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Thread: Cabin in process

  1. #1
    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Default Cabin in process

    Here are a few pictures of our cabin in progress near Glennallen. We cleared the black spruce and had Mike Shelton install the septic and haul gravel for an 18" pad. The anchor posts sit on 4X4X8" concrete pads with additional gravel filled in around them. My wife cleared the trees and got the pad built, I built the foundation system and we built the glue lam beams for the floor joists to sit on. Rocky Ward from Gakona is weathering everything in for us.
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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Here's a couple more pictures
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    Looks great! Are ya near the highway? I'm building near Lake Louise. Wish my trusses were that easy!

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Wink

    About a mile off the highway. Lots of cuorderoy and wood culverts in the road.

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    I had to haul my trusses in by snowmachine so they were in pieces. Putting them together and then swinging into place was a dangerous chore.




  6. #6
    Member Michael's Avatar
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    We built a cabin in the Trapper Lake area 10 years ago. I can tell anyone else, hauling building supplies, let alone trusses, is no easy task. It is truly amazing how much stuff you can get on a freight sled when you are going camping and how 'little' you can haul when it is building supplies. I applaud you for hauling trusses in.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default pre-fab?

    Are you using pre-fab walls? What is the thickness and the R-value that you are getting? I've never seen construction with OSB on the inside as well, what is the deal with that?

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    6.5" SIP panels. Nominal r value of 25. All the panels are splined, glued and screwed together. It's not airtight, but air exchange becomes a priority.

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    hey Micheal, could you send me a list of information on your contractors ect.. Here in a year or so we will toss around the idea of building a house up here in Glennallen... if you have any reviews or feedback it would be appreciated also...

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Michael- Who did you use for the SIPs panels? I'm looking to do the same thing for a shop, but with 8" or more thickness.

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    Hi Michael:

    I take it from the trusses you are not going to use SIP panels for the roof? Was this a moisture/performance decision or price driven?

    cheers

    Joel

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    Joel- I've been doing quite a bit of research on this for myself. A truss roof with a proper energy heel and filled with blow in insulation will perform better than a SIP's roof at a lower cost. I currently have an R49 unventilated roof and it's an absolute pain in the butt. Even R49 will not stop snow from melting and ice from forming on a non-ventilated roof in Alaska. SIPs roofs require way too much interior beam work to support them and that adds significantly to the cost. With properly constructed walls, trusses can be free spanning past 40', needing no interior resupport. No way you can do that with a SIPs panel.

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    AkDoug

    Thanks for the note. I am in design mode for a 24X32 1.5 story cabin. I think it would be a great SIP project but am concerned about the challenges/performance of an un-vented roof. I am also not particularily interested in running a mechanical ventilation system for moisture control. Good to hear of others experiences.

    Joel

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    We are using scissor trusses. 3:12 interior, 5:12 exterior, 12" energy heel and 28' clear span. Moisture/ventilation problems were the driving factor. We ordered a kit from ValuBuild Panel homes via the internet. They made us a screaming deal on a 28 X 44 with 24 X 24 attached garage. A dry shell kit from TJI floor joists to the roofing felt. We supply the foundation, doors, windows, siding and roofing material. They have several floor designs to choose from or they will design to your dimensions. We gave them a sketch with interior dimensions and window and door sizes and they gave us engineered drawings suitable for submission to a building authority.

    I understand SIP panels are available from someone here in Alaska, though I don't know who. A nice feature with Valubuild is the insulated splines they supply. Our builder had not seen them before and was vey impressed. No 2 bys to transmit heat or cold through the wall.

    Do your research for doors and windows as the kit is specific to the dimensions you supply. No extra pieces or wasted material. If you specify a 48" window opening and a standard 36" door that's how it is designed. If at window ordering time your wife decides a 60" window and a door with a sidelight looks nicer, you must get creative. The panels are 4' wide and come in 8,9,10 and 12 ft lengths that get cut and used in various locations. Measure twice, cut once as there are no extra pieces.

