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My Underground house build  RSS feed

 
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Here are some hooks that Gary has on the back of his Ford tractor.

I must mention now that both Gary and CJ have been of tremendous help on this project. They both volunteer their time and tools.

Here are some pics of Gary hauling the cedar logs to the staging area where they will be cut flat on the bottom, drilled for rebar, and then set in position.








 
Orbit Royson
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Three poles have been set. Now the giant "strong-finger" machine goes for another log from the bullpen.








The bullpen where lonely logs are patiently waiting to be put in to play.






Some nice pics of the first three members of the pole family.




 
Orbit Royson
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There are many more photos of this project.

I must go walk my doggies now, and go forage for nuts and berries (make dinner).

I'll be back with more photos.

Stay tuned.
 
                        
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Thank you for this wonderful walk through, Rudy!  And for the insightful response, Crazac!
 
Orbit Royson
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kazron wrote:
Thank you for this wonderful walk through, Rudy!  And for the insightful response, Crazac!




Thanks for your interest. This is gonna be a fun "show and tell".
 
Orbit Royson
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While the crew was having lunch, Zac used the superfork machine to break up some dirt so that Gary could haul it out of the way with his tractor.








 
Orbit Royson
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I get to touch the magic Genie.






More pics of the beautiful beast.





 
Orbit Royson
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Even though we had a concrete drill bit, the medium size drill was not quite strong enough for the task.

Zac and I went to yet another neighbor's house and borrowed a gasoline powered drill that worked much better. It had an engine similar to a weed- eater engine. While at that farm, I took a photo of this old building.


 
Orbit Royson
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The soft dirt has been removed in order to set the post on the rock.

 
Orbit Royson
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The rest of the pictures show this day's progress. The next day's work should go faster as we have good methods of setting the posts.

We no longer needed the jib because these posts were closer to the machine.














 
Orbit Royson
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Eventually, the house will be sheathed and roofed. The post bottoms will be indoors thereby being shielded from the elements. I think those cedar posts will last for a long time.

The bottom of the posts are sitting on the ground which is the floor level. There is no basement.

All of that is explained in the book titled The $50 & Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler.

The book was written quite a few years back, and all the building techniques are tried and true. As of the seventh edition, the book has sold over 90,000 copies.
 
Orbit Royson
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On this day, three girders (beams) were set, and five more poles (posts) were set.
Pictures coming soon
 
Orbit Royson
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The Time Frame:

As of this point, excluding the original digging of the hole, which was done 2 years ago.

Straightening of dirt walls with tractors - one day

Cutting, de-limbing, and debarking oak trees - three days

Setting 20 posts and nine girders - eight days
 
Orbit Royson
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The tops of these posts are being cut on a three degree angle. The girders will be installed on them.

The girders are notched, then hoisted up with the machine. Once they are set atop the poles, a 1/2 inch hole is drilled 18 inches. The hole goes through the girder and into the poles.

Then an 18 inch piece of 1/2 inch rebar is hammered into the hole, effectively pinning them together.






A lovely chunk of cedar cut from the bottom of one of the poles before it was stood up.



 
Orbit Royson
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The 1/2 inch rebar being cut. A carbide disc was put on to the chop saw.







CJ holding the end of the 20 foot piece of rebar.

 
Orbit Royson
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An especially pretty cedar which will be one of the interior posts. One inch rebar was used on the posts.







Scraping off some of the bark that was still left on this pole. Zac bought these cedars a couple of years ago with this house project in mind.





 
Orbit Royson
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The first girder (beam) has been notched and is getting ready to be installed.

Later on, we used a different method to lift the girders into place. You will see pics of that, as well as the notching of the girders.

The girder has been set and pinned into place.

 
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Now, three girders have been installed.

 
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Some of the prettier cedars are being dragged in. They will be on the interior row.













 
Orbit Royson
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The tops of the posts were cut on a three degree angle

A view of the existing posts and three girders. The back row only has three girders. The middle row will have six girders. Three of the middle row girders will meet the three back girders.

 
Orbit Royson
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Here are six more posts going in.

 
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In the foreground, you can see how three girders will continue.
In the background, there will start another three.

 
Orbit Royson
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I especially like this photo. The pitch of the girders closely matches the grade of the hill. Keep in mind that the rear posts are 18 feet tall. The log that you see on the ground is just one of the many we have that will be used for purlins.

Eventually, the sides of the house will be back filled with dirt. Also the roof will be covered with dirt, and there will be grass growing on the roof. More on that in the future.

The three feet of posts that you see sticking up above the grade will have rear facing windows.

The sides of that area will not be seen as the dirt will be graded to form a smooth dirt covering from the roof to the existing hillside.






More pics of the three girders.









 
Orbit Royson
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After the crew left that day, Zac brought the big machine into the woods so that he could drag out the next series of girders.

These were big logs. They span twenty feet from the existing posts to the next series of posts. The span of the first series of posts from the rear to the front is 12 feet. The rear girders have a five foot overhang off the rear of the house.










 
Orbit Royson
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Another day begins with a happy Zac.

 
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Some views of the next row of posts awaiting the girders.







 
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Notches cut into the girders so that they fit on top of the posts. These notches were cut with a chain saw.







 
Orbit Royson
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Twenty foot girders are set into place and pegged.

 
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Different views of the poles and girders.







 
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More views.













 
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The first of the continuation girders goes up.







The joint.

 
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Some views.







 
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Yep, it is going quickly!
 
Orbit Royson
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More views.







 
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crazac wrote:
Yep, it is going quickly!



Zac, it was going quickly. Those Amish guys have diligence, strength, and intelligence.

If we only had enough money to keep on paying them, this project would be plenty finished before next winter sets in.

We could really benefit from a grant. A GRANT? Huh! Do those even exist any longer?
 
Orbit Royson
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A third row of posts were also set up on this day. They weren't very tall so they were raised by hand.




 
Orbit Royson
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Remember the walk up the driveway before the project began? All there was was the hole. This is what it looked like.







 
Orbit Royson
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Now this is what it looks like.




 
Orbit Royson
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That's the progress as of now. If all goes well, the rest of the posts and girders will go up soon

We got most of the purlins loaded on to the girders so far. It was Zac, CJ, Gary, and myself. I'll have pics of those efforts posted soon.


Stay tuned.
 
Zac Martin
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I would just like to thank Mike Oehler at this time, I have researched a lot of alternative building designs and I must say this is the one for me.  Thanks man!
 
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