Ask Andy – Stamped Plans

Do I really need stamped plans? The answer depends mostly on your local building department and your laws governing residential buildings.  In New Jersey, where I am licensed, a home owner can do their own construction drawings without being licensed nor requiring seals or stamps.  If someone else does the drawings they need to sealed…

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Design – Big Design Mistake #3

Now that you are designing for yourself and not someone else, you absolutely must avoid mistake #3. Big Design Mistake #3 – Getting Too Complicated. In many ways this is the most difficult mistake to avoid,because it happens little bit, by little bit.  I like to call it “Complexity Creep”.  Sort of like our Income…

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Design – Big Design Mistake #2

Once you have figured out who you are and how you really live, you can avoid the next big design mistake. Big Design Mistake #2 – Designing for someone else instead of yourself. I know that this sounds strange.  Why would anyone design for someone else instead for themselves?  Unfortunately, it happens all the time. …

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Design – Big Design Mistake #1

With all the fantastic comments coming in about the 12 ft House, I am reminded how we all can be so different in the way we live, and yet so much the same in the basic house needs. Tract housing developers concentrate on the similarities because that is all they can do.  By designing your…

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Ask Andy – How many Plans?

How many sets of cabin plans do I need? This question comes up every so often, and unfortunately there is no one correct answer.  It will be dependent on whether you need to submit drawings to a building department, how many sets they will need, whether you are financing the cabin construction, whether you need…

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Design – 12ft House – Part 8

Last time I looked at entering the cabin from a porch at the end of the cabin, and also locating the bedroom porch on the opposite end.  This time I’ll look at the implications of having a long side porch that provides both the entrance porch and the bedroom porch. Entering from the Side. Entering…

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Survey – Your Cabin Interests

Every so often, I will poll my audience to get a fresh idea about what you would like to see and learn about to keep the blog content on target of what you would prefer most. My interest in what magazines you like comes from a belief that if I am reading some of the…

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Design – 12ft House – Part 7

In the next two parts, I will be looking into locations for the porches and how we will enter the cabin.  You will notice that the plan diagram is now much more like a floor plan, lacking windows and doors.  As we decide how we enter and exit the cabin, and where we want light…

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Building – Sweat Equity

Should I spend my time building myself or get a second job and hire out the work? This is not an easy question with a clear answer… Let me explain. Sweat Equity. In most cases, building yourself has an “economic” part to it… the desire to save money by using your own labor or “Sweat…

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Other People’s Cabins

I thought I would begin a series on examples of cabins that others have built that are not one of my designs. To begin, here is an example from Don Kubecka. If you have photos of your cabin you would like to share, please email them to me at: andy@sheldondesigns.com.  I’ll be updating this page…

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