CountryPlans Design/Build Forum

General => Owner-Builder Projects => Topic started by: flyingvan on January 29, 2012, 12:11:35 PM

Title: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 29, 2012, 12:11:35 PM
   This is my second time around as owner/builder.  The lot had a phenomenal view but was 'unbuildable' due to insufficient room for a septic with the county required 100% reserve.  After moving an illegal driveway, a 4" water main, and putting the required parking in the extreme rear (and  favorable perk test!) I was approved for a 20x20 building site.  I've had help twice so far---first time was concrete pumping day, second was getting the siding up on the tallest wall (I promised my mom I wouldn't do that alone) flyingvan.blogspot.com I've kept a pretty good photojournal---of course, you'll go back in time if you view it starting from now...

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I wanna build this
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Right here.  The blue house on the left there is my home.  To get to our mountain cabin we'll have to walk across the street.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on January 29, 2012, 01:22:09 PM
   This is my second time around as owner/builder.  The lot had a phenomenal view but was 'unbuildable' due to insufficient room for a septic with the county required 100% reserve.  After moving an illegal driveway, a 4" water main, and putting the required parking in the extreme rear (and  favorable perk test!) I was approved for a 20x20 building site.  I've had help twice so far---first time was concrete pumping day, second was getting the siding up on the tallest wall (I promised my mom I wouldn't do that alone) flyingvan.blogspot.com I've kept a pretty good photojournal---of course, you'll go back in time if you view it starting from now...

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F&hash=d9c8dcd305362d22e25defa76d9c384b)

Couldn't get your link to appear in the post only in the E-mail notification so I took the liberty of taking it from the notification and posting it here.

http://flyingvan.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on January 29, 2012, 05:51:26 PM
"We"se photobucket a lot because it's free, simple and works in forum posting with no hassles. Other hosts do work, some don't or require more on the behalf of the forum viewer. Whatever you use look for the ability to copy [img] tags, or the photo url and then manually insert the url inbetween two tags from the selection of items in the message compose window.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Don_P on January 29, 2012, 07:14:38 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbp2.blogger.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FR1nQKi8V8aI%2FAAAAAAAAACk%2FJjxQArfThP0%2FS300%2FFinished1_WEB.jpg&hash=9de37cf45d0bf2476b5bbe3392a17c49)

Hope you don't mind, I was curious if you could post a pic straight from your blog.

edit; seemed to work. I clicked the "insert image" tag above the reply window and put the adress of your pic between the img tags. You can get the adress of the pic by right clicking over it and clicking "properties", this is what I copied and pasted between the image tags.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 30, 2012, 05:28:45 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-oNsnRcAAeSA%2FTxX4Rg5SXTI%2FAAAAAAAABeU%2F6yUCXpLZOCY%2Fs1600%2Fyellow.jpg&hash=e0abca7dec41b5aec041eed02f40e515)  OK let me try this out... This is the cottage I'm working on now.  Good weather days it's exterior siding; bad it's interior.
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   The stones came out of the ground when I dug the foundation.  Craigslist had a wet saw for $50 so they get cut up into tiles.  The stair rails will be out of the oak that blew down last snow storm.  I will post those too
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 02, 2012, 08:19:23 PM
Pouring the hearth was exactly the same as a countertop would be done.  Since it would end up being 350 pounds I poured it right next to its final position
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   Start with the form--I used melamine since it's perfectly smooth.  The edges are 2x6 ripped down to 4" then wrapped with visqueen.   If the concrete is poured right against wood, the wood absorbs water and the concrete ends up dull and chalky.  A bead of caulk in the corners rounds over the edges for the finished product.  I purposely left the wrinkles in to add character.  The rebar was bent and wired, then hung from a 2x6 so it would end up in the midle of the pour.  There are two anchor bolts in the 2x6 to fix it to the base later.

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    With the rebar rack set aside, I mixed the first sack of pre-mixed concrete.  ( I added a little cement and poly fibers to the mix) half of the first sack just got thrown in the form.  The second half, I added some 'brown' color to, then slopped it .  Then 3 more 90# sacks, with black oxide color added.  Those all got thrown in next.

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     It's very important to vibrate all the bubbles out so you don't end up with any honeycomb voids.  This form was propped up off the floor on some scrap lumber.  I took the blade off the sawzall and pushed it against the form.   (the rebar rack was set in place and screwed down to make the form stronger to withstand the vibrations.  The rebar sunk until the wires held it in place, just from the vibrating)

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   I let it cure a few days.  Don't get impatient---if the concree is still 'green' chunks of it can stick to the form.  This was before the front door was installed----raccoons walked through it.It's on the underside so the tracks won't show---next time maybe I'll pour it so the top side stays on top and put food all around it to see what walks through it

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     Forms stripped, and the hearth turned over onto its base and bolted in place.  It took very little polishing and some sealant to finish.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 10, 2012, 06:25:51 AM
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  It's been difficult getting way up into the gables for siding.  I'm using these triangle braces I made when I did the sheer panel, screwing them to the wall, and putting the siding down to the level of the platform.  I'll have to remove them, patch the screw holes in the tyvek, then side up being careful my hardiplanks space evenly for where they meet.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Squirl on February 10, 2012, 09:01:12 AM
Very interesting design elements.

I noticed the top siding was wavy.  Was this from a natural log edge or where they designed to be that way?

I really liked the tutorial on the concrete hearth.  What kind of sealant did you use?

In my head, I have been kicking around a design for a tiny 300 square foot cabin.  I have trouble matching up a code built stairway (height and width) with the floor plan and half story.  I totally forgot I could manipulate the landing and height requirements by moving the ridge beam or adding a dormer.

Do you have more on the chimney?  That is a large box at the roof, is it ceramic or stone all the way down?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 10, 2012, 11:21:44 AM
   I just took some extra hardiplank and cut 23" pieces, lined them all up and snapped two chalk lines--- one at 10" and one at 13"---then drew the curve freehand and cut them with the shears, so ending up with two 'shingles' out if each piece.  I was careful to number them so the wave would line up.  I'm putting flashing paper behind each course overlapping the course below, and priming every cut edge.
   Right now the chimney is just hardibacker over wood frame; I might do the same native stone veneer, but I'm going to experiment with native soil cement over chickenwire with little clusters of native stone, and see how it looks and how it holds up.   I'll take pictures...
   Your stairs---one great way to shorten them and stay in code is winders on the landing, you gain 3 stairs.  I didn't do it because it cut into the under stair storage.
    The sealer is high gloss stone sealer.  I think the trade name is high gloss, I don't remember but I'll look at the bottle again
 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Mike 870 on February 10, 2012, 12:20:21 PM
Cool projects that you are posting flyingvan.  I like seeing different things too.  I think we do get a little bit of group think on here from time to time so its nice to see some new ideas and design characteristics.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 10, 2012, 05:21:26 PM
Thanks Mike!  (home for dinner break)  The sealer I used on the concrete (I've used the same jug for years now on different projects) is 'Miracle' brand.  (If it turns out good, it's a miracle?')
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 11, 2012, 05:41:25 PM
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   OK this was a big day... There's one wall that's ballooned framed, with 17' open floor to ceiling to help the place feel bigger than it is.  When you're upstairs in the reading nook, you're looking down into the bay....
   Anyhow, I framed this on the floor then tipped it up little by little.  It took all day.  The 'A' brace kept it from folding in half and levered the rope and come along chained to an oak tree.  There were stops at the wall so it wouldn't go off the edge, and a framed single story wall I could nail it to once it was up.
   After getting more framing done, we flew over it so I took an aerial pic
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 12, 2012, 06:43:23 AM
   Since this cottage is in the 'Wildland Urban Interface' zone of San Diego County, it has to be built to fire resistive construction specs.  All windows are dual glazed, tempered, high altitude, with special clips inside the vinyl that keep the windows from falling out if they melt.  All soffits have to be enclosed.   Siding has to be cementitios.  Attics vents have to not allow embers in.  All exposed timber has to be 4x6 or better.
   Toughest of all---they wouldn't let me stack cantilevered joists over cantilevered beams.  The building dept.  thought it created too much height to trap heat in a fire.  An essential design element was the covered porch turning a corner and stacking cantilevers was the only way I knew to do it.
   Here's my solution----and, yes, I had to get an engineering stamp since one of the beams cantilevers out more than 1/3 its length.

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   Here's the fabric formed foundation with the mudsill in place and the biggest beam waiting to be installed

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   Then other major beams stabbed off that one and cantilevered out.  There is a 6x6 post under every intersection with a strongtie supporting and joining them.  I added true 1" stock to the beams up to where the porch begins to provide the required 'step down' to the exterior, and so the TJI's would be flush top and bottom.

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  Then put the TJI hangers on the beams, and the TJI's dropped in flush.  The house was already taller than it was wide, so this kept it a whole foot lower than if the TJI's sat on top---which wouldn't have been allowed with the fire issue anyway.  NOTE!!!! Those TJI hangers?  The TJI's just drop in.  No nails, screws, anything.  They drop in easy except the last inch you stomp on them and they snap in.  Easy and quick---but on the last course, I sorta pre-staged them upside down over the TJI's already in place.  The vibration of banging around made them work their way down, clipping themselves in place upside down, on the already installed ones.  They didn't come off easy.  Leave them in the box until you're going to use them.

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  All done.  The same strongties used as postcaps where beams meet were used on the porch, inverted, to support the rim beam and 6x6 porch posts.  Custom order and not cheap
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Sassy on February 12, 2012, 11:44:05 AM
Beautiful area/views!  Looking forward to seeing your continued progress  :)  Those porches will be really nice even though they sound like a lot of extra work & money. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 13, 2012, 04:33:32 PM
Thanks Sassy!  I enjoyed your pictures of the conversation pit.  I've been wanting to play around with cob. 

   OK so I know there are pre-builders looking at these posts, and if you're like me, seeing pictures of projects really helps.  This was a mundane but necessary task---putting in the utility pole.  Having it done was WAY out of the budget.  Doing it myself was only the cost of the pole ($300)  Legally this is a trench because it's deeper than it is wide.  The soil here was extremely stable.  If there is any chance whatsoever your soil can collapse, and you don't know how to shore as you go, don't do this.  OK? OK.

   First, make a hole.  I love digging---find a radio station and set dirt aside.  Digging bars can be your best friend.
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  It's 7' deep.  That's what SD County required.  Really, it only has to be wide enough to accomodate the pole but unless you've got access to an auger and you don't have big rocks, you have to make it wide enough for you and a shovel.

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  Same hole, other direction.

  The pole was $300 and 22' long.  I strapped it to the old Dodge and motored up the hill, untied it, and it rolled to right over the hole---with the wrong end down.  It was really hard to move.

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   The long ramp I made for moving stones got dropped in the hole so as I raised the pole it wouldn't scrape up the side of the hole.  I could just lift one end, and the bottom would just 'catch' on the plywood so I could re-position and lift a little more.

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   Once it slides in, it's a good feeling.


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    San Diego Gas and Electric had, on their website, exact instructions for the pole.  Building department wanted two 8' grounding rods 6' apart so I put one in the hole.  The PVC pipe is strapped to the pole so the inspector can run a tape measure down it to make sure I went deep enough.

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   Getting the pole nice and plumb isn't too hard, but very important.  The pole tapers so I made a little block for my level that squared it up and kept checking at 90 degree points.  Get it close, put about a foot of dirt in.  Tamp it down, plumb the pole, add another foot of soil.  After about 3' it was locked in and wouldn't move anymore.  You probably already know that if you dig out two yards of soil, put something in the hole, then try to put the same two yards back in, you come up short.  Soil doesn't 'fluff up', it just interlocks better (plus there's loss to spillage, the wind takes its share, and my wife swears most of it comes home on my clothes)  so have a spot you can harvest soil as needed.
    Oh and the panel---for both this project and the Cuyamaca Cabin,   the utility pole served as 'temporary construction power' but set up the meter to eventually serve as the main panel for the house, then ran wire for a sub panel inside.  This left me with outlets at the pole which is handy and no moving around of high voltage stuff later.  Plus, before the 'smart meters', it was easy for the reader to find the meter. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 16, 2012, 05:17:59 AM
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  I just wanted MountainDon to see some San Diego snow (There's much more now but I can't even get there for a pic yet)   I've been working inside on the siding.  The cutoffs go right in the fire.  This fireplace is great----drafts outside air, is airtight, thermostat controlled blower...(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-NaTKpzg0Q1U%2FTzvgtOQdX5I%2FAAAAAAAABhU%2FHyak4yDuuSg%2Fs400%2Ffire.bmp&hash=3bc153a5dd7c7a5ef90b1fa1bc444d20)

  However---I noticed water dripping from the insulation, right behind my very expensive attic vents specially designed to keep embers out---they are supposed to keep rain and snow out too.  Time for some mods I think... These shutter doors were salvaged from the same dumpster I found the chunk of old red oak for the mantel.  (There were two chunks.  I only grabbed one, now the other's in landfill somewhere.  Kicking myself but I bet this is how hoarders get their start)

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 18, 2012, 01:22:35 PM
So the vents----I had to buy these brandguard vents since I'm in the 'wildland urban interface'.  They are specially designed to keep embers from blowing in.  They're also supposed to keep rain and snow out.  While working inside during a blizzard, I noticed dripping from the insulation on the inside where the windward vent is.  I crawled up into the attic and could see snow blowing in and piling up in the attic.
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 The wind was blowing snow right through the vertical 'u' channels.  I know adequate attic ventilation is important, but it seems to me the whole point of a house is to keep the outside out.

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  So I bought two standard issue attic vents, cut them to size, pre-drilled some holes, screwed them to the back of the brandguard vents from inside.  It cut the stiff breeze through the attic (to the identical vent) down to a gentle puff, and the louvers seem to keep all moisture out so far.  I caulked all around them from the inside also.  Air now has to travel around the vertical tracks, through the mesh, up the 4" louvers and around a lip, through another mesh, into the attic.

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 18, 2012, 01:41:13 PM
Here are some pages from the plans I drew.  It was a big part of the fun, learning about title 24 energy calculations, 'green building' to save 15% of the plan check and permit fees, span tables, etc.  If do the plans all yourself you've already built the place in your brain once before you pick up a shovel.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FSTCJFuolOGI%2FAAAAAAAAAsQ%2FRVwDdXMaYSc%2Fs320%2Ffront%2Belevation.JPG&hash=426a6fa32e62086fb897dce7b29f30c3)
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(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FSTCJNb90NKI%2FAAAAAAAAAsY%2FoDQps9HYbDo%2Fs320%2Fgroundfloor.JPG&hash=e45d90380a8331264f5ae9ae5549a2ee)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FSTCJTwfHNFI%2FAAAAAAAAAsg%2FLhay7rj3S6E%2Fs320%2Fupstairs.JPG&hash=f0d8e80d2df70675cbd9f1bd04530fd6)    So that balloon frame wall that got tipped up is at the bottom of the floorplan.  The view of Lake Cuyamaca is to the right.  The only deviation from my original plan as drawn is the elimination of the bathroom door from the bedroom----it was stupid.  It just ate up wall space for both rooms, and it's three extra steps to go out the bedroom into the bathroom. 
   I'm am very, very open to criticism and since I plan on doing a third O/B place someday, would like feedback.   I love small homes and am a big Sarah Susanka fan.....
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: cbc58 on February 18, 2012, 02:33:43 PM
since you asked...  i really like your design, except for a couple of things - first there is no half bath on the first floor, and the other is it's only one bedroom.  that's being picky, and I know 20x20 isn't much space, but that's what I see... especially from a resale point of view.   The exterior lines are great - very well done. 

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 18, 2012, 02:47:26 PM
   I got the land very cheap because it was 'unbuildable'----too small for a septic system.  I moved a driveway, a community water main, put the required parking in the extreme rear where there was a zero setback, and had favorable perk tests.  (San Diego County requires 100% reserve for the leach field) With all that and some begging and not taking 'no' for an answer, after about 18 months I got approval for the 20x20 building site.  The cantilevered deck and bay window were even pushing it but they let it go....One bedroom was the max allowed---two bedrooms would have required much more septic area (you can build all the bathrooms you want.  They go by bedrooms, which makes some sense) 
   I'm not sure where a half bath would fit downstairs.  I did put the bathroom as the first thing you come to at the top of the stairs....Everything's sound proofed too.  An inherent problem with tiny homes often is bathroom noise.
   Thanks for the input....There are two tricks I'm trying to make it feel bigger---from downstairs, you're drawn to the great wall that goes way up, and when you're in the bay it feels spacious.  Upstairs to the immediate right of the landing is the 'reading nook' cantilevered out into that area, with a great view through the picture window.  Looking down, you're looking into the bay window area, giving the illusion of more floor space.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: cbc58 on February 20, 2012, 06:43:34 AM
here is a design I came across that has a basic 20x20 dimension (disregard the bump out).  Shows how they put in a bathroom on the 1st floor and 2 bedrooms up.   http://www.sheldondesigns.com/cabins/SurfsideCS792c.htm    Hope it's o.k. to post it here.

i really like your design though and only offer this up for reference.   it probably feels very tight and confined given everything they are trying to squeeze in it.


Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 20, 2012, 03:50:48 PM
Cute plan---thanks for sharing that.   They sure packed a lot into a small area....One of the design elements I wanted to preserve is the entire downstairs being open.   If the day comes that I really don't like going up a flight of stairs to use the restroom, I'll probably be past the point of tackling an addition, too.. But, for the next project---the chalet---I'll take this into consideration (I have my eye on another parcel up here...Gotta finish this one first though)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on February 21, 2012, 06:32:21 AM
Found your experience with the Branguard gable vents interesting, especially since their advertising indicates these vents keep out blowing snow!  Just another issue with the rush to adopt fire codes before products are well engineered.  Did you contact manufacture and let them know the product does not meet expectations?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 21, 2012, 01:22:33 PM
No, I suppose I should.  I spent enough on them......The whole fire resistive construction thing is a crock any.  I've been fighting fire long enough to know that you put a house in the forest and burn the forest down, it's going to be bad for the house-----defensible space will save any structure.  First study, they found the point of origin was up in the eaves----so they made us enclose them.  That changed the point of origin to under decks, so they demand heavy timbers, which moved it to the attic vents; then vinyl windows melted and fell out so curtains caught fire, so they demand special clips in the windows.....I'll have to say, though, doing all those things along with the fire sprinklers really drove insurance costs down
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 23, 2012, 05:03:54 AM
  I think it's only fair to report---I wrote to the Brandguard people and they responded immediately.  The owner tells me they've never had a complaint of water infiltration before, it might be due to how they were installed, and he (the owner) is coming out to see first hand.  The timing's good because the windward side that had the snow blow in is completely finished (and was when I had the problem) and the leeward side isn't sided yet, just wrapped with Tyvek so he can see the install.  I really can't imagine how the installation would make a difference as the snow was blowing through the vent itself, but I installed them same way you'd do a window and used the really thick rubberized window flashing and caulk.   (The retrofit with a second vent right up against the first with the louvers pointing down seems to have fixed the problem)
   Gut feeling is, bad combination of high winds, dry snow and vent perpendicular to wind. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 23, 2012, 07:20:05 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Xnq0pg5yQbg%2FT0cMm9wYenI%2FAAAAAAAABh8%2Fdm5HXGhm9NA%2Fs400%2Fspruce.jpg&hash=5c77f175e74e15f96e993b52139d8c81)

   Too cold and windy outside.  Getting the spruce up inside.  It's all this except a little in the kitchen and the bathroom.  My wife says it's all getting painted gloss white though...

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   It's an easy commute---just across the street----but you gotta make your way through the wild turkey infestation
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on February 24, 2012, 06:10:23 AM
Glad to hear you followed up with Brandguard on the vent problem and impressed with the owner's willingness to do a site visit.  Would love to hear what he says.

You're build is great.  Enjoy your Flyingvan Blogspot (link on page one).  Lot's of good building info and some excellent side political commentary.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 26, 2012, 09:10:39 AM
Squirl had commented awhile back about the wavy siding up in the gables.  I started the opposite wall yesterday before the snow hits again, so decided to take pics as I went.
  I couldn't find any shingles that formed the wavy pattern I wanted and have quite a few extra Hardie boards so decided to make my own.  Actually, the coverage I'm getting from each board ends up being about the same as standard 1 1/4" lap when you account for waste, so you could probably plan for between 6 and 7 square feet actual coverage from each 12' plank.  Another advantage---handling shingles way up in the gable is a lot safer than wrestling with 12' boards with pointy ends cut in.
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-VckzwUKAcIo%2FT0pTuHBuQaI%2FAAAAAAAABiM%2FKxE0-VVfm_I%2Fs1600%2Fshingles%2Bblanks.bmp&hash=014fa51317341c6c00e80489229ebcd9)

   So started with making blanks----23" lengths.  Each length will yield two shingles.  I can cut 5 boards at a time, I needed 10 to make all I need.

   Next, lined up boards and snapped chalk lines at 10" and 13".  Where each board met, I made a pencil mark as sort of a target--1st one 1" up from the chalk line, next @ 2", then 3", then I'm at the other chalk line, then start back down.  That way when drawing the freehand wavy line it doesn't get TOO freehand.

    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-irm-yvqpC8w%2FT0pUWTOioaI%2FAAAAAAAABiU%2F7VxHA8UWddg%2Fs1600%2Fshingles%2Bmarked.bmp&hash=31997010c6dff02bb594a62d0e867671)

   VERY IMPORTANT---Number each shingle.  They can get mixed up very easily.  Put the number in the same place so you know left from right, too.  When you number don't go up one side and back the other---otherwise when you add more later your numbers get screwy.  Do odd closest to you and evens away, then for the install put up all the odds first then all the evens.  (I had to use negative numbers, letters, sanskrit...)
    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-HrcKvMd_QpU%2FT0pVRyhpnLI%2FAAAAAAAABic%2FoUBRqRzKfz8%2Fs1600%2Fshingles%2Bnumbered.bmp&hash=832d69477a3498742a519623fdce09b3)

  Here are two shingles freshly minted.  If you're using cementitious siding buy the shears.  They create zero dust and you can free hand curves easily.  It's not as clean a cut as a diamond blade though, and keep a utility knife nearby to smooth edges.

 (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-1QtMkHEalRU%2FT0pV1nOAGnI%2FAAAAAAAABik%2FBajbo1Vr3JM%2Fs1600%2Fshingles%2Bcut.bmp&hash=16f4b4bfe6959a1c1e69fb216d4f6360)

   Also about Hardie boards----there are two formulations---East Coast and West Coast.  I do not know what the difference is----if the East Coast ones are primed all sides, get those.  The backs of mine are completely bare and soak up moisture like a sponge, and every cabin in Cuyamaca that has used them is having paint failure on western exposures, and Hardie has not been responsive at all.  The paint is bubbling up under the primer.  I believe what's happening is we get driving rain and ice on the west side, and some moisture finds its way to the back side of the boards.  Next day will be 85 degrees in the afternoon, and that moisture tries to evaporate out through the primer.
   So every butt joint gets flashing paper so when the caulk fails water sheds to the outside of the next board down.  I'm priming and painting the back and cut edges of every single board.  This is a great time to re-purpose all those paint cans in the garage (I had fun when the neighbors saw me painting the boards green and purple, and telling them "Don't worry, this wall only shows from your side of the house")
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 26, 2012, 09:15:34 AM
Oh and Thanks, Danfish.   The Brandguard guy is coming out Wednesday, I'll post how that goes.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 01, 2012, 04:44:53 AM
  The owner of Brandguard Vents came as promised yesterday.  Brent.  He started by telling me how his products were all tested to hurricane force winds...I brought him up into the attic and he said the first thing he noticed was a lot more airflow than he'd expect.  Then he noticed enough snow piled on the insulation to make a small snowman.
  I took him for a walk around the neighborhood so he could see all the creative ways people had plugged up their attic vents----expand-o-foam, plywood (sometimes inside sometimes out) Barometric louvers, fabricated sheet metal...I showed him the giant mountain draw formed between Middle Peak and North Peak where Cuyamaca dam is, a mile upwind of us, and how the storms blow off the ocean and hit the dry desert air coming up the eastern slopes---the weather forms at our ridge.  High pressure on one side, low on the other.
   He helped me make a temporary boot to fill the attic side of the vent for now.  He's going to custom make something to go on the inside.  He also offered to pay for any damages (there really aren't any---the insulation will dry and I didn't have the ceiling up yet)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on March 01, 2012, 07:13:06 AM
Thanks for the followup on Brandguard...very interesting.  Something to think about when designing with gable end vents.  I have read a lot of reports that express the negative issues with gable end venting and that is why I went with soffit venting.  Of course with the Wildland Urban Interface requirements it cost me an arm and leg!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 01, 2012, 12:13:38 PM
San Diego County wouldn't allow any soffit venting in the wildland interface, not even the pinhole soffits.  Ridgevents were allowed but they didn't go with the look I want.  What I really wanted to do was run a duct from the crawlspace to the attic to draft and exchange the air under the house but, not allowed...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 08, 2012, 09:20:20 AM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-tGDXEysDmD4%2FT1jsHXOtfII%2FAAAAAAAABi8%2FAIEx78Bs8B8%2Fs400%2Flook%2Bup.bmp&hash=e980c9f75c85c99afac7ba3c6d698ad7)

     The weather's been mostly bad so I'm getting a lot done inside----this is the ceiling that goes up both floors (18 1/2') the balloon framed wall is to the right.  The chimney chase is to the left---so far just wonderboard.  I'm thinking of covering it with mesh, doing stone veneer in clusters, and plastering the rest with colored smooth stucco.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 23, 2012, 03:12:26 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-dY1Ku2309iI%2FT2y7JgijZWI%2FAAAAAAAABjs%2F6M27Q8PWNRE%2Fs1600%2Fprogress.bmp&hash=18f3d49ce609f2fbafe1145b3f744a7d) 

   Just a quick building update....I'm getting work done inside because all this white stuff keeps falling out of the sky.  No one in San Diego can identify it.  Neither can Al Gore.

