Colorado 26X36 - Build has started !

Started by UK4X4, September 28, 2010, 11:03:54 AM

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2d view from google sketchup

Basic elevations

Basic foundation - crawl space with large rebar and stiffening ribs- no piles over 48" of crushed rock and drains

Rebar foundation detail. yep lost of heavy bar- will poured in one hit with rough trowled finish on the slab

Reviewed floor plans- cheimney in the middle due to snow


Its lonely in here, but what the h#ll

Today we got the stamped CO foundation after a month !- the redlines were few and minor- a surprise as rebar and foundations are all new to me

I supplied the original dwgs- the company ummed and aaared for 4 weeks - we have a disclaimer of course.

Buyer beware ! if your in a code area and a moving mountainside- however cheap it may seem- walk away !

What others here have for 5K mine will be closer to 25K and only 3ft above ground !


So sorry, but good advice...  what may look like beautiful property could be a financial nightmare.

Like our friends who wanted to build an underground home but had to finance through a bank - they jumped through hoops for 10 yrs - bank would approve after city/county approved, then back out...  when the price got up to $500,00 to 1 million, they decided they really didn't need it & are perfectly comfortable in the mobile home on the property.

The drawings of your cabin look really nice - hopefully it won't be too bad on your wallet.

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


awaiting final quote from concrete chap and hole digger, for the foundation and 5ft of crushed rock backfill......

Costs - CO is a bit like CA in that regard- it simply costs more here than in other places.

Although I have found a pet plumber who'll work for beer and has the tools- electric I'll do myself- plus all the interior, I'm going to have to cheat and use contractors to dry it in

Mind you the 50 mile view will probably be worth it - down and across the colorado river valley to the bluffs the other side

this is taken from just above my property about another 750 to 1000ft up

property is center picture just to the RHS of the House, so it has some pretty nice amenities !- walk up and ski in !


whopeeeeeeee after three weeks of letters from all and sundry today

I have recieved my building permit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Standbye for some pictures of a very large hole, a whole pile of crushed rock,a lot of cement and 4 tons of re-bar

This should be interesting for some- we will be pouring both the slab and the 4ft walls in one hit in order to mave a monolithic foundation,
crawl space floor will be roughish finish but the single poor will make the foundation stronger


What a georgous view! It must be amazing to wake up to that in the morning. Can't wait to see more of your building pics   ::)


View from two of the beds should be the same as that, the deck as its lower has a few tree's in front of it - but they are dead already and just need a push- but their in another persons lot  ::)

Still an awsome location hole starts tommorow - can't wait for the pics !


Well the hole was late ! but building has officially started !

not sure how far we'll get by the first snows and finiancial decisions dry in or not to dry in !

dug out - electric ducts and drainage in, should be ready for a rather expensive pile of crushed rock to backfill 3ft then onto pit run and the foundation


put a rodent guard in that pipe... couple bolts through the mouth so nothing large can crawl in and die blocking the pipe.


Yep is has a grill over it,  but Ill be adding that fine mesh to for inesects

Plus I'll be extending it down to the roadside ditch on my next trip over as don't want the bank to be eroded from any water flow.


So crushed rock has been backfilled and placed- 4ft over the size of the foundation 26x36 the house but the foundation includes the deck too so its 36x36 of foundation and 4ft arround that 3-4ft deep.

I might repeat myself but heres the reasoning behing the foundation design.

80% of the houses built in the area have moved
some during building- some within a year- all moved within 5 years

Its not frost heave a such- it seems to be caused by the water run off in spring, the sandy silt and clay move and distort during the mud season.

Foundations have cracked in some cases before the house was even completed - one had the deck tear off the house within 8 months of completion

Basicly what supports weight today, may not tommorow, many foundation designs have been completed all under engineers design and signature.

I looked all all common designs and some obscure ones, the last was building on pre installed piles only to find one of them failed too due to lateral movement with some poles moving and some not.

the pre-manufactured foundation -superior walls -house closest to me moved 14" after a water pipe broke on the mountain above.

