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Floor Joists : How will we do them?

How do we install the floor joists?

We started with our lumber which is 2x10x16 foot #2 Prime Pressure Treated Lumber that we purchased from Lowe’s at the end of October in 2020. I just want to point out that the prices had already gone through the roof when ordering these materials, but now they are still even another 52% higher at the time I’m writing this than when we purchased the lumber. I think with the pandemic and so many supply chain issues, it might be awhile before prices go back down.

Then Mike of course has done this before, but I’ve never installed floor joists. So I had to learn how to do it! One thing for sure is that we definitely have too much overlap. We will have to take these down before we finish the rest to cut them down to size. The overlap of wood beams should be about 2 feet, but we ended up with 10 feet dead on. We’ll be cutting those 2x12x10 Douglas Fir down to size before we finish the rest. We’ll use the scraps to wrap around the outside of the subfloor and also for the blocking in between each floor joist. Watch our video on YouTube to see how we did it!

We actually put these up somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I’ve been holding onto this footage for a bit, but I had some technical difficulties with my editing library where all of my footage is stored. As a result, I’m just cleaning up the footage, and posting them instead of waiting until we finish this portion of the project.

What is our background with the construction process?

This is my first time doing this kind of construction, but Mike has replaced floor joists in the past. His construction experience is not quite as limited as mine, but I do know that he built a nice little workshop shed in Denver. I even managed to help slightly on that project by handing him tools or helping hold up the wall. I even did a little painting, and learned why you don’t paint when it’s cold outside. That shed was peeling before the end of a year. At least I know what NOT to do next time!

What are you working on now?

It’s still pretty cold here in the mountains of Colorado, and so we are working on maintenance projects while we wait for the weather to warm up a bit more. We have several automotive repairs that need to happen and we need to replenish our firewood piles for this year and for the coming seasons. I have started a side channel on YouTube called, “The Lazy A-Hole Recliner Show” where I am following those side projects I’ve mentioned. This week I’m talking firewood and the Swedish method for fire starting.

I have also made videos on welding, cooking, and gardening as well on the secondary channel. I’m always open to suggestions, so if there’s something in particular that you’d like to see us take on, leave a comment on any of the videos or in the comment section of this blog.

We also have to finish the leach field for the septic next door at Mike’s mom’s house, and you ‘ll see that video hopefully soon, and I’ve started getting everything together to start my seeds. We are again still just waiting for slightly warmer weather to get started on all of these outdoor projects. Until then, I invite you to follow along as I tackle a whole host of other side projects and life on the ranch.

How much does building an arched cabin cost?

Today’s Costs for ALL of the floor joists for the subfloor, and not just what we did in the video::

Lag Bolts for all of the floor joists, and I believe this also includes the lost 1/4′ x 1 1/2″ – 80 of them $.21 each – $16.80
Floor joists 2x10c16 Pressure treated #2 – 60 of them @$22.48 (Price is already up to $38.67 4 months later!) – $1348.80

Total for materials this week: $1365.60

20 X 32 Arched Cabin House Kit: $13,032.50. (paid in 2017 and includes the delivery cost)
Architect to finish plans for permits & help navigate some building department stuff. $1570
Initial Soil Testing $1550
Open Hole Inspection $325
Driveway Permit $50
Pre-Site Inspection $40
Permits $1797
Excavation $14,062.70 (we ran into the septic line at one point, plus there’s also an easement being installed between our place and Mike’s Mom’s place)


Power Drop $3026
Concrete $1020.40
Shipping Container $3344.25 – Will become a workshop after the build
Tile & Sink for downstairs bathroom $563.10
Meter Box Install – $448.20
Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.
Water line from the control pit to the house  $321.15 or about $7.14/linear foot
Power line from the pole to the house $596.54 or about $4.77/linear foot
Beams & Supports tied together (Welding & Materials) – $275.60
2″ Angle Iron x 3/16″ thick – 32′ $56.07
Labor (cutting steel to fit in the bed of the truck) $6

Total Cost (excluding land) $43,614.59 (including this week’s metal working supplies)

Products used during this week’s adventure of floor joists!


Arched Cabin House Kit
2x10x16 Pressure Treated Lumber
1/4 x 1 1/2″ lag screws
Milwaukee 3/8″ Cordless Ratchet (Affiliate Link)

Ways to support our journey if you wish

Watch us on YouTube – Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Buy Soap!

