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Old 05-23-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
winnipiseogee
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Default Building an Island Camp

Lets say you were going to build an Island camp from scratch. Nothing fancy - A basic 900 sqft 2 bedroom 1.5 bath place.

What are things things you think must be included? What are the best luxuries to have out on the islands? What do you think is a waste of money? What are your favorite things? What do you hate?

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have to share!!
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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Granite counter tops
Glass tile backsplash
Stainless steel appliances
Double bowl sinks in the master bath

Just kidding! HGTV would have you believe your place is a dump without those.

I have no experience with island building but I did build a log home from a kit with my own hands.

My advice is to be absolutely sure you can legally do whatever it is you want to do. Don't find out mid project that your dream camp is going to be dumbed down by regulation.

I was fortunate to have cooperative local guidance and thus zero drama.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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Washer and dryer
Second refrigerator
A/C units in the bedrooms
3 season heating (not winter heating)
Water purification unit
Screened porch
Big deck with narrow 3/4" balusters
Really BIG picture windows in front

An engineered septic system. They are cheaper, less impact, less truckloads of sand and less ugly than the standard system that contractors will talk you into.

A fireplace would be nice, but I don't have one.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:22 PM   #4
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Default A frame

with solar panels on the roof, destriolet, refrigerator and combination kitchen stove and heater. Sliders on both walls for cross ventilation and a ceiling fan to circulate the air. A farmer's sink so that you can do it all.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:29 PM   #5
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Things to have, some quick thoughts:

Well insulated building with a reversible heat pump.
Lots of windows and sliding doors.
Wrap around deck: front with extension to the lee side.
For domestic water from the lake: submersible pump, sediment and taste filters, and a UV purifier. Plumbing designed for easy draining in the fall.
Breakwater with permanent dock if allowed. 2nd seasonal dock if allowed.
A place for visitors to sleep maybe a side room that can handle a sleep sofa
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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I think it's nice to have a place for someone to get away in a small house. We have a loft that fits the bill perfectly. It's open to the rest of the house, but it's still a nice separate space and it has views to the lake.

The more decks and outside space the better. It's super if one of them gets sun during the day.

We were really worried about having a screen porch, but at least in our case, bugs are a non issue on the windward side of the island (though I do secretly lust after my neighbor's screen porch with a fireplace in it).

Lastly, I think a washer/dryer are really nice. It stinks to have to lug clothes back and forth on a boat.

I think 900-1000 sq feet is very doable for a small family, but I sure wouldn't want to be here with 4-5 kids.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:35 PM   #7
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Farmers Porch
Huge Deck
Post & Beam Interior
Metal Roof
Log Cabin Siding
Wide Pine Plank Flooring
Insulated
Wood Stove
Pex Plumbing
Lots of windows
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Default Building Island Camp

Patience, and a sense of humor.

If you intend to have company, try for 2 full baths; and, if the logistics can be worked out, have at least one of these baths easily accessible from the back door (so you don't have to traipse all through the house to use it.

If you are not building on a foundation, make sure to thoroughly insulate below the first floor.

Also: extra outside electrical outlets
outside security lighting
maybe two sillcocks
storage space, or, accessory shed
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:20 PM   #9
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Really good responses here. I 'll add my vote to having a washing machine (we have a dryer too but only for rainy days, we try to use the clothesline when we can), a UV / filter set up for drinking water, a second refrigerator or freezer, a shed for storage, a big deck (it's often the biggest flat spot on an island) and non-carpeted floors so cleaning up the pine and hemlock needles brought in with wet feet is easier. If you can squeeze in a screen porch, I'd recommend that too, it's my favorite spot at our place. Lots of glass facing the Lake too!
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:33 PM   #10
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Wire the place for a generator. Islands are the last place to get power restored and having even a small generator to power the essentials is a nice to have.

Put in a large pantry so you can stock the place for the season with non perishables. Can't have enough closet space either.

Screen porch is nice, 3 season is even better especially if you have lots of sun as it will stay warm when there is a nip in the air.

Some source of heat for early and late season heating. I would highly suggest getting a pellet stove just because wood can be hard to come by and propane works, but is far more expensive.

