Author Topic: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story  (Read 26338 times)

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Offline smcdaniel345

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Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« on: March 30, 2009, 03:51:58 PM »
I was cruising the internet one day and stumbled across this deal.  15.5 acres for $30,000.  We later determined that the previous owner, who was being foreclosed on, paid $105,000.





It's currently 15 acres of mesquite (mostly the little scragly stuff), but we are working on it a little at a time. 

We found a nice clear spot and decided to build a cabin.  Orignally we were looking at 20X30 with a 20X12 loft.  Then I messed up on measuring for the concrete pillars and added 6 foot.  Then my husband decided to take the front wall all the way, instead of leaving a front porch - another 6 foot.  So we know have 20X42.  Upstairs - another 6 foot, and we have 20X18.  So we are now up to 1200 square foot.

This is the floor plan



Here's a little of what we have so far.

The footers and the first beams.


The completed beams with almost completed floor joists.


We were about 1/2 way thru when my brother in law happened to glance up and notice we were under a power line.  It's an old abandoned line, but it's still there.  And it ended one post past where we decided the house should be.  Luckily, my husband has never met a stranger and he had such a good time talking with the electrical representative that they agreed to take it down. [cool]

Last weekend, we finished the floor joists, and now we are debating insulation options.  I want more, my husband and brother in law thinks it's overkill.  We will see who wins.   ::)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 05:45:13 PM by smcdaniel345 »

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 04:07:57 PM »
You can almost not have too much insulation, as a few years down the road the standards may call for more.

That said, what are you thinking of and what do the others think is enough?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 04:13:39 PM »
On the floor, I want to insulate with the fiberglass batts between the joists and then put 2" foam board underneath.  One for insulation and two for protection for the floor joists from the elements.

My brother in law keeps going on about any insulation is more than what most people do and that the foam is overkill. 

Husband can't quite decide who to side with.  He understands my view, but also agrees with his brother.  (But he also knows who he goes home with at night :) )

So, the walls and roof - same thing.  Except, since we will have cathedral ceilings, I want 2 layers of the foam on the ceiling.  And all the batt insulations - I would like to use the high density batts.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 04:25:46 PM »
Spray in foams offer the most insulation value per inch, at the highest installation cost.

I like wet blown cellulose for walls and cathedral ceilings. Ditto for the floor if the installer can get under there. It helps with air infiltration sealing as well.

Regular attics can be done with dry blown in as a DIY job. The other above methods require a pro.

Have you looked at the Building Science website where they have developed climate specific insulation methods?

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

Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 04:43:49 PM »
I have looked at the building science web page.  And there is another that I have been looking at - NAIME or something like that.  I will find the name shortly and post it.  And I have been following the hot-humid recommendations, since that's the area I am in.

We like the spray in foam - but that's not something we can do ourselves and part of this journey is to be able to say 'I did that'.

But yes - I have been doing my research.  My husband is about tired of me being on the computer 'researching' (a lot of it on this site also).  And my brother in law said something along the lines of 'he loves working with me, but I argue with him to much'.

I had this dream of a concrete house - concrete slab, concrete walls, metal roof.  I had everything all lined out, it was going to be great.  And it would maintain an temp, on it's on, between 65-75 year round.  But then the economy and the thoughts of no mortgage came.  And now we have an overgrown cabin.  But I will have tile floors, concrete countertops and several other elements.  And I will have the superinsulation - as my brother in law calls it.  I don't want to hook up to the power company or the water company.  Not that I'm extremist, I just don't like being dependent on someone else to supply for me.  I finally compromised and agreed we could hook up to the power company, but if the bill ever gets over $25, I have threatened to cut the line.  And we will have solar panels and such.  And a rainwater collection system. 

I think my husband is about ready to commit me at the moment.  Every time I start talking about a new area, his eyes glaze over and he starts saying 'yes dear, yes dear'

Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 05:14:03 PM »
Actually, I have been following the Building Science information.  I am using this link as a guide.

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/primers/plonearticlemultipage.2006-11-17.6022614454

This is the other one I have been browsing - it's NAIMA

http://www.naima.org/pages/resources/library/library.html

I have also been doing a lot of research at Toolbase.org

And also this one - http://www.austinenergy.com/Energy%20Efficiency/Programs/Green%20Building/Sourcebook/index.htm

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 08:09:49 PM »
Looks like quite a project - :)

I assume the concrete blocks are extensions of a footer dug into the ground a bit and were used to extend the poured concrete up to the level of the beams?
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Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 01:50:57 AM »
Yes - there are concrete footers approx 2 foot deep, then the concrete blocks set on top.

Although I do have a question - my brother in law insisted on using flat concrete blocks on top of the cinder blocks, so we couldn't use the anchors that get cemented in.  What would be the best way to anchor it down now?