Become a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)

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Fabricating & Welding Brackets for our Arched Cabin

Fabricating & welding the brackets for the floor joists

This week I am showing you the process of fabricating & welding the brackets for our foundation. These brackets will hold the floor joists to the metal beams that we have welded to the concrete and metal piers. On the plans they call for these brackets to be 32″ on center. Then they explained to us that the floor joists are to be tied together using blocking, but Mike & I felt like we’d prefer the floor to be sturdier. As a result, we’re welding the brackets every 16″ on center to ensure a nice, solid structure.

fabricating & welding brackets for the arched cabin
Ali about to be fabricating & welding some brackets!

How much does building an arched cabin cost?

Today’s Costs for fabricating & welding:
2″ Angle Iron x 3/16″ thick – 32′ $56.07
Labor (cutting steel to fit in the bed of the truck) $6

Total for materials this week: $62.07

20 X 32 Arched Cabin House Kit: $13,032.50. (paid in 2017 and includes the delivery cost)
Architect to finish plans for permits & help navigate some building department stuff. $1570
Initial Soil Testing $1550
Open Hole Inspection $325
Driveway Permit $50
Pre-Site Inspection $40
Permits $1797
Excavation $14,062.70 (we ran into the septic line at one point, plus there’s also an easement being installed between our place and Mike’s Mom’s place)
Power Drop $3026
Concrete $1020.40
Shipping Container $3344.25 – Will become a workshop after the build
Tile & Sink for downstairs bathroom $563.10
Meter Box Install – $448.20
Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.
Water line from the control pit to the house  $321.15 or about $7.14/linear foot
Power line from the pole to the house $596.54 or about $4.77/linear foot
Beams & Supports tied together (Welding & Materials) – $275.60

Total Cost (excluding land) $42,248.99 (including this week’s metal working supplies)

Products used during this week’s adventure of fabricating & welding

.030 Flux Core mig welding wire (affiliate link)
Hobart Handler 210MPV Mig Welder (affiliate link)
Arched Cabin House Kit
Glaser Steel in Colorado Springs
Better Welding Gloves (affiliate link, not pictured in this video)
Aluminized Glove Back-Pad (affiliate link, not pictured in this video)
Contact Tips (affiliate link)
Nozzle for flux core (affiliate link)
Evolution S380CPS 15″ Metal Chop Saw (affiliate link)

Ways to support our journey if you wish

Watch us on YouTube – Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Buy Soap!

Become a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)


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Welding the Beams to the foundation

Welding the beams to the foundation

This week we’re welding the beams to the foundation in our video along with the supports. We are one step closer to putting the kit together, and just a few steps away from that monumental day! The beams were provided as part of our steel house kit from Arched Cabins. The supports were made from 2″ square tube, which we purchased from a local steel supplier. I’ll get into those costs a little later in this post.

What’s next after welding the beams to the foundation?

Next up, I will be showing the process as I fabricated the brackets which will attach our floor joists to the beams. I will also be showing you the rest of the cleanup process for the arched cabin kit. You’ll also get to watch me weld! I struggled to figure some things out, but in the end I learn quite a bit about welding in general. Nothing helps you improve quite like repeating the same process for 2 full days!

welding the beams to the foundation
Mike welding the supports to connect the piers to the beams for the arched cabin foundation

How much does this process cost?

Today’s Costs:
2″ (3/16″ wall) Square Tube for Supports between piers and beams + Cuts $137.96
Welding Wire from Welding City on Amazon 10 lb spools x 2 @ $39.99 each $79.98 total
Better Welding Gloves (not pictured in this video) – $24.99
Aluminized Glove Back Pad (not pictured in this video) – $7.99
Contact Tips for .030 wire – $15.69
Nozzle for flux core – $8.99

Total for materials this week: $275.60

20 X 32 Arched Cabin House Kit: $13,032.50. (paid in 2017 and includes the delivery cost)
Architect to finish plans for permits & help navigate some building department stuff. $1570
Initial Soil Testing $1550
Open Hole Inspection $325
Driveway Permit $50
Pre-Site Inspection $40
Permits $1797
Excavation $14,062.70 (we ran into the septic line at one point, plus there’s also an easement being installed between our place and Mike’s Mom’s place)
Power Drop $3026
Concrete $1020.40
Shipping Container $3344.25 – Will become a workshop after the build
Tile & Sink for downstairs bathroom $563.10
Meter Box Install – $448.20
Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.
Water line from the control pit to the house  $321.15 or about $7.14/linear foot
Power line from the pole to the house $596.54 or about $4.77/linear foot

