Author Topic: house in the pocono mountains  (Read 90335 times)

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Offline MountainDon

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2010, 12:39:53 PM »
As for the question of what to do in the winter when the place is not occupied for lengthy stretches of time, I'm of the opinion that it's better to winterize the plumbing and not to heat. That is unless the heat source is a paragon of reliability and the cost would not be greater than $50 for four months of sitting there. But that's just me. And I might balk at the thought of $50 being wasted.  ;D   Unless the most of the heat came from self powered or passive solar.  :-\

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

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2010, 12:43:55 PM »
there is something very logical about that thought, mountaindon..   i imagine that some drains placed in the plumbing and some rv antifreeze in the traps would just about do it..   

Offline MountainDon

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2010, 12:58:47 PM »
People back home in Canada with summer cottages would blow out the supply lines with compressed air and put RV antifreeze in the traps. There were a couple of old geezers who made extra cash by doing the fall winterizing.  I do the same with our cabin except that because there's no septic system, only a gray water system, I dispensed with the traps altogether.

When I plumbed it I also put in shut offs so I could isolate the bathroom shower. That way if we go up there I can turn on the kitchen sink portion without getting the bathroom pipes "wet". That saves on the time required to blow the lines out.

You can also use a wet/dry shop vac to suck the traps dry and plug the drains with a rag(s) to keep the septic/sewer stench at bay.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2010, 01:14:50 PM »
 i like the idea of isolating each part of the water supply system with shut-offs.   i used to work at a camp in NH where we used the rv antifreeze for traps.. it seemed to do the job. 
   the more i think about it, the more it seems logical to shut things down when we are not there...   that way, we can put more of our money into the things that are essential right now like getting the outside finished and getting the sheetrock up..    i too hate the idea of heating space that is not being used! 

Offline MountainDon

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2010, 01:23:01 PM »
i like the idea of isolating each part of the water supply system with shut-offs.  

Is it plumbed yet?  If you use PEX it's easy and you can buy manifolds with valves to take the branches off.


http://www.pexsupply.com/


http://www.pexsupply.com/Crimp-Style-Manifolds-1826000
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2010, 10:44:57 AM »
Re: Monitor heaters. FWIW,

http://www.alsheating.com/MonitorHeater.htm

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

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

I can confirm that Al knows what he is talking about.  We were a Monitor  Victim.  Al is a straight shooter and likes to talk to you personally.  He will not BS you.  For your safety, he will no longer fix your Monitor product or even sell you parts to attempt to fix it.

We bought our current Toyo fireplace type heater from Al.  He will sell you a good heater at the lowest price.  He will no longer sell you a Monitor or parts at any price.  Under the wrong conditions of failure they are very dangerous and the Monitor company being simply a random assembled parts broker does not give a crap about their product or servicing it.

Al doesn't put our heater to the forefront as it is a bit small for many applications but he talked with us about our use and size of our house in the valley and agreed it would work out fine under our weather conditions.  Sassy loves it.  She also talked to Al on the phone.  She is well satisfied with him having the best price and telling her all about what it would and would not do.  We highly recommend Al.

Al  is exactly a straight guy like he sounds on his web page.  He is a bit opinionated and direct but he will not steer you wrong.  Daddymem also checked him out and agrees he is  OK.

http://www.alsheating.com/ToyoHeater.htm

This is the heater Sassy talked Al into getting and sending to her.  She loves it.    It costs us about $150 per year for red diesel (off road) for her to keep the house warm when she is working.  She is there every other week for about 5 days on the average.

http://www.toyotomiusa.com/products/laserventedheaters/L-60AT.mv



Al can tell you which size of heater is right for you.  That is why he likes you to study his info then talk to him about your conditions and needs.  He may seem a bit rude or direct but has your satisfaction as his only goal.  

Note that I do not receive any money from Al and haven't talked to him in a couple years since shortly after his health problems.  If you talk to him, say hi for me and tell him I hope he is doing well.

You will many times have to wait for a call back from him but he will call.  He also take special care in packaging for shipping as he is aware of the product smashers at the shipping companies if it is sent out in factory boxes.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline cbc58

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2010, 12:19:53 PM »
we hope to build next year.... maybe.   i think Mt. Monadnock is the one of the most climbed mountains in the world.   i'm itching to build but timing is not right yet.  we may also look for some land farther north because of taxes.

