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Old 08-07-2018, 11:29 AM   #1
wlee15
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Default Ranch Cabin Build

I have been meaning to share this build with you all for some time now. It all started in March 2017. I found a small track of land in west of Rocksprings, with everything I wanted. It is Rugged, but easy to access. End of the Road and I found the perfect building site with some amazing views and cell phone coverage in case of emergencies.

In March I made a down payment, and in Aug 2017 I closed on the deal (it had to have the plat drawn up etc.)

Between March and August I filled the existing feeder that conveyed with the property and setup a game camera. I saw turkey, hogs and whitetail deer galore. So i was happy with my decision even before the purchase went through.

The 2017 deer season I took off because I wanted to spend the time on the cabin. I decided to make it a 16X24 cabin, with a 8X24 deck and External Bathroom/shower house. There is no water or electricity on the site, but that is really what I wanted. I have experience setting up Solar power systems and already had most of the things needed to set it up. As for water I am going with a water catchment system (there is a water well in the subdivision as back in times of drought and a filling station in Rocksprings in case that well runs dry) The water catchment system would only be used for bathing. For the Bathroom I plan on a composting toilet, but that could change depending on how it works, May end up with a above ground septic if the composting toilet doesn't work as planned.

So in September 2017 we broke ground. First up was building a road and a parking area off the SD road in.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:40 AM   #2
Stolle
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Congrats on the land purchase. Looking forward to the progress pictures.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:26 PM   #3
RascalArms
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IN...congrats on the land and future memories made!
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
chrigging
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What subdivision did you buy in?
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:35 PM   #5
wlee15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stolle View Post
Congrats on the land purchase. Looking forward to the progress pictures.
Thank you Stolle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RascalArms View Post
IN...congrats on the land and future memories made!
Thank you RascalArms!



It is not much but its a start.

The Build is talking much longer than I ever thought, changes in plans, a death in the family, and my best friend who has been helping me has come down with a strange illness that keeps him from being to do as much as he wants. But here we are. One thing that you do find out is who is really there for you. I have tons of friends that want to come the ranch to hang out/hunt but not a one has helped with getting it built. But that is how these things go I guess. I have always been the type to help along with my best friend. But it seems they don't make many like us anymore.

I will post more of the progress later today.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:35 PM   #6
kruppa24
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Looks like a beautiful place.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:35 PM   #7
wlee15
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Quote:
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What subdivision did you buy in?
Buffalo Draw
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:48 PM   #8
DUKFVR
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CONGRATS!! nothing like your own place!
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:01 PM   #9
Royal21973
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Congratulations on owning your own piece of Texas. Wait till hunting season your phone will be ringing all the time.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
wlee15
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CONGRATS!! nothing like your own place!

True But it is a lot of hard work. It will all be worth it though in a few years!
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:25 PM   #11
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When I was looking for a property I wanted to find an area that had a good view to build a cabin. I wanted to make sure I had good southern exposure to the roof-line for Solar Panel placement on the roof. I found a great spot with good Northern Views out the Front of the Cabin (Pic1) and the the East (Pic 2)

We cleared out the area, it was not very level, but that's ok. The front of the cabin will have a large deck on it, which would be a great place to place Water Storage tank(s) underneath when I install the water catchment. I believe that the elevations change from 6" off the ground at the back of the cabin to 6-7 feet off the ground in the front. Its 24' front to back.

I decided that a concrete foundation would be WAY to expensive. Pier and beam was the way to go. I considered using Cedar Posts and Beams, but I want this cabin to last a very long time. I decided to use Steel instead of wood for all of the framing, making it last longer that I will. I choose 3" square tubing for the pier and the main beams with 2" runners. I also place 1.5" angle Iron across the bottom of the runners for added strength and 1.5" square tubing for angled gussets from the mail beams to the piers (not in these pictures) but you will see them later on in the build.

I had NO experience welding but my best friend Andy did so we just decided to get after it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:54 PM   #12
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In! How many acres?


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Old 08-07-2018, 05:45 PM   #13
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This is gonna be good!
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:51 PM   #14
drop dead fred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlee15 View Post
Thank you Stolle!



Thank you RascalArms!



