Author Topic: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington  (Read 21475 times)

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Offline bac4uw

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Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« on: December 10, 2015, 08:57:46 PM »
Hi All -- This is my first post, but I feel like I know you all through my long-time lurking (probably going on 6-7 years now). After many years of saving, having kids, and planning, my wife and I finally pulled the trigger and closed this week on a 1-acre lot about 15-20 minutes from our local ski area in the North Central Cascades. All of your projects and advice have inspired me and I just want to acknowledge my appreciation for this forum.

While I pass by my lot on the way to the ski hill this season, I aim to spend the next 4-6 months planning for and studying the 20x30 1.5 story plans (just purchased!). In my blood is a DIY mentality and a desire to make this cabin fairly off-grid... not because access is impossible, but just because. I have some experience with construction through remodeling my primary house, but this will be the first time I've made a foundation and framed exterior walls and roof. I can hardly wait for this summer!

As excited as we are, we are fairly conservative and aim to build a mini-version of the 20x30 first this spring/summer to serve as a builder's cabin to give ourselves a home base to get to know the land, and my three kids a place to dry out when it is super wet. That will also buy us some time to explore what would work best on this lot, and we would convert it to use as a MIL later. Over the next year or year and a half, we will build the primary cabin (likely, the 20x30 1.5 extended to 20x36).

A few pics are attached. The lot is cleared and faces south. Septic and well are already marked, though I don't know if I want to use either. Again, just because. Water from the sky is plentiful, and I'm not sure about going septic. Electricity is at the road. It would be great to figure out a way to be off of the electrical grid, but I doubt that solar is a viable option in the winter months here when we will regularly use the cabin. A hot tub is almost a must, given my purpose. In fact, I might put a hot tub on the lot before the builder's cabin! (snorkel.com)  ;D The property is in King County, which may also dictate some of the above!

More to come over the next few months...





--Bryan

Offline rick91351

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 05:05:06 AM »
Welcome from a neighbor to the east.....  Idaho.

Absolutely love the area you are at.  King County can be a little strict I guess would be a good way to put it.....

Two things I think I would do is get a septic in and do the well even if you cap the well.  My reasoning is on down the line you want to do a septic and have a well it is there.  The permitting only gets more expensive and codes tend to get more strict.  Septic systems if the old tank - drain field types are very easy to DIY.  I have put in a couple.



Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline knopfarrow

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 12:28:47 PM »
Welcome out from the shadows. Looks like a great usable lot with some nice views. I'm also planning a build near Steven's Pass with property already in-hand. My property is just over the King County line in Chelan County. If your property is at all near there, happy to share any of the details from my ongoing research. Just message me.
"One is not a pattern. Two is not a trend." -me

Offline Patrick

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 02:57:11 PM »
" Septic and well are already marked, though I don't know if I want to use either."  Best money I've spent,Especially when having Women or children around.I would rather not have elec. than be without a water toilet.

Offline CabinNick

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 06:02:52 PM »
Congrats on your purchase.  We are in the exact same boat as you - just purchased our property this year and planning on building the exact same plan as you (20x30 1.5 extended to 36').  I am probably going to be a year behind you in the build so we are looking forward to following your planning/build. 

I was thinking about building a small place to stay now until we build but I just stumbled into a friend who has a "Tiny Home" on a trailer for sale.  That way we can have an instant cabin to use now and then sell it when the real cabin is done. 

Good luck and enjoy your property. 

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 08:21:15 PM »
" Septic and well are already marked, though I don't know if I want to use either."  Best money I've spent,Especially when having Women or children around.I would rather not have elec. than be without a water toilet.

Thanks for the responses all. Points taken, for sure, on the well and septic. We are viewing the small sleeping cabin as a test run for numerous things -- including water, black/gray water handling, and construction in general. The lot is located on the wet side of the pass and probably receives close to 90 inches of soggy moisture a year. Given the area's railroad and mining history and the quantity of rain, we're exploring a rain water catchment system in lieu of the well (and surprisingly, this might actually fly in King County):
http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/news/2011/July/KL_BOHrainwater.aspx

I am open to installing a septic, but am also considering a composting toilet / gray water system combo (again, partly due to being wary of septic performance in the rainy season). I'm still educating myself on this point and open to thoughts!  [toilet]

The question is, which 200 square foot contest plan should I build?! ; ) Steep roof pitch is a must due to snow, as is a sleeping loft. One thought I had was just to try and build a scaled-down version of the 20x30 1.5 story plans (which is probably one of the smaller plans on this site).
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 09:17:38 PM by bac4uw »
--Bryan

Offline nailit69

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 04:33:33 AM »
I'm working on a small cabin on the east side near the border that is sort of an experiment in "off grid" living.  It started out on paper as a small 12' x 20' but quickly grew to 14' x 24' w/a loft... 240 sq.ft. just isn't that big.  We just got the foundation finished and backfilled... waiting til spring to start building the cabin.  With the basement, main floor and loft i'm pushing close to 950sq.ft. which should be comfy for 2-4 people w/the occasional 5th or 6th.

