Framing Our Off Grid Cabin Walls In Just 3 Days!

Here's Day 3 of 3 Framing

Today is the third of three days that it took us to frame the off grid cabin 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 go all the way back to when we first started the foundation.

To date we’ve had just over 1 million visitors visit our framing section!

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

Be sure to share help us get the world out about how amazing it is to build your own off grid home!

Pin It Finger Image

Framing The Off Grid Cabin Walls In 3 Days Day 3 Pin

Finishing Up Framing The Exterior Walls

Today is day #8 of our overall build and we’ll be finishing up framing the main floor walls, frame the main interior load bearing wall and finish up the exterior sheathing.

All the remaining interior walls will be built after the bathroom amenities are brought in and installed.

Lastly we’ll incorporate some pocket doors for the bathroom and the master bedroom to save some 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.

We covered a complete floor plan overview in our Off Grid Cabin Floor Plan post.

The Off Grid Cabin-Floor-Plans

Today we started off by finishing the framing of the East facing end wall.

The sunrise through the two large windows will be incredible!

Don’t forget there’s a “How To: Framing 101” section we posted on our first day of framing.

Finishing Up East Facing Side Wall

Framing The Walls End wall completeThe horizontal joists above are only a temporary work platform built in order to access the east facing wall.

This wall is 20 feet tall and could not have been built and stood as one piece by the two of us.

NOTE: This is the only exterior wall that was framed using 2 x 6’s – 16″ O.C. Also note the tripled-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

Finishing Up Front Wall Framing

With both sides and rear wall of the main floor framed and sheathed we have only the front wall to complete.

Here we have three window openings. One in the kitchen and two for the living room which will face the lake.

There’s also the main entrance door opening where we’ll install a front door with a window for even more sun and beautiful views!

We have an upcoming post covering the 11 essential factors of choosing off grid windows and doors.

Plus we did a complete post detailing the How To Install Vinyl Windows and How To Install The Front Door.

Framing The Walls Front Wall 2

Framing The Walls Front Wall Exterior Sheathing almost complete

Framing The Walls Exterior Sheathing

How To Level The Cabin

At this point with all exterior walls sheathed and secure, we wanted to ensure that the cabin is still level BEFORE we start installing the rafters.

It’s easy to check for level by using just a few nails, some string, and a level.

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. Align a 4′ level on the top (or bottom) edge the string to check for level.

The reason we don’t put the level directly on the bottom edge of the OSB is that it’s possible the OSB wasn’t cut perfectly straight, it could have swelled with moisture, or it just may not have been nailed on squarely.

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

Here’s one way to do it… 

Leveling the cabin

Framing The Interior Main Load Bearing Wall

The main interior wall is comprised of 2 x 4 placed 16″ O.C.

This is the main load bearing wall for the loft.

The wall is placed directly above the center main floor joist center beam.

The Off Grid Cabin Main Floor Load Bearing Wall

Building The Center Load Bearing Post

There will be three vertical posts helping support the roof.

This is the center post we’re building here.

The center post we’ve built from tripling up 2 x 6’s with and DAP construction adhesive and nailing it together.