Author Topic: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?  (Read 42630 times)

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Offline lonelytree

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Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« on: January 01, 2008, 02:37:52 PM »
I am in the process of buying a 5-acre lot on a lake. I am looking for ideas on what to build. There are many ideas and options on this forum and I have spent hours reading them. I am looking for your opinions and suggestions.

Location: Alaska - No building permits etc required. Setback is 75 feet from high water. Scrub spruce and tundra. Millions of blueberries.

Access - Boat, plane and snow machine only. 2.5 Miles from boat launch/road.

Utilities - None. Carry in fresh water. Electricity from generator. Propane stove/fridge etc. Heat from either wood burning stove or fuel oil stove.

Foundation – cement pads with piers.

Preferences – Minimum 1 bedroom. Accommodations for 4 people and floorspace for a few more. General use will be 2 couples with a couple brats. 20 X 24 or so. Loft with views, small deck?

Take advantage of - View of the Wrangell Mountains and lake to the east. Northern lights to the north. Solar gain from windows for summer warmth.

Stick built with (hopefully) a bit of rustic/lodge appeal.

Your ideas please. Thanks in advance.

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 05:53:14 PM »
Yeow... what a tough question!  Your possibilities are endless.  Tough way to get supplies in, especially concrete and blocks!  Know anybody with a barge?

That sounds a little big... how much time are you planning on spending inside?  How much snow does this place get annually?  Are you going to use it in the winter?  If so, consider your access to the outhouse!

I am currently planning a 16X24 first floor, with an additional 12X16 front porch.  Everything under one simple gable.  Two lofts... one over the back half of the first floor, and the second loft over the porch.  10' walls, 6/12 pitch.  No interior walls, since I am heating with a woodstove.  Drapes for privacy only.  A single fiberglass shell shower, a sink, RV water heater / pump and a propane fridge are the amenities.  Will have a queen sized bed downstairs for me and my wife, kids and guests will get the lofts.  I think I can comfortably sleep 10 in this. 

I want a big porch since we get a lot of rain in July / August, and I still want to be outside. 

Big dreams for now, as I am waiting to get through some property snags to make an offer... but I plan on breaking ground in July and having a shell watertight by winter.


"Officium Vacuus Auctorita"

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 05:55:41 PM »
BTW.. can I come over to visit during fishing season?   :)

-f-
"Officium Vacuus Auctorita"

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 06:02:15 PM »
Hi. Frank there asked some of the same questions that popped into my mind; size, seasonal vs all year, full time vs part time, etc.

I'll add that asking what kind of cabin to build is akin to asking me what kind of 4x4 you should buy. Or what kind of rifle/handgun you should buy. The 'right' answer depends a lot on personal choices, personal needs, lifestyle, etc. I don't mean to discourage you from asking, but perhaps if you present us with some of your requirements as to size, etc. and the options you are considering, we can then toss around our ideas and reasons for them.

G/L
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: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 06:31:49 PM »
These plans would leave you open to do as you wish inside.  This is the 1 1/2 http://www.jshow.com/y2k/listings/50.html

It also comes in 1 and 2 story flavors-  they can be shortened to 24'.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 06:44:31 PM »
Lots of folks build their small cabins to use a loft. I on the other hand have no practical use for a loft. Don't like upstairs and after living in an RV (for recreation) for many years will love to be able to sleep without being able to touch the ceiling (as in a cab over bed in a class C).
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MikeT

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 07:21:11 PM »
Off the top of my head, I think I would look at panelizing material and hauling it over on a log raft. I can't believe there are not other people who face similar challenges there.  I am also sure there is someone who makes a living hauling supplies like this.

For the foundation, I think it might need to be a mixer and many bags of concrete....almost every building I saw go up in rural Mexico was done this way.

