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Okanogan 14x24 by a lurker :)

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So I've been looking at owner built cabins here for a while (maybe a year or more?) and after my wife and I bought a piece of land (20 acres) we decided it was time to get busy!  I ordered the Enchilada plans with the intent of building all of the 3 little houses (using decks to connect some and having some independently stationed around the property) as well as the Victorian (I think that's the one -- where you combine the 3 into one) but since you have to start somewhere, we started with the 14x24 near the well.

This will make for a nice vacation spot and maybe someday we'll complete the family get-away (we have 5 kids and figure they will all want a small cabin).

Our first step, after buying the land was to decide on what should be done with access.  The easement road is pretty steep and rough so we had a friend pull a small excavator to the property and work on the easement.  It's now smoother and wider so will be easier to get trailers of gear to our spot.  However, you can't get here with a trailer in tow unless you've got a good 4 wheel drive!  But the views....

A look from up top.

Our driveway.

Fixing the easement

The drive is about 5 hours (from our home) so it's a bit of a haul to make every weekend, but that's what I'm trying to do as I want to get the cabin shell built and closed in before it snows!

Once the easement work was completed as well as foundation trenches (we're using post and pier but figured the excavator would make easier work of getting down into the dirt since this is REALLY rocky ground), we trucked up the first components of the foundation - pavers and PT lumber -- and various camping/framing etc items that we might need.  The plan was to go the next day to the nearest Home Depot (an hour away) and get the rest of the supplies there or locally (nearest town is 30 minutes away).  However, my jeep had some issues and then the weather turned on us so all we managed was to drop off the supplies, trailer and tools and leave for another day.

Rain, hail, wind, lightning -- the works!  No cabin work this weekend!

And of course, the Jeep decided to overheat too!  So I had to do some major work on it before coming back.

I ended up replacing the water pump, fan clutch, fan relay and radiator as well as a u-joint.   Yes access to our little cabin in the woods isn't exactly a Sunday drive :P


Jeep fixed and the weather much better we return to get started in earnest!  Here you can see the pier blocks in the trenches.  We had to work to get them level and set right.

Bearing in mind that I have framing experience (used to frame condo's some 17 years ago) I will admit that impatience does NOT pay off!  Squaring these on this ground was tough and time consuming but should pay off.

We then started making the beams.  I bought 2 14 footers and 2 10 footers for each beam.  The idea was to not have to cut anything and since you need a 4 foot overlap, well, hell, this ought to work right?

Laying the 2x8x14 down we glued it up, placed a 7 1/2" strip of 8' ply on it and then glued that and dropped the 2x8x10 on top.  Nailed it up, and then set the next 2x8x14 on glued up ply and nailed and then rolled.

The whole process didn't take too long since we had a good work surface in the ATV trailer :)


Once the first beam was completed we mounted it and leveled it on the posts.


We got the first beam installed and began working on the next.

I set the highest post of this beam at 20 inches -- not really thinking straight I guess -- as I wanted a 24 inch crawl space at a minimum.  What I hadn't thought of was the grade overall but lucked out in the end!

Basically I wanted 18-24 inches of crawl space with closer to 24 at the lowest end of the space.  The idea being that I'm a big guy and that I want to install a self composting toilet below the cabin so will need a high side -- as you can see, I got it :)

We got both beams installed and fairly level and square.  Squaring the big beams on piers and posts in this terrain was a bear!  We came within 1/4 inch and then finally with a little creativity got it to exact (as we measured) and called it a day -- only to find that we'd left two piers off level and one post off level -- we'll have to fix those when we go back to work on the floor!


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