So I have resigned myself to the fact that the house may move at some point, in order to try and reduce and delay possible movement and its damage to the structure we have employed a few diferent methods

the foundation design is as follows

crushed rock and drains do two things-

the clay sandysilt has been removed down to 4ft deep across the entire area, getting us to more stable soils

The crushed rock cross links and provides a stable platform to build off- providing clear drainage away from the structure and being cross linked extends the support area to basicly 40ft x 40ft for a 26 x 36 house

Drains go to the north and south side of the property.

the foundation its self is basicly a large self supporting tub with stiffening beams in both directions all using #5 rebar throughout, no mesh all overlapping min36"

The reason behind this structure is that even if the house moves it moves in one piece- everything together, no parts cracking or seperating off- both the entry and side porch are all linked to the structure.

Its should all move in one piece, so untill the glasses start moving across the dining table and wlaking to the kitchen seems to be up hill - then its time to either pump grout or jack the dropping side.

hers some pics of the gravel work- the contractor has already built the forms and had inspected by both county and the engineer and they are poring the foundation in one hit- walls and floor together in one interlinked assembly- no joins occur on any corner rebar continous through all the stress points

heres the pics


Another update- these things move faster than I expected- although there will now be a pause for the cement to dry, check the cash balance and decide the way forward knowing that winter and the first snows fall in 6 weeks.

In the last 10-12 days they constructed the forms, installed the re-bar had the engineer out to check it all and sign off on it

Then they poured on Thursday , as you can see they poured walls and floor in one hit, it means I don't get a smooth floor to my crawl space, but that to me was not as important as a structure with no joins to seperate later, all the supporting pins and props were removed as the cement hardened, if I plug the drains i could use it as a swimming pool !

here's the pics


So now I have a monolithic waffle grid foundation which supports the house - the front deck and the porch

backfilling will be in a week or so after things have dried off



Its been a week and the concrete has dried sufficiently to backfill.

Now its deciding what can we complete by first snow- and how we leave it over the winter- V's the budget

I'm leaning towards the following

Dry in the building with framing and sheet- fully wrap the building accept for the front door

nail ply over the window openings on the outside .

Roof wise I have two choices - take a loan and put on the metal roof- or don't take a loan and use titanian type roofing material and ice shield- and nail off thoroughly with battens on the edges.

And hope the winter storms don't peel it all off !

Front porch can wait and will make a nice project for me to do

North porch- un decided as yet- only real benifit is that it will stop the front part of the foundation filling with snow......

So what have others done- recomended way to leave it ?

Looking west

Looking south at the west end

Looking east


You don't need to cover window openings if they have not been cut, leave that for next season.

I'd be inclined to do the roof sooner rather than later, you have a lot of time and money invested in this place and you want to protect it as best you can

Keep up the good work!
"Hey Y'all, watch this..."


I agree, if you're going to put all of the money out to frame it you should roof it too. Either that or hold out everything until next year. In my opinion it's just not worth it to spend all of the time and money to frame it but then leave it exposed.


I'm tending to want to roof, but the contractor wants to do shingles as he's had issues with ice damming and ripping off the metal roof in the valley's even one who spent a fortune on the electric under roof heating.

He's talking about the snow moving on the nice slippy steel then doubling the ammount in the valleys

the snow gets stuck because of the grooves on both sides, then causing the ice damming and leaks

I'm thinking of large gaps between the sheets - with smooth steel run offs and some snow dogs to keep things from moving into the valleys

Roof etc is designed for the full 90# snow

Snow people please put in your thoughts !


I have experienced metal, wood shake and composite shingle roofs in heavy snow country and find you cannot beat the composite shingle for overall performance and minimal problems.  The metal snow sheding is a constant nightmare and the forces involved can be surprising.  On metal, any obstruction to snow movement can result in damage.  I have a neighbor with a 6/12 pitch metal roof that developes a monstrous cornice at the eave every winter.  I also find that the expansion/contraction and wind are working hold-down screws loose (if a screwed application is used).  Only time I experienced ice dam leakage was on a wood shake roof installed before the days of ice barrier underlayment (most fire codes don't allow wood shakes, unless high cost fire retardent type). 

