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Posted by Ecnerwal on September 17, 2009, 12:28 am
 




I'd concur, having built with SIPs - DIY. I used the "8 inch" (2x8, so
7-3/8 or so these days) foam core version, which is "overkill"
insulation, but overkill is good for insulation - it also makes the
building very, very strong, as well as laughably easy to heat or cool
(unless you put in too many windows). Hopefully you have people who can
help you for a day or two with the erection (think barn raising, only
more modular, so smaller parts) - otherwise you'll need a crane.

Another, probably more expensive option that might make sense if
tornados are a factor would be the insulated concrete forms, but I get
annoyed that nobody makes one with insulation on the outside and a
removable form on the inside (or some other "not insulating the thermal
mass from the interior space" option) - plus the forms alone cost more
than having my concrete work done (I did contract that out) and then
insulating the outside face only. But I only put in a footing, stemwall
and slab, then SIP on top. Concrete block and foam (then stucco, or
whatever finish siding) on the outside might be more amenable to "150%
DIY" and can be done well if you use bond beams, etc to make it sturdy.

You could also look at the strawbale house option. I did for quite a
while, but straw is not a local commodity, so it becomes expensive
around here. Where it's cheap it can make sense.

Stick to one story - I didn't, and now wish I had. Not likely you're
thinking two at 400 square feet, but...

IMHO, skip the wiring chase - it only added a few bucks per panel from
my SIP supplier, but it's become a mouse haven so I can't really use it
for wiring with any confidence - I'll be foaming it closed and running
wires in actual chases on the surface of the wall - molding with a
function, as it were.

Anywhere you pour a slab that you might ever want to heat, put in
radiant floor heat tubing when you pour the slab.

--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

Posted by Curbie on September 17, 2009, 12:05 am
 


Pete,

I also have been planning retirement along the same lines for a few
years now, your request is kind of vague, so:

DIY log cabins:
http://www.penndutchstructures.com/logcabins.htm

DIY Country home:
http://countryplans.com/

DIY Monolithic Dome:
http://www.monolithic.com/topics/homes

I also like solar thermal heat and wind.

Good luck,

Curbie



Posted by z on September 17, 2009, 12:49 am
 



I love my log cabin.  Its great you can shoot a .22 inside and know it
won't go through the walls.  Also pretty good insulation

Posted by Pete C. on September 17, 2009, 1:53 am
 


z wrote:

Kinda nifty, however every extra $ spent on the cabin is one less for
the infrastructure or the operating funds.

Posted by z on September 17, 2009, 2:36 am
 

$ec3e2dad@unlimited.usenetmonster.com:


yeah.. its one thing if you have the timber on your land already.  
Another altogether if you have to buy it ;)

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