Author Topic: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY  (Read 12722 times)

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Offline lavarock

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Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« on: February 19, 2011, 01:01:20 PM »
Well.... Where to begin..... Long time reader, first time poster.  I also share the common desire to build a cabin / cottage.  Late last year we went off the deep end  d* and decided to purchase property on our local lake (Cayuga Lake in the NY Finger Lakes wine country).  As with most water frontage, it has really increased in value and this has been a financial stretch for us.  So, our project will take a few year's to see completion (detail to come).

The entire property is 1.5 acres and only 98 feet wide.  Our house is at the top of the property (newer timberframe home).  To make our budget work, I remodeled the basement into a 1 bedroom apartment this fall.  So far so goo, we currently have a solid couple renting.

This leads me into the next part of the vision for this property.  The lakefrontage is an absolute abortion and is the worst looking section of beachfront for 40 miles.  I've fished the lake for all my life and hope to be a stuard to her by turning this property around.  The long term goal is to fix this area to the point we can use is ourselves the bulk of the year and rent it out a few weeks a year. 

SO.......... Here it is d*




n
As you can see we have our work cut out for us d*.  At this time we are working on the garage sized building hanging out over the lake.  We have to level the building by a foot.  I have sank steel I beams in concrete and we will be attaching C channel horizontially to support the floor joists.  Quite the project in of it's self d*.
Our local county is working on an application for a sea wall permit.  I hope to complete this next winter.  There is 75 feet of lod railroad tie seawall that we hope to "reface".  We have a seperate small wood lot with large black locust.  The plan is to mill as much as we can into 8x8's and 6x6's for the wall and suppliment the rest with pressure treated 6 x6's.
Any way I'm struggling with what to do with the cottage.  It was once a camper that the prior owner took apart.  He had the frame left and sank 4x4 posts around it, put a plywood floor on the frame and put a pitched roof on the whole thing.  It does have a tiny shower, toilet and kitchen sink.  The unit is 10' wide by 40 feet long.  As you can see by the pix, I don't have much room to work with.  The road is right up to the back side and there is 4 feet of space to the sea wall on the lake side.  I can nly guess the prior owner did this to avoid taxes??? 

My options are to 1) work with what is there.  2) rip it down and modify a cottage plan on this site (help and advice needed)  3) rip it down and wheel in a park model camper (if we can get it down the steep, tight access road.

Water is supplied by a beach well, there is electric, but the sewage system needs help.  For now I hope to put the blackwater in a current holding tank and put in a grey water system.

Well, what are your thoughts, Thanks a bunch.......Love the site and projects!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 04:16:45 AM by lavarock »

Offline jeramiez

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 07:25:59 PM »
WOW... I read that you had a couple living in a basement, scrolled down and almost lost it.... (thinking: THAT has a basement????????) then kept reading... LOL

um....

I happen to be one that at times seems to get a bit ahead of myself with projects....

but...

if you really want to be a steward to the area, and you know that it is "the worst looking section of beachfront for 40 miles."
wouldn't it be best to carefully gut and dismantle the old place, saving what you can re-use... and build a nice little cabin on-site, using as much of the old site "stuff" as possible, retaining the link to the past, and providing a grand scheme for the future....

just a thought....

I guess it really depends on the space and function of the area that you feel you NEED before anything else.... a great little functional cabin could be built from remnants... but it would never be as luxurious as buying the newest model of an RV and propping it on-site.....

and again, how much energy and time do you want to put into it... if you plan on visiting it rarely... working with what is there might be a great option...  but if this is gonna be your daily escape... you would want it to be YOURS right, and not end up hiding under your hat every time you pull up your boat or step out on your pier....

just some thoughts....

Offline Texas Tornado

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 08:24:08 PM »
First Q that pops in my mind is: Is any of the buildings grandfathered in?
#2 What are the legal setback limits?
#3 What are the deed restrictions?

Offline Barry Broome

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 03:39:34 AM »
I like jeramiaz's idea. Might be cheaper and less time consuming to scrap the place... and just start over from scratch.  :-\
“The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.”

Offline lavarock

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 02:47:59 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts.

I guess that is the first step, is to see the deed restrictions / setbacks.  I've seen other builds in this general setting on this lake and have an Engineer friend that will help try to get things through.

I will have to research what the county has the property listed at for tax purposes.  My father -in-law has warned me about making too many improvments and assessment increases.  I had heard that the prior owner was threatened by the tax assessor that if he continued modifications that they would place the unit on the tax roll.  Given the building is sitting on 4x4's sank into the ground, I don't seee how this thing could be considered mobile.

The hope is to build / buy something with a loft, bed/bath/kitchen in the downstairs.  There are park model RV's with these options.  New they are running about $35-$40 K.  I've found an older used unit locally for $25 K, without the loft I was hoping for.  Even at the $25K, I know I could get quite far with one of the 14' cabin plans on this site.  Additionally, it's still a trailer with inferior long term components. The park it and start enjoying does have appeal though.

