Framing Our Off Grid Cabin Walls In Just 3 Days!

Here's Day 2 of 3 Framing.

Today is the second of three days that it took us to frame the off grid cabin walls.

It took my father and I just three days to frame in all the the cabin walls, windows, doors, and even start on the second story loft floor joists.

In fact, we built the entire cabin from start to finish in just 15 days.


Click for larger view button

We also covered a quick “How To: Framing 101” class to help situate newcomers to the framing terminology.

Feel free to open this page up in a separate window and follow along with the terminology.

Here's Where We Left Off Yesterday

We started by framing the exterior wall at one end of the cabin.


The wall went up quickly.


We also finished half of the front and back walls as well.


They are build in halves to reduce the lifting weight and also to accommodate building the loft floor joist.

Framing The Loft Floor Joist

To frame the second floor loft joist we used 16 foot long 2″ X 6″s spaced 16″ O.C.

We’ll use 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB for the sub-floor.

Over all dimensions of the loft floor are 16ft X 12ft.

There will be an opening for a folding staircase.

Here’s a sneak peek to understand where the folding access ladder will go.

The Off Grid Cabin Drywall Finishing Touches

Using a attic access style folding staircase allows for much more room on the main floor.

The ladder can be folded up out of the way when we need more room in the main floor and when the loft isn’t in use.

The upstairs loft will also have a westward facing window to watch the sunset at night right from the bed!

The walls of the loft will be angled at 45 degrees providing plenty of standing headroom.


We will also utilize the lower portion of the walls (where the loft wall meets the floor) to store the solar system battery bank as well as the winter fresh water supply (all covered in upcoming posts).

We’ll also have an access hatch going from the inside of the loft into the crawl space located above the deck.

Measuring out and cutting the 16 foot loft floor joists.

Framing The Cabin Half Front Wall 1

In the photo above you can see our wood stove 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 Stoveir?t=theoffgridcab 20&l=li2&o=1&a=B002VMER9U

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 during a project like this and easy to run of of a generator. 

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004RPY3FM&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theoffgridcab 20

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

We are not creating a Double Plate on top of the main walls because the transition (along the top of the wall) from the loft to the framing around the main living-room space will involve a height change. Details are further down on the page.


Putting up the first of the loft joists.

Framing The Cabin Half Front Wall with half Rear Wall

ir?t=theoffgridcab 20&l=li2&o=1&a=B004RPY3FMWe’ll be leaving a gap between these two floor joists for now 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

Framing The Main Floor Rear & Side Walls

The rear wall is framed but we still have to finish up the window framing.

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 started to 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.

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

Now everything is at the same height all the way around.

Framing The Cabin Cutting out Living room rear window

Completing The Loft Sub-floor

We used 7/16″ 4′ X 8′ OSB Plywood for the sub-floor.

We will be installing the same laminate flooring used on the main floor. 

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Joist Flooring 1

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Joist Flooring 2

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Plywood 2

Framing The Cabin Loft Floor Plywood

At this point today we’ve…

  • installed the loft sub-floor
  • completed the framing of the rear wall
  • completed the framing of the side walls
  • installed exterior sheathing on the framing we’ve completed

Then the “inspection team” arrived with Tim Hortons :)

Framing The Cabin Inspection 2

Framing The Cabin Inspection 1

Framing The Cabin End of Day 2

Ready To Check Out The Next Step Of The Build?

Day Three Of Framing The Walls

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.

We’ve already put together a list of the 63 Must Have Off Grid Tools which you can check out here!


If you’ve enjoyed this post do us a solid and share it.

Your sharing is the only way it gets out there!

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

Pin It Finger Image

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