The Squatter – Thinking about building it.

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Wolf Brother 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #8704

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    I’m thinking about building this only 16’Wx16’Lx16’sidewall.

    If

     

    I did the math, 16′ wide, 16′ long gives footprint of 256 sq ft. If angled side wall is 16′ then height at center is right at 14′ 10″. IF you put a loft in, with the bottom of the cross ties being 8′ from the floor, you have a useable loft height of about 6′ AND you’d have <b>rafter cross ties from side wall to side wall to prevent eventual wall outspread from roof weight. </b> A 4′ knee wall with loft gives a loft height of about 10′. It would also let you use both sides to gather rainwater.

    I did some additional calculations – for a 16′ sidewall that is 16′ wide if you put the bottom of the rafter cross ties 7′ from the floor, the resulting loft width is just a bit over 7 1/4 feet. Make the loft overall length 12′ and you wind up with an additional 87 sq feet for a total of 343 sq ft – more or less. Actual mileage may vary.

    I
    <div class=”messageTextEndMarker”>A 4′ kneewall would make loft height around 11′ width around 9′ upping from 87 to 108 and 343 to 364</div>

  • #8705

    namelus
    Participant

    Would look at geodesic dome, more usable square feet  self ventilating and way stronger. Plus you can use scrap to build unlike the full length structure in a frame.

     

    But it’s up to you

  • #8706

    Whirlibird
    Participant

    How much storage space do you need?

    I ask because the lack of space is probably the biggest complaint that I have heard when talking cabins or long term shelters.

    The best designs I have seen include some means of adding a room later

  • #8707

    Whirlibird
    Participant

    I agree with Namelus, geodesic domes are excellent.

    Another couple of options are ‘wattle and daub’ or straw bale construction, depends on where you are and what is available.

    While the two later options take longer to build, they can last a very long time. I know of straw bale houses over 100 years old and there are wattle buildings that are centuries old.

    But for quick and dirty, it’s hard to beat a yurt, you can build (make) one yourself although it really takes two to put it up.

  • #8730

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Hmmm….love looking at these non-standard/simplified types of shelter ideas.  Yurts.  Geo domes. Cob.  etc.  One thing about geodesic domes….folks tend to remember them.  They stick out like a sore thumb unless you have remote area.  At least they do to me…YMMV.

    In this case….what about going down…digging for more room.  Instead of going up?  Easier to keep controlled temperature.  Possibly more labor, depending on the soil.  And of course it depends on the ability to keep out flooding in some areas of the country.

    OldMtWoman

  • #8737

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    Are you expecting a heavy snow load?

    If so, you may want to consider 2x8s,  16inches on center.

    To add additional height, you may want to do a gambrel style roof.  Give you more space for a loft too, and maybe an additional window.

    I have a small wood stove.  In hindsight, and IF I had the money, I would get a wood stove that is purpose built to cook on.

    Just some recommendations.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Crow Bar.
  • #8742

    no money
    Participant

    Wolf Brother,

    Frankly I like the idea. Although A different design might be better, I like the idea of building it in a day. It is a little cramped but could easily add more length to it on either end. One thing for sure, it beats the heck out of a tent or sleeping in a camper shell on the back of your pickup!

    You could buy the material a few pieces at a time and store it in ypur garage. You could do most/all the cutting in your garage too, save time and noise at the site. When you get ready to head out you load the material in your pickup or on a trailer.

    Doesn’t look like it has a floor, but you could use a big tarp for that. You will probably want to use pressure treated wood for the parts that touch the ground so they won’t rot. After your have it built, you could dig down for more space. Just be sure to do that after it’s build to keep the water out.

    Probably use roll roofing rather than shingles for the roof. Won’t last as long as shingles but cheeper and goes on quick. Be sure to get a couple of gallons of plastic roof cement to fix leaks as they develop. Paint for the end walls too.

    Personally, I would try to build it under some large pine trees so it couldn’t be seen as easily from the air.

    Can you provide a link to the plans? There should be a list of materials there.

  • #8743

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    no money,

    The plans are in a book entitled Your Cabin in the Woods by Conrad Meinecke.  What you see is all that’s there..
    No list of materials.

    I’m thinking about sheet metal for the exterior covering, front, back, sides.  I’m thinking about doing a 2″ equals a foot drawing to get a better feel for the angles and measurements..

