AM
OK some time was taken to review the views and the existing structure and framing

I don't want to go backwards and increase costs by the changes we want to do.

So if anyone has some input it would be apreciated- basicly instead on the living downstairs and the beds upstairs we are going to muddle some things arround.

It basicly gives us an upstairs greatish room  and still some living area downstairs out to the covered deck

add views to the main room- gives us a chance to split the property- unwanted inlaws and siblings for example.

Could even down the road add an exterior staircase and rent down stairs seperately - to friends relatives while keeping our upstairs exclusive to us.

Heres the orginal plan layout


and heres the 2013 changes- keeping existing headers and framing basicly the same
down stairs electric becomes down stairs bath and the toilet becomes the electrical room
outside the upper north east triple windows becomes double windows and central door out to a 12 x 12 deck - following the gable width for no slide off
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on March 31, 2013, 07:51:28 AM
A bit quiet in here- but I'll carry on logging the details for family and friends

Work has started again after the changes made during our Christmas trip

Deck is a waterproof one to keep water out of the full foundation below- there will be a EPDM mebrane over the boards and then a floating wooden deck over that

This will be done to both the decks upper and lower

Inside before we cut out for the newly added windows in the gable ends- we installed the chimney chase to stiffen up the wall.

Stairs are in and the front porch is underway

Siding upstairs will be verticle alternate 1x6" rough sawn

with rough sawn natural edge 1x 8" horizontally below

All the big timbers and posts all come from Grand Mesa above where the build is- locally sourced from a local mill

The 6X12 beam came from the same mill
 here's some progress pics

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 09, 2013, 05:05:54 AM
Siding and windows have arrived and being installed

snow is melting and the house is still level !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other houses broke or moved by this time of year after being built in the previous fall

So I'm so far very happy with the investment in the foundation

Lower siding is locally milled timber with the bark on
Upper siding will be verticle but both sides sawn

Siding has been stained all sides before installing

Looks like the chippy has used 4x4's for the window frames- so the siding must be about 1.5" thick

really pleased with the look, I was worried at the christmas visit about it looking too tall and a simple box

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: John Raabe on April 09, 2013, 05:37:23 AM
Looking very handsome and sturdy!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on April 10, 2013, 09:27:45 PM
Looking good!  Where did you get your siding and what size is it?
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 11, 2013, 06:01:30 AM
The siding is not a product as such

Its from a local saw mill in grand junction

Looking at the lhs of the house those windows are 60" high and there are 6 of them

so I'm guessing but they must be12-14" wide to get a coverage of 10" per row.

The window bucks look to be 4" so they are probably 1.5" deep

The timber is prestained at the site all sides

I'll ask the GC to see what the dimensions are

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: OlJarhead on April 11, 2013, 07:00:41 AM
I love the logs!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 11, 2013, 09:12:07 AM
me too- the GC is doing an excellent job taking my designs and making slight changes to improve the look

ie I was expecting just to see the rafters on the pront porch.......he added the upper siding as a covering notching out for the posts

the lower "siding" can be see in the foreground- they are getting ready to mount the feature barn door roof - hopefully today.

( (

( (
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: OlJarhead on April 11, 2013, 10:54:48 AM
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: John Raabe on April 11, 2013, 10:57:19 AM
Nice looking porch. Those closed up rafters will cut down on the wasp nests and other critter camping.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 11, 2013, 02:12:55 PM
chippies have been busy today !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on April 11, 2013, 03:55:24 PM
That is going to look mighty fine when all is daid and done!! 
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 15, 2013, 09:55:30 AM
Really happy with the progress and the look, without the help from this site I would not be where i am today with the project,

Starting with buying the basic plans- asking multiple questions, learning calcs and US building practises was both fun and rewarding

I hope I repay the help I recieved with documenting the build as well as I can for future referance

Snows falling again - so work will be slow this week.

The end of framing is in sight, then a slow down as we go to build as we go financially - HOA will be happy with the outside and look, meanwhile the inside will be a work in progress.

I think we'll be trailering at least another winter or 2 before its habitable all year round, we'll be concentrating on upstairs first to get it usable

then downstairs will be for summer "bring a hammer guests" till thats completed !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 24, 2013, 02:05:00 PM
A little more progres - we got so much snow last week the ski resort re-opened just for the weekend - but melts fast in the high sun.

Think I'll have to choose a contrasting color for the upper faux barn thingy so it stands out a bit more- its really only there for a feature due to no windows in the front fasade.

