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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So....I finally sealed the deal.
Nobette and I bought some lakefront property in Wentworth-Nord, Quebec on Lac Notre-Dame.

I retire January 2020 and hopefully the first dynamite blast will take place early May.

Hoping to be in it by late September, albeit, with some work to do.

The garage will be heated 24 wide by 30 deep with 11 foot ceiling.

The picture of the house is a deal that fell through for us....so we bought the plans and supplier list.

That should do, eh?
 

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Nice digs Chris.
I like the curb appeal of the house, the garage, and on a lake to boot.
Looks like you have enough privacy to take a piss outside and nobody will see.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #4
Back To Quebec eh? Plenty of room for a boat! Beautiful area. Is Mirabel still operating?
Yup. Time for the Hinglish to invade Quebec again!

No motor boat lake. :)

And Mirabel is opened and it's not.

It doesn't operate as a true airport anymore but an Aerospace hub. Lots of MROs doing lots of work.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #5
Nice digs Chris.
I like the curb appeal of the house, the garage, and on a lake to boot.
Looks like you have enough privacy to take a piss outside and nobody will see.
Thanks, Carl. Yes, it is a peninsula. The average property on that lake has about 200 feet of lake frontage.
My property has 750 feet.

Outdoor peepee in total privacy:)

Now....I just need to get permits and find the correct contractors.
 

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Very nice, Nobby. Congrats. I like the house. It has a lot of character, and fits right in with the lake, and woods. Not much more to go until you retire either. It took me a month to realize that I was really retired, and not on vacation.
 

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Well, with the house plans, the surrounding landscape, the lake, (and the garage!), it looks like you have the makings of what will become a very picturesque place to settle once that big day arrives.
Congratulations on all the upcoming and exciting things that you and the family are planning, Chris.
 

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Are you building it yourself or are you getting a contractor to do it turn-key, or somewhere in the middle? How much "specifying" can you do or does the contractor handle everything except your choice of interior colors?

Having built a house myself and getting ready to build another one, consider:

1) Steel studs and trusses instead of wood. Not much more money, MUCH stronger, no hammering to annoy the neighbors. Wood is for hippies, steel is forever.

2) Insulation under the floor slab. Comes in a big roll (3' wide by 100' long), looks like bubble wrap with silver foil on each side. Makes the floors much warmer and saves you money on heating bills. Tek-Supply and other farm supply stores sell it. Shop price!

3) Add some 2" diameter (minimum) PVC ducting inside the walls. This allows you to string wires for phones, networks, cable TV, security systems, fiber optics and whatever "must have" devices we don't know about yet. This is a completely separate system from the mains.

4) Make your interior doors 36" wide and your hallways at least 40" wide. Some day you might need to push a wheelchair through there, narrower doors and halls make that impossible.

5) Install a central vacuum cleaner system. Nobette will thank you for it and you will thank me for it if she insists you do the vacuuming.

6) Install plumbing, power and lights - LOTS of lights - in the garage at the outset, it will cost much more later. Make sure you have outside outlets, too, including a 220 volt outlet inside the garage and another outside the garage for when you buy an electric car - you'll need a place to charge it.

7) Use 4" diameter PVC pipe for the main drain, not 3". The larger 4" size is far less prone to clogging. Think about splitting off grey water from black water, the grey water can be used for irrigation, the black water goes into the septic tank, which will need pumping out at less frequent intervals because the grey water never goes into it.

8) Don't buy ANYTHING on clearance, closeout or scratch and dent. If you need parts for a discontinued faucet ten years from now, you won't be able to get them and will have to change the whole thing instead.

9) Use metal soffits, wood rots and always needs painting, vinyl is flammable and sags and looks like crap after a few years. It also gets brittle, so when you try to push it back into shape, it will crack.

10) Use as little exterior wood as possible unless you want to replace pieces of it constantly and caulk and paint it forever.

