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Thread: pads with posts. any thoughts from those experienced??

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    Default pads with posts. any thoughts from those experienced??

    Okay, I've been doing a lot of researching (trolling) on various sites about remote cabin building. I'm going to be building north of Petersville road. My first building is going to be 10'x16' and will hopefully have a loft. It will be on a lower elevation of the property and I'm thinking of building 2'x2' pads out of treated 6"x6"s. I will use allthread to hold them together. I am also thinking of cutting 3/8" plate 2'x2' and through bolting it to the pads and welding 6" pipe to the plate to raise the structure 4 or 5' off the ground. I will weld cross bracing between the steel posts and plan on using 3 posts/pads on each side. I also intend on digging through the peat before setting the pads. If anyone has any thoughts that have built in the region I welcome your thoughts and stories... Thanks!

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    Continue to lurk on sites for all the information you can get- you will get many different responses. I am getting ready to build as well but have decided to use helical piers as they will be cheaper in the long run compared to what I was planning, as well as guaranteed against heaving. The guys at TMP are awesome to talk with and can access remote sites as well. You may want to talk with them. Good luck with your building.

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    Just pour pads out of concrete, use the small stop signs for the pattern. Then just haul them out and place them. About 6 inches thick and some rebar and they are awesome. Heavy though. Whenever im building on bad ground I just create more surface area and level it out every few years with blocks. If your wanting to build high like you are saying then build a "crib skid" off of the blocks. That way later on you can drag it with a dozer and its quicker and cheaper to build than screwing with steel. I highly recommend a 12x20 cabin with a 12/12 roof. Makes a great loft for 4 guys and has plenty of room for a kitchen area and the stove with a futon and tv on a table or wall. Thats how my current little cabin is setup.

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    So after talking to quite a few people that have built remote. I've decided to build a bigger cabin and plan on it being the one... Many say they planned to build a small cabin first and then a larger one but they never built the second cabin. Now I'm thinking 16' x 24' stick framed with 10' walls for a loft with 12/12 pitch. Does anyone know how I can determine how many pads I will need to properly support this? and what size glulams? I think I can get away with 3.5" x 9.5" glulams and maybe a 3'x3' pad every 8'?? I really am just guessing... Any help appreciated.

  5. #5

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    20x20 to 24x24 inch pads should work. Id have a center beam to support, and use 2 pads on the center one (6 foot in from the ends). Then have the two outside beams be supported at the ends and in the middle so you would have 3 on the outside. Total pads would be 8. Another option is have 2 beams instead of 3 under the joists, and use 3 pads per beam so 6 total that way. That would be the budget way, and not very good for supporting a possible porch and such. Now this is just my preference, but if your doing 10 foot walls so you have a small pony wall for the loft, I would balloon frame the loft floor joists in. Then either collar tie the top of the rafters or support the ridgepole very well. With the 12/12 pitch you would be able to collar tie the top 4ish feet in, leaving a 7-8 foot ceiling in the loft which is good. As for the glue lams, a 4x10 would be plenty, but it is possible to use normal 4x10/12s to get the job done too. I would compare the costs of the glue lam vs steel I beam or even rough cut timbers, and do the cheapest. The steel will give you ultimate support, but is difficult to mount the joists, the rough cut timbers will dry and move around on you but are cheap, and the glue lams would be expensive but wont move much. Id stick with gluelams or roughcut for your first cabin, my next cabin is getting a steel foundation (tired of stuff moving).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc Alaska View Post
    Now I'm thinking 16' x 24' stick framed with 10' walls for a loft with 12/12 pitch. Does anyone know how I can determine how many pads I will need to properly support this? and what size glulams? I think I can get away with 3.5" x 9.5" glulams and maybe a 3'x3' pad every 8'?? I really am just guessing... Any help appreciated.
    See if this helps:


    16 x 24 = 384 square feet
    10 lb/ft2 dead load
    40 lb/ft2 live load
    Weight of 1st floor is 19,200 lbs

    Assuming loft is half the size, ˝ loft = 192 ft2
    10 lb/ft2 dead load
    30 lb/ft2 live load
    Weight of loft is 7,680 lbs

    Assuming 2’ overhang on roof, area of roof is 560 ft2
    10 lb/ft2 dead load
    60 lb/ft2 snow load
    Weight of roof is 39,200 lbs

    Total weight of cabin is 19,200+7,680+39,200= 66,080 lbs


    What we don’t know is the bearing capacity of your soil, or in other words, how much weight per square foot you can place on the soil before it starts to move causing problems with your foundation. However, as long as you are not on peat or really wet ground, 2,000 lbs per ft2 I think is a good guess.

