Day 13 on the House Build. Nothing to see here.

Hey guys. Just a little update. This stage was mostly finishing work, so there isn’t much “growth” from the house, though it is covered in house wrap now. It was a fun day filled with hard work, and I got a lot accomplished, even if there wasn’t much actual “building.”

The above picture is the finished project as it stands. Holes were cut to allow some airflow until the windows and door are actually installed. This is probably the best house-wrap job I’ve done to date, aided by the fact that I didn’t have to work around a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, on with the story.

Finishing Touches on the Walls

I arrived at the property before the truck carrying my roof materials (mostly lumber, OSB plywood, and tar paper). There was one small project waiting for me, so I jumped on it. I grabbed my hand-saw, and made for the door cutout. When I built the walls, I ran the floor-plate (that the studs are secured to) all the way along the wall. This means that my doorway is bordered by a 2×4 at the bottom of the opening which doesn’t need to be there.

I like tripping people as a gag and all, but I’m trying to be halfway professional here.

A hand-saw is perfect for this job, as the cut can be made with uber precision. It doesn’t take long to rip through a fir board. The truck arrived before I finished sawing the left side, so I put the saw away and started moving materials inside.

I sent him on his way, finished cutting the little extra bit of 2×4 out of the doorway, and turned my attention to top-plates.

If you remember from my earlier posts, there was a slight overlap of the plywood strand-board projecting over the top of the wall frame. This is why. A top-plate adds a lot of strength to help distribute the weight of the roof more evenly to the wall studs and down into the foundation. It also creates an opportunity to overlap the corners and tie the walls together a bit better at the top. i.e. my back walls are long, and the side walls fit “between” them, my top plates run the side walls long, so those pieces sit on top of the front and back at the corners.

It took me a while, and I made a little friend. This spider, about the size of a half-dollar, was doing laps around the top of my wall, hunting for a good spot to build a web. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but eventually figured what the little guy was up to. Still, he had to be shooed away repeatedly as he kept getting in my way.

In general, this part was easy, but it still required a bit of measuring and cutting. And including my other prep work and offloading the truck, I was already well into day 13.

Wrapping it all up

The last phase for my build style was to cover the walls with house-wrap now rather than waiting. I’ll still need to do the front and back triangles when the roof trusses go up, but I wanted to make the job as easy as possible. I’m out there doing this by myself, so anything that makes the job easier is good. Without anything on top, lining up the plastic-paper and securing it went smoothly, but there are probably 300 staples in that thing, if not more. (For the carpenters out there, no, I’m not using plastic washers, I never have, and I’ve never had any problem with my staple jobs)

It was only after I finished two walls that I noticed the wrap was upside down…oops. Oh well, this isn’t a pageant. Long as it breaks the wind and protects the inside of the house a bit, we’re good.

Looking at my clock, it was already well past noon, so I took a little break for lunch.

On Limited Time

With the rest of the day running out, I knew I wouldn’t get any trusses up. I just hoped to get a good start. Making trusses from planks is a straightforward process, but by no means trivial or fast. There’s a lot of measuring and cutting, not to mention moving stacks of lumber from here to there so I could later lay them out of the floor. My plan is to draw the first completed one in pencil on the floor, and use these marks as a template for the others.

My roof is going to be a simple triangle with a 1-in-3 pitch, meaning one foot of climb for every three feet of length. I grabbed my square, and on the 1×6 lumber, I held it where 15 inches ran to the edge on one side, and five inches on the other length. Does that make sense? The square is basically a big ‘L’ shape, so lining up one side of the board with the right dimensions will give you the right angle. Exact angle measurements are important, and wood tools don’t measure in hundreths of a degree, so knowing the exact angle (~18.435deg in this case) isn’t important. You can get it easier and faster with a good square, and set your cutoff saw to the mark.

I trimmed the ends off 38 boards at the proper angle, and thought about starting my own doorstop company:

Then I made a template board. Basically I cut one board how I want them all to be, and measured the others directly using it as a measuring stick:

Putting it all together.

I didn’t have time for much more, but cut one of my southern pine 2x8s and did a little test fit without the king post that will go in the middle. This still needs a little trimming, and that board will become my next template for cutting the other long pieces. The 2×8 will span the whole width of the building, while the lighter pieces will go from the middle to just past the edge of the building, around a foot of overhang on either side.

Still, it was a quick test-fit to finish out the day, and I can start to see what the future roof peak will look like. Hopefully day 14 will allow me to cut all the pieces and start stacking trusses.

Here’s my pile of roof chords (the slanty pieces that go on top):

And here’s my rough layout:

Well, they’re about to kick me out of the coffee shop because they are closing up. But I was hoping to get this out, and I did. Goal accomplished for today 😛 Go me! Hope you enjoyed all the fun pictures.


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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.

5 thoughts

  1. Look at you making such progress. You’ll be able to invite the family over for Thanksgiving!
    And I LOVE that the wrap is upside down…
    Jeanne

    1. Weeeeeeeeell, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, hehe. Unless they want to put up a tent, which my uncle might be down for. There’s still at least 2 days to box in the roof, and then the real work starts. Metal roofing, siding, electrical runs, hooking up a generator and power supply, plumbing and tub, drywall, lighting, stove and chimney, etc. Lots still needs to be done. The “box” is the easy part. Little measuring and lots of cutting and screwing things together. The rest is a slow going process with fiddling small problems hiding around every corner. Here’s to hoping it all turns out well 🙂 Thanks so much for following along on my little journey Jeanne. Love hearing from you.

  2. Being a retired tinner, I have done a number of roofs. Buy the best caulking you can, that is what wears out first. That and don’t drive the screws with the rubber washers in too tight, they will fail prematurely if you do. Have fun.

    1. Thanks for the tips. Yes, any small screws are bad about that, I think. They don’t bite hard enough to the material, and excessive force wears either them, or the underlayment.

  3. I thank god I got to meet you and work with you..And you are doing a great job on your house it will soon be done ✅ if I can do anything to help you I’m a call away luv ya best friend 😘

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