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Design / costs for a shepherd's hut or moveable 'bothy'...


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I want to establish a small accommodation unit adjacent to my recently completed house in order to create an income stream. It would share water, electricity and septic tank with the house, and would sleep two, with en-suite, wood stove and very basic kitchen facilities. I will need planning permission but would hope that having a small 'moveable' building as per caravan regs I would only need to involve building control in relation to connecting to drainage. My location is perfect and demand for accommodation exceeds supply.

 

An idyllic shepherd's hut or bothy would be just the thing, but my budget does not stretch to the ready made options. I hope it might be possible to have a local builder make one more cheaply... I know someone who is very good and reasonably priced who has said they could be involved. However it would be their first mobile/moveable hut, and I don't have any plans to work from that have been tried and tested, either in terms of layout or construction. Can anyone offer advice please? I really need this project to succeed and am feeling a bit daunted and unsure whether it would be best to take on extra debt and just buy something... I personally have no diy skills, so besides labouring all I can contribute is enthusiasm and tea and cake!

 

Many thanks :)

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Grian
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How are you heating the water for the shower?

 

I’ve stayed in a few pods over the years, some worked for us  some didn’t.

some are created too small so once young kids are in bed you have to go to bed as there is no space to move or sit down.

 

good luck 

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10 minutes ago, TonyT said:

How are you heating the water for the shower?

 

I’ve stayed in a few pods over the years, some worked for us  some didn’t.

some are created too small so once young kids are in bed you have to go to bed as there is no space to move or sit down.

 

good luck 

 

Thanks Tony.

As it only sleeps two then I don't think the issue you describe with kids and space will be relevant, I see our market as pairs of adults. I'd anticipate using a straightforward electric shower - I have long hair and detest the kind of caravan shower that sprays a mist or dribbles a tiny bit of lukewarm water over you!

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There are various resources out there that might give you some ideas, I see this lot on Facebook quite a bit, may be worth following up - I do not subscribe, I just like the stuff I have seen on Facebook- https://tinyhousemagazine.co/?fbclid=IwAR16mUA1XbYlxNUXUJFMFBF-89Yk6IvFr2MlF8_yz08rpG0zqL_MSRyto50

what is your budget ? As soon as you start paying professionals your  budget will start to fall - fast ! 
i have done various projects and have a very small cabin that I rent out which is very successful. 
I am in a similar position where demand outstrips supply and I can’t see this changing soon, if your in an enviable position then then do the sums, if you can make £10-20k a year then use this in working out what your prepared to invest to get things up and running ASAP rather than doing it on a shoestring budget and taking longer. 
my market is singles and couples, i don’t allow kids ! 
can your house electric supply cope with the additional requirements. 
lots of basic stuff to work out before you get to involved in design. 

 

 

 

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@Cpd thanks.

In the long term the investment would pay back, but I'd rather not spend more than I need if there is a decent saving to be made, plus the location makes delivery a huge additional cost and logistical hoo-ha! Plus I would prefer to pay that money to another local, and know that something has been well made. On my exposed site something made in Somerset might not stand up to Hebridean gales... Equally, the cost of mistakes reinventing the wheel ourselves could be high, that is one of my main concerns. The electricity is sufficient, and armoured cable and water pipe were laid to the location in readiness when the house was being built.

 

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They all had cracking gas powered showers, looked like caravan style combi boilers but no dramas with the flow.

 

your going to need a decent supply for a decent electric shower. For example I have a Mira sport 10.8kW  that’s a chunky cable

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54 minutes ago, Grian said:

anticipate using a straightforward electric shower - I have long hair and detest the kind of caravan shower that sprays a mist or dribbles a tiny bit of lukewarm water over you!

You will need a very large electrical cable.

You may be better off with a well insulated cylinder and a shower pump. This does not need to be in the caravan.

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4 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

You will need a very large electrical cable.

You may be better off with a well insulated cylinder and a shower pump. This does not need to be in the caravan.

 

I hope it is adequate, I discussed the intended use with the electrician when they laid it... ? ?

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7 minutes ago, Grian said:

 

I hope it is adequate, I discussed the intended use with the electrician when they laid it... ? ?

Can you give dimensions of the cable and length so the boffins on here can work out potential load limit?

Edited by joe90
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4 minutes ago, Grian said:

 

I hope it is adequate, I discussed the intended use with the electrician when they laid it... ? ?

