/Framing An Off Grid Cabin In 3 Days
  • Framing The Cabin Day 2 of 3

Framing Our Off Grid Home Walls In 3 Days

Here's Day 2 of 3 Framing The Main Floor.

Today is day #7 of the overall build and just day #2 that we’ve been framing the main floor walls.

All together we built the entire cabin from start to finish in just 15 days!

Below is a calendar showing what we did over those 15 days.


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If it’s your first time here and you landed right here…  you may want to get caught up with our framing phase yesterday on day #1 of framing or go you can head straight to the very beginning of our entire build when began the building the foundation.

Here’s Where We Left Off

Yesterday we started the wall framing with the first end wall of the cabin on our newly build cabin sub-floor. We also tackled half of the rear wall and half of the front wall. It looked something like this when we arrived at the cabin today…


Loft Floor Joists

We used 2″ X 6″ X 16ft spaced 16 inches for the loft floor joist and we’ll use 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB for the base. Over all dimensions of the loft floor are 16ft X 12ft. There will be an opening for a folding staircase. Using a folding staircase allows for much more room on the main floor. The loft will also have a west facing window to watch the sunset at night.

The interior loft walls will be angled at 45 degree from the floor up to the peek (basically a big triangle) with more than enough headroom to stand up inside. We will also utilize the lower portion of the walls (where the wall meets the floor) to store the solar system battery bank as well as the winter fresh water. All of this is covered in up coming posts don’t worry. We’ll also have an access hatch going from the loft into the crawl space above the deck.

Framing The Cabin Half Front Wall 1

Measuring out and cutting the 16 foot loft floor joists.

You can see our wood stove in the photo above protected in plastic. We’re going with the Drolet Pyropak as it’s the smallest wood-stove available that has the all important glass door. This is a 40,000 BTU wood-stove with a 1000 sq ft capacity. Our cabin has an overall square footage of 512 sq ft so this will more than do during even our coldest Canadian winters. 

Drolet Pyropak Wood Stove

Once we get up on the second floor that lake in the distance is going to look amazing!

Framing The Cabin Half Front Wall 2

We made full use of our DeWalt 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw and this heavy duty miter stand made cutting the 16 foot joists a snap. Highly recommended to make a project like this so much more comfortable. 

TIP: We used a 2″ x 6″ as a Band Joist. See the photo below.

We are not creating a Double Plate because the transition from the loft to the main living space will involve a height change which we show in detail further down this page.


Framing The Cabin Half Front Wall with half Rear Wall

Putting up the first loft floor joists

We’ll be leaving a gap between these floor joists for no to create the opening for the folding stairs.

Framing The Cabin Starting Loft Floor Joists

Framing The Cabin Starting Loft Floor Joists 2

Framing The Cabin DeWalt

Below we’re framed the remaining portion of the rear wall. We still have to frame in the window opening for the rear wall. All sheathing is 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB (oriented strand board) and we’ll be wrapping the cabin Tyvek.

Framing The Cabin Rear Wall Complete 1

You’ll see our trusty DeWalt cordless framing nail gun. This build would easily have taken twice as long without that one tool!

Framing The Cabin Rear Wall Complete 2

The main living room rear window is framed and we’ve put up some OSB sheathing to help keep everything rigid.

TIP: Drill a 2″ hole at all the four corners of the sheathed window opening and use a reciprocating saw to cut out the excess plywood. You can also drive a nail through all four corners, connect them with a chalk line and use a skill saw from the outside.

Framing The Cabin Cutting out Living room rear window

Notice the height transition from the loft joists to the top of the main living room wall.

Loft Sub-floor

Measuring out the sub-floor.  We used 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB Plywood for the sub-floor. We will be placing a laminate wood flooring down on top.

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Joist Flooring 1

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Joist Flooring 2

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Plywood 2Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Plywood

At this point we’ve nailed down the loft sub-floor, completed the framing of the rear wall and put up the exterior sheathing.

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Joists Complete

Day 2 Framing Complete

The inspection team arrived with Tim Hortons 🙂

Framing The Cabin Inspection 2

Framing The Cabin Inspection 1

Framing The Cabin End of Day 2

With the rear wall framed, the loft joists and sub-floor in and the exterieor sheathing on that wraps up day #2 of our 3 day spring to get all the walls framed in.


