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Old 01-21-2008, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,548,601 times
Reputation: 14657

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Plant some pilings and build on those. I think you'll be just fine. Yes there are a number of water purifiers available these days and you can use the lake water for that. And depending on the terrain you can move your cabin back a ways from waters edge if it gives you more elevation or more of a solid ground. And keep in mind an excessive amount of snow could raise lake water levels so you may want to consider keeping back a bit if it does raise you cabin elevation a bit. Looks like a nice spot. Hopefully there are fish in there also!
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Wherever they send me... (Family are based in Oregon)
61 posts, read 154,249 times
Reputation: 30
I live in Grants Pass, in Southern Oregon. There are some beautiful areas around here. The Siskiyou's are beautiful, the Redwoods, the coast further up north around Yachats. Having been brought up in suburban London I hated it. Trees were rare things seen only in parks. Houses were back to back. People everywhere. Shops everywhere. I promised myself I would get out as soon as I could. I moved to Dublin when I was 16 years old (by myself) and lived there for 2 years. Then I went back to England to finish my education. I took a degree in Scriptwriting for Film (which is of no use to anyone, but I was young and didn't care), then got a job doing data entry work which was mind numbingly depressing. Then a friend of mine suggested I work as a caregiver at the local deaf school (deaf school actually meant residential school for kids with all kinds of handicaps - deaf blind autistic quadraplegic everything). 2 years of looking after kids who put their heads through plate glass windows, the one hour bus ride to work hungover going over a million speed bumps, made me think: I need a plan.
I thought being a motorcycle paramedic sounded good. But didn't have my motorbike license for long enough at the time to apply for the job. So I figured I would train as a nurse and get some ER experience, by then I'd have my motorcycle license long enough to apply. But then I got driving citations on my bike license and ended up hating my ER placements anyway. I graduated as a nurse and have worked for 6 years either in Hospice or in cancer centers. I just got back from a job in Maine where I was the nurse manager on a medical surgical ward - which I hated - way too much paperwork. Now I'm back in Oregon. The plan had been to move over to Maine with the family (wife and two kids) but I was working 90 hours a week, so it was no solution. Although Maine was pretty. I liked the snow and the very few people. But the heating bills were insane.
So now I'm back to square one. Back in Southern Oregon where the property prices are crazy. Working at the local hospital on a medical surgical ward. Devising the latest plan to drive my wife even crazier.
I'm not one of those people that wants a secure job and an easy life. I get restless very easilly. I guess having seen so many people die of cancer has made me realize that you have to really push the boundaries and seek out some purpose in life. I've not found it yet. I have to keep looking. I come into my own when I'm faced with overwhelming odds and when people tell me: You're crazy, it will never happen. I guess that gets my goat enough for me to want to do it just to prove them wrong.
There's nothing worse than just existing doing something you don't have much passion for. I think I used to get a kick out of looking after people. I'm told I am a pretty good nurse. I'd like to think I made a bit of a difference. Like it or not, I am conscientious about my job. That's why I burn out. I have to stay late to make sure things are done right. But I'm at the point where I'm asking myself: What am I doing? People are always going to be sick. You get them better so the majority of them can return to their pointless lives. I've lost my drive. But... I honestly believe that if I can make a go of something as challenging as building a cabin and living in a remote area of Alaska, then I will feel revived. And that's a good starting point.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,871,034 times
Reputation: 1365
Englsh Nurse...I have lived the life in the bush like that. And I absolutely love it. However, I married someone who likes running water and electricity and I lover her more so I'm staying put.

You will really like it when you get your cabin built. There is nothing like a warm fire on a cold day when you can look outside and know the wind can blow, the snow can fall but you are going to be warm, dry and cozy. And you don't have to worry about traffic noise because there is no road within 50 miles of there. You are going to have to fly in. I would guess that you can charter for 3-4 hundred dollars from Nenana.