    I’m kicking around a number of ideas for the floor.  From a 2 by covered with plywood to concrete slab.
    If I go with the 2 by floor, I’ll lay it on multiple thicknesses of 30# roofing felt (tar paper).

    One think I am considering is a 4′ knee wall all the way around.  This would allow me to run gutters on the sides and much easily gather rainwater.  It would also allow me to use the full 16×16 space,.  Would make the loft area larger also.

    Right now it’s just a thought.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Wolf Brother.
  • #8748

    Tolik
    Participant

    Where did you find that  ?

  • #8750

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    Tolik,

    It’s at the top of the Plainsman’s Cabin forum.  ( https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/plainsmanscabin/ )
    I was looking for a complete .pdf of the book “Your Cabin in the Woods” by Conrad Meinecke and found the pic and the rest is me asking questions about the pic.

  • #8767

    Whirlibird
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: right;”>Plainsman’s Cabin used to be a decent little forum,</p>
    Sadly it slowly ended up a handful of people with no new blood.

    No money.

    That changes the direction and style somewhat.

    But the wattle and daub, and yurts can both be made with little to no money depending upon your local resources. Log cabins are another option depending on where you are. Same as Adobe and other styles.

    Where I am, a log cabin would be a challenge, unless I decided to use aspen as cedars and sagebrush are hardly cabin material.

    One place I had intended to build on, would have been perfect for an adobe, I just didn’t have the time.

    We used to live out where the original straw bale houses were. The straw bales were trash cleanup sometimes so the price could vary.

    I’ve spent a night or two in line cabins working Cattle, some were palatial, others made sheep herders trailers look like the Hilton.

    Look around, sometimes the easy solution presents itself. A friend decided to step back and get away after a series of bad events. He ended up trading into a travel trailer and picking up a chunk of trash land useless for anything else.

    With some help, the trailer was seasonally enclosed within an old barn, which was nothing but a camouflage shell around a straw bale insulation layer.

    I guess that we are all looking at different time frames.

    A week, a month, a year or longer….. Personally a 16x16x16 room would leave me somewhat nuts before the winter was up, especially if I had been productive.

    In an emergency, the little cabin could suffice but adding even the wife….. Wouldn’t be good.

  • #8771

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    But the wattle and daub,

    I’ve spent some time at Plimoth Plantation – ( plimoth.org ) a living history re-enactment of IIRC the third year of the Pilgrims original colony at Plymouth, Ma.

    I was there several weekends over about 3 months and was allowed by the re-enactors to help a bit.  One of the things I got to help with was a timber framed wattle and daub home they were building.  Make no mistake about it, from squaring the timbers to “wattling” and “daubing”, it’s work.

    Having lived in 8 man tents before (once upon a time; many, many years ago in a land far, far away, I can understand the size/space issues.   If you did a loft, your sleeping area would be separate from your living/cooking area.  Would it get close after a while?  probably but it would be dry and hopefully warm in the winter.

     

  • #8775

    Tolik
    Participant

    I have long thought of doing this , but made out of cement . I call it the “Troll cave ” . Before changing careers , I worked in the exhibit/ artificial habitats industry for over 25 years . The plan was to make a two man evasion shelter  , disguised as the native rock formations in any given area . It would be provisioned , and equipped ahead of time , all one would have to do , is get there  ( and knowledge of HOW to get inside ) . Other wise , it would appear to be part of the natural landscape , people could camp on it , or near it , and never suspect it was not what it appears to be .

  • #8860

    GnomeInPlaid
    Participant

    What type of climate are you building in?  That ad states how warm it would be with a heavy snow load, but in my experience, 2×4 construction will not hold up to heavy snow.  Summer of 2018 was spent reinforcing my porch with 4×6 pressure treated posts every 10 feet.  This area gets over 200 inches of snow a year and the builder used non-pressure treated 2x4s glued together for the posts with no footers underneath.  It’s a flat out miracle that the porch didn’t collapse in previous years, taking the main house’s trusses with it.  They’re tied together, you know.  I’m very concerned that that structure, as is, will collapse on you.  If you build it as described, please, at least put poles- I mean small round logs –  in the center to hold the load.

