Can a city boy build his dream homestead on a mountain, by himself and with no mortgage?

Ok, so pressure treated lumber is more expensive than I thought

A trip to the nearby Lowes has set me back a few more bucks than I’d hoped. I needed to buy gravel to put under the concrete blocks and forgot to figure in the cost of pressure treated lumber. All-in-all I managed to get out spending about $350 instead of the $300 I budgeted. I ended up upgrading the floor to T&G plywood instead of OSB (firmer feel) and bought  3/4 ton of extra gravel (only $28 in a giant bag).

Building it by myself was actually pretty simple. I printed out several framing diagrams from the Internet ahead of time and with the aid of my trusty cordless circular saw (no 120 volt electricity up there) I was able to slam the deck and floor on in about 6 hours. That time includes about 3 hours for resting in the shade as it was 102 degrees by mid-afternoon. Since I was alone and working in the full sun, I decided to take my time and not push myself.

framing the deck

I think the hardest part of the decking was  leveling it. Since I didn’t use a bulldozer, I had to scrape and gouge out the uphill side of the foundation by about 6 inches. This was a real pain as the dirt was hard and really dry. Once the perimeter was framed, I had to dig down the uphill blocks a few centimeters at a time in order to get a level reading. Back and forth, back and forth with the level and the shovel finally paid off. The deck is absolutely square AND level in every direction.

the floor

I covered it up with a $39 tarp and it’s now ready for the big push, the walls are going to go up in early October. I have a freelance job until then so hopefully it will cool off and I can convince a few friends to come up and join me. I figure that if I bring a generator and provide lots of beer, it should go up easily with 2 or 3 of us. Lowes will deliver a truckload of lumber for $79 so I can use the bed of my pickup truck to haul tools and fresh water. I’ve made friends with the guy in Contractor Services so calling in my order a day or two ahead will get the load delivered first thing on a Saturday morning.

There are some secret hot springs nearby and even a microbrewery with killer hot wings and mind-blowing red ale. Should be a VERY good weekend!

3 responses

  1. I was wondering if you are putting a metal roof on it, it may be able to withstand high winds better than asphalt shingles.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    • Yes, I am going to use a corrugated metal roof (I have a source for used sheets for CHEAP) over OSB sheathing with the foil radiant barrier.

      September 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  2. Looks like a great start. Looking forward to watching your progress. Nice to have chill neighbors too 🙂

    September 25, 2009 at 1:33 pm

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