Offline cbc58

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2010, 12:26:08 PM »
How much are these Toyo units?  say to heat a 1,200.sf. cabin?  I wonder if the SHTF like some people say things will... if diesel will be easier to get than propane or kerosene... 

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2010, 12:52:39 PM »
thanks for the info, Glenn.   it would definitely be worthwhile to give al a call and get his take on our situation.   i am always looking for an excuse to go to maine.. although, i guess i better call him three days in advance and warn him! 

cbc -   i wonder how much farther north you would have to go to find a favorable tax situation.   it sometimes seems that there is no logic behind the local tax rates in some of the towns even as far north as plymouth..   i guess that is just one of the premiums that one has to pay when living in NH.   but, the scenery is great!    have you settled on a plan yet?

Offline poppy

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2010, 01:50:57 PM »
cbc
Quote
I wonder if the SHTF like some people say things will... if diesel will be easier to get than propane or kerosene... 

I saw an interesting program on cable the other night showing a man alone showing how to survive after a SHTF event.  He siphoned some diesel from a filling station to run a hospital generator, and then found a diesel truck, and then made some diesel from vegetable oil.

I'm not sure about diesel vs. propane or kerosene, but this guy pointed out that diesel has it's advantages certainly over gasoline.


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2010, 07:00:57 PM »
We can't remember the exact price on the Toyo and most applications may require a bigger unit but it seems it was around $1500 plus or minus.  It is common for these type units to be around $2000.

Diesel is easier to get than kerosene in many places and off road diesel is cheaper if the stove will burn it rather than stove oil or kerosene.  The Toyo will for sure as we have been doing it for several years with no problem... and Al said it was OK.
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Offline pocono_couple

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plumbing?
« Reply #86 on: January 26, 2010, 01:17:57 PM »
hi mountain don,  a few posts back you asked if the house was plumbed yet.. it is not.   I am leaning towards a pex system.  Our neighbors said that the water is hard and that copper does not hold up very well over time.   I imagine that the system will be fairly straight forward.  we have a well so there will be a pressure tank in the basement.  do you know of any free resources regarding designing the system?  we have just one bathroom, the sink in the kitchen, and a washer.   we will either have a small electric water heater or, possibly a gas on-demand heater.   the design should include room for expansion for a powder room at some point.   besides that, we need to include an outside faucet in the front and back..  anything else that I should be thinking about at this point?    it seems like a manifold by the pressure tank would make things easy..

line      fixture
1      kitchen sink
2      bathroom sink
3      shower
4      toilet
5     washer
6     outside faucets
7     hot water heater
8    future expansion

a second manifold at the outlet of the hot water heater
line   fixture
1      kitchen sink
2      bathroom sink
3     shower
4     toilet ( thinking about a mixing valve before the toilet to ward off condensation on the outside of the tank in the summer )
5    washer
6    future expansion

does this sound reasonable?   what size lines should i use for each of these fixtures?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #87 on: January 26, 2010, 03:01:24 PM »
PEX is so easy for DIY plumbing. Buy a good quality tool for the connections. Even a $300 PEX expander tool set is nothing compared to the cost of a plumber.

Our home uses 1/2 PEX for the lines to the individual sinks, laundry, toilets, tub/shower, etc.

There is a 3/4 cold line to the water heater. There is a 3/4 feed from water heater to the other end of the house where the bedrooms and bathrooms are. The heater is at the kitchen and laundry end. Ditto a 3/4 cold line between ends of the house.

I like the manifold system as it's easy to turn off one sink or a shower if work needs to be performed on a fixture.

We have one exterior hose bib on a 3/4 line.  If it freezes where you are at all look into using the frost free type of hose bibs.



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

Offline cbc58

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #88 on: January 29, 2010, 07:48:17 AM »
pocono,

we pay 2k yearly on taxes for a vacant 1.5 acre lot that is only accessible 7.5 months out of the year.  With a cabin we anticipate total yearly taxes of about $4,500  which is hard to swallow.  If we go north we can probably get our taxes down to 3k total on a year round parcel... but finding the right location is key.

our floorplan is not settled yet... but we are very much interested in the type of place you are building... with the classic look.  i wish i could walk around in some of these cabins people post here because you can only tell so much from pics.

