Back to Building

August 4, 2015

Some people may have assumed we’ve given up on our project by the lack of progress, but I promise, we’re back! Due to unpredictable weather, plus a few trips out of town, everything just needed to be put on hold. But, we’re home, the weather’s hot and dry, and we’re getting this thing back on track!

After finishing the subfloor, Eric turned his attention to getting every detail of our framing figured out. Again, I really must emphasize how much more qualified Eric is at this project than me. I think the picture below proves my point. I’ll let you figure out who’s house collapsed….

Building Fail

Hey, who knocked down my house? Oh, gravity.

I know we haven’t been posting in the last few weeks, but that hasn’t meant that we aren’t working. Even though Eric is doing an excellent job finishing up our plans, he isn’t a professional contractor or carpenter so there has been a lot of behind the scenes research and calculating. Not the most interesting pictures for you guys to look at, I’m assuming, so I spared you. You’re welcome.

One of the keys to finalizing our framing plans was to commit to windows for the house. It is possible to frame the house and go back later and add in the windows, but that’s not really the best option. We wanted to have all the window sizes set so we could go ahead and plan every opening. We already bought a long skinny window off of craigslist, but hadn’t had much luck finding matching windows for the rest of the space. So, we headed to Lowes and went window shopping…literally window shopping. After a few visits, we finally settled on the sizes for eight windows and a door! Three of those windows will be custom ordered because we need smaller sizes than what is offered in the store. Nine windows might seem like overkill in a tiny house that’s less than 200 sq. ft. but we want this place to be as light and open as possible.

Bored Dog

Poor Denali just wants us to make a decision already!


After a few visits, we finally picked out our windows.

Ready Dog

Ready to go yet?

Bored Dog

Guess not. You guys are taking forever!

Once we had the window sizes and door size, it was back to framing details. Unfortunately, I can’t explain all the intricacies of planning and placing trimmer studs, bottom and top plates, cripple studs, and headers in the correct way. (Please refer to collapsed house picture above.) But, I can give a quick run down in layman’s terms of the pieces involved when framing walls, window and door openings, plus a handy little diagram.

  • Bottom/Sole plate: the piece of lumber on the floor that the vertical studs are attached to
  • Top plate: the piece of lumber along the top that the vertical studs are attached to
  • King stud: the vertical 2×4 stud to left or right of a window or door that is continuous from the bottom plate to the top plate
  • Cripple stud: the vertical studs that reach up from the bottom plate to the bottom of the window opening OR the vertical studs that reach down from the the top plate to the top of the window opening
  • Header: the horizontal stud at the top of the opening for a window or door
  • Jack stud: stud to the left or right of a window or door that runs from the bottom plate to the underside of the header to help hold the weight of the header

Wall Framing

I know this has probably seemed pretty boring so far, but the point is everything has to be completely measured and planned. If anything is off even by a bit, then the windows or door won’t fit. So Eric has powered through the boring planning and research, and we finally have our framing plans oh, so close to being ready. We still have a few final calculations to figure out for the roof. Because we have a shed roof (one side is higher than the other) things get a little more complicated, but soon it’s walls up!

One final note: I recently got a few questions about our budget for this project and a question about the legal issues in tiny living (which can get tricky). These are both topics I promise to answer in the next few weeks!

1 Comment

  • Reply Julia August 5, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    What’s a girl to do with so many studs in her life?

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