/Installing The Main Cabin Rafters
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Building The Perfect Rafter Part II

All our rafter tips & tricks are on the house.

Today is day #11 of the cabin build and we’ll carry on with our quest to build the perfect cabin rafter. Yesterday on day #10 we finished building the ridge beam.

If you need a roofing refresher before tackling the rafters have a read through our Ultimate Roof and Rafter Guide.

The Cabin Rafter 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

The main cabin rafters are built using 14 foot 2x10s, are spaced at 24-inches and set at 45 degrees.

The 10 inch height of the rafter will allow us to insert 8.5 inch think R-28 EcoTouch Pink Fiberglass Insulation – 24-inch x 48-inch and still have an air gap above the insulation for free air flow.

The Rear Main Rafters

The main rear rafters have a birdmouth cut at both the top and bottom.



The Bottom of the main rafters both front and rear are secured using Simpson Galvanized hurricane ties



We left both the main cabin rafters (14 feet) and deck rafters (12 feet) at full length.

The rear rafters all installed


Front Main Rafters

The front main rafters have the birdsmouth cut at the top and the bottom sit directly on the wall top plate. The bottoms are again help in place with hurricane ties. The-Off-Grid-Cabin-Roof-Rafter-on-the-top-plate

Because the main rafters are over lapped at the top and we simply cut off the excess length perfectly square with a skill saw using the rafter as a guide for the blade.




To secure the top of the rafter in place and ensure they are properly spaced prior to toe-nailing them in, we measured and cut blocking to fit in-between each pair.


Not only do the spacer blocks ensure proper spacing but it also helps prevent the rafter from twisting.

Below we’re finishing up the front rafters.



View from the loft into the living room.


Cleaning up the loft and prepping for tomorrow.


Finished the main rafter front and rear.


This rafter design is superior in its load bearing capabilities, cost savings, simplicity of its fabrication/installation, and ultimately your cabin’s overall stability and longevity.

That covers Building The Perfect Rafter Part II

We hope you’ve enjoyed our rafter install so far. Tomorrow on Day #12 we’ll tackle building the front deck header beam, ceiling joists and deck rafters.

Continue To Part III

Your Turn…

Please share with us your thoughts on our design.

Like we always say, we’re not home building experts. We’re building enthusiasts.

There are multiple ways to put a roof on your cabin or tiny home. This is just one of them.

However, we feel it’s the best design given our roof structure.

If you’ve found this interesting and informative please share away.


For our Pinterest fans we’ve created a special pin as always just for you below.

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The Off Grid Cabin How To Build The Perfect Roof Main Rafters Pinterest Image

2018-01-20T19:36:21+00:00By |Building The Cabin|1 Comment

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.

One Comment

  1. Eric January 30, 2018 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Looks great.

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