The Deadman Lake Campground on google is a different lake. That one is on the Alaska Highway between the border and Tok.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:07 PM
 
3,774 posts, read 9,895,229 times
Reputation: 1834
3 million lakes in this state and only so many names.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Wherever they send me... (Family are based in Oregon)
61 posts, read 154,249 times
Reputation: 30
My biggest question right now is which foundations to go with. I've read various things. The region has 'continuous permafrost'. I don't know what depth. I know that if you build on permafrost you can upset the thermal dynamics of the ground and it may cause your foundations to sink. A building will shield the ground from sunlight in the summer and the heat from the building will create more warmth in the winter.
Some people say you have to place your foundations below the level of the permafrost and in the same sentence they say the permafrost may only be a few feet deep, but could be over 100 feet deep...!
Some people say wooden pilings, some say concrete (but that can crack with root penetration even if it's reinforced with rebar), others say hollow metal cylinders (but they can bend).
No one seems to have a definitive answer. It's all, hmm, depends on the soil and permafrost depth.
Well, the soil is sandy silt, five to six feet, covered with an organic layer. The depth of the permafrost is unknown, but definitely what they call 'continuous permafrost', as opposed to seasonal.
Here's my thinking:
1. Tapered, kiln fired reinforced and treated timber pilings driven ten feet into the ground and rising another 8 feet above the ground. If it does sink, I can jack it and reinforce it with some more pilings.
or...
2. Dig a 4 feet trench, fill with concrete reinforced with rebar. Apply mortar to the top then build a three feet high foundation wall of local stones and mortar, level it off, drill in some threaded screws to secure the flooring frame.

The benefit of the pilings though would mean the house is higher from the ground. If I insulate the floor well then the heat shouldn't get down to the permafrost to upset it too much, and also, if I keep the space beneath the house open then some sun will get in during the summer - as opposed to completely blocking it off with stone and mortar.

I'm really erring on the side of reinforced tapered and treated timber pilings.

Does anyone have any good suggestions?

I was planning on laying the foundation pilings at the end of July and getting the flooring on. Then leaving it to settle for a few months until I can get back again and start on the walls and roof.

The Outlands - Build your own log cabin

Building a log cabin in Alaska, preparing the land and peeling logs.

It's frustrating. The foundations are the most important thing. But I've yet to find anyone who agrees on the best foundations to use in sandy silt with continuous permafrost.

If I go the timber piling route and it all sinks - I'll be sure to post and let you all know...
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,871,034 times
Reputation: 1365
Read this thread. Read the whole thing. I would go the pad route. You will understand after you read the thread
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Wherever they send me... (Family are based in Oregon)
61 posts, read 154,249 times
Reputation: 30
By pad, do you mean the floating 'skid pad' mentioned in this thread?
I'm thinking: skid pad resting on sonotube pilings. Then if there is any sinking or unsettling, I can stack some breeze blocks up beneath the house, put bottle jacks on the top of the pile of blocks and jack the house/pad until it's level - then, I can add some kind of support wedge on top of the original sonotube pilings and take the jacks and breeze blocks away.
Hmm.
Sonotube pilings with skid pad on top...
Oh well, if the whole thing collapes to one side it will just add character, right?
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,548,601 times
Reputation: 14657
I'd go with timber treated. You can just keep adding spacers if pilings sink? Build that base/sub floor nice and solid and you can level the entire building fairly easily and won't have a bunch of buckling and corner cracking etc if you get a frost heave under the house. But thats just me.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:51 AM
 
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,677 posts, read 5,752,211 times
Reputation: 667
Sinking of a foundatin is easy, frost jacking on a piling can cause more issues. You can build adjustment into the pilings by adding plates and real large screws set mid way with nuts on the plate as load bearing surface.

White Spruce Enterprixes sells an adjustable post and base system with cross bracing that is earthquake rated. check it out. White Spruce Enterprises (broken link)
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,871,034 times
Reputation: 1365
You must not have read the whole thread mentioned.

Basically, it is a 4 foot square pad, (or depending on soils a 3 foot square pad) by 1 foot thick made out of treated wood.

Clear the top layer of soil, (leaves, roots etc), until you get to the mineral layer. Level this layer and rest the pad on that.

Do that on all four corners. Build up each pad with cribbing until each are level with the other. None of the pads will be at the same level initially.

Then lay your beams across the center of each pad.

4 pads would work for up to a 16X16 cabin....if you get larger than that you will need more pads.

This is real easy to monitor over time so that you can jack up a corner to bring back to level if needed. If you can get away with only 4 pads you will not have the uneven frost jacking problem associated with multiple pilings.
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