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maxsdad
01-11-2010, 02:44 PM
This summer my two sons and I are going to build a log home in South Park.
Other than the excavating/foundation and rough plumbing/electrical, we will be trying to do most of the work ourselves.
As the time to start approaches, I become more and more stressed out, wondering if we can actually do this.
Wondering if anyone else in the club has ever been involved in building one, and if there's any advice they can pass on.
Thanks in advance, Rob

wesintl
01-11-2010, 03:18 PM
you can do it. is someone going to build the shell or are you? I help build a cabin in the va mountains with my folks and their partners. There are some books on ele and plumbing and if it's a small cabin you should be able to do that yourself easily. We built our plumbing so that it could be drained in the winter when not there. Otherwise you need to keep the heat on all winter so the pipes don't freeze. once you turned on the water it only took a few mintues for the hot water tank to to fill before you could turn that on. Worked sweet.

maxsdad
01-11-2010, 03:39 PM
Log package is being delivered on June 1st in a big pile near the foundation...from there on it's up to Max, Kiel and I...I may ask a guy I know for some help with the framing, but everything else is us.
It's actually not a cabin...it's more of a house with a walk-out basement..no furnace, but pellet stove and baseboard heaters in the bedrooms...good point about plumbing in winter..have to figure that one out...
Need Plumber to hook up into the septic and plumb out the bathroom fixtures(Our plumber told us that even though it was not a permanent residence, we would have to plumb for a washer...never heard of that before)....and electrician to install the panel...most everything else we can do ourselves after...


you can do it. is someone going to build the shell or are you? I help build a cabin in the va mountains with my folks and their partners. There are some books on ele and plumbing and if it's a small cabin you should be able to do that yourself easily. We built our plumbing so that it could be drained in the winter when not there. Otherwise you need to keep the heat on all winter so the pipes don't freeze. once you turned on the water it only took a few mintues for the hot water tank to to fill before you could turn that on. Worked sweet.

wesintl
01-11-2010, 03:48 PM
yea it only took maybe 20 min to drain the plumbing and add some anitfreeze to the toilets and drains where needed. There were many times I opened it when it was 0 or below in the winter. We used 2 kerosene heaters to bring it up to temp and then a fireplace and baseboards while there.

Chinking is easy. I worked on a log home when I lived in Aspen. Do you have a crane for the logs?

Blackdiamond72
01-11-2010, 03:53 PM
What are the building laws in the county. I am finishing up my house in gilpin county and I was able to do everything, electrical and plumbing myself without having any contractors. Electrical is state, so they send out an inspector, not the county. Plumbing is easy so long as you watch your slopes and use plenty of venting. To make things easier, run everything in 2" + abs. Pick up a few books on DIY plumbing and electrical, it will help explain lengths you can run before needing a vent and how to wire 3way switches, ect. Code books are useful however, reading one is near impossible, even for electricians. I'd love to come help on my days off, sounds like a great time.

Oh, my house is a SIP so I've learned a few tricks to running electrical in solid walls.

maxsdad
01-11-2010, 04:01 PM
Chinking is easy. I worked on a log home when I lived in Aspen. Do you have a crane for the logs?
We opted for D logs...no chinking necessary. They kind of fit into one another using toungue/groove...Heaviest log is 120 lbs, and there's aonly a couple of those - the rest can be handled by a couple guys on scaffolding when it gets high enough....do need a fork lift to unload the truck though...don't know where to get that from yet...rental store in Fairplay went belly up..

What are the building laws in the county. I am finishing up my house in gilpin county and I was able to do everything, electrical and plumbing myself without having any contractors. Electrical is state, so they send out an inspector, not the county. Plumbing is easy so long as you watch your slopes and use plenty of venting. To make things easier, run everything in 2" + abs. Pick up a few books on DIY plumbing and electrical, it will help explain lengths you can run before needing a vent and how to wire 3way switches, ect. Code books are useful however, reading one is near impossible, even for electricians. I'd love to come help on my days off, sounds like a great time.