Try to plan for as much covered storage as you can because you will find that you will need lots of spare stuff. For example I built a bunch of lumber racks under my camp so can keep a little bit of everything I might need for repairs. A shed is a must have too.

Keep your plumbing simple and easy to drain at the end of the season. In fact putting in a fitting for an air compressor is something I plan to do this year so I can just blow out all the plumbing. Quick disconnects on your supply lines make putting in or taking out your water lines a snap. If you plan to pull water from the lake have a pump house built so your pump isn't out in the weather.

Have good dock lighting installed, if you come in after dark it's nice to have.

Metal roof and vinyl siding, make it as maintenance free as possible.

I would avoid any insulation because it attracts rodents.

Make sure you have as many trees as possible cleared around the building area. Taking them down after they are huge and to close to the building is not only a pain in the neck, but can be expensive.

If you have to go with a seasonal dock, it's worth putting in a crank up. It's easy to deal with. To assemble a wood dock yourself is a whole lot of work, and if you pay somebody to do it every year it's expensive to have done.

Keep it simple!
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:56 PM   #11
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It depends on whether you want something kind of rustic, or a "real" home away from home.

I didn't notice one very important thing (IMHO) - and that's a woodstove. The power is not 100% reliable, and the stove is VERY nice to have on a cold morning (or evening). I would also include some type of other heat - electric baseboard (particularly in the bathroom)...

Storage space is always at a premium. Put the house up high enough so you can put stuff underneath. Also makes it a whole lot easier when you have to fix something under there!

When you do the plumbing, MAKE SURE EVERY FEED PIPE is on an angle, all pointing "down" with no low spots or water traps anywhere. Put in 2 master drain valves (or more if you need them, but if all is well you won't), 1 on each feed (hot and cold water). The idea is to get all of the water out of the system quickly and RELIABLY when you close up.

More than 1 bath is really nice if you have the space. Preferably on different floors or better still, one if them in an external building

Don't forget closets!!!!

Use good quality windows. It costs more up front, but good windows won't fail or get moisture laden between the panes of glass...

Screened in porch? Depends on the Island and the direction. We don't have one and don't have bugs, but facing West is good in that way.

Someone mentioned a crank up dock. This is a REALLY good idea!
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:18 AM   #12
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This is great!!! Keep the good ideas coming. Got to love how much experience and expertise is on this forum!
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:04 AM   #13
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Random thoughts: Build it out of stressed skin. Use PEX for supply plumbing and design it so that it drains easily and completely. Install standing seam metal roof. Don't install roof windows. Have large overhangs. Put the toilets as far as possible from the entertaining area. Ensure that the entrance is centered under a gable. Have absolutely no wood on the exterior. Use LED lights. Place windows and doors to optimize prevailing winds for ventilation. Install a chimney with at least one extra flue for future use. Install on demand water heater. Install wiring runs that allow for future expansion.

These ideas are not limited to island homes.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:20 AM   #14
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There are BOCA codes. Town codes. State codes. And some international codes. Energy codes.

Not sure if you can build just a camp anymore.

Maybe someone can chime in who is up on all of this.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Build it out of stressed skin.
Great suggestions - especially the one about putting toilets far away from entertaining areas. I've been in a few unfortunate places where that isn't the case!

What is stressed skin though?
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:46 PM   #16
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Stress Skin panels are generally used for post and beam construction. 1/2 sheetrock (or t&g pine in some cases), 3 1/2" of high density foam, 1/2" of OSB. You put up the frame and then nail these suckers over the frame. They're extremely efficient (and pretty much air tight).

I've had 2 houses with them now. The negatives are insects love to get inside them and it's almost impossible to get them out, and if you end up with rotted OSB because of a bad shingle or siding job, it's very difficult to repair.

It makes for a pretty fast build... They go up very quick and you you are weather tight as soon as you get windows and roofing installed. Plus your inside is finished too except interior walls.

