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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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/

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 18 Sep 2019 08:28 - Edited by: Nickels
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Quoting: Steve_S
Metal Tin roofing


I am almost to that step in the build. I started looking into metal roofing from Home Depot. They have 16 ft. Classic Rib Steel Roof Panel for around $50.00. I would have to get around 16 of them. 800.00 Not bad. Then I think I need the Ridge Cap, metal roofing trim, Closure Strip and screws.

The problem is I am not clear on how to install a metal roof. I am going to be laying the plywood this weekend for the roof. Then ice and water shield. Then I believe you can put the metal roof right on top. I seen a lot of videos on You tube and they don't make it very clear. Most use strapping unless its a small shed. Is the metal they sell at HomeDepot okay to be used on a cabin? Some videos say NO! They said, "That it's barn tin that is screwed in and shouldn't be used on a house." I put on Asphalt shingles before and know how to do that well. So I am willing to put on a metal roof if I have a better understanding on what is required. So I ask anyone reading with metal roofing knowledge. Who has some links or information that will help me make the decision of metal or not.

With my research so far I believe I can put down the trim and drip edge on. Then square up the sheets right over the ice and water shield and screw them down. Don't over tighten and make sure the Closure Strips are put on correctly. Sounds easy. But is it?

Thanks for all your help and information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZHorQeGPNI

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 18 Sep 2019 09:15
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Some people are so full of hooey I want to smash them on the head with a 2x4. There is NO DIFFERENCE in the Tin at Homedepot… they don't do that stupid kind of shit... sorry but stupidity flows from ignorant asses. That price is not terribly high or low and you might do better looking at roofing suppliers. HD Lowes etc are not always the best deal.

Working with tin is easy. Always strap the roof to allow an airflow... Don't create pockets where humidity / damp can collect ! batten & cross batten is the best & half way to making a cool roof. REF below. Ridge caps are no problem, the closure strips have one side with glue so they don't move around when installing. Predrill your screw holes to centre on the strapping and make for nice clean straight lines. BTW: My cabin is 24x20, 10/12 pitch with a Cool Roof & Rainscreen Siding (live edge cedar). The metal roofing, soffits, facia etc plus the batten & cross Batten only took a HALF DAY for 3 guys.... Passload guns were used on the roof and we predrilled the holes on the ground first. (everything lines up beautifully). All the trim etc were made up by my supplier (An Amish Tin roofing merchant)

Good PDF on installing metal roofing and all the bits that go with it. NOT as hard as many say it is, actually it is easier than shingle once you get into doing it and realize the tricks.
https://www.metalroofingsource.com/absolute_roofing_instructions.pdf

Good screwing guide for the different profiles from the company that supplied my metal roofing.
http://idealroofing.ca/english_canada/pdf/technical/Instructions.pdf

** Keep it simple and stick with a normal profile like Americana or Heritage. Standing Seam is likely the best but it does cost a bit more & a tad more fiddly installing it.

Cool Roof Description from a Vendor. Great Description & discussion, they have videos too. http://www.houstoncoolmetalroofs.com/cool-roof-information/cool-roof-design-texas/

*** There have been many installations where people have put strapping down and not accounted for the fact that condensation under the tin will cause rot over the years if it has no way out... you typically see these are closed off cells before the roof goes on... There should always be a membrane / protective layer on the roof, the most preferable is a self sealing roof cover .I should point out as well, many companies offer a coating for metal roofing that goes underneath called "CondenStop" sometimes another name... it not only absorbs some sounds it also help prevent condensation and related problems. It's extra on the cost of tin but not significantly and the return is a quieter roof less susceptible to issues.

Good Article on Metal Roofing, Underlayment. It is a bit dated 2014 but pretty good. NOTE that solid deck mounting now in 2019 is falling out of favour fast. https://canadianmetalroofing.ca/metal-roofing-decking-battens-underlayment/ They also do Cool Roofing ! https://canadianmetalroofing.ca/cool-roofing-grants-toronto/

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 19 Sep 2019 09:20
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You should price out metal roofing from your local building supply house. I found them alot cheaper than the big box stores. Or a better quality material for the same price.

I believe you can use metal over plywood and ice/water shield. I dont think the ice/water shield is needed. You should read the install instructions on this.

If your in a snow area and the cabin dosnt get visited in the winter metal roofing is the material to use.

mojo
Member
# Posted: 19 Sep 2019 09:58 - Edited by: mojo
Reply 


Having just put a metal roof up on my cabin, I'll give you a few tips.

REALLY take your time placing the first panel on each side. If it's not square, you'll really start to notice as you add more panels and work down the roof line. That first panel dictates everything.

Don't overdrill your roofing screws...dimples aren't a good look.

I did not pre-drill the holes, although it's not a bad option if you are 100% sure about your strapping measurements and squareness (not an issue if doing PW). I tacked each panel in place with a few screws on the top and bottom, and then ran a string across the roof from each end to maintain a straight line. Once I get into a rhythm it went pretty quickly.

I used higher end metal roof for the cabin, but just put some HD panels on my wood shed. The HD panels were definitely thinner, and the finish/paint not nearly as nice as my roof panels.

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 5 Dec 2019 21:31 - Edited by: Nickels
Reply 


Well I did get the roof on!!! Did it right before the snow started to fly. It was challenging but I got it done. The cabin is ready for the Vermont winter. Thanks again for all the help! I am taking a break from the build because it has already snowed a lot and I can not gain access to the drive way. I need to get a plow. Also with the Holidays the weekends are busy! I did start working on the inside and built a ships ladder for the loft. Come take look at my 6 month build on youtube/facebook and how fast it came together. I can't believe I have a standing 24 x 24 cabin in six months with just building on weekends.




https://www.facebook.com/neiljenn.libertycreek

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdpMRxStj6vSqZ_jqkjxZZA
ShipsLadder
ShipsLadder
cabin1.jpg
cabin1.jpg
cabin2.jpg
cabin2.jpg


vtbros
Member
# Posted: 6 Dec 2019 17:48
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Welcome to the board. Great job on your camp so far, looking forward to seeing interior pics,

Nate R
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2019 14:45
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Nickels Looking good! Somehow I've been missing this build thread.

Can I ask what pitch your trusses are? Are they 6/12 outside w/ 3/12 inside? Or something else?

I'm hoping to start framing my 20x30 next year, also with scissor trusses.

Nickels
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2019 16:23 - Edited by: Nickels
Reply 


The pitch is 6/12 and they are scissor trusses. Come follow the build and subscribe to my you tube channel. I did a lot this year and it went up fast. But I am taking a Holiday break and now I am snowed out. lol Defiantly share your build when you start! I started to work on the inside of the cabin. Next step is the woodburning stove. But there is to much SNOW!

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

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