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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was inspired by this cottage that is lived in full time in the winter with snow, I have access to LARGE amounts of Pine 2x4's at an extremely reasonable price and I was wondering if I could build my 3 bedroom house with the exterior walls built entirely out of laid down 2x4's staggered, please see this link for reference to the Earthen type design I am looking into building:

(See post below)

I am in BC Canada and I do not know if there is some certain bylaw or building code that would not allow me to build my exterior walls entirely out of 2x4's but my question to you more experienced builders is: Would this work for a house that I hope will last 10-20 years? I can rebuild later this is my familys first house we will be building and once I have more money in 10-15 years I plan to tear down the entire house and rebuild from scratch a much larger home. So is this idea possible? Will Pine last 10-15 years in the elements? If No then can I treat the exterior facing walls with something to make it last?

Does anyone know if this would be allowed with building codes? It seems similar to building a log style house except using 2x4's not logs, I will check with my local laws of course, Thanks for the input on this!

PS. I will be 8 hours up north in Unincorporated land in an Ecovilliage not on a busy main street or something if anyone was wondering about my unconventional house idea.

PPS. If NO I CANNOT use this type of building material for my outside walls that will be facing the elements, then does anyone have any ideas as to inexpensive exterior walls as I can get semi-truck loads of the 2x4's for very cheap and want to build my family a home!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is not an advertisement or anything silly, I would love to get your guys advice this is the other website I found out about building a house entirely out of laid down 2x4's hehe :laughing:

(Picture of the house and details on how he did it, I was thinking to use all galvanized wood screws in my construction though not nails like he did)

ww w.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/build-a-house-stacked-2x4s-zmaz83jazshe.aspx#axzz3PsG2lGhX

(Take out the space in the www the site here wont let me post links, just wanted to show you guys the house)
 

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This is not an advertisement or anything silly, I would love to get your guys advice this is the other website I found out about building a house entirely out of laid down 2x4's hehe :laughing:

(Picture of the house and details on how he did it, I was thinking to use all galvanized wood screws in my construction though not nails like he did)

ww w.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/build-a-house-stacked-2x4s-zmaz83jazshe.aspx#axzz3PsG2lGhX

(Take out the space in the www the site here wont let me post links, just wanted to show you guys the house)
You won't be happy with a house built like that, two things right off the bat is sealing between the 2Xs. The lumber will shrink and wind will blow through the cracks not to mention blowing rain, not good.

Another thing is the walls will need to have a vertical brace every 4 feet or so or the walls will roll, a good wind could blow an unsupported wall down.

Also untreated and it won't last long
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did plan on having interior vertical 2x4's for upright supports with insulation backing the exterior 2x4's then interior horizontally laid 2x4's as interior walls or even just Drywall over the interior wall studs with the insulation in the middle.

Could what I want to do be done with some sort of sealant or filler between the 2x4s as I go or some way to make this work? If not at all then does anyone have any ideas to inexpensive exterior siding / sheathing
 

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Sounds like a funky pipe dream to me.
Cheap or not any new construction would require 2 X 6 walls so you can fit R19 insulation in the walls.
Really think having seams every 3-1/2 on a wall is a good idea?

Far more reasonable to build at least a 24' by 24' garage, under floor heat, 2 X 6 walls, frame the overhead door openings with headers but stud in the opening for now.
R50 insulation in the attic.
Plumb for toilet, shower, sink, kitchen sink.
That way you can live in it for now and not have to tare anything down and throw away money later.
 
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
i love that idea! and I plan on a large shop, it wasn't so much a pipe dream rather a quick to build house that I can have ready for next winter and add on to it as I go, but rather I will build the permanent shop and plumb it as you say and set it up for temporary living quarters. Any ideas on exterior siding that is working well for people thats reasonably priced?

Also for the 2x4 idea if it changes your mind any.. the cabin I linked was built with all the 2x4's laying down flat, so the seams wouldn't be every 3.5" but every 2" and the walls would be 3.5" thick on the exterior, I was thinking with some sort of sealant or something it might remain water tight if treated? Its essentially stacked lumber but as an exterior wall
 

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Even T111 as much as I hate it would be better then 2 X 4's. It needs to be at least 6" above grade.
Screws should never be used when framing anything. Nails only.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the tip on the T111 thats exactly what i was looking for! I am learning as I go, this will be my first build but I have done almost all of the jobs involved in building before and will also have some other carpenters help when needed as they built their houses in the villiage also
 

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T-111 plywood siding is about as cheap as you will find==

Those free 2x4s could be used as flooring---

Remember, building a house so that it is cheap to own is better than building on the cheap and having a house that costs a lot to heat--and maintain---

A small starter house that was designed to be added onto in the future is one way to save money---
 

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OSB or plywood and vinyl siding. Do it once and never have to deal with it again except to pressure wash every few years.
 

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Joe types faster----You might want to look at some old issues of Mother Earth News--

They had many alternative (cheap) building ideas---rammed earth--stack wood --hay bail --adobe and other fun things to inspire you.

Remember--if your home is built in an area with building codes and inspections---most of those methods will not be allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
there are building inspections so I must follow code, which I will do, and for heating I will have a forced air wood-stove as well as radiant heating and steam baseboard heating where the woodstove doesn't reach. I want a large loft in the shop also so it will be perfect to set it up as the starter home and build off from there.
 

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OSB or plywood and vinyl siding. Do it once and never have to deal with it again except to pressure wash every few years.
No matter how many times you say it, I still have a hard time believing that you actually believe that.
 

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joecaption said:
Even T111 as much as I hate it would be better then 2 X 4's. It needs to be at least 6" above grade. Screws should never be used when framing anything. Nails only.
Just curious? NOT disagreeing, how come screws aren't a good idea for framing?
 

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Screws do not have the same sheer rating as nails---code calls for nails and a prescribed nailing pattern---there are other reasons--speed and cost come to mind
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wanted to use screws to prevent the wood from coming apart over time, but I will just use nails then
 

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Building a loft with a steep pitch on the roof will also help keep the snow off your roof, if you get a lot of snow in that part of BC.

You can build a truss roof and truss floor joists out of 2X4s but you will need the gussets.
 

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how about you take some of those inexpensively sourced 2X's and sell them or trade them for some other materials. That style of construction seems like such a waste of materials.

that isn't even considering the fact running utilities in such a construct would be much more difficult compared to a more common design.
 

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If I lived up north where the winters are cold and had access to cheap 2x4s I would build a double stud wall with staggered studs and fill all cavities with 7+ inches of insulation.
 
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