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  And the back side.  I think with two more full days I could get all the siding done.  The enclosed soffits really slow things down, especially with the curves.  If I leave the material out overnight it gets nice and flexible, but breaks really easy.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 28, 2012, 06:52:48 PM
  I'm a big fan of composite shingles.  They are cheap, durable, easy to install, and have a huge variety of colors and textures.  I traded a few days' free labor with a professional roofer in exchange for learning some tricks of the trade.  Specifically I wanted to learn how to lace a valley.  I've seen plenty of leaky roofs, and unless there was mechanical damage, it most likely failed in valleys where they just put down metal valley flashing and cut the shingles to it. 
  With  composite shingles, the less metal you have underneath them, the better---especially on the sunny side.  They cook and get brittle.  If you have trees, particularly pine trees, the needles can get up under the shingles at the flashing, right in the valley where all the water collects and flows down.  The vegetative debris swells up and holds moisture there.  No thanks!
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-i1tMtTogL2w%2FToXk2t4P9CI%2FAAAAAAAABbY%2FnJjKZRnF5sA%2Fs1600%2Flaced.jpg&hash=e75d8db8ad80ed33da0b801fef499cc5)

  The first place I built I made the mistake of having dissimilar roof pitches meeting at the valley.  It makes lacing tough because the shingles don't match up one for one.  So, if you can keep the pitches at each valley identical, it helps a lot.
  My valley here meets up with the bump-out, forming a pretty good funnel for snow to get caught in so it all got lined with Liberty Cap Sheet (GREAT STUFF--if you have an old shed, mobile home, whatever just peel and stick the stuff on the roof).  I goes all the way up the wall of the bump out, just in case.  Then you follow the shingle cut-pattern starting at one edge, and work to the valley.  When you're about 5' away, figure out where the shingle's going to end.  You don' want the shingle ending right in the valley, so if you have to add a scrap well before, do it---just don't have seams line up from the course below.  Now when you get to the valley the shingle will angle itself up the other side.  Don't shoot any nails in or near the valley itself.  Kind of squish the shingle down into the valley (best to roof on a hot day!) and put one nail up near the corner that angled up.
   Next, start a course from the opposite side, and work towards the valley again.  this time when you get to the valley the shingle will overlap the first one.  Then just keep alternating ends you start each course from, and the valley shingles will lace themselves in.  Waterproof and pine needle proof!
   For extra insurance I covered the step shingles against the gable with more metal shingles going up the wall of the bump-out. 
 (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-_KPMyQcdY0M%2FToXkpTBIdOI%2FAAAAAAAABbU%2FAqjIMYp7Lqg%2Fs1600%2Froofingonroof.jpg&hash=6aceae18072d700b437be6c5487712c2)
  I made this little work station so there'd be a level spot for stuff.  There are lines on the platform the match the shingle cut pattern (5 5/8, 11 1/4, etc) so I could just line up the shingles, match a straight edge with the lines, and cut.
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-G24um3eVhAI%2FToXkMQEBGXI%2FAAAAAAAABbQ%2Fny3TW-8w0Oo%2Fs1600%2Fthe%2Bclimb.jpg&hash=351a676ccfc880d4a969c02219ab77bd)
  Yipes! 24' down.  I built a little stand off by screwing a scrap of 2x to the fascia, then some plywood stops so the ladder couldn't slide off to the side when carrying the bundles of roofing up.
   Drip edge---it goes OVER the sheathing and UNDER the roof felt at the bottom edge.  On the gable edges it goes OVER the felt and UNDER the shingles. 

 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: duncanshannon on March 31, 2012, 07:04:47 AM
Yikes.. that would be quite the fall!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 25, 2012, 06:28:25 AM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-6gkxh4ImSEw%2FT5gRGkjS-PI%2FAAAAAAAABk8%2FhPOoV7KpV-s%2Fs400%2FSoffits%2Bside.bmp&hash=b6f32d313415530e263c0a3a1268e494)
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     I really didn't want to enclose the soffits but it was required under the fire resistive building codes.  The cement boards are heavy and brittle, and working upside down is a drag.  Besides, rafter tails look very cottage-y.  Now that they are in, though, I have to admit I like them.  They are easy to paint and make a lot less spider habitat, and there's nothing for woodpeckers to cling to.
     My roofline forms a sort of funnel that would have caused runoff to flow right over the siding---something worth avoiding.  So there's an extra layer of felt, then exterior Hardieboard, then shingles I cut out of slate (they are applied with mastic, but I also drilled them out and screwed them on.  The screws are hidden under the lap)  This helped visually fill in and frame the upstairs picture window that is offset so the interior chimney doesn't block the view from inside
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Sassy on April 25, 2012, 09:34:58 AM
You've done a really beautiful job on your cottage!  Lots of fine detail.  Are you living in it now?  I can't recall.  You all must be very proud  :)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 25, 2012, 10:48:18 AM
Thanks!  It's taking a long time but there's no rush.  Actually we live right across the street.  This lot became available in a probate sale and we couldn't pass it up.  My wife already calls it her vacation house---all she'll have to do is cross the street.  I'm almost done with the exterior---about half the siding on the backside still needs to go up, and veneer the chimney.  Inside still needs about 20% of the siding, I have to hang the interior doors (my very LEAST favorite job) and painting

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 08, 2012, 07:56:27 AM
  I had trouble figuring out how to run the range hood vent.  The water heater enclosure's on the other side of the wall, and of course the kitchen wall is stuffed full of water lines, gas lines, sewer pipe, romex, etc.  I finally figures out how I could run 4" flex ducting through the wall, through the chimney chase of the water heater, and have the vent hidden on the back side. 
  It needed a 4 1/8" hole.  Big Hardware Store wanted $60 for the hole saw I needed, and I needed an extension.  Somebody recommended the tool store that's all cheap China imports---great for single use tools.  This adjustable mangler was $7.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-rBgLG1tm-Dg%2FT6lJnpJXClI%2FAAAAAAAABlg%2F4pZ7dGGDycA%2Fs400%2Fslate%2Bbit.bmp&hash=448ba0bfae9513cda4ee40b86087966b)
  Worked great.  It snagged, wobbled, and dulled as soon as I got through the cement board, but got my holes drilled and threw it away.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-f9-DOSff22w%2FT6lHbAM7SHI%2FAAAAAAAABlQ%2Fa4XZfFVzbCw%2Fs1600%2Fslate%2Bvent.bmp&hash=20f4afdb8fea612c1e20554f356ae7d3)
   Here's my vent set up.  I really don't like having anything mounted on an exterior wall that goes over a lap joint from the siding---looks bad and will need re-caulking.  I kept a 4x8 sheet of hardieboard around that had the same woodgrain texture so I could create oversized boards when needed.  The 6" hole cuts through only one board then and the vent sits flat against it.  All these pieces are sheet metal srewd together so I could reach up in there and pull the flex vent down. 
   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-SbHhSAmwcv0%2FT6lIZ3hTI_I%2FAAAAAAAABlY%2FpFVARKeSmL0%2Fs1600%2Fslate%2Bfinished.bmp&hash=3131894114d2674c0490bf69661aa1d3)
  The vent is way up under the eave on the other side of this tankless water heater enclosure.  The access for the water heater had to be all fire resistive construction and the door is HEAVY.  The hinges are at the top so I had this big ugly gap that allowed the space needed for the door to open.  I ended up sandwiching a length of fire hose under the trim to cover the gap.  It almost looks just like the hardieplank.
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Se5X1PPy72U%2FT6lKiXNcJRI%2FAAAAAAAABlo%2FewoMGxIfr3k%2Fs1600%2Fslate%2Bchimney.bmp&hash=a247e88169c0037b6a9e8d9d58a15719)
  Yesterday was a big day---got the vent in, finished installing the last of the siding, and clad the chimney in home made slate shingles.  That was tough---up and down the scaffold making custom cuts and mixing up mastic...It turned out really nice though.  Now I just need the sheet metal top cap. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 16, 2012, 01:18:09 PM
Two different people have asked me where I got my plans----they are my own.  My only reason for not sharing them was, giving away plans on a great site that also SOLD plans didn't seem right.  However I talked to John at length and he even facilitated a way to share them through dropbox.  It's a unique design that dealt with all the challenges---snow and wind loads, wildland urban interface fire zone, seismic, (second largest fault line in California) tiny 'unbuildable lot' (limited to 20x20 footprint) , picky wife, and 'green building' incentive-----so I doubt anyone else will want to build this exact same structure.  Anyway if anyone wants the plans I'll share them
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: smile850 on May 19, 2012, 03:50:54 PM
Hello.
Great project with a lot of insights.
I've just recently purchased an unbuildable lot in Santa Cruz county (the environmental department would not settle for any alternative septic system) and would appreciate if you can share your experience on septic issue and steps to go through to resolve it. You can email me directly at boltstudio@yahoo.com if its easier. Thank you.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 19, 2012, 05:45:57 PM
  Well, I can tell you what my approach was---you can decide what might help in your situation.

    I started with the perk test.  I must have dug 200 holes to find the spots that absorbed the very fastest, then made those 5 holes deep enough to be the official 'test holes'.  I worked with an engineering firm that was local, and they let me dig the holes myself (saved them work anyway).
    Next,  I photocopied a whole bunch of outlines of the lot and sketched out all the setbacks.  (The county website, under Department of Environmental Health/Septic Systems, provided all that info).  There were also charts for how many feet of leach line would be required according to the perk rate.
    That's when I realized I had to move the driveway (an easement that wasn't built in the easement), move a water main (the water dept worked with me---they were glad to get a new customer) and put the two required parking spaces in the extreme rear (parking was allowed right up against the property line).  All those things bought some space.
    Then I made new photocopies with the new setbacks and made a couple of cut-out house footprints and septic tank footprints and kept moving them around until I could draw the required leach lines (here, 100% reserve field is required too so I had to draw that)
    Another thing I could have done was garage under living space.  I didn't want to unless I had to, but it can add up to a little more room.
    The whole while, I was running my ideas past the septic engineer, and making a pest of myself down at the county----I got to know everyone down there, and they threw in a few suggestions.  Really though I was getting them on my side so they'd look for reasons to approve it, not fail it.  This is where you can get them to bend on an alternative system.  Mine's conventional except for the infiltrators, which the county seems to really like, plus you don't need gravel.  Same linear feet required here as perforated pipe though.
     Remember they go by number of bedrooms, not bathrooms.  Also remember a lot with a 16x16 house on it is worth a lot more than a lot with no house at all on it....
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 19, 2012, 06:35:14 PM
  I got to thinking about when I fired a nail through a 1/2" waterline.....I have 3 sewer/vent stacks coming up the same wall, and one of those pipes is 3"---a much bigger target!  Isn't it likely I put a nail or screw through those somewhere?  I really don't want sewage trickling in behind the kitchen wall.
  I was on the roof anyway installing the chimney cap.  I brought a CD up with me (Nora Jones.  I got tired of Nora very quickly now her CD is a tool)  CD's are great reflectors, and they have a nifty hole in the middle to peer through.  I just positioned myself opposite Mr. Sun, reflected his rays down the pipes one by one, and looked down the pipes.  They go down 18'.
   Sure enough----I got a clear view down each pipe.  There was a screw poking through the biggest one, the 3" one.  I could see it was just above where the toilet branched into the pipe, so fortunately it was in vent space.  Over time, though, I thought the pipe would wiggle as the screw stayed put and wear the hole bigger.  I went into the bathroom, spotted a drywall screw that must have been just outside the nail plate, and backed it out.  Nora and I went back on the roof, and the screw was no longer in the pipe. 
    OK, so it was just a pinhole.  I still didn't like it.  I dipped some stiff wire in ABS cement and kept poking and twisting it through the screw hole until I was reasonably sure the hole was plugged.  I think if it were not in the vent space it would have warranted removing the drywall and really patching it well.

    Now I'm just worried about any wires I may have nailed through.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: ColchesterCabin on May 20, 2012, 02:48:37 AM
     It's very important to vibrate all the bubbles out so you don't end up with any honeycomb voids.  This form was propped up off the floor on some scrap lumber.  I took the blade off the sawzall and pushed it against the form.   (the rebar rack was set in place and screwed down to make the form stronger to withstand the vibrations.  The rebar sunk until the wires held it in place, just from the vibrating)

I just wanted to say thanks for the idea regarding the sawzall trick. I used it when we poured the peirs foro our foundation. I just ran it around the tubes up and down to virate. It even impressed the concrete guy who had never seen that done before in 20 years driving the concrete truck. Often we don't hear thanks for our ideas so kudos on this one.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 20, 2012, 04:06:36 AM
You're welcome, but as a side note---now I can't get the blade out of the sawzall.  I wonder if running it for a long time with no blade in there messed something up.  I'm going to cut an old blade just long enough to sit in the receiver part so next time I use it to vibrate concrete there's something in there
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: ColchesterCabin on May 20, 2012, 04:26:11 AM
Yeah I thought the same way which is why after a couple of pillars I used the hose on the concrete truckk to rinse it off. Mine seems to working at least for now..... :)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 21, 2012, 06:22:10 AM
Exterior's all done with the exception of the stone bridge to the entrance and some touch up painting
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-WwS049pVArk%2FT7pWDrRgD-I%2FAAAAAAAABl0%2Fzw1kOrV2eAs%2Fs400%2Fexterior%2Bcorner.bmp&hash=241990eb09f681ae337d7a269e4d2563)
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   I used an old firehose section to cover the gap where the hinges are for the water heater access door.  The raingutter was a must since water sheds off to a downward slope, splashing muck and yuck onto the house.  You can see the range hood vent tucked up under the eave.  THAT duct was a real pain to run....

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-PwWPDzQeq4g%2FT7paBdEnA2I%2FAAAAAAAABmM%2FwHhc5yHDiZg%2Fs400%2Fexterior%2Bchimney.bmp&hash=41870444b56a43c3cb930432f9b63347)

  I wanted the chimney parts to be black so they got a few coats of high temp primer and high temp black...still needs some touch up after the install
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-tDIH69lOxCk%2FT7pagZP5s1I%2FAAAAAAAABmU%2FqqlSn5br-W8%2Fs320%2Fexterior%2Bslate.bmp&hash=8306649bcc395cbbca4c31a0803286d5)

    Here's the finish on the chimney---I cut slate to random widths and cut the corners.  They're on with mastic, but I drilled screw holes to hold them in place until it set up.  The corners are all caulked with a mix of black and gray silicone
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 27, 2012, 06:04:14 PM
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    With the exterior done it's time to finish the inside.  I've timed every step horribly---I was siding outside in the snow, now I'm siding inside when it's beautiful out.  These are 20' boards going in a 20' house so getting them in place is a little tricky.  The top of the wall is 18' up.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-1VuFaYtEdP8%2FT8LlpZBGBMI%2FAAAAAAAABnA%2FfkePVMhSER4%2Fs400%2FJune%2Bbay.jpg&hash=b405c6c3c2545328529d61b884060ec4)

    Finished the bench seat in the bay window.  The top lifts off for storage.  I've been saving all the t&g cut-offs just for this stage.  The inside of the bay takes a lot of little planks with angles cut.  For the most part I'm putting them up with the pin nailer so the won't crack.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ZQl3mgqqcQU%2FT8LkJxJRs7I%2FAAAAAAAABm4%2FjMAW-A2Eiko%2Fs640%2FJune%2Boutside.jpg&hash=03ac870b0632e52f1d605e0d69e72972)

    First attempt to paint the foundation I wanted to match the hearth inside--brown with black and gray streaks.  I finished, and my wife looked a it and said "The black looks like tire streaks.  It looks like a truck ran over my cottage".  So I lightened up the brown concrete stain and re-did the whole thing.  Someday I want to do a veneer of slate over it instead but that's many dollars from now.  Also got up on the roof and touched up the chimney with flat black and painted all the metal vents and flashing with the same high temp paint. 
    Only thing left to do outside is the stone bridge to the front door.  I'm really looking forward to that so it will be my reward for getting the interior painted.  NOT looking forward to that. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on May 28, 2012, 09:46:48 AM
Looking real good!!!  Interesting how the other half of the decision team can always make sure we never run out of work.

Did the local building department make you use the new fire-proof foundation vents?  I was shocked when after making such a big thing on WUI (fire) requirements for everything else I was told to just install standard foundation vents with 1/4 inch or less openings...kinda goes along with issues raised in your thread on building codes!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 28, 2012, 10:10:21 AM
  Funny you should ask---I had a good conversation with my inspector about that.  He wanted to see 1/4" mesh with louvers over them.  My plans as approved just called for the mesh, but it was easy to just nail the louvers over the mesh.  he said something about plenty of data showing firebrands blowing into attics but none for blowing through crawlspace vents, which makes sense.  I suppose any brands that did make it through would settle on dirt, with little active airflow---compared to ceiling joists, with lots of flow.  But no, I wasn't required to go brandguard for the crawlspace.  I did position all my crawlspace vents underneath the porch so driving rain can't get in.  The access door had to be built to wildland/urban interfae requirements though.  So far he hasn't seen the plastic vent that provides the combustion air for the fireplace. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on May 29, 2012, 05:18:00 AM
You brought up an item I hadn't considered, the crawl space access door.  I have not built mine yet. 

Do you have details on a design that was acceptable in your area?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 29, 2012, 06:15:20 AM
It had to meet the same fire resistive requirement as the walls.  I just built a 2x4 frame (cut an angle to the 2x4 where it swings in) screwed OSB to it.  I reinforced the corners with little triangles of OSB on the backside, too.  I had bought a 4x8 sheet of cementitious siding I've been cutting pieces from for various odd tasks here and there, so that got cut to size over the front, then trimmed it.  It's heavy so I got good fence hinges.  I wanted a locking hasp, too---there's nothing stored under there but nature abhors a vacuum.....
If you look in this picture you can see one of my vents is too close to the door.  The frame for the door got painted like the rest of the foundation and I sort of faked it and painted the trim around the vent to match the other vents
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-AMbhC7IkUIg%2FT8Tm7y4Q5oI%2FAAAAAAAABnU%2F1PCG8P3Ylvk%2Fs1600%2Fdoor.bmp&hash=c204d156808c7a9fb7d78ac291981ee9)

   The access door for the tankless water heater is different--the hinges are on top.  I wanted to use the lap siding to hide the door.  It's VERY heavy.  Where the hinges are, there had to be a big ugly gap to allow the door to swing open properly (Putting the hinges on the outside would have solved this but they were not attractive and I was afraid the cement boards wouldn't hold up to the compression.  They are scewed directly into wood)  so the solution here was slipping a length of double jacketed fire hose under the trim board.  It took paint well and allows for movement, and hides the hinge gap. 
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ZWBZqcuF1fc%2FT7pYO3SxEsI%2FAAAAAAAABmE%2F5H4KVswBzoA%2Fs400%2Fextterior%2Brear.bmp&hash=b2bc10f5c0cef813f8de69a17f69a1d4)
  Can you guess what astronomical event was happening when this pic was taken?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on May 29, 2012, 09:27:15 AM
Thanks for the detail on crawl space door...amazing how much time and effort goes into these little details that look so cut and dried on the plans!!!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 10, 2012, 06:39:37 AM
  All the interior tongue and groove is in.  Before I can paint though it has to be trimmed, and before it's trimmed I have to finish the chimney.  The chase was built as flat to the wall as possible so it wouldn't block the view from the reading nook out the picture window, and the clearence was 2" to any combustables so the backerboard is supported in the corners with framing.  The flue for the gravity wall furnace is in the chase as well.  Ceiling height here is 18', one of the features that makes this tiny place feel big.  (There will be a register on the ceiling with a thermostat controlled blower so in the winter when the ceiling gets hot, either from the wall furnace or the fireplace, it'll kick on and the air gets ducted to the downstairs.  Both heat sources are independent of electricity so when we get one of our frequent power failures there'll still be heat just not as much circulation)
  Spent two days cutting up stones for the veneer.  Tedious.  Laid them all out so I could select them quickly while the mastic was setting up.
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   The chase is clad in hardibacker....These 4 position ladders are worth their weight in gold.  Both ends are clamped so it wouldn't wiggle.
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   I wanted the steel mesh to wrap all the way around so it would get screwed into the strongest framing up against the wall.  I added washers to the screws too so they wouldn't squeeze themselves through.   One side was pre-bent so there wouldn't be a lot of measuring or centering once up the ladder.

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    Now to start with the stone veneer.  I would have loved to veneer the entire chimney but it would be very heavy, and it would take two weeks just to cut up the stones.

    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-lT4oMXJfKVk%2FT9S0FZ_g5BI%2FAAAAAAAABoM%2FYLJ1X8cFiZM%2Fs400%2Fchimney%2Bveneer.bmp&hash=e13a2702cbc08dbec5260020a26a615d)

    So instead there are stone outcroppings with a colored plaster making up the majority.  I have to keep it to 25 pound batches---with all the ups and downs and not fallings, it sets up faster than I can use up a whole 50 pound bag.

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    The stone outcroppings match the fireplace surround, the rest of it matches the foundation.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Sassy on June 10, 2012, 07:51:57 AM
 [cool]  That looks great!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 27, 2012, 04:41:48 PM
  Not a huge drywall fan, but it made sense in a few spots----the kitchen wall that's covered with cabinets and slate, over the fireplace mantel where the TV will be mounted and hidden behind shutters, and the bathroom walls.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ET8nIgRRbE4%2FT-uuSCfb8NI%2FAAAAAAAABpA%2FtcYRuwOSEkI%2Fs400%2Fold%2Blumber%2B3.bmp&hash=ff94b5b9c80b03a376152de6ec7093c6)
  It all got a rough texture that I think goes with the 'cottage' feel.  My wife thought it too rough so I'll sand it with a wet drywall sponge to smooth is some.
   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-wNmUG59xwX0%2FT-uvD1qpTSI%2FAAAAAAAABpI%2Fpayud24I-94%2Fs1600%2Fold%2Blumber%2B2.bmp&hash=560d8b7d57e830dc8d0b98fff323e7cb)
   She loves the mantel that I cut from a solid beam I dug out of a dumpster---I thout it was fir until I cut into it, then thought it was red oak.  She would really like the railing and balusters to all be the same stuff.  I found some naturally weathered oak but none of it looked like the mantel.  Turns out it isn't oak.
    I went to the boneyard near where I found the original chunk and talked to the owner.  He told me his brother helped build a tall masted ship decades ago and held on to the beam cutoffs, just left them out in the weather.  I had to dig through a lot of stuff and move a bunch of old aviation parts.
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-kbYqgH06CKE%2FT-uwMEFQevI%2FAAAAAAAABpU%2Fd6jbgqvvSRI%2Fs1600%2Fold%2Blumber%2B1.bmp&hash=10f4d2219251ecd887c4bd9b09cdfc1f)
   These things are HEAVY.  I found five that were relatively check free and had no bug or rot damage.  THey are 8x12 true dimension and about 7' long. 
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    I'm hitting a friend up for yet another favor.  He's got access to some big band saws.  I tried every local business----no one wants to mill lumber they didn't sell you.  It's getting cut into 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" for the balusters.  If it seems like stable stuff and the saws get through it OK, I might make the rail and stair treads out of it too.  I'll still have some left over.
    I'm pretty sure it's teak.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 28, 2012, 07:51:21 PM
     OK.  Now I'm embarrassed.    I used to go to Frost Hardwood just to look at the different species, but this has me stumped.  It's not teak, might be some sort of oak or mahogany.   In any event it's the same as the mantel which is what AnnaMarie wanted, and that's what is important. 
      NOBODY in Sandy Eggo will mill stuff they didn't sell you.  Scared of nails, I suppose.  What am I gonna do with 8x12's I want cut into 2x2's of some unknown hardwood?
      So I loaded them in the old truck (passed 200,000 miles on this trip) and lugged them up to Newport Beach where a buddy has access to some big tools.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-74TBTeDrY1E%2FT-0qdS9CSoI%2FAAAAAAAABps%2FhC6N3Dqhhhs%2Fs1600%2Fbalusters3.jpg&hash=7917a70bc6fa28892dd70e40a22e379a)
       Here we're ripping the beam into slabs.  It was slow going until we replaced the blade (after blowing the circuit breaker) then it was like cutting butter.
       (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-6apUWF1M0DE%2FT-0rF86R3BI%2FAAAAAAAABp0%2F2kum2uZLE2g%2Fs1600%2Fbalusters.jpg&hash=f294da63b69da2db1f056ac512085b29)
     Then the slabs got ripped down to baluster size.
      (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-o8NWooTZFO4%2FT-0r6707K_I%2FAAAAAAAABp8%2FYGVicgNsFQE%2Fs400%2Fbalusters2.jpg&hash=25f782f32f8dc96a832b0845f8a5c7da)
     This is my go to guy that bails me out whenever something like this comes up.  More than enough balusters, ready to go.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: CjAl on June 29, 2012, 04:42:00 AM
that looks like.it may be cypress but that would be a strange wood to find in socal

does it hqve a very smooth undefined gain?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 29, 2012, 04:53:08 AM
It's got about the same grain definition as oak, just without those little brown lines oak has.  I'll try to get a picture of the grain to post.  For the record, I tried to wear my safety glasses, but this was a whirlwind trip and I didn't get home first for my good pair.  The plastic ones kept fogging up so bad I couldn't see, and decided not to cut off my thumbs and risk the eye damage. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: rick91351 on June 29, 2012, 05:08:23 AM
It's got about the same grain definition as oak, just without those little brown lines oak has.  I'll try to get a picture of the grain to post.  For the record, I tried to wear my safety glasses, but this was a whirlwind trip and I didn't get home first for my good pair.  The plastic ones kept fogging up so bad I couldn't see, and decided not to cut off my thumbs and risk the eye damage. 

