Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
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Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Follow along as we share our experiences building our own home. We are neither builders nor architects so we get a lot of help along the way!
 

Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Rural Ozarks
Madison County
Northwest, Arkansas 72632

Call Us At:
(479) 555-5555

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The mis-adventures of the Bailey family building their own home Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
We have completed our cabin that will some day be our guest house.

One day, back when we were living in South Texas and we realized that it would be nice to come in out of the weather while building the Earth Shelter House we decided to build a 'guest house'.

Jennifer insisted that she just wanted a square box, but I could not handle a square house. We did a little research and came up with the floor plan for the cabin. We priced a kit installation for this same size were quoted a $52,000 turn key price tag. That was okay, but we did not have the money for that. We did it for half that price ourselves.

When all was said and done we opted for a nearly completely open design and used a lot of wood salvaged from the house my Grandfather build by harvesting and milling his own wood back in the 1940s.

 One day, back when we were living in South Texas and we realized that it would be nice to come in out of the weather while building the Earth Shelter House we decided to build a guest house.

Jennifer insisted that she just wanted a square box, but I could not handle a square house. We did a little research and came up with the floor plan for the cabin.  We priced a kit installation for this same size were quoted a $52,000 turn key price tag.  That was okay, but we did not have the money for that.  We did it for half that price ourselves.

When all was said and done we opted for a nearly completely open design and used a lot of wood salvaged from the house my Grandfather build by harvesting and milling his own wood back in the 1940s.
Click Image to Enlarge

 The process of making footings is done at our home in Port A.  I made a wood box that we installed re-bar and poured cement. After it hardened, it is removed and we do it again. The top of the block is large enough to hold a 8x16 cement block.

The cement is left for 24 hours then removed to make room for the next one.

Adam and Val both helped by getting water, mixing some of the cement and holding the re-bar in place while I poured the cement.

I am not a cementologist, but in the reading I have done, cement will cure stronger if it is damp for a few days. I use a towel and a sprinkler head on a VERY slow drip to accomplish this. Normally, it would not be hard to keep it damp in October, but our weather this year has been in the mid to upper 90s and it would dry out the cement too fast.

Click here to see more photos
Click Image to Enlarge
The process of making footings is done at our home in Port A. I made a wood box that we installed re-bar and poured cement. After it hardened, it is removed and we do it again. The top of the block is large enough to hold a 8x16 cement block.

The cement is left for 24 hours then removed to make room for the next one.

Adam and Val both helped by getting water, mixing some of the cement and holding the re-bar in place while I poured the cement.

I am not a cementologist, but in the reading I have done, cement will cure stronger if it is damp for a few days. I use a towel and a sprinkler head on a VERY slow drip to accomplish this. Normally, it would not be hard to keep it damp in October, but our weather this year has been in the mid to upper 90s and it would dry out the cement too fast.

Click here to see more photos
On October 9, 2004, we officially broke ground on the new cabin in Arkansas. This is a moment we have been looking forward to!

We started by getting a rough idea of where the structure would sit. I taught the boys what little I know about placement (30 seconds) of a structure, then we used a rope with measured knots in it to find the center point.

After confirming that a tree needed to be removed, we chopped down a 53 year old Pine tree that will live on as the center post of the new cabin. It will be left in as natural a state as possible after the bark is removed.

Click here to see more

 On October 9, 2004, we officially broke ground on the new cabin in Arkansas. This is a moment we have been looking forward to!

We started by getting a rough idea of where the structure would sit. I taught the boys what little I know about placement (30 seconds) of a structure, then we used a rope with measured knots in it to find the center point.

After confirming that a tree needed to be removed, we chopped down a 53 year old Pine tree that will live on as the center post of the new cabin. It will be left in as natural a state as possible after the bark is removed.

Click here to see more
Click Image to Enlarge

 Raising the center post for the cabin is an event that has weighed heavy on my mind for many months.  I put a lot of thought into the process and this is what I cam up with.  Two Block and tackles lifted the post into place.  The only problem is that I should have tied a rope to the end to keep it from going too far.  If I were to do this again, there would DEFINITELY be a rope on the back side of the tree.

