The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another day’s work

house with garden in foreground


After Jon arrived this morning, we continued building the deck for the porch. The task involved cutting 6x8 beams to the proper length, setting them in place, and ensuring they were level. I’m using 4x6s along the outer perimeter of the porch. The 6x8s butt up against the back side of the 4x6s on top of the block piers. They rest on the foundation wall on the house side and attach to the 2x8 box boards. Later, we’ll run 2x6s and 4x6s as floor joists between the 6x8 beams.

frame along the front of the houseWe built the frame across the front of the house and along the east side. That leaves only the porch on the back which extends from the corner to the root cellar.frame along the east side of the house

I probably didn’t have to use 6x8s and 4x6s for the porch floor frame. One of my desires is that the porch be solid without flex in the floor. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. porch floor frame from the southeast cornerI bought the 4x6s from a sawmill previously and I had a few 6x8 beams left over from building the timber frame. I figured I would mill some more as needed. A friend gave me several beech trees out of which a friend milled 1x8s and 1x6s to use for the porch floor. There were enough logs to mill 14 6x8 beams also. So, the 6x8s were basically free.

If I had to buy dimensional lumber from a building supply place, the porch would have been designed a lot smaller. I want a nice, large porch. It will be an important part of our living space.


Adam said...

I always enjoy dropping in and seeing your progress. Keep up the good work - great stuff!

Ruth said...

Your house is looking great! :) It's exciting to see your progress!