Did you tell them that you want a large electrical shower i.e. > 15 kW

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I will call and ask him on Monday. We spoke about an en-suite unit... Gas is not a problem if it isn't sufficient, and recommendations would be great if anyone has experience of gas powered showers as my friend is going to put one in their hut facilities.

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10 minutes ago, joe90 said:

Can you give dimensions of the cable and length so the boffins on here can work out potential load?

 

Diameter approx 2cm, length about 25m.

 

It says 1x16+16+16mm2, and Eca 01816    m.

 

?

Edited by Grian
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Take a read of this blog

 

He did it all himself, design and build.  That is a build complying with the definition of a "caravan" so only needed building control for the drainage connection.

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24 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Take a read of this blog

 

He did it all himself, design and build.  That is a build complying with the definition of a "caravan" so only needed building control for the drainage connection.

 

It is a beauty, but I am missing how it is made so that it can be removed in no more than two sections? I did only get a couple hours sleep so I may be extra unobservant today!!

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1 minute ago, Grian said:

 

It is a beauty, but I am missing how it is made so that it can be removed in no more than two sections? I did only get a couple hours sleep so I may be extra unobservant today!!

I think the theory is the stilts it sits on are not part of the building.  He discussed it with his BC and agreed if you got a big enough crane and a big enough low loader, you could pick the whole thing up in one piece and put it on the low loader.  The low loader would never get up the slope and out of the gate but that didn't seem to bother anyone.

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6 minutes ago, ProDave said:

if you got a big enough crane

Thanks for that link, it is  a splendid achievement and an interesting situation re planning.

 

If it lifts with a theoretical crane, is it heavy enough to sit tight in a gale?

For that size of building, the steep roof and the void under, there could be  a lot of uplift.

Not likely to blow away but could move on the plinths.

 

I think I would provide ties down to the footings, just in case.

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Hello Grian.

 

You could have great fun with this. I've been lucky enough to have dabled in this on the structures side on and off over the years; light weight cold formed steel / TFstructures, high end man caves etc, it's enjoyable.

 

In terms of proving it is "movable" then if you made the main section no wider than 2.9m then this would fit on the back of a low loader without being classed as an abnormal load as I understand? 

 

I wonder if you could also build it with extra modules, like those mobile homes that once parked the sides extend out. This would allow you to detach the side modules. Yes, you would need more trips to shift it you started with two modules that are a similar size to a 40 container you could then add bits to provide an improved layout, less corridor and more living space?

 

In terms of how you build something like this.. it looks like you are near a sea loch. I would explore doing it as a TF. You could do it as metal stud ..dry wall  idea or thicker cold formed steel sections both with limited life expectancy but TF is more suited to a local builder, (or say a joiner) and more survivable in a marine type environment as it does not corrode. Also, easier to insulate. You could almost panelise it so rather than transporting the modules you diassemble and transport it flat pack style, like a fully serviced module construction. Ideally you want to see if you can keep some residual value in it in case you later want to flog it (to say a self builder here as temporary accommodation! and do something else.. at least any residual value should cover the cost of getting rid of it or upgrading?

 

I'm not a guru on the caravan regs but as I understand it so long as the structure is capable of being moved from one place to another then you are on the right lines. I don't think it's a massive engineering challenge to do TF modules that you shove lifting beams under and crane onto a low loader. If flat pack then four folk can man handle them on and stack.

 

In terms of structural wind loading with a bit of thought you can design and build a strong TF easily capable of standing up in the wind. The big thing is you need it to be light weight so you can man handle it.. but then it wants to fly away in the wind! Also for simplicity and to keep the cost down you probably want to put a flat roof on it.. which is hard to insulate and ventilate.

 

But.. the roof can be an inverted warm roof. Here you have a roof as follows;.. could be exposed timber on the underside (saves the cost of the ceiling) , then say 18mm marine ply, the water proof layer (say EPDM single ply membrane a pondliner almost), then the insulation and say paving slabs on top. The paving slabs act as the sound proofing so folk don't get woken up with the hail, the rain and birds tramping about on the roof at 5.00 am in the summer. The slabs also help act as ballast to stop the whole thing lifting in the wind and the insulation flying away.

 

When you want to move it you take off the slabs, recycle.. either flog the insulation or recycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Gus Potter said:

paving slabs on top

That idea I like very much.

Also helps stop the sound of bird's claws.

 

The mobile homes that are in exposed areas down here have cables attached. Then spikes in the ground. They survive 100 MPH winds and 120 MPH gusts ok.

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