28 X 40 California Redwoods

Started by pmichelsen, March 01, 2011, 12:29:03 PM

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That is a BIG tree!  Just saw your posting...  I think we were up in that area a few years ago - flew into Shelter Cove & stayed for a couple days & then flew somewhere else (can't remember) & rented a car & drove all over - seems like I recall the Eel river... gee, the memory is starting to go,  :D.

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0


Wow, wow, and wow.  What a great location.
New Mexico.  Better than regular Mexico.


Reading through your posts, the remodel constraints reminded me of a house under construction my brother showed me in the bay area when I visited a year back.   It was also a "remodel", and basically consisted of two short corner sections of the house.  The entire rest of the house had been torn down, leaving a small part of the slab and the framed section - maybe 4 feet of wall total.  The way he explained it, the historic regulations and property taxes made it impossible to build a "new" house.  The owners tore the entire house down, including most of the old footings and slab, leaving a small section in the corner, and then rebuilt around it.   They had to keep the same basic footprint of the house, but also had to "remodel" to the new earthquake code.  You all got some strange laws out your way!   ;D ;D
New Mexico.  Better than regular Mexico.


Quote from: Sassy on May 23, 2011, 08:38:15 PM
That is a BIG tree!  Just saw your posting...  I think we were up in that area a few years ago - flew into Shelter Cove & stayed for a couple days & then flew somewhere else (can't remember) & rented a car & drove all over - seems like I recall the Eel river... gee, the memory is starting to go,  :D.

Shelter Cove isn't too far away; my sister and brother in law like to fly up there for picnics on the weekends.


Well after spending almost six days at the property I found it very difficult to come back to reality. Everything is so peaceful up there, just sitting watching nature or listening to the river rush by is very relaxing.

Of course the weekend didn't go by without a few little issues, our water system went down Friday around lunch time. When I tried to fire it back up the pump kept loosing its prime, after a little trouble shooting I was able to pin point a faulty check valve. I was a little worried about trying to track down a 2" check valve being the closest big town was at least an hours drive away. You can imagine my surprise when I decided to just check the garage to see if we had a spare, not only did we have one we had a SCH 80 spare 2" check valve. What are the chances of that. After getting the new check valve installed I thought I had the problem licked, until I came back later in the day to find the pump running constantly and really starting to heat up. It had heated up so much that some of the threaded connections had come undone. Which upset me for two reasons 1) the high temp safety wasn't working properly and 2)the pressure switch wasn't working properly. Once I got everything back together and the pressure switch dialed in we had running water for the rest of the weekend, I am going to look into the high temp switch next time.

I was also able to fix a leaky sink in one of my friends cabins, paint all of the eves on a cabin we repaired earlier in the year after a branch took out the porch, and get my horseshoe pits back in working condition.

We are already planning the next trip up and hopefully we won't have as much rain next time.


Headed up to the property after work today.

Only plans this weekend are to pour some concrete for the horseshoe pits, not really looking forward to mixing 50 80lb sacks of concrete but there will be four of us so hopefully it will go quickly. I am also hoping that I can get started on some of the electrical work for my lights so that this fall we are able to toss shoes after the sun goes down.

And lastly, I hope to spend some quality time at the river kayaking and hanging out in the swimming hole.


Well here is what 20 80lbs sacks of concrete looks like. I could not believe how fast my buddy and I were able to mix 45 80lbs sacks of concrete. We are both so used to working alone we forgot what it was like working with another person. We mixed up 40 sacks for the horseshoe pit pitching platforms (my project) and 5 sacks for the landing to his back stair case off of the deck. Took us about an hour to mix and then another hour or so in finishing work, I am going to leave my forms on until my next trip to really let the concrete cure.

The pads are 6 inches thick with #3 rebar, hopefully they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Now I just need to figure out what media I want to use in the pits, build my light poles, run electrical, and re grade the area around the pits.


Well after a lot of thinking I have decided to quit my job and move on to greener pastures (hopefully). My current employment ends next Thursday and then I gave myself a week off before starting the new gig, and of course I am going to use that week to head up to the property. The downside with starting a new job is that I doubt I will be taking any more vacation this year, the upside is that I will have more money to put into the cabin fund!

While I'm up there I plan to work some more on my horseshoe pits and then really do some planning at the build site. I'm thinking about laying out all of the walls with string line so that I can get a feel for the space and see if any changes need to be made. This is mainly for my other half as I can't seem to convince her that nearly 1200 ft^2 is plenty of room for a cabin.