I'm really happy with the look- probably paint that middle wall flashing the same bronce as the windows

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on April 25, 2013, 05:16:55 AM
I like the bronzed windows, when does the roof go on?
One thing that I just noticed is that you may want to place the ice breaks above the big deck to keep the big sheets of ice sliding down in big chunks on to the deck covering.  Often times it all comes sliding down at once in big sheets causing serious damage to everything below.  We have a little porch covering like yours on the long side of the building and the roof gets damaged there from the sliding ice.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 01, 2013, 02:17:36 PM
Roof goes on shortly- I guess they are still waiting on materials- it will be bronze too- just to change it a little from others in the area

I think he has'nt shown me the  north side as they have'nt finished it yet...8-(

Yes to the snow dogs- I'll be adding them when I visit in the summer, being that thats the north side it stay in shadow most of the day and I should'nt get much run off - untill we get to live in it.

Budget is blown again, the changes we made added costs in both labor and materials, like the feature-i'd planned on doing that myself but would have made flashing it and installing it a huge pain

Plumber went up on monday to see what he needs to rough in the roof vents etc before the roof goes on-

Not sure on the fireplace chimney- before or after roofing ?
it will be just to one side of the ridge
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on May 01, 2013, 06:05:36 PM
I just visited a church not too far from you in Utah, the church is only 8 months old and the roof is all ripped up where the intersecting rooflines had a big sheet ice go sliding down and just made a huge mess of the roof. 
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 01, 2013, 07:06:14 PM
My GC has warned me of this - his spring work is pretty full of roof repairs from the gullies.

he wanted to do shingles - but I hate them after spending a winter repairing roofs in dade county after Andrew.

South side I think I'll be ok with as the snow melts pretty fast as I get sun on that side all day

The north I'll probably snow dog all the gullies to keep the snow in place

the roof is designed for full snow load, no drop for angle, exposure or materials.

being that it will be uninhabited for most of the winter we should be good for that period

I'm looking at good venting and lots of insulation

The main issues are snow melt due to heat and ice damming

if you keep the roof cold- you dont get that issue

others in my area used the heated roof matts- they had more issues than those without

others are up in the shadow of the mountain and they have some huge icy issues from the loss of heat from the house to the roof

Going with a bronze roof ups my melt factor too

I'll post some pics of the trailer- I have some icing concerns with that too - but its late and time for bed

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on May 01, 2013, 08:34:36 PM
This one was facing east as the ridgeline runs north-south.  We had the same issue to a much smaller degree on the north side of ours with an east-west ridgeline.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 06, 2013, 10:14:02 AM
Its definitely an issue and concern anytime you have gullies in a snow area , my ridge is east west

This winter it stayed out with just technical felt and 2x4's

we had no movement of the snow ......but we also had no heat !

The 2x4's acted as snow dogs keeping things in place, so we did'nt get any sheets of snow and ice falling

Same day the two diferent sides of the house

North which will have the lower deck roof, showing full coverage of the roof
( (

And the south side -showing the ammount of melt off just with sun -no building heat

( (
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: CjAl on May 08, 2013, 04:30:13 AM
Looks nice. What species of wood is the siding?

I bet the other side will look real nice with the porch
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 08, 2013, 01:39:43 PM
Its pine or fir, prestained on both sides, its all from up on Grand Mesa which is south up the mountain.

Its pretty dry in western CO so no rot but we do have a bunch of woodpeckers !

I expect the south side to bleach out and need re-applying in a while, but we'll see.

we were going to half log on the lower half but I love the sawn with the natural edge and it should be thick enough not to curl up- but we'll see !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 14, 2013, 08:22:11 AM
Well the build has slowed to a halt until more funds can be saved up

We manged to get all the window's in and walls up on the interior including the loft for my daughter

When we hit town I'll be doing deck railings-lower deck floor etc etc.

I'm extremely pleased with the look, not sure on the lower bedroom window size as they are a bit dark from the pictures, not sure what time of day that was and at the end of the day they are only to sleep in and will at least be cosy !

Love the upper lounge area with the picture windows facing the sun down.

Plans going forward are roof on - should be next week- already budgeted for- in antique bronze

my friendly plummer will rough us in as he's slack right now.

Then we'll be wiring it while I'm over, planning the wiring now

Then insulate upstairs and get it roughly habitable

probably next year by the time we get those jobs done so another winter in the trailer will be needed.

Cost to date for everything you see-has been just under 150K the labor on framing and exterior finishes put the cost up from what we thought

But I think the finished article will be worthy what we have invested in it !


Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 14, 2013, 08:23:56 AM
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 14, 2013, 08:25:10 AM
Kitchen will be on the left- with the MB bathroom behaind my Daughters little loft above and the master bed
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on May 14, 2013, 08:41:06 PM
Looking good!  Will the bunk/loft area be left open?  That may be some good storage area or just the kid's favorite place to sleep.  My friend's cabin had a similar spot and we loved it as kids. 
Are you set on that color of roof?  Clearly, you don't care about my opinion as I will never see it, but I have seen one cabin in our association with that color and one in the next association over and each time I see them I have to wonder what they were thinking when they chose it???  Have you seen other cabins with that color?  It just makes it stand out like a big bare butt at a convention, just so out of place IMHO.  If you have not seen one with it it may be helpful.  I sure have a hard time choosing colors from a tiny swatch.  Thanks for sharing. 
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 15, 2013, 08:15:54 AM
yes loft area will be for my daughter to sleep and play, probably try and find a library ladder or similar for it

It will be open with a little fence and gate openning inwards.

Color wise almost every house in the area has green, I think the antique Bronze will look fine

Its too late anyway to change as the materials arrive tommorow !

D4 upper RHS
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on June 12, 2013, 06:26:07 PM
On the job in Colorado- finishing the deck- about to mod the master bathroom wall- then onto wiring the upstairs from a sub panel

pics soon - but must get back to my Malbec and the campfire !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on July 03, 2013, 04:00:25 PM
Well we got to spend 3 lovely weeks up on the hill

I had plans before we went and a pile of HD gift cards from my credit card points.

Work I completed while we were there was.

Downstairs deck lined with EPDM membrane -laid treated 2x4's and then the decking all screwed down and finish trimed

deck is 36ft x 10 ft wide

Hung the hammocks we brought from Colombia - they make a dull deck bright !

Modified the kitchen rear wall to make room for a shower position change the window was too low to make it a shower cubicle so the master bed throne now has a valley view !

Positioned and built the kicthen bar framing and one by the stairs

Laid out and started wiring a sub panel for all the upstairs circuits
but did not get finished on this trip- wife needs to choose lighting and then I can finish the lighting runs.

Mounted the sub panel and brought in all the feeds - surprising how they add comparison to a UK 240V system in a looped configuration.

We came up with a plan to make the front entrance wall more interesting as with the plan changes we could'nt fit the original planned windows.

So we will build two rustic sets of shutters where the orginal windows were going to be

and under the upper "barn roof cover" we'll be getting a rusty steel family crest built..

something along the lines of this one- without the flowers !


Water jet cut- then rusted with salt water and then sealed- maybe even back light it to make it stand out ..

Plumbing- had a good friend start roughing in the system - paid in beer and gas money

The vents were the main issue and trying to hide everything with the open ceilings it made things interesting.

We put the decks to good usage- so the wiring did not get finished !

Air furnace heating was priced up by one chap- but am awaiting two more quotes- we are going with air- for the instant heat and no water to freeze while the house is empty.

The down pipe will be inside a cupboard- toilet -sink and shower all tied in


lower deck hangout

upper deck sun bathing

marmot has moved into the woodpile

sub panel installed over 2" of foam- idea with this is to be able to split the house -maybe down the road for rental and save on running so many wires down to the lower section of the house

kitchen bar framing and electrical

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: tmcmurran on July 19, 2013, 11:03:59 AM
Your place has come along nicely, wish that ours was at this stage but know it will all be worth it in the end to do it right the first time.  Our foundation was delayed due to a few unforeseen events, but the pour has been completed and we are excited about starting to see some real progress over the next few weeks before I end up back at work again.  It is great to see what you have been able to accomplish so far, and is an inspiration.  Keep it up :)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on July 23, 2013, 02:02:21 PM
Thanks for the nice comments !

foundation wise I'm certainly happy- nothing moved this spring- so thats a good sign

Its the part of the house that really needs the most thought and do it right first time yet as its the unseen part

I think for most we tend to first think go cheap and easy- I certainly did.

Yep it set my budget back and the time- but we are happy so far with the investment
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on September 23, 2013, 09:53:27 AM
Well things have been slow this summer, the GC has been busy with two other houses and so we've been busy saving

Finally after 3 bad doors have been sent back we actually have a working front door !

Some log work was added to the kitchen - using some left over logs, so we can have some hanging lights over the kitchen bar

Way diferent views in the summer with the foiliage bright green and bushy.

We leave for Colorado on Friday with a list of things to accomplish - electric-heating-fireplaces to confirm and organise

heres some photograhic evidence of the small summers progress ..

The secret hideaway in the summer...
( (

rigged for party time and lazy hammock afternoons
( (
( (
Kitchen logwork
( (
( (
The door finally !
( (
( (

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 06, 2013, 05:18:56 PM
Well we're a week in- do sticky threads die ?