Here is a link from the Gallery on panelizing the frame. http://www.countryplans.com/cody.html

mt

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 07:32:21 PM »
In a situation like this I also have to ask-- what about natural building materials -- what are the natural resources?  What would the natives have used to build a house?
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 07:40:11 PM »
Snow and caribou skins.    :D
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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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: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2008, 08:09:26 PM »
Looks great to me, Don. :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2008, 08:26:24 PM »
Or what kind of rifle/handgun you should buy.
G/L

All of them.  Especially from private parties.  Stock up on reloading supplies too!

-f-
"Officium Vacuus Auctorita"

Offline lonelytree

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2008, 11:27:06 PM »
Materials need to be carried across the ice in March. I will be using a couple wheelers, a snowmachine and possibly a tracked skid steer to carry them in. I will have to carry the rest in my boat or on a dock towed by the boat. Barge is $65 per hour. Figure 3 hours minimum.

Use will be weekends and a week here and there. Summer mostly, a few weekends in the winter. More use every year due to global warming.

Local materials include: a beach with washed sand and small gravel. A few rocks. Some driftwood. There are no trees worth cutting down. Nearest lumber yard is 2 hours away.

I have gotten so tied into my initial idea that I wonder if I am missing something. Tunnel vision is not a good thing until the plans are firm.

I prefer a dual loft design like the LeMay cabin. http://www.countryplans.com/lemay.html

But I would like a bedroom on the first floor. I believe that I can get this by going 20 foot wide. My plan is to balloon frame the long sides and platform frame the ends. The platform framing on the ends would allow a small cantilevered deck on the loft floor.

The caribou skins are still wet:

The fishing is poor:



Sunsets are nasty:



Thanks for all the input!!!

« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 02:15:07 PM by lonelytree »

Offline lonelytree

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2008, 11:55:12 PM »
BTW.. can I come over to visit during fishing season?   :)

-f-

Just leave my MIL in NM, cover any excess expenses due to your presence and lets go fishing.

Memorial Day until freezeup.

I spent a few years in Alamogordo.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2008, 06:19:53 AM »
A beach with washed sand -- I suppose you don't care for stucco? 

Actually the county here just legislated that all new homes have to be fireproof on the outside so we will be into lots of stucco.  I haven't seen what they ruled myself yet.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline mvk

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2008, 08:03:42 AM »
Hi
for the foundation could you use ties like the railroad? 4 8"x8" treated timbers on a bed of gravel would hold up a pier I would think? I don't know how long or how far apart? railroad ties are what 6" apart 8' long? I would feel ok with 4 6' long 12" apart timbers at all the piers, tie them togeather with stong backs and cribe up to the beam. use simpson ties and brace every which way. Guess it could blow around if the winds got big enough? Maybe drive some kind of long hold down through the ties? Lot of wood huh $$$?  Maybe I'm nuts?

Mike

Offline lonelytree

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2008, 06:10:00 PM »
A beach with washed sand -- I suppose you don't care for stucco? 

Actually the county here just legislated that all new homes have to be fireproof on the outside so we will be into lots of stucco.  I haven't seen what they ruled myself yet.

Actually, there is a new cabin on the other side of the lake with stucco. It looks VERY good. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of it (poor excuse, but I was fishin). d* If I use OSB over the studs I believe that I can stucco right over it???  ??? I believe that it would have to be sealed to prevent the ice from getting in and cracking it out. This is an avenue that I have not pursued enough yet.

I know they make stucco look like cornerstones but can you make it look rustic/lodge/log any other way? Rough surface with bear tracks?

The area is not serviced by a fire dept so any fire prevention ideas are appreciated. I believe that any fire going through would be a fast moving flash fire. I have thought about using metal siding on the back side as it is closer to the trees.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2008, 06:30:00 PM »
Stucco starting with the sheathing and working out ...

sheathing
building felt, some applicators say 2 layers is better
mesh, wire or plastic
scratch coat
brown coat
finish coat

A skilled applicator can render a wide variety of textures.

