Recent posts

Land: Buy, Sell, Find / Re: Offgrid home in the Sierra...
Last post by MountainDon - May 04, 2022, 05:58:54 PM
Looks as nice as I remember it.
Different fridge.
Added a larger PV array?
Owner-Builder Projects / Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Last post by MountainDon - May 04, 2022, 05:53:18 PM
This fire is now at 25,000+ acres and still going. Tomorrow we are going to see if we can drive in as our area is apparently more or less burned out.
Land: Buy, Sell, Find / Offgrid home in the Sierra for...
Last post by Dave Sparks - May 04, 2022, 03:25:45 PM
General Forum / Re: Offgrid Home for sale
Last post by Dave Sparks - May 04, 2022, 03:23:21 PM
Hi Don,  

Yes it is our home of 20 years off the grid. Hard to leave but need to get closer to family as we age in. I did email you. I will post a zillow link at

Owner-Builder Projects / Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Last post by Nate R - May 04, 2022, 05:01:38 AM
Thanks for the replies, Don. I'll have to figure out a spot to burn our debris. The last few years, our town has paid for a brush pickup in our subdivision, so we've been able to at least get rid of branches that way....but needles are another story.

Sorry to hear you'll be selling....but if the threat of fire is worsening, and that, and/or the annual prevention work is weighing on you, I can understand that.
I worry about our area every spring.... 2 weeks ago someone 1/2 mile away started their property on fire, burned about 1.6 acres, the corner of their structure, lost a shed.....  New property owners trying to clean things up and burning debris on a VERY gusty day during the worst time of year for wildfire here in Wisconsin.  Thankfully fire crews got it under control quickly...
Owner-Builder Projects / Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Last post by MountainDon - May 02, 2022, 02:17:05 PM
Gathered pine needles and fallen branches, slash, etc. were burned once or twice a year in a special area we had cleared out, after rains or late enough when snow had fallen and only when the fire marshall gave the okay.

We had decided to sell precisely because of what happened this past week. We could see fires starting earlier becoming the new normal. We've seen the areas burned in the past 10-15 years are larger than the old days 25 years ago and in many places are not regrowing pines and firs. Rather smaller trees and shrubs are filling in.

And the current fire (Cerro Pelado is the name FYI) is ongoing. This morning's figure was up to 22,000 acres. Because of the increasing size containment dropped from 15% a few days ago to 10%. The two lines they consider contained have actually grown in length. To the east, the fire has reached an area that was the state's largest ever fire up to 2011. That record lasted a year. That area has lots of standing and fallen dead from the 2011 fire that is presently drier than kiln dried lumber. Burning into areas where all cabins and homes were lost in 2011 and some of the new ones are threatened today.

Sad. We hope to get in our area soon, but there is no tentative schedule at all.
General Forum / Re: Garage Ideas
Last post by NathanS - May 02, 2022, 01:09:23 PM
Quote from: Don_P on April 29, 2022, 06:51:30 PMHaving just poured 2 and staring at a third, get the power trowel! My arms were screaming after the first one. I sent everyone home after placing and did the second myself with the power trowel. Yes if he is close and sawing, and can do 22', get him to make a nice straight screed and go full width. You will need a couple of guys with rakes tending that long screed, that's 4 minimum. Rent a bull float as well and used it immediately behind the screed then get off it till the bleed water evaporates and it can take the power trowel.

I was using some poplar framing we sawed today. With plywood prices we're doing diagonal board sheathing. Basically higher grades, if not siding or trim, down to #2 is framing. If a log opens up ugly we start sawing 1x sheathing. A roof allows a minimum of #3 sheathing, a wall can use as low as #4. We tend to be more like a grade above each category and #4 is kindling but that gives an idea of a potential log sort and uses.

You bring up a good point. A prescriptive foundation is based on frost heave potential, as is a frost protected. If someone is in a gravel pit or obvious no frost heave potential, depending on frost depth locally, it may be worth having a geotech look at it in terms of a shallower foundation.

Thanks for the tips, Don. For now I'm still planning to do the walls in OSB. I'm going to do purlins for the roof, and for the gable I am going to get the felt membrane on the underside. For the lean-tos I will just let the condensation happen.

Started grading the downhill side today and hydrostatic transmissions are so nice for this kind of work. Hoping I can leave the old shed where it is until the garage is enclosed and I can move everything over there.

Getting one more load of round stone tomorrow to bring the pad up another 4" and then I will be ready to start forming things up.
Owner-Builder Projects / Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Last post by Nate R - May 02, 2022, 09:27:46 AM
Glad to hear and see the cabin made it! Thanks for sharing the experience.

I'm curious, if you're willing to share, why you had decided to sell?

Also, what did you do with needles and branches annually that you raked? Chip? Burn? Disposal site?
I've got 4 acres of pine forest, and realize it's past time to start raking up needles around my property....
Owner-Builder Projects / Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Last post by jsahara24 - May 02, 2022, 04:54:29 AM
Wow, sorry to hear but so glad your cabin made it.  
Referral Links / Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
Last post by Medeek - May 01, 2022, 02:55:30 PM
I've enabled an ICF option within the Foundation plugin however I am wondering if I should also enable an ICF option within the wall plugin?

Corners and Tee intersections might get a little interesting but I'm quite sure I can code my way through it.


I've also been thinking about SIPS as well, so many different building systems to consider.