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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Foundation fix up
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NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 08:15
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The beams are 2 x 8 I think, tripled. Not sure if they are 8’s, or 10’s though.

I’m definitely going with a 6’ spacing. We dug a trench and installed a 4” perforated pipe to capture water and zip it around the cabin. Not sure if any more water is passing through or not. It dries pretty quickly as the property is sloped towards the lake.

I believe the cabin started shifting mainly because the posts along the right side of the cabin were installed on the edge of the pads to accommodate a sidewalk that was right up against the cabin. (Presumably so you could walk under the eves when it rains??? Can’t think of why they’d have poured the sidewalk this close).

All the pads on the right side “tipped” and the cabin slowly followed along and now the posts in the middle have all “tipped” at an angle.

I like the idea of notching the posts, then bolting. I e also seen x bracing as well.

Any idea what I should be using for gravel?

Steve, if your still out there, you said to dig down 2 or 4’ and then gravel. Wouldn’t that allow water to pool I. The “hole”?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 10:46
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Quoting: Brettny
a post under almost every break


ALL splices or breaks should be over a post.

Plywood does not add much strength, in fact an engineer will not include the plywood when calculating beam loads. Mostly plywood is used as a spacer to make the built beam fit hardware brackets that are mostly made to be compatible with commercially available lumber sizes. I would use plywood scabs on the built-up beam sides only as spacers where needed and not bother with laminating a beam with plywood plies in between layers.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 10:57
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If all splices should have a post then That would would mean a post every 4 feet. That seems excessive? It’s a tripled beam and assuming 8 foot lumber and “half” spacing” means there’s a splice every 4 feet

ICC
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 16:59 - Edited by: ICC
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Quoting: NanWpg
If all splices should have a post then That would would mean a post every 4 feet.


Or that would mean rethinking how the beams are pieced together. Start with how many posts are required to support the building on the ground - that takes into account the load bearing capacity of the soil. It would seem the soil cannot support the structure the way it is built.

Then go up a level and calculate how large the beam has to be and then the lengths of the individual pieces that will be used to build the beam.


If you look at building codes they almost always certainly state that splices in members that make up a constructed beam must fall over a post. In the US that is a virtual certainty from what and where I have built. In Canada there have been a few places that have a prescriptive adjustment and do allow splices/breaks to be not cemtered over a post. But those exceptions come with specific rules as to how far off the post the splice/break can be. I'll see if I can find a link or two later.

An engineer would calculate to find where the point of inflection is located. That will be near a post and the distance will vary with the considered load value. By the time the engineer does the analysis and you pay them it is usually going to be more cost effective to simply build the beams with all splices over a post.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 18:10
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So if a triple beam has a splice in the middle 2x, and the outer two 2x’s do not splice that’s considered a splice ? Or is a splice where all 3 2x’s meet over the post?

8 foot pad spacing is common where I am but I’m going to go 6 feet.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 18:49
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Each layer is looked at independently of the other layers. A break at any point along a 2x layer is a splice in that layer. The splices will ideally not occur in more than one layer at any one post.

three links
One
Two
Three

Spacing between pads and posts depends on the sizing of the beam and the loads as well as soil bearing capacity. There is really no one size fits all. And in my experience 8 feet between posts is pushing things, unless loads are light, beams are strong and soil is rated for high loads. If you can sink posts or pour concrete to stable bedrock that would cover the load carrying capacity.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 19:15
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I can rectify any splices. Just add 2x and make it a quadruple beam.
I’m not able to look until May where the splices are. I think there may be actual butt splices (all 3 layers) at some of the posts. It was an add on.

Possibly the 8’ spacing was a factor as well so that’s why I’m going 6’.

Bedrock can be very deep and we’re off grid so concrete pouring is a lot of work.

I’m also looking at screw piles at least for the perimeter. Interior screw piles would mean tearing up the floor

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 21:14 - Edited by: Brettny
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Personally if the 2x8 beam was made of 2 8ft and 1 12ft I would put the post under the 8ft break and possibly in the middle. This is where 8ft lumber kind of sucks. If you use 2 12ft and 1 8ft I would put the post every 6ft.