11) Steel roof. Shingles are heavy and don't last very long. They also tend to blow off in a storm. Further, unless the roofer KNOWS what he is doing, there will be leaks at the various joints around dormers and pipe penetrations and they can be very difficult to find and fix. In the meantime, the leaks will ruin the wallboard. Steel roofs are good for 50 years, shingles are doing well if they last 15.

12) Use inorganic wallboard (fiberglass faced) instead of "normal" paper faced wallboard. It costs something like half a dollar more per sheet, but it is not damaged at all by water, won't rot, won't support mold, it is altogether a superior product. If you ever have a pipe break and fill your house with a couple of inches of water, you won't have to replace the wallboard at all. (Carpets are another story.)


There's more, much more, but this will get you started!

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the thoughtful post.

I haven't decided how much I will bite off. I have a budget and it might be decided for me:)

Site preparation is a big variable....could be 10K could be 40K....depends how much blasting and debris removal is required.

As far as the rest.....you have some good ideas, however, my house will be in Northern Quebec.....some things just won't apply.

Anyways....the Mancave is really the focus here.
 

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Congratulations Nobby.
Any interest in living off the grid?
As a kid I spent summers in a log cabin without electricity and indoor plumbing not too far away from there. Fond memories.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #12
Congratulations Nobby.
Any interest in living off the grid?
As a kid I spent summers in a log cabin without electricity and indoor plumbing not too far away from there. Fond memories.
Pretty much off the grid, anyways.

I will only be dependent upon Hydro electricity.....and I will have back up power.

I don't think my current budget will support full on solar.....besides....electricity in Quebec is cheap. :)
 

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Of course the man cave is the focus here, but you want to be SURE Nobette doesn't feel slighted - the house is her domain, the man cave is yours (which makes all things right in the world - Nomex on ;-)

We built a small house (larger one in the works) but a large man cave - 50 by 90, 4,500 square feet (aircraft hangar and the world's second largest shoe closet - Imelda has us beat).

I didn't want to break the bank on the man cave because Dear Bride would have cut my throat. I was, however, able to do a creditable job anyway through stealth, craft, horse trading, etc.

Start with at least 70 amp service, 100 amps is better - and that's JUST for the garage.

Stop there with one or two outlets until you get your certificate of occupancy (and your building permit price may be partially based on the number of outlets you have), yeah, it's just a garage, I'll only have a single 60 watt bulb in it.

Once you are IN, then you can likely do whatever you darn well please without further "Imperial entanglements".

Outlets - quad outlet every eight feet along each side of the building. Electrical supplies bought from Garvin Industries, you have to BS them some and they'll set you up with a dealer account, whereupon the supplies are really inexpensive. Conduit comes from Home Depot (etc.), it is too long to ship economically. There are also LOTS of electrical supplies on Craigslist, but you need to know what you are looking for. Use 12 gauge wire, not 14 gauge, it costs a few cents more now, but if (when) you discover you need the extra capacity, it will already be there and you won't have to rip things out and start again. I have 220 volt outlets inside and outside, front and rear. If you have a compressor or a welder, you'll want 220 volts. Don't forget GFCI outlets at the feed for each outlet leg. You can't run fluorescent lights "downstream" of a GFCI, the starting surge trips the breaker. Fluorescents need their own feed.

Lights - I helped a local school remodel, and wound up with 24 fluorescent light fixtures, four bulbs each, 48" long. Free, drag 'em away. (Sure, no problem!) I replaced the old ballasts with high efficiency silent ballasts (eBay), and bought a case of bulbs (Google) from a company in Ohio. They had a $50 minimum for free freight, the shipping would have been about $45 more, so I bought ONE screwdriver for another $1.30 which put me over the $50 and they paid the freight.

They are in the east 2/3 of the hangar (which is where the workbenches are), and they are set up in four rows of six, wired so that I can turn on any group of three instead of lighting up the whole shebang all at once. For the west 1/3, I bought twelve egg warmer fixtures (Home Depot, these have 10" diameter aluminum reflectors) and installed high power CFL lamps. These are also wired in groups, I can turn on four, eight, or twelve, depending on what my lighting needs are. I don't need as much light on the west end because that's where the airplane is, and the airplane isn't afraid of the dark.

