Author Topic: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA  (Read 131979 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« on: January 10, 2008, 09:20:12 PM »
Having spent many fun hours reading other folks posts, maybe it's time to start a thread describing our little project.

Lisa and I hit the roads of Northern California looking for a rural holiday home somewhere around 2004, impeccably timed to be in the middle of the biggest housing boom the World has ever seen.   As our expectations were lowered and our road trips got longer, the prices went up faster than we compromised.  It soon became clear that it was land we were after - at least we could save money by cutting back on house size if we had something built for us.  Then the 3 hours from Berkeley became 4 hours or maybe more and views became optional.  And then, in 2006, just as an acre of unattractive semi-desert or something in North Eastern Oregon seemed the only options, we stumbled upon 5 acres of wild forest, 2 miles down a dirt road in the middle of Plumas County.  In 5 minutes the decision was made.  After all, who needs running water, electricity, a 2WD drive access road, a real sewage system, a road with <10' of snow on it in Winter, an actual structure or a bunch of money left in the bank to have a house built.  It was a nice lot in a great location and we could afford it - the other "details" could wait.

Enough history.  On to the rest of the thread, which I hope will contain some illustrations of the not-so-subtle difference between having a cabin and building a cabin, as acted out over many years by an unfit, middle-aged English software engineer with a few toys from Home Depot and an Internet connection.  To add glamour, I will be enthusiastically assisted by my beautiful, patient, adventurous and caring fiancee Lisa and a small chihuahua called Casey.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 11:08:15 PM by davidj »

Offline davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 09:39:12 PM »
Here's a picture from the front of the property before we bought it and a view in the center of the lot:


« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 07:05:17 PM by davidj »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 09:46:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum, David.

Nice to know we're not alone here in California.  We have a few here on the forum now.

Looking forward to seeing the pix. :)

Sassy and I did similar with the purchase of our property.  Had to have it - no matter what.

Added- Hey you got them -- must be that software engineer experience.  Nice trees and land.
"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 davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 10:09:37 PM »
Welcome to the forum, David.

Nice to know we're not alone here in California.  We have a few here on the forum now.


Thanks for the welcome.  I guess us Sierra Nevada folks can bond over snow-shoveling stories...

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 10:12:24 PM »
Sounds good to me --- as long as you get a lot more of it than I do.  I did get a snow plow for my Bush Hog, but haven't had enough snow this year to hook it up yet -- 2 inches once.  What big town are you near?
"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 glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 10:27:05 PM »
As I recall we flew into Quincy a few years back and a friend picked us up and took us to their camp at the Berkeley City campground near there.
"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 davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 10:27:38 PM »
Sounds good to me --- as long as you get a lot more of it than I do.  I did get a snow plow for my Bush Hog, but haven't had enough snow this year to hook it up yet -- 2 inches once.  What big town are you near?
Wow - I guess you guys missed most of the storms.  We're just outside Graeagle, about an hour North of Truckee and at 5000ft.  We haven't been up there for a couple of weeks but folks nearby have had 6ft of snow in the last week or so and there was already 12-15" under that.  I thought I was smart leaving a shovel out by the door but I guess it should have been hung 12ft high in a tree!

Offline davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 10:28:44 PM »
Once we bought the property, pretty much the first thing we needed to do was build a shed so we didn't have to haul everything up in the truck every weekend.  It also seemed sensible to have done some framing before starting on the main house.  We decided to build an 8' x 8' storage shed with a loft to sleep in, and also do a board-and-batten look to see how we liked it for the house.  It's sitting on concrete deck piers on the dirt, with 4x6 beams and 2x8 joists (overkill in retrospect).  Floor is 3/4" ply, walls are 2x4s on 16" centers and 5/8 rough exterior ply (T1-11 without the grooves).  The roof is 2x6s on 24" centers with 3/4" ply (more overkill).


This taught me a bunch of stuff, with the biggest lesson being "buy a nail gun".  Another was "if you're scared of heights, don't do your own roofing".
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 07:05:38 PM by davidj »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 10:34:50 PM »
Great start.

We are at 2910 feet so it has  to snow pretty good to get us, but we do get some.  We still get the heat from the valley here and can see South Modesto area.  We are in the foothills.

Last year was decent snow - 9"  to 10" a couple times.  We are about 40 miles from Yosemite so abundant snow is nearby. :)

Good plan with the shed.
"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 glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 10:40:08 PM »
Hard to work efficiently without a nail gun.  Watch those killer bounces -- the other hand etc.  And watch your assistant --- mine shot me in the back with a 16d  -- he didn't mean to though.

