16x12 Cabin in Maine

Started by Bishopknight, May 18, 2008, 10:28:07 PM

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Quote from: glenn kangiser on August 20, 2008, 01:29:59 PM
I was always taught at the truck repair shop that a good soldered connection cant be beat, but have heard some who say crimped is better. 
Depends.  ;D

A criticism of soldered battery and inverter cables I've heard has to do with the solder itself. Solder has a higher resistance than copper. Soldering places the solder between the copper strands and the copper lugs/connectors resulting in a higher resistance connection than a properly crimped connection. I don't really know how that stacks up in the real world, though. This may be getting to the point of being anally technically correct.  ???

I also believe it also depends on the solderer and sometimes the cable size. Large cables as used for battery and inverter connections are more difficult to get a good solid solder joint. Sometimes the cable connector appears to be soldered okay, but the joint is "cold" at the inner strands. Sometimes when a user solders large cables they also burn the heck out of the insulation.

As far as the "rule book" goes, soldered connections are not UL listed. It may be horse$hit, but if your system is going to be inspected, MTL must meet all the NEC rules; then those are the rules that must be dealt with. 
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


I know the set screw type lugs are not supposed to be used with super flex cable because the screw will cut the finer wires in super flex.  The joint also has a tendency to loosen over time and possibly causes heating.  Leading to the picture below.

I have my inverter and battery case (A plastic pickup truck tool box with a vent) on a cart that ties the 120Vac to the cabin with a twist lock plug.  I'm going to roll it under the landing of my stairs.  I do use red for positive, black for negative and yellow for series interconnects.  No inspectors to call me on my color scheme, but if they come around I can roll the battery cart out of the cabin and tell them the twist lock is for the genset.  :)

glenn kangiser

I guess with the soldered connections you would have to consider that contact is 100 percent where other connections will likely be less -  - an ohm meter may tell -- crimped connections are more likely to corrode over time - still I'm only throwing ut ideas - not solving or recommending anything - ohm meter may tell.

I noticed loss of contact in my corroded crimped truck battery terminals along with acid intrusion - that could not happen on a soldered terminal.
"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.


I agree with mountaindon's assertion that I should use black/white for pos/neg.

Fortunately for me, we have no electrical inspections here. My rudimentary power center would probably fail any inspection for one code related reason or another.  I am certainly no expert in this arena but I have tried to follow the guidelines in the books I've read as closely as possible :)



Can you summarize the changes you made from the PM design?
- Are you leaving any ventilation space in the roof?
- What is the ceiling height in the loft? 

My family (mother, brother and I) acquired 80 acres of desert mountain property in Idaho.  I had settled on something about this size for my wife and I for about the first five years until we can afford to build a more permanent home.

We won't have indoor plumbing except for a hand pump sink.  I'll build a loft for my teenage son but leave the lower level open with bed, kitchen counter and table.  After we build a larger cabin this will become my utility shed.



Hi Mike,

Sure, I changed the walls from 6' to 8' tall. I also did them 16" OC instead of 24". There is 8 ft of ventilation space in the loft with styrofoam vent tubing installed prior to the insulation. The ceiling height is 5' give or take. If I could do it again, I would have balloon framed it instead of using trusses , dropping the bottom floor down to 6' or using 10' 2x4's for the walls so I gained a 7' 2nd floor. Its still good enough for a bed up there but there will be little head room.

Heres some recent pics from Sept/Oct:


Thanks Sean,

A do everything first structure takes a lot of planning and sweating the little details.  It will be at least 5 years before we have both of the kids on their own and can think about a larger structure.

I recently stumbled on this site and found it very helpful.  http://coyotecottage.com

Looking forward to more pictures as you progress.  Thanks for sharing!



BK-  I am watching your house go up, but I wanted to ask if you could post any interior updated shots of the small place.

Live- Phoenix, Relax- Payson


Quote from: MikeOnBike on October 29, 2008, 05:12:20 PM
Thanks Sean,

A do everything first structure takes a lot of planning and sweating the little details.  It will be at least 5 years before we have both of the kids on their own and can think about a larger structure.

