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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More vertical stringers

Jon and I started in on the west side of the house today. After moving the materials and tools we needed, ripping a few more 2x8s into 2x4s, and laying out the positions for the stringers, they installed quite well. west side stringersSo, the majority of the stringers are in around the timber frame. The ones that remain are shorter ones that will be below and above the window/door bucks.

After finishing the west side stringers, we took a little time to do some figuring on the pitch for the porch roof (also the pitch for the roof over the kitchen, summer kitchen, mudroom, back wall above root cellarutility room, and sewing room/study area). I don’t want the outside wall of these rooms and the outside of the porch too low. We set up a board so we could visualize the pitch and take some accurate measurements.

With this figuring done, we moved our efforts to the wall on the outside edge above the root cellar, walls for the sewing room/study and utility room. back wall and raftersThere will be one large window in each of these rooms.

We put up a header on the vertical stringers for attaching rafters to the house. We then nailed 2x4s cut to the right height along the back wall, leaving openings for the window bucks. It is exactly 24 feet from one corner of this wall to the other. another viewSo, we were able to use one 2x4 (cut from a 24’ 2x8) as the header at the top of the wall. This provides the plate for the 2x6 rafters to sit on.

After getting the corners of the wall plumb, we nailed on the header. Then, we plumbed each of the verticals and nailed them on. back wall and raftersNext, we put on some rafters in order to tie the wall into the house.

We’ll continue where we left off on Friday. Hopefully, we finish the west wall on this part of the house and put up the vertical stringers on the front of the kitchen. Maybe we’ll even get other stuff done.

    the house from a distance

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