As far as use goes we hope to use is weekly during the season and quite a bit in the off season.

Thanks, Chris

Offline cbc58

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 04:46:47 AM »
what will they let you get by with septic/sewage disposal for this ?   I think alot of what you do will be determined by that....    if this isn't on the tax rolls then it likely doesn't have a valid septic system.. just guessing.

nice area up there... water looks very clean. 

Offline lavarock

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 06:20:46 PM »
Update One- Back from the dead!  Been busy over the last year.  I'm on here a lot, just takes a bit of effort to post (busy working).

So the plan is to polish the turd (work with what is there).  No structural change = no building permit= no tax assessor!

We are funding as we go, hope to have it rentable by summer of 2013.  In the mean time we are having a blast and the kids have turned into water rats (taught both our boys (3 and 6), yes I said 3....... to water ski this summer (training style ski).

Sorted the sewer system out (just needed a new high lift pump).

Pictures speak volumes.

before iron work

after

after

50 year flood - sweating bullets!



Beach well cover- straping concrete lid.


Suprise shot 50' x 3' high retaining wall (not one dead man- morons!).  Dug by hand - took 3 weeks to fix, now has 12 dead men.



Offline lavarock

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Re: Fuzzy project vision, seeking input on cottage project
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 03:59:44 AM »
Part 2-  Here are a few more pix of the progress through the summer and fall.  This summer we got a deal on a bunch windows and entry door. 



This fall I spent over a month (weekends only) pulling trees from our woodlot for the new seawall.  We ended up milling 131 timbers that range from 6x6, 8x8 and 9x9.  The lengths range from 8- 16 feet.  It was a huge project itself!  The 9x9's need 4 guys to move.  Locust is HEAVY!  We hired a local portable mill by the hour.  It took 18 hours to mill (we were busy!).  The cost was $1,000 for the work.  The best pressure treated quote I got was $5,000 (which included only 2 courses of 8x8's.  In addition we milled enough 1 inch boards to make a deck under the boat house.

The haul!


The slabwood pile - 10-12 feet high


the mill


man van abuse


Lil helpers

Offline lavarock

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 04:29:45 AM »
Few more pix...

Timbers awaiting installation this winter (it's taking forever for the lake level to drop!)


Start of new seawall.  We made a form to cover some old crappy concrete work.  The timbers will be bolted through the I beam and continue on.


More man van abuse.  Used 31 80# bags of concrete.


Parting summer fun pix

Offline Don_P

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 05:23:12 AM »
Locust is some heavy stuff. On the plus side that slab pile is some of the best firewood you can ask for. I've had really mixed results with locust, some has lasted 40 years+ others have rotted in 7 years. Deposition of extractives is highly variable.

This is one way you can move large timbers solo without wrecking your back. It isn't fast but you will walk away upright. The legs are just scraps bolted together at the apex with a strap hanging from that. The timber is cinched up a little short of the leg's height and the legs are first placed forward, the bipod is shoved forward which lifts and slides the timber forward, the legs are then spread and replaced forward and the process repeated... walking the dog.


Offline lavarock

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2011, 11:42:23 AM »
Don-

Thanks for the tip! That may come in handy.

Half the black locust I pulled out was laying on the ground (bark rotted off).  Some of them looked a bit punky on the outside.  We were all amazed that all the logs milled like they were new.  Only one was rotted on the inside.  Only time will tell if this will hold up better then PT.  What was shocking was the internal stresses within the wood as we milled.

Thanks, Chris

Offline drainl

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2011, 05:53:01 PM »
It's interesting seeing a build on water.  Lots of different issues to consider. 
I love the van abuse - we treated our Subaru wagon like a truck - then quickly traded it in when it started acting up from the abuse.  :)

Offline duncanshannon

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 05:06:19 AM »
welcome back ;)

will be interesting to watch the rehab... good luck!
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline lavarock

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 05:32:47 AM »
Back from the dead.....  I'm on the forum almost daily at work, but when the weekend rolls around I'm more likely to pick up the hammer then the mouse.  Any how- the last year has been steady along and I'm finally able to relax some and do some none work stuff.  I'll do a few posts to catch up.  Here are the pictures of the wall build that occured about a year ago.  What a great experience!  I did manage to break a finger and my borroowed backhoe, but both are mended now - no worse for the wear.  Sure glad it's water under the bridge!

Here is the start of the wall and an idea that the old wall was on borrowed time.


Here is the nearly completed wall under the dock/ boathouse.  We placed about 11 deadmen in this stretch.


Here is the Corner at the North end.  The concrete work was done a month or so before the pix.  We could not put dead men where the camp is - so we ran 3/4 threaded rod under the camp to the retaining wall at the rear of the camp.  This as well as using some of the driven pipes by the prior owner should lock things up enough to keep the wall from moving.


