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Homegrown Honey
# Posted: 14 May 2015 20:57

Hi Everyone!!!
I've been reading through the forum for a few hours now. And finally ready to ask some questions.
My husband and I are getting ready to purchase aprox. 40 acres in the White Mountains area of Arizona and will eventually be making the move to living there full time/year round. I've picked out a 16x24' portable building that I would like to convert into a cabin. There's a 4 ' porch attached to the building so the livable area is actually about 12x24'. Here's my question... I've looked through pictures of cabins built by the people on this site and most of the cabins are like a fully contained home, meaning living room, bedroom, kitchen, bath etc.
I keep envisioning the 16x24' cabin as just being living room and bedroom with the hope that one day i would have a separate 11x11' building off to the side for kitchen and dining.
Privy and outdoor shower else where as well.
Is this even going to be doable? The land is going to be in the middle of nowhere so everything will be off grid. I would mount solar panels to the main structure.
I'm attaching pictures of the buildings below.
Any ideas/suggestions would be wonderful
thank you
Main Structure
kitchen and dining

# Posted: 14 May 2015 21:44 - Edited by: MtnDon

Nice area. What elevation likely?

My main peeve against portable buildings is they are more often than not difficult to insulate effectively, especially in the ceiling / roof when they have a low pitch roof as illustrated.

Quoting: Homegrown Honey
I keep envisioning the 16x24' cabin as just being living room and bedroom with the hope that one day i would have a separate 11x11' building off to the side for kitchen and dining.
Privy and outdoor shower else where as well.
Is this even going to be doable?

LR and bedroom... with or w/o a dividing wall? In a small building I like the general concept of a one room cabin with a furniture wall or divider between bed area and the balance. Kitchens in small spaces tend to heat up the entire building quickly in warm weather so the idea of a remote kitchen has certain appeal.

We have a 16x30 that is basically one big room as described above. There is an indoor (cool weather) kitchen area along one wall section as well as a cook area on the outside porch.

Check the snow loads in the area you wish to locate in. Some areas of the Whites get a lot of snow at times.

# Posted: 14 May 2015 22:06

Are you sure you want the kitchen and privy separate from the first structure? Maybe that's not what you meant, but if it is, I'd think twice about having to go outside to the privy in winter. It's best to locate all plumbing in the largest and best heated building to avoid freezing. If you plan to live there full time, these things mean a lot

# Posted: 15 May 2015 00:30

When we first moved to our cabin full time we hadn't done the renovations yet. That meant that for the first winter all of our clothing was in the garage (we had no closets in our cabin at that point). We also had our refrigerator and freezer in the garage. Going back and forth to another building in the middle of winter got old really fast. Having to go out to another building to use the bathroom sure wouldn't be my idea of fun in the middle of winter either.

I believe in the old days it was not uncommon to have a kitchen in a separate building so as not to heat up the house in the summer months when it was hot. I think they were referred to as the summer kitchen. When we do our canning in the summer and fall, we do it on the propane barbecue outside to prevent our place from heating up.

# Posted: 15 May 2015 20:37

One other consideration is that for every building you add, it means four more walls, another roof and another foundation. Plus running electricity, heating, water, etc. if you want those amenities.

I did a thread about an inexpensive cabin design that had a bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining space with a bedroom loft, but you could put a Murphy bed on the north wall of the living room if you don't want to climb into a loft. That plan was about 14 x 22, and you could add on to it if you wanted things like a separate mudroom, or a pantry/laundry.

# Posted: 16 May 2015 02:31

I have a lady friend that bought 40 acres of ranch land on a Mesa north of St. John's, beautiful spot. She built a cabin about the same size as yours. She kept it one room with an out house, as well as indoor and outdoor kitchen, but for now it is primarily a weekend get away.

# Posted: 15 Dec 2015 08:39

I think the size of the cabin really depends on personal preference. Smaller places are easier to maintain and as I get older I am thankful I do not have a large home to deal with.

I agree with Rockies comment about keeping everything as centralized as possible.

Having spent a lot of time working in that part of Arizona, I know the area well. Regional weather can vary greatly. I would recommend regular visits to your place in all seasons before you decide on your build site. This is also vital if you are going solar. Depending on your area and how much tree cover you have, having someone familiar with solar applications perform a site survey would be a good idea. Some areas out there do not have a lot of tree covered so this may not be necessary. I know there area a couple of solar companies in the Snowflake/Taylor area. However, I cannot make any personal recommendations because I have not dealt with them.
Good luck with your new place!!

# Posted: 24 Dec 2015 16:10 - Edited by: Bobjr59

Has anyone tried using G&T Sales Fast Framer Standard Roof Framing Kit ? To build a small cabin ? information copied from finger hut web site. Also here's the link to gtsales URL
Build a shed, playhouse or greenhouse fast and easy with the Fast Framer Standard Style Roof Framing kit. Use standard 2" x 4" lumber for framing, then cover with siding, roofing, etc. Kit includes 24 angle brackets, 12 base plates, complete set of plans. Use 1 kit for an 8' x 7' building, 2 kits for an 8' x 14' building, 3 kits for a 10' x 22' building. Angle brackets are electroplated galvanized steel, 24 gauge. Lumber not included. Also available in Gambrel Style Roof, see product code X0164. Specifications
Brand: Non Branded
Assembly Required: Yes

# Posted: 27 Dec 2015 05:59

That looks like a waste of money. The framing is on 32" centers, I typically frame walls on 16" centers and roofs at 24"... which is the max span for many common sheathing materials. At first I thought that the brackets might serve as the hurricane tie at the bottom of the rafter and the ridge tie at their tops, but the brackets are unlisted (untested) and are attached with deck screws, prohibited. The posted pic shows no rafter ties so it appears more open. The instructions do call for these essential ties. There is no advantage to using these, the money would be better spent on more framing.

# Posted: 7 Feb 2016 09:22

Check out my post for perhaps an idea...

# Posted: 8 Feb 2016 10:01

I have considered building separate purpose built buildings as well. It offers the advantage of only having to shell out money when you can afford it, but that literally seems to be the ONLY advantage. The cost in the long run will be more. It may be miserable traipsing from one building to the other in wintertime, and if circumstances changed and the property has to be sold, it will be worth much less to someone else for the aforementioned reasons.

My wife and I have determined that 800-900 square feet is the ideal home for us. We need a guest bedroom and second bathroom due to having extended family and many friends and frequent overnight guests. I also need an office.

We love the idea of a tiny home, but for practical reasons will have to settle for a "kinda small" home.

@ SteveF: I have loved your cabin since I saw it. Planning on building using the same method. I'm compiling data right now before 'going public' with a thread on my own project.

# Posted: 24 Nov 2019 12:59

The elevation of the White mountains in Arizona is about 6000' average with some going as high as 10,000'.
The winter time temperature I showlow has been as low at -45°F! 2011.
Snow load has collapsed rppfs of WELL DESIGNED buildings has collapsed the building "Willbers Market" 1983??.
So all construction should be on a max of 16 in c to c.

I lived in Holbrook for 30+ years about 50 miles from the White mountain area.

# Posted: 26 Nov 2019 08:27

This thread is from 3 years ago. Im sure they figured out the weather some what in the area.

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