    Common issues are sizing a wood stove to the size of the living space, as running out of oxygen seems to shorten one’s life span.  Any unvented propane heater will produce 1 quart of water per hour, according to my propane furnace installer.  Where will the firewood be stored, and remember that firewood has to dry, or season, and that’s another source of humidity.

    There’s also cob building, sandbag or earthbag construction, and cordwood building. (cordwood is firewood stacked for walls.)  If you want something stealthy where you aren’t hauling in a load of dimensional lumber, they might be worth looking into.  I’ve been to two cob building events.  They were great fun, but very heavy work and you have to know how you need your living space to be, as it’s very hard to remodel cob.  It requires sand, clay and straw.

    Sawdust as an insulator:  I did a test in my greenhouse on overwintering some perennials.  I had planted them into a large black pond filled with dirt, surrounded by a raised bed structure so that the pond was flush with the top of the raised bed.  I bought a thermometer kit with a main thermometer and 4 sending units.  I laid the sending units in various locations of the bed, on top of the soil, and covered them with 7 inches of cedar sawdust.  I monitored the readings all winter.  The short answer is that 7 inches of cedar sawdust will keep the surface of the planting bed at 32 degrees, even when it is -40F below zero.  So, if you can acquire sandbags and sawdust, or even do a fake wall stuffed with sawdust, it will make a very good insulation.  It needs to stay fluffy, not packed down.  I would recommend using cedar if you can, as nothing seems to want to grow in it.  A rough lumber wall covering with sawdust behind it may help with moisture issues.

    I also see that they have located the fireplace at the end wall.  Expansion and contraction from heating and cooling will cause the meeting surface between the stones and the wood to separate and eventually rot.  You’ll also lose a lot of heat through the rocks to the outside.  I have my wood stove centrally located.  Very happy with it that way.  It’s in the basement, along with firewood storage.  Heat rises, this is the most economical way to heat without having to have duct-work and fans that require electricity to circulate the air.

    You might want to dig and see how far down the water table is.  My well is 70 feet down, but there’s a sandstone shelf just under the soil that has water moving across it like an underground river.  The sump-pump area in my basement shows the ground water is about 3 feet below the basement floor.  I’ve had to paint the floor with Drylok paint in an attempt to waterseal it.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

  • #8876

    namelus
    Participant

    Try geodedic dome one person can build super strong, self supporting structure. You  can use scrap wood air naturally circulates. And 4 person team can move a 40 food dome after errected, It also max living area per buit squ are foot no so much loss as a squat or to steep sides.

  • #8885

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    Looking at the plans, again, I think I would go with a gambrel roof, add the loft for a larger sleeping area, insulate with 7 inches of R7 spray foam, the cast iron stove, the knee wall with the rain catchment system.

    Be even better if you could install a small cellar under the cabin.

    Water?

  • #8886

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    I appreciate the discussion/thoughts/suggestions.

    I am thinking about using this as a “Little Home”.  As noted in my first post – 16′ long, 16′ wide, with 16′ sidewalls.
    Either a concrete floor or a plywood covered 2 by on roofing felt floor.  7′ up the bottom of the loft rafters making roughly a 12′ x 8′ loft area.   MAYBE a 4′ knee wall, which would make all of the 16×16 area useable and would make the loft 12xclose to 10.  A knee wall would allow gutters at the bottom of the sides making rainwater collection easier.

    Crow Bar – Looking at the plans, again, I think I would go with a gambrel roof, add the loft for a larger sleeping area, insulate with 7 inches of R7 spray foam, the cast iron stove, the knee wall with the rain catchment system.

    A gambrel roof would allow for more space but adds construction complexity I’m trying not to have.  Spray foam insulation is my primary plan for now.

    GnomeInPlaid – climate – 2×4 construction will not hold up to heavy snow – fireplace at the end wall. Expansion and contraction from heating and cooling will cause the meeting surface between the stones and the wood to separate and eventually rot. You’ll also lose a lot of heat through the rocks to the outside. I have my wood stove centrally located.

