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Thread: Building a small family cabin in the Big Lake Area

  1. #1
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    Default Building a small family cabin in the Big Lake Area

    I am building a small cabin in the Big Lake area.
    We have some access by road so we can haul in materials however the final 300 yards to the site is on foot. We will be building by hand (pre-cutting all parts prior to hauling it out).

    We are on a moderate to steep slope with good ground (no wet land).

    What is the easiest and sturdiest foundation for me to put in.

    Can anyone recommend plans, or a step by step guide for building.

    I have helped others build things in the past but have never taken on a project myself. I apologize if I use the wrong language here. I'm not pretending to know what I'm talking about just trying to make sense. I believe I can figure out how to do this with the right guidance/plans.

    We need to keep our costs low low low so I am thinking a 16x16 square building with metal slope roof (no pitch) 16 foot tall in the front sloping to 14 in the back. I want to add a 3/4 loft for sleeping.

    I was also considering a 4ft deck on the front.

    So again back to questions...

    1. What is the easiest foundation (sonotubes, deck footers, buried posts with concrete footers... etc.)

    2. Does anyone have a set of blue prints or a book they could recommend?

    3. Has anyone found a good way to get recycled/scrap building materials in the anch, ER, Wasilla, Huston, Biglake... etc. area
    Any advice is welcome

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    The "easiest" (i.e. fewest steps) foundation to put in would be simply digging holes and dropping in treated posts. That's what I did, but it's not the best. It really depends on your soil type. I'd recommend Sonotubes. As far as recycled materials, Craigslist.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    With the sono tubes do I just fill to the ground level and go up from the re with posts or go up all the way with concrete, add the j bolts, and put the timbers directly on the sonotubes.

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    the soil is very well drained rocky soil. No wet marsh at all. You dig down two feet an you his sand and rock.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    It's best to use treated posts on top of the Sonotubes, as it's easier to brace and skirt it.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Default Pilings also

    I also just dug holes and dropped in treated logs for a piling foundation in the Talkeetna woods, similar ground to what you describe, gravel a couple feet down, also built a 16'x16' but modified shed roof, really easy.
    Good Plan

    If you are that close to the road, haul in Concrete and fill sonotubes, the durability will be worth it but I highly recommend pilings for an easy and excellent foundation, too many reasons to list, but ease is a good start
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    do you have the plans for your 16x16
    I am having a hard time finding shed roof plans for a 16x16
    I am trying to alter plans for a 12x12 to make a 16x16
    Would you mind sharing your blue prints/materials list?

  8. #8
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't build a shed roof. I would build a steep pitch 12/12 roof and use the space above for a loft.

    With well drained soils in that area there is nothing wrong with 6x6 treated posts to hold the thing up. I replace a broken treated 6x6 in a nearly 30 year old building last year and it had no rot. It broke because a truck ran into it.

    If you are dead set on a post style foundation, it is tough to beat sono tubes with "big foot" footers on the bottom of them. They take up lots of concrete, but really make a stable base.

    Getting plans for an Alaskan cabin can be really tough. Most cabin plans are drawn by architects that are looking for style more than function.

    I own a hardware/building materials business in Talkeetna. I have no interest in selling materials in the Big Lake area, but I would be more than willing to spend a little bit of time with you in person if you want to drive up this way and talk. It's far easier to scratch out a drawing in person, than on the computer. Send me a PM if you are interested.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Plans are the fun part

    Sorry the plans for my cabin were drawn up by myself and long since gone, that is the fun part tho and I would take up Doug on that idea, drive up there and have fun with it with an experienced guy to give ideas. There is a lot to what he said on the "Function over Style" part in AK

    I did go modified shed roof for the desire to not shed snow but hold it for insulation, in Talkeetna area that is a major decision so had a Very Beefy roof, worked well and I would do it again. By modified shed it rose across the back ten feet and dropped down the front six.
    Can you tell I'm not an architect?
    I had lots of logs to work with so the roof rafters were around 6" dia and on 24" centers I think, anyway it was major. I would highly recommend large eaves also, keep the weather off your building. I think mine were nearly two foot.

    Sorry I can't send the plans but have fun with that, are you going to be using logs or dimension lumber?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    As Doug said about the sono tubes, get the "bell bottom" for them. If you just put in a straight tube, they will move.

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    Default Cabin Plans

    Check out quickcabin.com They have a 16 X 16 plan with optional loft and porch. May be what you are looking for. Good luck!

  12. #12

    Default im talking before total thought

    But just out of curiosity would you be willing
    to tear down 2 lean tos on a old trailer house
    and haul away garbage for the wood in them
    in chugiak would have to measure for exact but
    probably one 16 by 30 the other 14 by 24

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