A Step-by-Step Construction Guide: How to Build a Home
Building your home from the ground up can be a very exciting and stressful process. However, knowing the steps makes the process much smoother, so we at Construction Guide wanted to make sure everyone knew the major steps in home building.
- Prepare the site and lay foundations
- Build the rough framework
- Install rough plumbing and electrics
- Fit insulation
- Finish interior drywalls etc., start home exterior
- Final interior touches, install driveways and paths
- Fit hard flooring and countertops, finish exterior
- Install bathroom appliances
- Fit mirrors and finish flooring, landscape exterior
- Final confirmation with builder
- These are just the basic steps to building your dream home, but they’re explained in more detail below.
1. Prepare the site and lay foundations
The first step in any building project is to prepare the site (strip away trees and debris, level the ground) and to build a template for the new property. The house’s footings are installed at this stage, and any basements or wells are dug. Once this is completed, the concrete foundations are poured and left to cure.
2. Build the rough framework
Floor systems, walls and roofs are all added onto the wooden template built in step 1. Plywood sheathing is then added to the exterior as a level of weather protection, and doors and windows are marked out and installed if possible. Finally, plastic sheeting is added to the plywood to make the structure water resistant.
3. Install plumbing and electrics
Wiring and plumbing systems are installed at this stage because it’s easier before walls are fitted. Similarly, HVAC systems are also installed, and roofing is fitted. At this stage the house is considered dried in, making it suitable for electrics to be installed.
4. Fit insulation
Thermal insulation is fitted between the interior and exterior walls. What materials your builders use will depend on the climate and budget, although fiberglass and foam are most common.
5. Finish interior drywalls
After insulation, the interior drywalls can be fitted onto the frame. This seals the insulation in and makes it start to look more like a home. At the same time, builders will install exterior finishes, such as bricks or stucco.
6. Final interior touches, exterior work
This stage focuses on interior trim, such as doorframes, bannisters, etc., and walls are painted and wallpapered where necessary. Outside the property, work starts on pathways, drives, and patios. Exterior work like this is saved until after the heavy machinery needed for interior work has left the site.
7. Fit hard flooring, finish exterior
Hard flooring is installed at this stage because it’s more resilient than carpet. Countertops are added to cabinets built during stage 5, and preparation is done outside ready for landscaping.
8. Install bathroom appliances
Light fixtures, plug sockets and switches are installed, along with bathroom fixtures and HVAC systems.
9. Fit mirrors and finish flooring, landscape exterior
Your home is nearly finished, and the final touches are added inside, such as mirrors, shower doors and carpets. Outside, landscapers will add grass, plants and everything else needed to complete the exterior.
10. Final confirmation with builder
Once the project is completed, it’s time for a final inspection with the contractor. This is your chance to sign off on everything, and to make sure any mistakes are corrected. Builders will also discuss maintenance, warranty and other relevant information at this stage.
The steps to building a home are quite straightforward once you know what’s happening. As the homeowner, it’s worth keeping up with developments on the construction site and to pay regular visits to ensure everything is going smoothly. Similarly, it’s always important to work with your contractor’s expertise to build the best home possible. Here at Construction Guide, we know how exciting it is to build your new home, especially when you understand how the process works. That is why we designed this construction guide to help you, good luck!
House Kit Assembly Guide | Mighty Small Homes
Our guide walks you through the house kit building process with detailed instructions and marked panels. Your new home can be under roof in 1-2 days.
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Before starting, your slab or floor system should already be down. If you are building on a slab, there should be at least ½” x 4 ½” (or 6 ½” depending on panel thickness) Treated CDX under your walls.
Look at the plans for your small house kit provided by Mighty Small Homes.
- Make sure you’ve oriented the plans with the direction of the house.
- Be sure the plans you are working from are the same dimensions as the slab, floor deck, or trailer. It’s okay if they are not exact. If they are different by more than 1”, you will have to make some adjustments on site. If they are off by 12” or more, call your Mighty Small Homes representative to discuss your options.
- Make sure all panels match the dimension (within ¼”) of the dimension shown on the plans. If not, you may have trim a panel down.
- Decide which two corner panels you’ll start with. We suggest starting on the far side of where your panels have been unloaded and then work your way toward your unloading site. This way you don’t have to carry panels around other panels that have already been set.