Oh, my house is a SIP so I've learned a few tricks to running electrical in solid walls.
Not too familiar with code in Park County...but will check it out...you are right about reading code books though...zzzzzzzzzzzz......
If you're serious about helping, I will provide food and beer - will be up there all of June...even though it's work, it's still great to be out of the city!

wesintl
01-11-2010, 04:04 PM
Cool. sounds fun rob. Hey you built a 40 with no instructions. You'll have plans for the house to look at codes to meet :D Let me know how it goes. I'd love to find some land and do the same thing one day.

ScaldedDog
01-11-2010, 05:48 PM
Do you need a lot in South Park to put it on? I happen to have one for sale... :-)

Mark

Bruce Miller
01-11-2010, 06:10 PM
Our home is a log home from a quality outfit in Victor, MT. We would never do it again. The logs leak cold air like a sieve. Blowing wind makes the situation much worse. Friends of ours near Durango just built a Jim Barna log home and they complain that it leaks cold air, too. We have hot water heat and two pot bellied stoves. When the wind blows, we have a hot fire going in those stoves. The baseboard hot water heaters can't keep up during cold or cold and windy weather. We have 2,000 gallons of propane for the hot water heat and can't get thru the winter without a refill. Our log home is by far the most expensive home to heat that we have ever had.

Maybe, if your log home is a summer retreat, none of this applies.

maxsdad
01-11-2010, 07:09 PM
Thanks, but got a great lot already...Do you need a lot in South Park to put it on? I happen to have one for sale... :-)

Mark

maxsdad
01-11-2010, 07:09 PM
Well that's kind of a downer...
Our home is a log home from a quality outfit in Victor, MT. We would never do it again. The logs leak cold air like a sieve. Blowing wind makes the situation much worse. Friends of ours near Durango just built a Jim Barna log home and they complain that it leaks cold air, too. We have hot water heat and two pot bellied stoves. When the wind blows, we have a hot fire going in those stoves. The baseboard hot water heaters can't keep up during cold or cold and windy weather. We have 2,000 gallons of propane for the hot water heat and can't get thru the winter without a refill. Our log home is by far the most expensive home to heat that we have ever had.

Maybe, if your log home is a summer retreat, none of this applies.

jacdaw
01-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Thanks, but got a great lot already...I think he was talking to Wes...

I have been looking at cob or straw bail construction for a few years, with either timber or steel framing. I think you can effectively insulate a log home, but you might lose aesthetic appeal either on the inside or outside. Maybe you can creatively and beautifully span the gaps with pretty planks backed by high density (wind resistant) insulation? Don't get too discouraged yet!

My brother is a general contractor in Sonoma County, CA and built one of these from scratch: Timber Peg (http://www.timberpeg.com/)
I asked him what the heating bill was. He answered: "These walls and ceilings are about 12" thick - layer upon layer of insulation and air gaps and wood and air gaps and wood and air gaps etc. I think it would be fine. Craziest structure I've ever seen." Check out the finished interior...

http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368672_710240.jpg
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368673_7998398.jpg
http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368675_8072141.jpg
http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368714_1373341.jpg

maxsdad
01-11-2010, 08:18 PM
John - That's absolutely beautiful...and the type of house I envisioned when we first started talking about building - your brother should be proud. Unfortunately, I am not a builder and our budget has gotten smaller these last few years.
However, I am really looking forward to the day when I can look back and say my sons and I built that.
We've already chosen a log home kit company, and believe we've picked just the right home for us. They come highly recommended and use D log construction which when coupled with high insulation standards, are supposed to be quite energy efficient. We'll see....
It is not a permanent residence, but a place to use mostly in the summer and for winter getaways when the city gets too stressful...wait...maybe it will become a full time residence....I think he was talking to Wes...