I used the car to pull the block and tackles and West helped to signal and keep an eye on things, making sure no one was hurt in the process.  WARNING: Dont try to do this by your self.  get a helpful neighbor to keep another eye on things.
Click Image to Enlarge
Raising the center post for the cabin is an event that has weighed heavy on my mind for many months. I put a lot of thought into the process and this is what I cam up with. Two Block and tackles lifted the post into place. The only problem is that I should have tied a rope to the end to keep it from going too far. If I were to do this again, there would DEFINITELY be a rope on the back side of the tree.

I used the car to pull the block and tackles and West helped to signal and keep an eye on things, making sure no one was hurt in the process. WARNING: Don't try to do this by your self. get a helpful neighbor to keep another eye on things.
There are a lot of features about the cabin that I am particularly proud: the center post, custom cabinets and more, but one thing that is hard not to notice when you walk into the cabin is the ceiling. Much of the wood in the cabin is from the house my grandfather built from his own cut, cured and milled wood in the 1940s. The wood he used for decking on walls and roofing is visible on our ceiling.
 There are a lot of features about the cabin that I am particularly proud: the center post, custom cabinets and more, but one thing that is hard not to notice when you walk into the cabin is the ceiling.  Much of the wood in the cabin is from the house my grandfather built from his own cut, cured and milled wood in the 1940s.  The wood he used for decking on walls and roofing is visible on our ceiling.
Click Image to Enlarge

 On Jun 5, 2009 We will be pouring cement for what will become the first section of driveway.  We will be using it as a front patio and a place to park the car.  It will be nice to get to the car without having to risk tripping over rocks and stumps, for a change.

I would love to be able to pour more of the driveway, but cement trucks will be backing through the area when we pour the cement in the slab for the Earth Shelter House.  I do not want to risk them breaking my nice new driveway.  The rest of the drive will be poured after the Earth Shelter House slab is poured.  

The driveway will connect the cabin (front and back steps), the garage and the front door of the Earth Shelter House with the circle drive to the road for a complete clean connection with the road.  I say clean because as soon as we hit the gravel road it will no longer be clean...  One day they will fix that... we hope!
Click Image to Enlarge
On Jun 5, 2009 We will be pouring cement for what will become the first section of driveway. We will be using it as a front patio and a place to park the car. It will be nice to get to the car without having to risk tripping over rocks and stumps, for a change.

I would love to be able to pour more of the driveway, but cement trucks will be backing through the area when we pour the cement in the slab for the Earth Shelter House. I do not want to risk them breaking my nice new driveway. The rest of the drive will be poured after the Earth Shelter House slab is poured.

The driveway will connect the cabin (front and back steps), the garage and the front door of the Earth Shelter House with the circle drive to the road for a complete 'clean' connection with the road. I say 'clean' because as soon as we hit the gravel road it will no longer be 'clean'... One day they will fix that... we hope!
For a lot more photos, click here.
Yurt? What is a Yurt?
September 27, 2004
I do not even pretend to know anything about architectural history. I first saw the Yurt on an HGTV special. It seems to come from a design used by the Mongolians. It is an extremely sturdy rigid tent structure that has walls of sticks covered with a canvas tent.

The rigidity and durability has been repeatedly brought into the permanent structure arena and seems to be quite popular in some areas. We selected this style because of the apparent ease of putting it up. I have yet to see if that is true, but never the less, Jennifer has seen through to give me her final approval, so the plan is set.

 I do not even pretend to know anything about architectural history. I first saw the Yurt on an HGTV special. It seems to come from a design used by the Mongolians. It is an extremely sturdy rigid tent structure that has walls of sticks covered with a canvas tent.

The rigidity and durability has been repeatedly brought into the permanent structure arena and seems to be quite popular in some areas. We selected this style because of the apparent ease of putting it up. I have yet to see if that is true, but never the less, Jennifer has seen through to give me her final approval, so the plan is set.
Click Image to Enlarge

 

 

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