Wiring has to be carefully done... Most electricians just shake their heads and come up with a very high quote. There are clever ways to do it that the p&b guys have come up with.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #17
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I have always said make sure you do the basics even if it means you can't finish things such as flooring and carpeting for a while. It costs a lot more to put in a chimney after a house is built than it does while it is being built. Make it the size your want or plan it so you can add on easily later. Make it as close to the size you want as you can or plan it so you can easily add on. Those kind of things.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:47 PM   #18
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Stress skin panels are more commonly known as SIPS (structural insulated panels).
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProfessor View Post
There are BOCA codes. Town codes. State codes. And some international codes. Energy codes.

Not sure if you can build just a camp anymore.

Maybe someone can chime in who is up on all of this.
BOCA is not excepted in NH.

Current code is IBC 2009, but understand that there are codes that are more current than that and you might want to understand the changes. There have been some very significant changes to decks in particular.

The town in which you are building may have a tighter code than what the current IBC code dictates.

Talk to your Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector when you have your list put together, not plans, not a contractor, a list and don't get attached to it! During this meeting you will fill this list in with additional notes and some things will be crossed off completely. Building a house inside the 250' buffer requires planning, knowing what you can and cannot do with your property early in the process will save you many stressful days down the road.

It may help to have a septic design done on raw land as well, not fun to plan around 3 bedrooms when you can only have 2. This can be worked around by using an engineered septic system, BI suggested that earlier, but it chews into your budget.

Also, if you are working with a contractor, you and your wife need to draw a 3 sliced pie on a white piece of paper. Label one slice, "Quality", one "Square Footage" and the last one "Price". You get to pick two, contractor will dictate the 3rd and no you cannot have all 3!
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
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It may help to have a septic design done on raw land as well, not fun to plan around 3 bedrooms when you can only have 2. This can be worked around by using an engineered septic system, BI suggested that earlier, but it chews into your budget.
On an island an engineered septic system is usually cheaper than the standard design. The engineered system will use much less sand, and truckloads of sand delivered to an island by barge is very expensive.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
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On an island an engineered septic system is usually cheaper than the standard design. The engineered system will use much less sand, and truckloads of sand delivered to an island by barge is very expensive.
That is a good point and one I had not thought of. It would depend on the style of the system, but there are options that fit.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:30 PM   #22
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Plan B...

If the code enforcement stresses you out, consider a camper or two and hauling them over in the winter. As long as they are registerred they are not considerred structures for tax and building code purposes. If they are notput on the road you can modify them almost to your heart's content. By adding a small roof and a dehumidifier, they will last for decades.

Water supply and waste disposal issues may still be hassles. Also you might want to see how your neighbors feel about it for good-will purposes.

Never inspect a used camper when the temp.s are below freezing. You will not be able to tell if the floor is soft since bad wood usually contains extra moisture and whe frozen will not flex much more than good wood.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Plan B...

If the code enforcement stresses you out, consider a camper or two and hauling them over in the winter. As long as they are registerred they are not considerred structures for tax and building code purposes. If they are notput on the road you can modify them almost to your heart's content. By adding a small roof and a dehumidifier, they will last for decades.

Water supply and waste disposal issues may still be hassles. Also you might want to see how your neighbors feel about it for good-will purposes.

Never inspect a used camper when the temp.s are below freezing. You will not be able to tell if the floor is soft since bad wood usually contains extra moisture and whe frozen will not flex much more than good wood.
I do not believe that is legal to do. That's not a code thing, that's a zoning thing.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:17 AM   #24
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I would think it would be like having a trailer park on an island.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
Stress Skin panels are generally used for post and beam construction. 1/2 sheetrock (or t&g pine in some cases), 3 1/2" of high density foam, 1/2" of OSB. You put up the frame and then nail these suckers over the frame. They're extremely efficient (and pretty much air tight).

I've had 2 houses with them now. The negatives are insects love to get inside them and it's almost impossible to get them out, and if you end up with rotted OSB because of a bad shingle or siding job, it's very difficult to repair.

It makes for a pretty fast build... They go up very quick and you you are weather tight as soon as you get windows and roofing installed. Plus your inside is finished too except interior walls.