Gravel under the pads isn't needed. You will never really get enough under it to keep it from frost heaving and never pack it enough to not settle. How ever you are going through a lot of trouble to not level this place. I would at least do that.

If your going to add any new girter material under there why not just use doubled up 2x12?

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2020 21:34
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For now I just want to stabilize. Don’t want it collapsing. I can actually level it later on.

As for gravel it may not be needed but it’s easier to get a level base for the pads to sit on.

Mabel_Lake
Member
# Posted: 12 Apr 2020 14:26
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This is a great thread with tones of useful info.

I am in a similar situation as Nan as our cabin piers are starting to shift as well. For us it is the cement blocks that are tilting. The are approx 24x24x8. I don't think there was any gravel or base under the cement clocks so it makes sense that over time they have sunk. (Cabin was built in the 60s so they have stood up well).

I now need to adjust these and have been reading all the options listed above seeing which fits best.

My biggest issues is I will not have direct vertical access. There is only about 12-16 inches of clearance between ground level and the beams so whatever I do will be from the side. Basically ruling out the pylex

Nan. Are you in the same boat?? How are you attacking the side piers??

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 12 Apr 2020 18:18
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If you have basically no room and can only acess from the side and still want to use blocks just temp support near each block and relevel it. Then move to the next. Gravel under each block may help level things but unless you compact it it's still going to settle. You also cant really properly compact something with only 16in of head room.

Mabel_Lake
Member
# Posted: 13 Apr 2020 23:53
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I'm thinking that is all i really can do. I was considering trying to dig it out enough for a sonotube but i am don't think i can get down to bedrock to anchor it properly.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 15 Apr 2020 09:39
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Our,cabin is on a slope, so at the front there is almost 3 feet of clearance. But as you go towards the back the clearance lessens. At the very back the beams sit directly on the foundation pads. No clearance, but there is also no shifting. The back pads are pretty much as level as they were 30 years ago.

One option you may have is to screw pile from inside the cabin. Cut an opening in the floor, and they have a smaller machine that screws the piles in.

My plan is to use bigger pads, more of them, to spread out the load. Gonna use gravel of some sort to level. Yes it will settle but I can’t think of another way to level the ground before the new pad goes in?

Also debating on pre cast pads, or pour my own. If I pour my own do I reinforce or just pour thicker?

Gonna do the outside piers first, then move inwards, across, and then deeper in. The more “underneath” the cabin I go, I’ll have redone more piers, so more stability. Each redone pier will act like cribbing.

Mabel_Lake
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 00:01
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The slope makes things a bit easier i guess. I really don't want to start ripping up the floor to get screws in, and even if i did, i would have the beams to contend with.

I was wondering about the reinforcement bit myself. Have some googling to do to find out what size needs it. I guess it cant hurt to over-engineer

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 15 May 2020 22:54
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So to update I’ll start with the great news. Nobody died, or got hurt.

The bad news is the cabin has collapsed. Mother in law and son went out to open up and found the cabin on the ground.

I’ve sent requests for some quotes. Not sure if I want to tackle myself.

We haven’t legally taken ownership, it was a verbal agreement. I know not legally binding, but it’s familly.

So now I’m unsure what to do as any massive costs are out of the budget. I could drain my life savings but I don’t really want to.

Any ideas other than winning a lottery, or a lightning strike either on the cabin, or myself?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 May 2020 23:16
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Be happy you, nor anyone else, was there when it happened.

Be happy you didn't yet lay out cash or sign papers to buy it.

Without seeing it is hard to say for certain, but I doubt it is worth paying someone who knows what they are doing and is insured, to lift and build a proper foundation.

Look at it as vacant land; if it is still attractive then buy it and build something new. In reality, it is less valuable than vacant land as you have the cleanup job to do. Unless there is some material worth the time and effort salvaging safely it is more of a negative IMO.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 15 May 2020 23:25
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The land is crown land. It is a leased cottage lot.

Nothing appears to be too damaged. None of the windows broke, or even cracked. It’s just ground level now.

