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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / cabin design, tall and skinny?
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Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 16:32
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i have property up in the mountains in washington state and ive been kicking around for several cabin designs for quite some time.

my main go-tos are a yurt (too expensive), an A-frame (not efficient) and this current idea....

i am limited to 200 square feet, with no permit, and no permit is the way im going to

anyway, from what i can glean my design parameters are 200 square foot, 24" max roof over hangs, and cant have a "finished second story" but whatever, i wont finish the loft and just use it for "mattress storage"

anyway my idea is a tall and skinny 10x20 with a 10x10 loft area. single pitch roof 24 inch overhang on all sides, with one wall either 16 or 14 foot on the tall face, and either 12 or 10 foot respectively, with the loft being either at 8 foot up (for the 16 by 12 foot wall) or 7 foot (14 by 10)

perhaps it would be easiest to just show a basic sketch

anyway, obviously its taller than wide, which isnt the greatest for balance, however, if anchored to a sono tube pier post deck it should be fine right?

i get a good snow load up there so metal roof obviously, woodstove too, its going to be a ski cabin,

10x20 downstairs for a living/hangout area and a large 10x10 area up top for sleeping/storage/whatever

no need for a kitchen area or bathroom, as i have a cookshack and outhouse on property. i figure in the cabin a woodstove (most likely Jotul 602) and some good cast irons and a small 12v fridge (solar power) its all id need inside, id go solar on the lights and have it set up like a boat as far as appliances and lights (12v solar, probably a 400-600 watt system) and rain water catchment for spring/summer hooked into a 12v paragon pump connected to a propane instahot for a shower going to a pre-dug grey water pit on the outside of the building, perhaps all together its own shed located elsewhere

id love to hear pros/cons/ideas/input

thinking of using 2x6 framing for the winter weather but if 2x4s can handle it those are fine too although temperatures dip below zero fairly often in the winter, i am okay on skimping on insulation a little as a space that size easily gets burnt out with a wood stove, i think having a certified wood stove is a requirement for any kind of insurance, and the smallest i can find is the Norwegian Jotul 602

and im thinking of having this be a permenant base camp/house. i am a minimalist already, and wish to travel for work seasonally, and work in winter at the local ski hill and having something like this can offer me that oppertunity
cabin.png
cabin.png


Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 16:34
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PS FEEL FREE TO ADD/DOOTLE/SKETCH ON MY DESIGN IDEA FOR ANY EXTRA IMPROVEMENTS OR IDEAS

ICC
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:15
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Quoting: Chinook92
i am limited to 200 square feet, with no permit,


Before you get too far along are you absolutely certain on that. I have built in several states and every place I can remember that had a "so-many- sq-ft-before-you-need-a-permit" exemption almost always had that connected to a provision that stated it was for a "non-habitable structure" and/or a requirement that this was okay as long as it was an "accessory" building, meaning that a larger building was already there and that the larger building was built with a building permit? Or you plan to circumvent the rules?

Just want to be sure that the regulations are being properly interpreted.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:37
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Your other thread is here, in case you lost it:

https://www.small-cabin.com/forum/2_10322_0.html

My position is the same as before, if you're already outside the law as far as the "accessory structure" provision (you are, I looked it up last time) then why stick with the 200 sq feet either? I'm not debating whether or not you should or shouldn't do it, but at this point you should be thinking about an exit plan vs compliance with one ordinance but not another.

Your challenge here is avoiding the neighbors calling you in and avoiding the assessor either coming onsite or using sat photos. My gut says it won't last forever so build something portable you can get out from under (so to speak) in terms of moving it, selling it, etc when the man does figure it out.

That being said, I think the biggest thing you can fit on a buddy's trailer or with a shed moving company like a 12x24-ish on skids would be the way to go versus something with a real foundation that you have to tear down vs pick up and move.

Anything you build "for real" comes with the risk of stiff penalties to make it compliant, or worse, total loss in case you have to tear it down.

Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:37 - Edited by: Chinook92
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more people are concerned about the rules than anything else. i do not care them, as its my privately owned sovereign land. its going to be my primary residence, however, i plan to be on the road and traveling for work more than half the year, so, im not concerned

i know the fricken rules, let me worry about those

im here to talk about building, not about rules

jhp
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:56 - Edited by: jhp
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Not sure you need to worry about the certified wood stove either.

You can't get real insurance without a certificate of occupancy. If you find someone to insure a storage building and contents they most certainly will deny the claim if it's a fire caused by a woodstove of any type.

I'm no engineer but my back-of-the-junk-mail math says you're going to spend way more than you need to over-engineering a foundation to support snow and wind loads of a 16' tall structure on a 10' footprint. Tall skinny thing tippy. Short wide thing stable.

You say you're a minimalist but all of that screams expensive and complicated.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:56
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You started off talking about the constraints the rules are putting on your build. Jhp was just suggesting that you build a cabin that can be moved if it comes to that. Your land might not be a sovereign as you think it is. Stop paying property taxes and see what happens.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 18:13
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A LOT of places (especially in North America) are now using Satellites to find unauthorized structures on properties and they ARE catching a lot of folks.

