In all the construction projects I have ever been involved with, there are always changes. In most cases they are minor changes, and always for the better. The 3rd week of natural building brought us a not so minor change.
Because we were constructing the main building to code, there were several things we needed to have done before we could submit the plans to the county building department. We needed final calculations from the engineer, we needed energy calculations, and we needed a site plan with specifications for a septic tank.
If all the stars aligned, and the engineer, architect, and site plan developer only worked on our project, it would take us at least four weeks to get the drawings and calculations to the county. Then our county building department needs 6 to 8 weeks to approve the building plans. And in most cases they always have some changes that we would need to be made before we could re-submit our plan. The re-submittal process usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to be approved.
With all this said, we wouldn’t have been able to start building for 12-16 weeks. Considering the apprentices are only here for 16 weeks, we realized that waiting for this permitting process would take the majority of the time.
So we came up with a new plan. We decided to built a semi-replica of the larger building as a 200 square foot shop that won’t need to be permitted. Our county allows us to build an un-permitted shed or shop as long as it’s under 200 square feet and its a non-habitable structure. This allowed us to practice the timber framing joinery on a much smaller scale, and to fine tune the building process before we start on the larger dwelling.
As a teaching tool, we feel that a 200 square foot building is a perfect size structure to start with. We will use much less material and time, making it a very manageable project.
This was a fun shop to work on. The apprentices where on board, and exited to be able to see the construction to it’s finality, rather then leaving in the middle of it.
Above are the drawings that Miguel, one of our apprentices, did of the shop on sketchup. He is very talented and does great work. If you need some help with your drawing, I would recommend using him to help you out. Jut email me and I’ll pass on the information to Miguel.
Stay tuned, and see this drawing come to life……