I do not have a pair but Bug-Eyez Mesh Goggles, or wire mesh safety glasses from Bailey's seem to work well.  If they fog up you really got problems.   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: CjAl on June 29, 2012, 05:11:59 AM
cypress looks kind of like teak without the color. and it has very little color variation.

its very common around here. most all tue old barns are cypress because it doesnt rot
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 29, 2012, 06:38:56 AM
I looked online at cypress, I don't think that's it.  Here's what I know----it's hard and heavy.  It was cut into 8x12 beams for a shipwright 35 years ago.  The surface patina is thin.  It's reddish when first cut and sort of oxidizes to a warm pale after a few weeks.  It is very stable, not twisting or warping even when left outside for a long time
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: CjAl on June 29, 2012, 06:51:49 AM
i looked up ship masts and it says most all masts were made from the trunk of a conifer tree. google conifer for a full list but they include redwood, douglas fir, cypress, yew, junipers and spruces
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 29, 2012, 12:10:58 PM
It's definitely a hardwood so that excludes conifers....I know keels were often oak, sometimes bulkheads were too.  Teak and mahogany were often used too for the hull.  I don't think this was used for the mast---8x12 isn't very mast shaped
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: CjAl on June 29, 2012, 02:18:02 PM
no they arent are they lol. i thought you said something about ships masts, i wasnt asking questions.  ???

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 29, 2012, 07:28:53 PM
OK here's a picture of it.  If it's oak it isn't the same species I've done stuff with in the past
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-g-TjaKLmJko%2FT-6AOWXTmGI%2FAAAAAAAABqI%2F_pAtxUVZLCQ%2Fs1600%2Fwood%2Bgrain.jpg&hash=540f7aa7e25430a379971ae5891b8719)

   I think I'll post this under general discussion too and see what folks think
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on July 02, 2012, 07:01:49 PM
In the homestretch now.  There's going to be a countertop that turns an 'L' and forms a bar...My mom was down for a visit and suggested a pantry behind the bar seating under the stairs.  It was a good suggestion.  Also the parallam beam that holds up the second floor got a deep sanding a a few coats of polyclear varnish.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-D5O2JOu5J30%2FT_JomshukvI%2FAAAAAAAABq0%2Fsbffr8KQxcI%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bpantry.jpg&hash=42e32cd71bd8fc582268fab28c2bc42d)
 
  The chimney chase was a challenge.  My wife wanted it to match the boulders outside, and have some cut stones, too.  The stones all came from the lot.  This view is taken from way up a ladder.  It looks best kind of edge on, the only way you'll see it from inside.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-bcHr6ooHmEE%2FT_JqvNjxzaI%2FAAAAAAAABq8%2FoJIFnXe6Xds%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bchimney.jpg&hash=3b6567541b96bcb13bf7d320e84475ed)
    Here's the mantel.  It's the same mystery wood that I've cut up to use for the stair rails and balusters.  I'm not sure what it is but it sure is pretty with a few coats of varnish on.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-5tHTzKVj7Ag%2FT_Jr3X4MUoI%2FAAAAAAAABrE%2FQBK9qmmy_Po%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bmantel.jpg&hash=664f2fa2b422315edf75d00477797b39)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on July 05, 2012, 07:20:38 PM
    Woohoo!  Now have a toilet that flushes and electric all hooked up.  The toilet install had a slight issue--I had to sweat off the cap from the copper stub for the angle stop and even with a shield made from hardieboard, melted the plastic wainscoting.  Fortunately I have enough left over I replaced it.
     Energizing the house-- I really could have months ago, I just needed a 2 pole breaker.  I guess I didn't want to deal with any problems that would arise, and arise they did.  First that 'arc fault interrupt' circuit required for the bedroom tripped---tried to reset it and it tripped again.  Shut it all the way to the 'off' position and reset it and it was fine.  Probably some circuitry thing.  Then the quadruple gang box for downstairs lighting had a wire loose, fixed that, and it shorted----suspected the 50 year old porch lights from architectural salvage in Little Italy.  Rewired those, restuffed the box, everything's good now.


  "I could have made this place a three level but that's another story"
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Alasdair on July 06, 2012, 12:31:31 AM
Love the cottage! And enjoyed your blog too - those curved rafters on your first place - WOW!
You don't make things easy on yourself do you!
Great stuff
Al
  [cool]
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on July 10, 2012, 09:51:17 AM
  Thanks, Al!  By making things more complicated, it slows construction which keeps things so the building doesn't outpace the finances.  I'm paying cash as I go so we own these outright.
   Plumbing issues---finishing the bathroom now.  THe window had to be lower so my wife could reach it which meant cutting the tub surround and adding vinyl corner trim around the window opening.  The trim is gooped into place with silicone and no voids so water won't get underneath and no nails to corrode.  The drywall mud on the sill is waterproof too.  I wanted to slope the sill so shampoo bottles won't end up there but that would have meant cutting more of the surround.
  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-PyrabyYq_Zo%2FT_xyM2pOzVI%2FAAAAAAAABrQ%2F5-9j63rsiMg%2Fs640%2Fbathroom%2Bwindow.bmp&hash=73f4d20969f572923dc975b0bed725c5)

  Months ago when I sweated in the plumbing mixer I placed it in the middle of the wall so nails couldn't reach the pipes from either side.  So when I went to install the tub handle and faceplate, it was too deep for the screws to reach.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-H8r68lkuCMo%2FT_x0cF35MtI%2FAAAAAAAABrY%2Fplnmt_MWbRo%2Fs640%2Fbathroom%2Bmixer.bmp&hash=f7d6dcf6aad4dd67b31fc90a2557ffad)
  I got onto efaucets and they offer a variety of extension kits that solved the problem for me. 
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-vcFgue7Xc1M%2FT_x1bhpZPKI%2FAAAAAAAABro%2FAtx8k6Fd1Js%2Fs640%2Fbathroom%2Bextensions.bmp&hash=42112ec1abe9fb3e00d870ceb57f59c3)

This harkens back to the 'lessons learned' thread---had to stop working in the bathroom and go do something else until the kit came.  There were plenty of 'something else's' to do.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on July 24, 2012, 01:35:29 AM
    All my lumber was ordered as grade #1 btr.  Being a natural product, there were still some really good boards and some not-so-good ones.  The longer they sat, the easier it was to tell the sheep from the goats.
    This is my cottage, sitting in my driveway---along with the project foreman.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FS_00aZCU6qI%2FAAAAAAAABPM%2FPenyvd-3Vq4%2Fs400%2FGEDC0761.JPG&hash=1c0860d487426a9409e4474e132e978a)
     The building site is across the street, so lumber could get re-categorized while it was moved and re-stacked next to the build.
      Really bad boards were set aside for short pieces like fire blocking.  The vast majority, which were just fine, went into framing.  The rare clear board---straight with few knots and good grain---were set aside for the trimwork stage.
      I can just buy a stick of crown moulding for around $14.  Lots of it gets wasted.  With a table saw and palm sander, it's a lot cheaper to make my own (and I get exactly the shapes I need)
      (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-OoDAPIPeFY0%2FUA5yqpzUv7I%2FAAAAAAAABr0%2Fh5WRUsU_EqE%2Fs640%2Fmoulding1.jpg&hash=77e36db87e7c2a9d4137dd6485a61902)  Hidden inside one $8 2x10x12,  there were 5 crown mouldings, 3 outside corners, 3 inside corners, and a funny angle piece for where the sloped ceiling meets the wall (this one actually got cut further for an inside corner piece too)
   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Fy4y125oiBk%2FUA5z2zLJFNI%2FAAAAAAAABr8%2FZZfi8tUTsH8%2Fs640%2Fmoulding2.jpg&hash=1bb7f8bebce08ee855a9fc42bf03a47b)
   They all get sanded smooth.  The outside corners get run through the table saw set at 45 degrees to round off the corners, then sanded really deep---people always scrape against outside corners so the more rounded, the better
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 10, 2012, 07:34:36 AM
   OK time to stop trolling and start updating......As much as I hate deadlines, I'm coming up against one for the final----so I'm putting in 18 hour days here when I'm not at the paying job....
    My subfloor got rained and snowed on repeatedly.  I stored heavy table saws and lumber on it while wet, so I had some dips, soft spots, and swollen joints.  The finished floor is this 40 year old quarter sawn oak I found, and it needs to go down on a perfectly flat surface.  Plus, I had an issue with the first stair riser----when I put the 7/8" tread on it it would have been too high for the first step (only 3/8" difference is allowed) So, I planed all the joints, sanded, put down tar paper, then a whole new layer of t&g subfloor.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-U6zahBMrPE0%2FUCUmwNoATqI%2FAAAAAAAABsI%2FF1luozCveL0%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bsubfloor.bmp&hash=296a338ecbe5a5808a3ada73109c6307)

   My wife and I both really dislike making a television the focal point of a room, but the only logical place for it was over the fireplace.  The wall mounted box is made from scraps of the mystery wood left over from the mantel, with bifold shutters to hide the TV.  The cables were all run before the siding went up.
   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-EG5Y1kfhT5M%2FUCUt0RlvH4I%2FAAAAAAAABs8%2FbZmJYNiSCXg%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Btv.bmp&hash=c21e387a455542750fd529c0781bc2e9)
   The flush mount ceiling speakers look great, but one of the wires was on the other side of a joist.  I didn't want to cut a huge hole in it...I drilled a number of different sized holes through cardboard and had my middle daughter put her arm through them until I found the smallest size she could reach through (2 1/2"), drilled that through the joist, put her on my shoulders, and stood on an OSHA approved paint bucket so she could reach through and grab it.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-qW58ij7mWqo%2FUCUosDOzblI%2FAAAAAAAABsU%2FjiMWXR8F5aY%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Blauren.bmp&hash=a47d5727440e811352167584b4365da6)
    Our neighbors had strong opinions about leaving the beautiful spruce interior siding a natural finish, but AnnaMarie insisted on white---"This is a cottage, not a cabin"....it required primer and two coats of Behr Plus satin paint, mostly rollered on, then a brush for the joints.  Lesson learned----the Wagner sprayer WILL NOT spray primer.  after 20 seconds it dries on the piston and clogs it all up, even if thinned to water-like consistency.  A little better luck with the paint after adding Flotrol, but still with masking, overspray, and cleanup, it wasn't worth it.  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-jJEDFvWAMIU%2FUCUrUJajyUI%2FAAAAAAAABso%2FjInXJ-ih8RE%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bbay.bmp&hash=510b3a03ba5c5126d010e91d2be84848)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-lt5f9OWhla8%2FUCUrqsnzFAI%2FAAAAAAAABsw%2F6DXN8h0avwk%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bchimney.bmp&hash=d7f644a782e8ffdf34611e3fe2ceed71)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-0tQ5wMNSXZU%2FUCUufW1h2II%2FAAAAAAAABtQ%2FdHQOHux5INg%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bupstairs.bmp&hash=e94965d1caa6970b71cf02b6508ad527)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-tOTEszGCWPk%2FUCUuNqCP6RI%2FAAAAAAAABtE%2FtrZVTs6tOf0%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bbedroom.bmp&hash=4c41e9f376486261ab4b482c62fdbf55)
   We varnished the ceiling at least.  It kept the place from feeling like a sterile surgical suite with all the white, and we're throwing the neighbors a bone.
    Here's the bathroom.  My wife chose a tub surround with a diamond pattern, which I matched in the ceiling moulding---just 1x3's with 160 cuts through each 8' board. 
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Ud4jfU6UNxo%2FUCUpky69X7I%2FAAAAAAAABsc%2FdhC8w1uU4O4%2Fs1600%2Ffinishing%2Bbath.bmp&hash=adf839a5d9eef51c154ea968d836f306)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 18, 2012, 04:48:37 AM
  This is the flooring I bought on Craigslist.  I got 600 square feet for $120.  It's quarter sawn oak that she says she bought 40 years ago in Ohio.  It was stuffed in cardboard USPS boxes and stacked outside.  Most have some sort of rot on one end that looks like the wood got burned, and a few are too warped to use and will become kindling.  So the ends get trimmed, and they get glued and face nailed down.  It isn't going quickly but it's exactly the look we wanted.   I just wish we had enough to do the upstairs too
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-JCejZ8fLSCM%2FUC-YHirwuTI%2FAAAAAAAABto%2FrSdwuri7AiQ%2Fs1600%2Ffloor.jpg&hash=9719bcf779a53d7d77f1aef7e30bf55d)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Sassy on August 18, 2012, 06:39:53 AM
You just keep outdoing yourselves!  The flooring looks great as does everything else  :)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 05, 2012, 06:50:36 PM
   My inspector came up today for a progress inspection.  Only 'changes' were my stair railing is too high (it's not----once the treads are in, which are 1 1/2" deeper than the rough in, it will be right) and my range hood vent has to be ridgid  (not the corrugated dryer vent I have there now....) My wife worked with him through the inspection since I'm at work....Yestrday, though, I decided to figure out why my gas piping wouldn't hold pressure.  I knew where the leak was---way, way under the house where a 4" nipple went into the elbow to go up the wall.
   I really didn't want to take all my piping apart, past two branches, all the way to the outside union (you can't have unions under the house) so I sent away for a left/right nipple that came with a coupling, one end a right hand thread the other a left.  I just cut out the old nipple, threaded out the two halves, cranked the new coupling on, and twisted the new nipple in place.  Iwas careful to make sure both ends started threading at the same time.  I used both gas pipe tape and the really good grayish green thread goop.  The original fitting leaked because I failed to put anything whatsoever on the threads the first time.  How in the world did I miss that??? I must have dry fit it to get it up through the wall and never re-did it with goop.  The piping held 10 psi overnight though so it's good now
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on September 05, 2012, 07:03:17 PM
That was some accurate pipe cutting!  Or was there some slack?   Difficult to swing the die handle?  Glad to hear it now holds. I've done the trial fit and then miss something later trip. Always a nuisance, sometimes more than others.  I like the Rector's teflon brush on goop; never had a leak when I used it. A tad messy with the excess but it works well.

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 05, 2012, 07:30:00 PM
The pipe ran horizontal for 16' then up between the TJI's before turning, so once the pipe was cut it could swing out of the way easily.  Don---what's your take on mixing black pipe with galvanized pipe?  When I look it up on line the discussion forums are more contentious than a religious or political topic.  I couldn't find anything in the code forbidding it here in California, and I brought samples to HazMat when I worked overtime there----seems like the same material except the black has something black on it.  Absolutely zero electrical potential between the two so not worried about corrosion
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on September 05, 2012, 08:00:27 PM
Black vs galvanized regarding propane or natural gas.... My understanding has been that the code varies from place to place and has varied over the years in the same place.  Galvy has been prohibited for gas use and then sometimes allowed later. ???  I have read that some jurisdictions have banned galvy pipe for gas use because it might flake galvy particles which might cause problems with gas orifices. I have never seen the reasoning listed in a code, but then I've never searched it out. Seems a little far fetched to me.

Once the threads are cut the galvy is gone so no electrical issues there.

I've even heard that black is for gas and galvy for water so you can tell one from the other. Again, I've never seen it written in a credible document. Probably old wives tales or urban legends....  It's on the internet; must be true.

I believe that black is traditional for gas because it is generally less costly and gas does not cause it to rust, whereas if water runs through black pipe the water coming out of the faucet looks ugly and the pipes will corrode early.

In short, I don't know of any real world issues id galvy pipe is used for propane or natural gas. And I could be all wrong. I did use black iron for my gas installation, but will admit to having a galvy fitting included as I was short one and had a galvy in the odds 'n' ends box at the time.  But I've never done the reverse.




Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: pmichelsen on September 06, 2012, 06:19:55 AM
I was always taught black pipe for natural gas, and the reason being, like Don mentioned, galvy flakes and will cause problems. Also the pipe dope I always use is Rector Seal and it should be the yellowish one, we call it baby poop. All of my information comes from my father a third generation plumber and second generation building inspector, I'm sure everyone has their own way and reasons...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 06, 2012, 04:58:50 PM
From what I've read (and tested chemically)  Black pipe IS galvanized, then painted black.  (I looked at covalent bonds, then put them both in an acid bath to see if there was potential between the two.  Zero.  What I proved beyond a doubt is I'm a nerd)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 07, 2012, 06:46:03 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-FKb66VhWf9k%2FUEpebqUzBNI%2FAAAAAAAABug%2Fd2duSR39IAQ%2Fs1600%2Ffloor%2Bjene.bmp&hash=0bac29c1eb138046134b7fe1e9d1186f)

   My neighbor keeps backing up further and further for his target practice...He's about 150 yards away here still hits the straw bale every time..

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-qInkcR3sRLw%2FUEpgCl8nhmI%2FAAAAAAAABu0%2FjnVwC9chMR0%2Fs1600%2Ffloor%2Bchubasco.bmp&hash=9a32f6c258a9832a9f05bf485df5d97b)

   We get these weather patterns in SUmmer called 'Chubascos'.  Cuyamaca is on the ridge of the Peninsular Range that forms Baja California and terminates at Cabo San Lucas.  The ocean's to the west and the desert't to the east--in the Summer the cool wet air meets the dry warm air and these massive clouds form.  This one dumped about 5" of rain in the afternoon.  Desert gets some good flash floods but we're pretty safe here

  Here's another picture of that 40 year old floor we scored...It finished beautifully.  The first coat dried for a few days, got sanded down, then a second coat.  There was enough for the entire ground floor and everything upstairs except the bedroom and bathroom.  The few planks left over were too damaged to use but AnnaMarie decided to save them anyway since we'll never find floor like this to match again
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-tAERlFxcz2Y%2FUEpdst1-jmI%2FAAAAAAAABuU%2Fw-0dhojYdlA%2Fs1600%2Ffloor%2Bfinish.bmp&hash=9f06322f89ffcb24028994bc6533d16f)

  Tomorrow--start kitchen cabinets.  Have to finish the railing, bedroom floor, stair treads, and walk to the front, then some cleanup and it's done!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: jonnyc1999 on September 09, 2012, 07:57:26 AM
I don't know if you ever found out what your mystery mantel wood was, but to me it looks a lot like Honduran Mahoghany.  The grain pattern and both interior and exterior colors are very similar to those on my old sailboat, which was Honduran Mahoghany, which is a much lighter color than other varieties.  It varnishes out to a beautiful honey color that is comparable to a varnished teak.  Some of the old guys on the wooden boat forum might be able to tell you straight away, they know their wood varieties better than some woodsmen [cool]

      I think this is my first post, but I hope I was helpful for it!  Also, awesome job on your cottage, I hope I can construst something half as beautiful when I build my house!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 12, 2012, 07:27:06 PM
  I think it is some sort of mahogany, but I've been told the beams came from Belize and there are lots of mahoganies out there....

   We couldn't find any pendant lights AnnaMarie liked for over the bar.  I did find some kits at Dixieline in the bargain bin for $6 (you buy the globe separate).  She had a pair of hand blown olive oil bottles she really liked......
   As luck would have it I've got a 2" diamond hole saw.  You have to keep it wet so I just held it underwater.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-mzGDQgyOZwc%2FUFFXKy3hcgI%2FAAAAAAAABvM%2F9be7gZuHTdc%2Fs400%2Fpendant%2Bdrilling.jpg&hash=e1a938a09736ed8765f92cfaf905aa20)
   The neck was too long but the tile saw cut through it quick
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-nb7Qda0CBRE%2FUFFYxFFYc6I%2FAAAAAAAABvU%2Fqa2jx5jZztk%2Fs400%2Fpendant%2Bcutting.jpg&hash=d40d4c37e465a6a541e97e8db1c51be6)
   The wiring went in pretty easy, except for cranking down that ring nut.  I sanded all the cut edges underwater too so they were all smooth
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-edsjn-b18IE%2FUFFZjYfg-HI%2FAAAAAAAABvc%2FUgdY5l8AuSY%2Fs400%2Fpendant%2Bwiring.jpg&hash=c4b367f355cb318702c83de23c60ae57)
   All done...We tried a variety of bulbs and the crackly glass ones looked best.  The 40 watt bulbs are too bright----I'll pick up some 25's.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-JZCq2kmEzpQ%2FUFFakHvbmNI%2FAAAAAAAABvo%2FHRxZ4q_-FG4%2Fs400%2Fpendant%2Bdone.jpg&hash=b27b49168f55b730d60ba4da19ae5ca2)

   You can see the balusters are all in.  A.M.  really likes the weathered side of that reclaimed lumber so that's facing the living area.  The cut sides are varnished and contrast well.
    Same balusters around the reading nook.  A.M.  did the varnishing and painting.  I splurged and bought oak for the top of the rail---I thought using a hardwood, even though it's painted, will wear better.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-wKtr2qGdFdc%2FUFFbetTs6tI%2FAAAAAAAABvw%2FTfw1H1PZBjs%2Fs400%2FAnnaMarie%2Bpainting.jpg&hash=5e6fede9105dafab5a039ce2edbae667)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: pmichelsen on September 13, 2012, 06:15:45 AM
Very cool idea and it looks great.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 14, 2012, 03:11:01 PM
OK.  Cabinet building.  You don't need a shop, just a flat surface, skilsaw, router, and a Kreg jig.  (You can get by without the Kreg jig; there are these little dowel kits where you drill the hole in one board and put this little metal thingy in that has a point, and press the other board against it to mark for that hole.  They don't always line up though)

  I'm writing this as a tutorial although most of the people that will read this are probably more experienced at building cabinets than I am, so please jump in with pointers.  Someone asked awhile back if I was building my own cabinets so I decided to document the whole process
   Figure out the dimensions for the finished cabinet.  This one is an upper cabinet that will hold the range hood, so the metal chase for the vent has to run through the shelves.  Cut a piece of plywood (3/4", I'm using the cheapest formaldehyde free stuff I could find since I want a rustic look anyway) to the height, and twice the depth + 1/4", of the finished cabinet.  Route lines for the top and bottom and anywhere you want a shelf.  (I prefer these fixed shelves over the adjustable rack type)
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    The reason you made this TWICE the depth is, now you cut it apart into the left and right sides, and your routed lines will match up perfectly.  Cut it in half.  Trim the other piece (you added 1/4" so you could trim them to the exact depth you needed)
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     You'll need a backing on it.   You could just cut it to the outside dimensions but it looks better if you cut a rabbet to the depth of your backing material so it can inset.  I'm using 3/16 luann that was in the bargain bin for $6 a sheet.   
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    You don't have to use the table saw for this, the router works well too.
     Next drill pilot holes every 6" through the router lines.  Flip it over and hit those holes again with a countersink bit so you can hide the screws later.   Assemble the carcass; cut shelves, top, and bottom the finished width you need, minus the thickness of the sides where the router lines are (SO...you want 36" wide.  After your router did its damage you have 5/8" left on the sides, times two, 1 1/4".  Make shelves 34 3/4" wide, and the same depth as the sides minus the rabbet cut)  It helps if you loosely clamp the carcass together and tap the shelves into place.  If the shelves won't be trimmed by the face frame, iron on some veneer because the cu edge plywood won't take paint well.  Backset your shelves the thickness of the veneer, about 1/32".  Screw it together.  I like coarse thread drywall screws for this.

