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Small Cabin Forum / Member's Projects and Photos / Started my build! VT
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Nickels
Member
# Posted: 4 Sep 2019 21:01 - Edited by: Nickels
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Hi all, For many years I would come on here and read your postings and dream about building a off grid cabin. Well I finally started my build. Things are happening and I am building my 24x24 cabin with my wife in VT. This week I will be putting up the walls and the trusses. I am not a carpenter but so far so good! lol Question for any of you experienced builders. They skip this on the website. I have a electric pole right before my property. What is the procedure to get the electric company to run a line? They would have to bring in probably one pole. But do I hire a electrician to hook it up to my cabin or would they bring it to the cabin and hook it up? I am many steps away from that step but its in the back of my mind. I also may run solar and have a back up generator. But since the pole is there I may like that option as well. Thanks for reading! Come watch my build. lol Liberty Creek

ICC
Member
# Posted: 4 Sep 2019 21:29 - Edited by: ICC
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Talk to your power company.

They will likely want to see proof that your electrical system has been inspected and approved. Usually the homeowner can pass a test with the building dept people and do their own installation, but it will have to pass the inspection. Makes sense, the power company does want some fault with your system or equipment to crash the grid.

If you tie to their grid there will be minimum monthly charge for the meter and connection. In some places that might only be $7, in others $25 to $35 a month, all before using a single water of power. That might make solar more attractive. Or maybe they offer a grid tie agreement that could be advantageous to you. You have to check the details of their plan.

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 07:49
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Thank you for the information. I will look into it a little better when that time comes. I wish I was at that step now. Solar would be good but expensive to get a good system going. Right now I am going through about 5 gallons of gas in the generator on a weekend. A lot to think about..

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 08:23
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If you havr power at the edge of your property and your building site isnt to far bring power in. Its always cheaper in the long run.

Call the power company. Hire an electrician to do underground electric to a small shed. There you can install you metet pan and even a disconnect. This will allow for power durring construction and you dont have any temporarily stuff to remove later.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 08:50
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Nick, a temp power pole for power will work, it has to be approved. IS it coming in overhead or underground? Make it close to build site, they can leave extra wire to terminate it to cabin when done, but they wont hook it up until electrical is all signed off by inspector.

As for building, get it dried in before weather hits and all I can stress one thing, make sure everything is plumb, level and square. If its not, stop and fix it. DO NOT skip this to save time, it will cost you in labor and time 10X the further in you go, especially the finish parts.

Pull all your layout measurements from a single corner, pick one and stick with it.

Collect pictures from start to finish. Share them with us.

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 09:22 - Edited by: Nickels
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I think I should get the walls up and at least the trusses on this weekend. Going to try to get it as square as possible. I know it will be a big headache the further the project goes if you don't start off square. I already have had a lot of frustrating moments on the build. You can take a look where the wife and I am at on the build by visiting my You tube channel. I am not the best as at making videos or being on camera. My video editing is getting better but (lol) it needs work. Thanks for your response because I am very handy but not a carpenter by any stretch. But thinking positive and we keep moving a long. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdpMRxStj6vSqZ_jqkjxZZA

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 10:39
Reply 


In our area. The power co will allow one pole install at no cost. They do not charge to hook up but have a monthly fee. Usually the power is hooked up to a meter soon in the construction so there is power at the site to build your cabin, home with. Can be a temp or permanent service.
Go to utility co. They will give you a booklet that has all the information you need. Acute information. And send an engineer to your site to look things over.
The utility co only duty is from their power line to your meter. From your meter to cabin house is your issue. They do not have any jurisdiction from meter on. Meter can be remote or placed on structure. Overhead or underground.
They do not wait until you’re cabin, house is constructed. Hard to build without power.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 15:09
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Quoting: Nickels
Right now I am going through about 5 gallons of gas in the generator on a weekend.


Holy cow. What are you powering? In the winter, when our solar system produces next to nothing, we maybe go through a gallon in a weekend. We don't run it continuously though.

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 5 Sep 2019 23:08
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Looking good! You are doing a great job on the videos. Fun to watch for us dreaming of new projects!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 6 Sep 2019 08:23 - Edited by: Brettny
Reply 


Northrick. Hes building so i would assume an air compressor, circular saw and other 15-20amp electric tools. When building theres no time to wait for the sun.

Nickels for squareing up large items dont even bother with a framing square. Use the 3-4-5 method or measure diaganaly both ways.

3 4 5 method
https://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/the-3-4-5-method-for-squaring-corners.html

You can do multipals of 3 4 and 5. Like 6 8 and 10 for instance. Dont accept anything less than square or you will be kicking your self every time you have to fit a board.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 6 Sep 2019 15:54 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Quoting: Brettny
Dont accept anything less than square or you will be kicking your self every time you have to fit a board.



Yes, Well said.

Also a tall level, 6 or 8 footer to stand those walls straight up then brace them well, across the studs to keep them from racking (big level there too) and brace is to the floor to make it stand up straight. Leave all braces in place till you get roof framing in, then remove as needed.

I remember doing a large toolshed for a buddy, we have the walls well braced and started on the roof and sheeting them shingles, it was getting pretty heavy and wobbly, we decided now was a good time to install the T1-11 siding. Tightened it all up.

