Building a Modern Tiny House in Connecticut

Wall Framing Complete - Rafters Going Up

When we stand in the house now, the sensation is clearly one of being enclosed inside a structure - it even has a “roof” of sorts - the same huge full-length gray tarp that used to be draped over the subfloor and its insulation when that was in progress.  We have set up a very temporary “ridgepole” the full length of the house to make sure that the tarp sheds - rather than collects - rainwater, and so far the strategy has worked well in at least two rainstorms.

Since the last posting, a total of about 16 more feet of wall framing has been assembled and raised, to completely enclose the house.   Included in those last sections of framing is the “back door” and the planned window directly above it.

Michael also assembled the 38” roof overhang that is now above the wall-to-wall picture window opening in the main living area.   To provide for this cantilevered feature, he first put it together resting entirely on the top plates above the main living area.  It includes two ten-foot 2x6es lying on the top side plates and two 2x6 rafters perpendicular to them.

After its assembly, the two of us stood on stepladders on the house floor, lifted and moved the overhang into final position.  This effort, it turned out, was not without some difficulty.  Although the plan for this move was not inherently flawed in any way, and the assembly not too heavy for the two of us to lift comfortably, we neglected to keep a close eye on the two side 2x6es resting on the plates as we performed the move.  As we concentrated on getting the overhang past a piece of sheathing sticking up from the picture window wall, the 2x6es dropped off their supporting top plates and the whole assembly rotated 90 degrees along an axis parallel to the top plate of the picture window wall.  Fortunately no one was injured, and after some further thought about how then to accomplish our original goal of getting the overhang into position, we stood on the ladders again and somehow (not sure if I could say exactly) managed to wrangle the structure back where it belonged.   The result was an esthetically pleasing feature, which will have three downlights mounted in it when finished.

An extra amenity to the site, fondly dubbed “Tiny House Land,” is a hammock that we put up between two large Norway spruces nearby.  It provides a place to put our feet up outdoors, with a nice view of the back side of the house.

Michael has now completed the placement and attachment of about half of the 2x6 roof rafters running across the house, and it should not be long before protection from the weather will not require the tarp because a real roof will be there.

We have started compiling a detailed list of all items that will be required for the electrical system - fixtures, appliances, receptacles, switches - and of course the main distribution panel, its circuits and its supply feed from outside the house.

Comments: 1 Comment



  • Comment by Dana Seccombe on 20 August 2016 2:40 pm

    Out here in California I've had occasion to research "shear walls" whose purpose is to keep a building from falling down in an earthquake. I would have thought screws would be the better way to build one, but nails are. The reason: in a high "strain" situation, where the building may move inches, a nail can pull out, say an inch, and still maintain its structural strengh (though the walls will be deformed). A screw will strip the threads if moved one thread pitch-- and lose a lot of its strength. So, screws provide higher initial strength, but once things progress past the shear strength of wood, nails are actually better. You still probably made the right choice with screws, but I found this topic interesting when I researched it...

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