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #89 on: January 29, 2010, 09:19:00 AM »
hi Don,  thanks for the info regarding plumbing with pex..  i spent that last two days reading through material about the manifolds and fixtures.. it looks like the process should be pretty straight forward..  the bath and kitchen and laundry are all pretty close, so the materials should be minimal.   i also noted that the manufacturer recommends supplying the exterior hose bib before connecting to the manifold.. that makes a lot of sense..   
 
I have been reviewing your blog as time permits -  great job!  lots of detailed pics which are helpful..

cbc - i spent 16 years in NH - loved so much about it, but the taxes sure can be a killer.. I understand the argument regarding no sales tax..  i guess that it balances out if you are a big consumer.. but, if one wants to live a very modest lifestyle, the property taxes up there are kind of disproportionate..  in other words,  a true homesteader would be better off in another state!     PA  has its downsides as well.  i don't know yet what our tax bill will be..  we live in a county that had its first re-assessment in 40 years last year.. that shook a lot of folks up!  I am hoping that the taxes will be in the vicinity of 1200-1600 , but that may be a little optimistic.   

Offline sinner

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #90 on: January 29, 2010, 03:44:20 PM »
My property taxes went from 600.00 a year to 125.00. Great right no thats only because FEMA now says its in a flood zone.

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #91 on: January 29, 2010, 03:56:21 PM »
ouch.. that is too bad.. where are you located?

Offline sinner

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #92 on: January 29, 2010, 04:05:31 PM »
kansas           Your property looks wonderful I hope in a few years to start my house. Yea Im still going to build it on the land. I already own it what would I do with 10 acres if I didnt?

Offline devildog

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #93 on: January 29, 2010, 05:52:44 PM »
you guys are getting ripped on the property taxes. Ive got 2.24 ac.. When I bought the property acouple of years ago they were $7.63yr. Last year they raised it to $21.32. 

But I guess it depends on where you live in this great country
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
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Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #94 on: January 30, 2010, 04:39:12 AM »
ok.. so as soon as this house is built.. i guess we are moving to va! ( is that where i have to go to find tax rates like that?)     i have a few more house designs in mind that i want to build as well!   :)  anyone else have a burning desire to keep building after completing the first house??

  actually, the next house could very well be a houseboat - but i guess that is a different forum.. ( no taxes!)

hopefully, i will get some time in the shop today..  I am working on the vanity for the bathroom and a small spice cupboard for the kitchen..  we are pretty settled on interior paint schemes - at least on paper..  so I will get some of the paint and try it out on the pieces to see if we like it for real! 

Offline ChuckinVa

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #95 on: January 30, 2010, 06:11:12 AM »
Pocono couple,
Unfortunately or fortunately DD found one of the few places in Va where that is true. While I love the area that they are in, most of the less rural areas of the state are in the 70-80 cents on the $100.00 range
So pick your area wisely !  :)
ChuckinVa
Authentic Appalachian American

Offline devildog

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #96 on: January 30, 2010, 10:37:53 AM »
anyone else have a burning desire to keep building after completing the first house??

Actually I do. Ive had ideas about buying land and trying to build one house a year after we actually move to virginia. maybe trying to make a living out of it. I have drawn up many of my own plans. we'll see what happens.
Darrell
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Offline John_M

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #97 on: January 30, 2010, 07:01:34 PM »
Great info on the PEX system.  Any ideas on where to get a good manifold with shut off valves already installed?  I found this one but was unsure if they are all the same or each brand is different? ???

http://www.pexsupply.com/Viega-MXBD14-3-1-2-14-Port-Compression-MANABLOC-6-hot-8-cold-5381000-p
...life is short...enjoy the ride!!

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #98 on: January 31, 2010, 06:00:42 AM »
hi John,
  i have looked into the pex supply.. but I am also researching this site..  http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/plumbing/pexplumbing/vanguard/pexplumbingpipemain.htm
     they have a lot of information that you can download regarding design of your system and different options.. 
  it seems that there suggestion is that 3/8  inch lines will serve almost all of your fixtures.   shower/tub  and washers seem to be the exception where  they suggest 1/2 inch lines..    so , i guess it is helpful to find a manifold that has outlets in both sizes..  they also suggest routing water to your exterior hose bibs before the manifold..   

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: house in the pocono mountains
« Reply #99 on: January 31, 2010, 06:42:24 AM »
hmm.. i guess that i need to  do a better job of proof-reading!   :(  ( i get too excited about  sharing ideas on all of this building stuff..)      "their suggestion" looks a whole lot better for that last post of mine!


 

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