Author Topic: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival  (Read 31832 times)

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2008, 11:06:13 PM »
I don't know exactly what the best type of structure for a BOL is but I like log cabins & domes personally.

If someone needs a quick, down & dirty & relatively cheap option for a structure on a remote piece of property, consider something like this..Small Utility Building

I recently had a 10'X20' with two windows, & framing for a 36" door, along with the standard barn doors built & delivered for $3600.  I'm planning on wiring it for electricity, insulating it & using it as a shop as well as for storage.  Right now it's strictly serving storage duty.  After I get the interior finished my plans are to put a lean to on either side for outdoor storage items.   

Does  anyone know how to get around county code requirements to be able to build something from these forums? When I went to them wanting to build a yurt they said " NO WAY" it is like banging your head against a wall...

I hate to point out the obvious, but code requirements are there to protect everyone & going around them will probably cause you more harm than good.  Plus, I don't think we want to advocate anyone doing anything illegal & potentially litigious on the forum.  My advice would be to find a way to work within the codes of your local municipality.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2008, 11:10:35 PM »
I probably misworded I didn't mean around, more how to deal with them. Does anyone have experience in this area?

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2008, 06:28:01 AM »
Does  anyone know how to get around county code requirments to be able to build something from these forums? When I went to them wanting to build a yurt they said " NO WAY" it is llike banging your head against a wall...

 Thats the thing, people may think they're free in this country, but they'd probably just as soon send you off to a fema prison camp than let you camp or build a cabin on your own land. Oversize mansions are fine with them because they bring in more tax revenue.

  This is sort of a fundamental problem because when people vote to cut federal and state taxes or income taxes, it gives towns more reasons to crave higher property taxes since they lose money from the other tax cuts. The builders also want to built these gigantic houses as that maximized their profits, so you can't put up a house without all kinds of building codes. I may agree that if people are living in squalid conditions with no sewage or trash collections, that could be bad, but there could be ways around that or laws for that. The other thing is people think it's ok to offshore jobs to India, well if you live in India you can probably live in a shack, let me buy land within 20 miles of a major city where I can easily commute and let me throw up a cabin or camp there in my RV and I'll guarantee you that I could compete economically with anyone, doesn't that make sense ?

Some of the rich people that move into towns around here vote to increase the property taxes because it gives more money to the school system for their kids, we see this for mostly republicans in these towns as well. They are against federal and state taxes, then they vote to increase the town taxes that benefit their kids. Even if I was in favor of lower state and federal taxes, if they cut those you wouldn't ever win anyway.




 I am faced with the same issue, the best chance that I can build a rustic cabin is to go pretty far up into Maine.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 06:31:00 AM by surfivor »

Offline flagtag

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2008, 03:46:27 PM »
Call it a "storage shed"?  ;D

Offline Red Dog

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2008, 08:21:26 PM »
I'm going to throw Jack's usual disclaimer about this applying in my area (Virginia) and the fact that it may not be true in your area onto the front of this post.

OK with that nonsense out of the way, I've spent the last 10 years or so of my career in one facet or another of structural design, a lot of it working with builders to help them get their plans designed and through the permit process.  Most states have moved to the IBC (International Building Code) in the past few years so most of this should apply.  When the states adopt the code they can adopt some, all, or some and add their own stuff, so you do need to check with your local building official.

The building codes are prescriptive ,meaning they provide a prescription which if followed will result in a "safe" building.  The codes are not proscriptive, meaning they do not say that methods not covered in the code will result in an unsafe building.  The code (IBC 2003 and later) has provisions for proving that alternative methods are satisfactory.  A lot of these methods are outside of the means of a normal individual to meet, and involve test structures and long term monitoring.  The two methods that are easiest for the homeowner to achieve are:

1) Hire a licensed expert, read architect or engineer with a seal for your state.  If one of these individuals is willing to put their stamp on something they effectively remove responsibility from the local govt.

2) "Prove through anecdotal evidence", meaning find examples in your area that show the type of construction you want to undertake, and that do not exhibit any issues that are a result of that aspect of the construction.  This one is real tough and should be a last resort.  About the only example I've seen of this working is when a person has a buddy who has already built an alternative home provides the engineering he used to get his house built to the guy trying to get something approved.