Here are the steps I blended into the wall at the south end for easy access to the beach.
 

A year later and the wall is holding like a rock.  This project cost $1,000 for the milled timber and about $400 for hardware, fuel, backhoe repairs and pizza / chili to feed the help  :).  Sure beats the $6,500 for inferior barial grade pressure treated wood.  Time will tell how long she lasts - I'm hoping at least my life span.  Environmental Conservation and Army Corps gave the project the aok. [cool]

Offline Ndrmyr

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 05:55:58 AM »
I really like what you've done so far.  And, IMHO, you have done first what should be done first, shoring up the base.  Many a dreamer could wax on about what they hope to someday accomplish, but putting the shoulder to the wheel is always more rare.  As I always say: When all is said and done, more is said than done".  I think you've proven yourself capable of the problem solving abilities and hard work that a project like this demands. 
There are reasons why one doesn't often see projects like this rescued from the ashes and it is simply true that, including labor, it is often cheaper to build new.  But, when we supply our own labor, and feret out materials below market cost, it becomes a real possibility.
It is also nearly certain that you would never be allowed to build a new structure on the water in this manner, or, that if you did, the requirements and engineering would make it cost prohibitive.
And, by acquiring this distressed property, it gave you waterfront that otherwise would have beyond financial reach, and, you are working and playing.  The memories you create over the next few years as you refurbish and play with your sons will become some of your most treasured recollections, and, you are creating a legacy.  Many family times spent together, now and someday with your grandchildren.  Keep the faith, I think you have made a great start.  If every weekend, you stop a little early, or take a break to have fun with your family will make the work a joy. There are many talented people here who have great knowledge and great willingness to share and help.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 09:00:46 AM by Ndrmyr »
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Offline SouthernTier

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 01:45:02 PM »
It may be lots of work, but you'll never regret it.  I used to live in Ithaca (went to college there) and the Finger Lakes region is one of the most beautiful places in the country.  My wife, who is from the Finger Lakes area, has said that if the Europeans settled the country from the west rather than from the east, Yosemite and places out west would like Niagara Falls, and the finger lakes would be a wilderness with everybody getting access to the lakes.

If you can get a spot on Cayuga you'll never regret it no matter how much time it takes.

Offline lavarock

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 03:16:19 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.  This forum has been inspirational.  I just hope to be able to share by possibly inspiring other folks on the side line.  It's been tough doing this with two small boys, fortunatly I have an understanding wife  [cool].  Our situation is different then most.  The camp is a walk away from our main house, so the convenience of putting in an hour here and there is great. 

We had a few beams left over from the wall and did some napkin engineering to come up with a very popular rope swing.  We also scored a freebee pool slide.  Kids have been having a ball.  So far I'm the only one to master the backflip without the bellyflop :D




Offline lavarock

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 04:53:35 PM »
Here are some pix of the remodeled interior of the camp.  This was done around April.  Keep in mind we only have 500 sq. ft to work with.  I turned a storage area on the south end of the camp into a bedroom.  It's tight, but I was able to put in a queen size bed and a standup tall dresser.  We painted the trim white.  The bunk bed area of the camp was trimmed in spalted maple.  I thought that this maple was ruined until we ran it through the planner and it has wild figure to it.  Much better in person.  The kitchen is trimmed in cherry. All the wood is from the same woodlot as the locust.  We scored a $250 Larson door at Lowes for $28, a 5' by 4' vinyl double hung window for $120, the bathroom door was $5, $299 new fridge(new returned/ repaired - basically every item was was a frugal purchase.  We got a deal ($200) on some vinyl peel and stick floating floor that is water proof to all the wet feet (verdict is on-going - so far so good).  This spring I will build a book case, remodel the bathroom and tidy up the living room. 

Corner detail of bedroom


View from kitchen to bedroom wall (bunkbed area)


Kitchen done in cherry and sheet bead board.  Note waterski doorway decoration.


Window opposite bunk beds.  Maple slab 4 feet x 15" x 2 inches think. 


Door detail- all trim in spalted maple.  Certainly not boring!


All for now.  Photos soon to come-  We put on a new roof/ expanded deck roof - old one started to leak.  We found 1,000 square feet of hemlock at a yard sale for $400.  We sided the camp board and batten style with this.

Offline Patrick

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Re: Rehab Dilapidated Lake Cottage Project- Cayuga Lake NY
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2013, 01:07:08 PM »
Where we are building you are not allowed a railing on the boardwalk or benches cant be more than 4 ft. wide, they also do not want it visible from the lake.There is a gazibo clause that allows a non-solid walled building under 250 sq. ft. to be built no closer than 35 feet from the normal high water mark and there is a height restiction also,which you need zoning and building permits for. I think you can build a boat house but the rules involved are so restrictive it becomes not worth doing. I think that cabin on the shorline like that will be a thing of the past ,I think its awesome your keeping it alive ,what a family treasure it will be.

 

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