- This plate should be glued and bolted down to the treated plate. You can also nail it into the concrete if you have the proper tools to nail into concrete. If not, the anchor bolts should be coming up through the plate and have a washer on them to hold the plate down.
- Your bottom plate should be placed 7/16” from the outside of the deck or slab so that the panel skins will both rest on something solid. The SIP skins should not be hanging over the edge.
- Consult the plans provided and locate the panel numbers you need.
- Ensure both panels are positioned with the wiring chases closer to the bottom plate.
- Ensure both panels are positioned with the inside in and the outside out. On all panels, the panel number is written on the outside face in large spray paint.
- Ensure both panels can sit flush the floor. If there is an anchor bolt in the way, you may need to cut out a little bit of foam from the panel.
- Place caulk either on the bottom plate or under the panel along the foam.
- Carry the panel to the corner and set on skin along the plate, then tilt the panel up and over the bottom plate. You may need to bevel the bottom plate to help the SIP slide over it easier.
- Once the panel is down, move it into place. You may use a sledgehammer or mallet to help move the panel left or right if you cannot push it.
- Before nailing it, be sure it is plumb and square and flat on the bottom. Once you ready, using 8d nails, nail the inside and outside at 6” on center. You may want to place only 3-4 nails in the bottom to start in case you have to make a change.
- Grab the 2nd corner panel that will butt up to the first panel. Place a bead of caulk along the 2x that is butting into the other panel (seal the joint). Slide the panel into place the same way you did with the first panel.
- Once both corner panels are up, level, and square, you can nail them down with 8d nails at 6” o/c.
- Also, you will go to the outside corner and, using the 6” (8” if your walls are 6 ½”) screws provided, place 1 screw every 12” along the corner. The screw should go through the first corner panel into the 2x at the end of the adjoining panel. You do not need to go through the 2x at the end of the first panel. (place screws 2” off the edge).
- Your corner should now be complete, and you can move forward.
- Look at your plans again to decide which direction to go. Once again, consider how you can work toward your unloading site so you avoid walking all the way around to install a panel. Do not do all corners first and then work toward the center of each wall; this can lead to a tight connection on the last panel of each wall.
- Once you have decided on a direction, consult the plans provided and locate the panel number you need.
- Make sure the joint of the panel already standing will accept the panel you are ready to place. The lumber should already be in one or the other panels. Not both, nor neither. If so, you may have the panel backward.
- Place a bead of caulk along the bottom of the panel (or on the plate) and along the connecting joint.
- Slide the new panel over the plate, then using a block of wood to protect the edges, gently tap the new panel over the spline joint of the first panel until the two-panel skins come together. (Note, they may not come together perfectly on both inside and out).
- If you cannot connect the SIPs with the sledgehammer or by hand, you may need to use the lifting plates and ratchet straps. Place one plate on each side of the joint. Place screws in the plate on the further side from the joint. Put your ratchet straps between the plates, connect them and use the ratchet to pull the joint together.
- Make sure the panels are plumb and level. Nail along the bottom and the connection joint with 8d nails at 6” on center.
- Continue this process until you reach the next corner, then follow the corner process again.
Once all of the wall panels are installed, you will need to level off the top. Prior to placing the top cap (if needed) in place, use a planer to even out any edges of the OSB that may be sticking up higher on one panel vs the next.
- If you have a ridge beam, there should be a beam pocket cut into the center of gable panels. Using the provided LVL’s, you will set your center ridge beam.
- You should use a crane or lift to achieve this as the beam will be heavy and could cause harm if dropped on a person.
- Lower the ridge beam into place in each beam pocket cut into the gable panels. The top of the beam and the panels should all line up.
- You will later come back and put expanding foam sealant around the joints where the beam sits. The pocket is typically cut slightly wider than the beam for ease of installation. These gaps can be filled with the expanding foam sealant.
If you do NOT have a ridge beam, the steps below are still the same, but the panels simply rest on either walls or interior supports.
- You will likely need a crane or forklift (such as a Skytrak) to lift your roof panels into place.
- Look at your plans and select which roof panel to start with. If you have a ridge beam, it is suggested that you do not place all of one side then all of the other as this could push your ridge beam; instead, place panels located across from each other on either side of the ridge beam to keep everything in balance.
