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Our tiny house build  RSS feed

 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
2
hugelkultur tiny house trees
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Just thought I would share some pictures. We are building a 338 square foot house in Central Maine. We have a rocky, steep lot for our site. If anyone wants more build details, nepermhome.WordPress.com
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Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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hugelkultur tiny house trees
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We have gravel down for drainage and we are on the side of a hill so there is plenty of drainage.
The floor is 2-3 above the ground depending on where you measure.
We get a lot of snow. We got 6 feet in one storm alone last year. This is going to be our second winter here, so I'm not sure what the average is. Lots.
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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Insulation and floor boards.
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Miles Flansburg
master steward
Posts: 4139
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Thanks Sarah, looking forward to watching the house come together.
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 239
Location: Nauvoo, AL
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I would suggest making the crawl space underneath your house be at least high enough to crawl under it on your hands and knees. Otherwise it gets mighty tight.
It may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a near flush to the ground slab house. But once you have to go under for a repair or to locate a cat or some other random farm animal. You'll be wishing for all the room you can get.

The main reason I'm saying this as I just the other day finished repairing some plumbing on a house with a 14" crawl space! of course the entry underneath the house was 30' away from the plumbing to be repaired.

 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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We have just enough room underneath for me to get under it. The man probably can't get under there comfortably, but lucky for me I'm a pretty small person. That does mean I'll be the one who always gets to go under there for any reason.
We won't have much going on under there either. The plumbing will be right at the front. No wiring at all. Maybe just the occasional animal.
Thanks!
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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Floor boards are down and posts are in place.
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Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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Two walls up, two to go.
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Kelly Smith
Posts: 720
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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hope it is all sealed in before snow starts to fly

thanks for posting, and keep them coming!
 
Maggie Far
Posts: 8
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Thank you posting & sharing the photos. It's very interesting. I noticed y'all didn't use any type of anchor between the concrete pads and the beams. Are y'all going to add some type of tie-downs later? Just curious!
 
Bill Fosburgh
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any updates. would like to see more
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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Sorry, things have been crazy. Here are a few new pictures...
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Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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hugelkultur tiny house trees
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Maggie Far, sorry I missed that question. We added the anchor plates later on. I was wondering myself why the boys hadn't done this sooner. I guess they wanted to put them on after there was some weight on the base.
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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We are living in the house at this point. Justin time for the cold to start. Then it got warm for a while and I have been working on my hugel beds and other outdoor projects while I have the chance. The inside is essentially unfinished. We have heat and that is all I care. We have also been chopping a lot of wood. We are behind on the wood because we have been building. And the wood is too wet. And we aren't insulated yet. But we are living in our own house, rent and mortgage free. We will slowly put together the interior over the winter. Pics to come!
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John Black
Posts: 8
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A few concerns and one that has already been mentioned. Why didn't you level the sonotube concrete footings? Seems odd that you would level afterwards with pieces of wood. Which brings me to my next concern, wood sitting directly on concrete. This is a huge concern for rot. Next why didn't you embed metal anchors into the top of the concrete footings? Trying to anchor the wood into the concrete after the fact can cause problems. Also looking at your most recent photographs you haven't anchored to the concrete which is a big no-no. Ah, and I almost forgot, you mentioned the floor is only 2-3 inches from the ground in a few spots, or was that 2-3 feet? Having the wood that close to the ground is also a concern for rot. I believe the minimum code is 6" from the bottom of a suspended timber floor construction.
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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We leveled every step of the way. W had to do it the way we did because the ground is loaded with huge rocks and it was not possible to level the ground without spending way more money than we have. The concrete footings that we used were pre-made, we did not use sonotubes so it would have been very difficult to embed anything into them. The base of the cabin is 2-3 feet, not inches. Sorry if i typed incorrectly. We are not anchored to the concrete except by the sheer weight of the house. This is something that the builder we had told us was the way to do it. I'm not entirely sure the reasoning behind it. Either way, we had consulted multiple professionals who said the way we ended up building was the way to go. I will see if I can get a better answer for you than that, but I don't have one right now.
 
A Walton
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The beams that sit on the footings - what are the dimensions and treatment of those?
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2287
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Foundation anchors are principally for earthquake and hurricane resistance. I don't believe Maine has any appreciable seismic risk, and storms may or may not have the potential to cause major damage. In a mountaintop location I would want anchors, in a sheltered location I wouldn't worry. Until a century ago, no houses had anchors to the foundation.
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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The beams are 6x6's. Pressure treated wood. It is holding up pretty well right now!
 
Tristan Vitali
Posts: 314
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Looking good We're fighting with mold issues on our STILL WET "cobwood" surround with such a warm, wet winter. Sitting here now listening to the downpours...in february... SOOOO different from last year's 2 month long arctic blast!

Is this going to be it for home construction for now or are you still planning to put up more structures in the short term?
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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I have been enjoying the easy winter we had. With all the time spent building the house, we hardly had time to collect firewood. We had to actually buy firewood this year, so good thing it was light!
Maybe you'll dry out soon!
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 800
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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That looks like a beautiful little house in the making. If it's not too late, add more windows

Regarding the distance off of the ground, I did some research when building my cabin and heard that if you leave 18" from the bottom of the beams to the ground the critters won't want to live under it. Now there are different critters in different parts of the world but we followed that guideline and never had anything living under there. It's too late for your house but I figured I'd pass the info along for others.

Also, be sure to close up the bottom with something so the mice don't have a party. I was told to ensure there isn't a gap bigger than 1/4" or they could enlarge it and get in. So I covered the entire bottom of our cabin with 1/4" plywood. It trapped some mice in but kept the rest out...
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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The clearance under our house is ar least 18" and we haven't had trouble yet, but it's still early. We plan on wrapping all around the bottom of the house before winter comes around again. It's a fairly common practicthis as area to wrap the bottom of the house with thick plastic to keep the cold out.

I am still working on convincing the man to add more windows. It's not too late yet!
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 800
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Sorry that I assumed you had less than 18" of clearance but it really looks that way from all your pictures. Side shields should help with the cold. I'd still insulate and mouse proof the joist bays under the floor. Even with the shields up around the perimeter that crawlspace will probably be 40 degrees which would likely make for a cold floor.

While you're getting new windows , be sure to put some up in the gable ends so you can see out from the loft (if you have one). Even if you don't have a loft it will let in lots of good overhead light, especially on the south side. Around here it seems like there are lots of trapezoid or triangle windows on craigslist. So you could get lucky with some odd shapes.
 
And tomorrow is the circus! We can go to the circus! I love the circus! We can take this tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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