I feel lonely  :-\

I'm still messing with the electric- the meter was mounted so the back exits hit the bottom plate
so I had to "stretch" the 200 amp input wiring so I could move the panel up

Installed phone / network / 3 way switching /exterior lights

Progress is slow - its a vacation after all- I get easily led astray

The camper is is sufficient for all our needs - so there is no pressure

maybe I should of stuck with the 21 ft one and then the wife would have been forcing me to work - rather than openning the bar at 3 when the sun hits the trailer deck !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Danfish on October 08, 2013, 04:45:23 AM
Looks great! 

It's a DIY project, so no rush...except when the family starts pressuring to move in.  Wish I had a dollar for every time someone ask me for a move in date.

What ever happened to the HOA 6 month build time limit?

Don't you love it when the electrician rough's in a problem for you to fix later?   Assume the meter height was a utility issue.

Keep at it...there is light at the end!!!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 11, 2013, 04:31:05 PM

we had an email pissing contest with the HOA- and they've never complained since
management is due to change and I'm putting myself forward for the design commitee....we'll see how that goes
We are dried in and outside finished accept for railings so we sort fo complied, building season is only 6 months anyway from snow to snow....

Another week gone by- never even started the kitchen carcass project to layout at least a few.

We just had nother two days of rain and snow and had water comming in one of the trailer slides- a rumage arround on the ladder found nothing

Then noticed some trim on the bottom of the slide had moved about 5mm, looks like the caulk failed the water comes in behind the trim makes its way rearward and then down the lower slide into the bedroom .

So removed trim - planed out the expanded wood till it was flat again, it had already popped 6 screw heads

Only had some brown culk so did a bead 1/2" in from the edge and rebuilt the whole lower edge of the popout-

So that wasted another half a day.

Back to the house- the winter change arround got us an upper sun deck, but we were worried about snow buildup so I ordered a decent tarp and built a rough frame under it to make a temporary roof so the snow slides off

We stacked the left over wood up on the deck to protect it, we have a bunch of siding and some posts which we want to save

I had a sparky in to check what I'd done and get an estimate to finish the ground floor- upstairs I've finished but down has zero wires yet

heat guy came too- he quoted for the forced air system and propane furnace

Had the fireplce chap too quote for the wood burning inset............that was scary -over 8KUSD - so thats back burnered for the momement- we may change the framing and do a wood stove !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Huge29 on October 13, 2013, 11:11:06 PM
Looking good!  That is not the ugly roof color I had pictured, looks nice!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Danfish on October 17, 2013, 06:57:03 AM
With respect to the fireplace you indicated you are planning on a propane furnace, why not consider a propane fueled fireplace?  I know EPA approved wood burning fireplace inserts get pretty expensive.  Since you already have the framing you could install a direct vent unit in one day...


Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 09, 2013, 12:19:16 PM
Dan, we'll be doing a gas fireplace in the downstairs large room, but upstairswill be a wood burner

I own 10 acres of aspens on the same mountain- only no road access ! ATV only for now- the GC is going to look into the legalities for me this winter as a home project, he has some experience with solving these problems on the front range in CO, so hopefully we may have a logging house build in a few years !

Anyway back to the build !

Well we had two snow falls while we were there in october, easily a ft on the first one and a little less on the second which held things up a bit.

But we did manage to make some progress

I ran out of wire for mains circuits----thats a 1000ft on one floor plus loft !, but because of the scenic roof and flooring detours have to be made !.

The plumber did zero work from summer to this trip, serves me right for giving him cash before we last left ...lesson learned !

But I subcontracted the forced air heating this trip - so now he has to get a move on

I had some left over beams from the floors- 19 ft long each, the GC was going to use them for blocking.....what a we added two king trusses to the upstairs floor

We completed all the upstairs wiring - network- TV lighting-phone points and sockets which takes us over half way to finishing, downstairs is more simple and should'nt take that long.

finished stretching the meter and main breaker board 3" higher did the box to cavity run and also added a 3" box to crawl space so we have 3 off 3" ducts for wiring downstairs and bringing the 100amp cable upstairs.

By adding a 100amp sub upstairs the wiring is effectly divided in two......and kept running the cables simpler, no dodging up and down stairs......

But downstairs will still need from the crawl space up into the rooms.

Here's some pics of the progress..and of course some exterior snowy shots !

( (
( (
This concerns me a little...the sliding and build up of the snow, I think I'll be needing snow dogs in the valleys to keep the snow in place
the roof is designed for the full 90# sq/ft so It can hold the worst case
( (

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 09, 2013, 12:21:56 PM
The previous day we were in T-shirts on the deck !

