Building a weekend cabin our our little "ranch" up in Mills County.
The general area:
Building a weekend cabin our our little "ranch" up in Mills County.
The general area:
The general plan.
We ended up going slightly larger (plan creep), so 32x10 with a 10 porch. With 2' eaves, the entire roof area will be pretty close to 1000'. The plan is to do a slab with a welded up steel frame and metal sides.
This is a donkey wearing my straw hat:
staking it out:
Put down the slab a couple of months ago:
That was just the main 32x20 section. The 10x32 section was done as a seperate pour, with about a 1.5" lip so that if water accumulates on the porch it won't run inside.
Where we are as of this weekend:
Still need to get the 7' stringer up, a few more purlins, and a top stringer/beam along the porch. May do another 7' on the porch, just for stability. Still mulling that one over.
a few more of the cabin area:
This is the "front yard", I put in the washer pit here a few weeks ago. The pole is a long narrow cedar trunk I had. The ground was pretty soft that day, so I dug a hole and put in it. Its been in over a year and still going strong.
General idea: steel 32x20 with a nice porch. Two tiny bedrooms (basically just enough for a queen or two twins). One kitchen/living just big enough for a bunk bed and a card table. A realish bathroom for the ladies. When we are out there, we want to be outside (or at least on the porch) as much as possible. The only time we'd be inside is to sleep and maybe play cards. The walls are 10' and the top most peak is 13' I thnk (so a 3/12 rise). We are pondering framing the left side bathroom/bedroom at like 8 or 9', and then having a sort of attic/loft space for additional storage. Probably a lot of rubbermaid tubs with camping supplies and linens. We are trying to build as bug and rodent proof as possible, but a place only occupied every week or two, you just can't be sure.
Water: We poured an 8x8 slab for a 1500 gallon water tank or so if we decide to do rain water collection. We may just put a 150 gallon tank on a little trailer and just fill it up once in a while. But we wanted to have the rain water collection as an option. We may do a well instead, if it wouldn't cost that much different. Plus it might be nice to have a well. I never plan to sell, but I guess it still nice to improve the value of the land.
Electricity: Nearby, but cost to the cabin would be somewhere north of 16k. We will wire for both 110 and 12v, just to future proof. But at the moment is to run 12v and just have an RV water pump for the sink/shower, and have efficient LED lights and a couple 12v DC fans. Do a small solar system. We will insulate the walls for the two (maybe just one frame out at first) bedrooms so that our little honda generator can run a window unit AC. One side of the porch we may decide to screen in, so we could always sleep in a cot outside in the summer. I'm far less worried about heating in the winter than cooling in the summer. Hopefully the highish (10') walls will help.
Plumbing: We plan to put in propane connection for a water heater and a space heater. It is connected for sceptic, but we don't have a real sceptic system. Basically grey water, with #2 wag bagged. At some point in the future as the budget allows we may get a full permitted system. Its not a real priority, this is basically just glorified tent camping with running water for us. Legally dubious, but currently the bathroom is a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out, a toilet seat, and a shovel. One thing we've considered is using the concrete pad as an outhouse and buying a composting toilet.
Once we get the roof on (hopefully in the next month or so) the plan is to do spray in insulation to stop condensation problems. The walls will just be vinyl covered pink stuff, and maybe some sheets of cell foam if it fits in the budget. The structural components are: 4x4 (true) steel posts, 6" c channel for the purlins, and 4" c channel for the stringers. We are being helped by a local retired rancher guy who is the welding expert. I am supplying the grunt labor, and paying him by the hour for the welding. We could have done cheaper with just a wood pole barn, but wood doesn't seem to last very long in the area, and we want as little maintenance as possible going forward. Off of the 4" walls we will fur out 2" so that the exterior walls will be a true 6 or 5.5". I'd like to get it dried in with doors and windows hung by the end of the summer. My father in law and I will do the rest (basic wiring - my mom used to be a union electrician and can help with that).
Currently "home" is that ancient shasta trailer. When this thing gets done, I'd be happy to sell it off to a shagster in the area as a deer camp.
was going through some old pictures to post. This is the area 2 years ago, before we cleared anything out and before the trailer. The little mesquite in the center doesn't even have the ugly stack of grubbed up prickly pair yet. The trailer is now on the right side. The cedar maypole would later be in the center, and the washer pit in the lower left. The "road" we built would go across, from left to right. The cabin is being built upper left, in a little field to the left of that mesquite. If you look at all the pictures you maybe spot that one scrubby looking mesquite and figure out where everything is oriented to that. Its probably hard to imagine if you haven't seen it before.
this one is just the creek that's maybe a 150 yards from the cabin. Lots of huge old oaks, and a few elm and pioneer pecan. The fields elsewhere have a tendency to be overrun with mesquite and cedar.
Looks awesome. I hunt in Mills County, off of Hwy 84 right outside of Center City.
