Ah-HA! …duh… just use the pallets the way Man made them!

OK you’re right… God had nothing to do with pallets… in fact if God made the trees and someone with a really arduous job made the pallets. But I digress already…

A few people have suggested that I just use the pallets without breaking them down. I discarded the idea at first because I didn’t think the house would be strong enough and that the pallets wouldn’t fit the trailer I’m using.

Then as I started to draw the pictures you see below and you’ll see how wrong I was. For the structure I’m going to try using the pallets and simply cut away the parts I don’t need. I can also add more screws and bolts to strengthen the pallets as I go. Plywood sheeting would also strengthen the whole thing.

The drawing is a bit complex so I’m going to show it to you one piece at a time. I started by drawing the outline of the trailer and the width and maximum height the house would have to fit into.

Then I added the floors. Notice that the pallets in the plan view on the trailer have been cut to match the trailer width, length, and wheel wells. Not pictured is the framing that would enclose the wheel wells.

Then I added the walls and cut the pallets off where the roof line would be. I may decide to stagger the pallets but that would require more cutting. I may just try it like it’s drawn here and see how strong it is after being bolted together.

Then I add the roof. Today I’m thinking a weird pitch like this might work better than a normal pitch due to the size of the pallets and added loft head room benefits. But I may go back to a pitched roof as I build if I can find a good way to do it.

Then I pop in the windows and door by cutting out holes and inserting window and door bucks.

Here’s the final drawing.

The entire thing would then get some kind of interior and exterior sheeting. I’m still considering using the lap jointed pallet boards I’ve made. I like they way they look. What do you think?

Revised Framing Plan

Here is a start on the revised framing plan based on the new floor plan and 16″ board width. I’ll draw the walls next so you can see how each panel is framed. I’ll also be sure to stagger/alternate the horizontal seams so that the walls are stronger and don’t have one long weak joint. You’ll also notice that not all the siding boards are the same size simply due to the fact that the width and length of the house are not equally divisible by 16″. If I put uneven boards (the non 16″ boards) in the middle it would look really weird, so I’m making up the difference at the corners. The corners will also be capped with vertical boards for added visual interest and a better seal.

I’m also still noodling through roof pitch alternatives. I like the idea of a simple symmetrical pitched roof because they look cute. But I’m not really happy with the limited headroom in the loft. I’ll do a couple quick drawings to explore other options. One reader suggested a flat sod roof and as much as I like the idea for house on a permanent foundation I’m afraid a tiny house that rolls down the highway from time to time might have a bit of trouble with a planted roof. Can you imagine being the guy behind me? ha ha

The Trailer Informs The Floor Plan

Last weekend I got dusty and sun burned testing a bunch of theories about how best to put this tiny house together. I also got some really good measurements of the trailer. This combined with the decision to permanently attache the house to the trailer added something new to consider, wheel wells. This trailer has some really big wheels too so the wheel wells are more than little bumps on the floor. They require boxes that measure 76″ long by 17″ into the room, by 14″ high. Yikes that’s about 9 square feet.

At first I was a little concerned and then started laying things out and realized that the wheel wells pointed me in the right direction. Ironically I’m almost back to where I started. The door is in the end of the room, the bathroom is back to having a separate shower, the kitchen counter is fairly large, there seems to be adequate space for storage, there’s space for a small water heater, and even the twin size bench/bed downstairs.

The loft sticks out a bit much so my only concern is that this might feel smaller than it is. I could go with another roof design and rotate the loft bed 90 degrees. That would push the loft back 20 inches and open up more of the room visually. I might try that next.