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Oehler structure and topography complexity

 
Kitty Leith
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
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Maybe these would be answered by the DVD, but since I can't get it for a few months and you're here...

Looking at your ridge house I was impressed by the complexity of level changes that fit the topography. As part of the building trades I question whether most DIY home builders have the design acumen to respond as sensitively to a challenging topography with a viable structure, because it's not as straight-forward. (However, I think wofati are a great great solution not only to take advantage of thermal mass but also because level building sites are becoming increasingly scarce in affordable properties) Which also brings to mind similar questions as others about excavation skills, but I might add asking for more details about your practices for temporary shoring, erosion and stream protection during construction.

Another question I have is about the waterproof membrane protecting the logs. I'm proposing ferro-cement as a water barrier. Yes, I know it's got too much embedded energy in it. But the waterproof membrane is also not natural and also not found on site. To me, it solves a lot of problems, as it's used for boat hulls, is super easy for the DIY builder, and is great for many water management applications. Your thoughts?

In addition, I am concerned about sliding (and creating an approved permit site) What are your feelings about footings and pin piles? I guess I'd like to understand where compromise (you've already demonstrated that with the waterproof membrane) begins and ends with respect to your building philosophy.

Also, what have you learned and what would you do differently?

Probably have more questions, but that's all I can think of for the moment! Thanks!



 
Mike Oehler
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Location: Bonners Ferry Idaho
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Hi Suki,

You've asked a bunch of questions that I can't possibly answer here. But I will do one: What I'd do differently is when and if I use the charred post/garbagebag method again I will get a roof over it as quickly as possible and/or drap polyethlene so that water can not run down the post and be captured, saturating and rotting the wood. I hope to do a book on the ridge house and will explain all this there.
 
Kitty Leith
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Thank you for your gracious reply.

I have also been thinking about how construction times can drag on for the DIY builder w/o benefit of a crew. I can't remember where, but one homesteader noted that outbuilding storage is more important PRIOR to building a home than after! That would be really sad to have your aged and charred wood ruined overnight...thanks for the hard lesson.
 
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