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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 04:07:45 PM »

A house that big- my mom is finishing a B and B that is that big.
If we build big, I think we need to have the water toward the middle somewhere and the outer rooms separatable so that we don't have to heat the whole house all winter.

Our trailer is decrepit. It would be untenable except that it is ours.
So I am thinking about what to build- we cannot afford much- and how to keep it green.

I'm going to put my "inefficient" woodstove that I can cook on back in and run at least some tubing around the stovepipe and along the walls.

What I did last winter was keep about half a cord of firewood inside at all times so that there wasn't the trauma when the kids didn't keep it covered (grrrr).

And I need a roof over this thing.

We want to build a shop here and the house up the hill, I don't have any idea how to put a foundation under the trailer while we're living in it, we can't afford to start the house proper yet.

And the land seems to drain right where we're at, so I need to rework parts of that first.

I am thinking I need to start with the French drains up the hill and then get a roof over this, THEN figure the rest out.

I don't know.

I am not dedicated to a house on top of the hill.
I could do the house here. I don't want to be in the middle of all the wind and traffic noise anyway.

Our logs are pretty small, which is too bad.

???????????
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2008, 01:05:27 AM »

Blessings Natty,
  The best chance of storing heat is to build into the ground.  the ambient temp of the earth is @ 53 degrees F.
If and when I build another house for just wife and I, it would be much smaller, into the ground with one story above.  Entry at the Gable end with mud room and this room must be sealed to the out doors.the foundation should support the roof if possible for the hay/straw bale walls.
  The grounds above the house should be channeled to divert surface water with a perimeter drain the the footing/foundation level.  All wter many be collected by this drain system, along with gutters and put to a collection pond further down slope.
  We have , for our first year, a root celar.  Ideally, we would like to harvest and see how long our own food grown will last into the winter.  Living in these extreem locals require us to be inventive along with using time tested design and materials.  If the trailer must last a bit longer, then the thing to do may be to jack it up and place "cribbing" (6x6) support logs as it is lfeted to a height where the forms may be placed in order to pour the walls that the trailer will rest back down upon.
  In days gone by the animals were stored in the basement and would produce heat.  The main floor was for living and cooking , also producing heat.  The upper floors were for sleeping, close togerther, with an attic above stuffed with the hay/straw which was both feed for the animals and acted as insulation.  Prtey tight system, that is really self sufficent.
  In many states, there is a deduction off taxes for utilizing solar panels.  In the state of Vermont, we use Methane, derived from  cows and pigs. Wind power is also big. 
 Natty and Brudda B, how long is the building season, time that we are not scrambled into the house to shelter from the elements?  Here it is bout even at @ months.

till next time, Bless up everytime.
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Brudda B

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Re: house building?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2008, 08:48:34 AM »

Irie Brethern and Sistren,

Firstly,want to say really enjoying this thread!!  :D
Now,Surfmon, in Irieland it rains pretty much ALL the time so there isn't a building season as such,in sayin dat it been sunny as Jahs smile the last few days...Irieland has gone through an economic boom in the last 10-15years,seeing property developers and the construction industry reaping the rewards. Unfortunetly greed sometimes takes over where success left off,and many developments banged up quickly and cheaply with the environment and landscape paying the biggest price...that cannot be said for all off course. Maybe it was something to do with the weather,I dunno,it's more logical to put up a concreate block cavity wall in the rain than a strawbale wall!
People are beginning to change they're attitudes to building here though. They're realizing there's more at stake then them having a nice house,there's the effect it will have on future generations...If IandI was to build I ideal home e.g straw bale with timber frame,I might if lucky,have a window of 4-5months in which to get it all done,which should be plenty(May-Sept?) But thats awhile away yet...
Going to visit an independent,self sufficient eco village at weekend,very interested to see how they do things...
Jah love

B
Posted on: May 02, 2008, 09:35:25 am
Natty,

Could you lay foundations a few feet from the trailer,and then get a mobile crane in(the ones that can lift a few tons) and get it to pick up the whole trailer and place it down on the foundations...Those cranes on the back of artic lorries should do it,ya think? You could construct a simple timber and ply wood shed for the winter wood ..
All the best
Bless
B
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2008, 06:56:39 PM »

BruddaB, something like that...I am trying to figure out how to get a house roof over and a house foundation under and build a house around, but maybe it cannot be done.

I really want my wood IN the house. It's worth dedicating the space, because when it is 5am, minus twenty F, the wind is blowing, and I need to build a fire I don't want to go outside, dig out the woodshed, and get my wood.

Surfmon- I will look into building into the ground.
I am on an odd combo of muskeg and somewhere not too deep is the permafrost.

Also, the foundations usually need to be flexible and adjustable because we are in a PRIME earth-quake zone.

We did live in the basement part of a house for over a year- renting- felt earthquakes all of the time.

Alaska is unusual in that the ground actually COOLS everything all year around.
It makes gardening tricky too, because everything I learned about keeping plants warm "Outside" (as in outside of Alaska) is bizarro opposite here.

I'll see if I can't get pictures- of some foundations and houses around "town" and of our hideous cleared-but-not-yet-planted mudland.

I am REALLY enjoying this thread.