Total Cost (excluding land) $42,186.92 (including this week’s metal working supplies)

Products used during this week’s Video

.030 Flux Core mig welding wire (affiliate link)
Hobart Handler 210MPV Mig Welder (affiliate link)
Arched Cabin House Kit
Glaser Steel in Colorado Springs
Better Welding Gloves (affiliate link, not pictured in this video)
Aluminized Glove Back-Pad (affiliate link, not pictured in this video)
Contact Tips (affiliate link)
Nozzle for flux core (affiliate link)
Evolution S380CPS 15″ Metal Chop Saw (affiliate link)

Ways to support our journey if you wish

Watch us on YouTube – Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Buy Soap!

Become a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)


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Welding the Beams for the Arched Cabin Foundation

After cleaning up the beams it was time to get them all welded up and into the position where they will need to be. These suckers are heavy, but thankfully we don’t have to drag them around anymore!

Welding the Beams for the Arched Cabin Foundation

We are finally building this house! Mike is welding the beams for the arched cabin foundation in this video. He used a Hobart Handler 210MVP with flux core wire, and burned everything in nice and hot. We are getting ready to weld on some brackets that I made while he was welding up the beam supports and some plates over the joints. I’m so excited to be getting started on the house!

Products in the video

Fireball Tool Squares – https://fireballtool.com/

Other ways to support us

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Arched Cabin Water Line is Complete!

Our Arched Cabin water line is all set up and ready for the next step

Our arched cabin water line was supposed to be an easy hook up, but we think it’s going to be a challenge in the end.
The previous owner had done some of the groundwork. So we anticipated a really easy hookup. However, there’s a lot of things he hadn’t completed. The stuff that we did find didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I think it’s going to take us some time to figure out what exactly he did.

What did we use for our water line?

I think pretty much every single seeking tool in the arsenal was used for this. We even dragged out the metal detector! In the end, Mike and I put the backhoe to work as well as good old fashioned shoveling. We used a hammer drill to bore through the concrete riser and place our conduit. The backhoe has been good for what I’m calling, “exploratory surgery.”
We’re able to dig test holes fairly quickly and put them back together in more or less the same condition it was in when we found it. I’m pretty sure that the previous owner would have some things to say about his previously billiard table flat build site.

Arched Cabin Water Line is Installed!

The Cost for the arched cabin water line as well as the project

Costs for the water line are as follows:
100 feet of 3/4″ Pex $21.50
2 inch Schedule 40 PVC conduit 10′ each x 20 – $130.80 or $6.54 each
2 inch Schedule 40 PVC elbow 90° x 2 $5.72 or $2.86 each
Coupler PVC $.99
PVD 45° bend $3.79
2 1/2″ PVC Cutter $22.48
Electrical Cable 250 feet are $138.73
Total cost of water line from control pit to house $321.15 or about $7.14/linear foot

20 X 32 Arched Cabin House Kit: $13,032.50. (paid in 2017 and includes the delivery cost)
Architect to finish plans for permits & help navigate some building department stuff. $1570
Initial Soil Testing $1550
Open Hole Inspection $325
Driveway Permit $50
Pre-Site Inspection $40
Permits $1797
Excavation $14,062.70 (we ran into the septic line at one point, plus there’s also an easement being installed between our place and Mike’s Mom’s place)
Power Drop $3026
Concrete $1020.40
Shipping Container $3344.25 – Will become a workshop after the build
Tile & Sink for downstairs bathroom $563.10
Meter Box Install – $448.20
Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.

Total Cost (excluding land) $41, 314.78 (including today’s water line)

Ways to support our journey if you wish

Watch us on YouTube – Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Buy Soap!

Become a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)


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Ep 121 – Power – Meter & Breaker Box Installation

meter box
Time to level up!

Power!

We are getting so close to putting this house up guys! I’m seriously losing my mind at how close we are. We needed to get the power install going because using a generator gets old really fast. The power drop was installed almost 2 years ago, and we’ve payed our dues on the build site. That being said, it was the logical next step in the process to make the rest of the build go more smoothly.

Where to start? Your power company is going to be the ones who set the guidelines for how the meter goes on your power pole. You can either hire an electrician to do this or if you’re remotely handy you can do this yourself. Here’s a link to the document that we had to follow, in case you are curious. Once you’ve gone over the guidelines, it’s just time to order your supplies and get cracking!

