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CABIN BUILD IDEAS

  • B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175626

    Hey guys, we’re looking at building a cabin on the land in the near future.

    Want to pick your brains on what would be feasible, long lasting, and not cost a million dollars.

    Wants:

    1,000-1,500 SQ ft of living space

    Low maintenance

    I’ve been kicking around a 100 ideas, but would like to get something dialed in sooner than later.

    Some ideas:

    Stick built with room-in-attic on a floating slab

    Stick built with vaulted trusses and a walk out basement (if we’re digging footings we might as well dig a basement, we have a hill we could build into)

    A-frame on footings, with half a loft (upstairs bedroom)

    Post-frame on grade, half-home half-storage

    If we did a stick build I’d also put up a separate garage or pole barn in a year or three.

    I have a construction background, access to heavy equipment (for footings or a basement), and friends in all of the trades to hire/advise when needed (Plumbers, Framers, HVAC, Sparkies, Tinners, etc). I’d be the GC, and would like to get a weather tight building up by this fall, and keep it scheduled as a two year mortgage free project (I have winters off and could get a lot done then).

    If you had a blank slate, what would you do?

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7769
    #2175628

    B-Man let me start by saying this should be really fun so enjoy.

    My thoughts are to stick frame and if you can incorporate a walk-out, do it.

    Post frame (pole shed building?) a lot of issues to address and may not be any savings vs. a stick frame.
    A-Frame’s are just plain stupid. (sorry if I offended anyone) The space is poorly used IMHO.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5829
    #2175629

    Well what do the boys think you should do? I am sure they have an opinion. jester

    MX1825
    Participant
    Posts: 1116
    #2175632

    How much storage space you looking for? How much ceiling height? Will help making suggestions/decisions. Is this in the woods where it will be shaded?

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175639

    How much storage space you looking for? How much ceiling height? Will help making suggestions/decisions. Is this in the woods where it will be shaded?

    Storage is secondary, I’ll build a garage or pole barn later if it’s not a post frame to begin with.

    As for ceiling height, planning on standard 8′ walls with vaulted trusses (10′-12′ peak inside depending on span/pitch), or half room in attic and half vaulted, etc. Not looking to build a skyscraper.

    Very little shade.

    JoeMX1825
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 8822
    #2175641

    The Home & Cabin show is in a couple of weeks at the Convention Center, its a good place to get ideas and talk to people who live in that market…

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175644

    Well what do the boys think you should do? I am sure they have an opinion. jester

    They’re easy to please mrgreen

    They just want more traps (pic from last night) rotflol

    Attachments:
    1. PXL_20230122_233743949-scaled.jpg

    breakerbreaker
    Participant
    Posts: 139
    #2175660

    Id look modular there are some pretty good manufactures in mn. A few that you would never guess would be. Dynamic homes up in detroit lakes has some nice cabin type floor plans Depending on how far north you are building I would look to order out of Altona, MB and get the exchange rate to your benefit.That can add up to big money savings. Thats just me, I know nothing good luck on your build! coffee

    grizzly
    Participant
    nebraska
    Posts: 721
    #2175661

    Have you considered a shouse. That’s what I am considering

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7769
    #2175667

    The Home & Cabin show is in a couple of weeks at the Convention Center, its a good place to get ideas and talk to people who live in that market…

    The Timber frame contractors are amazing, simply amazing!!! I’ll take one of those over a log built every time.

    breakerbreaker
    Participant
    Posts: 139
    #2175670

    he said not a million dollars rotflol . They are gorgeous however so cozy Id live in one of those cant even remotely afford one much less a full log one (looking at you golden eagle)

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4153
    #2175671

    Do you have anything more specific for a budget?

    We just finished a 3800sq ft home with walkout basement. I can share via PM more details with pricing, materials, design, etc if you wish but it sounds like you have plenty of knowledge.

    For starters, I’d probably avoid a shouse or pole type building. In my opinion the cost savings is not what many think it is in present times. I’d also look at 9’ sidewalls/ceilings and vault from there in an open area if you wish. It’s amazing how much just 9’ sidewalls opens up a place even if it’s not a huge footprint.

    carver
    Participant
    West Metro
    Posts: 547
    #2175676

    We were close to building right when Covid started. Then lumber prices spiked.