  Also think about how it'll attach to the wall.  Typically you put a 1x4 along the upper back up against the backing and pre-drill where you know studs are going to be.  When you install them you screw a strip to rest the bottom on, tip it into place, then scre in the top part.  I like to screw it into the ceiling joists as well.
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    Here's where you square the whole thing up.  Get accurate measurements for the height and the width between rabbets, and cut your backing accurate and square.  Nail one edge in, then force the carcass into square by matching a perpendicular edge and nail that, too.  Mark the back where there are shelves and nail that.  WAIT---if your cabinet will need cutouts for plumbing or electrical, just bring the back in and mark/cut it now.  MUCH easier than moving around a whole cabinet.
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   OK I know advertisements are not allowed so use any brand pocket drill guide you can find.  Kreg jig.  Cut your face frame pieces to size and dry-fit them over the carcass.  Then take the pieces one at a time to your Kreg jig (or equiv) and drill your holes.  It comes with a special clamp to hold things in place while you scre them together.  This is a great tool with many applications.  Get a spare drill bit because they break.
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  I took some cedar fence and cut it into 1 3/4" strips then ripped them in two the thin way, and veneered all the exposed sides to give them a crate look.  They'll get painted gloss white later.  I'll get to work on the doors later.
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  Just reviewed this post----I want product placement $$$$ from the Kreg jig people.  And Ryobi.  And Sam Adams.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 14, 2012, 03:23:09 PM
P.S.  AnnaMarie just called me at work.... "Do you have any idea where my iron went?  I can't find it anywhere"...Look--it said 'Black and Decker' on it...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 17, 2012, 03:40:47 PM
   I wrote Richard Petty, the President of Greener Lumber LLC.  He reclaims logs that sank in Belize rivers 200 years ago.  He wrote back immediately and with complete confidence identified my mystery lumber as 'Santa Maria'.

What you have here my friend is commonly known in
Belize as "Santa Maria".
The taxonomic name for it is "Calophyllum brasiliense" and
is common from Cental America all the way to Brazil
where it is known as "Jacareuba".

Historically it was commonly used for boat building and ship building but
now is used as a substitute for Mahogany. It is a little heavier that Mahogany
and doesn't patina like Mahogany but still is a beautiful wood in it's own right.
Archeology wise it was used by the Mayans as vertical supports in the form
of pilings mounted underneath the steps of their pyramids.

   He wrote more but that's the gist.  Check out his website---    www.greenerlumber.com ---awesome stuff

  Also-- http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/jacareuba.htm  this is exactly what I have.  I'm fairly sure this will be the only cottage in Cuyamaca with a jacarueba staircase
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 26, 2012, 05:51:41 PM
So a little more about my 'mystery wood'.  I knew it came from cutoffs of beams when the schooner 'The Californian' was built 30 years ago.  Looking through old manifests, I found out the hardwood came from Belize.  I wrote to a guy who has a company that logs river bottoms in Belize--he immediately identified it as 'Jacareuba', also known as 'Santa Maria'.
My wife really wanted the stair treads made out of the stuff so I scrounged up some more of the beams and lugged them to a fire captain's house---and his new band saw.
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  We cut a beam to stair width, used tape as a marker, and began to cut.  We wrecked the blade bearings after 8 cuts and concluded is was too much for his saw...I'll get him new bearings.  We WERE able to plane enough planks for the landing.  I bought oak treads and will pickle them to match the floor.
   Here is some of what we got leaning up against an uncut beam.
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   In the process of researching 'The Californian' I came across a website for a company that makes high dollar model ships.  'The Californian' is one of their big sellers.  They pride themselves on details.  I wrote to the owner and asked if he wanted some of the cutoffs to build the models---I thought it would be cool if they used wood from 'The Californian' for models of 'The Californian'....I got a quick 'hell yes' type reply and how much did I want for it?  (I told him just pay for shipping and maybe send pictures of a finished product.  I got the wood free and it would be bad karma...)
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   Side note---the figurehead was modeled after Christine Bach of Dukes of Hazard fame.  She had an ancestor that crewed the schooner The Californian is a replica of.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 08, 2012, 07:06:14 AM
Time to get the kitchen finished.  We were down the hill for date night anyway so figured I'd get some needed lumber home in the Subaru
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   It's been great having AnnaMarie there painting while I'm working on other stuff.  She finally chose the color for the kitchen wall.  She wants the microwave hidden from view so it's going in the space she's painting here.
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   Time to build doors.   I wanted to biscuit join the edges, but once I cut the kerf for the panel, the biscuit fit too loose in there.  If I stopped the kerf early, it rounded up so the panel wouldn't fit, and I didn't want to do crazy curved cuts for every panel (19 doors total)  That's when I noticed the panels were exactly the same thickness as the biscuits.  So, I flipped the bisuit joiner over and cut a piece of wood that holds the shoe back, and used it as a wood shaper to cut the panel slot and biscuit slot all at the same time.  It worked great.
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   here's an assembly pic
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   I really got a whole assembly line going.  Identical size doors would sit in the clamps while I built the next set.  That set would go into the clamps, and the ones that came out went for edge sanding, then set aside.  Cutting for the next set would commence...Here are four identical doors sharing the clamps
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  All the plumbing is finished.  Garbage disposal's in.  Counter's down.  The sections of counter were in the culled lumber bin---they had chips and cuts, and I chose ones that I could cut the parts out where they weren't needed.  AnnaMarie preferres formica for her counters.  I cut off the backsplashes and formed trim out of more of that jacareuba.  (This is the beta version.  I made it really thick where the barstools go so it would look more like a bar----I could tell by her face it was wrong so I re-cut it to as thin as it could be)
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   The cabinets are inset where your legs go for the barstools, but right up under the counter the three drawers slide all the way back.  They're boxed in so no one will bang their knees on stuff...The big open box is the firewood crib and the slot next to that is for the fireplace tools.  The color she chose for the kitchen wall is 'fresh guacamole'
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: dablack on October 09, 2012, 09:28:12 AM
The cabinets look great.  If you can, give us more info on the counter tops. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 09, 2012, 06:10:27 PM
The countertops are just the preformed HomeDepot variety.  I just bought the formica cutting blade, turned them over, and cut off the backsplashes.  I didn't want the preformed 45 degree joint right under where the dishes will dry, so I cut the formed edge off and butt-joined those two.  I had to copy the funny little shapes on the underside where the hardware goes that joins them---a 3/8" router bit cut the little cross shapes well, then glue, then pull them together.  The counters sit on  a 3/4" CDX plywood base, not just right on top of the cabinets.  1 1/4" screws from underneath and construction adhesive hold them down.  The edges where I cut are trimmed with the same jacareuba I'm using all over the cottage for different things.  The edges by the range are just finished with the iron on laminate.  WHat else would you like to know?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: dablack on October 11, 2012, 07:54:22 AM
I get it now.  When I saw that you trimmed it with jacareuba, I was thinking that the whole countertop was hardwood.  I get what you did now and I like how you used stuff from the culled lumber bin.   Looks great.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 19, 2012, 06:41:53 AM
I really wanted to build the stairs completely out of jacareuba.  I had enough material, but it's all locked up in 8x15 beams and after frying the bearings on the bandsaw realized I just wasn't going to end up with 14 1" thick slabs flat enough for steps.  So, back to oak, but all the edges are trimmed with the jacareuba.
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Every step has at least 5 cutom made pieces of wood---the tread, riser, trim below the bull nose, tread trim, riser trim.  They have to fit around the balusters.  Each one involves multiple trips outside to the tool pile.  These are the toughest pieces---
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They're made from jacareuba, which is like working with rock maple.  They have to fit around the balusters, come down over the stringer edge, and match the bull nose for the tread.  After each tread is stained I'll biscuit join these to the edge, varnish them together, then install them---I might have to loosen up the balusters a bit to get them in.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Sassy on October 19, 2012, 06:48:25 AM
Everything is looking really lovely!  I really like those light fixtures, too  [cool]
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 21, 2012, 05:06:28 PM
Thanks Sassy!  Right now the steps are apart in three different groups of parts---70 in all I think---the treads got stained and varnished, the trim just got varnished, and the risers only have primer----tomorrow they'll get their paint and all the varnished stuff will get sanded for the second coat.  I wish I could find someone that enjoys finish work as much as I enjoy framing, and I'd gladly trade swinging the hammer for pulling a brush.   I know it's important and needs to be done correctly and patiently...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 23, 2012, 06:58:37 AM
Just a quick stair building update---the jacareuba trim is getting biscuit joined to the butt end of the treads so they'll stay nice and secure over time....The treads are getting glued down with construction adhesive and screwed down.  I'm adding a bead of glue where the tread touches the wall in hopes it'll keep squeeks to a minimum from movement
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The treads and trim get a light sanding before installation.  I'll do the final varnish coat after they are in place.
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 03, 2012, 08:55:35 AM
A Smart Foreperson
  AnnaMarie's cottage has to be completed by November 20th or the permit expires.  I made trades at work to have a bunch of days off in a row---only to get called back to work for a bit.  Two things left to finish for the final---the concrete bridge to the front porch and all the cleanup of the site.  No problem!
  Except----AnnaMarie said to get all the little finish stuff inside done first.  Base moulding, door handles, little trim pieces, etc.  Biggest was the bedroom floor.  I think she knew once I had the final inspection in hand work would slow WAAAAYY down.  Smart. 
  Choosing the bedroom floor was a struggle.  The rest of the house has that 40+ year old solid oak we found for next to nothing on Craigslist, so to drop Ikea Tundra floor in the bedroom would have looked cheap.  We had two trips down the hill to look at different floors.  The ones she liked were dark gray with some brown, and were about $7 a square foot, and she didn't really love them, they were just O.K.
  The bedroom isn't a main thoroughfare so walking traffic is light.  I thought we might get away with using a softwood so I bought three different widths of white spruce and let it acclimate for a week.  First it got cut to size then biscuit joined to the next board---this will prevent cupping over time.
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Next, it got a good sanding since each board was a little different thickness.  The boards were glued down with heavy duty construction adhesive then screwed down tight.  AnnaMarie filled all the screw holes while I got the base moulding cut to size.

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The slight gaps are unavoidable.  They get filled with flexible caulk after the varnish cures.  Since she wanted a gray floor with brown in it, I burnished the whole thing with a propane torch and simultaneously confirmed proper operation of the smoke detectors.
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 Then the stain.  I used Minwax ironically labelled "New Color! Classic Gray".  It was allowed overnight to dry...(Sidenote---I started at 05:30 am on Halloween and finished the staining at half past midnight, listening to 'Coast to Coast' Halloween ghost story special.  Her cottage is the exact opposite of a creepy mansion so it was impossible to get freaked out) then varnished with a semi-gloss, then sanded, and re-coated.  This pic is between coats so the finished product is a little smoother and shinier and the roller marks all blended in---I'll post a finished picture later.
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AnnaMarie painted up the base mouldings too and I'll install that tomorrow when I get home from work.  So I finally got a day to just dig for the bridge and footpath.  AnnaMarie and Lauren gave the inside a much needed wipedown and cleanup, and when it got dark and chilly I didn't want them to go home because I appreciated the company so I got a fire going.
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: mountainlady1956 on November 03, 2012, 07:26:45 PM
The floors look beautiful. What a creative way to do the bedroom floor and the color is really nice. Torching the floor could be a good stress reducer too-lol. Sitting in front of the fireplace looks so cozy and the wood mantle is very unique! Your cottage looks like it will be a great place to relax.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 05, 2012, 06:37:36 AM
More Finished Stuff
Here's a better pic of the bedroom floor, all finished except for the brown caulk that will go in all the seams---I'm saving that for an after dark project now that it seems to be night right after lunch
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Same deal with the staircase.  All done except for caulk---I want a bead of caulk in all the corners so when I sweep the dirt can't jam under the little crack
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The ends are all trimmed with jacareuba.  I really wanted to make the treads out of jacareuba but I couldn't cut boards big and flat enough---after ruining the bearings on a friend's band saw, I ended up with enough for the landing, I'll have to settle for that
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-43PTHRDAbeg%2FUJfUb9lsbEI%2FAAAAAAAAB3k%2FSiul8RR9P7M%2Fs640%2Ffinjacareuba.bmp&hash=d11432fd71dc7b1d903dafa7dda2e214) AnnaMarie wanted a chalkboard for the kitchen.  She knew what she wanted and we couldn't find it anywhere, like the bedroom floor.  She wanted something framed with 'old white paint'.  I bought the chalkboard paint----if you ever use that stuff plan on three coats minimum sanding in between
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 I went down to the lake and crawled around under the 120 year old boat house and found this 4x4 lying on a stack of old wood.  AnnaMarie did the chalk paint, and decided she wanted a couple of the inside of the tallest cabinet door chalkboard too to keep a grocery list.  So I decided the inside of one of the doors for the liquor cabinet should be chalkboard too.
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 09, 2012, 05:57:53 AM
  Final project---the concrete winding stairs leading to an arch that goes to the porch, all colored to match the native stones.  Day before, got it all formed up (the arch was the hard part) rebar in, and two more trips in the old truck--a yard of red-e-crete per trip.  So the plan for yesterday was to get up at 0'dark thirty and start mixing and pouring, get done before nightfall.
  AnnaMarie woke me up at 04:00----"It's raining".  No, the weatherman said no rain until Friday night at the earliest.  "Then ask the weatherman what we're going to do with 84, 100 pound rocks shaped like bags of cement"  It's not cement, it's concrete, and it technically isn't concrete until it's hydrated.  "Well, it's hydrating , and if you're sitting on the pity pot think of all the people in New York with no heat or food or roof" 
   So I get out there with the plan to re-load them into the old truck and move them all to the garage.  The paper bags are wet but the concrete mix inside still seems to have some give.  It's really only the top ones that are wet.  The rain turned to a misty fog so I just started mixing and pouring instead.
   I don't know how much concrete I've mixed in the mixer over the years, but it's in the hundreds of yards.  I'd always prefer to make my own--buy a truckload of sand, drop it off on a tarp.  Buy a truckload of gravel, put it on another tarp.  14 bags of plastic cement.   Measure by the shovelful, get in the routine.  This site is too steep to manage piles of materials though so pre-mix it is.  I still buy a few bags of cement to 'sweeten the mix'-- pre-mix is a 7 sack mix and I like it a little stronger and more workable.
  I could see AnnaMarie in our house across the street, holding a cup of coffee.  I was trying to look heroic battling the elements to build her dream home.  In reality, this was the very best concrete mixing weather there could be----mixing when it's hot and dry out, lugging 90 pound sacks around gets pretty hot.  The concrete sets too quick and you have to add the step of misting things.  Every bag dumped in the mixer means holding your breath until the dust cloud passes.  In the cool moist weather, though, I never get overheated and the dust stays down a lot.   Dehydration for both the concrete mix, and the concrete mixer, is less an issue.  The occasional break in the clouds and fog would bring an intense sun and the fall colors around the lake were stunning.
   The final finish work was after sunset.  The old truck provided enough light from the headlights.  Last night it started raining in earnest, maybe 6 hours after the concrete was mixed.  I've read the best thing to do is just leave it alone (no way tarps would stay put in the wind) any attempts to trowel water off the surface will force too much water into the concrete and weaken it.
   It's so foggy now I can't see across the street.  I'm going to walk over and see how it fared overnight and see what critters walked through 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on November 09, 2012, 06:57:58 AM
A great commentary on the woes of concrete work.  As one who has put down a lot of concrete, I can relate!

I too woke to the sound of a heavy downpour in the early hours of Thursday, immediately thinking are we to be mixing mortar and cutting rock in this?  Fortunately by 7 a.m. it had stopped...the last of the cleanup was just complete when it started to snow at 2 p.m..  Today I am looking at a foot of snow on the ground.

Hope all your hard work turns out Ok!!!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 09, 2012, 06:53:03 PM
All is well.  I'd given it a pretty smooth finish, which might be unwise when it gets icy.  The rain seems to have given it a rougher texture, like broom finish without any grain, just rough.   it didn't hurt the color I mixed in.   I'm waiting to post pics until I strip the forms so it all makes sense.  Hope the snow doesn't slow you down---so nice to have stuff to do inside
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 11, 2012, 05:23:18 PM
Just finished all the outside cleanup in the dark.  I am ready for final inspection!  I'll post pics of the walkway tomorrow
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 12, 2012, 08:14:12 AM
Monday, November 12, 2012
Building Bridges
   The final project necessary for completion before the final inspection is the bridge to the porch.  I'd thought about where it would start, where it would end, and how it would be shaped for many months.  Lately I'd been waffling about how complex to make it----I could do a 'just get it done' design of a couple steps down to dirt in a few hours.  I talked myself out of that though.
   Here's the difficulty---I wanted the bridge to curve, going uphill, on an off-camber slope.  So I started by digging two footings down to the hardpan, at angles to each other.  I poured concrete in those with lots of rebar and bent rebar from one to the other so the finished bridge would be well anchored.  then I figured out the midpoint between the two and put a 40" board on the ground there, and dug it in and wedged it until it was level.  Then my forms were built from each footing to that board.  The 'joists' were in first, then the form boards on top were just set on them (with angles ripped so they'd fit tight like a barrel) Then I scribed a line on those that followed the curve I wanted, cut them and screwed them down---with screws just long enough so they wouldn't move.  I knew I'd have to demolish my forms from underneath so shorter screws made sense. 
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I'm kind of wishing I took more pictures of forming the bridge now.  Anyway I matched the arch to curve towards the porch.  The trick there was forming it so it didn't push against the porch beam, making removal of the form impossible.  I screwed it down from the top with a 2x6 that also served to form a pocket for the first deck board to rest its edge in.  Bending the plywood and screwing it into the bridge form was hard.  Then large stones got mortared against the forms.  I decided not to use stones on the edge of the bridge itself---I wanted it pretty thin and thought the stones would weaken it too much, so I just colored it instead.  Worse thing was, it started raining while I was mixing.

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 This picture made its way in here for a couple reasons.  It's the first curved bridge I did, over our fishponds.  Also you can see what the weather was like.  Also to prove SoCal can get fall colors.  Also you can see the neglect our pavilion and fence have faced since I've been building.  (The cottage project is across the street, behind this pavilion.  You'd see the roof but for the fog)
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 The rain didn't ruin anything---it just made the surface rough, not a bad thing for a foot path.  You can see the color mixed in so it'll match the hearth inside.  Although I milked it with AnnaMarie, it was actually great weather to mix concrete in----hot and dry is far worse, lugging 90# sacks of concrete, breathing the dust, and misting the stuff that's already mixed so it doesn't dehydrate too fast.
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So this is stripping the forms.  This one was pinned to the ground with lag bolts pounded in from under the deck.  Wedges from underneath kept it off the beam, and that 2x6 screwed from the top kept it away too.  You can see how the deck board will drop right in there.  It's a smooth transition from concrete to deck.  After pulling the pins out, it just got pounded out from the other side.  The main bridge form, I just kept whacking the joists to smithereens with the digging bar.  Once one form board came out the rest just fell.  (The whole thing was lined with plastic for a smooth finish and to help with this stage)


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The wooden box things are forms for the retaining wall.  It will look just like the ones in the backbround with native stones between the pillars.  This will form a planting area next to the walkway.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on November 13, 2012, 08:11:40 AM
Glad you didn't opt out for the "just get it done" approach.  Your result looks great and although it was a lot of work, you will appreciate it for many years to come.  That's the cool thing about sloped sites, gives lots of opportunity for creativity (and hard work)!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 14, 2012, 11:55:25 AM
Final inspection.....The robo-scheduler had the inspector coming yesterday, when I was home.  The inspector came today, while I was at work.  AnnaMarie handled him just fine (plate of cookies didn't hurt either)  She called me so I could talk to him...
"A few things.  You  need an anti-siphon valve on the hose bib" Ummm...There IS an anti-siphon valve on the hose bib, at least there was yesterday.."Oh.  OK I see it now.  Second, you need to caulk around the base of the toilet"  Ummm...It's caulked, with silicone caulk, clear against a dark floor.  "OK I see it now.   Finally, you need and arc fault circuit for the bedroom lights, not just the outlets"  Oh.  Alright, I'll pick one up on the way home tomorrow. 
Then he signed the certificate of occupancy----We are done!  Well, as done as a house ever is I suppose.  We still need to get the propane tank filled, which they won't do until the certificate of occupancy is signed, then I'll check all the appliances---wall furnace, range, water heater.
Three years well spent
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on November 14, 2012, 12:04:17 PM
 [cool]  Congratulations.  Must a good feeling after all the hard work. Enjoy.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on November 14, 2012, 01:32:45 PM
 [cool] [cool]   ... and a reasonable guy, if a little myopic    ;)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: mountainlady1956 on November 14, 2012, 04:00:05 PM
Congratulations, it's beautiful!  ;D
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on November 15, 2012, 07:40:37 AM
"Finis Coronat Opus"...the End Crowns the Work

Maga grats on on job well done and a goal reached.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: duncanshannon on November 15, 2012, 11:14:04 AM
congrats.

also... thanks for the detail on the cabinets.  I'm just about inspired to make em myself now!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 16, 2012, 12:34:28 PM
My other option was Ikea.  I realized I'd have to pay a lot for those, assemble them, and make their stock sizes fit--not to mention the work of going to get them and bring them up.  All in all it was less work, money, and comprimise to just build them from scratch.  The drawers were intimidating at first---they have to be the correct width or they won't slide--- but after the first one was done the rest went easy
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Native_NM on November 17, 2012, 09:57:59 AM
I've really enjoyed following your build and learning from you.  Congratulations!

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 17, 2012, 01:08:50 PM
    Thank You!  This has been a great opportunity to 'think out loud'.....I've really been wanting to play with fiber optic lighting set in concrete, and I still need to finish the winding stone retaining wall next to the walkway.  The concrete pillars are done.  I just ordered fiber optic cable and the illuminator, so I'm committed now.  It only takes 5 watts, and this area gets DARK at night, so if it all works, having the tiny points of light between the stones should look really cool.   I'll post as I go. 
     We are having problems with our propane company.  They won't return calls.  I need the tank I bought rehabbed a little, but you'd think with the cutthroat business, they'd be a bit more responsive.  I'm anxious to get the wall furnace, range, and water heater working.  I also want to plumb a backup generator to the propane and put a transfer switch in...Details, details...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 25, 2012, 10:26:43 AM
Some pics from our first night in AnnaMarie's new cottage----First, where it is in relation to Lake Cuyamaca.  The meadow is designated open space so our view won't ever get blocked

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Then the outside...I've posted pics of the outside before but here it is with all the debris gone

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This fireplace is awesome.  We burned three logs total---starting at 6 pm.  Next morning there were still coals and the blower was still blowing hot air out.  The house has a nice even heat whether it's the wall furnace or the fireplace.

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 We cooked for the first time here.  Other than having the temp on the fridge too cold, everything worked great.  The staggered cabinets really maximized space while making the kitchen feel bigger than it is.

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   We have the trench for the phone filled back in, they'll come and run the line from the pole tomorrow so the phone will work.   

   Something that I didn't expect to be as hard as it was-----organizing tools and materials after the build.  I hauled everything home and dumped it in the driveway, along with everything from my garage, and just organized it all.  Got rid of lots of stuff.  Ended up with lots of screws, caulk, and sandpaper.  Had a pile of dead tool batteries that won't take a charge anymore.  They'll get recycled.
    The Bosch tankless water heater I got second hand ("We bought it, and we couldn't make it work").  Propane company red tagged it...I could get the pilot lit but when it called to heat water the pilot would go out.  No smell of gas, my pipes were all sized correct, pressures all good.  Spent a few hours cleaning out the pilot assembly, water valve, gas valve, everything that got dirty from sitting for a few years.  Finally figured out the regulator was screwed on the unit upside-down---(if it's mounted correctly, the lettering on it is upside down so I didn't think bad thoughts towards the previous owners, who sold it to me for $80) flipped it over and the whole thing runs perfect.
    We loved being there for the night.  We watched a movie, made each other food, just sort of absorbed it all.  It's funny how looking forward when you start, there's so many steps it's all kind of a blur.  Same when it's done looking back---I can conjur up any of the specific steps, problems, and solutions, but still can't picture it globally if that makes sense.  It's taken on a life of its own.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on November 25, 2012, 11:58:00 AM
Congrats!   Looks like a very pleased lady!

