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Thread: Skirting a cabin

  1. #1
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Default Skirting a cabin

    How should I skirt my cabin? This summer I plan to skirt around my cabin and insulate the walls. What I do not understand is how I should do this. Should I dig a trench around the cabin so the walls will be underground? If so how deep should I go? Or should I just place the walls on the ground? My concern with doing this is ground movement. What are the chances of the ground moving enough to cause problems to the cabin? The cabin is located in the caribou hills on the Kenai Penninsula.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfirefighter View Post
    How should I skirt my cabin? This summer I plan to skirt around my cabin and insulate the walls. What I do not understand is how I should do this. Should I dig a trench around the cabin so the walls will be underground? If so how deep should I go? Or should I just place the walls on the ground? My concern with doing this is ground movement. What are the chances of the ground moving enough to cause problems to the cabin? The cabin is located in the caribou hills on the Kenai Penninsula.

    Thanks
    Am I the first one who is thinking of doing this? I can't believe out of over 200 people no one has any experience. What ways have worked or didn't work for you guys, any ideals?

  3. #3
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    OK. You haven't provided much info (size and age/condition of structure, foundation type, height from grade, soil type, presence of fill, how often occupied/heated, your motivation to construct a crawlspace, materials, etc.), so it's tough to reply without any knowledge of your specific needs. Something like this can be much more involved than you might suspect; I've done a bunch of crawlspace tune-ups, and it can get crazy in a hurry, or it can go really smooth. An energy audit might be beneficial. One thing to definitely keep in mind is that an insulated skirting is pointless without a well-applied vapor retarder.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    OK. You haven't provided much info (size and age/condition of structure, foundation type, height from grade, soil type, presence of fill, how often occupied/heated, your motivation to construct a crawlspace, materials, etc.), so it's tough to reply without any knowledge of your specific needs. Something like this can be much more involved than you might suspect; I've done a bunch of crawlspace tune-ups, and it can get crazy in a hurry, or it can go really smooth. An energy audit might be beneficial. One thing to definitely keep in mind is that an insulated skirting is pointless without a well-applied vapor retarder.
    Sorry, I guess I didn't realize how involved this could be. This is a weekend cabin that we use probably 2-3 weekends a month with an occasional week long trip throughout the year. The cabin was built 3 years ago is 20'x24' and sits on post and beam. In the rear of the cabin they did around 3' high and in the front around 5' hight. My ground is mainly dirt/clay/gravel mix and I have dug over 20' looking for gravel on my lot without finding any.

    All we are looking to do is close up the crawl space to prevent wind from blowing snow under the cabin and to put the toys under when we are not using.

    Thanks for any ideas!

  5. #5
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Insulate the floor to at least R34. Screw the skirting. IMO.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    Bill Hicks

  6. #6
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfirefighter View Post
    Sorry, I guess I didn't realize how involved this could be. This is a weekend cabin that we use probably 2-3 weekends a month with an occasional week long trip throughout the year. The cabin was built 3 years ago is 20'x24' and sits on post and beam. In the rear of the cabin they did around 3' high and in the front around 5' hight. My ground is mainly dirt/clay/gravel mix and I have dug over 20' looking for gravel on my lot without finding any.
    ,
    All we are looking to do is close up the crawl space to prevent wind from blowing snow under the cabin and to put the toys under when we are not using.

    Thanks for any ideas!
    I understand, man; covered space is always a plus! However, you were right on in your original post about frost jacking concerns, it definitely can happen if measures aren't taken, especially with our KP clay. Another bad problem is humidity from damp ground causing issues like mold and mildew, and in extreme cases, rot and structural failure. As they say, a structure requires good shoes and a good hat, the rest is just gravy. I think your trench idea is a good one, as you could use the opportunity to install a French drain, which would score you points in the moisture department. Dig down a couple feet, put in drain rock, tile, cloth, then backfill with non-frost-susceptible material, and build your skirting on top of that. Don't vent the crawlspace, but install a plastic sheeting vapor barrier on the walls and on the ground. Seal ALL seams and penetrations with Shurtape. You'll definitely notice the difference on those cold winter days!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  7. #7
    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    we skirted a small house that was about 3 feet off the ground with a u channel of galvanized sheet metal sunk in about 4 inches of gravel to stabilize it and another screwed to the house, each was 6 inches deep. We then put vinyl siding vertically in between channels about 3 inches shorter then distance between the channel. We did add vents to help with moisture, not sure if it would work with 5 foot side but worked with three feet well.

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