Wiring has to be carefully done... Most electricians just shake their heads and come up with a very high quote. There are clever ways to do it that the p&b guys have come up with.
We made sips for 8 years right here in my EPS plant.The sips you refer to are curtain wall sips made for post and beam construction.They can also be structural with osb on both sides sandwiched with eps in the middle.No P&B or framing.You would be amazed at the horizontal loads that can be carried with these.All our panels were made with wire chases cut into the foam.Still a challenge to wire if you need to chase through a different route.These houses are extremely air tight as there are no thermal breaks every 16 inches like traditional framed houses.On a lot of P&B jobs,one advantage was that the interior walls ARE finished.Drywall is part of the interior panel and we made some for the roofs that had T&G wood so after being placed they were done.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #26
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outdoor shower
shed w/ electricity - we keep a small freezer out there
screened in porch with fireplace & wired for a tv
washer/dryer
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:43 PM   #27
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We don't need a screened porch, as we have no bugs. However we wish we had some overhang over our deck so we could still use it when it rains. The cottage can get real small during rainy spells, especially if you have company.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:57 AM   #28
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I'd also recommend a trash compactor.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:53 PM   #29
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What are some of the things you can do to keep it as maintenance free as possible?
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIKSUKR View Post
We made sips for 8 years right here in my EPS plant.The sips you refer to are curtain wall sips made for post and beam construction.They can also be structural with osb on both sides sandwiched with eps in the middle.No P&B or framing.You would be amazed at the horizontal loads that can be carried with these.All our panels were made with wire chases cut into the foam.Still a challenge to wire if you need to chase through a different route.These houses are extremely air tight as there are no thermal breaks every 16 inches like traditional framed houses.On a lot of P&B jobs,one advantage was that the interior walls ARE finished.Drywall is part of the interior panel and we made some for the roofs that had T&G wood so after being placed they were done.
The structural SIPS are what I was recommending. They come pre-cut and ready to assemble with door and window openings already present. They would be light and easy to transport and assembly would go remarkably quickly.

If one was careful and clever in the design process, one could dramatically simplify and reduce costs for construction. Examples: Choose roof dimensions that allow you to use full-width standing seam roof panels. Ripping the last panel and bending the edge of it 90 degrees is a pain, and if symmetry is important to you, you'd need to do it on both gable ends of the house. The length of said panels is irrelevant as they can be ordered any length you choose up to 40 feet, if memory serves... Design the house such that all or at least the vast majority of the plumbing is located in one interior wall. Design the wall with opening panels so that plumbing repairs or changes can be done with ease. Choose house/room dimensions that take advantage of standard lumber lengths. Why make a house that forces you to waste 18" of every joist? That said, engineered joists would be a great choice (nice and light so easy to transport) and you can get those in any length you choose... Use engineered lumber (LVL/LSL) studs on any wall that is going to have cabinetry and be extra careful to install said joists plumb. Scribing cabinets is time consuming and tedious. The slight cost disadvantage of the perfectly straight studs will easily pay for itself when hanging cabinets.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:17 AM   #31
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Quote:
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The structural SIPS are what I was recommending. They come pre-cut and ready to assemble with door and window openings already present. They would be light and easy to transport and assembly would go remarkably quickly.

If one was careful and clever in the design process, one could dramatically simplify and reduce costs for construction. Examples: Choose roof dimensions that allow you to use full-width standing seam roof panels. Ripping the last panel and bending the edge of it 90 degrees is a pain, and if symmetry is important to you, you'd need to do it on both gable ends of the house. The length of said panels is irrelevant as they can be ordered any length you choose up to 40 feet, if memory serves... Design the house such that all or at least the vast majority of the plumbing is located in one interior wall. Design the wall with opening panels so that plumbing repairs or changes can be done with ease. Choose house/room dimensions that take advantage of standard lumber lengths. Why make a house that forces you to waste 18" of every joist? That said, engineered joists would be a great choice (nice and light so easy to transport) and you can get those in any length you choose... Use engineered lumber (LVL/LSL) studs on any wall that is going to have cabinetry and be extra careful to install said joists plumb. Scribing cabinets is time consuming and tedious. The slight cost disadvantage of the perfectly straight studs will easily pay for itself when hanging cabinets.
Couple of things that you are not taking into consideration!