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: pmichelsen on November 26, 2012, 06:23:35 AM
Had a pile of dead tool batteries that won't take a charge anymore.  They'll get recycled.

Not sure if you have tried this or maybe it isn't worth it, but when batteries won't take a charge I have been able to "jump start" them with a 9v.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 26, 2012, 07:05:36 PM
Hmm....They're 18 volt batteries so seems to me all they'd do is ruin a 9v battery
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Danfish on November 27, 2012, 06:45:30 AM
Looks great!!!  Your comment on varying cabinet depth should be noted by all.  Changes in cabinet depth and height makes it much more pleasing to the eye and in some cases improves the use of available space.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 27, 2012, 10:08:25 AM
It sure did, Danfish...We started with the cabinet over the range hood---the rangehood picked its own size and height.  Then we did the one over the fridge---we saw no reason not to bring that one out almost to the depth of the fridge, especially since it was in the corner anyway.  Then the middle one we brought down even with the bottom of the hood.  For depth of the middle one, we split the difference of the depths of the cabinets either side.  Then the little knick knack shelf over the sink goes back the same depth....
The kitchen wall 'bumps out' 2 1/2" behind the middle cabinet to accomodate the drain from the bathroom above.  That bump out always worried me, I thought it would mess with the flow of the kitchen---but now it actually adds dimension.  Better to be lucky than good, they say.  We built the cabinets out of the cheapest 3/4" ply we could find, then added a layer of bender board to the outside in strips because AnnaMarie likes the current trend of building with recycled pallets.  I don't think pallets inside a tight house are a good idea myself---who knows what insecticides and fungicides they've been saturated with?  So just copied the look, then painted them in a few coats of a high gloss white.  I could post close ups of the surface if anyone cares
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 30, 2012, 07:57:46 PM
I've been a big fan of Sarah Susanka's 'Not So Big House' series of books.  Many great tips on building small.  Her theme is instead of building really big, build small and efficient and really nice.  Her ideas were a heavy influence in both my builds.  I sent pics to her website and she actually wrote back----That was very kind of her and it made my day
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 01, 2012, 01:27:19 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-prn1%2Fs720x720%2F69422_4900850402911_1405981661_n.jpg&hash=954403f4e28b4ed3e3f8d2dfbd2b9be3)

  AnnaMarie wants a 'potager' (garden herb planting area.  Had to look it up)  right here.  This is the retaining wall next to the walkway.  Normally I dry stack the stones all the way up even with the top of the pilasters (for lack of a better term) but here I stopped about halfway up following the slope.  I'll make a form with that benderboard then line it with plastic, and drill tiny holes through the form on the steps side, and pull fiber optic strands through the holes all the way up the flight of stairs.  While the mortar's wet I'll carefull set the next course of stone---maybe I'll stick smaller stones in the mortar between the fibers so the big stones won't hurt or dislodge the fibers.
   I wish I had lined my entire form with plastic instead of just the front.  The plastic lined part is wrinly and glossy and awesome,  The long side of that pilaster, which will show from the kitchen, I just poured against plywood so it's rough and chalky.   Fail.

   My wife thinks I go to my job to rest.  Right now we're doing the 6 month inspection on Copter 1, our 212.  I personally want to inspect the 'jesus nut' that holds the rotors on
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 01, 2012, 01:36:04 PM
Some more interior pics
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-snc6%2F196300_4891350125410_1406336071_n.jpg&hash=cb600956edb9ed83d4bc8f31474580ca)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-prn1%2F68425_4891410726925_295987677_n.jpg&hash=d59f08461d76f372f9c3faa837969d4e)This is the reading nook that cantilevers out.  I like it because it gives you somewhere to be other than the livingroom or bedroom, and you get the view out the big picture window.  When you look down into the dining area you're looking into the bay and it makes the place feel bigger than it is
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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 02, 2012, 05:51:58 AM
    Also I want to report we are very happy with the kitchen size.  After the floor was in we kept setting up 'mock' counters out of plywood and playing with where we wanted things.  The downstairs is 20x20 with the only thing dividing the kitchen from the livingroom being the counter, and the counter terminated in front of the front door, so moving it one way expanded the kitchen ut shrank the living room, and lengthwise freed up or blocked the front door.  We also narrowed the counter from 24" in the plans down to 17".  I was worried the 48" in the kitchen between the counters would feel tight but it doesn't, and with the barstools on the other side it's inviting.  While entertaining, people tend to congregate towards the kitchen anyway. 
    I had a conversation with my wife when we were doing the initial plans.  Her feeling is a house is primarily a kitchen --the other rooms are necessary too, but if she's awake and home that's where she wants to be
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 09, 2012, 03:58:45 PM
  So I've been wondering what style house we built is. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_house_types

It's sort of a 'Bay-and Gable' but 'Storybook Style' might fit too
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 10, 2012, 02:33:37 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash3%2Fc22.0.403.403%2Fp403x403%2F530355_4950254077972_1380166689_n.jpg&hash=c17072925c839d9c1640286f7e12410b)

  This is sort of an experiment...I want the retaining wall next to the stairs to have little twinkly lights between the stones.  I ran 20' of CPVC across the yard and under the house where the light source will be.  I'm employing a trick I picked up here on Countryplans----using AnnaMarie's vacuum to pull a string through the pipe.  There are three sweep elbows.

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   Here it is just before pouring.  I partially lined the form with an old shower curtain but left enough so the mortar will bond.  There are two different thicknesses of fibers, 40 in all.  I drilled tiny holes and pushed them through.  Later I'll strip the forms and cut the fibers flush with the smooth mortar that cured up against the shower curtain material.  Then I'll finish building the stone wall over that.  It'll end up being a band of mortar snaking its way through the stones, with the fiber optics embedded.  I hope.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: drainl on December 10, 2012, 05:48:49 PM
Sounds like a neat idea - I'm interested to see how it turns out!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on December 11, 2012, 11:48:47 AM
While you are pulling I think I would pull an extra wire to use in case the primary fails.  Just a little safeguard being that it is not really accessible if a failure might occur.   Or if you don't have the extra wire just pull a piece of rope or cord so that you can pull another piece of wire in the future if needed.  Small price to pay for piece of mind. ;)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 11, 2012, 08:28:02 PM
    Good advice, but I could always just set up the vacuum again...except the top end is now encased in concrete.   The fiber optics turned out....AWESOME.  I used two sizes of fibers---.5mm and .25mm.    I had zero experience with this, but now I know---even the .25 is super bright.  Since the company I ordered from offered sizes much larger I feared .25 would be too tiny.  I have to figure out how to take a picture of it now.  They even light the stairs nicely.  It turned out far better than hoped!   The 3 watt light source under the house has plenty of room left so when I pour more walkway I'll be using more of the fiber optics.  I also have an idea for a fiber optic sundial for the wine cellar, but it's still in the idea stage.  With some funding it could one day be a concept.
     For the record, there's no wire pulled through the CPVC, just fiber optic cable.  Since it survived the pour and it gopher proof in the piping, I think it should be fine for many years.  All the electrical parts are in the crawlspace out of the elements.  Totally expandable too since there's plenty of room in the light source for more fiber optics

  Then I found this......I guess it was a good idea because someone else already did it.  Pretty cool! http://www.hineslab.com/Digital_Sundial.html
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 16, 2012, 11:36:12 AM
 Simpson Strong Ties.   I am not a rep or anything, but man did I buy a lot of Simpson products to build this place.  Any time the structure goes from anything to anything, there were ties.  Sheer, seismic, TJI hangers.  I started wondering about the Simpson company.  First, here are some places I used them--


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    They ran in price from a few cents for the roof deck clips to around $500 for the custom gable beam/valley hanger they welded up for me. 
    I was very impressed with this company.  There are plenty of online resources for specs and installation instructions.  They stand behind every single product except for one that's designed for use in pressure treated applications.  When I called them for that custom made hanger, I had already worked out the math and angles but they re-did it all.  I was slightly off.  (Figuring out the angle of the valley where a roof pitch meets is harder than it sounds.  Dihedrals.).

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That custom made hanger is in the lower right quadrant of this pic, from underneath
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-GcKJjlePnUs%2FTdfRuQOIv9I%2FAAAAAAAABZg%2FOg88Ay3v3VE%2Fs400%2Fgable1.bmp&hash=af8564ca0b847b6b1ee7cc346c89a76a)  If you have gables with 12:17 pitch meeting in a valley, what is the angle of that valley?  The Simpson rep just had me sned a fax of that detail from the plans I'd drawn, we talked on the phone a bit, and they had it to me within the week. 

 With all the boxes and boxes of strongties I went through I started wondering about the company.
   As luck would have it, the grandfather of one of my son's team mates was a recently retired salesman for Simpson.  He told me Simpson made screens in the 50's.  During the building boom, a neighbor came to Simpson wanting a way to connect 2x4's to walls for flat roofs.  He did all the proper calculations so they'd be strong enough, but he was smart----before selling them he went to the federal agency that was a precurser for the UBC, asking for standards to be set---he didn't want substandard knockoffs competing with his product.  The feds realized he had done the work for them, and set the standard 'Simpson or better'.  A working relationship started that continues today.  When a new connector is needed, UBC folks go to Simpson, they engineer it, things still get stamped 'Simpson or better'.....They've done a good job maintaining a near monopoly.  It's traded on the NYSE, $32.07 as of this writing.  My theory is we just ended an 8 year dirth of new construction, thanks to the Dodds/Frank interference with the free market (that invariably results in shortages) and the next building boom is starting soon
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: cbc58 on December 16, 2012, 12:36:23 PM
Love your house but have a question:  If you had the opportunity to put the fireplace against a wall with the chimney outside... would you?   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 16, 2012, 12:57:49 PM
No!  Since I designed this, I had that opportunity.  My first owner/builder project has the woodstove against the wall.  It took extra effort to put it in the center, but there are some very distinct advantages.
1)  Much more of the heat stays inside the house.
2)  That heat is better and more evenly distributed around the house.
3) Chimneys draft best when configured like this.
4) The wall furnace is situated right next to the fireplace for the same reasons, plus I could hide the flue in the same chase as the chimney.
5) The island formed by the fireplace hides two columns that support the beam holding up the upstairs, providing enough strength I could cantilever out the reading nook.
6) The interior chimney looks cool.
7)  Having the fireplace in the center instead of tucked in a corner somewhere makes it a much more usable place for meeting and relaxing.
8--With the fireplace in the middle, the chimney exits the roof at the ridge---not the lower wall.  Roofs, which move, that slope down to masonry, which does not move, form a spot notorious for roof leaks and snow pile-ups.  With the chimney at the highest point you avoid this issue.  True, you can have it on the end of the cabin with the gable peak, but then you have to support the ridge with it.  Sealing the exterior wall to the masonry is yet another common source for leaks and drafts.
   This fireplace is airtight, drafts outside air through a duct, and has a thermostat controlled blower that distributes the heat around. 

   The advantages of an exterior wall fireplace----easier to construct, and deal with the fireplace footing.  I suppose some open floorplans would call for it too.  We really use our fireplace for heat and although the gravity wall furnace does a great job, we consider it secondary heat.  Firewood's free for the taking.

   http://www.woodheat.org/best-practices.html

This earlier topic is a little related---  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=12652.0

  So, I'm pretty sold on the centrally located fireplaces.  For this cottage the fireplace was supposed to be the main focal point (which made it the best place to mount the TV, which bugged me to no end, so it got hidden behind shutters)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ZQl3mgqqcQU%2FT8LkJxJRs7I%2FAAAAAAAABm4%2FjMAW-A2Eiko%2Fs640%2FJune%2Boutside.jpg&hash=03ac870b0632e52f1d605e0d69e72972)
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   The chase was framed to end up with one edge right at the ridge, so the chimney (air cooled double wall steel pipe) runs up just next to the ridge pole.  The vent for the furnace is then hidden from view from the front of the house by the chimney----I didn't want any gas or plumbing vents to show from the street.  The shingles for the chimney exterior are just slate cut to random widths with corners cut off, and I bought one extra wide one just to break things up.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: cbc58 on December 16, 2012, 01:45:01 PM
Tks.  I was curious because I am looking at plans now and one of them is a 20x20 and we are leaning toward having a fireplace at the wall to free up interior space.  Had a house once that had a centrally located fireplace and it was great.. but it was a substantially larger space.     
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 18, 2012, 12:18:16 PM
  This is still a work in progress.  Looks like I'm stuck at the paying job until after the Holidays so this won't get finished for a few weeks yet (NOT complaining.  Very glad to have a job right now)
   I took these at twilight.  If it's too bright out the fiberoptics don't show up at all, and when it's dark out my camera insists on flashing.  I'll get someone more pic savvy than me to take a proper night photo.
   Each of these fibers is 25' long and terminates under the house where a 3 watt LED lights them.  There's a little wheel with  holes in it that turns slowly, making the lights twinkle.   I used two sizes of fibers---.25mm and .5mm.  I had no experience with these and there really is very little data online for DIY types.  The .25 mm fibers are plenty bright, and as I add on to what I've done here (there's plenty of room left in the light source) I'm sticking with the .25's.
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   I'll fill in the rest of the stones, then back-pour concrete to lock them in like I did with all the other stonework.  Then I'll form a curb to cap it all.  The area behind it will be lined with gopher screen then good dirt.  We want herbs growing in and cascading out.
   The fiber optics are bright enough to light the stairs.  I'm looking forward to trying out some more stuff with this product
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 28, 2012, 08:19:00 AM
Electric Rant...

    Just got off the phone with someone who needed electrical basics explained.   I've found with all the steps invloved with building, electrical was one of the easiest steps, just keep the NEC book on hand as a reference.  There's one thing that bugged me, so I didn't really comply with the letter of the law, explained to my inspector why, and he agreed!
    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-U6TqIiWUg7Y%2FTi2KrqvEHAI%2FAAAAAAAABak%2FIuiKLWSHFOg%2Fs400%2Fpanel.bmp&hash=ea5e332e02ef23f6c4774ff26248c159)

   Arc fault circuits.  It's the breaker with a white pigtail that goes into the neutral bar.  There's circuitry that detects an arc, like from a frayed cord, that isn't shorted enough to trip a breaker but IS shorted enough to burn a house down.  They went from being required in just bedroom outlets, to ceiling lights too, to any living area.  Word on the street is, enforcing this rule has been pretty loose.
   Here's the thing.  I DID install the arc fault circuit for the outlets, but the ceiling lights are on a regular breaker.  The smoke detectors and CO detector must be hardwired in, with a battery backup.  OK so far....Also, the smoke detectors should be wired to a circuit that gets used regularly, so if that circuit trips for whatever reason, it won't go unnoticed.  That's a good idea too, in my opinion.  So my detectors are wired in with the upstairs ceiling lights.  Now they want those ceiling lights on an arc fault protected circuit.  It makes no sense whatsoever to put my smoke and CO detectors on a circuit designed to trip if there's an electrical arc somewhere!  Fortunately my inspector agreed.  (I had a spare breaker ready to plug in anyway if he insisted).

   Basic wiring rules----

1) Black (or red) is hot.  They go to the brass screws on switches and outlets.  White are neutral.  Don't reverse these.
2) 15 amp breakers get 14 AWG wire or better.  20's get 12 AWG.  Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire.
3) Balance your two hot legs coming into the house---the goal is to have as little load on your neutral, which basically dumps into the ground, as possible.  You wil actually use less electricity if you pay attention to this detail.....If your TV is always on, or there's some light always on, put those on the leg the fridge isn't on.  If you list out all your electrical needs and guess at how often each thing is used, then divide them between one leg and the other (the two 'hots' coming in) you're doing good.  The neutral is the same throughout the house, so if you're using two 100 watt bulbs on the same leg (even if they are on different breakers) that hot is energizing your bulbs, going to neutral, then returning to ground or the powerplant.  If those same two bulbs are on different legs, some of the return through the neutral goes back through the other bulb that's in a different phase.  Your meter spins slower, your building is more efficient.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-7vWOL57w_-0%2FTi2LirKAvEI%2FAAAAAAAABao%2F3inDElXwkZE%2Fs400%2Fkitchen%2Bwiring.bmp&hash=de9da9de1a9a56c10f7756b25e415d3b)
  I kind of went overboard with this theme---my outlets in the kitchen are wired with one leg on top, the other on the bottom.
4) VERY IMPORTANT---ground and bond everything---water, gas, foundation rebar.  A very common mistake is people cut their copper pipe and put a water filter in line.  One side is grounded and bonded, the other isn't.  You just built a battery---one side is energized with any unbalanced neutral current, the other isn't.  Minerals in your water will take advantage of the potential and you'll start getting pinhole leaks in the plumbing where ions are being stripped away.  Any place you make a break in your plumbing you have to bond it---just bridge it with some copper wire and copper clamps so everything metal is joined together.  When there IS a short somewhere, you want the path of least resistance to be parts of your house, not you or a family member.
5) Always switch through the hot, never the neutral......If you followed rule #1 you did this already.  If you ran the white wire through the switch to that ceiling light, and that white wire was properly wired as the neutral, it WILL work.  The light will turn on and off....However, the appliance is still energized.  Wiring it backwards means you've made the whole thing 'hot' all the time, and when you flip the switch you ground it and the light comes on.  In a few years you climb your metal ladder to change that bulb, thinking it's dead because the light's out, then you can't figure out why you're taking 110v and trying not to fall.
6) If you get weird electrical problems, like some lights are super bright while others are dim, TV's are smoking, lights are coming on by themselves---you lost your neutral somewhere, either the panel or the acorn nut in the drip loop, and the electricity is backfeeding through the other leg.  Or maybe your house is possessed by evil spirits.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 30, 2012, 01:23:15 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash4%2F309390_10200146942020100_1136751861_n.jpg&hash=b921b6adf3d9e88289b1cf0f363b55f9)

   This picture is a little better of my fiberoptic wall.....The fibers shimmer because the light source has this little wheel with holes in it that turns in front of the fibers.    I still have to fill in with more rocks and pour the top curb.  The fibers are bright enough that you can see the steps, all from a single 3 watt bulb.  There's enough space in the light source I can add quite a bit more fibers in the walkway I'm going to build.   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 01, 2013, 09:24:40 AM
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    Brrrr.......More evidence of global warming---a frozen lake in San Diego
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 13, 2013, 05:53:43 PM
  When we started this place, the goal was to get my wife, AnnaMarie, to design her dream cottage.  Every single design element, shape, and color was her decision.  It took awhile to figure out how to present questions and options to her so she could envision what it was she was deciding, but we got there.
   I created a monster.

   She used to always just answer 'whatever you think is best'.... But now she's realized she has a style, and an opinion of how things should look.

  One of the finishing touches was the backsplash behind the stove.  It was just painted like the rest of the kitchen before, but she really wanted the same native stonework that's around the fireplace.
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   I've been working on the fiber optic wall outside, but the snowy weather called for an indoor project.  I loaned out my wetsaw I'd cut the other rocks with, so rented a bigger one from Home Depot.  I spent 6 hours or so cutting up stones.  Then made a template out of cardboard so she could puzzle fit the stones (with the help of our daughter).  Then cut wonderboard to the proper size, pre-drilled holes where there were studs....(Oh---here's a helpful hint.  Before you mount the wonderboard,  go ahead and set the first coarse of stones along the bottom and let it cure.  That way you can mount the board, then set the rest of the stones and they won't sag at all.)

   Let them set, did the grout, then sealed the stones. 
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   She hates it.  "Can you take it back out?" Umm not easily.  It's part of the wall now.  "I really liked it better before.  I didn't think I would but now it looks to busy"

    This is HER dream home, so out they'll come.  I'm going to make it a low priority project and hope she gets used to it, then likes it, then loves it---that's what happened with the concrete 3 color hearth, anyway.

 (I feel obliged to note---this is very, very uncharacteristic of her.  We've been together most of our lives now, and I so much prefer to know what her wishes are.  I'm not good at guessing)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: BobDaley on January 14, 2013, 10:37:46 AM
If I've learned anything during my years owning, renovating, and observing homes, it's that nothing is ever perfect. There are always going to be issues, things you hate, parts of the construction that are a reminder of a tough time or a regretted decision. A friend's parents had a horrific experience with their contractor while redoing the entire interior of their country house (to be used as their permanent residence as they were retiring). The original hardwood floors were laid at a beautiful 45 degree angle, and they were click-lock boards made from ecologically friendly wood. But they were installed in a seaside home, where there's inevitably going to be some shifting movement, and then he put a center kitchen island on the floor with a 1-ton slab of granite counter on top!! Needless to say the floors began to split apart and shift, so they had to have them entirely re-done in a much different style of wood. It was horribly frustrating, but it's part of renos. While some things can definitely be fixed, when you work in a budget, sometimes you just need to learn how to love parts of your renovation that you aren't so thrilled about.  :-\

That being said, I hope that the rest of the house works out!! The photos look fantastic. For what it's worth, I really like the backsplash and fireplace the way it is!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 19, 2013, 07:30:03 AM
More Craigslist finds---

   As mentioned before, we built paying cash as we went so there would be no debt involved with this place.  We now have 4 houses between us and homelessness, in a great part thanks to my wife's frugal nature (in spite of what the local paper says, firemen don't really earn that much)
   Her new cottage was pretty much completely decorated, except for the coffee table.  She wanted me to build it from leftover scraps of the Jacareuba, but until Mtn. Don finishes building that board stretcher I need it isn't going to happen.  So, plan 'B'---every day before leaving for work, find a coffee table on Craigslist that just might work and leave it up on the computer. 
   After about 12 tries, she liked this one.
   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-snc6%2Fs480x480%2F250331_10200431494896365_94358176_n.jpg&hash=04aeb4a49c8aa193806a6d32e85b9812)

   Thursday was our tandem bike date day (awesome weather at the beach, only an hour drive away)  so we met with the Craigslister and saw the table.  AnnaMarie loved it---it helped, I think, that the seller shared her same decorating style.
    The place is filled with Craigslist finds.  Once I got over the uncomfortable part of getting used to calling and meeting strangers for a business deal, it got to be pretty fun.  People seem to understand when you tell them "Thanks for meeting with us, but it isn't quite what we wanted".  We've met some pretty cool people.  In this pic alone the sofa ($40.  Ikea Ecktorp, we already had the cover) flooring (600 sq. ft. +, 40 year old T&G, $120) and table, all Craigslist.  The bedframe, chandelier, twin oven range, tankless water heater, and assorted other things all came from Craigslist too.  It turned in to one of the more fun parts of the project, cuddled in bed after a long day of building, looking at the laptop for stuff we needed
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 19, 2013, 07:32:26 AM
Oh and sidenote---I went up with a hammer and stone chisel and pretended I was going to demolish the backsplash.  She told me to wait, she's not so sure she hates it anymore.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: nathan.principe on January 19, 2013, 08:16:14 AM
What if she called your bluff, and said "let it rip!" haha.....Nice build by the way, I dont think I ever mentioned that
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 19, 2013, 10:53:10 AM
Oh--I would have chiseled away.  If I were 100% confident that's what she really wanted, I would have just done it, patched the holes, and re-painted it.   There were a few other things along the way she had me re-do, and to her credit she's been right that it ends up better----the thick wood trim along the bar is a perfect example.  I followed directions from a magazine article about how thick the wood you lean against should be---she had me cut away most of it and it really did look lots better
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on January 26, 2013, 07:51:01 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-snc7%2F601230_10200305182896023_759072694_n.jpg&hash=a89e2fcca034ea534376418989e42375)

OK.  She got used to the stone backsplash and now really likes it.  Change is hard, I guess.