The conduit for the outlets is steel, this ensures no risk if I run something into it. The conduit for the overhead lights (up high where I can't damage it) is grey PVC, and it is assembled by friction fit, not glued, so if I have to revise anything, I can take it apart and put it back together with minimal fuss.

To determine what lighting you need, a short bit of research on Google will tell you how many lumens you need for any particular task. Storage doesn't take much, work areas take the most, pick your bulbs and layout accordingly. Err on the side of abundance, you cannot have too much light for intricate work. I'd rather risk sunburn ;-) than not be able to see what I'm doing.

Plumbing - when the slab was poured, I had six "L"s of 3" diameter PVC pipe in place before the concrete went in. This allows me to run pipes and wires into and out of the building without penetrating the walls or having to break up concrete. The inside ends are capped to prevent critters from living in the pipes or entering from the outside (we have field mice out here in the boonies, I do NOT want them taking up residence in the hangar), so far nothing has been able to chew through the PVC. Wire screens on the outside ends also help keep unwanted guests out.

Next up is a sink, parts washer, and a toilet. Hot water will come from a ten gallon "spot" water heater ($10 at the flea market), the sinks will be fiberglass laundry sinks - cheap and strong. Drain from the hand sink and toilet will go to the septic tank, I have not yet figured out what to do with oily water from the parts washer sink. (Back to Google, Florida hazmat regs say I don't make enough oily waste for them to bother with, but I don't want to just dump it on the ground.)

You'll want your light switches adjacent to the entry doors. This keeps you from having to stumble around in the dark garage and trip over things while you are groping for the light switch - don't laugh, I've seen it happen!

Final electrical notes, have photocell activated security lights over every entrance. (On at dusk, off at dawn.) If you use the new LED light bulbs, they use so little power that it will take a year to amortize the cost of the on-off switch!

Have a phone extension or two out there so you don't have to run into the house to be told you've won a Florida vacation . . . or if you need to ask someone a question or call for help. If you have a computer there, think about an RJ-45 connection, wireless may not work well.

On the inside, you cannot know the optimum layout for "stuff" until you've worked in there for a while. Visit Harbor Freight and buy a bunch of their $7.99 dollies (on sale). Scavenge the casters off some of them (you can't buy four casters for $8) and install them on some shipping pallets - that gives you a 1,000 pound capacity 36 by 40 dolly for less than a ten-spot. Put everything you can on wheels! That way when you have to re-arrange - and you will, more than once - it is just a matter of pushing stuff around instead of picking everything up, setting it aside, discovering it won't fit, then putting it all back again. ("I pick things up and I put them down.")

I scored half a dozen office style lateral filing cabinets at a thrift shop for $120 (they are $500 each, new). They are now on wheels (like everything else), and they are FULL of "stuff". So far, I have re-arranged probably four times, and it is no big deal at all, two hours work at most, half of that is just thinking about where they should go. I don't have to empty them to move them, I don't need a hand truck and risk a hernia (they are HEAVY, even empty, and they are NOT empty), just push.

If you set it up the way you like it, Nobette will always know exactly where to find you ;-)

Best,

Mike
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #14
Well, with the house plans, the surrounding landscape, the lake, (and the garage!), it looks like you have the makings of what will become a very picturesque place to settle once that big day arrives.
Congratulations on all the upcoming and exciting things that you and the family are planning, Chris.
AND.....a good place for a GTG.

I'm thinking maybe summer of 2021 :)
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #16
Not to mention that isn't the sunniest part of the world.
And I have a friend one lake up and his house had 7 feet of snow on it.

Pretty much ALL WINTER!!
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Discussion Starter #19
To hell with the outside...how about the bar you will ultimately build?
The bar will be 30 feet from shore with Adirondack chairs:)
 
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