    So, you have 66,080 lbs to be supported by soil that can hold 2,000 lb/ft2 means you need a total of 33 ft2 of “pads.” Let’s call it 32 ft2 so the math is easier.

    4 pads (one at each corner): 32/4 = 8 ft2 per pad or a square 2.8 ft on a side.
    6 pads (2 more on the long walls) 32/6 = 5.3 ft2 per pad or 2.3 ft on a side
    8 pads = 4ft2 per pad or 2ft square
    and so on

    Now this is simplified and there are lots of variables not accounted for but it should give you an idea of what is needed.

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    Another thing I forgot to mention is you can stick a few layers of chainlink fencing under your pads and in the soil to help prevent sinking. Old shaker screen works better, but even chainlink makes a huge difference. Especially in the spring when you pads want to tip over (speaking from experience).

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    Thank you both for your replies.

    Yes fishhook the 10' height is for the pony walls for the 1/2 loft.

    I was just on finehomebuilding forum and used some numbers they had and my calcs came really close to yours NRick Thanks. I was using 1500 for the soil just to be on the safe side. I think I'll shoot for 6 3' pads and if I add a 6' covered deck I'll add 2 more pads.

    The next head scratcher is the cathedral ceiling. I had an architect basically tell me I can't do it. Does anyone know a reference I can find? I'm even willing to hire someone who knows what they are doing, I think most the engineers/architects in Anch want to build everything to municipal code... or don't understand the difference between a ridge board/ridge beam (or maybe I don't) I don't want to worry about it failing but I also want it fit for purpose. I was under the impression that if i had a ridge beam and a 1/2 loft tying the walls in I wouldn't need collar ties or ceiling joists so I could keep it open.

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    Even if you shortcut elsewhere, you want to build the roof right so it does not collapse and kill someone. For a cathedral ceiling you have two basic choices - scissor trusses or a ridge beam. If you go with the trusses, have them professionally designed and built.

    A ridge beam needs to be supported by posts on either end at a minimum. A post in the center will reduce the size of the beam needed and can provide support for your loft. If you do this, best practice will be to have a foundation support for each of the posts.

    Designed right, the loft can tie the walls together in the portion of the cabin where the loft is located, eliminating the need for trusses or a load bearing beam. But you have the other half of the cabin to worry about. Maybe use rafter ties in that portion and use lumber that is nice looking since it will be cutting across that space. You could also use cable or steel rod for something less visually intrusive to tie the walls together.

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    Your half loft will hold it together, on the cathedral wall put some extra support in for the ridgebeam. The post in the middle is a good idea. If the ridgepole is properly supported than the walls will want to pull in due to snow, and you just have to inboard your wall at the end there or put some let ins diagonally on the end wall with thicker plywood. 2x8 wall the end and you should be fine. Then use all thread or whip up a custom rod at the end wall to run it from eave to eave, and tighten in down a little. This will prevent the wall from moving out and spreading. The let ins and 2x8 inboarded wall will keep it from moving in. For your cap board where your rafters are going to set, on the cathedral part or the whole thing, run it 3 thick instead of 1 or 2. Keeps the wall straight. Also don't put in a fake face board at the end of the rafters, use something stout for extra support. You can cover it up with metal and make it look good. Makes the rafters a "unit". My fathers original cabin had a half loft for 30 years in heavy snow, when he built it it was all green chainsaw mill lumber and big nails, no plywood. Held up without moving much with the idea I just described.

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    Thanks for the help! A couple days ago I found that SBS makes 3 piece trusses that you are able to haul in on a sled behind a snowmachine and assemble on site. They are more expensive but they definitely are a possibility...