  I swear, it's taking longer to finish a little rock wall than it took me to frame the whole house.  All the projects that I had a great excuse to backburner---at home, work, and the rental properties---all came to a head and required attention.  Plus I've been making family time more of a priority.  In the rain and snow though it's not worth getting sick working outside.
 Here's my theory on building storage space---I design spaces to store all the things I can imagine will need to be stored.  Measure brooms, vacuums, DVD's, spices.  Create the spaces.  Then, when she moves stuff in, I let her figure out what shuold go where---it's not always how I planned it but ends up making sense.  This wall pantry build under the stairs is quite shallow (5") it takes up no room really but provides lots of storage space.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-snc7%2F184671_10200305191496238_644670890_n.jpg&hash=429433adc084990476c58ac21615c4bc)

  Also the little cubbies under the wal end of the counter---it would have been too deep an area to be useful from the sink side.  AnnaMarie's thinking of getting slide out baskets to put there like she did in the kitchen--

   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-snc6%2F734724_10200305194096303_2126452187_n.jpg&hash=acd21870e612e8f4c4b5f6abfe2e0ae9)  The row of basket shelves here is opposite where the fireplace tools go on the other side.  The skinny door hides cookie sheets and cutting boards.  The doors to the right have shallow shelves (10") so the base cabinet will have room for the barstools and the legs that sit on them, but the three drawers go deeper---they are up tight against the counter and leave plenty room for sitting without knee banging.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on January 27, 2013, 03:48:39 AM
Nice Job. :)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 04, 2013, 05:27:18 AM
    Now that the cottage is done it's back to doing a little hardscaping.  AnnaMarie wasn't sure how she wanted the yard shaped until everything else was done.  She'd like to get busy planting---it's a challenging area for gardeners.  Very rocky iron rich soil, dry summers, cold windy winters, and when you DO get something to grow the deer will come to snack. 
    So, we're building some more stone walls to shape some flat areas that are easily accessible for my dear, but not so accessible for my deer.
     I bet how you build stone walls is very dependent on what kind of stones you have.  Ours are very sharp and angular so if you have a big pile of them set aside, you can always find the 'perfect fit' one.  You just have to be sure to have rocks of all sizes, from a little bigger than you can safely move to palm sized.
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  Here's the footing.  I'll mark the area to be dug with string first then sink the shovel in to get things started.

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   Next I'll form the footing and pilasters up for a single pour so there ae no cold joints.  I like to line it all with visqueen so the concrete surface doesn't get water sucked out by the soil.  Bending and installing rebar sometimes requires the dis- and-re-assembly of forms.
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   Speaking of rebar----I set this long galvanized pipe in the wall so I'd have a good place to bend rebar later.  You just feed the rebar in the pipe and bend it with another pipe section.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F_7UaKc2k_Heo%2FSrD3UyRj-_I%2FAAAAAAAAA-M%2FHBhBKpbc4yM%2Fs400%2FPilasters.JPG&hash=3252d1d11f74ac811e42ae3ba564c6ce)   Next it's just a metter of dry stacking the stones between the pilasters.

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   Then I'll put something behind it all like a sheet of plywood and back pour concrete in.  I like to leave some big gaps here and there so the concrete makes it all the way through.  These walls are ground squirrel proof---without the concrete backing they'd quickly dig homes through and behind.  Note the rebar pins coming out the top of the pilasters for the top curb
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    Forming the curb takes some 2x material and creative bracing.  If you line the whole thing with visqueen you get a nice smooth finish and the curb gracefully conforms to the top of the stones.

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   Since my required two parking spaces (min. 9' x 19') were in the extreme rear yard, I was required to have a 6' fence.  Su 4x4 post holders were set in the concrete of the curb.  You have to plan your rebar carefully so the 4x4 holders aren't blocked by the embedded rebar.
    I would have liked to have built my foundation like this.  It probably would have held fine but no way passed inspection.   I wish I had taken pictures of the caissons---I didn't want the lower wall holding up the parking (and the hillside) bowing out over time so the top of three of the pilasters has a poured concrete beam that runs under the driveway to the footing of the upper wall.  That way neither wall can move.(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F&hash=d9c8dcd305362d22e25defa76d9c384b)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 07, 2013, 05:19:13 PM
Looks like I'm starting a new project tomorrow....We need more storage here at the helicopter station.  We currently live in a doublewide trailer we begged off and did enough work on to make it habitable, and we built some structures around some seatainers, a deck, and a fuel truck shelter (which we can't use anymore because of the new secondary containment rules)....There are plans to build us a real hangar someday so we can get the copters out of the salt fog, so I'm going to build this shed on giant skids.  That way, when we do move, it can just get flatbedded over to the new spot. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 10, 2013, 06:53:50 PM
Here's a picture of the foreman in her now completed cottage.   (She took down the Christmas stuff and put in the Valentine's.  She cut all these hearts out of various things---my favorites are the ones cut from my work jeans that have every color paint, caulk, and stain used in the place.  No, I will not wear them now.)

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on February 10, 2013, 07:08:26 PM
... the foreman ....


More like the Princess   :)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 11, 2013, 02:45:44 PM
  Makes me want to compare and contrast foreman vs. princess.  Both seem to know what they want and expect people to make it happen.  I think the biggest differences are how they motivate those people to make it happen, and how they look in a white dress.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Rob_O on February 12, 2013, 07:42:00 AM
  Makes me want to compare and contrast foreman vs. princess.  Both seem to know what they want and expect people to make it happen.  I think the biggest differences are how they motivate those people to make it happen, and how they look in a white dress.

Please stop before you give Glenn any ideas. The mankini was enough
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 03, 2013, 07:26:18 AM
  Finally got a chance to finish the 'potager'.  A potager, I was informed, is a small kitchen garden usually dominated by cooking herbs.  I had to finish the retainer anyway.   Also the bridge to the porch didn't look very bridge-like becaue the soil was only a few inches below it.  That was convenient for when I was forming it but now was the time to dig it out----it's rich soil.  I just shoveled it out and set the rocks aside.
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   My 90 year old neighbor, an avid gardener, wandered over and told me to first level the base soil.  It followed the natural slope and would have channeled water away from where it was needed.  So dug that flat.  Also by his advice, I added 3 cu ft of garden mulch and 3 cu ft steer manure.  Then as I added the native soil from under the bridge I just kept stirring it in.  The amended soil goes all the way down to the level of the walkway.

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   So now the bridge is higher off the ground.  I have a bunch of this 3" gravel so I'm making a 'stream' under the bridge.  It'll continue down the hill where the porch dripline is.  I ran out of daylight so had to quit, but it was a pleasant work day with a variety of neighbors stopping by all day.  Some hadn't had a tour of the finished cottage. 
   AnnaMarie was very pleased with the end result and can't wait to plant.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 24, 2013, 08:26:29 AM
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    This is a picture of the porch ceiling.  There's a beam, and fiber cement board and trim that meets it.  Something I hadn't tried before was caulking all the seams, even where the trim overlapped the sheet material.  I caulked everything--anywhere one piece of material met another. 
    With the white paint even the slightest crack looks like a black line.  There's a bigger benefit though---now that it's Springtime, there are no spider webs showing up.  I think I eliminated all the potential hiding spots.  I just finished cleaning the similar but un-caulked porch ceiling at home and decided to tackle this one, too---there wasn't a single spider to be found.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 09, 2013, 04:13:19 PM
   My tenants at my first build (which was designed for weekend use but is now a full time residence)  really want/need a laundry room.  We are limited to 12' height for outbuildings so I'm digging in---the laundry room will be below grade, with guest quarters above and a nice elevated deck.  I'll take pics tomorrow of the excavation.
    I still support the theory that most of good building is digging.  Might as well learn to like it.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 14, 2013, 06:17:00 PM
 (https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/529513_10200865960075102_508065906_n.jpg)  So here's the start.....I'm digging a 9x8 hole 
and dug an upward slope into the hillside.  The idea here is to have the laundry room below and  extra storage room (12x14 with a loft) built above it.  I'm limited to 12' height, so the roofline will follow the slope, and the lanudry room will be dug in deep enough to have headroom
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 10, 2013, 06:22:42 AM
Just some progress on the big dig....We're pretty short staffed at work and, like every other year, they're expecting higher than normal wildfire activity so the copter's been in high demand....
Anyway, I found the bottom.  The entrance to the underground laundry room comes upslope so there'll be natural drainage through a french drain under the slab.  The studio above will have a completely separate entrance so no room will be wasted with stairs or ladders.  I did some more research and I'm limited to 12' height and 120 square feet of floor so it's 12x12 with a small covered deck area above the laundry.  I'll curve the roof so it complements the main structure
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  My daughter's home from college.  You can tell how much she helped by how dirty she isn't
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 24, 2013, 02:20:11 PM
Here's a little update for the outbuilding project at the cabin---

    It's basically a 12x12 shed.  Outbuildings are restricted to 12' height limit and I wanted the laundry room below grade to avoid pipe freezing issues.  The entrance slopes away snd with it a french drain that will go under the slab.  There will be two entrances---one up above for the main shed (with loft) and one for laundry below.  This will eliminate interior stairs which just take up space.  The slope is 4:1 so I'm taking advantage. 
     Once you get down about 54", the soil turns from clay to DG.  It's great stuff to build from, very stable.   There IS a layer of expansive soil but it's only about 8" of the layering and isn't an issue. 

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All hand dug.  Still have fottings to dig for the upper part then time for forms
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 05, 2013, 05:31:21 AM
  It's been awhile----mostly because it's been a busy fire season and everyone wants a helicopter.  Also quite a few other things that got backburnered while finishing AnnaMarie's cottage needed attention.
  With the digging mostly done (except for some trenches for the grey water system, which will be infiltrators) it's time to start mixing and pouring.  I'm going to build slip forms for the underground walls.   
   I really want to do all I can do to keep moisture out so there's a french drain down the middle with gravel trenches cut to it.  Water shouldn't even get close to the slab...They sell this sock cover thing to put over the perforated pipe that's supposed to keep soil out; sounds like cheap insurance.  I ran the drain ABS through the same trench.
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   Next all the trenches got filled up with gravel.  THe main trench under the floor runs downslope to natural daylight.

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  Now for the footing, which is the first pour.  It's dug out as an undercut, which my soil held just fine but it's one rainstorm away from filling itself in.  The form is simply a rectangle out of 2x4's temporarily held square by a diagonal support.  It was harder than I thought it would be to get it in the correct position so it lined up with the trenches for the rest of the outbuilding that will be above all this.  Then staked it all level (a trick to getting it perfect---start with a stake in each corner and screw it in 1/4" higher than needed, then tap the stakes in to get the form exactly level) then add more stakes to the middles.  Then line the whole thing with visqueen, both as a vapor barrier and to keep from pouring concrete directly onto soil (which will absorb too much of the water from the concrete).  All the seams of the visqueen were taped with chemtape and the pipe was wrapped where it went through concrete so it can move a little.

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   There are two courses of rebar through the footing, with rebar bent into 'L's that are wired to keep the two courses where they belong on the bottom then going vertical for the walls later.
    I really didn't worry about a perfect finish on top of the footing, except where the door will be since the rest of it will get walls poured over them anyway. 

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  It'll have a few days to cure before I can get back there.  I slopped a little extra concrete onto the floor--it'll support the rewire grate.  Thursday I will pull out the form and pour the floor, using the edges of the footing to screed the concrete flat.  After that sets it'll be time for the slip forms for the walls.
   For the slipforms and floor I'll be able to dump the concrete in with 5 gallon buckets but for this footing it took a shovel,  With the trench undercut like that I couldn't get the right angle to dump a bucket.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 09, 2013, 06:14:05 AM
Next step----pouring the floor.
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   I stripped the forms and kept one of the 2x4's to screed.  I really hate pouring good concrete on dirt, so there's a vapor barrier down.  I left a gap over the french drain though so I wouldn't trap water under the slab.  This IS a laundry room after all so it WILL flood someday.  The drain ABS has a very high tech wrapping to keep concrete away, an old sock and white duct tape.

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   AnnaMarie wandered over to keep me company, and spent her time seeing how high she could stack acorn caps.  Her record was 10.  Her presence always has a profound calming effect and I was very glad she was there.

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    All poured.  Since I put in quite a bit of time making sure the footings were exactly level, screeding the floor flat using the footing as the guides was easy, just a bit of a contortion act reaching everywhere to float it.  Next will be the horizontal rebar and the slip forms.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 15, 2013, 05:22:54 PM
OK on to the next step....Things haven't slowed down at work so they slowed down at this job.. 
   First step was to get the materials down there.  You can't get a truck anywhere near so everything has to be carried in.  90 pounds is about my limit, and each of these sacks seemed to weigh a pound more than the one prior.  Having the pallet staged next to the drystack wall worked great because I never had to bend all the way over to pick up a sack.  The premix stuff was sweetened a bit with some extra cement thrown in the mixer.
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  Here's the slip  form just prior to pouring.  The wood is all plastic lined for a smooth finish.  It also reduces honeycomb voids because the concrete slides down it.  This is right in front of the threshold.  The concrete is continuous well past the door to keep moisture out.  If you look down to the left you can see the stub of a carriage bolt held in the frame---it will give me something to hold the door frame in with.  The door rough-in size is 34" so I have 34" lumber holding the frame to that width.
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Here's a better pic of the carriage bolt from the other side.  It'll be well embedded in the concrete and I'll place one every 24" as I go up.
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Then, the pour.  I planned to use 5 gallon buckets to pour concrete in the form but the angles were all wrong so I just shoveled it in from the wheelbarrow and tamped and vibrated the forms as I went.  I know it looks like a really wet mix.  I think with the plastic forms there's nowhere for moisture to go but up.
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 What I didn't get a picture of is, just in front of the threshold.  I wanted really strong support for the left and right walls on either side of the door so I trenched and formed an extension to the existing threshold, with lots of rebar.  So, the concrete goes, in one continuous pour, around the perimeter, then down along the ground joining the left and right like a thick 'U'. That should keep either side from buckling in over time and making the door stick.
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  Next week I'll slip the form up 16" and do it again.  THAT will be hard--only because I'll have to lift the shovel a bit higher every scoop.  The third pour will be a more complicated form---I'll be past the point where the existing soil excavation makes the back of the form so I'll form the outside as well, but the pouring will be easier since I can do it from above and just dump the wheelbarrow.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 15, 2013, 07:14:21 AM
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    We get some monsoonal weather systems through here in the summer---'Chubascos'.  They can really dump the rain and hail---we got well over a foot of rain last week and some decent flash floods.  Excellent for the trees and the lake, not so good for below grade building.   I'll have to dig this all out to strip the forms.  It's very rich soil though and I've got a good place for it.   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 30, 2013, 06:57:43 AM
 (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-uaw30IQ7emY%2FUpoJPZAuYxI%2FAAAAAAAACE0%2FYoNWj4-XGEw%2Fs1600%2Frainbow.JPG&hash=98bdb6bd9164517d0048cfa71f92873d)   AnnaMarie and I were just starting the Christmas decorating when this rainbow appeared over the house....I'll have to get some decorated pictures posted, maybe after the first snowfall
   You can see the generator housing in the background there.....Really, it's all plumb---the cheap camera fishbowls things a bit
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 15, 2013, 04:23:09 AM
Electric Rant...

    Just got off the phone with someone who needed electrical basics explained.   I've found with all the steps invloved with building, electrical was one of the easiest steps, just keep the NEC book on hand as a reference.  There's one thing that bugged me, so I didn't really comply with the letter of the law, explained to my inspector why, and he agreed!
    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-U6TqIiWUg7Y%2FTi2KrqvEHAI%2FAAAAAAAABak%2FIuiKLWSHFOg%2Fs400%2Fpanel.bmp&hash=ea5e332e02ef23f6c4774ff26248c159)

   Arc fault circuits.  It's the breaker with a white pigtail that goes into the neutral bar.  There's circuitry that detects an arc, like from a frayed cord, that isn't shorted enough to trip a breaker but IS shorted enough to burn a house down.  They went from being required in just bedroom outlets, to ceiling lights too, to any living area.  Word on the street is, enforcing this rule has been pretty loose.
   Here's the thing.  I DID install the arc fault circuit for the outlets, but the ceiling lights are on a regular breaker.  The smoke detectors and CO detector must be hardwired in, with a battery backup.  OK so far....Also, the smoke detectors should be wired to a circuit that gets used regularly, so if that circuit trips for whatever reason, it won't go unnoticed.  That's a good idea too, in my opinion.  So my detectors are wired in with the upstairs ceiling lights.  Now they want those ceiling lights on an arc fault protected circuit.  It makes no sense whatsoever to put my smoke and CO detectors on a circuit designed to trip if there's an electrical arc somewhere!  Fortunately my inspector agreed.  (I had a spare breaker ready to plug in anyway if he insisted).

   Basic wiring rules----

1) Black (or red) is hot.  They go to the brass screws on switches and outlets.  White are neutral.  Don't reverse these.
2) 15 amp breakers get 14 AWG wire or better.  20's get 12 AWG.  Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire.
3) Balance your two hot legs coming into the house---the goal is to have as little load on your neutral, which basically dumps into the ground, as possible.  You wil actually use less electricity if you pay attention to this detail.....If your TV is always on, or there's some light always on, put those on the leg the fridge isn't on.  If you list out all your electrical needs and guess at how often each thing is used, then divide them between one leg and the other (the two 'hots' coming in) you're doing good.  The neutral is the same throughout the house, so if you're using two 100 watt bulbs on the same leg (even if they are on different breakers) that hot is energizing your bulbs, going to neutral, then returning to ground or the powerplant.  If those same two bulbs are on different legs, some of the return through the neutral goes back through the other bulb that's in a different phase.  Your meter spins slower, your building is more efficient.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-7vWOL57w_-0%2FTi2LirKAvEI%2FAAAAAAAABao%2F3inDElXwkZE%2Fs400%2Fkitchen%2Bwiring.bmp&hash=de9da9de1a9a56c10f7756b25e415d3b)
  I kind of went overboard with this theme---my outlets in the kitchen are wired with one leg on top, the other on the bottom.
4) VERY IMPORTANT---ground and bond everything---water, gas, foundation rebar.  A very common mistake is people cut their copper pipe and put a water filter in line.  One side is grounded and bonded, the other isn't.  You just built a battery---one side is energized with any unbalanced neutral current, the other isn't.  Minerals in your water will take advantage of the potential and you'll start getting pinhole leaks in the plumbing where ions are being stripped away.  Any place you make a break in your plumbing you have to bond it---just bridge it with some copper wire and copper clamps so everything metal is joined together.  When there IS a short somewhere, you want the path of least resistance to be parts of your house, not you or a family member.
5) Always switch through the hot, never the neutral......If you followed rule #1 you did this already.  If you ran the white wire through the switch to that ceiling light, and that white wire was properly wired as the neutral, it WILL work.  The light will turn on and off....However, the appliance is still energized.  Wiring it backwards means you've made the whole thing 'hot' all the time, and when you flip the switch you ground it and the light comes on.  In a few years you climb your metal ladder to change that bulb, thinking it's dead because the light's out, then you can't figure out why you're taking 110v and trying not to fall.
6) If you get weird electrical problems, like some lights are super bright while others are dim, TV's are smoking, lights are coming on by themselves---you lost your neutral somewhere, either the panel or the acorn nut in the drip loop, and the electricity is backfeeding through the other leg.  Or maybe your house is possessed by evil spirits.

Yet lots of things you say are wrong. d*  I'm an electrician that has been properly trained and do it everyday I'm not a diyer.   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: rick91351 on December 15, 2013, 05:02:26 AM
Yet lots of things you say are wrong. d*  I'm an electrician that has been properly trained and do it everyday I'm not a diyer.   

And that sir is the reason I hired out my plumbing and electrical.   [waiting]  Okay along with several other trades. 




 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on December 15, 2013, 06:01:56 AM
Quote
Yet lots of things you say are wrong. d*  I'm an electrician that has been properly trained and do it everyday I'm not a diyer.


It would be educational to have what you see as a couple of the more serious offenses explained to us. Thanks in advance and  w*

DonM
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 15, 2013, 07:50:13 AM
Yes---I'd appreciate that too.  My need to be right is way lower on my list than my need to not electrocute anybody or burn my house down. 

  I have no doubt a concrete guy could find thngs in my foundation he'd do different.  Same with a framer, plumber, glazier, architect, roofer, interior decorator, cabinet maker, stone mason.    I still maintain comparing all those disciplines, electrical was the easiest---NEC is pretty clear and easy to follow and there aren't so many variables.    I believe I followed the electrical code, and my inspector sure didn't pencil whip anything...

   That said, if you're offering free constructive criticism, could you look at my thread titled 'portable generators'?   My resources were pretty slim on assuring that was all done correctly.  Now THAT project had variables galore---inlet pressure, generator sizing, grounding and bonding, heat loss, etc.. We've already had to use it for a 42 hour grid failure and everything worked as planned, although I had to explain to the neighbor way down across the street why we couldn't just run 1000' worth of extension cords from my generator to her fridge....

    MY training is in fire suppression.  By far the most common  point of origin is 'faulty wiring'.    That faulty wiring is rarely from a DIY project (push ins, aluminum wires, improperly sized wires are frequent culprits)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 15, 2013, 05:00:55 PM
Yes---I'd appreciate that too.  My need to be right is way lower on my list than my need to not electrocute anybody or burn my house down. 

  I have no doubt a concrete guy could find thngs in my foundation he'd do different.  Same with a framer, plumber, glazier, architect, roofer, interior decorator, cabinet maker, stone mason.    I still maintain comparing all those disciplines, electrical was the easiest---NEC is pretty clear and easy to follow and there aren't so many variables.    I believe I followed the electrical code, and my inspector sure didn't pencil whip anything...

   That said, if you're offering free constructive criticism, could you look at my thread titled 'portable generators'?   My resources were pretty slim on assuring that was all done correctly.  Now THAT project had variables galore---inlet pressure, generator sizing, grounding and bonding, heat loss, etc.. We've already had to use it for a 42 hour grid failure and everything worked as planned, although I had to explain to the neighbor way down across the street why we couldn't just run 1000' worth of extension cords from my generator to her fridge....

    MY training is in fire suppression.  By far the most common  point of origin is 'faulty wiring'.    That faulty wiring is rarely from a DIY project (push ins, aluminum wires, improperly sized wires are frequent culprits)

Honestly almost everything you say about electrical work is completely absurd and I don't even know where to begin. ???  I will say I'm glad you have fire training...
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on December 15, 2013, 05:20:50 PM
It is very easy to play "Monday Morning Quaterback" .  But when the specifics come around to which plays should have been made the reply often comes to " I wouldn't have done it that way" .  How do we learn from our mistakes?  In every building trades there are differences in procedures but most of all are allowed as long as they are following code.  The most experienced tradesmen are able to accomplish the end results while doing the job right and saving time and material. 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on December 15, 2013, 05:44:11 PM
Honestly almost everything you say about electrical work is completely absurd and I don't even know where to begin.

eddie1278, that should be easy. Pick something from flyingvan's post you originally quoted... Use a copy and paste to make it easy. Let us all know what it is that is absurd, wrong, unsafe, whatever. It should not be all that difficult if you as a trained electrician can see a fault in what was done or a flaw in the expressed thinking. Most of us are here to learn as well as display things we have built. I know I have learned from the time I became a participating member. There are some things I am very good at, some things I am not. I like to help others and I like it when others point out errors and omissions so I can learn. So why not show us the flaws/faults and tell us why it is wrong and/or how it should have be done.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 15, 2013, 05:46:39 PM
I could point out all his bad info but it would take too much time honestly.  And honestly I only chimed in because he claims all you need is a code book to do electrical work and "it was the easiest" and HE had to explain basic electricity to someone but yet many basic things he claimed to know are wrong.

I will say he needs to learn the differences in grounding, grounded, and bonded.  That is a major problem lots of DIYers have and you can't learn this stuff from a code book.

I have 8000 hours apprenticeship training and years of working in the field.  If anyone thinks just knowing code is the only thing you need to know to do electrical work they are sadly mistaken. 

Also from the NEC

Qualified Person. One who has skills and knowledge related
to the construction and operation of the electrical
equipment and installations and has received safety training
to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.


and..

Intention. This Code is not intended as a design specification
or an instruction manual for untrained persons.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on December 15, 2013, 06:06:02 PM
I could point out all his bad info but it would take too much time honestly.

Just one thing and the "fix" would be helpful. You mentioned grounding and bonding; yes that is an area that confuses some. Is there some other more simple to explain issue; one not requiring It need not requiring a lengthy commitment of time.

Hopefully you have found some information here that has been helpful to you. A small repayment should not be too much to ask, I would think. But then again, I could be wrong on my assumptions.


I would appreciate your wisdom on this as one of the things I personally consider important is building in a safe manner. That's from the ground up,  the foundation to the roof with heating, ventilation, insulation, plumbing and yes, electricity included. If you have looked around here much you may have observed questions or critique from myself and other knowledgeable folks on a number of occasions. You would have also noted that when members with expertise in some area of construction raises an issue they make suggestions as to what could or should be done to correct the situation. By and large we do not simply say "that is wrong". We continue with a "here's what would work better", sort of a thing. The whole point of the forum, IMO is to help others to do a better job if not the best job. Doesn't that make a lot of sense?

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 15, 2013, 06:57:21 PM
Just one thing and the "fix" would be helpful. You mentioned grounding and bonding; yes that is an area that confuses some. Is there some other more simple to explain issue; one not requiring It need not requiring a lengthy commitment of time.

Hopefully you have found some information here that has been helpful to you. A small repayment should not be too much to ask, I would think. But then again, I could be wrong on my assumptions.


