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  • Writer's pictureJim Martin

More, and more, and more plywood

During a trip to the lumber yard the other day I was reflecting on the fact that, but for the trailer itself, every single piece of this tiny house was transported on top of our Prius, then hauled, piece by piece into the back yard.

What this basically means is that my Prius and I have carried this entire house on our aging little backs. (Okay, Jenna carried some of it too!)

At this point we are putting on more and more plywood, and finishing out as much of the framing as possible. This part is mostly just fun, although lifting and placing large sheets of plywood can get a little old. But as more and more goes on, the house really begins to take shape and become progressively more solid. And it becomes possible to actually step "inside" of your little dwelling!

Here's the framing over the driver's side wheel well. The window is much higher on this side.

Then it was sheet after sheet of plywood.

As you can see, most of the plywood is on. We've also clamped a brace in place to make sure the walls remained the correct distance apart. (This was the first step in preparation for the roof rafters.)

I hung the plumb bob again to make sure we were still in good shape. Not bad at all!

Finally it was time to get ready to put up the roof! The first step was to carefully measure where the ridge pole should go (that's the center "spine" piece where the rafters meet at the crest of the roof). The finished roof of a tiny house must be no higher than 13.5 feet off the ground. (You can find more on the dimensional limitations of tiny house building in my first post.) We set up braces at either end of the structure holding the ridge pole level at 13.0 feet off the ground--leaving a full six inches for the finished metal roof. At the right you can see the ridge pole in place.

What you can't see is that we've already marked it out for the location of the rafters. Each rafter should sit directly on top of a wall stud (again, 2' on center). Then the rafters should meet at the ridge pole. I marked out our ridge pole by laying it along the wall to ensure I had each rafter positioned correctly. Then I transferred those marks to the other side of the ridge pole.

Getting to this stage was helpful in terms of protecting the house from rain. Now we can throw a huge sheet of plastic over the whole thing and secure it to the sides of the house. This way rain water is more easily shed off the house and doesn't pool anywhere. But it sure is a pain to have to keep covering and uncovering it! I'm jealous of those people who manage to do their builds inside a warehouse. So much more convenient!

Next come the rafters!

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