- Once you have decided, take the first panel and apply stop plates to the bottom of the panel. The plates can 2×4’s that are screwed or nailed to the inside skin that will stop the panel from sliding down the slope as you put it into place. The stop plates would be put in place up from the bottom edge to allow enough room for the overhang. All of the stop plates should be placed the same distance from the bottom on each panel unless the overhang changes. Note: You do not have to use them.
- While still on the ground, attach the provided lift plates to the panel with the 2” SIP screws (provided). Try to keep it centered and use at least 10 screws in each plate.
- If you have a cottage plan, you may have place one plate closer to the top and one further from it to adjust for any roof slope. This is not as big a deal for the ranch or modern plans.
- Before raising the panel, measure from the end of the panel to the center of the wall. This is where your SIP roof screws will be placed at 12” on center. The roof screws should be 1 ½” longer than your panel is thick. (ie a 6 ½” roof panel will use an 8” screw).
- Using a screw gun, start the screws into the outside skin of all four corners of the panel. For now, place each corner 12” in from the edge. It will be harder to connect panels if the edges are too tight.
- Once the set screws are in place, caulk along the panel joint between the first and second panels.
- You are now ready to set the first roof panel. Lift the panel into the air with your equipment, be sure no one is standing under the panel in case it falls.
- Move the panel into place. Set it down along the gable end, end wall and ridge beam (all which have been caulked). Be sure the top of the panel and the bottom of the panel are the same distance along the gable end overhang. Also, be sure this is the case with the eave overhang.
- Once the panel is square to the house and ridge beam, you may screw it down. Start in 1 corner but don’t tighten it completely down. You may need to adjust the panel slightly before putting in the next screw.
- Once all four screws are in place, you are ready to set the opposite side roof panel.
After both starter panels are set, you’re ready to start connecting roof panels. Some tips:
- The roof panels work as the walls do. One panel will have a piece of lumber sticking out from one joint. This edge will slide into the first panel that has been placed.
- Find the next panel on the roof panel and place a bead of caulk along the joint that will adjoin the panels. Follow the same steps you used for the starter panels. To join the panels together, either push or use the sledgehammer or ratchet straps to pull the panels close together. You may need to bounce on the panel to get it started. Vibrations will help the panels slide into place.
- Once together, you will screw down the four corners with the long screws. Along the panel joint, you will use 8d nails at 6” on center on each side of the panel to tie the joint together. Most people will only tack off the roof with a few nails, then come back and nail all of the joints at one time once the roof is finished.
- Continue on to the next panel until all roof panels are in place. You may have to trim the last panels prior to setting them to be sure the overhang is consistent from top to bottom. Sometimes you will place a panel slightly out of square and that will have changed the overhang. To correct that, you will need to remove the lumber in the end of the final panel, trim the panel to where it needs to be. Use the hot foam scoop to get 1½” recess again then replace the 2x lumber. Your panel is now ready to set.
You are now under roof and ready for the final two steps!
Now go back and check all of your joints, corners, and plates to be sure you have followed the nailing pattern on every panel. It’s not uncommon to miss or forget a panel along the way.
Once you are confident everything is nailed properly:
- Using the expanding foam sealant, fill in any gaps or voids that would allow you to see light from the inside to the outside. You may also use caulk on these joints if they are tight.
- On the interior skins of the roof, place the SIP Tape along the joint from the top of the panel to the bottom. Be careful. It’s very sticky can be tough to work with. Start at the top and slowly work your way down.
- Tape all of the connection joints and run a bead of caulk along all of the joints between the roof and wall panels.
- Install the house wrap and roofing underlayment.
How to build a house yourself – step by step instructions
Each person decides for himself where he wants to live. For some, there is no better apartment in a multi-storey building, for someone a room in a hostel is enough … And someone dreams of their own home, away from neighbors and the bustle of city life. If you belong to this type of people, then you need to know some of the nuances associated with the upcoming construction.
1. The first thing you should do is decide on the place where you want to see your house afterwards. It is recommended to choose areas to which communications have already been connected, otherwise you may have difficulties during construction. It would be nice if an asphalt road led to the site. Agree that driving on it is much more convenient than making your way through puddles and potholes. If you are already going to live away from the city, then you should pay attention to the remoteness of the site from industrial enterprises or city dumps.