Those are the two most official ways to get something unusual through the process.  That said you'd probably be surprised how willing some building inspectors will be to help you out.  Most of these guys are regular people and are more interested in construction that most people.  They see hundreds of the usual cracker box go up every year and most of them like to see something different.  They're just like everybody else out there and they get pleasure from being involved in something special.  Your project could be that something special.  Just remember most of these guys see their job as protecting you the resident from unsafe conditions caused by unsafe practices.  They aren't busting your balls for the joy of it (unless you've given them a reason to enjoy it...)  There are going to be some real jerks out there just like every where else, and it might not be a bad idea to go in and get a feel for who's who in your local office before you start a real out there project.  Stop in and ask some questions be nice, sell yourself, before you sell your project nobody likes to tell their buddy no.

As an aside I mentioned the long term testing thing earlier in the post.  If you have a state funded engineering college around they are frequently involved in this kind of thing.  Here in VA we've got Virginia Tech and they're frequently involved in these kinds of projects and are a great source of info.  They can not only help you out with finding projects going on in your area but can also provide great info on benefits and problems with different methods that are specific to your area.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2008, 05:05:25 PM »

Those are the two most official ways to get something unusual through the process.  That said you'd probably be surprised how willing some building inspectors will be to help you out.  Most of these guys are regular people and are more interested in construction that most people.  They see hundreds of the usual cracker box go up every year and most of them like to see something different.  They're just like everybody else out there and they get pleasure from being involved in something special.
 Your project could be that something special.  Just remember most of these guys see their job as protecting you the resident from unsafe conditions caused by unsafe practices.  They aren't busting your balls for the joy of it (unless you've given them a reason to enjoy it...)  There are going to be some real jerks out there just like every where else, and it might not be a bad idea to go in and get a feel for who's who in your local office before you start a real out there project.  Stop in and ask some questions be nice, sell yourself, before you sell your project nobody likes to tell their buddy no.




 It seems like sometimes you find there is some sort of rule, and the official will be sympathetic and all, and say "gee its too bad you can't do that, doesn't make sense to me either, I don't make the rules, sorry I can't let you do that, wish I could" etc. I don't have experience with building codes, but it seems like that sort of thing happens one way or the other in various situations.



Offline Beetle

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2008, 11:17:03 PM »
Whats sad is the Yurts are manufactured in my state, but illegal to have in the entire state of Oregon. Its not a county thing but a state rule. They supplied me with three reasons because some guy 20 years ago tried and it had to go for approval. It went to the building division for a ruling here it is.  http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/bcd/programs/structural/interps/92-28.pdf I think it's a cheesy ruling.
So here is the twist, all our state parks have Yurts for camping only the state is allowed to have them HMMMMMM. whats up with that?
I called the Yurt company and they just want you to buy it anyway's and screw the code. I asked them to help me fight the state over the rule, but they want no part.
Sad thing is we are so into environmentally friendly and being GREEN, Yurts fit all that and more and they are cheap. (only about 12k). Could it be if we all had a cheap house they wouldn't get as much tax $$$$$

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2008, 02:32:15 AM »
 I see it says something about not suitable because of durability, energy conservation, security and so on, and then later says no info was submitted or is not known.

 Without knowing alot about it, I would suspect you may be right or that that could have something to do with it.

 Property taxes are an important source of income, so there's an incentive for officials and people in the area to not have inexpensively built dwellings.

 People are often concerned about anything in their neighborhood that may effect their property values. I have heard of campgrounds getting shut down by the town because people who lived near them where concerned that such places effect the values of their homes. They would likely feel the same way about Yurts and such.

 Builders and industries related to that also might be concerned if people build cheaper houses that it may take some business away from them. For quite a while we have seen extremely large oversize mansion size houses going up everywhere. No doubt these houses are much larger than they needed to be to even live comfortably and they seem to put a strain on wood and building supplies. Building modest sized affordable homes seemed like a thing of the past that went out of style for the most part in most of the suburban areas. Some towns do have affordable housing laws that permit builders to build for that, much of that seems end up as condos.


Up where I camp in Maine, the surrounding towns will not allow the campgrounds to stay open year round. The primary reason is that people will live there and then try to send their kids to school. You would think there might be some other way of addressing that, but it seems to happen in alot of places. I used to stay at a state park on the beach in Massachusetts that was open in the winter, but they now shut down in the winter because the town complained people where living there and sending their kids to school.