I know the front is still boring - we have plans for two sets of shutters as if there are windows on this side- with the redesign the original windows would not work

( (
( (
( (
( (
( (
( (
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 09, 2013, 12:39:23 PM
In regards to it once do it right, try and think of all layouts and future requirements

That goes for TV- Networkcat6-telephone sockets and lighting

doing it at this stage costs in cable- doing it later makes for major dificulties.

I split my mains boards to give me more options- upstairs is a 24 way....I'm up to about 19 circuits !

I'm seperating probably more than I need too, even though the mains for example are all 20amp circuits.

Being used to 20amp 220V in the UK I don't want to be forever resetting breakers !

Running the TV phones speakers and network, I used diferent routes, never running alongside the mains or lighting circuits, although having to cross wires where required.

Work wise I've just been transfered again !  thats the third country move since we bought the property, and this time may slow the project down a little.

We have been transfered to Aberdeen in Scotland and hence we'll be loosing our travel allowance which allowed multiple trips each year, now we may only manage one or max 2 for the next few years, plus we'll be on UK TAX....which at 40% plus national insurance at 15% does not leave you much to play with.

So we'll see how it goes, over the next 6 months to a year and see how the new contract works out.

meanwhile it looks like we might be managing a full month off, taking leave and a couple of unpaid weeks vacation to tide us over to jan 1st otherwise the UK tax man wants my last 9 months taxed we will not be going to the UK till after the 1st of jan..

Just juggling paperwork for visas-passports and doggy rabies titer tests to ensure our mutleys don't spend 6 months in quarenteen on arrival in the UK

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: OlJarhead on November 22, 2013, 12:40:02 PM
Any thought to fiber?  I've often thought that if I built a nice place like this I'd put in a network closet and run fiber to the main areas and offices.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on November 27, 2013, 01:10:12 PM
yes I had concidered it, there's still space too, but I was thinking along the lines of wireless improving to a level where cabling becomes a forgotten technology.

We went from no wireless internet to 4 G in a pretty quick time

even the internet available at the house is not via cable, the local provider has fiber to his base station in mesa further down the valley and microwaves it to the clients

Its the colorado river valley and rather wide up where we are, being a rural area its cheaper for a microwave antenna  than it is for cable...

I'm just bumming the sigan from the cabin next door with permission and it works fine, no worse than cable internet here in Colombia !

So the network cabling is really for distribution and convenience rather than 3D imagery and holochairs 8-)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 11, 2013, 04:09:25 PM

well I thought we were dried in !

we have 2" of snow in the upstairs great room......directly below the apex of the roof, something is off with the ridge vent or cover

Could be blown in, but certainly not right !

we'll be here for three weeks and leave before new year,

heat ducts and furnace is in - have'nt checked the whole install yet

Q for you chaps......The joints in the ducts have been done with duck tape.....and not the silver aluminum issue or not ?

as down the road I'd see the glue dying and the system leaking

Whats the proper sealing method ?
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: CjAl on January 10, 2014, 04:53:32 PM
Lots of times you dont see any sealing tape. Personally duct tape wouldnt fly. You want the foil tape thats made for that.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on April 24, 2014, 09:52:07 PM
build slowed to a stop, hopefully today we will have sold the trailer and have some more cash to throw at the project.

Probably mean we won't be able to go skiing this year, but progress is progress !

lets just hope the cashiers check is good !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on May 05, 2014, 09:08:56 AM
Trailer sold , I knew we'd take a hit but it wasnt that painful
When we look at how many weeks we stayed on site enjoying the mountains and the space, we would have paid more in a 45 buck motel down in town, considering the almost 3 years of ownership.

We recently moved back to the UK with my work and we are currently juggling what we want to do.

We are renting now but are considering buying either a plot or a do it upper, seemingly the UK now only does mortgages until retirement....which makes the payments high as I've only got 16 years to go.

Plus I'm being head hunted by a company down south so it looks like we won't be doing much yet till we make  some serious decisions
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 02, 2015, 09:06:30 AM
mmmm update has been longer than we thought, basicly we never got to CO this year as UK tax's are a killer !

But we got some things done via our general contractor.

So progress - target this year has been to get the property so its usable in winter, this is not to say finished.....just warm !

We had to get electric gas and plumbing signed off before the insulation was allowed to be installed so heres the list for 2014.