I have been looking at cob or straw bail construction for a few years, with either timber or steel framing. I think you can effectively insulate a log home, but you might lose aesthetic appeal either on the inside or outside. Maybe you can creatively and beautifully span the gaps with pretty planks backed by high density (wind resistant) insulation? Don't get too discouraged yet!

My brother is a general contractor in Sonoma County, CA and built one of these from scratch: Timber Peg (http://www.timberpeg.com/)
I asked him what the heating bill was. He answered: Check out the finished interior...

http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368672_710240.jpg
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368673_7998398.jpg
http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368675_8072141.jpg
http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2606/167/91/584859383/n584859383_2368714_1373341.jpg

jacdaw
01-11-2010, 08:31 PM
John - That's absolutely beautiful...and the type of house I envisioned when we first started talking about building - your brother should be proud.Heh heh, he's proud for sure, but he just built it, does not live in it.

Just stay inspired, and build your dream. Your heart is totally in the right place. It's good to get feedback early. Finding out about wind invading logs now will help you plan for mitigating it!:thumb:

Corbet
01-11-2010, 08:44 PM
Do you need a lot in South Park to put it on? I happen to have one for sale... :-)

Mark

Better yet move over the pass and buy my lot between Breckenridge and Blue River.

I second Wes's comment about making sure you can drain the plumbing system if you leave the house unattended. Even if you don't, the next owner most likely will, and having that in place will be a selling point in the future.

We were originally looking at building a log home but decided against it for many reasons. If the home will be relatively small most issues are not that apparent. But larger log homes have issues with settling, warping, twisting, etc... in addition to being hard to keep airtight. But its really hard to beat the look and feel of a log home in the mountains.

I'm sure you'll be able to handle the project. Part of me still wishes we would have built on our lot especially as all the hard work was done, getting the permit to build in Summit CO. After that, the construction looked easy :rolleyes:

Bruce, your not alone, we have our 500 gallon tank refilled every month here in Durango and our house is stick built. (Hot water base board heating & domestic hot water) The only place I've ever lived in that cost more to heat was the 100 year old flat I lived in during college in Milwaukee.

60wag
01-11-2010, 10:02 PM
I'd model the thing in Lincoln Logs before assembling it :)

nakman
01-11-2010, 10:07 PM
I'd model the thing in Solid Works before assembling it :)

yeah, me too. :D


Mark, where's your lot? not that I'm in the market or anything, just dreamin..

jacdaw
01-11-2010, 10:23 PM
The Jeremiah Johnson in me is afraid of log cabins in the mountains.:eek:

cbmontgo
01-11-2010, 10:49 PM
This is very cool. I have always dreamed about building a one room log cabin in the mountains as a hunting base and summer retreat with my kids. Can't wait to see where this thread goes and hopefully be inspired to do the same.

jacdaw
01-11-2010, 10:54 PM
re: lincoln logs to solidworks; yeah, me too. :DNak, you crack me up.

Bruiser
01-11-2010, 11:00 PM
Hey, if you need any advice on the home or some information, my brother-in-law is building a house in the Southpark area too. My wife and I have been up to help him at least a dozen times since last summer and the prior fall. He can recommend all the good contractors in the area for the stuff you want to have done. He just had the basement floor poured in for the radiant heating and has just a few doors before the house is completely sealed. Then it is on to all the electrical and plumbing on the inside.

He is the one who got me interested in cruisers and use to have a 77 FJ40. Anyway, shoot me a pm if you would like me to hook you up with him.

Justin

Blackdiamond72
01-12-2010, 06:32 AM
That is a beautiful timber frame house, I have been reading and practicing my mortise and tenon joints now for a few months and hope to build my pole barn garage using a lot of the new skills attained.

