Homesteading on the West Coast of Canada (BC) - from scratch

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by melli, May 11, 2016.

  1. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    A better pic, I think...shade plays havoc with pics.

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  2. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    Psst.... see you gained more wisdom in the past 36 hours, reinforcing the "Wisdom Streaks & Highlights" ... wink, wink, nudge, nudge, eh whut.... hehehe... Looking Good, such progress and another milestone about to be reached I suspect.
     
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  3. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Making my way on strapping...get close to finishing tomorrow. The string idea is working, but far side string started to sag on me...doh! Re-tightened...I may have to trim that side. Will see...
    Problem I am having is guessing ply seam location, as I want strapping to sit in middle of each course of ply. With T&G, it is a bit of a guessing game (depends on how much one pounds them together). A moot point, as my lumber store had no T&G ply today! That must be a first. All the hurricane'd zones must need a lot.

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    Like that blue sky...really starting to cool down up here. Rain in forecast later in week....
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  4. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Backside view...
     
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  5. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Usually, in evening, I will putter on something easy. Doing the strapping didn't resonate with me, but getting a fascia (rim joist) board up did (odd, as they are a bear to put up). 2x12 - 18' of board is not easy to handle, nevermind a board that attaches to the perimeter of roof. Being solo, I have come up with a way that takes out the risk of dropping it and more importantly, melli taking a 20' nosedive;). It is time consuming, but it works. I mentioned it before, but here are some pics. Two tie-down straps a few feet apart in middle, wrapped under strapping, hooked together, with plenty of slack. Here it is just ready to be dropped;
    20170912_184023 (Large).jpg
    Then bombs away...I push it over edge, and winch it back up enough so I can get the big clamps on it. Note: you don't want too little slack or board won't be down enough, and loosening ratchet straps is not a good idea. ;)
    Once I get clamps on it, I use them to fine tune final position;

    20170912_184049 (Large).jpg
    I can't say enough about my Irwin clamps...while pricey, they are a solo person's best friend. Actually, they can tweak any board not behaving into position (1000lbs force or something like that).
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    I then throw in a couple of screws at each end, and remove strapping and clamps...then screw the rest of fascia into position. While a tad time consuming, super safe, as I am nowhere near edge of roof....speaking of which, I was somewhat smug that I could stick my bod between the rafters and strapping (14.5" x 12.5" rectangle). Other than when I went on a crash diet long ago, this build has whipped me into shape. Required I raise my arms and twist a bit, but it sure beats being on top (I was standing on ladder, on 2nd floor, with half my bod poking through - no way to fall). Sure beats building a 20ft scaffold for one board. And I think even having two people tackle it would be unsafe, as holding a rather heavy board with one hand (other hand is hanging on for dear life) isn't ideal. This way, no hands are supporting board.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  6. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest tie down straps for holding (drop prevention) the boards... I 100% Agree on the QuickGrips they ARE a Genuine Gift for 2 handed folks... Another benefit, if a deer comes on the property, they won't turn to look ! Maggie was holding a 2x8 as I was circular sawing it, pair of deer wandered past cabin and so she turned to look... body moved with her a touch AND as a result I got 2 fingers "edged" by the cir saw, just the tips. 2 Good Things: 1 I was using the 20V DeWalt which stops automatically as soon as you let go of trigger (saved more damage) unlike the 120V plug in model which keeps spinning and 2: only lost the tips and recovered fairly quickly (all things considered, only needed a 6 stitches)

    BTW Melli... As you know I am doing Live Edge Cedar on my final cabin... I love the look and the effect BUT had I realized exactly how fiddly and what a PITA to do.... I likely would have thought different about it.... Boy have I learned a bunch of new things... 3 frickin days to strap, back-board and face-board ONE WALL (21' long by 16' high) and ME hates scaffolding (and I have the MetalTech commercial 10 footers). Geez, something uniform with straight lines & square sure would have made it go quicker... but that would have been so humdrum IMO and as my last real build of anything I wanted something different / unique. One good thing about this siding, is the perfectionist in me has to take a back seat LOL... no straight lines, no perfect corners, none of those things that can & do make me nutz, the whole Organic Natural thing rules... makes for a nice break not to be obsessing.
     