Supplies & cost for the project

Here is a cost breakdown for the parts we purchased:


The box, ground bus, and adapter for the conduit $175.50
Weather head $18
Conduit $115.50
Power cable to go into conduit $65.50
Brackets to hold conduit to pole $4.16
20 AMP breaker $6.59
GFI receptacle $23.99
Fittings $7.98
wiring for the box $15.99
weatherproof box $14.99

Total cost $448.20

I’m going to say that we paid less than half of what it would cost to hire an electrician for the job. I feel confident in this choice because our install is being looked at by trained professionals, and I’m confident that Mike did a decent job on the project because he knows what he’s looking at. If you’re curious how much it cost us to have the power drop put in, check out this blog post I did on the power drop.

Conclusion

I really feel like choosing to do this ourselves is going to save us an astronomical amount of money. You can’t go wrong, but I’m sure many will tell us that we’ve lost our minds. Just because we may not know how to do something now, doesn’t mean that given the opportunity we can’t learn. Part of being a human being is that we are capable of so much more than we realize. You just have to be bold enough to get out there and fail a lot. Try things and fail miserably at them, because you’ll learn not just about the subject matter that you’re working with. You will also learn so much about who you are and what you’re truly capable of.

Ways to Support Our Journey If You Wish

Watch us on YouTube, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Buy some of Ali’s Handmade Soap!

Support us by becoming a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

To learn about the costs associated so far with building your own home, read this post here.

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website!





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Septic – Failed Inspection and the Fix

Check out our video on YouTube

The Septic Issue

We were super confident about our septic setup going into this inspection. HAHA. It’s our first mistake. Okay, so it wasn’t a huge fail, just a fail light. We needed to have the clean out within 5 feet of the house. It needed to be a double sweep so it could clean in either direction. All in all, not a big deal so we just cut in the proper clean out the next day. That will be inspected along with our electrical likely next week.

What’s Next After the Septic is Done?

Next up, Mike and I are working on the electrical. We have hung the meter/breaker box combo on the pole, and we just need to cut and hang the conduit and snake head/cobra head thing at the top before we call for the inspection. After that we’ll need to trench in the conduit for the house, and run that to where that copper wire is in the pier. Our power will come into that corner of the house. After that we just need to run our water and propane lines, and we’ll be done with trenching as far as I know. The septic is done though, and that’s all that matters to me!

How much did this part of the Project Cost?

50 feet of Schedule 40 PVC pipe for the Poop Tube was $102.20.
Fittings for PVC pipe $19.23
Sweep and Other Misc fittings for the Fix $31.87
PVC Cement $6.59
PVC Primer $4.59

Total Cost for the run from the Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.

I took very, very rough measurements at the beginning of the process, so we’d know about how much pipe/conduit we’d need for each service line. The septic was measured at roughly 47.5 feet total. Mike purchased 50′ of schedule 40 PVC, and we salvaged some of the septic line that Mike and Bob found in the driveway while doing the excavation, and we used that salvaged pipe for the upright portion and 45˚ bends down to the line in the trench. So total cost per foot comes out to.

My Hope

I hope that someone out there will get something out of my blog posts and tracking the costs associated with building your own house. We got extremely lucky on a couple of fronts on our journey, but I really feel like once anyone gets themselves onto their path, those opportunities have a way of showing up when you’re needing them the most. Truly, it’s never apparent until much later.

There isn’t a whole lot in the way of employment out where we live, so we have gotten by on a variety of part time jobs and handyman/mechanic type jobs. We make just above the poverty line, so you really don’t need a massive income to decide that you’re sick of humanity and want to go off and live in the woods. We are doing it. Yes, we’ve had to ask for help on several occasions. I’ve been able to pay back at least one parent while still maintaining this very slow momentum.
My hope is that someone out there realizes that there’s no time like the present, and takes the steps to follow their own dreams.

Conclusion

We are up against a few obstacles, and because of those obstacles it is going to take awhile to build the house. Yes, we have absolutely had a few fortunate turn of events that helped us, but It wasn’t something we had counted on.

We don’t have any revenue at this point from YouTube or Sponsorships or anything like that. It’s just the two of us doing this with the occasional friend or family member dropping by to assist. I thank those of you who have done that. It means a great deal to me.
My point is that you can do anything if you truly set your mind to the task. Even if it’s one spoonful of dirt at a time.

