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.

Slim Pallet Pickings

It’s been a rough couple weeks looking for long pallets. Very few have been posted on craigslist and our usual lucky spots have been dry. Julia and I went out today and found lots of small and standard pallets but only one 6-footer. We also spotted a stack of really decrepit ones but decided there wasn’t one good 2×4 in the pile.

I need 16 more 6-foot 2x4s to finish the roof framing and I can get three 2x4s out of each pallet so I need to find about 6 more pallets. I think I have enough standard pallets for the wall sheathing stacked up at the farm so I’m going to keep an extra good look-out this week for at least six more long pallets and skip picking up the small ones. If I can’t find enough by the end of the week I might break down and spend some of the money made by selling free stuff found on craigslist and buy a couple 2x4s.

I’ve spent very little money on screws and saw blades so far; money very easily recouped by selling the free stuff I’ve already found free on craigslist. I figure that since 2×4 studs cost less than $2.00 each it might make more sense to get these last few pieces of lumber at the store instead of burning up gas looking for the free variety, as much as I hate to do that. I’ve used some pretty scrappy looking, yet solid, wood in the walls but I want to make sure the roof is sturdy enough not to come down on our heads. So in a way it seems like cheap insurance if I have to break down and spend $30 on 2x4s.

Julia snapped a photo of me loading the one good pallet we found. It came with a very nice piece of masonite attached to it. I’m not sure how I’ll use it but I’m certain it will come in handy. Below that is a photo of the pallets I left behind.



Pictures From The Farm

My wife’s aunt Sandy, who also lives up at the farm, sent me these photos. The farmer was out there today planting the corn and and fertilizing with fish emulsion and molasses. It’s an organic farm so nothing but the best sticky & stinky stuff for those baby corn plants.

I also realized a funny irony this morning… I’m building a tiny house just a couple miles from the Sutter Buttes, which has the honor of being known as the world’s smallest mountain range. I may also be the only person who thinks building a tiny house at the foot of the world’s smallest mountain range is  funny… so thanks for bearing with me.

It will be even funnier when I build Nine Tiny Feet which might actually become a contender for the title of the world’s smallest house… but I’m not holding my breath or getting my hopes too high.