    Some things that we wanted in our forever home which was in the north woods. It was slab on grade. One level living so when we got older there were no steps. All walls were 9ft. Spare bed rooms and bathrooms had a normal ceilings. Living room was open and opened into the kitchen with a double wide island. Vaulted ceilings in there and the master bedroom as well.

    Total sq of the living space was 1900 I believe. The garage was somewhere around 30×38 with 12ft ceilings.

    Some other key things to think about were on the lot you will have your well and septic and where you have your utility room at to house all that stuff. Well drillers like flat land and No rocks. But by me there are rocks the size of Volkswagens so they can get through them if needed. Also contact them and ask how deep the wells are in the area so you can get ballpark price. Also contact the power company to see that price. I was shocked when I got that price from them.

    Sorry for the brain dump

    Beast
    Participant
    Posts: 845
    #2175684

    You got a stack of logs, get out your ax and go Daniel Boone on them. chased

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175688

    Do you have anything more specific for a budget?

    We just finished a 3800sq ft home with walkout basement. I can share via PM more details with pricing, materials, design, etc if you wish but it sounds like you have plenty of knowledge.

    For starters, I’d probably avoid a shouse or pole type building. In my opinion the cost savings is not what many think it is in present times. I’d also look at 9’ sidewalls/ceilings and vault from there in an open area if you wish. It’s amazing how much just 9’ sidewalls opens up a place even if it’s not a huge footprint.

    For our first year budget I plan on spending $50-70k out of pocket and go from there (knowing it will be much, much more). The well, septic and power are going to take a big chunk (budgeting $25,000 +/-), but would wait until next year if permitting allows. Permits and designs will eat up a few grand too.

    As for the cabin itself, the majority of costs will be in materials. I’ll dig the footings/basement, hire out the forming/pouring, backfill/compact myself, install pex and foam myself, then frame, roof, sheath, and finish the exterior (with a buddy when needed). If I can get a water tight shell by Thanksgiving I’d be more than happy.

    For the exterior I’m planning on steel (hidden fasteners on the front side facing side wall(s), with a stone wainscoting). I’d do all of the stone work too (did a ton of it years ago), it’s easy but time consuming. I’m open to ideas but want it to be virtually zero maintenance.

    Doors and windows are a small fortune themselves, but my Dad is in the business and I could get them at wholesale.

    From there (likely the following year) I’d do 90% of the electrical and pay a buddy to hook up the panel and give a pre-inspection. For HVAC I’d hire a buddy to install a boiler and possibly mini-splits, or look into forced air and/or a geothermal set-up (I could dig/install the geo-thermal, and would install the duct work).

    Internal plumbing would be 90% me with a buddy for consultation to meet code (relatively simple set-up with one full bath and a kitchen). I shouldn’t need a lift pump which makes life easier.

    Insulation I’d do myself, but dig into hiring out if going with sprayfoam.

    For interior finishing I’d do virtually everything myself (framing interior walls, hanging rock, mudding/taping, paneling, t&g, painting, flooring, hanging doors, trim, etc)

    I know it’s a giant undertaking for a busy Dad, but I love building stuff mrgreen

    The thing is…..Now’s the time to do it.

    Some of you may remember a post last year about trying to buy a lake cabin across the road, but the owner’s son did…

    So….the kids are young and not into full time obligations, and I’m just young enough to pull it off.

    And my job as a utility foreman has the benefit of having 4 months a year to do whatever I please. Might as well make some sweat equity mrgreen

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4153
    #2175689

    We were close to building right when Covid started. Then lumber prices spiked.

    Some things that we wanted in our forever home which was in the north woods. It was slab on grade. One level living so when we got older there were no steps. All walls were 9ft. Spare bed rooms and bathrooms had a normal ceilings. Living room was open and opened into the kitchen with a double wide island. Vaulted ceilings in there and the master bedroom as well.

    Total sq of the living space was 1900 I believe. The garage was somewhere around 30×38 with 12ft ceilings.