2. Next, you should decide on cash, or rather, how much you can afford to spend, where to get the missing amount. You can keep saving, you can borrow from friends, or you can go to the bank for a loan. These parameters will determine how soon you start construction and how soon you finish it.
3. After that, you need to make a project. Here you can do it in two ways. The first, and easiest, is to find a ready-made version on the Internet. Now there are enough standard projects on the network, and you can always find something that you like. But if this categorically does not suit you, then you can contact the specialists and order a project that will take into account all your wishes. But in this case, you should know: the more complex the project, the more money you will have to part with.
4. At the project preparation stage, you need to decide what material your home will be built from.
Wood . The most environmentally friendly and most expensive material. There is no need to spend money on an expensive foundation. Wood breathes and creates a wonderful indoor climate. But he needs constant care. Wood requires impregnation with special compounds, it is subject to combustion.
Brick . This material is fireproof, it “breathes”, it is not subject to fungus and mold. But, on the other hand, the brick has low thermal insulation properties. In addition, a brick building requires the construction of a reinforced foundation.
Aerated concrete blocks . This material has high thermal insulation properties. Due to the large size of the blocks, their use will help save money and time spent on building walls. The disadvantage of the material is that the blocks absorb moisture, which can cause cracks when freezing.
Frame structure . Ready-made panels allow you to quickly build a building, they have a low cost and high thermal insulation. But frame houses are prone to burning.
5. Next, you should decide on the number of storeys of the house. It all depends on the area of the site. In a small area, it is desirable that the building occupies a minimum area. In such cases, a house with two floors or an attic floor is preferred. But it should be understood that although the cost per square meter of a multi-storey building is less, but for the construction of a staircase, which, by the way, eats up a lot of usable space, additional financial injections will be required.
6. It is necessary to calculate the costs of the foundation. We list the main types of foundation:
Monolithic . Very solid base in the form of a solid plate. But it is also very expensive, as it requires large funds for concrete and reinforcement.
Tape . This is a solid and reliable foundation, which is ideal for any buildings, as the load on it is distributed evenly.
Column (Pile) . Its advantages are fast installation and low costs. It is also great for building on uneven ground. But they use it for fairly light buildings, and you will not be able to equip a basement in your house.
7. If you have decided on all the previous points, then you should think about the design of the roof. It can be flat, gable or multi-slope, especially if you plan to equip the attic floor.
Having studied all these questions, you can easily build your own, unlike others, cozy home.
Do-it-yourself log house
I wanted to build a house. Immediately faced with the problem of material selection. There was not much money, but I wanted to get a reliable, warm and durable house. Having studied the proposals of the modern construction market, I decided to stop at the bar.
House made of timber
On the forums, it is advised to build houses from timber with a section of 15×15 cm. But I had to build it myself, sometimes with a friend, i.e. I didn’t want to involve third-party workers, so I decided not to use a heavy 15-centimeter beam. Instead, I bought dry material with a section of 15×10 cm. Then, when the wood shrinks, I will insulate the walls from the outside with mineral wool, and the house will be warm.
To further save on construction costs, I decided to use only local materials. You can take my story as an example of guidance and navigate the situation.
First, I cleared the area under the house from debris, bushes and other things that interfered. After that, he began to arrange the foundation.
I had to think long and hard about which type of base would suit my particular area. He studied the geological conditions, found out the composition of the soil and the level of groundwater. The specialized reference literature
I live in the Ryazan region. Local conditions make it possible to save on the arrangement of foundations, so most of the neighbors’ houses stand on light supports made of limestone and concrete. Most often, they even refuse reinforcement – such is our wonderful soil. The soil is sandy, therefore, it is not “heaving”. The water runs deep, and wooden houses weigh a little. Therefore, there is no need to equip buried monolithic supports in my region.
Started making the foundation by digging a trench. To begin with, he removed the fertile ball. Sand appeared. For a better seal, I spilled it with water. Then he laid out the trenches with stone and laid two reinforcing bars. Bandaged them in the corners. I think that the tape is best reinforced both at the bottom and at the top. And so he did.
The foundation began to be made from digging a trench
To save yourself from unnecessary work, you could order ready-made building concrete with delivery. However, in my region this turned out to be unrealistic – there are simply no such proposals. And my plot is such that the truck would have to go through the garden, but I don’t need this.
