WORKSHOPS BARNS HOMES GARAGES
There are several buildings that are very affordable to erect, with
the least amount of outside help or cost. Over the years I have built
all kinds of different buildings and two stand out above all the rest
for low cost and ease of construction, all you have to buy is the actual
roofing cover materials ( galvinized metal roofing is the most affordable
and comes in different colours ) and you can cut all the lumber needed
on Procut. I have put both these buildings here to show you what can
be done, to get your creative juices flowing and this is certainly
not a step by step procedure.
POST AND LOG
This is really the best looking building for looks
and also affordability and this kind of building can also be used
as a residence. You can erect this kind of structure with only two
people and it needs NO chinking, scribing, or a lot of manpower,
and you can build with a concrete or wood floor as a ground on grade
structure or with a basement.
All the logs and lumber for this kind of building can be cut on Procut, but
interior finishing lumber has to be dried and planed for finish. If using as
a residence then you will also have design, plumbing, h.v.a.c. electrical,
attic/ceiling insulation costs, doors and window costs.
I built for a customer a post and log home of 1800 square feet, 4 bedroom, 2
bathrooms, and a high ceiling living room. Total cost using Procut to cut all
the logs and lumber , using his timber and 1 man helping, built to the lock up
stage was $16000, and time to construct was 5 weeks. I believe his finishing
costs were $36000, for a total of $52000, it was later appraised at $165000,
The post and log form of building is upright logs set 8 to 16 feet apart with
horizontal logs between these posts. With this kind of construction there are
NO logs over 16 feet and most are 12 feet or less. Do you see the advantage here,
2 people can lift and move these logs around and up, you only need to use 8" to
12" diameter logs to cut, and you do NOT need to set logs on top of each other,
scribe, remove and cut the saddle. The upright logs can be set into the ground,
on top of a concrete floor with bottom pins or on top of a wood floor. You draw
out a floor plan, where the doors and windows are going to be ( this is easier
with a workshop or barn ) and then you mark in where all the upright logs are
going to be placed. At every place there is going to be a door, you will have
to mark in 2 upright posts set at the width of the door, the windows do not need
this. Once you have done this and you know how many posts you need and the length
you need, you are all set to cut all the logs. I should mention here that the
longer the run between the posts, the longer the horizontal logs needed to fill
the gap. I built a barn in 8 foot lengths for easier handling and erected a 32
x 40 and all the posts were also 8 feet and I had all the walls up in 7 days.
I cannot give precise lengths here as it is up to you what you are
going to set the uprights on. You also have to make a decision on what
kind of shape logs you are going to use, a double D ( 2 round sides
- 2 flat sides ) a single D ( 1 round side - 3 flat sides ) or a straight
4 sided flat log, once this is decided, you can use Procut to cut all
Here is the secret to constructing this airtight building without any chinking
in between the logs, and it goes up like an erector set. Once the logs have been
cut to your specs you are going to use a router on all the upright logs, opposite
2 sides only, and router all the horizontal logs 2 opposite sides and the ends.
These router grooves are for narrow pieces of plywood to be used as locking plates
for all your logs. as you build each section, you place a plywood locking plate
into the groove on top of the horizontal log, the next logs groove sits into
this locking plate, you build up this section to your height and when you get
to the top a plywood locking plate is slipped down between the upright log groove
and the groove on the end of the horizontal log. As the logs shrink, they tighten
around the locking plate creating a very strong structure, which is also air
Do you see how easy this makes a log building to construct, no big logs to move
around, no scribbing and cutting the saddle, no chinking between the gaps and
not a lot of people to help, as this kind of building only takes 2 people.
I cut all the lumber and logs on Procut and I had 2 trestles set up
beside the mill. As I slabbed the logs they were put onto the trestles
and another person marked the center and ends of the logs with a snap
line, then did all the router grooves. This was very fast as I was
mostly slabbing 12" logs only 12 feet long and we did 40 per day.
I have built several strawbales workshops and garages,
they go up very fast. Basically you use the rectangle strawbales
as huge building bricks, and build up the walls just like using regular
building bricks or concrete blocks. To build you lay out your perimeter
and concrete this floor area. Using morter you lay on the first course
of strawbales ontop of the concrete around the perimeter, set into
the morter. Then you build up the walls all around using staggered
joints, with morter in between the bales, layed out in 2 lines toward
the edge.because of the size of these bales the walls go up really fast. Because
the walls go up really fast you can also have a person parging the walls inside
and out for waterproofing. This can also be used for your wall finish or you
can paint it when dry. When you get to the top of the walls you lay on a concrete
platform about 1" to 2"
thick all around the top and set in bolts for the
top planks to be installed, this is what the roof
joists or trusses are nailed to. All the lumber you need for the roof
or trusses can be cut on Procut as I have and all you will need to buy
is nails, roofing etc., this was the cheapest kind of building I have
constructed. This is also the best insulated building in the world as
tests were done over a 5 day period at -30. the building was brought
up to 70 degrees inside, then the heat was shut off, 12 candles were
lit, then the doors were closed for 5 days. When we opened up after 5
days at -15 to -30 the temp. was at 62 degrees, that is amazing.
If governments and building codes would accept this kind of home,
nobody would have to be homeless, it would also keep our farms viable.
Just think, you could grow your material in less than one season and
you could grow enough in Canada and the U.S. to house a lot of people.
They go up very fast, are really cheap to build, and also save energy.
A last note on this. It is very possible you could not get a building
permit for building in strawbales, as it is still classified as experimental,
and even though it is mortared inside and out, insurance may be very
I hope this has got your creative juices flowing on what you can accomplish.
I have always been interested in ways to NOT buy something and turn
that cost into paying myself. I am sure I have saved hundreds of thousands
of dollars over a period of 40 years doing things this way, you can