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 09:59 - Edited by: Nickels
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Okay... Thanks for all the information. So this weekend went pretty good. Walls went up and all the trusses! It is really looking like a cabin now. It was all squared and braced and level/plumb. Now I think my next step will be to put on the sheathing. Walls first then the roof. After that I will shingle the roof and wrap the cabin. Those will be the next steps for the upcoming weeks. QUESTION... I have a friend that said, "I should not of used 2x4 trusses." The Cabin is 24x24 and the trusses where designed and made by a company contracted through HD. It meets the snow load for my area. Should I have any concerns? The scissor trusses are 2' apart and it looks good to me. lol I will try to post a picture when I get home. I will be working on a video for my you tube channel.

Thanks again for all your help!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdpMRxStj6vSqZ_jqkjxZZA

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 10:38
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2x4 trusses 24 feet long on 2 foot centers. Is there a weaker design?

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 12:18
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I have 2x4 trusses 16" OC, 32 ft span on my house and they suc. You can see the roof flex when the leaf guy walks on it, and it has truss uplift. Maybe the HD supplier makes those for a shed. I agree with your friend. Looking at ceiling joist spans in IRC R802, 2x4 spans about 7 feet.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 21:17
Reply 


If it was engineered for your load, its good. Do you have an interior wall at the mid way point? If so, this can certainly make it stronger as the span would be cut in half. But I wouldnt worry about it. My garage has 2X4 engineered trusses and spans 24 feet, I even added sheetrock and store stuff up in that attic space.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 21:27
Reply 


Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
Do you have an interior wall at the mid way point?

Quoting: Nickels
scissor trusses


Scissor trusses don't have center walls.

Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
My garage has 2X4 engineered trusses and spans 24 feet


Not a certified occupied space.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 21:38
Reply 


Quoting: DaveBell
Not a certified occupied space.


His cabin is and it was engineered and approved.

Cut the doom and gloom, heck, he can use 2X8 and be solid as a rock and a meteor hits it if you want to look for doomsday scenarios...

Great Outdoors
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 22:10
Reply 


I had power at the pole which was 240 feet from my build site. I wanted to go underground with the wire so I contacted the power company and filled out a new service application which included a rough sketch of the build site and where I planned on running the line as well as the expected power load requirement. After they approved it I dug the trench to their specs (brother has an excavator) installed the conduit then pulled the wire they recommended. I had the breaker box installed and the main line tied into it. After that the power company came and installed the transformer, mast, and meter box and tied my wire into the meter box. It was fairly quick and easy.

Great Outdoors
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 22:39
Reply 


I too used a generator for most of my early build process since I was trying go use the money for my build instead. Once I finally bit the bullet and installed the power I wished I hadn't waited so long! It made working on it so much nicer, just doing away with the constant drone of the generator made it so much more enjoyable!

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 04:45
Reply 


I also used a Generator to power my Table Saw & Compressor (Nail Gun is a blessing !) but also to use to charge the DeWalt 20V Batteries which is 90% of the power tools I used to build my place. I got away with using a 3KW Inverter Generator for most of that but the compressor required me to use the bigger 7200/9000 Champion Gas Guzzler.

Solar System with a 3KW Inverter does handle the table saw & Compressor without a blink (not at same time mind you, not fair to the inverter LOL). With the 4Kw Inverter, none of it stresses the system.

SUGGESTIONS from Lessons Learned dept:

On your sheathing, use something like Bluewood for your first course near ground level. REF: http://www.argolumber.com/bluewood.html Keeps damp, mould & insects at bay and non-toxic !

On your eaves & overhangs, do go for longer / deeper up to 24" ! The payback in keeping rain snow etc from the house is immediate, the increase in shade make more comfort.

Cladding your roof ? You did not mention what your doing there. I very strongly recommend a "Cool Roof" system to make it far more efficient (heating & cooling) & livable year round. I did this here in Canada and it's 150% worth doing !
REF: http://www.houstoncoolmetalroofs.com/cool-roof-information/cool-roof-design-texas/
VIDS if your interested: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBGI9aZ_tgquc3aACsWtK5Q

Siding & wall finish: I did Live Edge Cedar on my place but also installed it as a "Rain Screen" system which is connected to the Cool Roof via the soffits which actually pull air up and vent it out. Again this has resulted in a much more efficient place to heat & cool with GREAT SUCCESS ! REF: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/all-about-rainscreens

A Point to note: 3 Years of severe winters & extreme heat waves have proved this out very well. This summer for example, we hit a period of 35-38 Celsius (95-100F) and the cabin never exceeded 25C / 77F inside with NO AC or Fans ! (Yes I have Shade trees on the south side of the house which really helps too) .

Hope it helps, good luck & enjoy the build, many milestones are coming your way and the smile at the end of the project is most precious !

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 07:30
Reply 


Thanks for all the responses. I did have the trusses built and approved by the company for the snow load of 60lbs psi and 24'span. I do plan to always try to remove snow if it does start to build up. I am going to wrap the cabin with Tyvek. Also going to put ice and water Shield the last 6 feet of the roof. Then put the roofing paper over it wall and shingle. At this time it is not in the budget for a metal roof. Will be using smart siding. Thanks for all your advice and will be moving forward with the build.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 08:21
Reply 


You may want to look into the Metal Tin roofing, it's not as expensive as many would have you believe and it stands up really well. Also consider that Tin is better for fire resistance, leaf & detritus collection is minimized and preferable if your collecting rain water (no granules of decomposing asphalt shingle).

A good roof wrap will negate the need for tar paper and provide self-sealing.

Good article here: http://www.typar.com/products/surround-vr-underlayment/

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