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  7. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Bet your still obsessing...lol
    ;)
    Once an obsess-or, always an obsess-or. Need to see some pics...
    You got two fingers 'planed'. Bugger. I never use my circ saw anymore (one has been converted to a metal chop saw). Too many kickbacks, too close to blade, and plain lack of power, has me swearing to never use them again. While my worm saw weighs a ton, I can do things you'd never do with a circ saw. I was just thinking about it an hour ago. Cutting a board while holding it with one hand, and cutting with other, or cutting a board in half when it is supported at both ends...lol. That is asking for big trouble with a circ saw. With a worm saw, I approach the 'jam' by letting go of trigger and nudging it into jam. The momentum of spinning blade plows through. No kickback.

    Metal scaffold certainly would be ideal for my bunker, but I'd need a lot of it, and once done, likely never need it again. It is one of those things that would be great to have, but most of the time, it would sit. A contractor friend uses two ladders with board support brackets. I've been meaning to get them. While not as safe as metal scaffold, I'd just be using them for lower heights. He uses them in lieu of scaffold. Easy to set up. You can even screw the board to bracket and it stiffens the works up. Even the ability to put tools on it, and work off ladder would be great. I'm good on a ladder to about 14'. My stepladders are my fav, as I can reach near 16' on them, and having four feet in ground just makes them more stable.
     
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  8. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    That strapping was getting tedious...but then I thought about what comes next...ahhh. Have to put up vertical 2x8s under those 2x4s flying off edge...even though I am safe working from below (or poking through rafters), it still sucks when I look down.
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  9. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    BTW - I get free delivery of ply and redi-rod my lumber store ran out of...they promised me it would be in store this morning. I go to pick it up this afternoon and behold, they didn't have it. Nothing new...lol (btw - I do love them (know some staff members better than my neighbors!)...they may run a store with product out of stock, all the time, but they do treat me well). I mean, what lumber store runs out of framing nails, T&G ply or 2x4s?! lol

    I used to go ballistic when they didn't have obvious lumber store items, but I think I've mellowed from living up here. Even a long time staff member noted it...I mean if they commented on it, I must have been a terror...lol. Wash that city slicker out of me. Patience was never a virtue of mine.

    I put a guilt trip on the store owner and a delivery IOU from days past. I got to thinking if they deliver with Hiab truck, they can plop ply on main roof...easier to hump up to 2nd floor. Because hauling 5/8" ply up the stairs, lift through gable end on 2nd floor roof, then lift onto roof would suck. I feel worn out just hauling a few sheets up the stairs...lol

    My joints ache and muscles/tendons are groaning when I wake up nowadays...I never put in a sustained labor job like this before. It is why I did small stuff. Just have to grind out 2 more weeks til waterproof stage.

    In among all this building, I got some fill for Bobby to chew on. I need to bury those footings for carport and get backside of house filled in before it gets nasty. Get the house 'planted' as it were.
     
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  10. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    ROFLOL indeed... We call them Citiots around here and can spot them a mile away ... You know you've graduated when you walk into a business and they all know your name and smile, wave and brightly say Good Morning, what do you need today ! Local builder's suppliers, coffee shop to subway, grocery stores etc.... (OK I'm near a pimple of a little town, so, that's the way it is...) Heck I walk into the coffee shop and they start making my coffee and getting my order ready even before I get to the cash... the question is usually, anything else besides "the usual" ?

    Patience is a toughy BUT you got it even when you don't recognize it... sometimes patience is "forced" like when money is slowing you down which is not necessarily a bad thing, gives you thinking time to make sure you are doing the right thing and not missing steps... Although, sometimes it can lead to change in direction or an "add-on" as a "Should do this now, while I'm at it" which in turn affects budget & patience levels.