I'll do my best to find as much time as possible to come help in June, its a beautiful time of year up there. Is the kit you are buying come with rebar tie downs? What I mean is, usually log homes that I've sean use large drills to screw in huge lag bolts throughout the exterior wall to help tie down the layers. No matter how much kiln drying there was, they will still dry out more and warp, some more than others. I looked at a log home in Coal Creek where you could stand inside and see outside between the logs (sweedish cope). It was very bad on the southern facing wall due to the sun. If you don't mind telling us, who are you getting your kit through? I've heard wonderful things about TJ's Wood Products out of Bailey, all I've got from them were log handrails, but good stuff.

Any pics of the site?

Bruiser
01-12-2010, 07:40 AM
TJ's did my brother-in-laws place and from I know they were very nice, efficient and helpful. They even let us show up on site in Baily to stain the house before they took the structure apart and reassembled it at the lot. It saved a lot of time and helped us get the house stained in warmer weather before winther set in last year. It also meant we could stain most of the place with a 10 ft ladder on level ground.

Justin

zornff
01-12-2010, 08:54 AM
Sounds like a fun project.
Log homes get a bad rap, and sometimes for good reason. Alot of these "log home kits" are not "REAL" log homes, and their tecniques for building and sealing between the so called logs are lacking. When i say not a real log, i mean that they are milled instead of using actual dead, full length, hand peeled trees. We have set logs as long as 55 ft.
The main problem with these kits are that as a kit, they are being marketed toward the DIY. People are led to believe that anyone can build a log home. They call a few buddies to help and away they go, only to get seriously overwhelmed after a day of two.
The main problem with a kit log is usually with the butt ends, corners, and any long length of wall keeping them straight, tight, and plumb. Are the corners of this particular kit saddle notched or butt and pass ? This can make a big difference. Can you post a link for the log company ?
Have you checked your county energy codes that are now statewide ? I ask this because even with 10" average logs, its tough to get heat calculations to work.
I have been building hand crafted log and timberframe homes for 18 years in Colorado, building for 34 years, and featured in various log home magazines 14 times. I am not tooting my own horn, i am saying we have been very fortunate and am here to help if needed.

If you need some advice, i will be happy to talk to you.

Mike

ScaldedDog
01-12-2010, 09:21 AM
Mark, where's your lot? not that I'm in the market or anything, just dreamin..

It's in the Warm Springs subdivision, just south of Fairplay. It's an acre, but is next to association property that backs up to national forest, making the backyard roughly 1.8M acres. :D

Mark

maxsdad
01-12-2010, 10:07 AM
Pics of the home we've chosen, view from the lot it's going on (9 acres), and a link to the manufacturer and description of the home. http://www.coventryloghomes.com/component/option,com_ezrealty/Itemid,132/task,detail/id,76/
Thanks for all the advice so far.
I am not going in with no experience...I used to be a contractor myself...way back, and have renovated many homes as a business. I am pretty hands on, but realize that I may need help from construction professionals from time to time throughout the process.
We did talk to TJs, but found that a true log home, although beautiful, was beyond our budget.

zornff
01-12-2010, 10:24 AM
Awesome.
Good luck with your build and have fun !

Mike

maxsdad
01-12-2010, 11:05 AM
Thanks...I appreciate your offer of advice, and I'm sure I'll be taking you up on it!Awesome.
Good luck with your build and have fun !

Mike

ScaldedDog
01-12-2010, 02:58 PM
Are there going to be women in the house? I learned two lessons from our experience owning a home in Park County, and spending time there with my wife:

1) Have a garage. This is self explanatory if you're going to be up in the winter, but it's true in the summer, too. It rains up there in August. A lot.

2) In the average Park County home, there are exactly two molecules of H2O. As soon as a fire is lit in the fireplace or stove, they leave, and women begin to molt. Ultimately, my wife stopped enjoying her time there, and that was the beginning of the end for our mountain home adventure.

Great looking place you're planning! Hope you enjoy it for a long time!!

Mark

maxsdad
01-12-2010, 03:27 PM
House first...garage next - budget constraints
Yep, my wife, daughter and a bunch of women relatives.
We've actually spent a lot of time up there over the last 5-6 years both in the nearby log home of a friend, and in our trailer.
My wife loves it.

