View Full Version : Stacking milled 2"x8" or 8"x 8" lumber to make a cabin?

03-03-2008, 08:16 PM
I don't know if this is the right forum but I have a crazy idea I would like anyone to comment on. I'm thinking of buying 2"x8" red cedar lumber with various lengths and stacking 64 courses of them on top of each other and using threaded rod vertically every 4 feet or so and bolt them down to strengthen them, then gluing and insulating them in order to build a 20' x 24' cabin. The retail price for the outside walls is around $7500. I think its a very cost effective plan but I am unsure of the load bearing capabilities of the 1/2 story above. Any straight forward help or constructive critisism comments will be welcome. Thanks!

03-04-2008, 06:32 AM
Get a professional engineer to look at your plans. Regardless of materials, if you plan to do a custom design you would do well to speak to an engineer.

Many kit home manufacturers use a similar system for "contstruction," however their designs meet at least one building code. Up front, your "bolt" spacing is of concern to me--a PE can help you with that.

At 7500, you might find that a kit home manufacturer can get you a "shell" for around that price.
However, I would advise against a kit home.

At 7500, you could probably srounge enough logs to build a small cabin....one that will last more than a life time.


03-04-2008, 05:39 PM
Thanks Andrew for the advise about having an engineer look at my idea. I believe my idea is probably is a lot cheaper than those log cabin kits, and I can stack lumber myself and not rely on outside help. I also won't need to rent a crane to set logs. Anyone else have any advise or comments on my stacking lumber idea? Thanks

03-04-2008, 05:51 PM
The problem with any kind of milled lumber is that it exposes the grain of the wood to moisture. And milled lumber stacked "flat on flat" is especially bad. Capillary action will draw moisture into the cracks where the wood will rot.

In the course, they teach how to set up lifting poles and use old-fashioned block and tackle to lift your logs. And it can be done by one person. Here's a picture of Vern's lifting poles: http://www.vernstreet.com/IMAGES/sevenup2007_0325(001).JPG

Here's a picture of a triple block, if you're not sure what I'm talking about: http://www.pelicanbaylighthouseco.com/images/nautical/2240830.jpg

No matter what way you build, however, make sure you have LARGE overhangs on your roof to protect the walls from rain, and ensure your walls begin at least 18" above the ground to protect them from "splash up" and from bugs.

03-04-2008, 06:01 PM
Yeah definately have someone look at those plans... you'll probably need it for the local code people anyway. Which BTW, might proved difficult, as I can't say this is a widely practiced building method.

I can't see any advantage to building something like this (other than the builders own personal taste) this way. IF you really want a flat log shell, you might as well use 8x8 beams instead of 2x8's to get the same wall height. Probably save money.. and definately time in getting things shelled in. I would think that all those potential gaps would only worsen the possibility of water getting in and rotting the wood. For the same amount of wood/money (or less) you could probably build a frame wall (with some stock, stamped plans, thereby forgoing the need for an engineer) and side it with those 2x8's (do a board and batten or something) and get some real insulation in there.

Of course you could probably build and finish as small B&P HOUSE for $7500 with enough scrounging.

However, if your dream is to have such a cabin, far be it from me or anyone here to crush those dreams. That's what living free is all about.


03-04-2008, 06:01 PM
This subject has been discussed before. See http://loghomebuilders.org/2x6-laminated-house for that thread.