    Think you got it tough now... wait till he finishing details start... Building the Box is the Easy Part - it's the fiddly bit's, details (and the DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS) and that's when the budget really get's knackered ! and BTW: The pickier & fussier you are (your as fussy as I am, no doubt there) well the costs are relative, especially when you have that vision in your head on how you want it to look and just how it's gonna get there. THAT will be the biggest test of Patience you'll face ! Take your time and enjoy the Easy Part ! (with semi-chuckle, big grin and both hands up in the air in surrender mode).
     
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  11. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    You know it! Interior costs can easily eclipse 'lock-up' stage. I think it will be about even, in my case. Although, to get my rump inside, a lot lot less. I can fiddle later. My shell, although rather expensive relative to most home builds, was free labor. That saved me probably a 100k to date, if not more (Still need windows, doors, siding, soffit, trim and metal roof to get to lock up). I don't mind a minimalist interior, just as long as I am in it..lol

    I hear you on knowing your community, being a part of it. Staff at lumber store know my account number by heart...lol
    If I don't show up to the local corner store for a spell, they want a story as to why I've been absent. The post office has my number and calls me if a package has arrived. I rarely eat at a restaurant, but I eat out a lot, as I get invites by neighbors to dinner. In summer, I get about 5 party invites. I feel amiss because I am in no position to reciprocate right now. Heck, a few weeks ago, some neighbors from old hood brought over lunch and we had a picnic in my yard (that was sweet of them). I used to be the go-to place for evening campfire chats, as I served cheesecake...lol

    Bobby (Bobcat 331) saved me a ton of money (most money saved in my homestead adventure). Folks may not be aware, but all the service runs to a new home would have required a machine, and a contractor isn't going to throw a crew into digging for several days or do stump pulling the old fashioned way, especially in my rock infested 'soil'. I never showed pics of what this gin joint looked like before Bobby wiped the area clean. Layers of screened fill were used to topcoat the 3ft swale, and hours of compaction (I used rubble (glacial till type material) for the base of swale). About half the bunker site used to slope down towards where septic field is and bedrock extrusions were plainly visible on both ends of where bunker is now. All that was initially there, was a game trail partially leveled when they did driveway or logging ops about 50yrs ago.

    I know I plug Bobby as a 'tool' to have, if you buy a bare lot (that is, one native, no clearing, no services, no nothing). It really is a huge money saver, in the end. As daunting as it initially may seem to own one, I guarantee, if you have minimal mechanical skills, you'll eventually know your machine inside and out. I even made a testing kit (hydraulic hoses, couplers, and gauges). I wrote about it on the Heavy Equipment site. It allows me to not only monitor health of machine, but tweak it, like a hot rod. I can alter pressures to get more oompf. Excavators have test ports for all facets of the spaghetti factory under hood. I won't get into what machine you should get, but at the very least, a 3.5-4 ton model with thumb. Anything less, and you've severely limited what you can do. Some clearing jobs with a big excavator can cost more than if you bought a mini excavator. While quick with a big machine, your back to back breaking hand work when machine leaves. And you will always find ongoing uses for a mini.

    About where bucket of excavator is, is the location of the SW corner of my bunker, so everything behind excavator was cleared. Shipping container has never moved (point of reference in pic below).

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    This is recent pic from about same perspective;
    I would be about 10-15ft to right to be in same spot as above pic (would just see side of building...note the shipping container in background)

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  12. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    One of those days...had BC Hydro pay me a visit, as they managed to chew up the low side bank of driveway...doh!
    Now, more trees have to be cut because they tore out roots, while installing guide wire anchor. Hmmm....hopefully, they make it right.
    So, an easy and safe day...no sweat! lol. Just put up eave blocking for one side (easy side today!), and infill between strapping. Now, I have to do the other side, the 20ft straight down side...Hmmmm.

    Out of curiosity, I hung off one of the blocked eave ends to see how stout it was...it stops the 2x4 from bending down and snapping. Worked like a charm. FYI - I put in three 3-1/2" building screws (toe-nailed into 2x8 into rafter), and 2 - 3-1/2" screws through 2x4 into 2x8 blocking.

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    I was thinking about blocking every 2x4 (as you can see, I did every second one), but thought that is silly, plus all that extra weight on eaves. I don't know if it is worth it, to lighten pocket anymore?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 3:36 AM
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  13. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    It seems gabled end eave building is kind of an appendage, from my research on the matter. On engineered trusses, they will get the last truss slightly smaller and have 'outlookers' or 'lookouts'. Or in my case (dimensional lumber build), they nail on a ladder to end gable. All of it seems flimsy, especially if one wants a good overhang. I look at my old home (not built by me), and I was kind of shocked to see they just had flying 2x4s as eave support on gabled end (double rafter at end gable like my build, but they notch cut them for lookouts - my MO for small builds). Then again, I've never seen a gabled end eave fall off, so maybe I am the problem...lol. In my mind, an eave ought to be as stout as the rest of build. Obviously, it cannot happen, but it should be close. I suppose I am over thinking it, and over engineering it.

    Here is my old house, and the end gable eaves...just 2x4s support the eaves (about 18"). My home above has 23" eaves.
    P1010054.JPG
    BTW - don't ever take what I say as gospel on framing. While I do have a fair bit of 'bottom-to-top' experience, I am never 100% sure (never will be). The above home was built to 2006 Building Codes, and I see many things I wouldn't do today. They doubled up rafters at end gable, then notched room for 2x4 lookouts (boards that support fascia)...the 2x4s extend back to the previous rafter. I do this method for small bunkhouses/sheds, as the span is quite small relative to a home. But my current place has a 24' span, which changes the equation, I think.

    I've had many a discussion with building inspector on framing engineering. There is a move towards tying the sheathing into floor plates (not done in pic above), minimal or no gap in ply, and all seams blocked (on inside). In days long past, gaps in sheathing was a must, as wood expands and contracts, and one needs to account for it (ply back then is different from today). Plus, houses were not very airtight, and 'unofficial' ventilation was needed...lol
    Of course, a home in deep south may need 'drying potential' as humidity levels are high, but up north, in most places, we only see high humidity for a couple of months (absolute humidity levels). Plus, with gaps in ply like above, one can see a lot of heat being sucked out of house in our winters, especially with our rainscreen rules (siding is raised off sheathing to allow airflow).

    While I consider my old home a rather good build, in terms of framing, it groaned and shuddered in windstorms. Might have been because it is on pylons, but I also think the lack of seam blocking contributed to 'wiggle' room.
    I was amazed with framing crew (2) who could knock this up in 2-3 weeks! One great thing about being quick, is you can see little water staining...

    Addition: nice blurb about why eaves are so important...some folks on 'gutter thread' noted their solution of no gutters...nice pic showing the gravel bed solution.
    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/every-house-needs-roof-overhangs
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 2:03 PM
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  14. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Stardate update 9152017 - my store is stiffing me for lumber. Apparently, they only have one driver for two stores...might have something to do with their pay scheme (a birdie told me). And my small request is probably on the bottom shelf. C'est la vie.

    Got the 'dark' side eave blocking done, and some blocking for tall wall ply. I swear a person's BO smells different when facing fear...lol. I couldn't reach the low corner screw I put in for string...should have thought how I planned to remove it (or used a nail). Hmmm....I made a feeble attempt to crawl to corner, but maybe another day. Not really dangerous, it just looks freaking dangerous when your suspended in air on roof eave framing.

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  15. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Looks like I am not going to beat the rains...coming in 36hrs or so...
    Put up the easiest chunk of fascia on main roof side. Easy-ish when one is standing on a roof. Lumber store is delivering today, after several phone calls...with a Hiab. Sweet. Not humping ply is one thing I could do without right now.