    Rocky Ward from Gakona is doing the building for us. My wife is the Project Manager. We are very pleased with his work and finshed product. He planned ahead, utilized materials available and adapted to changed conditions.

    ret25 - PM me, we can get hooked up and show you the progress.

    If anybody has more questions, just ask.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Michael. I am looking at 12' high walls on my shop with an overall thickness of 12". I know it sounds overkill but the price of fuel these days forces me to try and build this shop efficient enough to heat with one 44,000 BTU Monitor oil heater. The goal is to get a complete system of panels for a 36x72 shop on one single 48' semi-trailer and ship it up from Outside. I'm in the market for a new semi-tractor trailer setup so I might buy one in the States and use it to haul my shop home. Trusses will come locally from SBS. Once again, thanks for the info on your source.

  16. #16
    Member Michael's Avatar
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    AKDoug,

    Great idea. We shipped our package up on Sampson Tug and Barge. Delivered to Glennallen for just under 10K. Carlisle spotted us 2 trailers with the total package. It would have fit on a 48 and a 20 if Valubuild would have delivered it to Seattle in the proper order. Manufacturerer fault, trusses by others, blah blah blah.

    I don't think 12" walls is overkill. If you can heat it with a candle or a couple halogen shop lamps, right on.

    A buddy in Palmer built a conventional shop, 40 X 60. He put floor heat in it. The jury is out on that. I thought it nice when the concrete was not bitter cold when under a vehicle. He says it takes a lot of fuel to heat the concrete mass, but once it is warm you can turn the thermostat down and use the barrel stove to make things comfy.

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    One of the issues we have been advised about is fresh air turnover. The SIP's are so tight that air must be mechanically exchanged. We have looked at mechanical air exchange systems.

    Has anyone heard of the Fresh Aire 80 system. Essentially it is a 4" hole bored in the wall with a louver controling the air flow. It just doesn't make sense to me. Any one have any input.

  18. #18
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    Hi Michael again lol. Call Lynn Kuhl in Fairbanks. From what he told me you need one in all the bedrooms and 1 in the living room. Lynn is one of the certifed inspestors in the interior. # is 1-907-452-5601. hope this helps. E.S.

  19. #19
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Michael- If you are living in it full time you will need some sort of air exchange. I've supplied materials for over a dozen 5Star+ houses and ALL of them are required to have air exchange of some sort. I've also supplied several owner-builders that built beyond the 5 Star rated level and did not use air exchange. Moisture problems, that eventually led to mold for some of them, have plagued them.

    The Fresh 80 is simply a make-up air device that lets air back into the building. It is usually used in conjunction with a bathroom fan connected to a humidistat. When the humidistat senses too much moisture it turns the bathroom fan on. The fan exhausts air while the Fresh 80's allow fresh air into the building. This continues until the desired humidity level is reached in the house and the humidistat turns off the fan.

    This works o.k. in most instances. In a real life test my brother's first 5Star+ house with a similar system could not keep up with the moisture in his house. The fan ran continuously and simply couldn't dry the house out. Moisture in the house was so bad that all the windows were covered in it, and even the interior surfaces of the doors. On particularly cold days they had to put towels on the window sills to sop up all the water. Now, this was with a 5 person family living in a 1500sf house. The current owners of the house have no such problems as there is only two of them and they are gone quite a bit in the winter.

    Interior moisture is not the only problem. Stagnant interior air contains many pollutants that are not healthy. Off gassing from building materials, furniture and floorings are bad for you. A house that does not ventilate will build up these pollutants.

    Several systems that I have seen use the LifeBreath air exchanger.. http://www.lifebreath.com/en/contrac...sidential/hrv/

    Now, if this place is a recreational cabin, you may not need to go to the expense of the LifeBreath and use the Fresh80 system just fine.

  20. #20
    Member Michael's Avatar
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    AKDoug-OK, now that makes sense. HRV in conjunction with the fresh air 80. I've looked at several HRV systems on line. Is there a reason you prefer the lifebreath? I agree we need something and I prefer a humidistat as opposed the the bathroom fan I forget to turn off. Any ideas or advice greatly appreciated.

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