Little Bit of Building

The same weekend I had to order smaller skylights, I had a build day planned, but I had expected to have the skylights installed already. So I switched tracks and decided to get some little things done, then put up the house wrap.Β  That was before I read up on staples versus plastic capped nails though, and any hardware store that would have the latter was closed. It worked out, because all the little things ended up taking hours longer than I had planned, so we didn’t have time to do the house wrap anyway.

My goals for the build day were:
– Trim around the wheel wells (I need a bigger gap so I can seal it with big beads of caulking)
– Add the angled pieces to frame the octagon window
– Put in the collar ties
– Cut a piece of plywood for the porch ceiling
– Cut out the windows

We only got one wheel well trimmed, because the guys were distracted cutting each other’s hair. πŸ˜›
Then I cut some angled pieces for the octagon, test-fitted those, then Dylan hammered some nails in all the corners. On the outside, Dylan used a chalk line around the nails to mark the shape of the window, then tapped the nails out, and drilled holes in each corner.


Then we used a jigsaw to cut out the rough shape, cleaned up the edges, and test-fitted the window, which did not fit! It was so frustrating! All the other windows are slightly smaller than their rough openings to allow for shimming. With the octagon, I guess they made the smallest one they could, which is exactly 18″, just like the rough opening. We ended up having to hack away at the 2×4’s with a recip. saw (which I don’t like to use) and a jigsaw to give the window enough wiggle room. It took hours to make that window fit and add in the angled pieces. But it looks beautiful. πŸ™‚


Just test-fitting, don’t get too excited. πŸ˜›

Then I cut the 2×4’s for the collar ties and we got to work on the inside of the house. Getting them at the right height as per the engineer’s instructions was a little difficult and looks weird, but we got them up! They’re a lot higher than we pictured, but it’s because my roof has such a low slope.


Looking up…


Putting my feet up after a day of building πŸ™‚

We didn’t get the piece cut for the porch ceiling or cut out the windows, but that’s okay. It’s better to plan a lot and not get it all done than to only have one thing to do, get it done, and then have time but nothing to do. As long as I’m moving forward I’m happy. And we ended the 30Β° day with slushies and a swim in the pool. πŸ™‚


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leigh Jackson
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 01:52:23

    Has anyone suggested to you yet that the huge gap in the peak of the roof needs solid wood under it, screwed down to it so it’s sealed? Leaving gaps in places that have no solid wood to seal the gap behind it are bad. please don’t take my word for it, do a bit of research on it, call a tiny house friend….


    • Natalie
      Jul 14, 2016 @ 23:34:37

      I wouldn’t say huge gap… Those two slits of sunlight are the recommended gaps between sheets of plywood to allow for expansion. I’ve done a lot of research on it already. I used thicker plywood on the roof because my rafters are 24″OC and it’s rated to span up to 40″ without support. I was originally going to use T&G to avoid gaps and blocking, but that didn’t work out, so I was going to use plywood clips, but they don’t even make plywood clips big enough, at least not around here. So I decided to use blocking and add it in afterwards. I’m not going to screw the plywood down though. I’m putting the blocking in to support the edges when there’s weight on the roof but that’s only for my own peace of mind, it’s not required.


      • Leigh Jackson
        Jul 15, 2016 @ 07:41:43

        Natalie, there are a huge amount of video’s on YouTube that explain how a solid roof is made, built, constructed. I’m sure you’ve already seen them and not screwing to plywood down and leaving those gaps…. I’ve seen other people make the same assumptions and regret it later when it was too late. I know your no dummy and I hope you’ll get more info before you finalize your roof.

        A suggestion from me is, go talk to someone who installs roofs for a living. I’ve never known plywood to expand after it was screwed down and tong and grove has been used for a long time and still is because it works, it’s not a new product, it’s been around for years.

        I hope you get a professionals opinion before you finalize your plan for the roof.

  2. Natalie
    Jul 16, 2016 @ 11:55:22

    I’m not even using screws for the roof, and the ice and water is already on, so I’d have to remove it to nail into the blocking I’ll be adding. Yes, I did it a little backwards; it would’ve been a lot easier to have the blocking already in, but I needed to get the roof on while I had people to help.
    I know someone who works for a company that does roofs and he said that they don’t even put anything and that I shouldn’t bother putting the blocking.
    Tongue and groove might work for a team of roofers, but two of us tried unsuccessfully for a couple of hours to get the first two pieces to slide together with tongue and groove, and decided that if the first piece was going to be that difficult, we weren’t going to use it for the whole roof.


    • Leigh Jackson
      Jul 19, 2016 @ 11:52:12

      I thought up a solution to the roof cracks that you might like, you have long thin width boards that are covering your peak, so why not re-do them and make them overlap the crack. that way your not butting them up against the full sheets on the side so there’s no chance of a buckling effect and your roof still gets sealed from the weather….. what do you think? Should I send you a picture?


      • Natalie
        Jul 19, 2016 @ 16:11:14

        My roof is already glued, nailed, secured, supported, and has ice and water shield over it. It’s built like any other carpenter would build it, and I have no intention of ripping it up.

    • Wilber Peebody
      Jul 19, 2016 @ 12:53:51


      it’s great to banter the building aspects of how you or I would handle one build aspect or another. I’ve been reading you monthly entries and although this is not really anyone business I’m curious about your build in relation to your boyfriend. That is to who owns the structure. You said your working two jobs and that makes me thing your buying everything and the boyfriend is just there to help build and for moral support. So what happens, how does life continue after your build in complete enough to live in. You must have some fantasy about how it’s all supposed to continue.



      • Natalie
        Jul 19, 2016 @ 16:12:53

        I own the entire house and have bought all the materials. My boyfriend will manage the car(s) and appliances, and then all our bills for living will be split evenly.

  3. Leigh Jackson
    Jul 16, 2016 @ 16:07:32

    I totally get that tongue and grove can be a huge hassle but in the long run it’s well worth it. You live in snow country and going the extra mile and spending the extra time is worth it. Snow can really put a lot of weight on the roof so reinforce the heck out of it because a low pitched roof isn’t strong enough to hold a big load of snow.


    • Natalie
      Jul 19, 2016 @ 16:33:13

      My roof is already done.


      • Leigh Jackson
        Jul 19, 2016 @ 19:01:03

        I guess I misunderstood you before, I didn’t get that your roof had been glued down and nailed. Are you planning to put horizontal cross supports on your trusses at some point, and have installed the smaller sun windows and are they the kind that open enough to go through them onto the roof.

  4. Natalie
    Jul 20, 2016 @ 13:29:23

    I don’t have trusses, I have rafters, and I am in the midst of putting blocking in between them to support the edges of the roof sheathing, but again, that is for my own peace of mind and is not required. I have skylights that are waiting to be installed, but the one I have only opens 10″ unfortunately. I had planned to be able to use it to get onto the roof just to sit, but if there is an emergency, I should be able to get through it.


    • Wilber Peebody
      Jul 20, 2016 @ 14:03:14

      It’s a good thing to brace your rafters even if they’re only for piece of mind, I’m doing the same for mine and putting in a large sky light so I too can enjoy the view from a higher level. I figure it’s better to over build then let chance have a footing and for piece of mind it’s worth it. It’s somehow comforting knowing we’re like minded in building our separate tiny dreams. I look forward to your new entries.


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"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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