house in the pocono mountains

Started by pocono_couple, May 26, 2009, 11:28:24 AM

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thanks devildog..   not a carolina dory,  but a gloucestor light dory.. phil bolger is the designer.. my son and i built it a few years ago..  that happens to be my other hobbie, but i have sworn off boatbuilding until the house is done!  ( or at least very close to being done. my wife needs a kayak ... )


I want to build my own as well ,18' carolina dory from but decided to wait till after I was done building
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


hi devildog - i have not seen that boat plan web site before.. good luck with the project.   the huge difference between a house and a boat is that you will be cutting a lot of straight lines with the house and all curves with the boat!   i checked out your page - when will you begin the actual construction?


Hi P-C Can I ask a few questions?

First off great job on the stairs, that must of been a head scratcher!

How did you move your shed?  I moved a 9x20 back 10 ft, used beams and metal pipes, but it looks like you moved your along way ???

What is this bleach oil for your shingles?  Is it grey colored? They look wicked good.

Where did you live in New England?  In NH?
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"--Henry Ford       Just call me grasshopper Master Po.


hi secordpd  -   the stairs - they did take some patience :)   thanks....    when the excavator came to put in the septic field, he put a big strap around the base of the shed and dragged it out back.   there was  a little damage, but nothing extensive, and it will be easily fixed - once i get around to it -  that repair does not figure highly on my priority list right now, as you can imagine.   we built the shed on skids, knowing that it would be moved because its original location was right on top of the septic field..
   the bleaching oil is a cabot's product.  I am hoping to dip the shingles before i put them on the house.  I have read a lot about the reaction of cedar with the tyvek , and it does not sound good.  the solution is to back prime, so the easiest way to handle that is to dip the shingles before hanging them.   I learned about the bleaching oil when i worked on a job with some friends up in nh.. we lived in the lakes region - wolfeboro. 
i like the effect - they will continue to turn gray, but in a somewhat even process, and the oil offers some protection.  we will let them weather from this point, however. 


pocono c, we're going up the last week in july to stay in a cabin down the road. at that time( we've got 6 days), im going to apply for building permit,and hopefully get well, septic, and alittle area cleared for the house. and within a month after that start foundation. Im a big procrastinator though, so we'll see what happens
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


So I've read, the solution to problems with cedar and tyvek is coating the back of wood.  I was just reading the article in my Fine Homebuilding mag,  It was the 25th ann issue.  I try to reread them as a lot of times I forget all that good info.  It's the same article that Paul Fisette from UofMass wrote about house wraps.  Here's a link to article.  It's probably the same theory why Scott used felt over house wrap.  But if your building your house and doing it correctly then there shouldn't be as many problems I would think.

Heres the link  Making sense of house wrap

It was written in 2006
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"--Henry Ford       Just call me grasshopper Master Po.

John Raabe

Nice job pocono_c - looking great! Even the garden shows careful work pays off. :D :D :D

That Fine Homebuilding article is a good overview. In wet climates I would suggest stripping the Tyvek sheathed walls with 1/4" vertical strips under horizontal cedar siding. That will break the contact between the siding and the Tyvek and allow for drainage. It probably won't mess up the flashing or trim on the windows. In dryer climates this isn't much of an issue - only where siding can be saturated for extended periods.

I couldn't find the dimensions of the main house. And is that a platform framed 2nd floor wall with the rafters taking off just over the window tops and a rafter tie at the ceiling height? Doesn't look balloon framed like my 1-1/2 story design.

Coming along nicely at any rate. [cool]
None of us are as smart as all of us.


Felt is pretty high tech. Have you ever noticed when it's wet is gets baggy and when dry it pulls up taught? Paper is after all just wood fiber and you are seeing it swell and shrink with changes in moisture content. When tarpaper is wetted the asphalt impregnated fibers absorb some water, swell and slam into each other tightly. Since they are coated in tar they block the passage of liquid water. As it dries out it releases that stored water, shrinks and opens up passages where vapor can pass thru. None of the synthetics can do that nor can they store and release a small amount of water so any small amounts that get through are wetting something else. The downsides to felt are that sun tears it up pretty fast and it tears in the wind. So it is best to install it as you go.

John Raabe

Yes, the more I see the alternatives the more respect I have for good old tarpaper.

For durability, when left exposed to light and wind, our little 10x14 Little House cabin is still unsided. It has now had 9 years of exposure with stapled 15# tarpaper. The felt has pulled away from the staples a bit and it is showing its age but no leaks and no ripped off sections!

On the other hand, our 1987 addition to the main house was sided with Tyvek and the same horizontal cedar siding that the main house (using 15# tarpaper) had installed four years earlier. When I recently replaced some damaged boards on the south side of the addition the Tyvek below it just fell apart - it had no physical integrity left at all. Doing the same thing to the older part of the house the felt looks fine and it still intact. Neither the felt nor the Tyvek were left exposed very long during construction.
None of us are as smart as all of us.


the second floor is platform framed.  the wall height is just under 7 feet, and the collar ties are about 10 feet.   With a 12/12 pitch, that still leaves standing head room in the middle of the attic ( for a short person :)    - so that is giving us some good storage space.   the dimensions of the house are 20 wide by 26 deep.  the porch on the front is 8 feet wide, and we will put an enclosed porch on the back that is 16 by 12 feet. 
  i guess that we will stay with the tyvek for this project.. but i would definitely consider going with plain old tar paper on the next one!
     my wife and I were reviewing our entire post this evening.. she correctly pointed out that she is going to have to check my spelling before i submit anymore posts!  I guess that i get a little too carried away at times and forget to edit!