Use of full width standing seam panels will leave you with a gable detail that cannot be flashed properly. Those last bends serve a purpose. If you were interested in maximizing material, than plan for just under 7/8 worth of a full panel to finish; that will allow you to balance the spacing and use just less than 1/2 a panel at each gable, while maintaining the proper installation techniques.

Note the location of plumbing chases and cleanouts, but leave an exposed panel, not for me. Who wants to look at some half done panel screwed to the wall in the hallway. If your home is using wood for an interior wall covering, you can integrate an access panel in the installation and is more necessary, but sheetrock, no way. Planning on repairing plumbing means that you should have picked a better plumber! Granted, things happen, fittings fail, I have just never understood the mentality of having access panels all over the place. Cut the rock, repair the plumbing and patch it back to original.

The cost jump for using engineered studs for a cabinet wall will not cure your scribe problem. Cabinets need to be scribed to sheetrocked walls, because of the build up of mud at seams and corners. Using the straightest studs in the world will not prevent this, plus not scribing any form of millwork is just sloppy workmanship and it shows.

The cutting off of the end of a piece of lumber removes the checks that are caused during the drying process. Material today is grown so fast and processed so fast that it is really a wonder it holds its shape at all. You are not doing yourself any favors by not removing a minimum of 6" off each end of a large structural member. Studs are one thing, small member, vertical load. Joists and rafters are another animal all together. Having a deep check in the end of a floor joist is akin to cutting the bottom 3" out of a 2x10 to clear plumbing, you have just reduced the size of that entire member by 3", but left the additional weight that a now smaller member needs to carry; further compromising its integrity.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:15 PM   #32
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Couple of things that you are not taking into consideration!

Use of full width standing seam panels will leave you with a gable detail that cannot be flashed properly. Those last bends serve a purpose. If you were interested in maximizing material, than plan for just under 7/8 worth of a full panel to finish; that will allow you to balance the spacing and use just less than 1/2 a panel at each gable, while maintaining the proper installation techniques.

Note the location of plumbing chases and cleanouts, but leave an exposed panel, not for me. Who wants to look at some half done panel screwed to the wall in the hallway. If your home is using wood for an interior wall covering, you can integrate an access panel in the installation and is more necessary, but sheetrock, no way. Planning on repairing plumbing means that you should have picked a better plumber! Granted, things happen, fittings fail, I have just never understood the mentality of having access panels all over the place. Cut the rock, repair the plumbing and patch it back to original.

The cost jump for using engineered studs for a cabinet wall will not cure your scribe problem. Cabinets need to be scribed to sheetrocked walls, because of the build up of mud at seams and corners. Using the straightest studs in the world will not prevent this, plus not scribing any form of millwork is just sloppy workmanship and it shows.

The cutting off of the end of a piece of lumber removes the checks that are caused during the drying process. Material today is grown so fast and processed so fast that it is really a wonder it holds its shape at all. You are not doing yourself any favors by not removing a minimum of 6" off each end of a large structural member. Studs are one thing, small member, vertical load. Joists and rafters are another animal all together. Having a deep check in the end of a floor joist is akin to cutting the bottom 3" out of a 2x10 to clear plumbing, you have just reduced the size of that entire member by 3", but left the additional weight that a now smaller member needs to carry; further compromising its integrity.
I never meant design the roof so that it's a multiple of the width of the panels, I meant what I said, design the roof for full width panels. Doing so does not preclude flashing. If memory serves, my roof was (n x 16") + 2 1/8" to fit the panels and flashing without any hassle.

Plumbing chase access panels can be placed behind appliances and other places where no one would would notice. They don't have to be visible to be functional. That's how mine are.

The end of a floor joist is under almost no stress that would be affected by a check. It's only in compression and shares the load with a rim joist precisely where it;s needed most. It's the center of a joist span that's critical. Rafters are irrelevant in this regard because they have to be trimmed on both ends anyway. I still would recommend engineered lumber regardless, especially for an island camp. The light weight is a great advantage when moving it to the building lot.