I was just like on TV.  I been shot....as I reached behind me and pulled it out of my shoulder blade. Interesting experience though.  I don't recall being shot before.
"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 MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,765
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 10:57:00 PM »
Hey, it's a good day when you can recall being shot. By whatever!

 w* David

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

Offline davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2008, 11:00:17 PM »
Lisa did a great job of staining the cabin and it's since had 2.5" battens added on 16" centers.


The roof is metal, that you can get off the shelf at selected Home Depot stores, with 30lb felt underneath.  It would seem obvious that you put the felt on first then put on the metal.  However, it's much more interesting if you put on the metal, then realize you should have felt underneath and try and slide it underneath without fully removing the metal but rather just unscrewing most of the screws.  It certainly gives you something to do on sunny afternoons as well as entertaining the onlookers as you try and slide sticky felt between heavy metal and plywood.  I guess that's the price you pay for being a software engineer...

« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 08:31:23 PM by davidj »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2008, 11:12:02 PM »
Glad to see you used felt.  It is the best thing to use behind your board and batten walls also.  With the snow you have there I would use the screen wall also on the house.  It would give you much better drainage.

Too much chance of problems with Tyvek or other house wraps for me to want to use it.
"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 glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2008, 11:18:10 PM »
Truly a professional staining job if I've ever seen one, Lisa. :)

Sassy does a lot of the finishing around here after I finish with the chainsaw and nail gun. [crz]
"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 davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2008, 11:23:43 PM »
Whilst building the shed it became clear that maybe storage wasn't the most essential requirement.  Perhaps an outhouse might be useful!  This was built pretty much the same style as the cabin except using a 4"x4" PT frame for the base and little home made trusses for the roof.

The biggest pain was getting a 3" vent pipe through the roof.  I'm guessing there's a correct way to do penetrations in metal roofs.  One that doesn't involve spreading copious amounts of elastic roofing compound all over the pipe boot, the roof, my arms, my clothes and my hair.  Did I mention I hate roofing?

     

Our friends Henry and Andrea gave us the ultimate designer accessory:


(the mosiac is made out of broken glass ground down in a small concrete mixer!)

« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 08:32:01 PM by davidj »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2008, 11:31:15 PM »
Far out, David.  A psychedelic toilet seat. :)

Our outhouse was one of the early structures we found necessary also.  I had a lot of plywood scraps so the first model was a nice box bench with a one holer overlooking the valley.  We contemplated many a building project there.

It finally got walls after a delivery guy showed up one day just after the moon came out. [crz]
"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 glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2008, 11:37:35 PM »
...and might I mention that  your carpentry skills look pretty good for a computer guy.

Roofing? hmm  I did about 300 steel buildings - not to many had plumbing, but I progably would have cut it out with a nibbler or tin snips in a flat area then put a roof jack over it -if done for a customer ..sealed with some kind of mastic -- probably butyl or silicone.

For myself -- probably not so pretty.  Probably chopped it out with a chisel then spread copious amounts of elastic roofing compound all over the pipe boot, the roof, my arms, my clothes and my hair.
"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 davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2008, 11:44:41 PM »
Glad to see you used felt.  It is the best thing to use behind your board and batten walls also.  With the snow you have there I would use the screen wall also on the house.  It would give you much better drainage.

Too much chance of problems with Tyvek or other house wraps for me to want to use it.
Yeah, I think I'm sold on the felt behind the siding for the house.  Or maybe instead of the siding for the first Winter, depending on progress.  From foundations to roof in 8 month's worth of weekends is gonna be tough - I'm guessing the snow and the siding will be racing each other up the wall.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 06:23:41 PM by davidj »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2008, 11:53:17 PM »
It would probably make it through the winter over sheathing. 

There is a new trick with felt now too.  PEG says 15 lb is heavy enough for walls, but now there is 30lb and #30 whic is probably a bit heavier than old 15 lb.  I assume there is #15 also.  I was wondering once when I had an old 30lb roll and a #30 roll side by side.

Glad to see you no the forum.  Looking forward to seeing more of your project.  Gotta hit the hay as I still have my Modesto Stainless welding to finish tomorrow ... make that later today.  G'nite.
"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 Redoverfarm

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,774
  • Applachian Mtns, West Virginia
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 04:34:04 AM »
David & Lisa  w*.  I admit I don't know alot about CE stuff but I have done some construction.  Just keep in mind that building a house is basicly building a box of sorts.  Unlike the ads say you have to reverse it to "think inside the box" on this one.   You will get alot of support from the forrum.  I too have to cut a hole in my roofing for the vent and don't enjoy that thought as it is another area that could be prone to leaks.  But fortunately I can pick a location that works best.  I actually need two but in my kitchen I will be using a "studor" valve and eliminate that one. 

