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WOFATI structure build - Input appreciated!  RSS feed

 
Sarah Sorden
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Hello fellow Permies! My husband and I are about to embark on a small WOFATI project and wanted to reach out to the community for support and re-assurance that what we're doing is going to actually work right.

We will be building into a small hill using the trees from the surrounding area. The plan is to ready all the trees we need before we rent the backhoe to do our digging and hoisting of logs into position. Here are the plans I have worked up that fully illustrate what we will be doing. We just purchased a small camper which is sitting on a boat trailer. The design includes a port for the camper to slide into the WOFATI while the ends of the boat trailer will stick out the front a bit. We wanted something to keep the wind and snow off of it in the winter as we will be living in it in southern Ohio.

We plan on going 4' deep with the structural poles, and 2' deep for the poles in between. These will support the wood pallets which will be used as shoring. We plan to fill in the pallets with cob and have a smooth cob surface on the inside when finished. Once we have pallets lining the outside, sheets of cardboard will be stapled into place to protect the plastic from puncture wounds. We'll layer on the first black plastic umbrella and cover with a foot of dirt (more on the corners to make a slope). Then comes the second umbrella and then more dirt. We have a 4' overhang on the north side of the structure and a 3' overhang on the south side. There will be a french drain to help catch everything the uphill patio cannot absorb.

The poles on the south end will be slightly lower than the poles on the north end. (They will be the same length, but the floor of the structure will be slanted towards the south about a foot total) Is this necessary for water drain off? Or will the slopes to the east and west be enough We plan to level out the floor by adding dirt to make it even in the living space area and then cobbing overtop of it. The area where the camper is will remain slanted.

The north and south facing walls will have recycled windows and wood pallets in between with cob to finish it off.

Any input or suggestions are much appreciated!
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Mike Jay
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi Sarah, welcome to permies!  Great first post with lots of cool diagrams.  I don't know anything about wofatis.  But I have played with pallets a fair bit.  If I understand it correctly, you're using pallets as your shoring between the posts and the bermed earth.  Pallets are great to hold a bunch of weight when they are sitting on flat ground.  Depending on their design, they are not always so good if they are only supported on two edges.  Hopefully your pallets are better than the standard 40" x 48" shipping pallet because I don't think they'll be strong enough for what I imagine you're doing. 

Of course I could be totally misunderstanding and I'm sorry if I took your thread off course. 
 
Sarah Sorden
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Thanks Mike! I apreciate the input and compliment! I've talked this over with my husband and he agrees 100%. We're going to use the usual smaller logs on the two walls that will use the dirt now because of the questionable structural integrity of the pallets. Wouldn't want the walls caving in on us because of all the pressure! We will still use pallets on the interior wall between the camper and the living space. And possibly use a few for the front and rear walls amidst the windows we put in.
 
Faison Zutavern
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Location: Southern MO
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There appears to be no kitchen or bedroom. Is the whole point of this supposed to be like an extension for your camper?
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Hello from Cincinnati!
Are you using gravity feed for your water supply,or are you using a pump,pressure tank,etc.?
Any plans for a rocket stove or other woodburner?

 
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