Clear a nice solid flat part of land, get rid of the 1' of organics, put a Landscape Grade Cloth down and then fine gravel and compact it. Drop some "Cottage Blocks" (24"x24"x6") and then build your structure on 6x6 PT SKIDS so it is technically not permanent & moveable. Remember to put a Moisture Barrier between the concrete block and the PT Lumber.

A point which may or may not apply. In my area, a 1/2 story counts against square footage. A Half Story on the second floor means a 4' wall. BUT a 1/3rd story (3' wall) does not count as square footage.

So, if you frame your walls with 12' long 2x6 and place the 2nd level @ 8' level, that will give you the techical 4' wall. 2x6x10' plus double Base & Top plates will give you the 3' 2nd story wall.

Re the Strawman thing... forget it, it will come back to bite you, if you think you'll get away with it. Many straws have learned this the hard way...

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 18:26 - Edited by: snobdds
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Why are people so scared of having to pull permits or inspections. It is such a common theme for so many. Is there something in the past that has burned them on code enforcement? I just don't get it.

I would rather build what I want and be comfortable instead of being cramped and wishing I had built it bigger.

You get one shot at this. Make it so you can enjoy not only now, but years into the future when your old.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 18:36 - Edited by: gcrank1
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Our build in '83-'84 was 12x24 (could have just as well been 10x20) with a bit off-center 12x12 loft (so there was decent headroom going up the ladder). Where it differed in design was a steep pitch roof, from the long front side it looked kinda like a Swiss chalet.
It wasnt tippy like a tall 'house of cards' standing like a sail in the wind.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 19:34
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Quoting: Chinook92
i know the fricken rules, let me worry about those

im here to talk about building, not about rules


I have seen a few owners of structures that were built without permits have to do things like, cut holes in walls to show the electrical that was concealed in an non-permitted structure... also seen a building that had to be removed. That is why I asked. Why waste time and effort and/or materials?

Save us all some time and simply state right off the bat that you have no intent to follow any rules.

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 19:41
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Quoting: Chinook92
know the fricken rules, let me worry about those

im here to talk about building, not about rules


You catch more flies with honey, pal

rockies
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 21:54 - Edited by: rockies
Reply 


Rather than snow I'd say your primary concern should be wind. A roof with 24" overhangs is going to act like a sail.

I would put the roof on so that the ceiling is lowest over the living space and highest over the loft so if your cabin is 10 x 20 and your loft is 10 x 10 over the east side of the main floor your roof would slope up towards to east.

This avoids having a high ceiling over the living space {empty space to heat}and you get a full height loft wall along the east side.

Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 22:46
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Quoting: Irrigation Guy
Quoting: Chinook92
know the fricken rules, let me worry about those

im here to talk about building, not about rules


You catch more flies with honey, pal



I apologize if I sounded gruff. It just seems whenever I mention no permit, it always seems to bring up results like “why not get a permit” or “if you had a permit...”

Bottom line is that in my particular case I can live comfortably in 200 square foot. I have a very tight budget, I am always short on time and money. In the long run I will build a permitted house. However for the time being I don’t care about permits or anything that adds extra budget. Yes you can still insure a non permitted structure, it’s basically a fire policy. My current cabin is insured and it’s not permitted. I am trying to design and build the largest functional structure I can while falling under the no permit rules.

This is a project to work within the confines of a small budget which roughly works out to 500-700$/month which is a essentially the entire disposable part of my income.

I have a gate on my road. My place is a remote hole
In the wall in the mountains. It’s a cabin for a single guy and a dog to spend falls and winters, no reason to complicate things, I am a very simple person....

I also have a sailboat to split my time between so, I am going for function utility practicality and necessity.

I don’t even own a tv so having something that runs on 12 volts to charge a phone and computer is about as many creature comforts as a man needs. Back to the basics here

Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 22:53
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My logic for going with a single pitch ceiling is for more cubic volume as an emissions compliant wood stove is a bigger deal where I’m at than an actual permitted building, and more cubic volume will help regulate heat with a wood stove meant for a building 3 or 4 times as large, larger area to heat, greater heat transfer, to those familiar with engines, basically a larger plenum that will be more forgiving to manage a stove with an almost 50,000 btu output in an almost 2200 cubic foot area (if my math is right)

Chinook92
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 22:59
Reply 


And I am in deep timber, I have yet to experience high winds where my property is at

Another idea to add to my sketch is posts going from the lowest part of the roof anchoring the lee side of the roof to the deck/foundation making for a greater support and to off set any fulcrum the wind may produce, although the bulk of storm damage appears to be from heavy snows followed by rain and then wind, I am down in a river bottom at 1000/ft elv. With 3000-7000+ peaks. Ice and broken tree limbs seem to be my biggest enemy

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 4 May 2021 06:41
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If you want tall and skinny a gambrel roof gives you the most loft head room and keeps a decent pitch.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 4 May 2021 06:51
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Hello all. I think Chinook is ok on this.
I'd build it on skids

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 6 May 2021 00:32 - Edited by: silverwaterlady
Reply 


Just do it.
Sounds like you know what you want and have a beautiful piece of property.

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