We’ll 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 day 3 of framing the cabin.

Ready To Check Out Tomorrows Build?

Framing The Cabin Walls In 3 Days (Day 3)

To get caught up on the entire build you can head here to our building section and join us right on day #1 of the entire build.

OK Your turn…

Comment below and let us know what YOUR #1 favorite tool would be that would help YOU speed up your building and make YOUR life easier.

F.Y.I  We’re picking one of our subscribers who’s left us a comment below of what their #1 tool would be and we’re buying them that tool!

Just one more reason to be a subscriber 🙂

If you’ve enjoyed this post do us a solid and share it with the buttons you see on the side. Your sharing is the only reason it gets out there 🙂

We also always make a Pinterest photo for those avid pinners out there!

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Framing The Off Grid Cabin Walls In 3 Days Day 2 Pin

2018-10-09T13:19:42+00:00By |Building The Cabin|42 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.


  1. Mike Crawford December 21, 2017 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Great job! I guess my number one tool would be a good generator to run the power tools.

  2. Alan Beltzer December 22, 2017 at 2:09 am - Reply

    # 1 tool is a polaski

  3. Charles Kimbrough December 22, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to get a free tool. I’m also in the process of building an off grid cabin. It seems to be taking forever with the local government regulations holding me back with getting my permits. But if I had a choice I’d any free tool, it would be a wood splitter. After clearing my building site, I ended up with more logs than I know what to do with. A log splitter would make this job tolerable. Thanks for the information you guys are sharing in your blog. It really does help people like myself to know what’s in store ahead.

  4. Matt Settlemoir December 22, 2017 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Definitely a cordless Dewalt Framing nailer if I had the lumber, if it was a primitive build then a Stihl chainsaw with a mill attachment

  5. Rod Clifford December 22, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I’d love (& need) a sliding compound mitre saw.

  6. lance Frankham II December 22, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I would love a portable band saw mill with tracks, motor and everything.

  7. Tonya Alaniz December 22, 2017 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Great fun! We would love to have a chop saw!! Merry Christmas 🎄

  8. Tom Lowman December 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    We share a obsession…I also lust after a 20V DeWalt cordless framing nailer!

  9. John C Garrity Jr December 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Definitely the 20v nailer

  10. Dan Haglin December 22, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Portable sawmill

  11. Rob Cappa December 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Tools are usually worth their weight in Gold.

    The 1 tool I could not build anything without is a 12″ multi angle miter saw with stand.

  12. Jamesnichols December 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    My faveorite tool would be a log De-barker that fits on a chainsaw makeing quick work of that very time consuming process!!! Iam driveing to alaska in june of 2018 to build a log cabin on the little susitna river in houston AK!!! Im so exicited to do this though a little worried about getting the foundation square n plumb!!! A challenge!!!

  13. David Huston December 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    For me, I’m planned to build my off grid cabin in the Ozarks. I have 80 acres of mountain property that’s rich with hardwoods like oaks, hickory, black walnut, and cedar. Using my own trees to build my off grid cabin will drastically cut the monetary costs of this build. Having a portable bandsaw mill will pay for itself many times over on my property. That would be the one tool above all others I would choose first.

  14. Joni Essex December 22, 2017 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I could do with a decent power screwdriver – would save so much time, and help with my arthritis!

  15. Ellen Tighe December 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Love your work.

    Being a girl that likes to build stuff and I have the basics generator, solar system. hand tools, etc, I’d have to say a ROTORAZOR is the next tool on my wishlist.

    Thank you for sharing.

  16. Howard Brown December 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    My favorite tool is a cordless 5 1/4″ skill saw. It is great for quick adjustments.

  17. Tella December 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the chance to possibly get the tool I would love to have for my off grid cabin. I think for sure it would be a saw mill that the cutting device is a chain saw on it rail system.
    Crossing my fingers.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New year.

  18. Wendy Jackson December 22, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I’m buying my first house in Jan or Feb. A new DeWalt miter saw would be a dream come true.
    I will need to do some repairs since it is a fixer upper! You are giving someone an awesome gift 💝 God bless you all and your families the rest of this year and all of next!