Cedar is no big deal. I mean, it sucks but you can get on top of it. Mesquite is the devil. I have acres and acres of nothing but mesquite. Its hard to kill (takes remedy + diesel) and will puncture a tire if you are not careful. It can grow so thick you can't walk into it. I don't have a problem with mature mesquite, once they really become tree size. You can cut the low branches so that it doesn't hit you in the face. Plus hey, down the line its good barbeque wood. You can even harvest and eat the mesquite beans... makes a good flour. But it does procreate like the $#@!ens and is a pain in the ass to grub out. Basically my only strategy at the moment is to go in and spray everything I can, and let it die. Come back the next year and you can kick over the little stuff with a steel toe boot. It may be worth it to hire a tracked dozer to scrape it up. Cedar I just cut the stem with my battery powered sawzal, and spray the base if I have some remedy mixed up. Sometimes I just sort of ramble all over with a good axe and just whack the little cedar as they come up. Its extremely satisfying.
im lookin forward to further updates...
I get more than a little satisfaction over a good cedar eradication.
A full sized 'bushy but not tree" mesquite, however, is like going into armed combat & having it last quite awhile. When you're done, it's very exhausting & you sorta have to soak up what you just did & wonder if it's worth the effort.
PS: Who is doing your roof?
will not keep out the zombies. i hope you have a backup plan.
Looks cool. The plan you posted was probably just a low level of detail, but you may want to consider a closet in each of the bedrooms if one is not already in the more detailed plans.
I agree Cedar has gotten a bad rap over the years.
Will put up roof myself. Have cordless drill, will travel. Since I'm going to hire a contractor to do spray insulation, I won't have to wrestle with putting on vinyl covered insulation above the purlins. I'll just be screwing the metal roof directly to the purlins. Put on a single panel, make sure that there is an equal distance from the edge to the either end (so its not drifting), and screw down. Next panel. Its going to be hard work, but once its up we'll be very close to the coveted "dried in" stage.
Probably no closets. Its really more of a bunkhouse than a second home. The bedrooms are pretty much 10x9 inside dimensions, not sure there really is much room for a closet. If there ends up space I may put up elfa shelving or something to stack up rubbermaid tubs high. We'll probably frame out the left side first, and hold off on framing out the second bedroom til after we've felt how big that bedroom is. If we think we'd rather have a larger bedroom, we can bump out the right bedroom further into the "living room" area. I'd like to find a good condition futon for the living area, so that it can hold more people in a pinch. Or maybe just a lofted bed over a sofa? Anyway, something like that.
Last night I was unable to sleep and got to thinking. Since the rear 36' of gutters (drains ~430 sq ft) will go to rainwater collection catchment, the front gutters are not yet spoken for. Pondering a gutter to rube goldbergian downspout to fill a partially buried 10' livestock tank. Bring in the deer or something. By my figures, a 720 sq ft of roof means that a 1000 gallon stock tank would fill up in just under 2.5" or rainfall. If that stays mostly full, I could get another galvenized tank and bury it a few inches lower, and have the overflow of the first tank fill the second one.
You take me out there one weekend, I'll bring a chain saw, and I'll cut down the majority of your mesquite. We can bring some chains to pull up the stumps, too. Then, cut it down to size for ease of transport and usability. We'll stack it up and let it cure for 6-8 months, maybe more, and then you have some awesome firewood - for a smoker or a fire.
My fee: beer, maybe a meal or two, play some washers, and letting me take some of the cured wood home to use in my smoker eventually.
I'm completely serious on this offer.
EDIT: I just read that you have non mature mesquite. $#@!.
I've got all kinds of mesquite. I think we could still working something out.
Nice progress... will definitely go by faster than Hayden's deck
just to future proof.These were my favorite sentences. That said, it looks like a nice little spot y'all are creating. One criticism. It may just be me, but you should have talked about the welding closer to the front of the story. As I was wondering who was doing the welding as soon as I saw the first pic.Legally dubious
another week, a few more things coming along. First, the stringer up at 7' is now along 3 of 4 sides, and the purlins are all but done (I think there's one last purlin/beam across the front of the patio to do). The big thing is that our home depot clearance rack windows are beginning to get up. The bathroom's tiny little window is up. The 3 windows across the front (which will be shaded by the big patio) are in, one left and two right. The first stringer is at 3', and the second stringer is at 7'. This means its easiest to put windows either 3' up, or hang below the 7' stringer. So for privacy the little bathroom window is off the top stringer, but most windows are at the 3' one. What would eventually be a bedroom on the right side has the window from the higher stringer, just so its a little above bed height.
tiny lil bathroom window
right side (opposite side of casita from bathroom)
nice bunk house you have growing there
progress continues.... slowly. Stringers up, doors on, all the windows in. Note that the short sides roof now has eaves. Having the doors on is pretty cool, beginning to feel like a real building.
Hope to have most or all of the roof on by the end of this coming long weekend. The shade at that point will be greatly appreciated! Should take long after that to do a coat or two of concrete sealer and put up the tin for the walls.
