Framing the Walls!

Early on in this project, we bought tiny house plans and have been referencing them, up until now, only occasionally.  Some people decide to build their tiny houses straight from professionally-made building plans, saving planning time.  Others opt to make their own plans and build their tiny houses completely customized to their unique desires.  We, however, decided to do something different.  Before finally deciding to buy plans, we searched long and hard for a set of tiny house plans that we really liked.  Because we didn't want to build our house to plans that we didn't absolutely love, we decided to buy plans and use them only for specific parts of our build.  We particularly liked the interior of this house (Loft Edition) and the exterior of this one (Hikari Box) so we bought the plans for the the Hikari Box and went from there.  Our plan is to use the Hikari Box plans for the walls and roof, then design our own interior and windows, drawing inspiration from the Loft Edition, other tiny houses, and our personal preferences.  We'll talk more about our interior plans in later blog posts but we just wanted to make our plan clear.  

Since we'd already marked the location of each stud on the sills, the next step was to place/attach the corners and studs.  (Our first vertical pieces!  After spending weeks working only on the trailer, it felt so good to finally be building upward!)  At each corner of the trailer we strengthened the walls with four 2x4s glued, screwed, and nailed together to form solid corners that would give us maximum stability. We then placed studs at intervals, no more than 16" apart, along the perimeter, and framed for each window, the wheel wells, and the door.  This part of the build is more straightforward because it's so similar to building any kind of structure.  One day, Mike's uncles came out and put in hours of their time to help us get the walls up and teach us a few things so that we would be prepared for continuing our work for the following week. By the end of the day, we had formed the structure of three of the windows, the door, and a good portion of the walls. That left us with a week's worth of work filling in the studs for the walls and finishing out the framing for the remaining windows.

One of our biggest priorities is good lighting and that means, big windows for the inlet of precious natural light.  We picked up six double-paned, giant windows at Habitat for Humanity Restore for $250 (total), and were able to use four of them in the build!  Putting in many/large windows compromises the structural integrity of the walls so we cross-braced the walls with diagonal 2x4s to compensate (the cross-braces aren't pictured here because we put them in later, while sheathing the walls).  We'll have two kitchen windows, one very large center window near the open space area, one bathroom window, one office window, and one loft window (we haven't framed for the loft window yet because we haven't found one we like yet).  

 Back when we installed the flashing and drilled through the steel trailer, we dreamt of the day when we wouldn't have to work with metals.  Now, we're stoked to be working with only wood (especially because the chop saw is so fun to use!).  This part of the build has definitely been the most satisfying thus far.  The house finally looks like a house instead of just a trailer with a subfloor and sills.  After building the walls, the next step is to construct the roof and sheath!

This was our first vertical piece! 

Jen gluing the top of the jack stud where the 4x4 header for the door will go.

Framing around the wheels.  Also, you can see how the hold downs connect the studs to the sills.

Framing the front door.  4x4 header.

Getting closer to looking like a house! It was fun to see the transformation from trailer to structure.

Climbed on the roof to get a shot of the worksite (Jen's parents' backyard).

Passenger side view.

Front view. (& puppies)

Driver's side rear view.

Done! Next comes the roof and sheathing!