How We Framed The Cabin Walls In 3 Days

Welcome to the final day of framing the main floor walls!

Hopefully you’ve been following the build up to this point.

If not you can head on over to day one of our three day framing blitz or you can go all the way back to when we started the foundation.

To date we’ve had just over 1 million visitors visit out framing section of the build and that’s phenomenal.

It’s great to know that so many other folks are interested in following the build and perhaps building their own off grid home.

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Here’s a quick calendar you can open showing exactly what we did over the 15 day build period.


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Framing The Exterior Walls

Today is day #8 of our overall build and we’ll be finishing up the main walls as well as the loft floor joist. We’ll build and stand the main load bearing interior wall and finish up the exterior sheathing.

The remaining interior walls will be built after the bathroom amenities are brought in and installed. Lastly we’ll incorporate pocket doors into the bathroom and the master bedroom to save precious space.

Here’s Where We Left Off Yesterday…

We have one end wall framed, the rear wall and half the front wall. As well, the loft floor-joist is complete and the OSB sub-floor is glued and nailed down.

Framing The Cabin End of Day 2

Here’s a floor plan refresher to get your bearings of where we’re headed.

The Off Grid Cabin-Floor-Plans

You can see our full floor plan here.

Today we started off by finishing the framing of the East facing end wall. The sunrise through the two large windows will be incredible!

For a quick refresher of framing techniques and a “How to Frame Walls Tutorial” video check out framing day #1.

Here’s the East End Wall

Framing The Walls End wall complete

The horizontal joists above are only a temporary work platform.

NOTE: This it the only exterior wall that was framed using 2 x 6’s – 16″oc. Also note the tripped up 2 x 6 in the center. This will make up one of the three main support posts for the roof.

The rest of the exterior walls are all 2 x 4 – 16″oc. The reason this one end wall was framed using 2 x 6’s is because this main living room incorporated a cathedral ceiling and there will be no additional horizontal support beams as seen in other cabins.

Cathedral Ceiling Horizontal Support Beams

These horizontal beams are called “collar ties” or “rafter tires” depending where they tie in.

We wanted a completely open design without any load bearing beams obstructing the open concept. Not that this looks in anyway unappealing but we wanted to save on wood, work and test an new roof truss design that will NOT require these support beams. Stay tuned for that post!   

The entire roof load will be carried vertically through the exterior walls and through the 3 main vertical support beams and directly into the foundation blocks. This is unlike 99% of most roof trusses which actually push the exterior walls OUTWARDS and not actually straight down.

Framing The Off Grid Cabin front wall

HANDY TOOL: One of the most handy items we had that any build site can’t be without is an aluminum folding work platform.

Once the end and the front walls were framed we sheathed them with 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB.

Framing The Off Grid Cabin Sheathing

Framing The Walls End wall complete exterior

Framing The Walls Front Wall 2

Framing The Walls Front Wall Exterior Sheathing almost complete

Framing The Walls Exterior Sheathing

Next on the do to list… a set of stairs to get up on the deck!

Leveling The Cabin

At this point with all exterior walls sheathed and secure we wanted to ensure that the cabin was still level BEFORE we started the rafters and more weight. It’s easy to check for level by using a few nails and some string.

TIP: Measure from the bottom of the support beams to a point approx 2 feet up the wall and drive in a nail. Repeat on all 4 corners and connect the nails with your string. Use your 4′ level on the string to check for level. The reason we don’t put the level directly on the bottom of the OSB is that it’s possible for the OSB to not be cut perfectly straight, it could swell with moisture or it may not be nailed on squarely.

If you do need to re-level the cabin at any point simply build a quick make-shift lever with lumber and fulcrum using a few  logs.

Here’s one way to do it… 

Leveling the cabin

Framing The Interior Wall

The main interior wall 2 x 4 16″ oc is a lead bearing wall for the loft floor and sits directly above the center main floor beam. We made a change to the floor plan at this point and decided to remove the main bedroom closet and enlarge the bathroom.

The Master bedroom will be on the right and the kitchen & bathroom on the left.

Center Load Bearing Post

There will be three vertical posts along with the exterior walls supporting the roof. The two end posts are incorporated into the design of the wall framing. The center post we build from tripling up 2 x 6’s with and DAP construction adhesive.

The first of 3 2 x 6’s used to build up our vertical post.

Framing the main center support Post

We secured the post to the loft floor joist as well.

Framing the Main Center Support Beam Nail Gun

TOOLS: Another handy tool that we couldn’t be without were bar-clamps.

 Framing the Main Center Support Beam base 1

Framing the Main Center Support Beam Base 3

We created a wood surround to secure the bottom and prevent the post from shifting.

Framing the Main Center Support Beam Base 3

TIP: You don’t have long before the DAP expanding construction adhesive dries so pre-cut any pieces you may need ahead of time.

Framing the Main Center Support Beam Base 5

The completed vertical support beam.

Framing the Main Center Support Beam Complete

Wrapping The Cabin in Tyvek

With the main floor walls sheathed in 7/16′ OSB and the center vertical support beam complete we next wrapped the exterior in Tyvek.

We have an excellent house wrap (Typar) “How To Video” by one of our favorite handyman Shannon from HouseImprovments.

We got help from the family for this part.

Framing The Walls Exterior rear wall tyvek

Framing The Walls Tyvek Holes

TIP: Before leaving the cabin for the night we made “V” shaped cuts in the Tyvek where the window cut outs are to help keep any potential rain out ( we did put a tarp over the top) but still allow the air to move through the cabin and dry it out. to

Framing The Walls Tyvek Front Tyvek Holes Rear

The Off Grid Cabin platform

View facing East from the loft.

The Off Grid Cabin Temporary platform

That “wraps up” the main floor framing!

Here’s a panoramic view from the inside…

Panoramic view of the off grid cabin interior 1

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Panoramic view of the off grid cabin interior 2

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We begin the main roof rafters. This will be an in-depth look at how we tackled what most people feel is the most complicated portion of the build.

With our roof rafter technique it’ll be painless but not quick. We spent the majority of our time on the roof and for good reason.

We also decided to install a steel roof as opposed to shingles. This will add to the longevity and the over all look of the cabin. Plus, the rain sounds incredible on a steel roof. and  compete the main-floor wall framing and begin to tackle the three main vertical support posts for the rafter.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the build so far and hope you’ll be back for the next post.

Ready To Check Out Tomorrows Build?

Building The Perfect Rafter Part I

To get caught up with everything build related head here to our building section and watch the whole cabin come to life.

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