Septic Fix - the added cleanout
Here is the clean out we added in after the failed inspection

Ways to Support Our Journey If You Wish

Watch us on YouTube – Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Buy Soap!

Become a Patron!

Subscribe to us on Subscribe Star!

To learn about the costs associated so far with building your own home, read this post here.

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)



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Concrete Slab for Lazy Daisy Hideaway

Marilyn’s Concrete Slab and Our Journey

I am excited to share that Mike’s mom has her concrete slab for her house! In this video we watch them pour the slab.

I talk about who we are, where we came from, why we started this journey, and why things have been slow going. This video comes with a warning that it’s not an easy story, but it has shaped us as humans.

We have all been suffering from several losses, with more being piled on as time goes on. All I can say is that we just do our best to move forward. Life doesn’t stop when your heart breaks. All we can do is try our best, and that is where we are at now.

Now What?

At this point, we are continuing forward. We have finished the septic line for the Arched Cabin, and that is going to be inspected by the time you’re reading this. Next we will be putting in the box for the meter and getting the conduit run for the power line, and then we’ll have that inspected. After the power line we will likely move onto the water line and possibly the frost free hydrant as well as sorting out our run for the propane.

Thank you so much for supporting us on this crazy journey, and thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through our grief. We love you all, and appreciate each and every one of you.

Concrete Slab
a concrete slab for a stick built home in the mountains of Colorado

More Information

Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Check out their website.

Become a Patron!

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To learn about the costs associated so far with building your own home, read this post here.

Love you!

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Stick Build Beam Placement Mom’s House #118

Stick Build

At the same time as we are building our house, Mike’s mom has a stick build going up next door. Hopefully this isn’t too confusing for those of you who are following along.

Her house is being built traditionally, by an actual builder. Mike does occasionally find a place to scrub in though.
Mike helped out in this week’s video by welding the beams in place after they were lifted into position by Bob the Builder and all of the guys.

Why Stick Build?

Mike’s mom has spent a great deal of time traveling around to look at various tiny homes. A great deal of research also went into the various kit build homes and simple plans for a DIY build, but she just wasn’t seeing anything that really resonated with her.
She finally made the decision to go with a local builder, and they have been working on her place for the last two months.

How will you showcase each build?

We are slightly out of sync with the videos as she is a bit ahead of us. As we are getting things rolling, we are hoping to do a comparison. I thought it would be interesting to show everyone the similarities and differences between a kit house, and a traditional stick build.We won’t have exact costs for her build, but we will be sharing our own costs. I honestly don’t think there will be a substantial difference other than she is paying for the labor and expertise. We are just winging it on our end!

Interested in the Arched Cabin?

Click here to visit the Arched Cabins website, and get started on your very own house build before the snow flies!

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Stick Build Beam Placement
StiSitkThe beams and posts for the stick build going on next door at Mike’s Mom’s house.
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Arched Cabin Foundation Concrete Pour – Ep 117

Arched Cabin Foundation

We have finally begun construction on the arched cabin starting with the Arched Cabin foundation! Currently, we are still waiting for materials to run all of the service lines into the house, but just a couple of weeks ago we were setting up the foundation! We should hopefully have the shell up before the snow flies, depending on how quickly we get our building materials delivered.

What’s Next?

Next up, we are currently working on running all of our service lines into the house. Septic has been located, and we got some of our materials in for the meter and power drop. We are just waiting on some building supplies for that step, and with everything going on in the world right now that’s a challenge. Building supplies are apparently in high demand at the moment or their sources are having trouble obtaining supplies. Either way, the supply chain is making stuff a wee bit slow going at the moment.

What are we planning?

We are planning to run water, power, septic, and propane all at once as we have to get all of those trenches inspected. We also have to get some 2″ square tube to weld to the columns. Those will be used to to secure the columns to the I beams. Those I beams are where Mike and I will be building the subfloor and erecting the Arched Cabin. We are getting going, but it’s still a lot of hurry up and wait. We can’t wait too long though, because we’re already at the end of August.

Arched Cabin Foundation Pour
Mike uses the gooooooolden mallet to knock air bubbles out of the concrete in the sonotube.

If you are interested in supporting us in other ways, you can always buy some soap!

Are you wanting to learn more about the cost associated with the project so far? click here.

Do you want to purchase your own arched cabin. Visit their website here.