Framing inspection complete
500 gal buried propane tank installed and hooked up to house
1000gal septic tank with grinder pump ( today only for storage and yearly pump out) later connects to local pressurised system)
water sewage and electric to where we had the trailer.....going to install a garage at some point ..
Electric rough in complete
Plumbing rough in complete
gas plumbing completed to points
heating hooked up and functioning
basement insulated and PVC sealed in place to stop the dust
walls cellulose filled
batts in the ceiling
sound proofing in the walls.
300gal water storage in the crawl space, pump etc- Not happy with the install, I'll add in some stands under the tanks and pump and make the water flow down hill and not up !
Probably add some heat pads under the flat tanks, but as the crawl space houses the furnace we may be OK,
Water Line ran to road but not hooked up ($5,000 tap fee....rather pay later and keep hauling water)

We managed to wangle to 2 kitchen positions and the complete change of layout from the original submitted plans........permit extension was $35 ...awsome !

heres some proof !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on January 02, 2015, 09:09:39 AM
The inspector allowed our vents to be under the roof, which in high snow country is awsome, no pipes to break off or leak on the roof
RV-hook up, future garage connections
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on June 10, 2015, 09:17:24 AM
Just a quick update to a slow build !

Another winter has passed and another spring runoff.........and zero movement that we can see

thats 3 winters now that has passed with what looks to be no movement or damage to the foundation

So right now I'm very happy with the extra expence we put into the foundation !

Project wise we moved back to the UK in jan 2014 and have not been to the house since then, UK tax and loosing our travel allowance has kept us away financially for the last 18 months and we'll be missing this summer too as I'm presently on a list to lay off at work due to the oilfield turn down.

every day I go to work I wonder if my pass will open the door

So we have to keep ourselves cash flush rather than invest in the house which is  shame as we could have basicly finished the interior this year.

We may just push to get a stove put in this summer as even if I get made redundant this year, we are going skiing !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on June 12, 2015, 09:30:04 AM
Enjoy the skiing!!  A wood burner would make that better.  ;D
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on June 25, 2015, 04:50:43 AM
Thanks Don ! and agree

Yipeeee, at risk status has been layoff for me....least not this year ...fingers crossed oil price stays where it is

Originally we were looking at an Inset, but minds change and we want to fit a stove, sort of like this (

But being as thats in the UK its all brick ! and not 2x's

So I need to research how to turn my inset framing  into an inglenook and make it suitable heat proof !

anyone have a vermont castings defiant ?

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on June 25, 2015, 09:21:09 AM
We had one 30 years ago.
Older non EPA model. We liked it very much!!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: GaryT on December 12, 2015, 11:39:02 AM
I also had a defiant in a home I built back in the early '90's.  Easily heated the entire, open floor plan house, even when it was 30 below (Northern NY).  Loved it.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 13, 2015, 10:32:10 AM
Stove was ordered, but I think the snow arrived  before it was fitted ! Need to call my friend that organised it for me and see where we are.........hopefully they at least got the chimney through the roof !

Ski resort next door opened this weekend, so there's got to be a least 3ft on the ground already ..
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: ECJCO on February 03, 2016, 10:07:35 AM
UK4x4 - So excited to stumble upon this thread. I am a GJ resident and have actually been looking at land up there by Powderhorn for the past few years. You have given me and the family loads to ponder and a ton of good ideas. Thank you for cataloging this, I hope you continue to do so as it is a wonderful resource. As an avid and lifetime skier I agree that Powderhorn is a gem! New lift this year too :) Hope things are going well for you out in Europe. Hope to hear from you or see an update soon! Thanks again, love the progress so far!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on February 04, 2016, 12:21:46 AM
Thanks for the support- sadly with my job change it looks like I won't make it skiing again this year, that's 2 year in a row,

sssshhh dont tell everyone about Powderhorn....

Finding a plot that's dry is difficult up near the resort, many of the cheap plots that sold 2-3 years ago when Steve sold out wilderness and the resort are basically on a river bed come spring
many would be almost impossible to build on, or expensive full piles would be required.

Spring is probably the best time to do a drive around, walk around as all the ground issue areas can be clearly seen, not that zone X has has a stream this year....and wont the following year, but there are obvious wet zones and drier areas

I think if I'd been more careful in considering things we probably should have just got a plot some where closer to Mesa, where there's less snow, easier building plots and allow for crops etc come summer.

Mind you on a crisp snowy day the tranquility of the aspen glens up on the hill make for a wonderous feeling, and in summer when its sweltering in the valley we have cool evenings and sitting outside is bliss.

I have a spare 10 acre plot as well .............sadly sold by an unscrupulous real estate agent which we cant access - beware any of the plots to the west of the resort, the new owners have refused me entry, where as steve would allow entry via bike horse and walkins...

County found me a legal route in, but there's no track, its a machete job in summer and snow show route in winter, but at least its bear free in the winter !

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Watch Ryder on February 07, 2016, 07:16:28 AM
Nothing wrong with a few bears mate, keeps you on your toes! ;)

I lived in Colorado briefly but there was too much red-tape and expense for buying land and going off the grid there. Good to see another Brit giving it a go in the states though. :)
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on March 15, 2016, 04:08:10 AM
Well finally an update !