Are there going to be women in the house? I learned two lessons from our experience owning a home in Park County, and spending time there with my wife:

1) Have a garage. This is self explanatory if you're going to be up in the winter, but it's true in the summer, too. It rains up there in August. A lot.

2) In the average Park County home, there are exactly two molecules of H2O. As soon as a fire is lit in the fireplace or stove, they leave, and women begin to molt. Ultimately, my wife stopped enjoying her time there, and that was the beginning of the end for our mountain home adventure.

Great looking place you're planning! Hope you enjoy it for a long time!!

Mark

Jacket
01-12-2010, 03:40 PM
Maybe we need to pool together and create a RS Park County building crew. I've got 4 acres up toward Georgia Pass that could use a nice dwelling.....


2) In the average Park County home, there are exactly two molecules of H2O. As soon as a fire is lit in the fireplace or stove, they leave, and women begin to molt. Ultimately, my wife stopped enjoying her time there, and that was the beginning of the end for our mountain home adventure.

Too funny. Dry and windy is usually the forecast....

Beachboy
01-13-2010, 08:43 PM
It should be a great house. I built a 9,000 sf custom log home in Breckenridge in 1988. Lost it a few years ago with a divorce. A few comments -

1. When you get your logs delivered, each one should be marked with a number. The builder will pre assemble the log home in their lot and when they take them down they whould be numbered to how to put them back together by number. You will need a large area to off-load them.
2. Even D-logs whould have a small piece of insullation between each joint. Make sure they do or you will have leaks. Mine was airtight with no problems. D-logs will have even less problems.
3. They will shrink - ask the manufacture what moisture content they take their logs down to. Should be 15% or less. No matter what you will still get shrinkage - remember this when you put windows, doors and a roof on. You will need about 2-3 inches above each window and door to allow for the settling.
3. When you have the money and time you should put a small bead of chinking or chaulking on the outside of the logs. No you don's need to but the D-logs have enough crack between each logs that you will need to worry about bugs getting in their and eating. I have seen other logs homes that have had to have logs replaced due to the logs being eaten away.
4. Log homes will cost you about 30% more to build than a stick home. But you should save alot on your own work.
If I can be of any more help, let me know.
Brian

maxsdad
06-26-2010, 09:23 PM
Max, Kiel, myself and one other person familiar with log building just got back from a month building what you see...one more day and the full roof would have been finished.....lost 15 pounds....

simps80
06-26-2010, 10:52 PM
unbelievable!!

nice work!!!

That must be very fulfilling, congratulations on your progress, it really looks awesome.

:thumb:

Corbet
06-26-2010, 11:03 PM
Very nice.:clap: Part of me still wishes we could have built our timber frame in Breck.

corsair23
06-26-2010, 11:26 PM
Two :thumb:s up guys

Looks awesome :)

RockRunner
06-27-2010, 11:31 AM
Looks great, way to push on and build your dreams. It is an experience that you and your family will never forget and the bonds created.

How far from 285 and C-470 are you?

maxsdad
06-27-2010, 01:19 PM
I agree...couldn't really afford to do it now, but if we'd waited, wouldn't have been able to get the whole family involved.
It's about 17 miles south of 285 from Como...almost at Hwy 24. (about 5 miles from China wall/Tarryall reservoir)
Looks great, way to push on and build your dreams. It is an experience that you and your family will never forget and the bonds created.

How far from 285 and C-470 are you?

Hulk
06-27-2010, 03:42 PM
Wow, it looks great!

TIMZTOY
06-27-2010, 04:14 PM
beautiful house.. i expectiually love the wrap around porch..

Rezarf
06-27-2010, 04:56 PM
Wow, talk about progress! What a tremendous amount of work accomplished in a month! Unreal... if you need a house sitter, give me a ring! ;)

wesintl
06-27-2010, 07:54 PM
that is awesome Rob!

cbmontgo
06-27-2010, 08:22 PM
That is awesome...