I'm hoping with the extra money going into the fund that next year I will be able to get my power run to the site and maybe even knock out my foundation. That will mainly depend on whether or not PG&E takes me to the cleaners, I know my father just gave them 5k+ to run an underground line from a pole in his backyard to the panel. Seems a bit like high way robbery if you ask me, especially considering he did all of the hard work, digging the trench and laying the pipe. It would be much cheaper to go over head with the line but with the amount of trees in the path I would much rather have it under ground, plus I think it looks A LOT better.


making mistakes along the way and wishing Ide been here sooner :)


NYSE&G told me 500 ft free, 12.50 a foot after that, plus 300 per property in between for a utility easment. I wanted to go off grid anyway.


Just to really make you sick here is a picture of how far PG&E ran the wiring. The new meter location is where I was standing when I took the picture and you can see how far the pole is. 5k doesn't go very far in CA, and my fathers requirements were much to great to even consider solar. And I could go overhead at my property however I don't like the look of overhead lines and with the amount of limbs that fall each year it would be a lot of hassle. Hopefully PG&E won't clean me out nearly as bad as my father but I am going to be ready for it either way.


wow! that is robbery!

Wisconsin power co wants $4 / foot for an improved lot and $6 / foot for unimproved.

Problem for me is I'm 2000' feet or so down a private road from where the power is today... not to mention prob. 300' up from the edge of my lot to the probable building site.

I'm not building for a few years... hoping that the the owners of the other raw land near me bring power down my way. Will be taking a serious look at solar too.

Interesting looking building in the background. The continuous roof looks like it spans two different buildings.

ps. those are some serious pits!
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0


That building in the back is a seedy motel, hence the massive fence my dad and I built along the back. This property is next door to my parents home and has a small house on 3/4 acres. Here are a few pics of the lot after my dad removed the 20+ dying trees and then one of the bar my dad set for my horseshoe pit (note that was right after he planted the grass, it is much thicker now). You can see why I am going all out on my pits, I can't let him show me up  ;D.


Wow, your dad did a great job on the yard, it looks great!


Well we just returned from a trip up to the property, like always a small project like building a simple two foot retaining wall turned into a major ordeal. While digging the post  holes I ran into some major roots, one of them being two feet in diameter. Luckily I had packed my Sawzall, and a good sized digging bar, and after fighting them for two days I was able to break through. Unfortunately I had to modify my plans slightly and space the posts a little further apart than I would have liked but in the end I think it turned out alright, after all this was just for my horseshoe pit.

We even had time to take in some swimming and fishing, because that's what having property on the river is for! Here are some pics of the finished project. All I have left now is to run electrical and weld up my light poles so that we can play after dark. The steel is on order now all I need to do is find the time.


Headed up to the property in two weeks with some friends, doubt I will be able to sneak any work in as we are going to celebrate a friend's birthday. Though I'm sure we will get in some fishing and weather permitted I have a little 7-8 mile kayaking trip planned. I had hoped to break ground this year but it's looking like my cabin money is going towards a new truck in the next month or so, plus work has kept me pretty busy.

The good news is that this time next year I should have a decent pile of cabin cash to hopefully knock out my foundation. And who knows maybe my stocks will really make me some money this year and I can cash in.


Good luck!

If you don't mind me asking... how much do you figure you need to get started?  (I'm wondering how much I need to get started...)

Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0


Well my case is probably different than most here because of my electrical needs and the type of foundation I am doing.

- I believe I mentioned before that to run my electrical from the power pole to my build site is going to set me back $8-10k, and because I am building under the radar I must have all of this work completed before I can even start anything on the cabin.

- Once I have my electrical squared away I can move on to my foundation which will be a stem wall, along with the stem wall I will also be pouring concrete columns in the four corners and at the mid points. I will utilize rebar cages that will also be tied into the rebar used for the stem wall. I think I am going to go down around six feet for each column. Reason for all of this is that I have concerns with the earth shifting as my build site is at the edge of a hill. Better safe than sorry, and in my family we tend to over build things. I estimate the foundation to set me back around $8k.

So before I can do ANYTHING I need to spend the $8-10k for electrical then after that the additional $8k, so I'm looking at around $16-18k to get going. Unfortunately my requirements and build site don't really allow for off grid so there isn't much I can do about the price for electrical, that is what our public utility is charging. And that is with me doing all of the work, digging the ditch, installing the conduit, etc. all they are doing is running the wire and signing off.


Good thing my father has a good head on his shoulders, tossing around some ideas to avoid the massive PG&E bill for running my power we devised a plan. Instead of putting my meter next to my build site and having PG&E run the electrical out there. I will now place my meter next to the power pole and run my own electrical out to the build site. That means all PG&E has to do is run power down the pole to my meter, this also means no more 40" trench for electrical I can now do it at the standard 18".

