Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: starplate connectors and cheap housing

  1. #1

    starplate connectors and cheap housing

    So, we're still dreaming of a log home and getting closer in the sense that we are now totally debt free, but we still need to buy land, etc.

    Anyway, our problem is that we'd LOVE to do log but, like many on this forum, need someplace to live while building that DOESN'T cost more than our logs. Motorhomes/trailers aren't as readily available here as in the lower 48, so that is rare and a usually cold/wet/nasty option when found (and we have 4 kids at home). So, I've looked into yurts and tipis, small cabin construction, various other possibilities, and my current research interest is dealing with starplate connectors.

    Here's a Mother Earth News article that explains it: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1985-01-01/The-Starplate-Connection.aspx And I've seen adds for starplate connectors in Countryside magazine at strombergschickens.com

    So here's the dilemma/question: We need more space than a 9' (what they state as limits -- 2 x 4x 9' struts = 10,000 lb total roof load per website, about 57lbs/sq ft) strut would allow. We plan to switch to 2 x 6's regardless for insulation reasons, fyi. We could build 3 huts for the needed space, but would prefer one large one with a self-supported loft and one small one to house the bathroom/closet/storage/entry. We're considering doing something like use 16' 2 x 6's/8's with a center post for roof support, and possibly even a second hut frame immediately inside the first for a doubled-wall (extra insulation and also extra strength/support when tied together sufficiently). Building codes here aren't an issue (they only care about septic and zoning). I'm wondering if any of you have experience with these buildings and if you think the above would be a safe/strong building option for our cheap place to live while building. I've emailed the manufacturers about extending the length, adding a center post, and doubling the wall, and received no response to date. My non-engineer brain tells me that should be enough overkill to make it safe and strong (along with all the extra studs we'd have to tie it together with for wall sheathing, etc), but I just want to be on the safe side.

    Thanks guys and gals,


  2. #2

    This is a bit off subject.

    This is a bit off subject. But consider building a garage or shop building with a bathroom and everything to live in for a couple of years. Then you will have a permenant good structure that will serve you for decades. The extra living space can help you build a smaller house in the long run anyway. That is what I did. If you plan it all out right, then I think it can be much better and more cost effective than temporary structures.

  3. #3

    Garage with loft!

    Quote Originally Posted by WillandHelen
    This is a bit off subject. But consider building a garage or shop building with a bathroom and everything to live in for a couple of years. Then you will have a permenant good structure that will serve you for decades. The extra living space can help you build a smaller house in the long run anyway. That is what I did. If you plan it all out right, then I think it can be much better and more cost effective than temporary structures.

    That is our plan as well, though our garage is not log-it was already up before we found LHBA & were 'educated'.
    We knew living in an RV for however long it takes to build was NOT the best solution. So we will build the loft floor this summer to provide ample room for a small tv/living area , bedroom. We already did a 3/4 bath last year-which is kind of cool to have in my garage anyway!

    We thought we might end up building a log garage afterall - as a wildfire has been burning in our little NM community & got way to close our place. They seem to be gaining on it & as long as the winds don't get crazy - hope to have it contained by Friday.

  4. #4

    Starplate Cabin

    Just thought I would add a bit of info.

    I built a starplate cabin in 1985. It is still standing up well.
    I used 10' 2x6's. It has withstood the snow loads of western NY with no problem. I have seen up to 2 feet of heavy lake effect snow, on it.

    The 2X6 makes 6" of fiberglass insulation easy to install. About the only thing would be to have a good vapor barrier to stop drafts.

    Also put a good foundation under it as it will last for a long time.

    good luck

    Twidget

  5. #5

    starplate

    Just curious if you have done anything more with your starplate? We are thinking of doing the same thing with 12' struts but after seeing your posts about 16', we were curious if you had done anything more.

  6. #6

    Wow...this brings back

    Wow...this brings back memories,
    I did just this very thing about 30 years ago...but I used two "pods" connected with a center section / living area, about 16' in length.

    I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News since the 70's.


  7. #7

    Engineers, builders, etc. Need help with stick frame temp cabin

    We are building in (Central East Alabama) a temp stick frame very loosely following Mother Earth news "build this cozy cabin" plan. We have added a 1/2 story to this plan and now it is tall and narrow...it just evolved into this. People have told us it will blow over or fall over in high winds. The dimensions are 14'X24' it is built on 12" sonotube piers below the frost line on southern hard "red clay" with a 6X6 "Timber rim foundation" around the perimiter sunk threaded rod and bolted down. It will have a 5/12 pitch roof with ~6" overhangs. It is platform framed. Has a height of 21' from the roof to the ground. The regional winds in Alabama here are 5-6 miles/hr. But the local winds seems windy and stormy alot. My husband is about ready to take off the top floor. There are no codes out here, so we just built it. We are building with 2x6 walls and plan to use plenty of hurricane straps and osb. My husband has some framing experience and using lots of reference books. So my question is is this thing going to fall over? Just trying to get debt free fast...or slow...Any advice is appreciated. here is a link. Thanks, Joy
    http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp227/joygoround/cabin/2010023.jpg
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/multimedia/image-gallery.aspx?id=74398&seq=1

  8. #8

    Engineers, builders, etc. Need help with stick frame temp cabin

    We are building in (Central East Alabama) a temp stick frame very loosely following Mother Earth news "build this cozy cabin" plan. We have added a 1/2 story to this plan and now it is tall and narrow...it just evolved into this. People have told us it will blow over or fall over in high winds. The dimensions are 14'X24' it is built on 12" sonotube piers below the frost line on southern hard "red clay" with a 6X6 "Timber rim foundation" around the perimiter sunk threaded rod and bolted down. It will have a 5/12 pitch roof with ~6" overhangs. It is platform framed. Has a height of 21' from the roof to the ground. The regional winds in Alabama here are 5-6 miles/hr. But the local winds seems windy and stormy alot. My husband is about ready to take off the top floor. There are no codes out here, so we just built it. We are building with 2x6 walls and plan to use plenty of hurricane straps and osb. My husband has some framing experience and using lots of reference books. So my question is is this thing going to fall over or blow over? Just trying to get debt free fast...or slow...Any advice is appreciated. here is a link. Thanks, Joy
    http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp227/joygoround/cabin/2010023.jpg
    http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp227/joygoround/cabin/2010024.jpg
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/multimedia/image-gallery.aspx?id=74398&seq=1

  9. #9
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Allegheny highlands
    Posts
    5,978

    No guarantees . . .

    . . . but the structure itself looks like it should handle winds without issue. The weak point is the sonotubes. Are they strong enough? I don't know, but there are a few ways they can potentially fail.
    1. Threaded rod could break out of concrete or tear out of wood structure
    2. Due to low weight, sonotube may be pulled out of ground under high wind loading.
    3. Depending on depth, sonotube may topple (especially if soil becomes softened like during torrential hurricane rains) and break up
    Was any additional reinforcing rod added to the sonotubes before pouring the concrete? How is the threaded rod anchored into the concrete? Just stabbed in when it was wet? No "J" bend or anything?

  10. #10
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Brickleberry NP
    Posts
    2,127

    waaaay before

    I'd consider scrapping the top story, I would put in some guy wires. Basically just get some steel cable and some I-hooks and put a pad to fasten them to on both sides of the house, so the wires make ~45 deg with the ground. I'd do 3 per side. This might help you sleep at night, but if you put J bends on the threaded rod in the sonotubes, plenty of rebar and set them deep enough, there is very little chance that the structure will fail.
    -Peter.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •