house in the pocono mountains

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

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I think more people should share pics of their gardens. Its especially relevant in this day and age with peak oil  ( and the cough* - depression were in). I can't wait to work on mine.


we are making some progress on the back of the house.  this evening we put the final windows in place ( although i might add one more in the back to give that attic some natural light)   These were pretty big windows.  I am glad that they are in place!  Next item on the agenda is to put the permanent posts in for the deck and to finish putting the decking down.  I think that project will have to wait till next week!


Great progress.  Wow, thats pretty high staging there...your brave!  Are you screening that deck in or making it a 'sun room'?  Is it going to be heated or conditioned. 
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"--Henry Ford       Just call me grasshopper Master Po.


thanks secordpd,  it is pretty high.. and we have not yet reached the peak!  i am planning on closing it in and making a screen porch for the time being.  later on, we will add windows and heating - most likely a wood stove.   along with the benefit of having some extra space, i am planning on using the roof to make it easier to access the top of the building.   that should help out as we get closer to the top.   


I like your newly installed large windows.  They appear to be fixed, is that right?

Since I am trying to decide which windows should open vs. fixed, I am interested in your rational.  I would like the cost savings and less potential leakage of the fixed window, but..... :-\


Quote from: pocono_couple on June 26, 2009, 10:45:18 AM
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! 

Hey, p_c...we're finally back from a little tour, and I've answered your lovely pm.  You (and the squash) have made a lot of progress while we were off galavanting!  Love those windows...

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


thanks, poppy.  the windows are actually casement windows..  it will be interesting to see how they perform over the long term.  My understanding is that, from an efficiency standpoint, casement windows are the best option for an operating window.   We decided that we would not spare expense when it came to windows, so I went with the 400 series anderson windows with wood trim on the interior ( we are using as much wood as possible).  These had to be on the large side because of the egress requirements. 
  when we first started, we were considering another cape style cottage, and i wanted the windows to look as old as possible.  I was hoping to use wood windows with a single pane of glass..  the code officer set me straight on that!    we are expecting to have a hint of victorian trim on this house.  I am currently researching the exterior trim for the windows.  we will see what we settle on...


Thanks for the explanation on the windows.  That gives me more options to consider.

I am trying to buy windows at auctions and on craigslist.
Casement windows come up for sale sometimes and may just work for some of my applications.


Hi everyone!  it has been a while since we have had any new pics to add.   August was dedicated to traveling - we took  a 2 1/2 week camping trip up through the 1000 islands and on into Canada.  Quebec City was great - then we saw a lot of wilderness ( a whole lot) but, unfortunately, no moose - my wife was disappointed about that..  then on to Prince Edward Island where we did some great bike riding along with the typical Anne of Green Gables tourist activities..  then to Campobello Island for a quiet and more secluded setting - and a great whale watch..  Acadia was next.. more great bike riding and a beautiful camp site ( although, the girls were aghast that there were no showers at the national park campground.. )  along with some great hiking - we loved the "Bee Hive"    a few nights in Camden, ME, and then on to spend the last few nights with some friends on lake Winnipesaukee in NH.   It is not too often that we will be able to  find a chunk of time like that to spend with my step-daughters, so we figured that the house could wait!   by the time we got back to PA, it was time for an annual trip back to Maine to Chewonki with 25 ESL students ( this was the sixth year for this trip).  This represents the beginning of the school year for me, and, even though I convince myself each year that I will have time to sneak out to work on the house during the fall, it just does not happen! 

So, here is an update on what we were able to accomplish over the last 6 months.    I finished the deck on the back of the house.  This included digging holes and pouring concrete and then putting permanent 6x6 posts in place ( i had temporary posts in place when i started the deck)    We have determined that we will close this deck in as a screened porch and then, ultimately winterize it and use it as a den. 

Over  Thanksgiving  we put a roof on the side porch.  My son was visiting, and he helped me to start the framework for the roof over the front porch.   I will use this as a platform to work from as I put the final touches on the trim  on the front of the house before we actually install the roof.     The code enforcement officer stopped by to check things out.  He had one minor recommendation, and he was very helpful as we talked about the next couple of jobs to be done.

We thought that we might do some traveling over Christmas break, but stayed home insread.  it turned out to be a very productive time.  I got about 90% of the wiring completed.  After making a mess of wood chips all over the second floor,  my wife joined me for a day and worked on reorganizing and cleaning the second floor so that i could continue the drilling on the first floor..   

I have a few more circuits  to run on the first floor and then i can begin to hook things up in the basement.  i have yet to install the service, but the conduit is run and ready to go..  any hints or thoughts about installing the service and main panel would be appreciated..   I think that i have all of the material that i need at this point, along with sketches from the local power company..

In the basement, i am putting an inch of styrofoam on walls and then putting strapping ( furring strips) over that.. followed by a 2x4 wall with fiberglass insulation..  the walk-out portion of the basement is studded with 2x6's so that will have regular 5 1/2 insulation in it.   one wall is complete, so i only have 2 more to do..

I have been in touch with AIM to discuss radiant heat  and "boiler in a box"   it looks like we will go with propane for our major source of heat as well as for cooking..     that is about it for now.. i am looking forward to march break so that i can get out there and back to work!  In the meantime, I am going to begin to work on some of the cabinetry..      here are some updated pics...

