help with 12x40 trailer

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by old timer, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    Can anyone advise me on how to set an office trailer? I bought this 12' x 40' office trailer to use for 3 bedrooms. I have leveled an area with my bobcat in the rear of our existing home and am going to add a 4' x 40' hall way to the front of this and then partition off three bed rooms ....and tie it all into the house from an existing hall. I am just wondering what the best way is to stabilize it. The soil is clay and rock... could I just pour some 2' ax 2' x 4" pads every 10' and then block it with concrete blocks or do I need to pour a 12' x 40' pad? I was going to dig holes and pour post footings but the grounds is so rocky there would be now feasible way to do it...
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

    Greg
     
  2. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    If your ground is like ours the small pads and blocks will work just fine.

    big rockpile
     

  3. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    With all the rock you probably have good drainage so frost heave should not be a problem. Agree with Rockpile small pads should do it. I would strap the trailer down.
     
  4. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    Thanks for you advice... do you think that four slabs per side would be enough support? Should I pour the slabs then move lots of rock in around that area? add drain tile under and around?

    Thanks.
    Greg
     
  5. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where you live. If the ground is solid after a good rain or two you should be fine with the 8 pads you describe. If not then dig below frost line. If surface water does not build up there, no underground drainage is necessary. Tell us where you live and some of the local people here might have a more informed answer.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I would use 5 pads per side, this will put you on 10 ft centers. For piers dry stack double 8" blocks staggering the joints and cap with solid cap blocks under the frame. Use tapered shims to adjust the piers for final leveling and use a water level to know when the frame is on level. Always use anchor straps for safety. This setup will give lasting results and the trailer can tolerate the weight of whatever you put in it and the doors and windows will function without binding or dragging.
     
  7. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    I live in Ste Genevieve County Missouri..... I dug out all of the top soil and am down to the clay and 3 to 10" rock.... nice stuff....


    Thanks for you help...
    Greg
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Just a caution as to how you go about letting this be known locally. Chances are you fall under the county health department as far as septic systems. Septic systems are generally sized according to the number of bedrooms, not bathrooms. Thus, by adding three more bedrooms you may be required to upgrade your septic system. You might do everything as if you were adding on office-type space (e.g., if you need a building permit) and then convert it into bedrooms afterwards.

    In Ohio a neighbor tried to fight the forumula saying he was just adding bedrooms, not bathrooms, and the number of people in the house wasn't changing. County ruling was the bedroom formula applied as when the house is sold in the future, next buyers may be a larger family (due to the additional bedrooms) so they are avoiding a future problem.

    In Nashville some buildings were trying to get around it by calling one room 'an office' rather than bedroom. Basically the ruling was if it had a build-in closet, it was a bedroom being used as office space.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  9. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    I am not sure how to comment on the footings for the trailer as my mother has both with her home that I helped her build. The mobile home portion is on I think 4 pads while the addition is on a 16x60 slab. The ground here is a coating of dirt and a few feet of red to gray clay then rock as we are on top of an Ozark Mountain ridgeline here in the Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri.

    [/start aside]

    As for planning and zoning regulations, I am just glad that we don't have those here in my county so far. Makes it a great deal easier to build something reasonable. My personal view is that you can have all the P&Z you want and you can still end up with substandard construction just as you can have no P&Z and create homes that will last for a century or more. The difference is whether you will have affordable homes and ease of building or if it will cost an arm and a leg just to get permits to build and then fret over this and that regulation that won't let you build as you wish when what you are building doesn't conform to the norm, yet will still be of proper function for your needs.

    I have read stories, and heard first-hand, about homesteaders who wanted something as simple and innocent as a composting toilet, yet were forced to put in a septic tank even if they never hooked up to it or another case where they couldn't have a composting toilet and were forced to put in a regular septic system. Or those who deal with those who shun the idea that a cordwood or straw bale home could possibly be structurally sound.

    To me, off-grid electricity, composting toilets and solar/wood water heating and water heating systems don't conform to the social norms and regulations and I have a hard time with forcing someone to conform to the "greater good".

    [/end aside]

    Now as for the view that a room is a bedroom because it has a built in closet, does that mean if a kitchen has a pantry that it is a closet? Or how about a living room? I have had apartments that had storage rooms in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms that were just about the same size, but only one was called a closet though they had the same shelving, though the bedroom had a clothes hanger bar. Also, what about a family that puts two or more kids in each bedroom? You can have a three bedroom home with two parents and three sons and three daughters. A system sized for three bedrooms will be small for that family, but right for the number of bedrooms. Just something I pondered. Makes me glad, again, that I don't have P&Z breathing down my neck around here...yet. :eek:

    Anyway, good luck on your addition and I hope it serves you well!
     