It's good that you built a couple of small buildings to get the feel for things. I am sure what you have learned in those will help with the cabin.  Unlike most construction mine was a little more complicated but managed to get through the problems as they arose. I believe that for every problem there exist a solution. It's just finding the solution that is difficult.  ???. If you would like to take a look and you will see what I was referring to. My biggest was how to incorporate three individual cabins into one(two of which I really couldn't alter) and do so on one horizontal roof plane.  Anyway I just keep rambling on. Glad you are here.

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=3613.0

http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd161/redoverfarm/hightop/

John

Offline ScottA

  • No Edits
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,182
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 05:05:38 AM »
Welcome David. Good to have you here. Don't listen to Redoverfarm. He'd have you belive he's just a regular do-it-yourselfer but one look at his cabin and it's clear he's an artist. As for the rest of us we struggle along and try to have fun in the process. Good idea getting some practice on the smaller buildings first.

Offline PA-Builder

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • CountryPlans member
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2008, 05:53:26 PM »
re: Vent through the roof.  Have you considered taking the vent out a gable end wall ?  Worked well for me, and you don't have to worry about "stuff" getting into the system.

Offline Drew

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
  • Northern California
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2008, 07:49:06 AM »
Hi David,

Your story sounds very familiar.  My wife, Dan, and I went through many of the same steps:

1.  We want a Place. 
2.  Oh, look. It's 2005.  Maybe real estate on the moon hasn't been "discovered" yet.
3.  OMG, this is the Place.  Let's screw ourselves by offering the asking price!  We can make friends by setting the new land price in the area.  (It would take less than a year for that price to be enviable.)

And so on.  Like you, we built a small building for the experience.  I'm an IT project manager and she's a systems analyst.  We had done some home improvement things, but carpentry (and the myriad other skills) was not a strong suit.  Fortunately we can plan, research, and break things down into smaller, manageable pieces and acquit ourselves honorably.  I can see by your account that you have done the same.  Hurray for the city dudes!

Here's our 10'x12' shed/cabin.  Kids in the loft, M&D below, wheel barrow and generator outside for the night.



We found the neighbors were really friendly, and we were able to "contract" out our roof work to a bull rider for about $10 an hour.  If you're crazy enough to ride a bull, you are almost crazy enough to do roof work!

The easiest thing to do is "invest" lots of money into the place with tools, other people's labor, fences, etc.  Personally, one of my biggest challenges was to keep from trying to do it all at once.  While it's sometimes hard to wait for things, I keep finding old plans that I'd subsequently found a cheaper, smarter solution for. 

Right now we're building an 18'x24' straw bale lodge.  It's an ag building and another learning step toward the 20x30 house of our own.  You can bet I'll keep an eye on your progress!  FTW!

Drew 

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,925
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2008, 07:56:40 AM »
Drew, you are almost a country dude now, and not bad for a city dude. :)

...and a gamer too.  I'm not but learned the term from Pala (Chuck) here.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 08:13:13 AM by glenn kangiser »
"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 davidj

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Johnsville, Plumas County, CA
Re: David and Lisa's 20 x 30 in Plumas County, CA
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2008, 07:33:39 PM »
Finally some time to post...

Redoverfarm - love your cabin.  Building a "real" log cabin seems hard enough, but recycling multiple existing cabins is getting into "extreme cabin building" territory.  I have dreams of doing something historical or milling my own lumber, then I remember how much effort it is just to haul a bunch of OSB from the lumber yard and nail-gun it to 2x4 and the dreams quickly disappear!

Drew - I'm jealous of your 10'x12'!  With 8'x8' you have to take it in turns to stand up.  Actually, I'm hoping to slip in another shed about the same size as yours as a guest cabin, maybe with a short porch, although maybe I'm just thinking about that to stop myself being intimidated by the amount of work in the main cabin!  Straw bale sounds fun too, but probably harder to find advice??

PA-Builder - I think for pit toilets you want a vent without any bends as one of the functions is that flies are attracted to the light and fly out that way rather than heading out via the door, pausing on any occupants.  Without a trap, you also need something open and straight to suck out odors.  I checked out some newly-built park service outhouses recently and there vents are very impressive - maybe 18" or 2' diameter.  Made my 3" seem a bit pathetic....

 

Templates: 5: index (default), Ads (default), Portal (default), Display (default), GenericControls (default).
Sub templates: 12: init, html_above, adsheaders_above, body_above, adsindex_above, portal_above, main, portal_below, adsindex_below, body_below, adsheaders_below, html_below.
Language files: 3: SPortal.english (default), index+Modifications.english (default), Ads.english (default).
Style sheets: 1: portal (default).
Files included: 38 - 1124KB. (show)
Cache hits: 12: 0.00191s for 40,818 bytes (show)
Queries used: 28.

[Show Queries]