  19. Wendy Jackson December 22, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    I’m buying my first house in Jan or Feb. A new DeWalt miter saw would be a dream come true.
    I will need to do some repairs since it is a fixer upper! You are giving someone an awesome gift. God bless you all and your families the rest of this year and all of next!

  20. Merle Burkes December 22, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Thank-you for your blog and for an opportunity to win a much needed tool. I would say most useful for this old lady, me lol would be a good generator. Thanks buddy!

  21. Steven Godbehere December 22, 2017 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    I’d have to go with a portable sawmill. Even the Harbor Freight band-saw one would make the dream of self-sufficiency within reach, financially. On a side note, I finally got a pneumatic framing nailer and it has been an amazing addition to my tools. I have a spinal injury and that thing makes it so I don’t need help unless I want the company. I can imagine that the Dewalt 20V makes light work when used on big projects. Thanks for the opportunity and keep yourselves healthy! A cabin won’t build itself.

  22. Tom December 23, 2017 at 4:38 am - Reply

    I’m in hopes of buying a few acres and a small unfinished shed and I would hope my new favorite tool would be a Ryobi 18 volt One+Ones sliding compound miter saw to help me do all of the woodworking planned for the inside and to help with the furniture builds to furnish the inside too ,,,

  23. Samara December 23, 2017 at 5:43 am - Reply

    You guys are awesome! The house looks amazing! I think my favorite tool would be a table saw. I’ve needed one for so many projects! It’s hard to make nice cuts when all you have is a circular saw in some cases lol. Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your articles.

  24. Jan Vance December 23, 2017 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Your journey building your cabin is inspiring to watch. If I had a choice of tools… a solar generator would be on my wish list.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours

  25. Ron Champagne December 23, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Great blog and great pictures! For sure my favorite tool would be the DeWalt 20v cordless nailer! Merry Christmas to everyone on the blog!

  26. Marcy troxel December 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful thing to do! My favorite tool would be the cordless framing nailer! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!
    Abundant blessings!

  27. Glen Brackett December 23, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    To finish off my cabin build the tool of my choice would be a 12 1/2″ portable thickness planer for finish cabinetwork, trim & furniture.

  28. Jarrod Ball December 24, 2017 at 4:27 am - Reply

    Love your thread. I’d have to say a generator capable of using my tools in the woods to build a cabin while be on my list. Keep up the great work.

  29. Jeff December 24, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Looking good! My number 1 tool would be a 20v DeWalt framing nailer.

  30. Nicky Peeters December 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    My favorite tool would be the 20v DeWalt framing nailer. Great job!! Like following your step by step building progress!!

  31. Scott Ogden December 25, 2017 at 12:24 am - Reply

    I would have to say a portable generator as well. Having a number of tools that would work in a remote area the greatest need for me would be a portable generator.
    Thanks for this opportunity and really enjoy your site.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  32. Colby Mandrusiak December 31, 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Cordless framing nailer or cordless mitre saw. Our last build would’ve been much easier with both of these tools. Thanks for letting us follow along on your journey!

  33. Brandon Sparks December 31, 2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Awesome read. Thanks so much for sharing this..

  34. Michele Kell January 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Great article! Our favorite tool while building our off grid house in Montana is a Porter Cable 20v battery operated impact driver. We are currently putting up some rafters, and it really comes in handy!

  35. David Parsons June 8, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Everything looks great, we are starting to clear our little piece of land now to start our home away from home

    • theoffgridcabin June 18, 2018 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Hey thanks David. Please keep us updated with your build. We’d love to follow along 🙂

  36. Judy Goltz September 23, 2018 at 1:50 am - Reply

    My favourite tool is my hubby. I couldn’t make any building work happen without him. I know his favourite tools are Ryobi cordless, although he does need a good generator to recharge them. At the moment we have to go offsite to recharge the batteries. I love your work guys, all the way from Australia.

    • theoffgridcabin September 23, 2018 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Hey there Judy!

      So glad to read your comment 🙂

      My wife and I both got a smile out of that one for sure!