I just took these this morning.. beautiful day, isn't?     What you can't tell from the pic is just how cold it is!!


You've done a beautiful job on the house.  And the setting is gorgeous - specially with all the snow - what's the temp?  Will this be your fulltime home?

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


thanks, Sassy.   the high today is 20 with a low of 8 tonight..  of course, the wind was blowing this morning, so it was a biting cold..   for the time being, this will be a second home.. not that we have a first home..  i teach at  a boarding school, and we have an apt in one of the dorms..  this, of course, enables us to work at our leisure.. but, after 10 years in the dorm, it will be nice to have a place that we can really call home, even if we don't live there full time!


ok folks,  it is time to solicit some feedback regarding a heating system.   the plan calls for a wood stove with the chimney on the side of the house.  This would require a pretty high chimney in order to exceed the ridge line.  We bought a stove, but the local stove dealer advised that a metal chimney on the side of the house would be exposed to snow sliding off the roof and might not last one season.   So, we stored the stove and planned on putting in a gas stove which would require just a vent pipe sticking out of the side of the house.   We then researched a variety of heating systems, including radiant in the floor, which we like a  lot, but which will need supplemental heat on really cold days..  so we are back to square one -  perhaps the biggest factor in all of this is that we want to finish the house on a pay-as-we-go basis which means not going in debt to install a $8,000- $10,000 heating system. 

  our goal at this point is to use the house during the summer and two to three days a week during the rest of the year.  if we need to, we can shut the plumbing down and not use the house during the winter, at least for the next few years.  I am convinced that we could be comfortable with just the wood stove for 8 months of the year, and further discussions revealed that we really should be able to install a metal chimeny on the side of the house with appropriate support. 

so, let's assume that we install the wood stove and are content for 8 months of the year.. what inexpensive options do we have to keep enough heat in the place to keep things from freezing from Nov - March.    or, would it be better to simply drain the pipes and shut it down for that period?   the house is approx 1000 square feet with 2x6 construction.   10 inches of insulation in the ceiling.   the basement is well insulated ... thanks for your thoughts!


Ive been trying to figure out what kind of heat and a/c I might use, inexspensive of course. these are a couple Im considering, theyre not $8,000-10,000.


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


why not run the woodstove pipe in the house (metalbestos) and out through the roof? 


thanks for the link, Darrell.  i have looked at the rinnai gas heaters.. the quote at the local dealer was $3500.  the monitor is a little more reasonable, but i have heard that the rinnai is more dependable..  of course, i could buy two monitors for the $3500 !

cbc58 - inside would be ideal.. it is a pretty small house, however, and i would have to give up a closet in the bedroom to accomodate the chimney.. I don't think that i can get away with that since closet space is at a minimum already..   

thanks for the thoughts!


Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Quote from: MountainDon on January 23, 2010, 03:26:10 PM
Re: Monitor heaters. FWIW,

Scary site. Seems that he's claiming the heaters he works on are crappy products? Very weird marketing strategy.

Or perhaps that's not what he's saying at all... I can't really tell.  ;D


maybe you could put something in the basement that's vented and then cut grates in the floor... just and idea.  i saw something on ebay once... an old-style heater with a grate on top... not sure what it ran on.... that was made for that.  think they were asking $200

i had a newer direct wall vent gas heater in one house I owned and i don't recommned it because of the uneveness of the heat and blasting fan.  

i personally need to have a woodstove or fireplace in a cabin... wouldn't be a cabin without one.   i can't wait to see inside pics of your house... as it is very similar to something that i would like to build.


thanks mountaindon.. i have visited this site a few times...  it might be fair to say that this guy has some strong opinions...   maybe i will write to him and get his input..     thanks!

hey raindog.. i agree, it is a little scary..   i don't think that he regards monitors too highly!


a friend of mine in canada has an outside wood furnace... which she likes... not sure how it works though.


hi cbc -  where will you be building?   I am hoping to wrap up the electrical phase of the project when i get back out to the house in march ( we have a break in early march)   then on to insulation and dry wall.  i will post some interior pics then.  


New Hampshire - / Southern - Monadnock Region


neat.. i used to live in the lakes region before moving back down to pennsylvania..   never hiked monadnock, but i understand that it is very popular..  when will you start to build?


Quote from: cbc58 on January 23, 2010, 03:48:43 PM
a friend of mine in canada has an outside wood furnace... which she likes... not sure how it works though.

I had one of those wood furnaces in Virginia. Kept 1500 sq ft or so toasty all winter, and kept the water as hot and plentiful as anyone could hope for. Thing was a monstrosity, big as a pickup truck.

Only downside was, of course, that it devoured wood like crazy. Great if you've got a source of free or inexpensive wood and don't mind trudging out in the snow and feeding it before light, sometimes midday, and in the evening, though.


i wish that we could live at the house full-time..  i think that the woodstove that we have would serve as the main source of heat in the scenario..   the idea of a heater in the basement with some vents cut in the floor might be something to consider..   reminds me of my grandparents' place a long time ago!