/Installing The Front Deck Header And Ceiling Joists
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Building The Perfect Rafter Part III

When it comes to putting a roof over your deck, we’ve got you covered.

It’s day #12 of the cabin build and today we install the front deck roof header beam, the deck ceiling joists and frame/install a couple windows.

So far for the roof, we’ve the built the main support posts and ridge beam followed by installing the main cabin rafters.

You can head back to the beginning of the cabin build here or better yet subscribe and we’ll send you a personal update every time we hit a building milestone. Best of all we will  even take you back to day #1 of our cabin project to get you up to speed.

If you need a roofing refresher before tackling our rafter section below have a read through our Ultimate Roof and Rafter Guide.

The Front Deck Install

Our cabin roof has three sloped surfaces (seen below) which I’ll be referring to in this and future posts.

  1. The main rafters on the rear of the cabin.
  2. The main rafters on the front of the  cabin
  3. The front deck rafters

The Off grid Cabin Framing the Roof Complete

Front Deck Header Beam

Before we build the header beam we need to ensure the three vertical 6×6 posts are all at the same height and level.

We do this by attaching a 16 foot 2×6  ledger or nailer just below where the front main rafters connect with the front wall and attach joist hangars 24 inches apart.

By placing a 2×6 into a joist hangar with a level on top, we are able to use this to indicate exactly where to cut the top of the 6×6 post off at.



We now have all three 6×6 posts at the correct height and can begin building the header beam in the same manner that we built the roof ridge beam.

NOTICE:  To make up the 20 foot long header beam we tripled up two rows of 2x8s and one row of 2x6s. However at this point you want to only place one row of 2x8s in place so that once you have the ceiling joists in place you can nail through the 2×8 into the ends of the joists. Then you can put the second row of 2x8s in place.

The reason for the 2×6 is so that the ceiling joists have a ledge to rest upon while nailing them in place.

Look closely at the header beam below to see the ledge created by the 2×6. Notice there is only one row of 2x8s in place at this point.



Front Deck Ceiling Joists

The front deck ceiling joists attach using the joists hangars and can nailed to the 2×8 header.



The front deck ceiling joists are all now installed.

Before we install the front deck rafters we want to start closing in the cabin to keep any potential rain out. Next up let’s tackle framing the loft window.


The Off Grid Cabin Loft Window Framed

Now we’ll drop in a window in the main floor master bedroom and one in the rear living room as well to close up the rear of the cabin.


To finish out the day we’ll cut the ends of the rear roof rafters perpendicular using a skill saw.

We used a chalk line across the tops of all the rafter ends to ensure we have the same length rafter. Then using a level we drew a line from the chalk mark on the top of the rafter straight down. Finally we cut the ends off and nailed on our 2×6 fascia board.



That Covers Building The Perfect Rafter Part III

We hope you’ve enjoyed our rafter install so far. Tomorrow on Day #13 we’ll finish up installing the front deck rafters in part IV and tackle the last bit of framing on the gable wall of the living room.

Continue To Part IV

Your Turn…

We invite you to comment below and let us know your thoughts on the build so far and our rafter design.

If you’ve found our post interesting and informative then by all means share away on social media. By you sharing our blog on social media it tells others that you trust and like what we’re doing. That’s by far the BEST way to get our little cabin build out there.

Thanks again for following along 🙂


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2018-01-20T19:40:40+00:00 By |Building The Cabin|0 Comments

About the Author:

After being physically and mentally disabled by cancer a highly decorated Air force helicopter pilot overcame the odds to regain his health and began an off grid odyssey that has helped change the lives of thousands. During his recovery he launched The Off Grid Cabin and today over 1 million people have seen his posts and read his blog every month. Read Steve’s inspirational comeback story here.

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