      I agree that cordless tools make off grid life so much more convenient. From the quietness of not having to run a generator fulltime (as with regular powered tools) to being able to recharge ours with just sunlight and not ga$$$.

      Thanks for the kind words all the way from down under. It never ceases to amaze me that we can reach anyone anywhere these days with the internet.

      Cheers Judy!!

      Steve and Mireille

  37. Ed October 9, 2018 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Steve, first off thanks for your replies when I have emailed you. I tried the Dewalt cordless framer, loved it but had to return it as it kept alarming (the yellow flashing light) that it was jammed when there was no jam occurring. Still had to stop and clear it for it to keep working. So I returned it and we’ve been swinging hammers since. Would like to get another cordless, so my question is how reliable has your unit been? Perhaps I just got unlucky when I bought it (through your click through, I’ll add). So, should I give it another chance? Or try another brand?
    I do have a lot of other Dewalt 20v products and have been very happy with them.

    • theoffgridcabin October 10, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

      Hey there Ed!

      Thanks for the support by using our link. Very much appreciated.

      The only issue I’ve run into with our DeWalt cordless nailer (model DCN692M1) is that when the battery gets low I’ve had the odd nail not fully fire out and I need to stop right there and recharge. It’s only happened at the end of the day and simply because we only have the one battery. A backup battery would fix this but to be honest I’ve never really needed one that bad now that the cabin and garage it finished.

      However a few things I’ve noted…

      1. The gun has 2 firing modes, sequential and bump fire. I’ve never had it misfire when set to the sequential mode and make certain that I let the motor fully spin up before trying to fire it. It take less than a second to spin up but if you just pull the trigger and start punching the head it won’t work or will miss feed. I got firing the gun too fast on the bump stop setting and found it would miss feed if I didn’t slow down just a bit.

      2. As the magazine count gets down to 4 or 5 nails remaining the dry fire lock out feature can sometimes partially fire the pin and not actually send a nail down range. To fix this you can slide the firing pin back in with a screwdriver and of course, not let the nails run down so low.

      3. To clear any false jam situation with the yellow flashing light, I found it easiest to simply slide the battery out of its locked position for a split second and then back in. You don’t have to remove it, just slide it a bit. Only happened a few times.

      Over all I have to say that this is still my favorite tools for off grid building. I can drive nails into places that I just can’t swing and it shaved weeks of our build time. It made holding up a rafter, a beam or a framed wall with one hand and driving in several nails a breeze! I like that there’s no compressor running in the background, no CO2 cartridge to buy and replace and lastly no hose to drag around.

      Thanks again Ed and I really hope you find a product that works best for you. I’ve read through a lot of the FAQs on Amazon and its still got 4/5 stars from 150 customer reviews.



  38. Ed October 9, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Steve, now that you’ve gone a winter with your pad foundation, how did it go? How much movement did you have? We just got our “other” buildings done this season, rebuilt the homestead log cabin, and will get going on the 2 cabins next Spring. Would love to simplify my foundation, but unsure if your system will move too much as we are in Alaska and have a 4′ ft frost line. At least here in this new site on the Kenai Peninsula for us there is no discontinuous permafrost like we had back in Fairbanks.

    • theoffgridcabin October 10, 2018 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Congrats on your build(s) Ed!

      I’ve very happy to share that our foundation has now gone through two winters and a third will shortly begin. The footings under the main cabin haven’t settled/shifted a millimeter! The entire cabin is square, level, plumb and rock solid as the very first day we built it. We went with this design so that it could be easily shimmed with nothing more than a carjack and a pieces of lumber. But so far there’s been no need as for the main part of the cabin itself.

      Now I say the main part of the cabin because the left corner footing, of the three that support the front deck, did drop aprox one and a half inches over the past three years. It didn’t affect anything and we simply jacked up the corner, slid a pressure treated piece of deck board on top of the footing and lowered it back down.

      I’ll keep reporting back if anything does shift. A lot of people have asked about this particular set up but again it was the right move for our climate and soil conditions.

      Hey Ed do keep us in the loop of your build(s) ok. We love hearing from folks living the dream 🙂



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