It is not much but its a start.

The Build is talking much longer than I ever thought, changes in plans, a death in the family, and my best friend who has been helping me has come down with a strange illness that keeps him from being to do as much as he wants. But here we are. One thing that you do find out is who is really there for you. I have tons of friends that want to come the ranch to hang out/hunt but not a one has helped with getting it built. But that is how these things go I guess. I have always been the type to help along with my best friend. But it seems they don't make many like us anymore.

I will post more of the progress later today.
Nope few an far between, but congrats on the land!!
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:56 PM   #15
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In. Looks like a lot of work
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:04 PM   #16
Heath
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Iím in
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:24 PM   #17
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Congrats on the ranch. From the pics of the views gonna b a great place. As for all your "friends", remind them of the story of the little red hen. Let them figure it out. In for pics on the progress.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:21 AM   #18
wlee15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc View Post
In! How many acres?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
38
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:37 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the encouragement!

So now that I have the Base down it was time to start shoring things up! In the previous posts I didn't share my initial cabin plan. I didn't use any planning software, just a sketch on napkin. Then I used Microsoft paint to create the 1st plan (Pic1). The cabin will have 2 bedrooms with barn style doors to save space (8'X10' each) There will be a loft above the bedrooms (16'X10') The center of the loft will be almost 6' with the back of the cabin only having 2' clearance and the front having 4'. The main living area and Kitchen (16'X14') will be very open with a 14' cathedral ceiling. There will be 2 doors for entry, one on the front porch and one on the East side. I will have 11 Windows on the first level and 3 long windows across the top front edge cabin spanning almost the full length.


Andy and I were lucky enough to find some old silos that we got for free. One of them was the perfect size for the bathroom/shower house. It is 8' round and about 10' tall in the center. So we added to the base, painted that section and moved the silo in place (Pic2). In this picture you can see the gussets we added to the base pier and beams for stability.
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Last edited by wlee15; 08-08-2018 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:42 AM   #20
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congratulations!!

subscribed
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:51 AM   #21
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congrats
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:52 AM   #22
macguyverberry
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Awesome
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:16 AM   #23
IAFFHunter18
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Subscribed. I am preparing now for hopefully being able to do something very similiar within the next couple of years. Looking awesome so far!!!
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:18 AM   #24
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I have an ideal that this thread is going to be another epic one, I'm in.

Rwc
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:50 AM   #25
fordsuper08
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looks good love the silo
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:23 AM   #26
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Looks like a nice area. Cool idea with the silo too.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:27 AM   #27
SFAbowhunter
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Looks great so far! Can't wait to see the finished product. My wife and I plan on starting a cabin in the next year or so on our place. Will be getting ideas from this.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:31 AM   #28
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In for the updates, looks great so far!
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:08 AM   #29
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Congrats on the purchase and the upcoming hard work. I am doing something similar in Fredericksburg with a 16x40 cabin. Good luck with the build, looks like you have got a lot accomplished so far. Some good resources here in the DIY section.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:07 PM   #30
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I'm subscribed. I like the layout so far. Congrats.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #31
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In!
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:31 PM   #32
wlee15
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In late November 2017 we starting building upwards.
First step was to get things straightened up around the build site as we had crap everywhere (Pic1)

We added the uprights around the bedroom and created the loft. (Pics2&3)

We then added the East Wall and the extended the front wall all the way. you can see the 3 windows that will be facing North, with a great view when you are in the Loft. (Pics4&5)

We then added the Porch Posts and hand Railing(Pic 6)

We finished up on Dec 2 and took in the views, that is my buddy Andy in picture.(Pic7)

Pic 8 has Highlights of the window area.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:36 PM   #33
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subscribed...lookin good
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:47 PM   #34
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This is a BAD*** build, Subscribed!!

I really like the silo shower house - Very cool!!

At some point I'll be looking at doing something similar at our place.

Stay off-grid is really nice, No additional monthly bills and a huge savings! Running power in that country is pricey!
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgame View Post
This is a BAD*** build, Subscribed!!

I really like the silo shower house - Very cool!!

At some point I'll be looking at doing something similar at our place.

