Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !

Started by UK4X4, September 28, 2010, 11:03:54 AM

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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!!!



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 !


Looking good!  That is not the ugly roof color I had pictured, looks nice!


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...


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


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


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


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.


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-)


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 ?


Lots of times you dont see any sealing tape. Personally duct tape wouldnt fly. You want the foil tape thats made for that.


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 !


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


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 !


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


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 !


Enjoy the skiing!!  A wood burner would make that better.  ;D
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


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 ?


We had one 30 years ago.
Older non EPA model. We liked it very much!!
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


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.


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 ..


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!


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 !

Watch Ryder

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. :)


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