I would appreciate your wisdom on this as one of the things I personally consider important is building in a safe manner. That's from the ground up,  the foundation to the roof with heating, ventilation, insulation, plumbing and yes, electricity included. If you have looked around here much you may have observed questions or critique from myself and other knowledgeable folks on a number of occasions. You would have also noted that when members with expertise in some area of construction raises an issue they make suggestions as to what could or should be done to correct the situation. By and large we do not simply sat "that is wrong". We continue with a "here's what would work better", sort of a thing. The whole point of the forum, IMO is to help others to do a better job if not the best job. Doesn't that make a lot of sense?




No time tonight getting ready to hit the hay work tomorrow.  I will reply back tmorrow night sometime.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 15, 2013, 08:31:29 PM
    Here are my sources---first, the national electrical code.  Second, for the theoretical stuff, from a good friend that has a masters in electrical engineering---he's the one that explained to me the importance of balancing the two legs and the less load on the neutral, the more efficiently the house runs.  He showed me graphs and things that were well beyond my level of understanding but I'll use him as a resource to verify any conceptual issues that arise here. 
     But I'm glad you're chiming in here, Eddie.  First, if you can convince me that, as an amateur, I've wired something incorrectly that I can change, I'll be in your debt.  If you are not able to do that, I'll assume it's a blow to your ego to see people can successfully wire entire houses after reading a book or two and understanding the concepts. 
      You've already provided some valuable examples of fallacious argument, the study of which is a hobby of mine.

"Honestly everything you say about electrical work is completely absurd..."
 
Excellent example of an Ad Hominem attack.   Attack the person, not the argument.  You've had time to provide multiple replies to provide an example of something unsafe this amateur has done, but instead attack the amateur.

"I have 8000 hours of apprenticeship and years working in the field".  "I am an electrician who has been properly trained and do it every day I am not a diyer"
 (Keep in mind this is a DIYer website)  This is a classic example of "Argument from authority".   the claim that the speaker is an expert, and so should be trusted.
There are degrees and areas of expertise. The speaker is actually claiming to be more expert, in the relevant subject area, than anyone else in the room. There is also an implied claim that expertise in the area is worth having. For example, claiming expertise in something hopelessly quack (like iridology) is actually an admission that the speaker is gullible.

Another anticipated fallacious argument here is "Non Sequitur".  There are two things going on here---one, how my house is wired and two, my conceptual understanding of electricity.  It's possible that I have a misunderstanding of electrical physics but still wired my houses correctly.  It is also possible I understand physics perfectly but made a practical error in wiring. 

"Appeal To Authority".   Taking a selective quote from the NEC to draw your own conclusion about who is 'qualified'.   

   Are you planning on building, Eddie?  Will you hire out everything except the wiring?  I had a very similar conversation with an architect who would not accept I could draw my own plans without training.  I am not qualified for that either.  Plumbing?  again, in my opinion much tougher than electrical, I'm not qualified, but the toilets in my first owner/builder project still flush perfectly after 10 years, into a septic system I wasn't qualified to install.  I wasn't qualified to frame, pour a foundation, create some stone work, run fiber optics, do roofing, figure sheer loading, or any of the other tasks required to construct a home. 
If you've done any of these things, Eddie, you were probably no more 'qualified' to do them than we are to run wire.  If you haven't, you are no authority on what the most difficult, and what the easiest, stages of construction are!
   But we are diy'ers.  We find forums like this to get over the hurdles.  We use common sense, and research the span tables and nailing schedules and required strong ties and proper wire gauges and breaker amps.  We read the NEC to learn what gets grounded and bonded.  We look to the IPC or UPC to learn how much through roof vent net area we need.   We study airflows and btu's and return air and combustion air; carbon monoxide can make people just as dead as electricity if not handled correctly.

   Finally--I've walked through quite a few mass produced homes, in various stages of construction, built by qualified people.  Know what I noticed?  'Qualified' gets you to the point where you know the shortcuts.  You learn what the very minimum to pass inspection are.  The goal is speed and low cost to get the subcontracts, not the very best house that can be built.  I could have passed inspection with 2x4 walls, but for a few hundred dollars more framed it with 2x6's.  It's superior for a number of reasons, but saving that few hundred dollars times 10,000 units adds up.  Most mass produced houses around here are wired with 14AWG wire throughout; for a little more, I went with 12AWG.  Can you tell me how this will burn my house down?

   By the way, if your home is ever on fire, PLEASE don't wait for us qualified, trained professionals to evacuate your house and provide your own fire suppression.  It will harm my ego exactly zero to hear you used your own hose and fire extinguisher to safely mitigate the situation.  I trust your abilities extend beyond your electrical expertise.

Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: rick91351 on December 16, 2013, 07:20:44 AM
The cool part to flyingvan's build is he did do it himself and it was passed by an electrical inspector.  Especially a California inspector.  It is assumed it was with in code or it would have not been signed off.  Case closed....

Reason I went with the trades on my current build is they know their stuff can get in and get out quickly and I have a weather window to be concerned about.  I was sure not afraid to tackle it.  In fact the electrician I hired was great to work with shared so much of his knowledge.  An issue I see here.  He also let me have as much ownership in his wiring as I wanted.         

Second thing I would like to toss out here is in wiring, plumbing and sewer that I have done and pulled permits for.  Those were inspected to a much greater degree than anyone I have ever hired.  Most of my inspections with the trades I have hired building this current house and remodels in the past were just basically a walk through, a proclamation of good job and signed off. DIY it is a fine tooth comb yes Virginia there is a difference.   

As far as the 8000 hours I am not too impressed with that and claims working in the field.  I was a darn good locomotive engineer with 35 years working in the field.  I kept up on the new rules and instructions.  I never was disciplined in a field that is unheard of.  Really it is / was unheard of.  I worked along side people that had more seniority, did not know very much about what they were doing, did not care.  They were always in trouble.  But just send me the paycheck.

I have never been impressed with those in the trades that treat them as if they are some super secret voodoo witch-doctor cult.  Instead using it as knowledge is power and using it to empower someone.  All I see here out of you is - I know (if you really do) but I sure am not going to share because some on might learn something about my super secret to me trade.                 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 16, 2013, 02:13:22 PM
As far as the 8000 hours I am not too impressed with that and claims working in the field

Could care less what you are impressed with or believe about me.  I'm fully qualified, trained and work for myself so that's all that matters.

I laughed when you said the inspector signed off on it which means nothing.  Inspectors are often wrong and don't see everything.  I have had times over my career where I challenged bogus calls by the inspector and asked him to cite the NEC or show me a local admendment and he says "you know what your right"   This happens all the time not only with me but all professional electricians.  The "inspectors" come in and try to make up codes on the spot.  If it's not in the NEC or they have a written local admendment to a code that doesn't fly.

Im not here to argue.  It just bugs me when someone says "electric was the easiest" then makes statements of how things are done as fact when they are wrong.   

Ok just for kicks I'll throw one out where he is giving bad information

"Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire." 

Why?  It's perfectly code compliant (unless amended locally) and done all the time by electricians.  The only difference between a 20 amp and a 15 amp outlet is the face plates.  The 20 amp has a T slot so you can plug a 20 amp plug into it.  Both outlets are rated to carry 20 amps.   This may be minor false information but he is talking with confidence that what he says is right and saying "electrical was the easiest".
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 16, 2013, 02:24:33 PM
    Here are my sources---first, the national electrical code.  Second, for the theoretical stuff, from a good friend that has a masters in electrical engineering---he's the one that explained to me the importance of balancing the two legs and the less load on the neutral, the more efficiently the house runs.  He showed me graphs and things that were well beyond my level of understanding but I'll use him as a resource to verify any conceptual issues that arise here. 
     But I'm glad you're chiming in here, Eddie.  First, if you can convince me that, as an amateur, I've wired something incorrectly that I can change, I'll be in your debt.  If you are not able to do that, I'll assume it's a blow to your ego to see people can successfully wire entire houses after reading a book or two and understanding the concepts. 
      You've already provided some valuable examples of fallacious argument, the study of which is a hobby of mine.

"Honestly everything you say about electrical work is completely absurd..."
 
Excellent example of an Ad Hominem attack.   Attack the person, not the argument.  You've had time to provide multiple replies to provide an example of something unsafe this amateur has done, but instead attack the amateur.

"I have 8000 hours of apprenticeship and years working in the field".  "I am an electrician who has been properly trained and do it every day I am not a diyer"
 (Keep in mind this is a DIYer website)  This is a classic example of "Argument from authority".   the claim that the speaker is an expert, and so should be trusted.
There are degrees and areas of expertise. The speaker is actually claiming to be more expert, in the relevant subject area, than anyone else in the room. There is also an implied claim that expertise in the area is worth having. For example, claiming expertise in something hopelessly quack (like iridology) is actually an admission that the speaker is gullible.

Another anticipated fallacious argument here is "Non Sequitur".  There are two things going on here---one, how my house is wired and two, my conceptual understanding of electricity.  It's possible that I have a misunderstanding of electrical physics but still wired my houses correctly.  It is also possible I understand physics perfectly but made a practical error in wiring. 

"Appeal To Authority".   Taking a selective quote from the NEC to draw your own conclusion about who is 'qualified'.   

   Are you planning on building, Eddie?  Will you hire out everything except the wiring?  I had a very similar conversation with an architect who would not accept I could draw my own plans without training.  I am not qualified for that either.  Plumbing?  again, in my opinion much tougher than electrical, I'm not qualified, but the toilets in my first owner/builder project still flush perfectly after 10 years, into a septic system I wasn't qualified to install.  I wasn't qualified to frame, pour a foundation, create some stone work, run fiber optics, do roofing, figure sheer loading, or any of the other tasks required to construct a home. 
If you've done any of these things, Eddie, you were probably no more 'qualified' to do them than we are to run wire.  If you haven't, you are no authority on what the most difficult, and what the easiest, stages of construction are!
   But we are diy'ers.  We find forums like this to get over the hurdles.  We use common sense, and research the span tables and nailing schedules and required strong ties and proper wire gauges and breaker amps.  We read the NEC to learn what gets grounded and bonded.  We look to the IPC or UPC to learn how much through roof vent net area we need.   We study airflows and btu's and return air and combustion air; carbon monoxide can make people just as dead as electricity if not handled correctly.

   Finally--I've walked through quite a few mass produced homes, in various stages of construction, built by qualified people.  Know what I noticed?  'Qualified' gets you to the point where you know the shortcuts.  You learn what the very minimum to pass inspection are.  The goal is speed and low cost to get the subcontracts, not the very best house that can be built.  I could have passed inspection with 2x4 walls, but for a few hundred dollars more framed it with 2x6's.  It's superior for a number of reasons, but saving that few hundred dollars times 10,000 units adds up.  Most mass produced houses around here are wired with 14AWG wire throughout; for a little more, I went with 12AWG.  Can you tell me how this will burn my house down?

   By the way, if your home is ever on fire, PLEASE don't wait for us qualified, trained professionals to evacuate your house and provide your own fire suppression.  It will harm my ego exactly zero to hear you used your own hose and fire extinguisher to safely mitigate the situation.  I trust your abilities extend beyond your electrical expertise.
I didn't real your whole reply...
I have no problem with DIYers doing electrical work because they help keep me employed with residential work.  Most of my work in residential is repairing home owner work.

Again a code book is not for the untrained to use it says it right in the NEC.  An inspector can deny any inspections just based on that if he wanted to but they don't because the local government makes lots of money on inspections.

I don't have an EGO just don't like DIYers claiming the electrical trade is so easy.  I put in a lot of time and training to get to where I am.  IF all it took was reading the NEC why would they require 8000 hour apprenticeships?  Electrical work involves knowing math, the code, theory and the bulk of the work the mechanics.  I worked for a large company that hired an electrical engineer and ended up firing him because hands on he didn't keep up.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on December 16, 2013, 02:44:38 PM
Quote
"Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire."

Why?  It's perfectly code compliant ............This may be minor false information ...............

It is not going to kill anyone though. If that is the worst thing, it is not a big deal. As you stated, inspectors do make errors too. They are human and subject to err. This is not news. It is true that inspectors of all trades have been known to make some bad calls. They also make some very good ones from what I recall seeing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyhow, it would be great if you could offer your expertise when some of our DIY builders reach an impasse in their electrical.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 16, 2013, 06:48:29 PM
 
"2) 15 amp breakers get 14 AWG wire or better.  20's get 12 AWG.  Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire."

   This is an excellent example of owner/builders not taking shortcuts.  Putting 15 amp things on 12 AWG wires IS forbidden in many jusirdictions, and the differences are not just in the faceplate as you claim.  There are 15 amp switches and outlets with push in terminals that will not accept 12 AWG wire, uless you shave it down and force it in.  (BTW--screw terminals always give a better contact than push in terminals.  I consider them a shortcut and they also have been linked to fires and frequent circuit failures)
    If owner/builders follow the rule above, are they more likely, or less likely, to be safe and compliant? 
     What do YOU consider the easiest stage of home construction to be?

    I realize this is an owner/builder forum, not a semantics/rhetoric forum but I just can't resist. 

    This provided another fallacious argument example--Argument of the Half Truth (suppressed evidence)  The entire single numbered line I wrote encourages builders to start at 20 amps, use the correct guage wire (or better!) and end with a 20 amp outlet/switch.  By cutting the quote in half, the context changed, though I don't think to the level of making the statement 'absurd'.

Further, the electrical code forbids putting 20a outlets on 15a service, with good reason.  My statement was carefully made to encompass possible variations of the electrical code and provide an awareness of the importance of breakers, wires, and fixtures to be sized properly.

     We get house fires wired by qualified electricians that ran 14 AWG wire off 20a breakers.  After seeing it enough times, I thought it important to include.

 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: eddie1278 on December 17, 2013, 02:57:17 AM

"2) 15 amp breakers get 14 AWG wire or better.  20's get 12 AWG.  Don't try to put 15 amp switches or outlets on 12 AWG wire."

   This is an excellent example of owner/builders not taking shortcuts.  Putting 15 amp things on 12 AWG wires IS forbidden in many jusirdictions, and the differences are not just in the faceplate as you claim.  There are 15 amp switches and outlets with push in terminals that will not accept 12 AWG wire, uless you shave it down and force it in.  (BTW--screw terminals always give a better contact than push in terminals.  I consider them a shortcut and they also have been linked to fires and frequent circuit failures)
    If owner/builders follow the rule above, are they more likely, or less likely, to be safe and compliant? 
     What do YOU consider the easiest stage of home construction to be?

    I realize this is an owner/builder forum, not a semantics/rhetoric forum but I just can't resist. 

    This provided another fallacious argument example--Argument of the Half Truth (suppressed evidence)  The entire single numbered line I wrote encourages builders to start at 20 amps, use the correct guage wire (or better!) and end with a 20 amp outlet/switch.  By cutting the quote in half, the context changed, though I don't think to the level of making the statement 'absurd'.

Further, the electrical code forbids putting 20a outlets on 15a service, with good reason.  My statement was carefully made to encompass possible variations of the electrical code and provide an awareness of the importance of breakers, wires, and fixtures to be sized properly.

     We get house fires wired by qualified electricians that ran 15 AWG wire off 20a breakers.  After seeing it enough times, I thought it important to include.

 

Yet again you are wrong...

1. What is 15 AWG ?   no such thing.  Are you talking about 14 gauge wire? (this alone tells me you have no clue what you are talking about)
2. Qualified electricians don't use 14 gauge wire on 20 amp circuits.

3.  "Further, the electrical code forbids putting 20a outlets on 15a service, with good reason."  Really what code book are you reading because it's certainly not the NEC you are reading.  And what is the "good reason"?

AGAIN it's perfectly NEC code compliant to use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits with 12 gauge wire.  I suggest you learn the code and read NEC 210.21 (B)(3)   It's done all the time in 99% of homes it's not a shortcut at all.  Some small towns may have a local admendment requiring 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits but as far as the NEC it is code compliant and done almost everywhere.  I have worked in 100s of homes in my career and it's what I see all the time.  Nothing dangerous about it.  The 15 amp receptacles are designed to handle 20 amps of current.

Lastly all the other rhetoric where you are trying to tell me about the differences in switches and outlets...come on man really?  I do this for a living and I'm getting ready to go to work now.

Remember NEC 210.21 (B)(3)   w*     I suggest you tone down your confidence and trying to teach people electrical work because you clearly are not qualified to give advice on this trade.   I will point out other wrong info you claim as FACT later tonight if the mods will let me which I doubt for obvious reasons...I know what I'm talking about.

Have a good one ;D
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on December 17, 2013, 11:29:27 AM
Eddie, surprise!

Let's have a look at eddie's contributions.  But first, there are polite, diplomatic ways of pointing out the falacy of someone's posted message content. I try to always come from the diplomatic side. I hope I always suceed; sometimes it is difficult.  There is a difference and I hope that everyone can see the difference.

#1
Quote
"1. What is 15 AWG ?  "
   I think we could cut a little slack on that. I would bet that from time to time we have all had "brain farts" or had disconnects between what we were thinking and what came out of our mouths or what our fingers typed. I saw that and thought "he must mean 15 amp, not 15 AWG."

Before looking at #3 I want to make a note. ... When talking about electrical circuits the words outlet and receptacle are frequently confused or used inappropriately.  In NEC parlance an outlet is anywhere power is being used. That could be a light, a hard wired motor, or a receptacle. A receptacle is a device that accepts a plug on a corded device. A switch is neither an outlet ot a recetacle. So when the NEC states a circuit can have no more than "n" outlets the meaning is to include lights, smoke detectors, and recetacles.

#3   
Quote
flyingvan stated: "code forbids putting 20a outlets on 15a service"
eddie1278 stated: "it's perfectly NEC code compliant to use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits with 12 gauge wire."

Seems to be a brain fart or perhaps a disconnect between brain and fingers there.  :)

See the problem there? Two different things. One is talking 20 amp outlets the other is talking 15 amp outlets.... and they are both talking different gauge wires.   A mental disconnect, IMO.  Grade me on that:  8)  diplomatic or not diplomatic? 

I do not have an NEC code book, but there are a couple of things I am confident in stating.
A)  The NEC does state that if a circuit has only one outlet, the outlet must be rated no less than the rating of the circuit. (Circuit being the overcurrent protection device and the wire.)

Now bear with me on this next one, eddie. As I said I do not have a copy of the exact code wording... So I may have outlet and receptacle mixed up... When the code references a single receptacle, does it mean a receptacle that has only one plug in point? Does that mean the common duplex receptacle is actually two? Clearing that up would be helpful.

B)  If a circuit has two or more receptacles then the receptacles may be rated at less than the circuit rating. So a circuit with a 20 amp breaker using 12 ga. wire can have receptacles (note the plurality) that are rated at 15 amps. That does make sense. The 15 amp receptacles have the two blades parallel to each other and can not accept a 20 amp rated plug which has the neutral rotated 90 degrees.

I am not sure if the code uses the word outlet or receptacle. (I ran into my daily limit of 2 views unless I pay up...) Or maybe the NEC uses an either / or ??? 


In closing I would think that there is something in the NEC that does prohibit placement of a 20 amp receptacle in a circuit wired with 12 gauge wire and protected by a 15 amp breaker. That would seem to make some sense. Right? 

It would also seem that if a DIY'er kept all components in a circuit to be rated the same as the breaker they could do no harm.



Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Windpower on December 21, 2013, 03:53:11 AM
"3.  "Further, the electrical code forbids putting 20a outlets on 15a service, with good reason."  Really what code book are you reading because it's certainly not the NEC you are reading.  And what is the "good reason"?"



so, eddie, are you saying a 20 amp outlet on a 14 AWG circuit (presumably protected by a 15 Amp breaker) is good practice ?

it would seem that this would be setting up the home owner to overload that circuit by plugging in 20 amp loads -- certainly not a good practice IMO whether it meets code or not
 

As a technician that has worked with instruments that produce high volages up to 13 KV safely for 35 years I have a healthy respect for safe and prudent practices -- setting up someone to overload a 15 amp circuit with 20 amp outlets sounds neither safe or prudent whether or not it meets code
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: tommytebco on December 21, 2013, 04:13:22 AM
Guys
Eddie is living rent free in our minds. Evict him.

Tommy
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 21, 2013, 05:01:48 AM
   Tommy---good advice, but really he was pretty easy to dismiss early on--people who have a deluded sense of self intelligence are usually pretty lonely and dangers only to themselves.   I just wanted to be sure I wasn't giving out bad info so in a way it was good, made me re-read what I'd written and had an electrical engineer friend review it too.   
    When I consider that half the population is below average intelligence, then factor in some stupid stuff I've done and my grade levels back in school, I'm not willing to believe I'm any smarter than others I meet.  Geez, how could you ever really tell anyway?  However, I AM goal oriented and finish what I start.  I think intelligence is kind of like a book case.  You could have a huge wall sized book case but no books, or just fill it with comic books and porn and romance novels.  Or, you could have a small, modest book case you've filled up with technical manuals that you can draw from to get you where you want to go.
    I don't want anyone to think I'm smart.  I want to do my job at AirOps safely and effectively, I want to be a good dad and husband, and I want to build and help other people build.   I've needed help, but for me I want the help to be at the planning and 'how do I...' stage so I can do it correctly and by myself.  Information exchange is absolutley critical.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on February 24, 2014, 08:47:59 AM
OK, back to the project.   Got the next tier of the slipforms poured.   I have to carry each bag of red-e-crete the 120' down to the site then use a bucket to dump it in the forms

(https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-JRsWoqE4qi8%2FUwuEufSxeaI%2FAAAAAAAACG8%2FqrOObpw7USo%2Fs1600%2Fslipform.jpg&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*)

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Kramer on March 12, 2014, 08:58:49 PM
Wow, what an excellent read this thread has been.  Hats off to you, flyingvan.

How many bags of red-e-crete do you think you've used on this place?
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 13, 2014, 07:29:56 AM
Not sure---but if you take the number of red-e-crete bags you can run through a Kobalt Big Cat mixer before you kill it and multiply that by two, you'll be pretty close
 Thanks for the kind words!
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 28, 2015, 05:03:59 PM
(tap tap tap....Is this thing on??) 

     After a long break due to work demands and ventral hernia repair surgery, I'm back to work on the outbuilding.  It's 9X12, slipform foundation, with a sub-grade laundry room to avoid freeze issues.  Today I finished pouring the concrete.  It's about 100' from the closest spot I can get the truck to the building site so I'm lugging 90# sacks of premix down there.  (I know what you're thinking.  Doctor Mazzen it isn't so much lifting that causes a hernia, but for every 10 pounds over your ideal weight you carry, your intra abdominal pressure DOUBLES when lifting.  He said if I can get to 184 and stay there I'll never have another hernia)
      Anyway it's going to be nice to be out of the dirt and doing some framing again.  I'll sketch the design when I get a chance
(https://scontent-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/11092154_10206352121185701_889024449251705072_n.jpg?oh=b93167d8706a97a5c9ea3f473e33845c&oe=55CAB907)
(https://scontent-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/11165065_10206352121705714_6714922287525646542_n.jpg?oh=fa798ba39725ab7758c5692321e51f32&oe=55D406AC)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: nailit69 on April 29, 2015, 01:48:48 AM
Not sure---but if you take the number of red-e-crete bags you can run through a Kobalt Big Cat mixer before you kill it and multiply that by two, you'll be pretty close
 Thanks for the kind words!

Damn... that's a lot of bags of mix.  I've had that same mixer for 8 yrs. and have mixed hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of bags in it and have yet to kill it, I did have to replace the cord on it once though.

Looking good though
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on April 29, 2015, 01:58:48 PM
Well, I am glad to see that the hernia repair must have gone well since you were able to carry and mix so much concrete.  ;D 
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: rick91351 on May 18, 2015, 07:48:32 AM
Something I have never done much of is mix concrete in a small mixer.  Seems that you are my go to guy!!!  With that Lowes mixer and using the bagged mix - how much and how do you load it ie water and mix.  How long do you let it mix.  You know stuff like that.  Stuff I never had to wonder or worry about driving ready mix truck or help someone finish. 