I could tear the whole thing down, and rebuild using the existing materials, or at least most of them.

mkochsch
Member
# Posted: 22 Jul 2020 21:08
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And what of the useless brother? Is he the quarter share? This is a compelling read.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 23 Jul 2020 10:50
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Quoting: NanWpg
The bad news is the cabin has collapsed. Mother in law and son went out to open up and found the cabin on the ground.

Geez how did I miss this update in this thread. Good thing no one was hurt.

Since the cabin is now on the ground you prob have double the work. You will have to jack it up and stabilize just to start to fix it. You will need many many jacking points...I hope you didnt sign anything

The amount of work and money that needed to even do it your self I would be looking else where. This way you can kill two birds with one stone...take the BIL out of the equation and build/lease or buy your own not collapsed cabin.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 13:40
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Well, let’s just say 2020 was a sh#t show.

BIL was extremely upset he wasn’t “getting the cabin”.

Initially we were buying 75%. Lawyer said no way. We were going to take 100% ownership. 75% purchase nd remainder a gift/preinheritence in exchange for a life interest in the property.

BIL thought we were gonna buy 75%, and he’d just come out whenever he wanted, do nothing and just “get” the 25% when momma dies. Not happening.

So all summer his contribution was yelling at us for “throwing out all dads stuff”

Cabin foundation was repaired and rebuilt. (38k).

Also all summer BIL was upset and demanded 1-10% of,the,cabin. (Didn’t take kindly to the notion if he owned 10% he could only use it 10% of the time)

All summer as the work was being done I,was approached by several cottagers with “concerns” about BIL. turns out over the years he’s been playing loud music, flying drones, feeding wildlife, discharging firearms in the backyard, and from a boat, picking fights with neighbors, being confrontational, etc. they’d like it all to stop.

So, we come up with a set of rules and expectations. Also new usage. We’re gonna allow FAMILLY to come out, but we don’t want everyone out ALL the time, and the expectation is that you do something, or bring something, and be respectful. Reasonable right?

NOPE. BIL is angry not only he doesn’t “get” the cabin, but he is furious that he isn’t allowed firearms, and feeding animals. He feels it’s his cabin, and his lake, and that nobody will tell him what to do, and nobody controls him. He’s also planning on coming out all winter and we don’t want that (drug and alcohol issues, as well as he’s just not the brightest, PLUS he doesn’t own it, and didn’t ask. I’m not buying HIM a cabin. )

I tell him that yes I can in fact tell him what to do. No shoes no shirt no service. I point out that he’s a guest.

He loses it, tells me to “go $%#& yourself”. He points out that we haven’t actually signed any paper work, so we don’t actually own it, and he’s gonna “see what mom has to say”. Wow. 40 years old and your telling your mommie on me, lol.

So mom comes over to supposedly sign the paperwork but that really turns out to be a personal attack on me, trying to defend her poor baby boy. My rules and expectations, and calling him a guest were “red flags” to mom.

“It’s his cabin too, and I don’t want to deprive him”. We point out so long as he follows the rules ha can come out sometimes.

Mom now steamrolls us and says she’ll sell us 90% of the cabin, and she’s gonna leave the 10% to man baby, but “if he doesn’t change his ways I can change it back”.

We decline the offer as we stated months ago we were not interested in owning a cabin with him. He’s 40,years old, unemployed, a drug addict, alcoholic, has no money, he is very lazy, and as I’ve found out last summer, a complete disrespectful moron.

Now mom says that man baby told her that “if I don’t get my slice then just sell the cabin and NO ONE will get to have it”

Mom is onboard with this.

After we decline she loses it and accuses me of being a bully, a manipulator, and that I always have to get my way. She said I took advantage of her (a grieving widow).

Yup so the deal is off. BIL is a complete loser and we are pissed at mom for her personal attack.

By her own admission she is being verbally, and emotionally abused by BIL.

no one at the lake likes him, and they will now be reporting him to conservation.

Goodbye offgrid cabin. Time to do other things like travel, or even rent a cabin (that doesn’t include an entitled, lazy 40 year old unemployed drug addict and alcoholic)

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 13:55
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Never do business with friends or family. The sooner one learns this, the further along they will be.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 14:41
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Quoting: snobdds

Never do business with friends or family. The sooner one learns this, the further along they will be



This, my friend is 100% absolutely true. Never again. Never.