Plus, ready-made concrete is expensive, and sand is free on my site. The stone was ordered with delivery – it turned out relatively inexpensively. He made inquiries: in Moscow, even an empty truck would have been more expensive to call. It would be possible to save additional money by collecting stones on the river on my own, but I did not have such a need.
Tried kneading concrete by hand. I quickly became convinced of the senselessness of this event – it turns out to be too long and laborious. I purchased a concrete mixer brand SM-160. It is relatively inexpensive, but it will definitely come in handy on the farm.
Started kneading concrete. The process went fast and fun. The concrete mixer is very easy to use – it can be moved along the dug hole without any difficulty. I adapted a sheet for pouring concrete, you can see it in the picture. I put several supports under the sheet so that the material does not sag.
How I made the foundation
The seller of the concrete mixer immediately warned me that during the use of the unit, the plastic casing at the installation site of the motor should not be covered with anything, otherwise it could overheat. After the work is completed, I cover the concrete mixer with plastic wrap every time in case of rain.
The concrete mixer helped to quickly prepare the right amount of mortar. I put stones in concrete. So he poured the foundation tape to the ground level. The above-ground part of the tape was laid out on a thicker mortar using the same stone.
A little before reaching the top of the foundation, he installed a reinforcing frame. The laying was carried out with stones of a smaller size.
The foundation is almost ready. Left him to gain strength. The base does not look too neat and even, but in the future, nothing will prevent it from being finished and put in order. For example, finishing the above-ground part of the base can be done with plaster – a traditional option for village and country houses. A more modern solution is special decorative panels.
How I made the foundation
During the work, I saved a lot of money. For example, I did not make the formwork, but for the arrangement of the foundation I used cheap local materials – stones and sand. Even taking into account the cost of my concrete mixer, the foundation came out cheaper than if I ordered ready-made concrete and assembled the formwork.
Alas, not every region can save money this way. For example, if I lived somewhere in the Moscow region, I would have to make formwork, install a spatial reinforcing frame, and only then pour the building mixture.
While the concrete is gaining strength (which takes 3-4 weeks), I’ll start preparing the consumables.
Prices for timber
Find out more detailed nuances of when to remove formwork after pouring concrete from our new article on our portal.
Preparing the dowels
Joining the crowns of the timber is done with wooden dowels. I decided to make them from scraps of boards left over from other construction activities. In my case, it was the arrangement of the roof lathing.
The hardest wood possible should be used for the pins. The process of making fasteners is extremely simple. I took the board scraps and beveled them on one side with a suitable saw.
Then I set the stop and started sawing to size. In my situation, the size was 12 cm. As a result, I got neat and beautiful blanks.
Planks sawn with a band saw. As a result, I received a whole box of wooden sticks. Next, I sharpened the blanks with an ax on each side and got my dowels.
Preparation of moss
Nagels, sphagnum peat moss and planks
The technology requires that between each crown of the timber, interventional insulation is laid. Professionals usually insulate with roll materials. Working with them is easy and convenient – just roll the material over the laid crown and you can continue to work. However, you have to pay for the convenience and ease of processing.
I decided to save money and use moss. Firstly, this material is full in nature – go and collect. Secondly, moss is not only a decent insulation, but also an excellent antiseptic. Additionally, I worked through thematic forums: moss is actively used as an interventional insulation, and there are no negative reviews about it.
Red moss or peat moss is best suited for insulation. The first one is highly rigid. The second after drying becomes brittle. It is best to use red moss whenever possible. It is easy to recognize it – these are long stems with leaves resembling a Christmas tree.
Experts recommend warming with fresh moss that has lain for no more than 2-3 weeks. I kept the moss in plastic bags, and it was even slightly damp. Nothing bad happened to the material.
I make these for every door and window opening. To do this, I use a flat bar. Knots, if possible, should not be at all. For convenience, I made an impromptu
Not even every professional carpenter can make the right joint. Therefore, I decided to make jambs for windows using a simplified technology. In each window opening, I will install only a couple of vertical jambs. The window block will be directly responsible for the horizontal connection.
A “quarter” is needed to install the block. However, here I figured out how to simplify the task. Instead of a sample (it is shaded in the photo), I decided to paste the bar. To do this, the plane was sharpened in advance. The result turned out no worse than it would have been in a situation using a quarter.
You cannot reduce the number of jambs in the doorway – all four are needed. However, the shape of the products can be greatly simplified.