We're at about 2500' so going with a 12/12 pitch for snow, not sure how much "rain catching" i'll be able to do but I have a "seasonal" creek nearby that had water until august but was dry in october which was the last timeI was up there.  I'm thinking of "collecting" some of that water and using it for garden irrigation.

My place is ready for septic with sleeves in the foundation for future water and sewer hookups but for now I'm planning on storing somewhere between 900-1200 gallons in the basement in 4 totes plumbed together for "house water" and using a "greywater" tank plumbed to a drywell and a composting toilet until the day I drill a well and install a septic system.



Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 08:43:57 PM »
Hi All -- it's been several months, but we are getting ramped up to build a <=200ft^2 starter cabin this summer. We've spent many weekends and hours at the property getting it ready and scheming. I have completed most of my 'pre-building' projects, mostly with the intention of keeping my family entertained while I'm building. Cleared some trees, installed a zip line for the kids, got a 20' shipping container for storage of tools and materials, and a picnic table and park-style bbq. That should cover it!

Love this forum and while I've read through volumes of its pages, I will no doubt have numerous questions as I go along. I am working on electronically sketching up some derivative plans from numerous sources, both in and outside of this site. Our property has an 80 lb/ft^2 snow load and yet only a 12" frost line, though approaching 24" according to the elevation maps.

Still working through the crazy Picasa to Google Photos transition... will update with some photos soon.
--Bryan

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2016, 05:50:08 AM »
The lot is in unincorporated King County -- I had a really hard time getting anyone from the city or county to answer questions about our plans... everyone seemed to point towards someone else. I've saved all of these emails in case someone does come asking about our little "shed" being built under the radar. In 2-3 years, we aim to build a larger (but still small) ski cabin that will go through the formal permit process.

Shipping container and dining canopy:


In the process of putting a rock pad around this:


Quickly apparent that I was going to need a workbench:


And this buys me about 45 minutes of independence before my wife and I need to play referee and split them apart (am building a railing so they don't break an arm):
--Bryan

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2016, 08:31:47 PM »
We spent a solid 8+ hour day out at our lot today. It was one of those days... I'm sore, my back and hands hurt, and while it felt like I worked hard - I'm not sure if I actually got anything "done". Okay, well, I did finally get the official stamp of approval for the location of the tiny cabin - marked in spray paint:


Even this proved difficult, as I had to dig out a rock nearly the size of a basketball in order to hammer a stake into the ground. This location, while a little close to the neighboring cabin for my tastes, will ultimately block the view of that cabin once we build a larger cabin in a few years -- it also allows a view of the mountains for both cabins.

After reading and re-reading various threads, discussions, and arguments on foundations, I have decided to install a permanent wood foundation for the tiny cabin. It will be a 12x16 with a 2x4 bump-out to get to 200ft^2, plus a full loft over the 12x16 part. A miniaturized version of the 20x30 1.5 story plans...
--Bryan

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2016, 10:03:15 PM »
Starting to work on digging out our permanent wood foundation -- 18 inches down and 16 inches wide is going to take some time with this crew!



Spent half the time playing 'war' under the canopy waiting until we could dig again....


Even the food needed some cover from the downpour today:
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 04:35:57 AM by bac4uw »
--Bryan

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2016, 04:33:07 AM »
 ??? Something wrong with the pics....

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2016, 06:43:14 AM »
Pics are looking good now.  Your last photo reminded me of one our favorite ways of cooking when out on a hunting trip, and that's the dutch oven.  A dutch oven with legs on the bottom works great with charcoal briquettes.  There's about a million recipes online for dutch oven cooking.  Keep an eye out on Craigslist and you may be able to score one at a great price.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2016, 07:48:06 PM »
Photos should work now... still getting used to the Google Picasa to Google Photos transition. Having the feeling lately that this transition wasn't an "up"-grade.