My dad always said “business is business, and family and friends are bullshit”.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 14:46 - Edited by: gcrank1
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Sorry to hear of your 'loss', one does tend to get attached to a piece of ground....
Hope YOU didnt lose any money on that $38K bottom end rebuild.
The 'relationship' issues are a snakepit too, Ya got a pretty full plate to deal with.
There is a grieving process (btdt when we lost our handbuilt '83-84 offgrid build at my dad's farm after he and mom died /'estate' issues).
But there is good life after it settles out. For us it was getting our OWN piece of cabin ground, 9+ ac c/w a rough built cabin I can work on for US.
Fwiw, you can go rent a cabin/cottage at different places a few times a year for faarrr less than owning/building maintaining your own. While at those places you can get used to an area, the people/culture and 'shop around' for what may be available. You could well find a much better situation that what you previously suffered through.
Hope your transition is quick and the promise of opportunity awaiting spurs you on

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 15:09
Reply 


I,was repaid the,38k I spent on the repair.

Personally I’m relieved mom screwed us. I never wanted,to,buy the place. It’s offgrid, remote, and TONS of work with no,support I.e a hardworking son that was brought up not to be an entitled asshole.

Plus I’ve always thought cabins should be rented, not owned.

I’m insulted that we were basically expected to put up the money, and accept responsibility, and BIL act as if it’s his place. Ya mom, sounds like a,good deal.

No,the relationship is strained. I’ll,accept an apology. I,realize she’s being abused by her bully son but still, words,were,said. Things will,never be the same.

I’ll be “busy”, or have a “bad back” should she ever find herself in need of anything.

And hey I,get it...BIL was,upset, but my god you live at home for free,so,you should have had money,saved up.

He even “borrowed” 900,from my daughter and only paid back 400. He’s an absolute loser.

I hope mom carries,through,on the threat and sells, nd I hope he loses,it on her.

What kind of mother threatens her family with selling a cabin if we don’t agree with him “getting” something for nothing.

She,doesn’t get it. She brings up other family’s that co own a cabin. Ya mom, but they all,work, and contribute.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 15:24
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That sad story describes one of the reasons I have never wanted to share ownership of anything with people other than the person I am married to. Deals with in-laws, buds, etc. can always go south and do too often. Good luck on all your future endeavors.

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2021 15:39
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Yup definitely sad. BIL even threatened me and told me I “better watch it”. But not directly, that’s what he told his mommie.

I kinda feel bad for the dude. It’s almost like a bad movie, and mom and dad stole him 40 years ago from the maternity ward and locked him in the basement. They fed him and bathed him for 40 years.

He has no job, no money, lives in the basement, no friends, no girlfriend. Zero life,skills, zero social,skills.

Selfish, and,nothing is his fault, it’s everyone else’s fault.

Drinks lots of beer, smokes lots of pot, does cocaine, plays video games. An absolute beauty.

Bruces
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2021 02:17
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You dodged a bullet NaN ,it won’t be getting better ,and he will be messing up your camp life forever if you went through with it .
I have a messed up 53yo BIL that is very similar to yours .We treat him like a rattlesnake or a skunk ,we keep our distance and just leave him alone .Drugs and alcohol don’t mix with a dumbass .

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2021 06:12
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If you didnt loose a dollar I would chalk that us as a win! Imagine the issues you would have even if you had 100% ownership.

Sadly the way he is is partly due to the MIL.

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2021 08:31
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Quoting: Brettny
Sadly the way he is is partly due to the MIL.


exactly, enabling.....Sorry to hear about the situation but I think looking back you will be happy with how it turned out...

NanWpg
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2021 08:49
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Oh mom has enabled him. I’ve never met a lazier, more entitled person in my life.

This guy is dumb because now that we are out of the picture, nothing will get done.

Moms finances aren’t that great (which is why we were approached to buy the cabin) so she can’t afford to maintain a cabin. Dipshit doesn’t,work, and he’s lazy so the place will become rundown and the province will eventually pull the land lease.

I,think he will be banned,from the park because now he knows that mommie has his back and he can do,whatever he wants.

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