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:

tiny-free-house-exterior

tiny-free-house-view

tiny-free-house-front

tiny-free-house-roof-sky

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.

Spring has sprung and tiny house building resumes!

I finally have time blocked off to get back up to the farm and get back to work on the tiny free house. The weather is perfect and there’s a pile of pallets is waiting for me. I’m really looking forward to spending some time outside working too. I work in front of a computer screen all day and while the winter here in California is mild, I still feel like I’ve been cooped up too long.

tiny-free-house-google-sketchup-concept

My next steps will be to first decide on the final roof design. Even though it takes up a little floor space I think I’m going to go with the asymmetrical roof design below. It’s unique, cute, stronger, and the steep roof pitch should be pretty good for solar panels if I can find some free ones.

I plan to take a rope and a couple of boards and mock-up the roof line just to get a good idea of how much floor space I’ll loose by having one short 48-inch wall. Google Sketch-Up is handy for picturing the house in 3D but nothing beats standing inside the real thing, especially when designing a tiny house where every inch counts.

Check back next week to see my progress! In the mean time you might be interested in some free tiny house plans I posted on my tiny house design blog.