Help me pick

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CODIACRCMP, May 19, 2005.

  1. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    If I just decide on an idea, I know I won't think of all the pro's and cons about it. So please help me pick an idea or suggest one for building a home.

    These are the ideas I though of......
    Strawbale-
    3 transport trailers-
    building a wood cabin, no logs though-
    and living in a mobile home-
    Please remember that I live in Eastern Canada and temps can drop to -31 degrees Fahrenheit and loads of snow....
    Thanks
    Danny
     
  2. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Those are some limited options. Why not a cabin made of wood and not logs? Can you scrape any money together? You might be able to buy a small outbuilding (second-hand even) and then use it as a base, then insulate, put in a stove, etc.

    Straw bale is more costly than you imagine. Straw often needs to be bought at $4 a bale US around here. Then it must be joined and covered properly, etc. The materials for another option may cost no more and be quicker.

    Check out this link to building a woodshed with pallets and then consider adapting the design for your own use. You can get pallets free around here. http://summerville-novascotia.com/PalletWoodShed/
     

  3. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

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    OK, forgive me but i am thinking of the 3 little pigs when you say house made of straw!!! Didnt that one get blown down. hehe Sorry, couldnt help myself. :)

    I'd go with a cabin hands down! Build it simple and small, but make it where you can add on to it as you have the time/money!!!

    We are talking about moving into a double wide mobile home temporarily- but thats only to live in while we build a new log home and *only* because we think the guy wants to practically give it away to get it off his property!! ITs a cheap temporary solution for us at this point.
    It doesnt get -30 here either.
     
  4. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Why not build a garage, with a wood burning stove. Move in and be warm and dry then you can decide if you want to do more. In other posts you indicated that you can build this without a permit. If it was me I would be starting right now, winter will sneak up on you before you know it.
     
  5. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    Would it cost alot to put in a concreate floor by myself? I wouldn't need a permit, just pay them the $25.00 "approval" payment.

    Thanks
    Danny
     
  6. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Could you stack hay (or straw) outside a cabin as a windbreak? I've always wondered about that- I'm asking anyone, actually. I know you'd need to tarp it, but it seems like it'd help with heating although is probably a fire hazard and that's why no one does it....

    Cait
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Gee, its hard to price concrete work from such a distance...but what size are you talking and do you have a water source and can a cement truck get to the site or will you be buying it and mixing it by hand after hauling the bags in to the site? Around here, once you hit a square yard it becomes comparably priced in having a company bring it ready to go versus mixing it yourself. And large concrete pads need two hands to smooth them out usually. So tell us a bit more. Ever work with concrete? Know your frost level? Whats the goal for the foundation: will it serve as a base or as a floor as well?

    I think if you search the site here there was someone who buffered a mobile home with straw bales. I myself use them to line the edges under the deck in the winter to soften the wind against the hottub. I then use the straw in garden beds or for the dogs come spring (now). I use straw to avoid the weed seeds. I don't tarp it cause it is just under the deck.
     
  8. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    I think i'm in zone 5 (I have no idea, but it might help) and I don't know how deep my footings would have to be. If I built a garage I think it would be 24x24 or 24x32.

    Thanks
    DAnny
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Concrete floors are attached to below the frost line foundations, how deep does the ground freeze there?
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our slab for the sunroom cost around $550(American)for materials it was 10*30, with higher grade concrete(fiberglass).

    Depending on what your soil is determines alot about frost depth. We have ledge to work with. A four foot frost wall took 80 sticks of dynamite. Sandy soil or ledge is ideal for floating a slab...heavy clay soils need the frost protection.

    I'm looking at these sites here in Maine....one is canadian www.cedarbuildings.com
    and www.hillviewminibarns.com.

    I still think a travel trailer and a solar panel would be much more comfy. Please see
    www.rvsunlimited.com
     
  11. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    My dad told me around 2 1/2 to 3.

    Danny
     
  12. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Is that feet or inches?

    I have several concrete projects here: 70 foot sidewalk that is 4 feet wide, a 18 foot by 20 foot slab for the shed to be on and a patio (12' x 12') and back entrance (6' x 6'). I had a guy do it for me and he made all of them about 6 inches deep for our locale. I also had him roughen the top and put seams in to guide the concrete when it eventually cracks.

    To give you an idea of price: My last job was the patio and back entrance, so combined say 18 feet by 18 feet for $1000 for everything including the digging, removing soil, moving old patio stone and the cement itself, as well as the forms. Worth it for us.
     
  13. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    30 inches to 36 inches.

    Thanks
    Danny
     
  14. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    I saw in the newspaper a house a man in either Iowa or Minnesota built a house with cord wood. He got the wood, cut it all the same lenght and put it together with, hmmmm, cement? It was VERY warm, very economical and he could do it himself. He stacked the logs like you would a wood pile, with the end pointing out. This made the walls 15" thick. Here is a picture of a wall done that way http://www.sarl-bernard.com/en/boiscorde.htm

    The other idea was from an Old Mother Earth News. You set posts in the ground every 6 feet. Cut a groove into the posts. Notch the ends of each log and slide them down the posts. This type of log home goes up much quicker, can be done by one man, and is usually cheaper as you only have to have 6' logs.


    As for flooring, wood is warmer, but you are going to need a foundation. If you dug out a cellar, you could pour footings, then build the foundation with stone, if you have some on your property (you might find it as you dig).

    Why do you need it to be 24X24? For a cabin for just you and the dog, think SMALL. This can always be added on to later. 10X16??? Step it out and start digging the cellar. Leave the cellar floor dirt, you will have storage down there. Build your floor out of rough lumber for now. You can get cheap vinyl to cover it with. Or rent a sander when you are done. Square ceramic tiles (how about 12X12 inches) are easy to install under and behind a wood stove for heat. If you don't have water on the place, you won't have to worry about plumbing for now. Same with electric.

    Do you have a recycled/salvaged building materials store in your area? We were able to get our cabinets and windows at one here for a fraction on the cost of new. To give you an idea of costs, we found 8 4X4' Anderson sliding windows for $400 total. That is less than the cost of one of those windows. They had been installed in a nursing home, found to be too heavy and taken out. We also got cupboards from there. They ran about $20 for a small unit to $50 for a big one.

    If you are living small, think double use! Put your dresser under the bed or under the table.

    Rooting for you!
    Cheryl in SD
     
  15. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    Today I had a b-day party for my dd and my dad and my fil were talking about strawbale building. They both agreed that straw bales are not as flamable as they sound. It seems that they have both seen a bale that should have burned (barn fire) but instead just smoldered.

    My fil is talking about building a shop from them. So maybe this is a good option for you! Plaster the inside and stucco the out.

    Cheryl in SD
     
  16. logcabn

    logcabn Well-Known Member

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    We'er up in New Brunswick , Canada
    Hi Codiac, we're not that far apart only about half an hour we're down in Hillsborough.
    Log does take a long time my hubby has been at his for 8 years and now it is livable in the summer, spring and fall, way to far to hike in the winter through snow waist deep. Ours is not large 16X18 outside and roughly 14x16 inside and is comfortable for us( 2 adults sometimes 3 ,one 7 year old, 1 chocolate lab, and one beagle. The key thing is learning to use your space, lots of stacking tub totes. One day we hope to add an addition of cord wood at the back and off to the side. Good luck and happy building. Oh yeah hubby says for a garage all you really need for our area is a good 6 in slab with lots of rebar or a monlithic pour with your trenches dug out.
    Jacinda