Bless up.
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2008, 11:53:43 AM »

  I too have enjoyed the topic and all that has been shared.  Also for the chance to share what has amounted to the single greatest (physical) challange of adult life.  Part two of this story is forthcoming.
  I have seen tha geometric foundations that homes rest upon in Alaska Natty, and am sure that it is a different way of life; Where the Earth actually cools and plants have a hard time growing.  I can see why the Interior environment must be accessable for many aspects of Life in such a harsh place.  I think of these three places we are speaking of, Ireland, Alaska and Vermont.  Beautiful in their own way, but requiring of a Balance between the Land and us.  It is one thing to live in a place that not many clothes are needed, the climate has food growing on trees, and the majority of our worlds are spent out  of doors.  It is a completely diffrent thing to spend the majority of the months trapped with in ones home, sheltered from the elements.  All the more reason why we can see that to have fire wood stored INSIDE ones home, and have a place for it, become important.  (we have found that in the heart of winter, wood that is not frozen starts up much more quickly ;) )
  I too will think on the ways to build into the ground with such a shift as an Earth shake, or perma frost.  I suppose if one were to line the interior of a cellar with bales of hay, critters may end up seeking the shelter as well, and thats not always welcome co~habitation.
Posted on: May 03, 2008, 11:53:49 am
Here it is Idren,
1999, the year we begun to build our House;

Part 2
  Looking at the book of 1999, I have found where we left off was not, in fact, the end of where we left the house for the year, only that portion of the season.
  This was the time line so far;
May~     Midpoint of the month went up to clearify foundation plans, while camping.

June~    5-6, took the family up to camp out and see the celar hole
      Mid part of this month the foundation was poured and rough plumbing was laid for under the slab.

July~    6-8  went up to compact celar floor/ insulate for the slab to be poured.

August~  9-13  Went up to do septic field and bulldoze surrounding grades.
         21-29 Log delivery,failed attempt at first well at 300', Notching of Log floor joist.

Sept~    10-02 October  put together summer beam with temporary post and joist.  T/G spruce flooring, Framing interior partitions, stairs to 1 st floor from basement (2 sets).

Oct~  15- Nov25  Lay log courses to next floor level notching the outer logs at the next summer beam level for the joists and the second floor.  Install log floor joists for the second floor.  build up the wall of the second floor to cap and prepare for Roof rafters and dormer construction.  Set rafters and Ridge beam. Plywood Roof.

Dec~ Finish Plywood on roof, set sky lights, trim facia in preperation for drip edge and final roofing material.

Note: At this point late in the season, we had not put the windows in or any exterior doors.  the house was left at this point to the mercy of the elements and tha long winter that ws to come.  The Itemization of these steps are without the stories that go along with them, but I will include them now that I have a specific time line that we may refer to.
 
All thanks to the Most I.
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2008, 05:03:22 PM »

I wanted to do a bale house.
I think you can seal it so that the animals stay out.

BUT straw is $12 a 40# bale and hay is about $8 for a 60#.
At $2 a bale like "normal" people pay out of the field, I could build with straw all day long.
When the baled goods are about $400 a ton minimum and straw higher, making my own muskeg bricks looks like a more efficient option.

Hmmmm.... maybe I can do that.

Vermont, Ireland, and Alaska indeed.

Some places here the ground is so wet people have to build their septic systems above ground.
I haven't actually seen that yet, so I don't know how it works.

On the plants, I am going to give up and grow in stacked tires.
I hate to expose us all to the road grime and petrochemicals, but my husband sells used tires and, well, we have plenty.

My mom designed and had built a huge log house.
We tried to 'splain it to her, that the roof shouldn't pitch to the front porch, especially on a house so big, but she liked the way it looked and planned to build an additional little roof over the door to deflect the snow when it slumps off.

She ended up using the side-door for a good part of the spring. ;)

So one thing I've learned from watching others build is this- don't plan anything you cannot do yourself with a minimum of help from friends and family because good help is hard to find and no-one cares about your house like you do.

This is very heartening, brothers.

This is going on year four in the trailer- things just haven't worked out financially and I've been unable to get 'er done too much.
Last summer I was out all summer with fractured ribs that just wouldn't heal right (I gave that horse away to a friend that runs a pack string and whose husband is an ex-rodeo bronc champ), and this summer I just HAVE to get something done to at least make the trailer and the animals' housing tenable and not-so-much-extra-work for the winter.

I get the feeling anything we don't get done this year will be too expensive next.

Bless up!
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2008, 11:53:34 PM »

Greetings Bredren and Sistren,
  I have just spent the past few days far from home putting on a roof for I sistah and her man.  It was a tough job, as it always is, Heavy labor high pon the roof lifting and bending.  Hot, Hot sun and burning skin, It brought to mind how very important the roof of a home is.   
  A home may be many things, but most of all it is to keep one DRY.  If there are leaks, eventual is the rotting of the structure.  The security of feeling shelter is a comfort not all enjoy, or realize as we lay to rest night after night.  Youth grow in this security, not realizing the importance of the work and preperation that parents have taken in maintaining this.
  It is only when we feel the drops intrude, ruining our things that we become distressed and feel the weight of what must be done.  The hard work that must commence to gain the feeling of security.  It is not usually a job that is accomplished alone.  It is, of course possible to do alone, but more times than not, see a team working toward the completion of this task.  When the Job is done, we are able to look to eachother and know that we are bound by a works that have benefited all that came together and rest easy while the storm comes.
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