I have also had problems with color coated metal roof materials that badly fade or worse yet, the color coating begins to flake off.
My vote is for composite shingle.

With respect to your schedule for this winter approaches the thought of squeezing in framing and a roof in the remaining time seems pushing it.  I still remember last fall waiting for the roofer who was three weeks late and working in the snow and rain while the temperature dropped to 30 degrees.  Might be better to dress up site work and drainage and leave just foundation to weather out winter for a freash start in the spring.


well we have gone ahead with the dry in......

we have electric at site - no more generator for electric !

and they have done the lower floor mon-tuesday

Must say I like the straight look of the I-beams even though I'd have prefered normal timber...

Should be decked today and probably finished the first floor by the weekend.

Got to say - hiring people for this stage hurts the pocket book- but the progress is fast

Snow has already fell above me on the mesa- 10,000 ft- the aspens are in full color- hope the mexi framers are faster than the snow !

here's a pic from last weekend- the build is pretty much center picture- we are still stuck here in Colombia working on my project, its in full swing and I can't get away so the GC sends me pics of the progress

Oh yea baby - sparks have arrived !

Just in case any one wondered - the hatchway will be under the front door mat !....I looked at hiding it in the electrical room but would be small and not allow full lengths of pipe to go down the hole.

Plan right now is to roof and cover with Titanium -and ice shield - and hope it lasts the winter ! the GC lives down the road so he can check on it for us when we are away.

My summer trip over has not occured due to the rig schedule down here  - I have 4 more wells to deploy before we can get up there, and miss the framing.

Still juggling options on the roof materials



progress is swift with contracted labor !

But I'm missing the contentment that comes with creating something- plans are one thing- hands on is what I'm missing

4 walls done - moving in the glulam visable beam with a spare track hoe

framing to me looks good with what looks like some good quality timber too if the photo's can be taken as seen

4x10 beams have been ordered and should be there by Fri-Mon

amazed the fresh back fill supports the weight of the tracks- either very dry or the backfill was well compressed.

the aspens are loosing their leaves in a hurry- the HOA I guess will soon be complaining again about the trailer

F# them !


Wow, your build is looking great!  Nice to have a good GC  :)

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


Thanks Sassy -Yep we are real happy with him and his brother who does the ground work

especially when they came up in the spring to level a bit more of the plot
and help move my trailer into the corner-

They had the wifes come up with wine at the end of the day !...

Well he got the 4x10 beams in by Thursday- found a job lot over in salt lake planed, sanded ready to go, more than we needed in odd lengths but we got them for the same prices as the 13ft ones we needed.

So he's going to run the offcuts as offset blocking arround the room and above the glulam down the center

So they have a bunch set already- but no pics yet-

The truss are on site already - the upstairs only has 6ft walls so they should go up pretty quickly- all four gables are identical

We changed the truss design - last month - so I'm back to a vaulted ceiling- cost a liitle more - but the design has more trusses and less hand framing.

So faster to get the roof on and hopefully beat the snow

We can't wait to get over there  and see it for ourselves- and then start planning the interior


Not so much progress this week, just the 4x10 beams set in place and some walls framed in downstairs - there was a delay on the 2x6 flooring delivery.

The roof trusses have arrived already, but we don't have anything to mount them too yet

Gluelam beam in place and looks good !


progress has been slow- luckily the snow has been holding off

usually its snowed before November- but the sun is out and the upper floor is down - 2x6 T&G over 4x10 beams on a 36" spacing - it changes slightly over the stair well to match the walls- but can't be seen- you get a hint at the view from the windows.

These are from the week before last - so hopefully we should be putting up the trusses now.

We are so bummed about my work and being unable to visit during the build- its frustrating to spends weeks and months on plans - but not get to do any of it.

Praying that sandy stays in the east till we get her roofed in.

Here's the pics !