Had a business trip to houston, and managed to get a few days furlough and got my butt up to Colorado !

First time sleeping in the new house

Got some work done around the cabin, drunk some wine and generally chilled for a few days, one thing that got me was the silence, just no noise at all, it was a bit unnerving coming from a house with 2 dogs daughter and wife and living in a town, only on the third night did some wind get up and provide some soothing tones.

No movement of the foundation was noted, the house is still level as far as my level can see, which is highly gratifying after the expence of the foundation, I do however have a whistle pig hole under my front porch, but pretty sure he'l stop when he gets to the crushed rock.

Got some work done around the place, general tidy up and some quick repairs, snow was pushing on my upper deck posts, and had moved one out facia and all by 2-3 ", that was winched back into place and straped with steel.

The door was never coated so got some teak oil and made a start , only got one side done before the oil ran out, must have been thirsty !

Had some oil based stain so continued and got that a coat on.

Spayed the white plastic furnace vents with brown spray paint....hated those white things sticking out of the wall..

Got the new stove on.....filled with wood and spent 4 nights cooking on it !, I still have insulation removed in the roof ready for inspection but it still kept the house warm, didn't need the furnace when the fire was on.

Put up some studs and made a knee wall in the attic, which will become my daughters hangout space

Cleaned and swept and took out my revenge on the fly population who have moved in during my absence sprayed to death and left some fly papers up for the stragglers

Some of the big planks have shrunk on the outside, I now have the odd gap, but nothing a day and a saw wouldn't fix, quite like the way the timber has darkened, maybe this year or next they'll get re-oiled in a slightly less orange color.

Had the jealous family asking when it was their turn !

Weather was perfect as usual and managed a few afternoons on the slopes, nothing like taking a breather with a view like this !

Snows been busy sliding gently off the roof....and created a beautiful wave
the front door was looking dry so i first oiled it and then stained it

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on March 15, 2016, 05:23:37 AM
Glad to see you got some time there. Also good to hear about the foundation working!

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Colorado Eric on February 07, 2017, 12:26:00 PM
UK 4x4 - Please continue to update us all on this build, absolutely love what you've done so far. I'm actually a Junction resident myself and have been on the hunt for property on the mesa for a few years now, and your build thread has proved invaluable. I was a oil/gas worker myself til prices S*** the bed a few years ago...Been watching the rebound in WTI and Brent with great interest, hoping if prices come back up US companies will start hiring again, in the meantime back to school. We got slammed this winter, don't know if you made it out but whoa, some epic snow conditions, they got feet in days more then once. Anyways, I feel like I'm rambling but wanted to pop in and say hi, I've read this entire thread oh 20 times now, hope all is well over the other side of the pond.

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on February 12, 2017, 01:41:49 AM
Eric, yep been slacking ......I've been laid off too from the oilfield....2 weeks after I booked our tickets for Christmas in co.......which we cancelled hopefully we'll be out there this summer for some fishing.

Been catching up with powderhorns snow on facebook and I often check the webcams to see the weather up at the house...meanwhile I did get some more work done on the house ....just before the brown envelope arrived...

We got the whole house dry lined and the upstairs ceiling covered with T&G......right now project is on hold...due to funds and a new adventure..

I'll probably do the second fix electric etc when I'm out in the summer, decide on what we are going to do with the house, either finish and rent or sell as a blank canvas...we are not sure yet.

Down in mesa the lands easier to build on.....only 10 mins from the lift......up on the hill you have to consider the expense of the foundation......of which I'm happy with the investment we made...still no movement or damage seen to date, but it did add to the build cost over simpler foundations.

Have fun on the slopes !


Anyway some updated pics of this years progress....
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Adam Roby on February 12, 2017, 04:46:04 AM
It looks awesome, I hope things turn around for you this year.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Catahoula on July 24, 2017, 03:53:16 AM
New member living in Colorado.  Like to follow your progress.  We are going to build a small permanent structure ourselves. Just curious I cannot seem to upload your photos am  doing something wrong?
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on August 03, 2017, 10:10:38 AM
No your doing nothing wrong.......photobucket wants 400usd a year to host the photos.....sadly out of my price range so they have all gone sorry any Q's about the process, the land issues etc just ask.

When I have time I'll find a different host and post a selection of the photo's
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: w1ck3tt on September 26, 2017, 08:31:27 AM
I've been using Google Photos (free) to do mine.  You can tag all the photos you take on your phone for specific albums, and share the albums out.  Its working really well for me so far - if its something you wanna try out let me know and I'd be happy to help you with it.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on October 27, 2017, 09:38:12 AM
test for embedded photos
( (

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 16, 2017, 08:57:43 AM
So aftermath of the photobucket saga, I have populated a shared folder in google drive and below is the link to the photo's
there are 3-4 pics of every stage of the build.