We live outside of Austin, so we have good winds and an occasional random tornado.  I just don't want it going sideways and ending up in the mud.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 05:26:33 PM by smcdaniel345 »

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2009, 07:38:40 AM »
At this point I think you need to find some Simpson straps that can be nailed to the wood and anchored to the concrete blocks. I don't have any one thing in mind though

Simpson product line is here

Are those blocks filled with concrete and rebar and tied to the footing with rebar?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2009, 08:15:48 AM »
One inch high-R foam on the inside walls with dense packed cellulose in the wall cavity. Tape all of the high-R seams with foil tape and then use wood strapping and screws to secure it to the studs, otherwise when you dense pack the walls it'll blow the high-R off the wall. You can secure the sheet rock right to the strapping. This method stops any thermal bridging. The high-R gives you about R-6.5 and the dense pack gives about R-3 per inch. So a 2x4 wall will provide roughly R-16 and a 2x6 wall would give around R- 24.5. You can do the same thing for the floors and roof. When I was doing insulation work we were told that spray foam and dense pack cellulose were the only to insulation materials that could be used in a roof without vents. Check codes in your area to be sure, though. I can give you a more detailed description if you're interested. The equipment for dense packing cellulose can be rented so this could be a DIY job.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 10:54:27 AM by pagancelt »

Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2009, 03:21:31 PM »
MountainDon - Yes to the rebar and cement.  They poured the footers, let them set just a little and then put rebar in at angles.  After it all set up good, they put the concrete blocks on and filled them with cement.  Then they put solid concrete blocks 2 or 4 inches thick on top to bring them up to level.

Can I drill/screw/whatever into the concrete blocks?  My husband was thinking we could get some of the ties downs like they use for mobile homes and use those.  That would secure it to the ground, but not the blocks. 

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2009, 03:36:57 PM »
I was asking about the blocks because if they are filled and rebarred I'd tie the wood to the blocks. That's just a feeling, not an engineered fact.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2009, 04:03:31 PM »
You could use "flue blocks" as your last block on the footer for double stack.  It would have enough area to set the Simpson Concrete fastners in.  They are basicly the same demensions as a double eight if you were going to build the pier out if Double stacked eights.  In single course piers they would be of no value though.

If you were looking for tie downs and there was nothing available to mate the wood with the block you might look into turnbuckle style tie downs.  You can use a standard J wall/sill plate anchor and lay it horizontal in the mortar joint of the block.  Then use a eye bolt or similar in the wood portion and attach your turn buckle to those.

Offline cbc58

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2009, 04:36:08 AM »
your plan is nearly exactly what I came up with for a design... (20x38) though without the laundry room... so I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.   i was toying with the idea of putting a small loft at the front of the house accessible by a ladder for xtra space & some storage...


Offline Don_P

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2009, 05:20:03 AM »
Yes - there are concrete footers approx 2 foot deep, then the concrete blocks set on top.

Although I do have a question - my brother in law insisted on using flat concrete blocks on top of the cinder blocks, so we couldn't use the anchors that get cemented in.  What would be the best way to anchor it down now?

We live outside of Austin, so we have good winds and an occasional random tornado.  I just don't want it going sideways and ending up in the mud.

You are concerned about the same thing I am. I don't fully understand your plan or elevation but let me throw a real crude "what if" out there. If the structure is about 20' tall and 40' long it presents 1200 square feet of sail to a broadside wind. At 100 mph the wind pressure is around 30 lbs per square foot. It's shoving on the building with about 36,000 lbs of force. This doesn't account for wind under the building or lifting at the eaves. The overturning or sliding concern seems very real to me without some good bracing against those lateral forces.

Offline John Raabe

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2009, 01:04:08 PM »
Yes, you need a way to tie the beams, floor and wall studs into the piers and footings. This provides racking and uplift protection. With the flat concrete blocks you have broken that connection and are relying only on weight and the minimal friction between the blocks to keep the house on the piers.

The Conc. Pier detail on sheet 1A of the 20' wide 1-1/2 story plans shows how to do this with tube poured piers. You could do the same with concrete block piers but you want the rebar to go all the way from the footing and be wired to the beam support bracket (I show an EPB or equal). The tie to the wall and floor comes from the sheathing being nailed off to the top of the beam. This is sufficient for most locations (but not necessarily higher level wind or earthquake areas). See also the the Bracing and PT Post Foundation details and the "Earthquake and Wind Bracing" information in the booklet that came with the plans (assuming you have my plans. :D)

At this point you could probably drill a couple of bolt holes in the sides of each pier (into the reinforced block section) then epoxy in bolts for steel straps that could go up over the beam, get nailed into the rim, and even continue up and be nailed into the wall studs. That would tie it all together nicely.