  10. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Here in AZ where I am at, the requirement is to have a pier within 2' of each end of the I beams, then 4' on center throughout the rest of the length. I see most homes being set on metal screw jack type piers these days. The pad can be either concrete or 3/4" treated plywood (green board) cut to 16" X 16". Your area may be different.
     
  11. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    "Now as for the view that a room is a bedroom because it has a built in closet..."

    The point is it is a easily understood standard. Admittedly it gets into the area of what is a 'closet', but if the inspector rules it a closet and the builder still doesn't agree, they have an appeal process.

    From what I have read research indicates the number of bedrooms is a much better indicator of septic system usage than bathrooms. For example, if you had a nine bedroom house with one bathroom it would get about the same amount of input as one bathroom per bedroom.

    It is somewhat like people arguing their monthly septic bill from the local utility district shouldn't be based on the amount of water they use. For example, they have a large garden which they water frequently. Allocating the cost of sewage disposal based on water usage is about as fair, overall, as any system and is easily applied. Even here there are work-arounds. For example, locally if you want to fill your pool you can make arrangements to have your septic bill manually adjusted that month.

    No standard is going to be 'perfect' in that it applies to every situation.
     
  12. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    Here in this county...there are no codes to deal with unless it is less than a "farm" or "ranch". I own and live on 65 acres of an 8500 acre old farm. The only thing I have to deal with is the electric co-op and that has to be up to national codes... and I have had the field super over for coffee and he walked me through the things I need to do...like changing to a 200 amp service as apposed to the 60 amps that I am now on.. and adding 100 amps to the barn and shop. This is free from the county but I have to do all the work installing the new panel and the heavier wire from the weather head and meter base. See, what has happened is that I have lived alone for 5 years...I have two kids that come on the weekends and just got re married in November and she has 3 kids (2,4,6 years old) and I only have 2 bed rooms so now I need more room. So the fastest way to get the room is to add this office trailer to the back and then add a 6'x40' hall way and then build the closets for the rooms in the hall and cut doors from the rooms to the new closets.... I have drawn the floor plan ....just need to upload it to you all.... [​IMG]

    Greg, Jen, Nick, Isabella, Jess, Kevin and Cody...
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    You originally mentioned three bedrooms and design is for four. My concern would be what basically a 9' ish wide bedroom may be fine for young kids, but if these will be around for a while it becomes confining when they get older. No real place for them to be by themselves, so they wind up in your living room.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  14. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    yes i did think it would be 3 at first....but the new wife thinks that the br. for now would be better and then we could in the spring build a new house with a basement and the kids could use that....also two of the bedrooms that we add on now will be not in use for 2 weeks at a time....so the other 3 could use them as a play room....I don't know....I just need to do some more figuring....LOL
    and if the hall is going to be 6 foot wide finished...that gives them 6' x 40' to hang out in too........or 3 br. and one play room... :confused:

    Greg
     
  15. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    How are you planning to heat it?

    Have you considered just leaving it as one big room and using sliding curtains or something for privacy? Then, when you have a house later it might become a nice workshop.
     
  16. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    nice idea but there are three boys and 2 girls.....i don't think that would work too well.... :eek: modesty is an issue for the oldest boy and girl who are not related...

    went and measured this trailer...it is 46.5 feet long and 12' wide with a bathroom in the one end....

    Greg
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I'm playing devil's advocate a bit. Then what about two large rooms rather than four smaller ones? Sort of a dorm room for boys and girls.
     
  18. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    What we may do is just move out one night and leave the kids here to figure it out on there own.....

    This is becoming a nightmare...... earlier someone asked about heat... I have a new 3.5 ton 20kv furnace that I picked up new for $385.00 so I will add that to what we have already.... along with the wood furnace and electric I think they will be warm enough....

    I still think I will do the four br's and then the kids can use the 8' x 40' for a play area.... that will be plenty of room... :haha:

    thanks
    Greg
     
  19. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with reluctantpatriot, it's our land, WE'LL BE DAMNED if we give the goverment control over it.

    When you own land, that's like the top, the highest point of freedom one man can have, and the goverment shouldn't tell you how you should use your land, it's yours, and as long as it doesn't affect anyone else, you should be able to do what you want.

    Things that are Evil: Zoning, Scenic right of ways, Utility Right of ways, Homeowner associations, laws that state you can't have a junk car within 200ft of road,etc.

    We don't have regulations in this county, the biggest county in southern Illinois.