The Roof is Framed

I took the day off from work today and went up tot he farm and finished framing the roof. After searching all my usual haunts for long pallets with no luck I broke down and bought 18 2x4s for the roof which cost about $28. I figure the money I’ll save in gas is will offset this little investment and it should be easily reclaimed by selling some of the free stuff I’ve collected so far. In fact the weather is just right now for a garage sale to do just that.

Anyway it felt very good to have this milestone complete. It also feels good to have a safe roof over head. I didn’t want to use pallets in the roof because it just seemed like asking for trouble. This roof shouldn’t collapse on my head.

The next step is to close up the roof with roofing felt, tin or shingles. I’ve already got enough scavenged roofing felt but I still need some kind of roofing material. Initially I was hoping to find an old metal shed someone wants hauled away, but I’ve been thinking more about using flattened #10 tin cans. I’ll need to do an experiment before I start collecting the 200 cans. My imagination tells me it will work great but my practical side tells me I’m crazy… but we knew that right?

A finished roof will give me some shade to work in while I finish up the interior wheel well and bathroom wall framing. I’d like to get all the rough framing work done before I start closing it in with pallet boards so it’s easier to work in there under the hot sun.

I’m also still on the lookout for insulation but I’m pretty sure I’ll use styrofoam packing peanuts stuffed in old plastic grocery bags. The bags should hold the peanuts together and keep the whole process of putting peanuts in the walls and ceiling less messy. The interior will be sealed up the same way are the exterior with pallet boards.

Here’s what it looked like after I cleaned up my mess at the end of the day:





I plan to put bracing in at the peak to keep the roof strong. Instead of framing the roof normally I made simple trusses on the ground and lifted them into place and then added cross bracing between each truss. By adding a little metal or wood plate at the peak it should help keep the roof together for a long time.

17 thoughts on “The Roof is Framed

  1. Pingback: Tiny Free House - Roof is Framed | Tiny House Design

  2. I think the last time I saw your pallet house, you only had a couple walls up. Looks like you’re making some good progress. It’s coming along pretty good.


  3. Yep slow but sure. If I could dedicate some time to it I bet I’d get it done much faster. But for now a day here and there will have to do.

  4. I’ll consider aluminum cans too… I just know the #10 will cover faster but they will also rust and are heavier so aluminum might work best.

  5. Hey! Great work. I imagine aluminum would be a better choice too. If you’ve got the patience, you might find some nice corogated fiberglass or something similar. I bet it would be great to have a semi-translucent ceiling (except in the summer in Sac, you’d have to park in the shade)

    Here’s another free roof idea: The siding from those old metal tool sheds people are always giving away on CL. I got my tool shed that way, and the 4 6′x6′ sides were a cinch to pick up whole. with their corogation, you could do some easy overlapping… just a thought.

  6. Great work!

    We just recycled 3 #10 cans! I wish we would have know you were collecting them! We will have to mail them to you once we get another bunch collected! ;)

    Maybe you should contact a cannery and see if you can get their leftovers?

    Logan. :)

  7. A cannery… Excellent idea. I was thinking restaurants but there must be some canneries around here with all the agriculture. Good thinking!

  8. Pingback: Tiny Free House - The Roof is Framed

  9. I don’t think you can call it free any more. How about almost free, or low cost.

  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    In the end the house will be free because every dollar will be offset by the sales of free stuff.

    I’m actually accounting for every dollar ‘spent’ including the gas it takes to scavenge free stuff off craigslist and each trip to the farm where I’m building the house. Every dollar will be reclaimed by selling the free stuff I collect.

    Does that make sense? Here’s the original post that explains it:


  11. Thanks for your site which give me so much inspiration to build something on my own. I love alternativ building thinking and free is very good.

  12. I get it, thanks.
    I think you and the scrap house boys should do a house tour video together. I’m enjoying their project as well.

  13. I’m curious about what you’re going to use for roof sheathing to nail the felt to. I guess you could use strips of palettes?

  14. I used a 16″ O.C. spacing on the rafters/trusses so I could use pallet boards. That’s what I’ll screw up there next. I’m finding hex drive screws work better than nailing into the hardwood too.

    Then I’ll cover the roof with roofing felt and screw the flattened #10 cans like shingles to the pallet boards. I’ll let the can shingles overhang all edges a little so I can turn them down (probably hammer them down) to seal up the edge of the roof.

  15. Be sure to try Yahoo Freespace for free things, you can post what you want like cans etc.

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