I chose in the bar, which in the future will be the threshold, grooves similar to the recesses in the side jambs. This allowed me to put the bottom bar on the spikes of the opening. However, at this stage, the timber would have to be cut with a chisel across the wood fibers – the occupation is not the most pleasant and simple. I found a great way out of this situation! Taking a circular saw, I prepared the cuts, first setting the appropriate output of the disc and making a parallel stop.
Then I took a spatula bit and made a hole with a diameter of 2.5 cm, as for the dowels. At the end, I sawed out an even rectangle across the wood fibers. A reciprocating saw helped me with this.
Carpenters usually make two rectangular nests in the threshold, and at the bottom of each vertical jamb they make out a reciprocal ledge, cutting down and sawing out excess wood with a chisel. I decided to make holes, as for mounting dowels, and scored a couple of fasteners. I made similar holes at the bottom of the jambs.
I haven’t touched the upper horizontal beam yet, but I nailed a small board to the threshold – it will take over the functions of the “quarter”. The design of the opening turned out to be extremely simple, but this does not prevent him from coping with his main function. In the future, I will cut the opening and glue the “quarters”.
To build a house from a wooden beam, I used the following tools and fixtures:
- non-impact electric drill;
- circular saw;
- tape measure;
- electric planer;
- reciprocating saw;
- water hose;
I bought a circular saw for sawing timber. I had to cut in two passes. First, he drew a line on the square, after which he cut, turned the beam over and again made a cut. It is best to transfer the line to the second face of the beam also using a square. If you are confident in your “eye”, you can cut “by eye”.
Using a circular saw, I made tenons and grooves for the corner joints of the beams. When arranging the spikes, I lacked a slight depth of cut, so I had to make a couple of extra movements with a hacksaw.
For more convenient processing of timber, it is recommended to use a workbench. I did not have a workbench, and I improvised – laid out the lumber in a stack about 85 cm high.
Building a house
Rules for laying the lower crown
Laying the starting crown is traditionally done with a joint known as “in the floor of the tree”. This knot is made without any problems with a circular saw – it is enough to cut the material along and across. In some areas, the depth of cut turned out to be insufficient – here I worked with a hacksaw, after which I got rid of excess material with a chisel. By the way, in my case, the lower crown is the only one that is connected with nails.
The first crown
I put the lower crown on the lining of the boards. There are gaps between the elements – in the future I will make air gaps there. In my area, they are usually in the wall, not in the concrete base. This option has its advantages. Firstly, making vents in the wall is easier and faster. Secondly, at a certain elevation, the wind moves at a higher speed than directly at the ground, due to which the underground will be better ventilated.
Log felling. Half tree connection
I’m going to mount the floor beams on the pads – as I think the loads on the base will be distributed more evenly.
I coated the linings and the bar of the lower crown with an antiseptic. As practice shows, the material laid at the very bottom rots the fastest. In my situation, there are linings below, and not the beam itself. In the future, if the boards rot, they can be replaced with much less effort than the beam of the lower crown.
Reciprocating saw prices
Features of laying the second and subsequent crowns
Construction of the walls of the house
Starting from the second crown of masonry, work is carried out in the same order. At the corners, I connected the timber with the help of root spikes – the usual adjunction of elements is unacceptable here.
Taking a circular saw, I trimmed a couple of cuts. The cutting line was transferred to the second face with the help of a square. The root spike is easy to do, everything is shown in
Important note! Keep in mind that there should be approximately 0.5 cm gap in the
tenon-and-groove joints for laying the sealant. A joint where the wood just touches the wood is unacceptable.
First, I set the depth of cut I needed. With my saw, you can change the output of the disc without any problems – just loosen the lever. The add-on is easy to use. If in traditional carpentry the master sets some parameter of the working tool and prepares the required number of workpieces of the same type, then in carpentry the situation is somewhat different: the material is dragged onto the workbench, and the cutting depth is adjusted directly in the course of work.
Building the walls of a house
My saw is equipped with a thin blade – cutting requires much less effort. Safety guard
My house will have walls longer than timber, so I will have to splice the building material. To do this, I made a gash from both ends of a long beam, removed the excess with a chisel and got a spike in the middle. The ledge is ready, now we need a groove. Cutting wood with a chisel across the fibers is not practical. I went to the trick and drilled a simple through hole in the second bar. The length of the drill was not enough to create a through hole, so I had to drill from both sides. Next, I cut off excess wood from the workpiece, made markings and cut through the beam along the fibers with a chisel. Connected spliced bars. Gaps filled with moss.