Stay off-grid is really nice, No additional monthly bills and a huge savings! Running power in that country is pricey!
Thank you!

Even though there is electricity only about 1.5 miles away I didn't even want to know what the cost to get electricity there would be. My neighbor is going to get the power extended to his place, so at that point it will be less than 1/4 mile away, but that would only be a selling point if I ever sold the property. My neighbor also plans to drill a well on the edge of our property line, and he said he would let me tap in when he does.

I have heard many horror story's about subdivisions and bad neighbors, but so far my experience has been great. I just hope that doesn't change.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #36
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Awesome. I'm in
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:29 PM   #37
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Looks awesome!
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:48 PM   #38
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It was $9 a foot with CTEC to run power. They do give you a $2,000 credit though, so I ran it the $2,000 worth. I do get hit with a $25 minimum payment now.

I too looked at doing a catchment system, but decided to dig a well. I am in the place for the long run and think it will be more expensive/harder to do in the future. But I didnt have any water close.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:26 PM   #39
wlee15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batmaninja View Post
It was $9 a foot with CTEC to run power. They do give you a $2,000 credit though, so I ran it the $2,000 worth. I do get hit with a $25 minimum payment now.

I too looked at doing a catchment system, but decided to dig a well. I am in the place for the long run and think it will be more expensive/harder to do in the future. But I didnt have any water close.

@$9.00 a foot 1.5 miles would be $71,280.00 now I am really glad it didn't check. I was figuring maybe 10K, and I can get all the power I need to run light Fridge and almost anything else beside an A/C for about 2K in Solar. I have a Generator for the A/C in the summer months if needed.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:11 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlee15 View Post
@$9.00 a foot 1.5 miles would be $71,280.00 now I am really glad it didn't check. I was figuring maybe 10K, and I can get all the power I need to run light Fridge and almost anything else beside an A/C for about 2K in Solar. I have a Generator for the A/C in the summer months if needed.

Thanks for the info!
Yep, we are up on a hill and about 500 yards to the closest power line.

It was going to be something like $8,000 per pole plus the cost of running the wire.

I think we figured it was close to $60,000 but this was 5 years ago so I'm sure it has gone up.

A well is not in our future, way to much drilling involved.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:03 PM   #41
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awesome build, you guys in this section have some awesome skills
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:12 PM   #42
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Quote:
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awesome build, you guys in this section have some awesome skills
Yep, I first clicked on this forum all excited to post my, "Ham Sandwich Build" thread, but figured out quickly I had been outdone many times over.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:15 PM   #43
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Very cool! Will be following along!
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:58 AM   #44
wlee15
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Thanks for the comments.

In late December we got back to it, We started to install the widow framing and uprights, everything out of 3X3. We also installed a few of the roof raters on the main house.(Pic1)

We Framed in the front Door opening and the front 5 Windows. 3 windows together in the living room and 2 in the front bedroom (Pics2&3)


I picked up 11 Brand new 2' x 6' double pain windows on Craigslist . They were left over from an apartment construction site. I got them for only $45.00 a piece.

It was so Cold that weekend and we were miserable! we decided not to get back into building mode until spring.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:11 AM   #45
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This is awesome. I like it!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:13 AM   #46
Stick'n'String
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Looking nice! Keep of the good work!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:18 AM   #47
chrigging
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My question is how did you dig the holes to set the piers? Lots of labor no doubt!!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:31 AM   #48
wlee15
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Quote:
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My question is how did you dig the holes to set the piers? Lots of labor no doubt!!
We dug as far as we could to hit bedrock. Some are 1-2ft down others are setting on top of the exposed bedrock. I made mote's with rocks on the shallow ones and poured concrete for more weight down low. I am going to install hurricane strapping (like used for mobile homes) to frame for good measure. Since its on bedrock it wont settle, and with the weight of this thing it would take a F5 to move it. I really don't think I will need the Hurricane straps but what the hell.

I built this thing like this to last 100 years or more. Hopefully it will be worth it!

Last edited by wlee15; 08-09-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:55 PM   #49
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I may have missed it but what is the thickness on the tubing that you are using?
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:28 PM   #50
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In! Loving your progress.

That view is nice!
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