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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Framing interior cabin walls
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MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 8 Jan 2020 18:21
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Need framing advice. Just bought a 12 yr old 40x30 half log/half frame cabin that's been sitting unfinished for 12 yrs. It's an empty shell. Slab on grade. The shell is a first floor with 2x6 exterior walls with a 14" log beam every 10 feet to help support weight of logs above. The loft level is a course of 8 horizontal logs, each 12-14". Above those logs it goes back to dimensional framing to the roof line.

I need to frame interior walls. Can I successfully frame standard walls or do I need to make floating walls? The cabin has settled for 12 yrs. Do I still need to be concerned about movement with only 8 logs, and log joists under the loft or can I build them nice and tight from floor to ceiling. Pic attached. Thanks for any input.
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Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 09:04
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First off nice place! Beautiful canvas to work with. I can only speak for myself, but as a past log home builder I would not be too worried about settling/shrinkage after 12 years. Saging can happen over time so wondering if that loft cross beam - and that appears well constructed - has support in the middle of the span. That would be my only worry.

My own... first log home was constructed from dead standing lodgepole pine. Since most of the logs were two - three years dead, and the structure was up over a year before we framed out the interior, we fit standard frame walls. That said we did not attach them to the outer log walls, logs move. We lived in that home about 15 years and no problems.

Obviously others may have differing opinions.... Weight them out.

Birch or Aspen forest? Have fun!

MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 10:04
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Thank you for the advice. It makes total sense. Yes there’s a support beam across the span it just wasn’t in that camera angle- the pics are also a little distorted. Yes, birch, pine, aspen...up in northern MN. Pretty excited to make it a year-round home and leave the rat race to live up there in a couple years.

This empty shell has many challenges. One of them being there is in-floor heating pex within the slab, no building records of how deep or where zones are, so I cant nail bottom plates out of fear of puncturing the pex, so I have to glue down bottom plates.

Thanks for your response!!

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 10:27
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Sad there is no layout plan for the floor heat... are there plans for the building showing the proposed interior partitions? Can you get anything from the local planning department from the original permit application? Any chance of contacting the folks who did the layout? Going in blind would suck!

Just a thought... you undoubtedly have a manifold where all the floor heating runs exit the slab, could you set up an on-demand hot water heater to pump water through the lines (maybe air first to determine pairs) then either by feel or better yet a temp gun, kind of map out the system before you start building partitions... you should be able to see the edges of the runs. An installer might be able to help, or at least give you some ideas.

I helped my daughter and her husband build their log home a few years back.... they put in radiant floor heat and an outdoor wood furnace as the boiler. They love it... but the system of valves, safeties, heat exchanger water heater, on-demand water heater for both heat and water.... really complicated looking control set up! SIL plumbed it all himself so it all makes sense to him but to look at it... wow!

Enjoy the adventure!

MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 10:45
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To my frustration, there are no records anywhere. The original builder retired 10 years ago and vanished. The reason it wasn’t completed had something to do with the real estate crash around 2009. I think the money just dried up. I’ll figure things out as I go. Right now there’s no electric on the property, no well, no septic yet. I have a long way to go but it will be an adventure for sure.

That in floor heating system you describe it does sound complicated. I’m going to put in an electric boiler down the road and keep things simple, or as simple as possible for me.

I really admire all of you guys with experience and willingness to share. It seems the hard-working do-it-yourselfers are becoming extinct. Not many people even know how to change a tire or jumpstart a car these days.

Heading up there tomorrow to get to work. Got a nice propane job site heater so I don’t freeze to death. Thanks again for your insight.

Nate R
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 13:04
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Infrared is easier and cheaper than ever with attachements available for your cell phone. IF you were able to pipe some hot water through it beore you do inteior walls, you could probably map the lines out via infrared imaging.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 14:18
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Quoting: Nate R
Infrared is easier and cheaper than ever with attachements available for your cell phone. IF you were able to pipe some hot water through it beore you do inteior walls, you could probably map the lines out via infrared imaging.


That's probably worth doing so you know what you have. However, for interior walls a good urethane-based glue would be more than adequate for holding the bottom plate in place.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 14:49
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Is this going to be a long term residence or used only on weekends? Radiant floor heat is wonderful, but not really great is the structure is left empty and cold and then visited for only a few days at a time. If the system is shut down and everything goes cold it takes a very long time to warm up compared to systems that blow warm air.

That said, I do think it to be worthwhile to set up a temporary system so the areas can be mapped. I have had unplanned changes in my lifestyle and it would be too bad to not use the system if at some time it was wanted.

But be aware that if you use plain water to do he test that water can later freeze and perhaps damage things.

MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2020 19:44
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Thank you guys for all the good info. I’ll look into mapping the zones but I’m going to wait until the deep freeze is over. I’m northern Minnesota. Within two years I plan on retiring and we are going to move there full-time. So once that floor heat is up and running it’s gonna stay that way. Between that and an awesome wood stove we’ll be good. The only thing I’ve done so far is have the system pressure tested to ensure no leaks. I’ve got some good adhesive for the treated wood against the slab.

This has been really tough trying to stay patient enough to do one little job at a time. Trying to pay cash as I go without going into too much debt with loans. A part of me just wants to get it done and pay someone to do it for me So I can get on with life, but for now I’m doing as much as I can myself. Thank you guys for being out there and sharing the good advice. I’m sure I’m going to be asking for more!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 10 Jan 2020 07:07
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Mir do not worry about the pex layout. Get some heated water running temp through the system and get a $20 harbor freight temp gun to figure out the zone locations.

Next is how to attach the wall plates. You can saw a very shallow 1/4in deep saw cut or two the length of the wall plate then use concrete epoxy to bond the plate to it. Use PT lumber that's been good and dried. The $20 tube of concrete epoxy HD sells is very very strong stuff. Even at less than 1/4in thick on my test piece I could not break it in half.

On your upper course of logs make sure there attached to one another real well. You really want them to act as one vet deep beam.

If you do want to use wood heat in this building I would say the stove up and let it dry things out real well. Buildings sitting with no ventilation esp on a slab can be a killer.

MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 10 Jan 2020 08:55
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Great advice, thank you! I will look into this epoxy stuff.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 11 Jan 2020 09:49
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I think I got sitkaflex brand stuff. It was a black tube from HD. I had to site to store order it. The in store stuff was quite a bit more. It's designed for threaded anchors. I used it on my ledger board to hold the anchors in a poured concrete wall. Dryed fast and rock hard in 24hrs.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 12 Jan 2020 11:54
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Quoting: Brettny
Next is how to attach the wall plates. You can saw a very shallow 1/4in deep saw cut or two the length of the wall plate then use concrete epoxy to bond the plate to it. Use PT lumber that's been good and dried. The $20 tube of concrete epoxy HD sells is very very strong stuff. Even at less than 1/4in thick on my test piece I could not break it in half.


I think this is overkill for interior walls. $8 single part polyurethane construction adhesive tubes from HD would be more than adequate. I would not bother with cutting a kerf into the concrete - just make sure it and the board are clean.

MJR0311
Member
# Posted: 13 Jan 2020 09:33
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Thanks. I’m using a good poly adhesive. Been at it for 3 days now. I did a test piece and let it cure for a couple days and when I was able to finally knock it off with a sledgehammer, I still had to chisel the wood off the concrete for 10. minutes. That satisfied me.

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