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Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Neither one of us owns a home yet but we are getting ready to purchase a 16 x 32 storage garage and have it delivered to his property.
I look at this garage_to_be_converted_into_a_house as a way to really start to live simply for the rest of my life.. Every time I go to this Home Depot by me, I keep drooling over this gigantic 2 story shed they've had out front for the last few years.
Instead of a cot, you might consider a hammock (the kind they use in Peru, Brazil or Mexico - not the rope kind).
If I go with a 6" overhang then I'm looking at a 7'x7' roof and several more cuts, but again is 12" too much overhang? Considering what she'll be using it for at age 16, you may want it to fall down at that point. Three of the corners of the structure come together flush, with the wall frames in direct contact at the bottom all the way up to the top. I painted cars with a High School shop teacher and one summer he needed a shed so we built one. Projects like this for the non shop teacher just need to be thought through completely before starting. It would be nice to be able to retreat into it, but not necessary, I have an office for that. A buddy of mine has a shed that he conversted into a bar & grill establishment for when his friends come over. Saw someone else doing this, used a raised wooden deck inside and pitched a tent inside of that for another layer of isolated air. Maybe one layer of the sheeting on the inside of the frame to create another layer of insulation? William Bronson wrote: Saw someone else doing this, used a raised wooden deck inside and pitched a tent inside of that for another layer of isolated air. Maybe one layer of the sheeting on the inside of the frame to create another layer of insulation? My vote is always for a building that will be the garage or shop or barn when the house is done. Jeremy Drolet wrote:The truly indigenous people of the area utilized simple structures like wigwams, benders, and wikiups for shelter in this climate for hundreds if not thousands of years.
JD wrote:I would love to build something with the timber that's on the land, but I don't have an abundance of good structural sized hardwoods on the lot.
JD wrote:The plan for the eventual home is a more suitable insulated timber frame with metal roof. JD wrote:This is still far less toxic than something like an rv loaded with laminated plastics and high VOC materials. Hi Jeremy, You are correct, comparing what was in your link (a desert biome) with that of Maine is a huge difference! I am open to suggestions on deck and framing materials that will survive and outdoor exposure and be strong enough to support a lawn tractor.

We got the framing and one sheet of plywood (cut to 61" width) on before it started to rain.
We will finish the project tomorrow and then let my better half give it a couple of coats of exterior paint (with sand mix).
He scratched out his plans in 5 minutes, we went for the lumber and by the end of the day a fair sized rock solid gambreled roof shed appeared.
I'd like to see how the round one is built because it looks like it would be a fun project! You have the link so see if you can get anymore information using it as a base for search terms. It's loaded with memorabilia, but until he installs a wood burning stove, it's only a three season establishment. My financial situation is such that once I quit my job, I need to be able to inhabit the land and begin developing the property right away. I'll be following a typical hoop house type construction just reducing the rib spacing and adding a load bearing ridge beam for added structural stability. It ended up actually costing less to go with a custom cut length of metal roof than plastic. It seems to me it would be easier to begin with a blow up (large) baloon, strengthen it with rebar, and apply a light mix shotcrete. I'd like to know what the white stuff is, if panels of a good insulator can be bent over time without harm and how to get a hollow space between roof & interior walls.
Keeping the financial end of the business in mind, this means building the final house is a project for year 2 or 3. The 14' wide Arched Cabin is about 12' tall, The 16' wide is about 14'6" Tall, the 20' wide is about 17'4" tall and the 24' is about 19' tall. It would have saved me some trouble in figuring out the details of such a building! I went ahead and built with the wooden bow-trusses. Before starting I would pour a little concrete footing so once the frame was put on it it would be level with the ground and would be sitting on the concrete. It amuses me for some reason because I suspect most people just see it as a shed, but every time I walk into it (which I usually do, every time I go there), I think to myself how I bet I'm the only one that sees its potential as 'something else,' as more than just a shed.
Somewhere online I saw a recipe for making big pots using some concrete but also lighter material I can't recall.
In the interim, I need a livable structure that is lightweight, low-impact, easy to build, easy to heat, and will withstand the winters here in Maine. I'd like to think this would be a step up. The other indigenous structure around here is the mobile home. I'd rather wait before cutting any of these until I have at least a rough outline on paper though. I've thought about just doing a sort of 'outfitter' style tent, but have you priced out tent canvas lately? Build a deck 12 inches on center and lag bolt it every 12 inches to the shed floot joist so when you put the plywood on it is at your desired level oh yah put some L flashing under the sheds exterior finsh boards to keep water from running in between the plywood and the shed.

My idea would be to cover a wet rounded mound of sand with an old cloth tarp or painter's dropcloth and build fiberglass on that. Oh, and I'm only allocating a total of $3000 for material outlay. I'm now considering the feasibility of quonset hut type building.
The apparent popularity doesn't necessarily make it a good choice though. I would love to build something with the timber that's on the land, but I don't have an abundance of good structural sized hardwoods on the lot. For mold resistant fire treated cotton canvas I think I was looking at $1200-1300 for enough to do a 12'x20' wall tent.
Most 1x3 lumber is junk, and if you're paying for #1 or #2 clear pine or hemlock, things get expensive fast!
I'm considering building something similar to this but with aluminum fence rail instead of stimson bow trusses I really like the idea of using these tuftex type corrugated polycarbonate roof panels. This is just something to give me a home while I work the land and get the initial site establishment done. I'm trying to find the holy grail balance between cost, longevity, and wise use of resources (aren't we all?). I found someone who has attempted something similar with seemingly good results.
They are uv rated, shed water and snow well, lightweight, easy to install, flexible, don't cost a fortune, etc.
Again, they are in a different climate which makes for some obvious differences, but this shows it could be done.
But even used I'm looking upwards of $5000+ for a yurt with decking, more if I want something fully insulated. Setting the poles 24" on center and using a heavier timber ridge beam should give the structure plenty of rigidity. I would place 2 overlapping layers of 1" polyisocyanurate insulation boards over the purlins, followed by the polycarbonate roofing giving me an r-value around 13 or 14.
The structure wouldn't necessarily be as portable, but could be uprooted when eventually needed. There won't be an abundance of toxic materials. The end walls would be framed with some smaller timbers cut from the property and infilled with slipformed clay-straw or woodchip light clay (r-value of 20+) with a generous overhang to protect them from the weather. What have I not considered going into this? So long as I don't use any concrete footers to anchor my hoops I can get away with it being a "non-permanent foundation" and will be subjected to far less scrutiny (ie. I like to call them toxic chlorox bottles. This is hardly primitive at all by my standards.
I've been sleeping in my truck camper shell lately The ability to break it down, move it, re-use or re-purpose the material is a factor at play for sure.

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