Useful advice. In the crown, which is the beginning of the opening, it is better to immediately make spikes for the jambs of this opening. In the process of cutting the timber, it will not be possible to completely make the spikes with a saw, it will be necessary to additionally gouge with a chisel to complete the process. In the next photo you see the bars already with mounting spikes.
door sills are shown as templates.
I laid the second crown on the lower one, correctly completing the corner joints and the necessary splices along the length. It’s time to make markings for installing dowels – connectors for the crowns of my house under construction. I took a square and put down vertical marks on the bars at the bottom and top, in the places where the fasteners would be placed. Turned over the top bar. Moved the markup to the center of my beam. After I drilled holes for the fasteners and drove the dowels into them with a hammer.
What do you need to know about pins?
Splicing timber by drilling and sawing
Logically, a round dowel would have to be driven into a round hole. Builders, on the other hand, adhere to a different technology and use square-section dowels. Such fasteners are also easier to manufacture, and the connection is held much more reliably. At the same time, a short dowel will not interfere with the process of shrinkage of the structure.
The problem is that it is impossible to drill a strictly vertical hole with a hand drill without the slightest deviation. When installing the bar of the next crown on a pointed and slightly protruding dowel, the first one will stagger a little. In order for the timber to be firmly fixed, it must be additionally besieged with a sledgehammer.
The dowels I use work shear and provide correct shrinkage even with slight deviations from the vertical in the fixing holes. There will be no cracks. First, the timber will shrink. Secondly, the space between the crowns is filled with insulation, which I will discuss later.
Once I had to watch how builders made holes in the wall from a bar using a long drill and drove long round dowels into them, outwardly similar to shovel or rake handles. Were these holes vertical? Naturally, no. In the end, the beam did not settle, but seemed to “hang” on the dowels, which led to the formation of impressive gaps between the crowns.
Joining timber by drilling and sawing Joining timber
What to do with moss and tow?
Having driven in the pins, I laid tow and moss on the crown. The tow was laid across the bars. Moss just sprinkled on the tow. As a result, tow hangs from the walls. Thanks to this, in the future it will be easier for me to caulk the walls. Moss will provide decent insulation of the building.
What to do with moss and tow
I installed the beams on pins, laid tow, sketched moss, besieged the crown with a sledgehammer, but for some reason it still staggers. This happens due to the presence of gaps in the corner joints. In my situation, the dimensions of these gaps were up to 0.5 cm. I filled them tightly with moss. A spatula and a narrow strip of metal helped me with this.
An attentive reader will ask: what about tow? Is it not necessary to lay in the corners and her? No no need. First, as I said earlier, moss is a very good natural antiseptic. My house will stand for a long time without any finishing, and sedimentary moisture will continually flow down the corners. Moss will not let the wood rot in these places. Secondly, in the future, the beam in the corners will probably have to be cut. Moss will not interfere with this. Tow can also lead to breakage of the planer.
Prices for tow
What to do with moss and tow
Now my corners are strong, insulated and windproof. At the end of the day, I covered the corner joints in order to protect them from possible precipitation.
Building the walls of the houseBuilding the walls of the house
Recommendations for leveling the crowns
In the picture you can see that one of my beams is located higher than the other. But they must be at the same height. We are not in a hurry to immediately turn on the electric planer – it is quite possible to cope with such a problem with a simple sledgehammer.
I worked with a planer at the very end, when the obstacle to the installation of the next crown became clearly visible. With a planer, I compared small “screws” and “humps”. He compensated for more significant differences in height with the help of tow and moss – it takes much less time to arrange them than to process wood with a planer.
What does it cost us to build a house!
Construction of the walls of the house
You have already familiarized yourself with the basic principles of laying each crown. There are important nuances. Firstly, the crowns must be laid with alternating corner joints. Secondly, the internal load-bearing wall of the house must be connected to the longitudinal wall. This is done through one crown. For binding, I use an already proven and familiar connection. Only here I drill holes for dowels “staggered” in relation to the lower crowns. After that, I lay tow and moss, and placing each beam in the place intended for it, I seal the joints in the corners.