 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 02:41:32 AM by surfivor »

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2008, 06:46:18 AM »
 I just bought a book on log cabins which mentioned a company that makes a prefab type of cabin called panel concepts. I looked on their website and was somewhat impressed thus far. They have different models and different sizes, but for example you can get an oak ridge cabin that is 336 square feet (12x28) for about $6,500.
You can buy an insulation kit for about $3,500 to make it 4 season. The whole thing is easy to assemble and take apart with minimal tools, but it sounds like for $10,000 or less you can easily throw up one of their cabins and even less if you don't care about insulating it.

http://www.panelconcepts.com/priceitOR.htm

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2008, 07:58:50 AM »
I've always wanted to bury a (couple) container trailers with a small little cabin on top. With a proper foundation and a good sump pump the container would make a great 'safe room' / root celler / storage / you name it. Given that a trailer could be had for 3-6k and maybe 3k to have someone bury it it doesn't seem like a bad idea at all. THere was a thread about this at ARF but I can't find it.

-Tash

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2008, 08:56:37 AM »

 If you make a cabin out of a container trailer, would it have windows ?

 I live in a condo that only has windows in one room, it's kind of like living in a cave, only advantage is if you want to sleep in the daytime. Not good for ventilation or creating a sunny bright living space.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2008, 12:16:53 AM »
Here is a link to a group of survivalists in canada that buried buses http://www.ki4u.com/nuclearsurvival/arktwo/pictures.htm

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2008, 07:57:30 AM »

 If you make a cabin out of a container trailer, would it have windows ?

 I live in a condo that only has windows in one room, it's kind of like living in a cave, only advantage is if you want to sleep in the daytime. Not good for ventilation or creating a sunny bright living space.

with a plazma cutter you could make a container look like swiss cheese if you wanted. Hell, if you cut a hole for a window and you decided you didn't like it, you could weld on a cover. No more window.

As best as I can tell, in order to bury a container it would have to have a good foundation. lots of individuals seem to use railroad ties. it would also need to way to pump out water, thus, the sump pump and it would also need a way to vent radon. Lots of this would be relatively simple to fix with PVC plumbing and way to access the fan and sump pump (or bilge pump). kinda like under the deck of a boat deck. Also, cross bracing would needed to be installed inside the container but with proper bracing it would, theoretically, be able to handle 2' of earth on top of it. Put a small cabin over top and have a ladder the goes down into the container. Now this is all kinda me day dreaming but it sounds very managable and relatively inexpensive compared to other options. my 2 cents

-Tash

Offline surfivor

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2008, 06:22:25 PM »

 I think the idea of making a tree house is sort of interesting. If you could make something like a garage door opener type switch that causes a rope ladder to come down, you could make it hard for vandals and theives, safe from bears as well.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2008, 11:48:57 PM »
I just wanted to cast my vote for the "small" retreat, I tried to post these pictures earlier in my time here, but hey, live, learn and then go back and post again.  Here's a few examples...

















And last, but not least, is The Southern Good 'Ole Boy Combo BOV and Mobile Retreat...



Tim Suggs
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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2008, 02:30:11 PM »
Suggs,
You had said something in October about wanting a circle of 5 dwellings for your family to retreat in. Great concept!
Enlist the help of the youngsters, the resources of the olders kids, and get 'er done. Seems like an easy sell as a family compound, then make it the BOL as things deteriorate. I also like the concept of taking a storage shelter and making it into a human habitat. Smart!

Big thumbs up also goes to the burried containers with tiny cabin above brought to us by Tash. You could bury it deep and connect with a culvert/ladder set up. That would be a great idea!!!

-Ras

Offline Beetle

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2008, 02:36:49 PM »
There were two brothers(1800's) in the Steens Mountains who built their houses so they could watch each others backs. The houses are still there and I think they did it for Indians, but seems like a good concept.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2008, 06:30:08 PM »
Suggs,
You had said something in October about wanting a circle of 5 dwellings for your family to retreat in. Great concept!
Enlist the help of the youngsters, the resources of the olders kids, and get 'er done. Seems like an easy sell as a family compound, then make it the BOL as things deteriorate. I also like the concept of taking a storage shelter and making it into a human habitat. Smart!

Big thumbs up also goes to the burried containers with tiny cabin above brought to us by Tash. You could bury it deep and connect with a culvert/ladder set up. That would be a great idea!!!