Ron Helmuth
06-30-2010, 08:26 PM
If you schedule a work day up there I am glad to come along and try to help out.

I need supervision but accept instruction well. My only suggestion was going to be that you go ahead and do a garage first-it gives you a good staging area and shelter from bad weather.

But obviously the worst is already over and you have got quite a great start there already. Well done.

Rock Dog
07-01-2010, 02:14 AM
WOW :eek::eek: Very impressive.. for only a month, that is fantastic!! looks like a great home! i would love to do something like that someday...

maxsdad
07-01-2010, 08:44 AM
Thanks for all the 'awesomes'!! Makes it seem all worthwhile. I was very nervous about this project, but it's like anything else you've never done before...doing all the research, making the decision and signing the contract are the hardest steps. Once you get started, it certainly doesn't become easier, but it becomes less stressfull, and watching the progress is way cool.

Thanks for the offer of help - we will be having work days, just not sure when yet. We will need to put rock veneer on the foundation (anyone know where to get it cheap?) installing tongue/groove on the ceilings and walls/general trim work, and general construction clean up. If you're interested I could sure use the help when the time comes.

I also have decided to farm out shingling. I have only ever done this once in the past, and don't feel comfortable doing it again. I will install the ice/snow barrier and drip edge, just need to have the shingles installed. If anyone knows anyone who does this inexpensively, please let me know!

As much as I'd love to have that 2 1/2 car garage, it was just not in the budget for now. I did buy a used temporary garage where we were able to set up a table saw and tool storage areas in case of rain. Luckily we were only rained out one day during June...

If you schedule a work day up there I am glad to come along and try to help out.

I need supervision but accept instruction well. My only suggestion was going to be that you go ahead and do a garage first-it gives you a good staging area and shelter from bad weather.

But obviously the worst is already over and you have got quite a great start there already. Well done.

corsair23
07-01-2010, 02:02 PM
I also have decided to farm out shingling. I have only ever done this once in the past, and don't feel comfortable doing it again. I will install the ice/snow barrier and drip edge, just need to have the shingles installed. If anyone knows anyone who does this inexpensively, please let me know!

Not sure about price by my buddy here at work, his son has a roofing business...If nothing else he could give you a quote and maybe you could work out to have it done when he is slow and needs some business to keep him busy...

Colorado Elite Roofing - Mike Cope
720-427-6505

He can be difficult to get in touch with sometimes though :rolleyes:

maxsdad
07-05-2010, 03:42 PM
Thanks Jeff, I'll try to get in touch.
Rob
Not sure about price by my buddy here at work, his son has a roofing business...If nothing else he could give you a quote and maybe you could work out to have it done when he is slow and needs some business to keep him busy...

Colorado Elite Roofing - Mike Cope
720-427-6505

He can be difficult to get in touch with sometimes though :rolleyes:

maxsdad
10-04-2010, 09:50 AM
Since the end of June we've only been able to work on the cabin weekends. Mostly just my wife and I, but occasional help from sons and other family.
Here's where we're at.
PS - I wanted to thank those who have offerred help...sorry I have not taken anyone up on it..it's been hectic and hard to plan for what needs to be done....hopefully next spring!

Hulk
10-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Wow, it's really looking gorgeous. I love the brick around the foundation.

DanS
10-04-2010, 12:32 PM
That looks really nice.

I've built a few log buildings (all D-logs). I REALLY like log homes.

When Kate and I build (hopefully in the next two years) it will be another log building. Buy the right wood, and put it together carefully and it'll stay tight.

Nicely done.

Dan

corsair23
10-04-2010, 01:03 PM
Wow, it's really looking gorgeous. I love the brick around the foundation.

x2 - Great work :thumb:

SROR/AKA 2BAD
10-05-2010, 10:11 AM
when is the house warming PARTY!! :cheers::thumb:

Love it!! nice work!