If anyone wants more details of particular parts, just post and I will add more photos and description

House is now dry lined and awaiting paint, bathrooms, kitchens etc and second fix on the electrics

Can some one please check to see if the link works for you !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Adam Roby on December 17, 2017, 05:24:23 PM
Link works...  pictures are awesome.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on December 17, 2017, 06:31:37 PM
 [cool]  works!!
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Rys on December 18, 2017, 02:55:02 AM
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: GaryT on December 18, 2017, 02:58:39 AM
Great photos...but this is not the home built on helical piers?
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 18, 2017, 11:07:24 PM
Gary, looked at them along the way, but was concerned about the lack of lateral support, disimilar movement from pier to pier.

The foundation I ended up with is a 4 ft deep drained  crushed rock base under a monolithic single pour waffle grid solid foundation

The whole construction is on the one foundation, it's strong enough to move without breaking.....porches decks and all supported.

If the ground moves ....maybe the house does too.....but stays in one piece !

The joke in the village is that if the mountain moves and the house ends up on the road below, well just put wheels on it and drag it back up !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Alan Gage on October 14, 2018, 01:20:37 PM
Been away from this site for quite a few years but had some time to kill online and wandered back to take a look. I remember you planning this build and the foundation concerns and wonder about it now and again. Was happy to see there has been no movement so far. Too bad you haven't been able to get much time there. Hopefully that will change.

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: Ozark_Lady on December 25, 2018, 03:50:56 AM
Wow! Your home is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing the photos. I am hoping to do a hybrid of traditional framing, with a few logs added to the mix, for my own project. Therefore, I find your photos especially inspiring.

Incidentally, the Hubs and I visit Meeker, CO every year for our annual elk hunting trip. The area around Grand Junction, the Grand Hogback, etc. are all spectacular, and dear to my heart. I commend you on your choice of locale.
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: HillGirl on March 02, 2019, 05:29:03 PM
This story caughty Colorado Hill girl interest!  Reading about little girl and the 'doggie' which turned out to be a grazing deer was just heartwarming!

Hope you're still there all this time later
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on March 10, 2019, 10:53:06 AM
yep my daughter Scarlet, she was probably 5ish at the time, shes eleventeen now !
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: UK4X4 on December 03, 2019, 09:45:27 AM
well after a few years without not even visiting the property, we as a family had many discussions over what to do with the house.

In may this year we had a blind enquiry, who found us on the local tax site, which made us think about selling, come July this enquire did not pan out, but we were sort of ineterested in the thought of selling.

A friend of ours in CO offered to act as our local -sell by owner and it was put up for sale in July.

In my heart I did'nt want to sell, but we are chasing a diferent dream in Spain right now and the trip to Grand mesa for the family would take a huge chunk of my "semi retirement".

Long story short we had an offer in September on the house that we accepted and I flew over to do the paperwork.

The house will be greatly missed and all the help from this site and its members brought it from a dream to a dreams end, the new owner just has to paint and second fix to their desire.

The photobucket crash really ruined this thread and many others, and its dificult to have the heart to re-populate the whole thread. Going back a few posts theres a link to a selection of photos and I'm still available for any questions.

Again I'd like to thank the site and its members over this memorable journey of building a cabin in Colorado with all your help.

My project now is my house in Spain, but its brick and rock rather than a timber built project, so maybe not really aplicable to this site.

I wish you all well and hope that at least the 100's of words here are some value to others who follow in our footsteps.

Kind regards

Paul and Family

Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: MountainDon on December 04, 2019, 06:32:08 AM
Thanks for thinking of us.  It is too bad this dream didn't work out, Paul, but I guess that is a part of what can happen when the economy os connected globally. Good luck with your home in Spain.   Don
Title: Re: Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !
Post by: pmichelsen on December 09, 2019, 07:29:44 AM
Thinking about how hard it can be to find time to visit/work on our cabin 175 miles away, I can't even imagine how hard it would be if it were in a whole other country. Kudos to you for what you were able to accomplish. Best of luck on your next venture.
Templates: 2: Ads (default), Printpage (default).
Sub templates: 4: init, print_above, main, print_below.
Language files: 2: index+Modifications.english (default), Ads.english (default).
Style sheets: 0: .
Files included: 25 - 614KB. (show)
Cache hits: 8: 0.00087s for 35,371 bytes (show)
Queries used: 11.

[Show Queries]