    The roof pitch is a 1 to 2 run/rise.  For every 1 foot of run the rise on the roof is 2 feet.  I do believe it will shed snow fairly good.  You are right about 2×4 construction not being as strong as it could be.  My initial plan is to use 2x8s on 16 inch centers.  The cross pieces between the 2x8s (to be where the sheet metal side is nailed) will probably be 2×4 every 2′. Interior sheathing is going to be 1/2 plywood glued and screwed.  That will make the 16×16 sidewalls fairly rigid and insulated as noted in my  reply to Crow Bar.  I am planning on a glass front wood burning stove for heat and for something to look at, at night. I will be bringing in an outside air pipe for the stove.

    The Loft cross pieces will be bolted to sidewall members and will provide additional rigidity to the structure.

    Climate – I live in Texas – so one day I can be melting from the heat and the next be “lower posterior orifice” deep in snow.  My plan is to have a thru the wall by the front door High Efficiency window A/C for cooling and screened windows loft and bottom – front and back for cross ventilation.

    Right now – it’s all just a plan.

     

  • #8917

    GnomeInPlaid
    Participant

    You have some very well thought out ideas.  I’m sure that by the time you get to the actual construction phase, you’ll have planned out all the details for something that’s very nice and functional.

     

     

  • #8961

    namelus
    Participant

    Was thinking on your flooring have you seen you tube channel primative technology, it has lots of wonderful ideas on building abodes from nothing. You understand yet man never says one word.

  • #8962

    namelus
    Participant

    If you want your roof to outlast you make it from two layers of 1/2 inch ply layer 90 degrees overlap glue and screw , then 1/8 torch on. For metal roof use a method called standing double seam  with 11 inch pans and one continuous  length.  You might want to not have apex roof, if you have off set roof you can use Windows at top  for lighting and ventilation. Basically instead of meeting at apex the one roof is 18 inches lower allowing for Windows.  Aim south for warm north for cooler

  • #8963

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    namelus – Was thinking on your flooring have you seen you tube channel primative technology, it has lots of wonderful ideas on building abodes from nothing.
    You understand yet man never says one word.

    I have watched them and am impressed both by his building skill and the skill he shows in communicating it without saying a word.

    namelus – If you want your roof to outlast you make it from two layers of 1/2 inch ply layer 90 degrees overlap glue and screw , then 1/8 torch on. For metal roof use a method called standing double seam with 11 inch pans and one continuous length. You might want to not have apex roof, if you have off set roof you can use Windows at top for lighting and ventilation. Basically instead of meeting at apex the one roof is 18 inches lower allowing for Windows. Aim south for warm north for cooler

    Not sure what ” then 1/8 torch on. ” means. If I have heard of it, it’s under different words.

    My plan is to have screened windows at both ends, one just under the apex of each end for loft ventilation and at least one on the bottom at each end. And if I’m grid connected a high efficiency window A/C mounted thru the wall at one end.

    To get to where I’m at in life I have worked doing various types of construction, including putting together metal buildings. One brand of those buildings is called Butler buildings. The roof is going to be made with the metal sheets used in that type building.

    I do appreciate your input, it makes me think and re-think.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Wolf Brother.
  • #8969

    namelus
    Participant

    It is 1/8 of an inch thick torch on tar that comes in a roll, the thin stuff is not nearly as effective and a peel and stick is pretty much junk for long term.

  • #8970

    namelus
    Participant

    any building with penetration with screws to hold in place is a leak point double seam has none only venting through roof penetrates, bullet proof system that flexes and contracts with bulilding. The expansion and contraction loosen screws and the neoprene  washer on screws breaks down in 5-7 years leaving you with pin hole leaks all over.

     

    The reason most don’t do standing double seam is labour costs, 3x more than standard metal bolt on roof. In old days it was called cathedral roofing it lasts 100 s of years. Just don’t go cheap on gauge no less than 24 gsuge. If you want forever roofing check out company

    https://www.rheinzink.com/en/products/roof-systems/

     

  • #8984

    Wolf Brother
    Participant

    1/8 of an inch thick torch on tar that comes in a roll.
    OK, yup I know about it. The guy I worked for called it rolled mastic.

    That’s been a problem on metal roofed buildings screwed to metal purlins.  Less so metal roofed buildings screwed to wood purlins.  Essentially non-existent if you do the labor intensive dob of silicon caulk (or other elastomeric caulk) where each screw is.

    One idea I’m kicking around is to build two of them, with a “Dog Run” roof between them to allow for a covered access between the two.

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