    Are 10' walls tall enough for the half loft? I was thinking of having the bottom of the loft joists at 7' which would give nearly a 3'5" pony wall. Curious as to what others have done, I've been second guessing myself thinking they need to be taller.

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    10' walls are fine. if your 16' wide id go with 2x6 walls min, id do 2x8 because i like beefy. Skip the trusses, if your doing a loft just do rafters and ridgepole. Id balloon frame the joists in, 36 inches down from the top of the wall, or your 3'5". And stick a dormer in one side if you want to, really makes a good area up there.

  13. #13

    Default pads with posts. any thoughts from those experienced??

    I built a smaller cabin with 10' walls and a cathedral ceiling. I used LVL for the ridge beam (not board since now it's carrying the load).

    I framed it similar to the cathedral walk picture on FHB site.
    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-...#ixzz3EOc48Gsf

    I calculated the dead load of the roof and snow load to find the total load. The ridge beam takes 1/2 the load. I used this calculator to check which ridge beam would be appropriate.
    http://www.timbertoolbox.com/Calcs/beamcalc.htm

    Countryplans.com has an active forum with helpful advice.

    I would also recommend adding a shed dormer. With 10' walls, and beams at 8', the cabin is spacious. I built a 6' wide shed dormer which really opened up the loft. I did a 12/12 roof to maximize loft headroom and space. I have another cabin that I cannot stand in the loft. Although the loft is a nice sleeping space, I really wanted more room in this cabin.

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    Sounds like a fun project for the OP. I do have a question for him and other that have built these cabins with the specs the OP is considering. If it is a remote cabin with 10' walls and 12/12 roof, how difficult is it to construct and finish the roof that high off the ground safely? Do you have to worry about the steep pitch during emergency repairs, etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skrap View Post
    Sounds like a fun project for the OP. I do have a question for him and other that have built these cabins with the specs the OP is considering. If it is a remote cabin with 10' walls and 12/12 roof, how difficult is it to construct and finish the roof that high off the ground safely? Do you have to worry about the steep pitch during emergency repairs, etc?
    I started the build on my cabin this summer and it is similar to the OP's but higher.
    Mind you the roof is only 6/12.
    I am built on solid granite and have raised my pier foundation in order to have good storage underneath the cabin.
    I also made my side walls 12' high to compensate for the lower pitch of the roof.
    With 12/12 pitch you definitely want a tether to keep you from dying a tragic death!!!

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Qualcraft...-203203964-_-N

    At the highest point on my cabin's roof (rear peak) it is 31' to the ground.
    I built my place completely on my own and had to come up with ideas for getting walls lifted, ridge board up and sheathing up to the roof.
    I made wall jacks to lit the walls. I adapted them for lifting the ridge board. I also made a material lift to get my sheathing up on the roof.
    I also made wooden scaffolding to use inside the building. It was especially helpful when it came time to put up the 2X10X16' roof rafters.
    Here's a few pics of the equipment and the build.

















    Here are a couple of images of where the cabin is at right now.



    My basement storage.
    There are a pair of steel entry doors so I can park the 4 wheeler and sleds indoors.
    Also it's better if those toys are kept hidden and secure.
    The lowest section is 4'8" and the highest is 9'6".


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    Can't see your photos. Would love to see some ideas of building high, remote, and by yourself. I plan to build a bigger cabin in the next year or so and been thinking of ways to handle working on the roof.

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    Your cabin is looking great! Thanks for the pics and notes, your ideas will come in handy!

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    Awesome progress! I really appreciate your ingenuity in making the hoist and roofing slider! Keep us updated when you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    Can't see your photos. Would love to see some ideas of building high, remote, and by yourself. I plan to build a bigger cabin in the next year or so and been thinking of ways to handle working on the roof.
    You looking @ work?
    Pics are on Facebook and a lot of employers block it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc Alaska View Post
    Your cabin is looking great! Thanks for the pics and notes, your ideas will come in handy!
    Good luck with your build. Glad I could give you an idea or two.

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