    Some other key things to think about were on the lot you will have your well and septic and where you have your utility room at to house all that stuff. Well drillers like flat land and No rocks. But by me there are rocks the size of Volkswagens so they can get through them if needed. Also contact them and ask how deep the wells are in the area so you can get ballpark price. Also contact the power company to see that price. I was shocked when I got that price from them.

    Sorry for the brain dump

    Good point on the power when thinking about budget.

    Xcel wanted $31k (no frost rate either as it was summer) to bring our power in about ~1200’…and that was 18 months ago so it’s probably more now

    Corey sunderman
    Participant
    Posts: 51
    #2175691

    Where is this going to be located? Some counties are going to want a slab on grade engineered plans and will add to the price.

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175692

    Bucky I talked with our local power company last fall and it wasn’t too bad.

    They wanted $900 for the installation and road boring fee (power is buried on the lake side of the road) and $6 a foot from there (I’d need 250′ tops).

    Attachments:
    1. Screenshot_20230123-214453.png

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175695

    Where is this going to be located? Some counties are going to want a slab on grade engineered plans and will add to the price.

    I talked with the building inspector last week, it all depends on the square footage and design.

    We didn’t go too into detail since I’m still open to any/all ideas, but either way it didn’t sound over the top $$$$

    B-man
    Participant
    Posts: 4180
    #2175697

    You got a stack of logs, get out your ax and go Daniel Boone on them. chased

    mrgreen

    The boys have asked more than once for us to build them a log bunkhouse out of them toast

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4153
    #2175699

    Bucky I talked with our local power company last fall and it wasn’t too bad.

    They wanted $900 for the installation and road boring fee (power is buried on the lake side of the road) and $6 a foot from there (I’d need 250′ tops).

    That’s a steal with today’s labor rates. $6 a foot run to your house is absurd.

    I ended up telling the power company to come in the free 100’ and install a panel…then I tag teamed the rest of the manual labor for the other 1100’ with the electrician and it was still over $6 a foot

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 10355
    #2175704

    If you go with a slab or poured walls, which I highly recommend both. I know a guy toast

    Joe Jarl
    Participant
    SW Wright County
    Posts: 850
    #2175705

    We are in the process of doing the same thing. Replacing our old cabin/bunkhouse on Big Sandy with a 28×40 A-frame with a 2nd level loft. A-frames may not be the best on utilizing square footage like EPG said, but we do like the character of them. Ease of build is a plus, since I’m performing as much of the work as I can. Initially we were planning a SOG, but the FW wanted a basement. We’ve compromised and are putting in a basement. I was open to CMU, poured, or ICF. The concrete contractor we’re going with only does ICF and we found out very few in the area will do anything but. A little spendy, but is a good system IMO. I’m choosing not to try do that work myself, but ICF is an option for the DIY’r, especially if you know some concrete guys that would help.

    I will add, lumber is the only part of our budget that has dropped in price. Everything else continues to go up. I would try nail down a design sooner than later and keep a close eye on lumber prices so that you can purchase before they start to rise again.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4153
    #2175736

    ^+1 on the ICF. That’s what we did and I doubt I’d ever do another build differently.

    Angler II
    Participant
    Posts: 490
    #2175740

    Stick built slab on grade with in floor heat. Split the garage and living quarters 50/50. Mini splits in both garage and living side for AC. Simple and cheap….ish.

    big_g
    Participant
    Isle, MN
    Posts: 19890
    #2175749

    Stick built slab on grade with in floor heat. Split the garage and living quarters 50/50. Mini splits in both garage and living side for AC. Simple and cheap….ish.

    Kind of what I did.. 26×28, built it 10 years ago, 2 levels, with plans to finish half the lower garage into living space. No in floor heat. Finishing the project as we speak.. added kitchen and bath and small living area lower level, flooring going in thursday, cabinets saturday and bunch of finish work.

    Brad Dimond
    Participant
    Posts: 916
    #2175756

    If possible put a porch on the west side of the cabin, extend the roof over the porch. Great space for warm weather eating, happy hour, useful during rain.