Building the walls of the house
That is, the procedure for building a house is extremely simple:
- I am laying another crown;
- I make markings for dowels;
- I drill holes;
- I drive in wooden fasteners;
- I lay tow, I throw moss on it;
- I repeat the sequence with
Along the length of the beams, butted by the “spread out” method.
Erection of the walls of the house
Decoration of openings
Having reached the height of the window sill (this is the seventh crown for me), I made markings for arranging window openings. I calculated the width of each opening by adding the dimensions of the jambs and sealed gaps to the width of the purchased window block. There should be a pair of gaps on each side of the opening – between the jamb and the window block being installed, as well as between the jamb and the wall of the house. As a result, in my situation, the required width of the window opening was 1325 mm. Of these, 155 mm went to the gaps.
Decoration of openings
According to the results of the calculation, I installed a crown with a window opening, having previously cut spikes in the bars, similarly to the stage with openings for doors.
The next rims with a window opening were laid from bars without spikes, observing the same overall dimensions.
I equipped all window openings from “short stacks”, the evenness of which was disturbed during the shrinkage of the timber – such material is not suitable for walls, but it is a pity to throw it away. Didn’t do jumpers. Equipping the opening, he constantly checked its evenness with a plumb line. I also checked the walls.
Decoration of openings
I temporarily fastened a separate partition with the help of rails so that it would not fall during the work. The T-shaped structure, as well as the corner, do not need additional reinforcement – they are perfectly held by their own weight.
Important note! In the places where the spikes of the opening and the cut line are arranged, i. e. only a few centimeters from the edge, I did not lay the tow, because when sawing, it would be wound around the cutting disc. In the future, the tow is knocked out from the ends without any problems.
After laying the last crown with the window opening (it needs to be temporarily laid without fastening and sealing), I removed the top bars and made cuts for the spikes. He put them on jambs. Having set the saw blade to the required depth, I set a parallel stop to maintain the desired indent from the edge. It didn’t take me much time to do this. I didn’t succeed in cutting the timber to the desired depth with a circular saw – I had to finish it with a hacksaw.
Decoration of openings
In the lower crown of the opening I made spikes to control my assembly. I did not do this in the last crown – in the future, the spikes will still have to be created in each beam.
From personal experience, I was convinced that assembling the entire height of the opening for a window without a connection, while not quite “short”, is not an easy task.
Light and short trimmings can be tried on before making a groove or spike. It may well turn out that a bar deviating to the left will fall on a bar deviating to the right. As a result, a flat wall will be built. If both beams deviate in the same direction, you can not count on the evenness of the wall.
To eliminate deviations, you can plan the “screws” with a planer or lay the timber with a “ladder”. It was my second case. I also eliminated the gap with a planer. At each stage, I checked the verticality of the openings being erected using a plumb line.
Decoration of openings
Installation of jambs and completion of work
Laid the top crown. It’s time to mount the jambs of each opening. Thanks to these simple elements, the strength of the finished structure will be significantly increased. The lower bar of each opening is equipped with a full-fledged spike. On the upper bars there are cuts in the required places. I attach a guide, set the desired cutting depth and make a cut with a circular saw. After that, I draw a couple of lines from the ends according to the size of the spike and get rid of excess material with the help of a chisel.
My spikes are smaller than the grooves. I fill the gaps with heat-insulating material
Inserted temporary spacers between the jambs. In the future, I planned to attach a veranda to my house. If you plan to make an extension, do not lay the top crown of the beam before the start of its construction. I also mounted less on the crown.
The box is ready. I covered it with a temporary roof, closed every opening and left the house until the next season. The beam will just have time to shrink. After that, I will continue, which I will definitely tell you about in my next story.
Completion of works
Instead of a conclusion
While the house is shrinking, I decided to take stock. Firstly, I was glad that much less money had to be spent on the foundation when compared with other types of supports. It took some money to dump the stone. There is also a lot of sand in my region – you can dig it yourself and bring it. Most of the money was spent on cement and rebar.
Secondly, I was pleased with the affordable cost and relatively low consumption of building material. When the timber was brought to me, I laid it out in a pile about a meter high and two meters wide. At first it seemed that I miscalculated somewhere and there was not enough material for me. As a result, about 20 bars remained unused
Thirdly, I saved on fasteners and thermal insulation.