A straight and plumb wall is vastly easier to scribe to than a wavy mess. I never said the cabinets would not have to be scribed, but I was not very clear about it either...
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:38 AM   #33
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I never meant design the roof so that it's a multiple of the width of the panels, I meant what I said, design the roof for full width panels. Doing so does not preclude flashing. If memory serves, my roof was (n x 16") + 2 1/8" to fit the panels and flashing without any hassle.

Plumbing chase access panels can be placed behind appliances and other places where no one would would notice. They don't have to be visible to be functional. That's how mine are.

The end of a floor joist is under almost no stress that would be affected by a check. It's only in compression and shares the load with a rim joist precisely where it;s needed most. It's the center of a joist span that's critical. Rafters are irrelevant in this regard because they have to be trimmed on both ends anyway. I still would recommend engineered lumber regardless, especially for an island camp. The light weight is a great advantage when moving it to the building lot.

A straight and plumb wall is vastly easier to scribe to than a wavy mess. I never said the cabinets would not have to be scribed, but I was not very clear about it either...
My point on the standing seam roofing was that the install requires that the starting and ending panels be crimped over a gable wall flashing piece (similar to what we call Rite Flow drip edge). That is not an optional bend, it is a part of the structural and flashing integrity of the roof. Unless you want to look at that huge 3-4" end detail that some companies offer, there is no way to avoid the end crimps. I am all for saving money and time, but not when it comes at a cost of form or function.

We will have to agree to disagree on the access panels.

The end of your floor joists are in fact under compression, but a check can cause the sheathing to heave and tile to crack. Not all joist ends are located under a wall with a rim joist attached to the end. If you are using KD floor joists than your spans are limited and you will likely have to split over a beam somewhere.

You and I are in agreement that Engineered Lumber is really the only option that should be considered for a floor system. Today's wood is absolutely terrible and compared to the engineered products, does not come close to integrity and design options. Plus they can be ordered by the foot!

I don't disagree that straight plumb walls are better, but a scribe is a scribe, the difference between removing the bulk of material with a power plane before moving to a hand plane to finish is a matter of a minute or two.

Its all good Dave R, I was not looking to cut your post down, your info was good, but in the wrong hands could create an impossible client. One that has no basis for the opinions they have on construction other than they read about it on the internet or because they read the current IBC, that they are now experts in construction standards. Not understanding that code is not a set standard, but a minimum standard.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:22 AM   #34
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The structural SIPS are what I was recommending. They come pre-cut and ready to assemble with door and window openings already present. They would be light and easy to transport and assembly would go remarkably quickly.
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Right on. We made them all. My point was that structural panels as well as curtain walls(non load bearing) can have finished interior surfaces as well. We made structural panels that were a sandwich of OSB-EPS-OSB-drywall or T&G pine, exterior to interior. All panels were precut for door and window openings as well as the wire chases being cut in the EPS before making the sandwich.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #35
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Default Musts for the island

  • Septic System
  • Electricity
  • Internet access
  • Screened in porch (wonderful on rainy days)
  • High quality sheets (who wants scratchy bed linens in paradise?)
  • Storage, storage and more storage
  • washer and dryer (I do not have these, and feel deprived)
  • Trees for shade on hot days (don't cut them all down)
  • For me the north exposure is wonderful, west is very hot (though the sunsets are nice)
  • A View... ride around and pick the one you love.
  • Understand the boat traffic in your chosen location and its impact on your desired lifestyle.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:40 PM   #36
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Default Great thoughts.

Good list. I'd only add a heating source. I have a kerosene monitor. Works great. With a well insulated house, it heats the whole place in the deep of winter. Have to know whether u want to use your place in the winter too and plan accordingly. I have heat, flushing toilets (hand filled) but no running water in winter. A dial up system to turn on the heat is particularly nice!

And put your living space towards the view and your bedrooms to the back.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:53 PM   #37
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Good comment about understanding the boat traffic.

I was amazed one nice day when we took a boat ride over to the west side of lake in the Gilford/LSP area. It looked like route 128 with 3 lanes of traffic in each direction, yet there was no boat traffic at all by our house on Barn Door Island.

This past Sunday I was looking at the number of boats passing Clay Point... There was nothing close to us, but all those boats must have been passing quite close to places on the SE end of the island and Pipers Point.