You can probably find something that will work here: http://www.strongtie.com/products/categories/straps_ww.html (mouse over each one to see a diagram)

If you do experience 100 mph winds this will be extra work but cheap insurance. 8)

Alternative idea: See what types of auger tie downs are done in your area for mobile home installations - these are usually some combination of earth augers and straps. That may be easier to put in. But do more than the minimum since you have a taller building (more sail area) than a double wide.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2009, 01:48:02 PM by John Raabe »
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Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2009, 05:41:18 PM »
Thanks to all for the information.  And no, we didn't buy any plans :(.  But I do like the plans you have.  I am working to convince my husband before we go any farther that we need to.  I think it would be good.  From some of the other pieces, there have been references to several areas that we are going to run into before it's over with.  And having the plans to look at would be great and probably prevent a lot of head scratching.

And someone referenced the 'shear weight of the building' holding it in place.  That is exactly what my brother in law keeps saying.  But I don't feel that it's right.  At this point, my husband has gotten the auger tie downs. 

For now, we have finished the floor.


And has I have seen mentioned several times-here are the dancers!!



The one towards the back in the pink dress is mine (Shyanne), the others are friends of hers.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2009, 08:37:14 PM »
Cool - the dancing on the deck pix. Thanks. 

I also was going to recommend getting a rotohammer and drilling into the piers  and using epoxy.  I like the Hilti HY150 but Simpson works too if you have lots of time to let it set.

The augers should work though.
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Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2009, 02:42:06 PM »
Drilling into the piers?  Just for clarification - the piers are concrete blocks filled with concrete above ground.  Is it ok to drill into the concrete block into the interior concrete?  I would really prefer to do it that way because it would be cleaner and it wouldn't have the straps interfering with any needs underneath.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2009, 02:52:19 PM »
If the piers are properly filled, concrete tamped/vibrated, then there is no problem with drilling into the block and filler concrete for anchors.
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: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2009, 07:35:06 PM »
Drilling into the piers?  Just for clarification - the piers are concrete blocks filled with concrete above ground.  Is it ok to drill into the concrete block into the interior concrete?  I would really prefer to do it that way because it would be cleaner and it wouldn't have the straps interfering with any needs underneath.

Sure - You would want to drill down to get between the rebars to hold things together.  A rotohammer can be rented if desired and the holes can each be drilled in around 5 minutes - if you rent a decent sized one.  Clean the hole by pulling the drill out wile rotating to keep it from binding from the dust.  The hole should be 1/8" larger than the anchor - 1/2" all thread - 5/8 hole   5/8 all thread - 3/4 hole (I would use this size)  Brush and blow the hole clean - dust will prevent a proper bond.  I would use an angle iron with holes down and sideways -- possibly you can find a manufactured clip or strap  that will work.  Simpson epoxy works well in vertical holes - it is runnier than Hilti.
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Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2009, 09:26:47 AM »
We will try that.

On a different note, my husband went and talked with McCoy's Lumber.  Told them we were building and etc.  They set us up an customer account with anywhere from 3-5% discounts.  That combined with craigslist and the Habitat Restore should help keep our costs down.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:20:35 PM by smcdaniel345 »

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2009, 11:52:59 AM »
Sounds great.
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Offline smcdaniel345

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2009, 12:05:55 PM »
How long can a framed wall be exposed?  We are finally starting to get some rain showers (not much, but a little).  Most have been quickies, 5-10 minutes and then clear for the rest of the week.  However, following on a 18 month drought, we are not real sure what to expect.

We are building in pieces with each paycheck (no mortgage at the end!).  That boils down to every 2 weeks or so.  And now husband is getting concerned about building more and having it exposed to the elements.  Last week we got the plywood down, next week is the 4 main walls, 2 weeks for the upper loft floor and gable ends, 2 weeks for the roof framing, 2 weeks for the all the sheathing and housewrap.  Will the walls be ok?  Or should we start saving up and in 6 weeks or so buy everything at once? 

I have read thru several of the posts and many talk about rain/snow.  But none mention a time frame. 

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Texas 20 x 42 1-1/2 story
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2009, 12:33:23 PM »
One of the considerations is the building is not a solid structure until the walls are framed and sheathed (exterior) and the roof framed and sheathing applied. That is, I would not want to leave framed and sheathed walls standing for weeks or months without having the roof framed and sheathed. The roof ties the walls together to resist wind forces better. Better yet would be to have the weatherproof roofing installed as well and the weather barrier applied to the exterior sheathing.

That way if/when the winds blow or the rains come it wont matter so much.

The windows need not all be installed right off as long as you don't cut out the sheathing material to leave holes for a lengthy period. Cut out and install at least one exterior door for access and security.

Houses do stand partially completed for periods of inclement weather. Wrather does happen. It is good to limit the amount of time, IMO.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

 

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