Looks nice. My dad started out with a small cabin for weekends on some land out in Dripping Springs about 25 years ago. He built the cabin in the same dimensions as a two car garage and workshop (including two sets of french doors that could easily be replaced with a garage door) so that he could eventually use it for that purpose if he ever built a bigger house to live in full time. 25 years later, he now lives in the cabin full time and is still dreaming about building a real house.
If you need a nice mosaic patio table for that porch I know a guy. And a cat.
Now that's comedy.Originally Posted by CleverNickname
Tin? Like corrugated metal, or a different kind?Originally Posted by CleverNickname
I'm intersted in how much/what kind of insulation you're planning on putting in this place. And how much wiring/plumbing you're going to run.
roof = spray foam. Fortunately there is a guy who advertised in the Goldthwaite Eagle that does it... otherwise I wasn't sure if I could get a contractor out there. Probably just the minimum depth of foam so air doesn't touch the inside of the roof panels. Depending on how much space, may do some vinyl covered pink stuff under the spray foam. Sides will probably be more vinyl covered pink stuff. Going to fur out 2x4 framing beyond the 4" steel length. That's like 7.5" of space for insulation, but that's really because I'm too lazy to switch to 2x2s to fur on the outside walls, since all the inside framing will be 2x4s. The 2x4 to 2x2 transitions seem like it would be hard.
For plumbing its plumbed for a bathroom shower, sink, toilet and a kitchen sink. Just picked up two 75 gallon propane tanks. The plan is to run a propane line to the water heater (will sit exposed in the bathroom) and the kitchen. Possible another line for a space heater. We just got a badass sun-mar composting toilet for FREE. Not sure where we will put it... possible as an outhouse.
Roof will be galvalume roof (to reflect heat and for rainwater collection), sides are pre-painted steel. I think the womenfolk chose a sand color, and red trim pieces.
The project appears to be coming along nicely. Keep posting pics and updates.
what doesn't?? other than Randy's table of course..Originally Posted by William Cannon
nice stabbin cabin
Do you have a stock tank out there?
Looks awesome dude...
I've long thought of building a casita on my parent's property and living in it, you know, free rent, cook, maid & pool.
I wish. One of these days I need to get the local county ag official to discuss our options there. It has a named dry creek (sometimes listed as Bookwater, sometimes as Farmers Creek), which occasionally has a tremendous amount of water in it. Probably too much for us to dam, and even if it was, I'm not sure if we could dig a basin big enough. There drainage for the little ditch that feeds the creek might be enough to fill up a stock tank. The earth is pretty loamy, I'm not sure we could do it with spending a fortune.Originally Posted by B
One thing I was thinking about is collecting the rainwater from half (well 2/3, the front side) and making a crazy long gutter spout to fill up one of those 8' or 10' cattle tanks. Sorta like a suburban backyard pond. Maybe bring in some deer. Don't want it too close, if it becomes an all night dillo/coon/skunk party. I was thinking if it keeps full all the time, it would be easy to put in another tank right next to it, partially buried just a couple inches and have a nice little progression of tanks. Very zen meets Tractor Supply.
Where does your donkey get water?
The Soil & Water Conservation Service guy will come out and help you figure out whether there is enough clay in the soil to hold water. At RRR Feed or Ranch Land they can tell you who can build the dam.
Donkey lives at rancher neighbors, we leave a couple of gates open between the two places. Basically trade grazing lease for ag exemption. Come hunting season we keep the sheep & donkey out so that they don't eat the corn, and don't get shot. Neighbor has a good well. Lets us fill up our trailer's water there. The well is only 40' so its not for human drinking without filtering. If we ever do a well, I'd love to have a second well beside a deep one that could do an old school hand pump.
Nice! Don't forget to build a nice fire pit for late night cerveza. Makes the ranch that much more enjoyable!
its freaking hot. we have roof.
that's some nice progress
The earth is pretty loamy, I'm not sure we could do it with spending a fortune.
2 or 4 sides up, and trim.
delivery of wall and trim materials:
so hot, the ants fried:
this is the [s:581564f60f]south[/s:581564f60f] east side, we decided it needed a window.
welding up the purlins
measure twice, cut once. here's a little window
sawing aint so bad, but its loud
We're really doing it Harry!
Question - Your casita appears to be oriented so that the long sides face east and west - are you worried about heat with that much mass getting hit by the afternoon/evening sun? I guess the porch helps, and it appears that there is some shade if that last picture is an evening/afternoon picture like I assume it is, but I have always heard that if you can you should orient the narrower sides of your house to the east/west, and the wider sides to the north/south in this part of the country to help with summer heat.
Actually the short sides are east-west. That's why we originally weren't going to have that second window on the east side. But the morning sun doesn't seem so hot, that side of the side is the open living area, so the light might be nice. The porch faces south, so that covers shade on that side. The west just has a little bathroom window and a smaller window for the bedroom.
Looking good. That porch looks to be large enough to make for comfortable times.
This project pleases me immensely. It just hits my sweet spot on so many levels. Well done, sir.
man, I was way off on the orientation from the pictures.Originally Posted by CleverNickname
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