Things have been moving along so I wanted to share an update on our new home build as of mid-June 2022. While I was hoping that I would be seeing a triangle take shape by this point, we are still making some great progress!
So as of my birthday (June 14th) here is what has been completed on our small A-frame cabin!
Foundation for our New Home Build
The concrete pillars were poured last fall and that is where we left the A-frame sitting all winter. If you missed all of the work my hubby and I completed last month you can check out the foundation work we did.
If you missed it I am now the General Contractor for the construction of our new home. I have hired someone to help with the framing. We started framing on May 31st! For the first few days, it was just me and one guy working on setting the beams into place. We lifted massive LVL beams out of the back of our shop. How we lifted them with just the 2 of us I’m not sure.
I’ve also been picking up so many carpentry skills working alongside him. My husband got home a few days after we started so of course, he got put to work as well! If you know my husband “wood construction” is not his thing! He will work on landscaping or tinker on sleds or bikes all day, so getting him to help with the house was a big accomplishment haha.
Custom Designing a New Home
If you are building a new house I want to leave you with a big piece of advice! When you custom design a house there is a lot of work that goes into it. You aren’t just tweaking room layouts or making minor changes to blueprints. Every place has different building codes and standards that they must comply too.
So what’s my advice. Before you hit APPROVE on the drawings of your new home build talk with the actual framer (or general contractor), and the engineer/ designers. There may be things you ask to have included or done with your new home that financially or logically don’t make sense. Have conversations about better more efficient options that may be available to you.
Always ask Questions
We said that we wanted the A-frame to be “moveable.” My husband was worried that a 900 sq. ft. cabin would be too small for us, we would regret it and want a bigger house. So we asked for the house to be designed so that it could be easily moved.
However, we have now found out there were other ways to design the A-frame to be “moveable” that would have been cheaper and would have been easier to build. I regret not asking if there were other options. But to be honest I didn’t spend a ton of time reviewing the foundation plans in the beginning. No one pointed out any issues last fall.
New Home Foundation Issues
Some of the issues that we are contending with:
- Keeping water lines insulated. Remember we are building in a 4 season climate where temperatures remain below zero almost all winter. The water line coming into the house will be “exposed” because the A-frame is raised off the ground. We will be building a box around the water line and it will have heat tape on it as well.
- Stopping critters/ rodents from getting in. The blueprints called for just a plywood bottom floor. We have added a layer of vapour barrier and galvanized sheet metal to the bottom of the floor panels to minimize bugs and mice from getting in. We also laid filter cloth and washed rock under the cabin to minimize plants and brush from growing up. The rock will also prevent the cats from using under the house as their personal litter box.
- The floor is too low to the ground. The beams for the home are only 8″ off the ground. Trying to work under this space is almost impossible. This meant that we had to build the floor in sections so that we could flip them over to apply the plywood and sheet metal. Then flip the floor panels back over. This was quite the process to keep everything lined up and flush so that we are starting with a solid floor system.
- Keeping the floor insulated. Our floor is also exposed to the elements this also meant spray foaming the floor before we close it up with plywood. And spray foaming is NOT cheap. It cost $7900 just to spray foam the floor system.
For now, we are keeping the floor system tarped because we cannot get any moisture in there.
Next steps for our New Home Build
While I feel confident that we have built a solid floor system for our A-frame there are some things that we will always need to keep an eye on over the years to make sure our home stays solid. Next up we will be assembling the roof truss’ on the ground (they have to be pieced together). Then the truss’ will be lifted into place and I will finally see the cabin take shape!
I always love to hear from you! Do you love reading these updates on the construction process? Or is there anything you would like to see me include in these updates?
Judy Pyykonen says
Love what you are doing! You are so talented with so many details to work out. Love to watch your journey
Thank you so much, Judy!
So happy you are making progress … we r in the middle of moving … & downsizing &my anxiety is insane … idk how you do it !!!Good Luck …
Oh, I’m so sorry that’s causing you anxiety. Downsizing can be so freeing. Soon you will look back and wonder why you thought you needed all of those things.
This all makes me so happy! I’ve been so excited for you!! ❤️ Keep the progress coming!
Thank you so much! Hope we keep making lots of progress!
I love seeing updates! Pretty excited to see the A frame take shape. Over 40 years ago my husband and I considered building an A frame. It’s amazing how far the style has come since then. I can’t wait to see how you finish yours. I hope it includes twinkle lights in the decor!
A-frame’s are classic! Hope you enjoy seeing our A-frame come to life!
Love seeing and reading about your progress!
You truly are an inspiration to many!