One of the best defense against wildfire is to maintain an area around the building free of all combustibles, grass, weeds, bushes, pile of firewood, gasoline storage, etc. One of the firefighters I've talked with called junipers bushes fire bushes. Lots of folks around here use them as decorative plants around the perimeter. Turns out they burn real good. Embers can blow in and remain hidden, but hot, for some time and fires then sometimes flare up after the fire crew has moved on.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2008, 07:19:41 PM »
I don't think that stucco would be my first choice (i live in a stucco house now).  Too many cracks.  You get deep snow against the side, some freeze / thaw cycles, and pretty soon all your stucco has turned into a gravel walkway around the house.  I am considering using cement hardiboard type siding, or a metal siding for longevity and fire resistance.

-f-

P.S.  Nice fish!
"Officium Vacuus Auctorita"

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2008, 09:17:47 PM »
Stucco can crack but done right- won't fall off.  Also -- it does not have to have sheating if you brace it some other way.  Use stucco lathe - chicken wire with pre-attached paper backing - for wet areas you may want to put 15 lb felt behind it.  Hauls easy on a boat or sled -

Fiber Mesh can reinforce it.  Nylon  netting can reinforce it - such as used for a ladies can-can dress per this dude.

http://www.texasmusicforge.com/gimmeshelter.html

Sand is already there so some screen for removing rocks -- bags of cement -- extra chicken wire if you want extra strong stucco such as a lower section where snow may build up-- see ferrocement info in the above link.  That could cut down on the load and cost of materials.  Shapes and decoration with stucco are only limited by your imagination.  It was invented by the Romans a couple thousand years ago and some of it from that time period is still standing if I recall correctly. 

http://www.geocities.com/flyingconcrete/



"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline lonelytree

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2008, 06:37:51 PM »
Lets get back to the "what would you build" idea.

If you had:

5 acres lakefront on a large lake
15K or less to spend the first year. Goal is to get it dryed in (+/-minus siding)

No septic
No electricity except generator
No gas
Wood, propane or fuel oil heat
Carry in potable water, lake water is near potable and good for washing dishes/showers.
Only real available materials at hand are a sand and gravel beach that replenishes itself (for my concrete pads).

Temperatures range from 75 mid-summer to -30 mid-winter.

Used as a weekend retreat for 1 married couple usually with another couple and a couple young adults. Mostly in summer with a few weekends in the warmer winter months.

Prefer something that enhances the experience. Fishing spot in the summer and northern lights viewing/ice fishing in the winter.

Due to time constraints must be stick built (no log).

I am asking because I am stuck in a bit of a rut. I have an idea, but cannot get it through to a set of plans.

Thanks,
Mike

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2008, 07:30:16 PM »
Considering the work you have to go to to do this - your original 20' wide desire - flexible space until you are decided on a floor plan, stick built, I would go with the single story 20' wide -- lofts for extras and adjust length plus or minus as necessary.  Width needs to stay the same for loads and simplicity.

http://www.countryplans.com/20wide.html

The plans are pretty well able to be modified inside any way you choose.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline lonelytree

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2008, 07:40:30 PM »
Here is where I am currently in my model. I have to use a pier foundation. But have not ironed out all the details. Here is the floor. I plan to use BCI's. Blocked in the middle and ends, insulated, bottom covered with thin treated plywood, top is plywood T&G.



2X6x12' high side walls. 8' end walls.



Frame in the loft supports to assist with side wall strength.



Build loft.



Are there any problems with this design so far? It is basically a LeMay with platform instead of balloon on the end walls (and 20 wide). I have not put any windows or doors in yet. I just formulated a floorplan last night.

It appears that a 7/10 roof would be about right. It would give me about 6 foot wide headroom in the loft. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Mike

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2008, 09:39:38 PM »
Here is where I am currently in my model.
Model... as in scale model? That's some project :) .  Half scale?  1x material?

I've gotta say I've never seen anybody do that.
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: Cabin Ideas Please. What would you build?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2008, 09:44:29 PM »
Pretty fancy.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

 

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