In any event, on my second of three trips out to the lot this week with a truck bed half-full of gravel - I pulled up and found a couple having a beer on my lot with their dog. It turned out that they are one of the few folks who live in the area year round and they check up on all things going on.  Sounds like they are going to be good people to know... when he saw me shoveling the perimeter of the foundation, he both offered: a) an extra shovel if mine broke, and b) the phone number of his father in law who will come out with a tractor and dig for $100/hour. Option b is sounding pretty good... maybe after one more round with a pick-axe and shovel in the rain.
--Bryan

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2016, 07:58:07 PM »
Can't edit one of my previous posts with an errant photo-link, but this zip line has been a lot of fun for all. Hopefully they will learn to take turns soon...

--Bryan

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2016, 09:10:02 PM »
Can't edit one of my previous posts with an errant photo-link, but this zip line has been a lot of fun for all. Hopefully they will learn to take turns soon...



Reminds me of a home-made zip line I made as a kid, before zip-lines were a thing.  Ah, the good old days.  My brother ended up with two broken arms, in casts at the same time.  Hope your kids fare better! ;)
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2016, 08:25:36 PM »
Hey All -- spent another weekend at the lot and can barely move my hands / fingers. We are probably 80+% of the way done with digging the permanent wood foundation. All told, we've spent about 8-9 hours digging by hand, shovel, pick axe, and rock breaker. It is mostly 12-14" deep all the way around, with some spots down to 18" due to behemoths like these (about 1.5 basketballs):


At one point, we actually tied some wire to a 2+-man rock and pulled it out of the ditch with my truck. I just couldn't do it!

I did manage to get a bit of fun in this morning and kayaked about 4 miles on the Skykomish -- mostly fast-moving flat water with interspersed class II rapids (and one nice rodeo-style rapid near the Money Creek campground).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 06:11:56 AM by bac4uw »
--Bryan


Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 09:10:18 AM »
Curious....where did you find this?  I might have to do the same thing as it's likely better to survive bear attacks! ha!

I bought the grill from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QGAOGC6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1... or search "Heavy Duty Park Style Charcoal Grill". Comes with the pole and grill (you supply the cement!), and the ever-so-important connection pin... which my 5 year-old mischievous boy "misplaced" and caused a bit of panic after a failed first attempt at mounting the grill (found it under the coffee table). It works great and I really like the ability to pivot the grill to either take advantage of or block the breeze.
--Bryan

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2016, 09:27:01 PM »
So close to getting the foundation in. We are done digging and back-filled with 5/8 clean rock today... ended up about a 1/2 yard short to get it level all the way around. Oh well... next weekend. August will be a busy building month. I am hoping to do my "platform-dance" in a few weeks at the end of July, as I've scheduled a solid 2 weeks of building with relatives / friends in August.

My wife found 4 new 36"w-60"h windows at a second-use store for $92 each... score!

Foundation footing... almost level. About 2 inches more around the back-side in a few spots:


One nice thing about going with a permanent wood crawl-space foundation is the ability to build it in your garage at home and transport it when you are ready:
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 04:54:14 AM by bac4uw »
--Bryan

Offline azgreg

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2016, 03:50:53 AM »
Pics not working for me.  :-[

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2016, 07:56:34 AM »
Pics not working for me.  :-[
Showing up nicely now for me.  Hopefully just a temporary glitch.

My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline azgreg

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2016, 09:21:53 AM »
Showing up nicely now for me.  Hopefully just a temporary glitch.

Yep, I can see them now.

Offline bac4uw

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 10:15:51 AM »
It's been about a month or so since I've lasted posted an update. Had a couple of weeks where I didn't get anything done, but then was able to make some good progress. We rented a nearby cabin with my wife's parents and brother for about a week and worked on it each day (an exhausting "vacation"!). I set up a GoPro and snapped pics every 30 seconds... kind of fun to see 6-7 days in fast-forward. However, the "action" subsided a bit as we put OSB sheathing up and it blocked the camera view. All things considered, it was a fun week -- we took our time and I'm starting to see the cabin take shape.

For some reason, can't get the videos to embed - so pasting the URLs...

After digging, backfilling with crushed rock, and leveling - here is the start of the permanent wood foundation in late July:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/w_BPkQRfn6A

And here was what we got done last week while on 'vacation':
https://www.youtube.com/embed/tm3FIngXMWY
--Bryan

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Ski Cabin - North-Central Cascades, Washington
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2016, 11:58:17 AM »
Really cool videos, thanks for sharing. 
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

 

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