Author Topic: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed  (Read 35333 times)

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Offline Sassy

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2011, 02:16:49 PM »
Like the way you did that HoustonDave.  Looks really pretty.  Being on higher ground is probably better, what w/all the flooding this year around the country. 

Know what you mean about the "creakier" state...  I'm there already but still get around our property pretty good.  We hardly have any flat land - it's all hills & our house is lots of stairs for lots of levels.  Keeps me in somewhat of good shape  d*

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Offline duncanshannon

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2011, 04:55:59 AM »
can you tell us (me?) about how you mapped your property?  Id like to do the same thing for my land... or perhaps part of it.  I have 9 acres and i want to better lay out where the parts that i 'see' are relative to the aerial maps.  Putting some of the elvetation changes on there would be sweet too.

id like to be able to step back and look at the elevation, features etc. to help create a site plan.

Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
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Offline HoustonDave

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #52 on: July 30, 2011, 06:50:17 AM »

The easiest and most expensive way is to hire someone, which I did not do.  I'm not sure I would attempt my method (at least not to that level of detail) for anything much bigger than 2 acres.  Any professional surveyor will laugh his a** off at me, so be forewarned.   :D

This took me two full days with two people for 1.5 acres to do the ground work, and another 8-16 hours at the computer.  I would not try this for 9 acres at the detail level I did.

1)  Mark off the corners of your property with solid stakes/posts/pegs.  If you actually have 90 degree corners, then you are golden otherwise it adds additional fun.  In my case, it was not square but ONE corner had a 90 degree angle.

2)  At your property pick a corner that is closest to a 90 degree angle.  Using a compass and (depending on distance and desired accuracy) either pace out or measure out the distance and direction to all your corner markers.   (If you have an accurate survey of the bounds, this step is already done for you.)  If you have a clear line of sight and some sort of laser rangefinder, better for you.  I went low-tech. I used a 300' tape measure and calculated angles.  I should have used a compass...would have been easier. So now you should have something like From P1 walk 511' at 273 degrees to P2, then walk 629' at 221 degrees to P3 etc.... If your property is small enough, you can measure across from opposing corners to confirm accuracy too.

3) Decide how accurate you want this.  For me, because I only have 1.5 acres and there are setbacks, gullies, big trees to keep, and limits on septic system placement I wanted it pretty accurate.  So I set my grid at 20' squares.  I started out trying 10' squares and then decided I was nuts.  

4)  Set one of your property lines as your baseline and measure off distances and set a marker flag at each increment.  Again, we used 20' increments so from one corner we had flags at 20', 40', 60', 80', etc.  For speed, one person held the tape and the other set the flags.  

5)  If you have an actual 90 degree corner here you are in luck, otherwise, measure out a 90 degree corner.  Set flags out at increments along this line as well.  Again, we did it every 20'.

6)  Square off the far corner of whatever size area you are going to map.  Now you have a square marked out on the ground that corresponds to the lines on your graph paper.  Start laying down a grid on the ground.  To minimize error, I would half it, then half that, etc.  For instance, I had a 300' x 300' square.  I had marked the southern and eastern boundaries first.  Then I marked the northwest corner.  I went 140' down and set flags to cut that 300'x300' square about in half.  Then I went to the 60' mark and did it again.  When you get through with this, you will end up with a grid of flags on the ground (mine was 20' squares).

7)  Take a piece of graph paper.  Take that starting corner as your reference mark and mark off the grid on the paper.  Draw out the property boundaries on the graph paper.  I used about 1"=40' for mine, but you will pick your scale based on how large an area you are doing. At this point, you aren't as concerned about where due north is, you are just looking for relative angles and distances.

8 )  To keep from losing track of "where you are" I actually took a sharpie and numbered the flags (for example 20' over and 20' down was 20,20...20 feet over and 80 feet down was 20, 80 etc)

9)  Now go to the first square on the ground.  Take that graph paper and eyeball what major features are in there and sketch them on that square on the graph paper.  By that I mean big rocks, big trees, ridges, gully bottoms, creeks, big holes, ledges, etc.  When you are done with this, you will have a sketch that looks something like this:

10) Now find a landmark either on your property or as nearby as you can get that is VISIBLE on Google Maps or similar satellite imagery.  I used both Google Maps and USGS maps (links below).  In my case, it was a concrete driveway down the road that was visible.

11) Measure the distance and direction (somehow) from that landmark to one or more (more is better) corners of your property.

12)  Now you have both a map of your property, and a reference point on a satellite photo.  I prefer to use the USGS maps because they show both satellite imagery and rough contour lines.

You can do the next steps in different ways, but here's how I did it:

13)  Take that sketch you did on graph paper and draw it out in some sort of graphics program like Visio or Sketchup that will allow you to do accurate distances and right angles.  Both Sketchup and Visio let you do layers that you can hide and lock.  I drew mine out first in Visio because it lets me set a scale and a grid to snap to.

14)  Once you get your sketch into the software, LOCK it.  

15)  Now do a screenshot/screen capture of USGS satellite photo, MAKING SURE the screenshot includes the scale bare (1" = 300', though trying to get same scale as your sketch is helpful.

16)  Turn on the CONTOURS layer in the USGS photo on and do another screen capture (don't zoom in or out, you want the same size and area)

17)  Put the image WITH contours in a graphics editor like Paint, Photoshop, Gimp, or similar and using the direction of north and your measurements, plot out that reference marker and your property boundaries on that screen capture of the satellite photo.

18)  So now copy and paste that image into the program where you did your sketch.  You will then put it BEHIND your locked sketch.  You now have two items there, your sketch with boundaries shown, and a photo capture showing landscape
paste and move it BEHIND your sketch in the software.

19)  Resize and rotate the photo until the property boundaries on the photo match the ones you sketched from your grid.  Now you have your sketch overlayed on the photo image that shows rough contour lines.  Typically those contours are only about 10' increments and are approximations.

Now you can start adding contour details of your own.  I usually draw my own contour lines matching the one in the photo first, then adjust some of the points based on what I actually saw on the ground.  This is because those USGS maps won't record a 5' deep gully at all since they are doing 10' increments.

Clear as mud?  Maybe I should make a thread on this and do step by step example images if anyone is crazy as me and wants to do it.

Here is the link to the USGS site.

They have maps where you can turn PDF layers on and off to show or hide contours.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 06:48:26 PM by HoustonDave »
My lakefront cabin project in East Texas

Offline HoustonDave

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #53 on: July 30, 2011, 08:39:48 AM »
Almost forgot. The steps for importing the final map into Google sketchup and creating a 3D version is a bit complicated. I'll have to put that in later. But you can search "Google Sketchup" sandbox contour and find some tutorials.
My lakefront cabin project in East Texas

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #54 on: July 30, 2011, 06:38:26 PM »
Crimoney, Dave .... that made my head hurt just reading it.  [ouch]

Nice job and thanks for the explanation. :)
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Offline HoustonDave

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2011, 06:51:26 PM »
Heheh...I think it needs more visuals.

If anyone really wants the detail, please let me know and I'll make some graphics so you can actually understand what I wrote above.  But don't ask the question less'n you really want the answer (grin).
My lakefront cabin project in East Texas

Offline CjAl

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Re: 20x34 East Texas Lakefront - Phase 1 8x14 Shed
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2011, 02:08:32 PM »
Hope you make it back soon.

Were the lots in woodville over in ivanhoe? Thats where im building. The drought has everything shut down up here


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