That's pretty interesting about the tyvek deteriorating that bad John.  I've read about pressure washing with detergents compromising the integrity, but never heard that it fell apart...just makes me put another check next to the felt in the pros column. 

I just see hundred year old houses with the felt still in tack, and think about how some times it's better to stick with the tried and true. 

Sometimes that's good, but sometimes when new building technology is better, and it gets bypassed because of that 'tried & true' attitude, (ex. insulation) that's unfortunate also...
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"--Henry Ford       Just call me grasshopper Master Po.


I used a product called Typar. It is more resistant to the suns UV's than the other stuff and does deteriorate like the other stuff does. I've had the Typar on since last fall and it shows no signs yet. Check out my thread for pics. Pete
Pittsburgh Pa for home

Tionesta Pa for Camp


A few years back, while doing renovations to my house in Mpls (built circa 1927), I had to remove parts of the stucco exterior to install new windows, etc.  The tarpaper that had been used behind the stucco, covering the horizontal pine board sheathing was still in good shape - as was the sheathing.  I'm sure the tarpaper was exposed to considerable moisture as the stucco was being applied originally, but it survived fine and prevented the pine boards from absorbing enough moisture to cause deterioration.  I've done several roofing jobs over the years using asphault shingles, and prefer using 30# felt as underlayment, rather than the usual 15#.  It's a little more expensive, and heavier to handle, but stands up to rain and foot traffic much better if the roofing job takes a few days.


Quote from: pocono_couple on June 18, 2009, 02:10:11 PM
We decided that we really could not wait to plant a garden till the house was done...

Hey, pocono_couple -

I'm so happy to see that someone else has their priorities straight!  We have two tiny cabins and an enclosed rose garden, which we've built while waiting for money to fall from the sky so we can begin the real house.  Of course, it helps a lot that we're living across the road from our own land.

And add us to the tarpaper fan club.  Our little front-porch-with-a-tarpaper-shack-on-it has weathered its first upstate NY winter like a champ, and has only recently acquired a bit of real live siding (and windows, since this photo!):

Your place is looking beautiful, by the way.  I really appreciate the info about the bleach oil, which has been squirrelled away for future reference.  I picked up 10 boxes of cedar shakes three years ago, but of course we're quite a way from using them.    

Keep the photos coming!
The Chronicle of Upper Tupper
This place was made by doing impractical things we could not afford at the wrong time of year.   -Henry Mitchell


hi woodsprite,  we checked out your blog.. very interesting reading!  i tried to leave a comment on it, but was unsuccessful, so i sent an email to your acct here at country plans.     it is nice to see that your garden is doing well!  it looks like tomorrow will be sunny, so i should be back to the house, and maybe it will be a good time to add a couple of pics..
  right now, we are working on the deck in the back which we will use to reach the higher points in the back.  a few more windows and a door on the back and we will be entirely closed in.   i think that the electric panel will be next so that i don't have to keep running a generator.  it will be nice to have peace and quiet once again! 


we have not had very good weather for taking pics, but here is the garden.  things are progressing pretty well.  i am afraid that the squash is going to take over half of the box!


Here is a pic of the side porch.  I have been trying to figure out the best roof configuration.  I think that i will end up with a regular gable roof ( as opposed to a shed or hip roof)  just in case we end up expanding out this way some day in the future.  we could then  easily use this as a connection. 


here is what i have been working on most recently.   I was hoping to put  two four foot wide barn style doors in the basement ( just in case i built a big boat down there).  but, we decided to close that in and install a regular door and a window instead.  the deck is going to be 16 feet wide by 12 feet deep.  We are leaning on closing this in as a screened porch so I have been doing some research on screened porches.  I know that I will loose a fair amount of light in the kitchen where we happen to be putting in a very nice window.   I am wondering about making the outer wall 9 feet high with some  tall openings so that light will still get to the kitchen.  any ideas are welcome.  I have a little time to mull this open because it isn't going to happen tomorrow!  ( but maybe next week :)  )


The deck ledger needs a flashing behind it that will lap over the siding below, that flashing needs to extend up above the ledger, then another flashing needs to go above it and over the ledger to kick water out. That upper flashing is tucked under the future tyvek above. The ledger also needs to be bolted to the wall adequately. This is a link to a good deck construction guide,


Wow looks great! Nice job! I like the garden too!  ;D


thanks Bishop!  the credit for the garden goes to my wife.  she has been the driving force behind it.  we are all looking forward to some zucchini muffins...
   don, thanks for the comments and the link.   I  have flashing in place along the top of the ledger.  the next layer of tyvek will cover it on the wall side.   I also used half inch lag screws in the ledger.  I will go back and add through bolts of the same diameter.  the whole deck will be closed in and covered by a shed roof within a short period of time so i am not quite as concerned about the flashing below the ledger, although, I can see how that would be important if we were leaving it as an open deck. 


You're really making some good progress!  Garden looks healthy & beautiful surroundings   8)

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


thanks, sassy.  we hope to add to the garden over the years.  i checked out your blog.  it looks like you guys are doing some pretty cool things!

glenn kangiser

I bet that squash will take over a lot more than the box.  Looking good.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

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