Just curious as to why you would build larger "after" the kids are on their own.  Nice job there.  I would like to suggest to you, that when you finish the cabinets underneath the sink, to build actual cabinet boxes.  Sometimes, with framing like this for the cabinets, it is very tempting to just put in a shelf, and put on doors and face frames.  Using the sheetrock wall, and the subfloor as the bottom however, can lead to bad conditions inside the "cabinets" in a short amount of time.  For some reason, dirt and dust seems to be almost cultivated by these surfaces.  Pests can get in more readily as well.  I speak from experience on this one, as I ended up building new cabinets in a rental that we had that had this situation.  The cabinets were only about 15 or fewer years old.  Might be just a temporary construction in yours though.  Box seats with storage are nice too, good job.
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!



The short answer is money.  I have a daughter in college and a son starting in '09.  My daughter has a toddler that my wife daycares for free so my wife can't work outside the home.  We are trying to get the kids through school without much loan debt for them or us.

My mother is going to build on the same 80 acres in 2009.  That will give the extended family a beachhead and place to stay.  I hope to build a small cabin shell like BK's and then continue the finish work over several years.  Once the kid expense has diminished we plan to build a larger cabin ~700sqft. and use the smaller one for guests, storage, shop, etc.


Sure, here are some more pics from different angles. If some of these are repeats, I apologize. The cabin looks small because the door is 36" wide.


Also Soomb,

Here are pictures of someone elses 12x16 cabin just like mine. I took the bench idea from these. They kind of put mine to shame but hopefully they give people some inspiration. The main point is that 12x16 is a decent size for 1 person. Had I seen these pics beforehand I probably would have designed mine like this.






Yeah...wasn't quite thinking of the 12x16 footprint when I asked that question.  Just read "build bigger after I kick the kids out on their rears".  My wife and I would be fine in that size after the kids are gone, IMO, but she, and many others would disagree!  700 square feet is big enough to still be adequitely small (does that make sense outside of my mind?) for a couple.
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!


BK- Thanks for the pics.  The second post was pic free.  I look forward to watching your projects.
Live- Phoenix, Relax- Payson


There is something strange going on with the images in reply #36. They do not display.  I don't see why not.  ???  Very strange; if I copy the url from between the images tags I can view them in a separate tab. Then as long as I have those tabs open the images appear in the post. As soon as I close the image tabs they go "poof".  ??? ???

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


Thats odd MountainDon,

Well I noticed theres a camera icon in the bottom corner so someone must have fixed them, so my thanks goes out to that person :)


BK - Nice work!  Built-ins really help get the most out of a small space. 

On the photos you posted of the cabin just like yours, I couldn't see a heat source or a fridge.  I also noticed that it had a bathroom. When I followed your link to the plans from PM, it came up as some kind of garden shed.  Is this the same plan?  Thanks. 

-- Pritch
"The problem with quotes from the internet is that they're not always accurate." -- Abraham Lincoln


Well, BK, it is odd for sure, because those images still do not appear in reply #36. Not on any of our computers.

I've looked at the code in that message, copied it and posted in trial messages, one at a time, and they don't come up....    And I don't see a camera icon anywhere in that #36   ???

It does the same in Firefox and IE7.

Anyone else see them or anyone else just see the text and an empty space?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


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


I don't see it in the post either.  I copied the link to another window and it will sometimes show but about half the time Google gives me a '404 not found.  I think the problem is with Google.


Hi Pritch,

Yes! Its the garden shed  ;D

Theres a little stove/heater between the kitchen and bathroom but I couldn't find a fridge at all. Odd.


Its got to be google or explorer. It will work no problem in firefox but not in IE. Very odd. I tried a few things but nothing worked. Hmmm


yes, bizarre. 

edited because what I was trying didnt work. 


BK the only thiing I get is the border of where the print should be and a red "X" in a small box in the upper left corner. 


What's even stranger is that different folks are seeing different things... like John's outline and red X.

Are those in a different album than the pictures in the post above it, reply #35?  If try putting one of the mystery photos in a new and different folder and do a trial post for the rest of us to see. Or not. Or put one in the folder where reply #35's photos are. Temporary as an experiment, if you feel like it.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


I finally got them to copy/paste utilizing properties in IE7.

Great little cabin! Some good ideas.