Pallet walls are up, roof framing begins

I spent my weekend outside working with pallet wood. It felt good to be making some progress on the Tiny Free House again. The walls are up and I even got started on the roof framing before I ran out of long 2x4s. I had been playing around with the idea of an asymmetrical roof line, but as I stood there, trying to figure out the right way to built it, I quickly realized how less sturdy it would have been. So I decided then and there to build a normal pitched roof. Building with pallets doesn’t make the strongest structure in the first place so attempting to build something even more out of the ordinary seemed like an invitation for more trouble.

tiny-free-house-pitched-pallet-walls

rear-view-tiny-free-house

I’m framing the roof with simple trusses that I build on the ground from pallet wood. Saturday morning I picked up a bunch of pallets including four over-sized pallets. They were about six feet long and longer which turned out to be perfect fit for my roof.

Some people see trash, I see lumber.

I decided that I didn’t want full pallets in the roof so it made more sense to break the pallets down into the lumber and build the roof from the raw materials. The six foot long pallets turned into very nice trusses. I’m not going to put a cross tie between the rafters because I suspect the loft will add enough strength to keep the roof from settling.

pallets-in-truck

dramatic-view-through-tiny-free-house

By making the trusses on the ground I’ll be able to keep the roof fairly square. Actually I was pleasantly surprised how strait the walls ended up. They are not as strait as a normal wall, but they aren’t as crooked as I expect them to be. They are also feeling more stable as I add more to the house.

Scavenging
Continues

Now I’m on the lookout for long pallets. I think I have enough standard pallets stacked up for the siding and maybe even the interior. So I’m going to hold off on collecting any of those until I use up the ones I already have. I’ve found that the long pallets are out there, you just have to know where to look. Auto repair and heating and air shops are great places to look for free pallets because these businesses get deliveries of bulky objects and regularly discard odd sized pallets.

Once I have the the rest of the wood for the roof framing collected, which is the equivalent of 24 6-foot 2x4s, I can finish the roof framing. I also need to find five or six 8-foot 2x4s for the loft.

After the rough framing is complete I’ll cover the roof in pallet boards, roofing felt, and some kind of metal roofing. I’m hoping to find some corrugated metal but I’m also playing with the crazy idea of using flattened #10 tin cans. I love the idea of tiny can shingles; that would be a sight.

pallet-house-work-area

Roof Framing Plan

I think I’ve settled on a roof design. After playing with several more complex ideas, like some with dormers, perpendicular pitches, shed roofs, and so one, I decided that keeping it simple made the most sense. The only draw back is that the loft will overhang the main room 20″ more than if I turned the loft mattress 90 degrees. Queen mattresses are 60″ by 80″. Turn it one way and the loft has to be 80″ deep. Turn it the other way and 60″ is all that’s needed. The main thing to worry about is headroom so with a pitch like this one I really have to have it 80″ deep… hence the 20 extra inches.

Anyway there are a lot of other benefits with simple framing being the first. I’ll have no complicated hips or valleys to frame and I think the house will still be pretty cute. Dormers would add a lot so I may decided to add them later but for now I’ll just plan on sticking to the simple single 12:12 pitch. I’ll need a few more longer 2x4s, there are over-sized pallets out there, I just need to find them. Here’s a drawing of what I think the front of the house will look like with this roof pitch.