The boat traffic is horrible between Sleeper Island and Alton too... Big cruisers coming through kind of 1/2 on a plane throwing up huge wakes.

I guess it also pays to know where the common sandbar / party areas are too. It's a whole different world when you're looking at one of them unless you only spend mid-week here.

There was a nice looking place on Sleeper Island looking towards West Alton Marina when we were looking, but our real estate agent (who knew we liked quiet), warned us that we probably didn't want to be there on a weekend.

If you're looking at land or a property, always try to visit it on a nice summer weekend before you consider buying it.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:28 AM   #38
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THANKS EVERYONE! All these comments have really been incredibly helpful. Hopefully I will have a lot to build on in the very near future. Soon as I do I will let you all know where!
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:12 AM   #39
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THANKS EVERYONE! All these comments have really been incredibly helpful. Hopefully I will have a lot to build on in the very near future. Soon as I do I will let you all know where!
Make sure you do plenty of research into the added costs of building on an island over a mainland property such as barge charges. Everything on the islands costs more. We were really surprised at how much we spent in just fees to get our kit and materials out.

Even the maintenance items after completion....

A $220 septic tank pumping for instance on the mainland is $1000-1500 on the islands.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:24 AM   #40
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THANKS EVERYONE! All these comments have really been incredibly helpful. Hopefully I will have a lot to build on in the very near future. Soon as I do I will let you all know where!
Good luck if you are about to pull the trigger on something.

Without a doubt island living is the best. Now that I'm a seasoned 2 year veteran, I would not trade it for anything.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #41
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Without a doubt island living is the best.
Totally agree, it is very special!

Do take note of Codeman's comment on costs... I would guess 20-30 percent premium when you factor in barge costs, labor required to move stuff from shore to boat to shore, etc

Keep us posted on your plans and enjoy island living -PIG
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:14 PM   #42
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Default Docking system

Don't forget that no work can be done on an island (without bridges) until you have a decent docking system. I say system because you have to have a way to bring in different size vessels and be able to offload materials. On many islands you will also need a jetty/breakwater which can increase the budget significantly.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:35 PM   #43
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Don't forget that no work can be done on an island (without bridges) until you have a decent docking system. I say system because you have to have a way to bring in different size vessels and be able to offload materials. On many islands you will also need a jetty/breakwater which can increase the budget significantly.
Not really true. Typically they land the barges right up to shore with ramps and deliver materials with a skid steer or crane. Our house was completely built before our dock was even started (permitting took a ridiculous amount of time on the dock and beach). They barged out excavators, dump trucks and material to clear the lot and install the septic in November 2004, then the materials for the platform and log home kit was delivered by barge, crane and skid steer in late December. Our dock did not go in until July 2005 which was about the same time we took occupancy.

Breakwaters can certainly ring up a bill when needed.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:57 PM   #44
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Not really true. Typically they land the barges right up to shore with ramps and deliver materials with a skid steer or crane. Our house was completely built before our dock was even started (permitting took a ridiculous amount of time on the dock and beach). They barged out excavators, dump trucks and material to clear the lot and install the septic in November 2004, then the materials for the platform and log home kit was delivered by barge, crane and skid steer in late December. Our dock did not go in until July 2005 which was about the same time we took occupancy.

Breakwaters can certainly ring up a bill when needed.
My assumption was that this was a DIY deal he was talking about. Need a place to dock your own boat while building your house.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:49 PM   #45
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My advice is simple, if you already have a piece of land in mind, first talk to the town planning board, and the local inspector. Get an idea of what the minimum requirements are going to be, to have a legal structure that you can occupy. You might find that in lieu of running water and septic, that you can have a composting toilet, or an incinerating toilet. This changes the expense ball game entirely, if you like it rustic. But back to where I was going with my original thought. First you must understand what the Town is going to require to have a structure that is legal and can be occupied. Then put together a list of the things you think are necessary, and start building from there, until your wallet is empty.

Many people here are approaching this from a like and want avenue. If you start thinking about all the likes and wants, you will likely be disappointed when you find these things aren't within the budget. I have found it is always better to start at the minimum need, and build up, adding features. That why you see what your getting, and not what you are loosing.
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