So now I will build a stand for the meter and then build a second one at my build site with my sub panel. I still have to meet with PG&E and the county to make sure they are alright with this plan but I don't think they will have a problem. And of course all of this is to get power to our "pump"..


Headed up to the property on Friday for a nice long weekend. Along with me is 200' of conduit and a bunch of wire.

Plan for this weekend is to finish installing the conduit from my buddies cabin to our horse shoe pit and get all of my pull boxes installed so that once I weld up my light poles we can drop them in and run the wire. I only need to dig another 100' so I should be able to knock that out pretty quick over the weekend.

If I have extra time I will begin to move debris out of my way and start digging the trench over to my build site to prepare for the electrical to run out there. I'm still on the fence as to whether I am going to dig that by hand or contract it out to someone. I would rent a ditch witch and do it myself but I am concerned with the amount of rock and roots and I would rather someone else risk their equipment rather than me screwing up a rental and be stuck. I figure guys up in the area that do that type of work know what they're getting into. Other option would be to buy a back hoe attachment for my Bobcat, decisions decisions.


Now those are some real horseshoe pits.  Great job.
Would love to see pictures of the lighting for the pits when you complete it.
Beautiful place you have there- looking forward to seeing more of your progress.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln


Well like most work trips go I didn't get as much done as I had anticipated, but I am happy with the progress...

Saturday: Slept in and didn't get started until almost 9:00am, went out to the site and started digging from where I had left off over memorial day. Unfortunately digging with a shovel is just not possible due to the amount of rock and hard soil. So it was a little bit at a time with the pick ax followed up with a clean out using the shovel. By about 11:00 I saw my buddies kids stirring about so I knew he wouldn't be too far a long, they didn't arrive until around 1:30am the night before so I cut him some slack. We dug for a good few hours and were able to get 25 feet to full depth (18") and another 15 feet to 6". After that we ate lunch and headed to the river for lounging and swimming.

Sunday: I was out digging at 8:00 and was able to get the 15 feet from Saturday down to full depth and another 10 feet to full depth. My buddy came down and was in good spirits so I had high hopes, at this point we still had another 75 feet to dig. After a few swings of the pick ax my buddy realized that while his body was ok his hands were a whole different story. So we began to look around for other options and we came to the conclusion that we either needed to buy/rent a roto hammer with a spade bit or do something with our Bobcat (the Bobcat has a major hydraulic leak). After making some calls we found a few places open and decided to hit the road. First stop was to pick up 5 gallons of hydraulic fluid from there we were trying to find a place that had a roto hammer. Sadly after checking three towns we gave up and came back. We filled up the Bobcat with fluid and started it up, it was leaking pretty good but we decided to monitor it closely and go for it. Our plan was to position the bucket straight down so that the teeth were in line with the trench and then skid side to side. Doing this we were able to get another 50-60 feet down to 12" and we called it a day.

Monday: Today was the day my buddy and his family were headed home so I knew I didn't have a lot of time with him. I got out there early and dug everything we had started to full 18" depth. Even though we still had another 15-20 feet to dig I decided to cut my losses and work on getting all of my conduit installed in what we had dug so that I could use everyone to help burry the trench. By the time my buddy came out I was gluing conduit and getting ready to burry. With his help, along with his three kids and my significant other we were able cover up our three days of hard work. Sure is a lot easier to fill the trench than it is to dig it.

I have already taken off a Friday in October so that I can work another solid three days. The plan for that weekend is to dig the remaining 15-20 feet and dig my two post holes down to 4 feet deep. Ideally I will install my posts too but I don't want to get carried away. Even if I do get the posts installed I don't want to try and pull wire alone so I would have to come back anyway.

Wow that was pretty long winded and I don't even have any pictures to show for it. I promise to add some photos once I get home from work.


Here are a few shots from labor day weekend.

This one shows when we stopped for a sandwich break:

This picture is after we had buried all of the conduit, I added a box here so that I could add other things in the future:

And finally the spot we stopped, hopefully in a month I will add pictures of it all wrapped up:


Serious horseshoers going on here!
Quote from: duncanshannon on September 22, 2011, 09:58:41 AMProblem for me is I'm 2000' feet or so down a private road from where the power is today... not to mention prob. 300' up from the edge of my lot to the probable building site.

I'm not building for a few years... hoping that the the owners of the other raw land near me bring power down my way. Will be taking a serious look at solar too.
Why not approach the neighbors then approach the utility together?  That may result in not duplicating efforts, ensuring the trunk line is large enough for everyone and potentially more help in them seeing higher volume of sales??