What have you found that works best for flat work?  I have a couple yards here and a couple yards there things getting ready to go.  Too small to order a truck - truck charge would be way more than the cement. Sort of thinking just hitting it in like half yard or so pours, and using metal expansion joints.   ???     
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 18, 2015, 09:17:39 AM
   Two different answers---one for sack mixes, one for mixing your own (always preferable if you can get the sand/aggregate/cement near to where you're working.  If not lugging redi-mix is the best option)
   Stage your mixer on a flat surface, shim the feet/wheels if needed.  If you can keep the sacks in the truck it's easier to lift and carry them...Do I trial run with the wheelbarrow from the mixer to the pour, making sure your path is clear and convenient.   Yesterday you did the forming, steel, and materials; today you'll pour.   Have a good sprayer on your hose and a kiddie pool or something for a washout later.
   Spray water into the mixer.  Don't overdo it.  Go get your first sack---stand it on end and spank the top of it to make a little airspace--there is a top and a bottom to these bags, top being where the lettering on the bag starts (Like the 'R' for Red-E-Crete) this side tears easier, the other is stronger so wont blow out.  Take a breath, rip the sack open.  When the dust clears breath again.  Pick the bag up and dump it in the mixer.
   Adjust the water in the mixer to soupy consistency.  If some concrete is sticking to the back tip the barrel a little until it rinses itself off.  Go get another bag and dump it in.  (My mixer handles 3 60's or two 90's).  Add water a little at a time.  Tip the barrel a bit if needed for a complete mix.  It should be as thick as oatmeal.  Go get your wheelbarrow and park it under the barrel.  Tip the barrel to fill the wheelbarrow; don't worry about getting it all out.
   Now spray more water in the barrel to let is scour out things a bit.  Back out your wheelbarrow enough to make room for the next mix.  While that is mixing, go dump your wheelbarrow load and roughly place it---don't work it yet.  Start in the corner away from you and add to the margin.
    At some point the first mix will start setting up---when it loses its sheen, just finish that section with a trowel while a load is mixing.
    I know you must have an old bag of concrete somewhere that turned to stone before getting used---use it now to weigh down the empty sacks in a stack so they squish flat.  They WILL blow into your work if you don't, and gathering them later no-squished is a dusty chore.
    Every now and then tap your forms to settle the concrete.  When you're done rinse the barrel and dump the water in the wheelbarrow, then dump that in the kiddie pool.

    If you're mixing your own, put water in, then three shovels of gravel.  Let it scour while you do something else (troweling, tapping, moving sacks...) then two shovels of sand, adjust your water, then one shovel of cement.  3-2-1. 

   AnnaMarie knows she gets a pedicure the evening after a mix.  Here's why---the cement robbed your hand of its oils and they'll crack really good.  I tried gloves but the ones that will hold up are hard to work in....So she gets an extended foot massage with plenty emu oil, with equal amounts soaking into my own hands.

   So if you have help, one person mixes and dumps and the other does the rest.  Do not overwork the concrete---just like biscuits, you want lots of air bubbles in there so it can expand and contract without cracking.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 18, 2015, 09:21:55 AM
Oh and two yards in a day is about the limit for one person, three for two people.  A 60# sack is about 1/2 cubic foot so you need 54 for a yard.  90's are 3/4 so you need about 40.  A yard of sand, yard of gravel and 14 bags of cement yields 2 yards of concrete (seems like it should be more but there are lots of voids that get filled)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: rick91351 on May 18, 2015, 09:59:52 AM
Thanks go to guy!   [cool]

Would just imagine I am sentenced to the bags of premix.  That too is a world unto itself. High strength - then you got your basic and then you got your fast setting and then to got your........  ;)   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 19, 2015, 03:41:10 AM
OK, now we're getting in the weeds a bit more.  I've mixed refractory cement for fireplaces, waterproof concrete, used additives in countertops like poly fibers to prevent tiny cracks, used colors....
  When you order concrete delivered they should ask how many 'sack' mix you want.  They are basically asking how many sacks of cement will go into each yard of concrete.  Premix stuff is around a 5 1/2 sack mix and gives you 3,000 psi concrete---good enough for most of the work here.  Less cement will make weaker concrete, as will too much water.  More water makes it more workable; so does more cement, and it will be stronger.  (If you're doing fine work like a countertop you can add a water reducing agent that will increase workability without reducing strength)
   If I'm making my own concrete I buy 14 of the 90.4 sacks of plastic cement (more easily worked than portland) to match the yard of gravel and yard of sand.
   When I'm doing flatwork with premix, I think the premix is a little short on cement so I'll pick up a sack of plastic cement and sweeten the mix with some.  You end up with better concrete.  For formwork like this project I didn't bother.
    I'm  messing around with fiberoptics now
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jmlifestyles.com%2F%7Ejmlife%2FcmsAdmin%2Fuploads%2Fthumb2%2Fslide-01.jpg&hash=104fb91d5b50253157acdf2c381319a8)

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 06, 2015, 08:07:18 AM
OK back to the real world.....Finally got the slipform foundation done.  This may be the only 'tiny house' with a basement.  Finally get to the fun stuff like framing.  I'd prefer to work with wood instead of concrete any day.

(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/11109258_10206637751646284_498811259664395843_n.jpg?oh=48cdb18819140a89780af21ccedc152f&oe=560877A0)


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   I think I'll pour the vinyl floor asnd seal the walls with UGL after I get the floor above done, otherwise the oaks will leave their marks in leaves, pollen tassels, and acorns
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 28, 2015, 09:38:46 AM
Graywater system is done.  I picked a spot about 30' away, that got constant sun in a more or less southern exposure. 
(https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11923228_10207295489009307_4195082073938654985_n.jpg?oh=517f4339c690ca4eebbe40133f073e34&oe=567D6364)

  I had some infiltrators left over.  They probably didn't need to go quite this deep but it's a steep slope and I don't want water bubbling back out anywhere.  For the record I didn't do any sort of calculations or soil studies.  If it fails to absorb all the laundry water, I'll just expand it.  There's a lint trap upstream.  I can imagine how lint would choke up a system pretty fast...
(https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/11888001_10207295488929305_617818365125624075_n.jpg?oh=e92dace2b968d63493aeb51436bf8051&oe=56673CEE)
   Weed cloth over the infiltrators to keep roots out over time.  It might serve to keep the louvers clear too.
(https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11889471_10207295488969306_1268995520726217106_n.jpg?oh=eaf2aa23983c59a008d88fbab39b7d35&oe=567427A1)

    The white pipe is the french drain under the slab.  I wanted any water that gets under to drain away past the graywater system.  I'll direct raingutters away too, but once the soil re-solidifies I don't think much surface runoff will get down into the chambers
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 03, 2015, 10:40:59 AM
(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/11227042_10207344532595366_1745640107866985941_n.jpg?oh=a48df64e421677e3dc16a6bbb4cb1a43&oe=5672A532)

     Tapping in to the water main went off without a hitch.  I have to run the electric next, then I can bury the whole thing
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 11, 2015, 03:39:30 PM
(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/11986610_10207403392306822_8018209405388825392_n.jpg?oh=330813a8215745a9b444b19b1e0a1e3f&oe=565F3E03)

    Nothing interesting about this other than forward progress.  Not pictured are the 100,000 little black gnats that the thunderstorms stirred up.

     
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on September 11, 2015, 04:31:27 PM
 [cool] 

Sure don't like gnats.  One thing we really like about NM is the absence of bothersome flying insects.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on September 11, 2015, 05:15:21 PM
   It certainly isn't constant, and I kept telling myself what a necessary part of the food chain they are---one of the reasons our trout are well fed.  I bought two of those hanging fly traps.  They filled up with flies and gnats very fast, but I think they attract more bugs from elsewhere and smell bad to boot---other than the satisfaction of seeing them drown they are a waste of $$
   Oh and I suppose this is worth a mention--it calculated out to 6AWG wire (single strand since it's in conduit).  $0.89 per foot.  500 foot spool, same store, $200.  So just taped the ends.  As for grounding, NEC gave me two options--- 1) ground at the subpanel or 2) run a ground wire all the way back to the main panel.  I had already tied all the rebar together and had a 4" stub where the sub panel goes, so I went with option 1.  Yes, there is some strong string run through the conduit if I ever need to pull something else through.  It was quite a long run so the wires just got laid out in the trench and the PVC conduit and bends fed on one piece at a time. 
    Faux Pas -N- Fix......... When I cast the concrete I set 1" PVC conduit through the concrete then decided I wanted 3/4" conduit for the run, so bought reducers for each end.  The reducers only fit the widened flange, so I would have needed a coupler, another flange, and a reducer.  Seems wasteful as did the 2 hour round trip.  Turns out if you sand down the 3/4" a little with the scraps of emery cloth lying around from the sweat solder job, then soften things up with PVC cement, it'll squeeze in to 1" conduit.  It does make a tough spot to push the wires past though.  Tough, not impossible.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on October 28, 2015, 07:31:28 AM
Work on this slowed down for a bit---we had a rescue where we pulled ten people out of a flashflood back in August right upstream from a 35' waterfall... we got medals for our efforts but also got beat up pretty good so took a break from swinging the hammer (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2F10986626_10203300857157329_6265562009081130861_n_zpsllwssdjz.jpg&hash=77dd183eb398f57e81336ec38d491f0d)

Anyway---AnnaMarie's instructions were to build this outbuilding to match the cabin.  It has to be no more than 12' above grade and she wanted a loft.  Other than that it was up to me.  The laundry room is hidden below grade....
My old Skilsaw gave up the ghost.  It made it through two house builds so hard to complain.  I didn't realize how sloppy it was until I started using the new one.  Paid the extra for the magnesium version---you really appreciate it after a full day of cutting


(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20151027_103331301_zps4fp4izze.jpg&hash=208fb3929c1913e3eb3916ff7b0c1ba1)


  So the rafters are curved like the cabin's roof, a 'caternary arch' as Don pointed out---formed by hanging a string until it sagged to my liking.  The difference this time is, on one slope the curve goes out instead of in.  (In would have cut into the already small loft space, and left too little material in the rafters)
  It's like building an upside down boat

  (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20151027_131308061_zps9k4vr4g6.jpg&hash=b4b1ce469edba812e7e38c0fb43b4a2f)

 Each rafter has three different pieces, and each version has three varieties---the fascia is a little different, and the ones over the walls have the cutouts for the bachelor studs.


   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FPatrickhelper_zpsgnuat41e.jpg&hash=2c4038f11b52e776b510120344d8d069)

  My son helped a bit.  So far he's not too interested in building stuff


   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2Fcurves2_zpsw5kr6kc0.jpg&hash=0055a45df22c9b0d9fc238cd67cf3b19)

  The longer set of rafters off to the right are very well supported at the midpoint which also forms the edge of the loft, and the angle follows the ground slope nicely to keep it within the 12' height limit.  This is about as radical a curve I can get away with that the OSB deck will conform to---if it's sharper curve (like the cabin) I'd use T&G instead
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 07, 2015, 10:40:20 AM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20151106_140650790_zpskzbzqswn.jpg%3Ft%3D1446838457&hash=0f5199552f36758569d2cd7d771afcf8)


   Gable framing, especially with a window, sure means lots of trips up and down the ladder...Work today but should have all day tomorrow to get the roof decking and at least the felt up before Monday's rain










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 The Cedar Fire was exactly 12 years ago.  Devastating at the time but every Fall since has been more spectacular than the past.  Turkey population has exploded too

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   This is our house, looking one way---then turn and AnnaMarie's Cottage is the other

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on November 07, 2015, 10:49:39 AM
It's a cool looking roof.  [cool]   Thanks for posting
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 10, 2015, 10:19:57 AM
I think I mentioned before. this is about as radical a bend I'd want to do with 1/2" OSB.  It's nailed 4" on center, both edges and field.

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   You can just barely see the radiant barrier face on the underside of the OSB.   The edge flashing is underneath the felt only at the lowest ends, then goes over the felt on the gables. 

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  The flashing on the curves required a bunch of cuts every 8 inches or so on the vertical face or it wouldn't bend.  On the house, the flashing is doubled up with no cuts overlapping, but this is just an outbuilding so I didn't really worry about it too much.  It starting really pouring and blowing hard so the edge flashing will hold down the edges until I can get the shingles on when I'm off work again in a week

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    What looks like missing flashing is really just where a topcap layer of felt is overlapping.  Not really sure how the raingutter will go on the lower edge, there's not much fascia to work with and it's already pretty low over the entrance
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Don_P on November 10, 2015, 02:17:58 PM
Diverter up on the roof? Looking very cool.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: MountainDon on November 10, 2015, 03:53:53 PM
I  like!!   
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 10, 2015, 05:58:57 PM
Is there a way to use a diverter and still channel the water far away?  Since there is a 'basement', I'd really like to move all the runoff away from the uphill side.  The eave on the downhill  side is 24" (it just looked best that way) and guttering that will be easy.  Another option might be to pour a concrete sidewalk that slopes away and around and just let that side spill----but a diverter over the doorway is probably a great idea
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 10, 2015, 06:31:48 PM
Some of the older pics of the basement style foundation seem to have corrupted.  This one got loaded on Photobucket so maybe it'll last longer.  How dare they let me store tons of data for free and let it degrade like that





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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on November 21, 2015, 10:12:01 AM
Roof's done.  Our weather has been very erratic but was blessed with a hot sunny day that 'set' the roof.....My fear was another windstorm that would whiffle up the shingles and get dust on the tar tabs before it set.  It's happened before and had to get back in there with a bunch of caulk style tubes of Henry's...

   Here's the starter course.  I really like the self stick kind, especially on a real steep roof.


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Downhill view.  The window there isn't yet cut out all the way, it'll be a 3-0  4-0



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I'm trying out the radiant barrier OSB on the south facing wall that always will be in the sun to see how much impact it makes on keeping the place cool in the Summer

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  Next up is pouring the epoxy floor in the basement area.  First I'll get the housewrap up.  I don't want it to get rained on right after it's poured.  I bought enough for a garage and it's just 6 X 8 so I'm hoping it'll help level the floor some too
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Redoverfarm on November 21, 2015, 10:27:46 AM
Good job on the roof.  Shoot I have enough trouble with a conventional one. ;)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on December 06, 2015, 11:49:35 AM
Sheer panel isn't the most fun job, especially when you get up to the eave.  Also when that eave is curved.... I held onto the cutoffs of the curved rafters and used them as a template to get the curve right, then just measured where to cut out for the 2x4's (bachelor studs, though I've heard different names.  Seems regional)


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I pushed the limit on the curve for the OSB.  It started to fail, and made plenty of audible complaints while being bent into submission on the concave side.  The convex side was even sharper so I took my time---one side was well secured, the other had the clamp and every hour or so I'd just tighten it down a little more.

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Trimmed the ridge.  Always feel like sharp edges anywhere on the roof decking will tear through roofing when it gets stepped on, and it WILL get stepped on

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For the step flashing the metal shingles got turned the long way otherwise they wouldn't really fit into the curve and lifted the shingles more than I was comfortable with.  It meant using a lot more pieces but this is the side that takes the weather so cheap insurance

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 The fascia board and its twin up against the structure are cut from a 2x12

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Next was housewrap, windows and door.  The door to the laundry room down below the eyebrow hasn't been completely cut out yet because I poured an epoxy floor and I wanted to protect it until it cured

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20151205_130538790_HDR1_zpsoamofjid.jpg%3Ft%3D1449347094&hash=bba6ffb5a7c521b0526e93c7f6c42608)


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Next up---stone veneer all around the base, at the level of the bottom of the door.  I'm considering renting a big wet saw and cutting up the native stones---other option is the fake stuff.  This will make the place look more in proportion and hide the laundry room below.   I have to soffit in the eaves with cementitious panels.  Maybe if they take a good soaking and I set them down on the roof above for a few days they'll take the necessary curve for installation.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 20, 2016, 11:15:38 AM
OK.  The house at the beach is no longer gonna get 'El Nino'd' into the sea.  Back to Cuyamaca to finish the laundry room...  But first work needed us to start training up some new rescue medics on the copter.  I tried taking pictures through the NVG's---it's harder than you'd think.
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  Siding is easy once you get all the trim and soffit work done.  The soffit up under the eyebrow eave over the entrance to the laundry room is a pretty radical curve.  I cut the material to size and slowly clamped it down to the top over the roofing to pre-shape it.  After a few hours when I took it off it held the shape well and nailed right in place.

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 22, 2016, 09:12:05 AM
The weather was warm enough long enough to pour the subterranean floor.  It's a clear two part epoxy designed for a two car garage.  It filled the low spots well.

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  The part of the doorway that's above the concrete, the OSB was left in place to keep the weather out while I was getting the floor done.  I'll cut it out and install a door soon.

    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160321_1227212341_zpsdyccoewg.jpg&hash=f1beddb8d2496f138613aba65970cf56)

    I really didn't want any sort of bracing holding up this little eyebrow eave but standing on it to do the trim, it wiggled enough to be a concern.  Cheap insurance.

    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160321_1622567601_zpsvhc7keh1.jpg&hash=1d08dfdc44e5df2049f5584c598a15fc)

  With the floor curing, it was time to get some siding up.

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on March 27, 2016, 07:48:20 AM
  My tenant was rooting through the waste pile.... He wanted to build an owl box.  The Western Screech owls have been hunting for nesting sites.
  They are great tenants and he is very talented, but there is no way he could build an owl box without hurting my tools, himself, and the owls.

   So I did a little research.  Screech owls like a north facing entrance, 10'-16' off the ground, in open woods.  I didn't like how the wall facing the cabin was going to be lap siding all the way up into the peak of the eave and that corner met all the owls' requirements so decided to incorporate it into the structure.
    I happened to have a spare toilet flange lying around---exactly the 4" they like for their front door.   There's a slot cut into it to form a sort of perch at the entrance.

    (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160325_145624736_HDR1_zpsaekjpbsl.jpg&hash=71e3fe2b8887fded74d5aabea5fa7d34)

    Here's an owl's view of their home, taken before the (removable for cleaning) bottom went on.  The beam up top is the ridge pole.

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Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 02, 2016, 07:50:22 AM
     Up in the eaves---since it's a compound curve, matching the siding cuts has to be scribed for each board.  So the board gets rough-cut and screwed with one screw up in the part that will be hidden by the overlap....The scribe is a pencil taped to a board---minus the part that overlaps, minus half the pencil width

   (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160401_1608030171_zps3h5ssvlh.jpg&hash=4c71a48a2c5bbf204a00a4f3bcab28f8)

     Finished the north side.  The owl box is up in the eave.  If needed down the road, the bottom unscrews for cleaning.... According to the literature owls keep pretty neat houses, but I'm not certain who's going to take up residence up there

          (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160401_182220761_HDR1_zpsam9meuou.jpg&hash=9fff4ff407e1c99f25ae698759b4a81e)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on April 13, 2016, 02:04:26 PM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160412_1412249011_zpsbi0fqmcg.jpg&hash=63a3b237bf61bc7bceff983fbcfd76f7)


(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160412_1412575011_zpsjgpxfsyv.jpg&hash=118acd0645cf94cdc982d93eca2aaa5c)

   Siding is all done.  The palm nailer was invaluable up under the eave.   The wiring is about half done, then I can cut out the rest of the doorway for the laundry room below.  I'll hit up Habitat Restore to find a door to cut to size (the doorway is 38" wide and 74" high)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on June 26, 2016, 09:30:53 AM
    As this project (finally) gets wrapped up, there are a few remaining cans I've been kicking down the road.  One is the door to the below grade laundry---it needs to be 73" by 32", and she wants a window....I found something I can trim down from Habitat Restore (sort of a building materials thrift store Habitat for Humanity runs---one of the few things to like about Jimmy Carter, though he also gets props for 70 years of marriage)
     The plumbing....I had tied into the water main to the house and slip formed the concrete around a plastic pipe then ran the 3/4" copper through right in the corner.  It came out a funny angle, 'to be dealt with later'.  It's later now.
     Plumbing is one of those things that I have no idea how I'm going to do it, then when it's done, it looks so simple, I wonder what the fuss was about.  The angle needed to be straightened.  It needed a union in case things had to be re-done.  The water heater needed feeds, as did washer valves and angle stops for the sink.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160623_162749953_zpseotdjvrc.jpg&hash=1b7af9801b256e0e4e72cb4a5e2832f7)

    Here's the back side

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    When I made the concrete walls, I set carriage bolts so I could mount the water heater out of the way in the corner.  The mount had holes in it to mount some plywood.  The outlet box was cut into this, so there was a starting point and an ending point.  All the 'Cold' side was done first, then the 'Hot'.  Then the whole mess was temporarily bolted into place while the pipe coming out of the wall was matched up, along with a union.
     This will all get painted white
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 06, 2016, 05:50:45 PM
     Kinda thinking this is something 99.99% of builders already know, so for that .5% of a guy out there who didn't, you're welcome.
     Trim work is hard, tedious, and expensive.  I like to buy clear 4x4's and take them to the table saw to make what I need, but my wife's impatience with completing this job led to buying prepainted plastic stuff.
      Options for corners---you can put in plinth blocks and butt the trim up to them.  Nice, clean.  You can cut the material to 45 degree angles and fit them to each other.  They never fit perfectly for me though.
       I like this option best----cut the trim on a 45 degree angle, then follow the edge with a knife or coping saw, cut at a 90.  Make sense? didn't think so.

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    Here is the trim cut at a 45.

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     Here, the trim is getting cut at a 90 degree angle following exactly where the outer surface of the material was cut.  This will butt up perfectly to matching trim in a corner.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on August 06, 2016, 06:04:25 PM
OK, last post on the outbuilding project.   This is at the first place I built---as a weekender.  It has very little storage, just a little under the counter fridge, and no laundry.  Now that our weekend guests have been renting for 6 years, they needed an upgrade.   This 8x12 outbuilding was built to meet all the needs.  First, here's the house it's designed to complement---
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160731_1650037871_zpsqsrxsi14.jpg&hash=cf0b28ebe8c45093c572ae6910dfd02c)

  The laundry is below grade so the pipes won't freeze.  I'm thinking the water heater and fridge will provide plenty warmth down there.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1405363661_zpsdjhehoj8.jpg&hash=130781d8451432730b353363d44f8a89)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1401546801_zpsal3ad7ek.jpg&hash=9b45a73602e60d637488fcecfd96a716)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1402094321_zpssnplffuu.jpg&hash=64b912bebb1adecc3ebd132742abe149)

Here's the interior of the main part

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(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1400294421_zpsj5ckcnlc.jpg&hash=8e2874deb31e3df2a4f565606eb08ac1)

The loft, with enough room for a full sized mattress

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1400183441_zpsgjbfe7tv.jpg&hash=dc8f40c3da1d62585e75ac38cf5af7ff)

....And the laundry room down below

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160729_1402415931_zpsejugvg8j.jpg&hash=b799b1c9eeda71395a80fe779733864f)

    The slip formed walls are painted in UGL, all the way down to overlap with the epoxy coating on the floor.  I just branched the water main and split it to feed a cold and a hot water line.   Tenants requested a deep sink, which I though was a good suggestion.  That funny thing on the wall by the water heater (12 gallon, BTW, enough for an HE front loader) is a dryer vent, mounted backwards into the room.  The other side is in the vented crawl space.  This is necessary to allow return air for the dryer---all the air venting outside through vent hooked up to the dryer has to come from somewhere, especially in such a little, tight space.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: Don_P on August 07, 2016, 02:57:38 AM
     Kinda thinking this is something 99.99% of builders already know, so for that .5% of a guy out there who didn't, you're welcome.
     Trim work is hard, tedious, and expensive.  I like to buy clear 4x4's and take them to the table saw to make what I need, but my wife's impatience with completing this job led to buying prepainted plastic stuff.
      Options for corners---you can put in plinth blocks and butt the trim up to them.  Nice, clean.  You can cut the material to 45 degree angles and fit them to each other.  They never fit perfectly for me though.
       I like this option best----cut the trim on a 45 degree angle, then follow the edge with a knife or coping saw, cut at a 90.  Make sense? didn't think so.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160719_1014137221_zps9ftfobfc.jpg&hash=5ecff86a3d206d1b01bf906e72f48818)

    Here is the trim cut at a 45.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1382.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fah245%2Fflyingvan1%2FIMG_20160719_101625433_HDR1_zpsnwfcmhxf.jpg&hash=c494c3e18328d8e11156c860d3a0927d)

     Here, the trim is getting cut at a 90 degree angle following exactly where the outer surface of the material was cut.  This will butt up perfectly to matching trim in a corner.

It's looking very nice. What you've described is "coping"...
 "What are you doing Bubba?" "Trying to cope"  :D
One of my teenage jobs was running base for Dad. He had a nice metal hand miter box and a coping saw, we thought it was high tech, which it was at the time.
Usually a trim carpenter will miter outside corners where the fasteners will tighten the joint. A miter on an inside corner will open as you try to fasten it so a cope is usually a better method. Coping wide crown into an out of square corner can lead to some serious French lessons.
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: flyingvan on May 28, 2017, 02:51:06 PM
This was cool....I was trying to find the proper term for curved rafters on the 'architectural terms' site.  http://www.stockandassociates.com/projects/architectural-terms Turns out they are called 'compass rafters'.  The cool part---their example was a picture from my first build!  I had posted it here, and on my blog years ago.  Not sure where they took it from

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stockandassociates.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2F3%2520-%2520Curved%2520rafters_WEB.jpg&hash=8e0d0bd26dadfa66257ea52354eca27b)
Title: Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
Post by: jpsconsulting on June 07, 2018, 03:57:42 AM
Thanks for the information.
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