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  16. MoBookworm1957

    MoBookworm1957 Well-Known Member

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  17. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Thanks MoBookworm! :)
    Enjoy sharing pics and my work.

    Aside: I wish others would post their 'palaces'. I miss those folks actually building stuff (Homestead Construction category after all), whether it be a rough log cabin in woods, a polished estate house, landscaping, garden, chicken coop, artistic shed (still have your feature wall stuck in my head Shannon! - thumbs up!), etc. Sadly, they have gone by the wayside.

    I suspect we scared off a couple of folks. I tried to connect with a couple of them, but nothing. To all those lurkers, please don't feel you need to post a Taj Mahal...it is the variety and uniqueness that makes this topic and site wonderful. I know in construction, egos, pride and feelings are at stake, and some folks feel the need to 'suggest' the 'right way' of doing things, but in my mind, just doing it, is the right way. I too am guilty of unsolicited advice, but I try to espouse the view that taking the plunge is all that really matters. Homesteading, is about doing it yourself, as it wasn't long ago, a homesteader did do it all. I get some folks may wish to hire help, and that is great too! Not all of us took woodworking classes or were born with a skil-saw in our hands. Please share your work, your dreams. Sort of sad that I seem to be the only one posting an active home build. When I first posted here, I thought this was the perfect venue for me, but as time goes on, I wonder...

    We seem to be turning into a society where we have lost that pioneer spirit. Bureaucracy has stifled many a dream. I know, because I almost capitulated myself, and building stuff is my forte...lol
    The joy of living off the land knows no equal.
    And the peace, sanctity of living 'off the grid' has it's rewards. A natural way to live. A natural tonic for me.
    Best
    Melli
     
  18. Mr Bond

    Mr Bond Member

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    "We seem to be turning into a society where we have lost that pioneer spirit"

    Melli, that's Britain in a nutshell.... and one of the biggest reasons we left and first moved to Calgary. Alberta is still a get up and go province and working in construction (I was a sustainable building specialist) I was amazed at the amount of small businesses stepping up and filling needs, often one man and that fabled Bobcat! Eventually ended up working for local Government supporting economically sustainable green building. Instead of barriers we provided technical support, contacts and training to permit applicants. Sadly politics killed the project, but proud of what we achieved.

    We've only been in BC since May, but already it feels more restrictive; my sense is that regulators are far less willing to take any risk or be entrepreneurial themselves. Tried buying land for an agri-tourism enterprise, but between the Agricultural Land Commission and municipality they had legislated out any hope of making an income. I was threatened with a public enquiry to add a stove in a cabin.......

    BUT, we are currently launching my wife's photography business and as my health improves (on disability) I'll find another opportunity. In the meantime I bought myself a restoration project to keep my brain from going to mush, a 1980's Trackless municipal tractor..... http://tracklessvehicles.com/Company/History. Never done hydraulics so this is a hands-on lesson for me!

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for sharing Melli, and enjoy the snow!
     
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  19. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

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    Wow, Mr Bond, that is an interesting project! It screams utility. That would be a homesteader's toy if the attachments were cheap enough. Would rather have that, than the garden tractors or CUT they have on offer. Simple, easy to work on by the looks of it, 4x4, rugged...Any idea what they cost? A running one, with some attachments?
    I have a Husqvarna lawn tractor (YTH1542XPT) but being 2 wheel drive sucks. Husqvarna came out with a 4x4 articulating lawn tractor with some oopf to handle some attachments, but it is still a toy compared to what you have there.
    You must start a thread with some interior/engine pics of your project...be interesting to follow.
     
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  20. Mr Bond

    Mr Bond Member

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    It came with the 6' snowblower, plow, broom, sickle mower and a monster flail mower: $4500 all in! Bought at a farm sale so no warranties or guarantees but it does move. I'll get some pictures up for you.

    Hoping this is cart before horse: i.e. we get land again soon on which we can play again.
     
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