    Nodakk
    Participant
    Posts: 260
    #2175757

    Just got done recently building our new home and GC’ing the project myself. We went with a floating slab single level with a 8/12 vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/living area. We always wanted a wall of windows with a view of the lake.

    Take time planning and think about everything 3 times lol. Crazy how many times we changed our minds on something and how many things we would already of wanted to do differently.

    One big factor to the design would be if you are planning on using year round. If your doing a floating slab, you’ll be installing infloor and running it all winter to keep frost away. I am in the plumbing/HVAC industry and you can PM me system questions. We went with an infloor system with central air, also an Aprilaire and ERV. Total comfort and humidity control. Also did a side arm tank from the boiler to heat our hot water. Much more efficient than a water heater.

    Other things I would definitely surrounding our hobbies that we incorporated. Tall sidewalls in the garage, tallest garage doors you need (if you plan on another wheelhouse), 18’ wide double door, insulated and heated with infloor, garage walls and ceiling lined with pole barn tin, floor drain, ceiling fans in the garage, 30 amp RV outlet, hot water spigot with hose reel, and a utility sink in the garage.

    Angler II
    Participant
    Posts: 490
    #2175761

    Just got done recently building our new home and GC’ing the project myself. We went with a floating slab single level with a 8/12 vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/living area. We always wanted a wall of windows with a view of the lake.

    Take time planning and think about everything 3 times lol. Crazy how many times we changed our minds on something and how many things we would already of wanted to do differently.

    One big factor to the design would be if you are planning on using year round. If your doing a floating slab, you’ll be installing infloor and running it all winter to keep frost away. I am in the plumbing/HVAC industry and you can PM me system questions. We went with an infloor system with central air, also an Aprilaire and ERV. Total comfort and humidity control. Also did a side arm tank from the boiler to heat our hot water. Much more efficient than a water heater.

    Other things I would definitely surrounding our hobbies that we incorporated. Tall sidewalls in the garage, tallest garage doors you need (if you plan on another wheelhouse), 18’ wide double door, insulated and heated with infloor, garage walls and ceiling lined with pole barn tin, floor drain, ceiling fans in the garage, 30 amp RV outlet, hot water spigot with hose reel, and a utility sink in the garage.

    X 100

    bzzsaw
    Participant
    Hudson, Wi
    Posts: 3156
    #2175798

    We built our cabin 25 years ago and it sounds pretty similar to what your considering. We were limited with the size we could build based on our lot set backs. My dad was a masonry contractor and I worked for him through school so footings, basement, concrete were very reasonable. I was the general contractor and hired some subs, or enlisted friends and family to help. I ended up going with a Wausau home kit. It was 24 X 36 with 2 bedrooms and a bath on main floor. It has a loft where we have our master bedroom. It has a walkout basement. I worked with a Wausau dealer in Centerville (I think). He ordered the kit and had it set on the foundation. It only took a day to set the panels and had plywood on the roof. Hired my wifes uncle to put on the shingles, soffet and facia. Had my brother inlaw put on the fake log siding and corners. Worked with my father inlaw to build 12 X 24 decks on lake side main floor and walk out plus entry deck. Finished the front half of basement within 3 years of initial build. Added a second bath in basement at that time. Also added numerous retaining walls around cabin in first few years. The kit came semi pre-wired but had to pull wires between wall panels and to the main panel in the basement. Added additional fixtures (outlets and lights) as desired. I hired the plumbing and heat. I hired the dry wall and taping too. At the time, I believe the kit cost a bit more than 60K. My dad put in a gas stone fireplace upstairs and a masonary stone fireplace in the basement. Guessing we have close to 150K into it now including septic (holding tank) and well. Unbelievable how much I learned over the years. I met a guy up in Minong early on our build and have bought tons of various wood (pine) from him. Fire place mantels, logs for making end tables/coffee tables, bar tops, shelves, steps, kitchen table top, knotty pine for walls and ceiling, etc. Anything I needed, I would call him and he could make it. He was very reasonable. We had just got married when we started so we didn’t have a million dollar budget. Let me know if you have any questions or want to stop by Cumberland to check it out. You might get some ideas on do’s and don’ts.

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