-Ras


That was sort of my idea.  It was more of a vision than an actual thought process though.  Putting all of the dwelling units in an inward facing circle saves on space, consolidates the common courtyard so there's always an "eye" watching over the kiddies whilst at play, and makes an outward defense more effective as well.  This "vision" also includes that all of the dwellings be behind a single circling wall of some sorts.  I actually would love to be in the center of three circling walls.  There was a paperback series I loved to read called End World, and I think sometimes I have flashbacks to some of the pages of that series that I have read.  They were a much better developed "villiage" than what I had in mind for me and mine.

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!

Offline Beetle

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2008, 09:09:52 PM »
Suggs,
You had said something in October about wanting a circle of 5 dwellings for your family to retreat in. Great concept!
Enlist the help of the youngsters, the resources of the olders kids, and get 'er done. Seems like an easy sell as a family compound, then make it the BOL as things deteriorate. I also like the concept of taking a storage shelter and making it into a human habitat. Smart!

Big thumbs up also goes to the burried containers with tiny cabin above brought to us by Tash. You could bury it deep and connect with a culvert/ladder set up. That would be a great idea!!!

-Ras


That was sort of my idea.  It was more of a vision than an actual thought process though.  Putting all of the dwelling units in an inward facing circle saves on space, consolidates the common courtyard so there's always an "eye" watching over the kiddies whilst at play, and makes an outward defense more effective as well.  This "vision" also includes that all of the dwellings be behind a single circling wall of some sorts.  I actually would love to be in the center of three circling walls.  There was a paperback series I loved to read called End World, and I think sometimes I have flashbacks to some of the pages of that series that I have read.  They were a much better developed "villiage" than what I had in mind for me and mine.

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!

Circle the wagons.. You must have been a pioneer in a past life.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2008, 09:44:30 AM »


Circle the wagons.. You must have been a pioneer in a past life.
[/quote]

It worked for them (most of the time).

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2008, 04:03:15 PM »
Does  anyone know how to get around county code requirments to be able to build something from these forums? When I went to them wanting to build a yurt they said " NO WAY" it is llike banging your head against a wall...

If you make the structure smaller than the minimum county code requirement, then you can build whatever you want. presumably if you wanted to make a 600 sq ft structure and the minimum requirement for code was 200 sq ft then you could build 3 199 sq ft buildings/yurts/flying saucers and you'd be unregulated, right?

I also wanted to add another site with cheap house building kits: http://www.pennypincherbarns.com/
BYG

Offline Ultio1

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2008, 12:21:51 PM »
I don't know exactly what the best type of structure for a BOL is but I like log cabins & domes personally.

If someone needs a quick, down & dirty & relatively cheap option for a structure on a remote piece of property, consider something like this..Small Utility Building

I recently had a 10'X20' with two windows, & framing for a 36" door, along with the standard barn doors built & delivered for $3600.  I'm planning on wiring it for electricity, insulating it & using it as a shop as well as for storage.  Right now it's strictly serving storage duty.  After I get the interior finished my plans are to put a lean to on either side for outdoor storage items.   

Does  anyone know how to get around county code requirements to be able to build something from these forums? When I went to them wanting to build a yurt they said " NO WAY" it is like banging your head against a wall...


I hate to point out the obvious, but code requirements are there to protect everyone & going around them will probably cause you more harm than good.  Plus, I don't think we want to advocate anyone doing anything illegal & potentially litigious on the forum.  My advice would be to find a way to work within the codes of your local municipality.

I am going that route.  A small building of similar size that can be easily built on to. There is a mobile home there now that I can live in while I build my shop and green house and eventually a more perminant home .

Offline vinny

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2008, 08:31:52 AM »
http://http://www.montanamobilecabins.com

These are pretty cool, althoughit probable costs a ton to have it shipped/trucked.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2008, 07:16:10 PM »

 If you make a cabin out of a container trailer, would it have windows ?

 I live in a condo that only has windows in one room, it's kind of like living in a cave, only advantage is if you want to sleep in the daytime. Not good for ventilation or creating a sunny bright living space.

with a plazma cutter you could make a container look like swiss cheese if you wanted. Hell, if you cut a hole for a window and you decided you didn't like it, you could weld on a cover. No more window.

Also, cross bracing would needed to be installed inside the container but with proper bracing it would, theoretically, be able to handle 2' of earth on top of it.

-Tash

Tash, don't forget the overseas shipping containers are routinely stacked 10/20 high full of cargo on the ships and yards, so I don't think 2" of dirt if going to be that much of an issue.

Tim.


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Re: Best Kinds of Houses for Survival
« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2008, 01:03:22 PM »