Tiny House Build – Foundation and Framing


hi I’m Anna of All trades and this is April Wilkerson I don’t think you’ve probably heard of her she’s my best friend and she came up to Seattle Washington to visit me and helped me build one of my dream projects which is building a tiny house for my mom we have seven days oh hey we didn’t speak like Ann said I went to Seattle for seven days with the motivation and tackle something offered to do list when she threw out the idea of a tiny house I didn’t think it was beyond our ability even given the timeline the location and one of the house actually how they said currently there but it was in such poor condition that the first thing she did was grab the tractor and push it over we didn’t want to take the time to clear up the debris so we just kind of just shoved it over to the side and this shot is me standing on top of it to kind of give you an idea on how tight of quarters will actually be working in the tiny house will be eight by twelve and it’s a prime area for a tiny house once it’s built as it’s just a short walk from the lake but we were a little cramped building it and there’s about a 300 foot walk to get to the site which means we spent a good portion of the very first day doing nothing but a humping material back to the jobsite one load at a time something else about this location is the ground is super soft and spongy due to the amount of rain that the area gets with that instead of doing a slab we went with a purin beam setup however instead of digging them down into the ground and setting them on concrete we used adjustable brackets on top of the piers that will hold the beams this way and we’ll be able to make adjustments in the future as the ground shifts or even give her the ability to pick up the entire tiny house and completely relocate it after getting the pure setup roughly where the footprint of the tiny house needed to be we pulled a string line to get them all in a perfect line and set both of the beams and their brackets the timber you see here are actually treated wood in my area treated material is blonde with a green tent so I thought this was interesting all right and beams are set so let’s start putting on a floor we pulled a tape and spent a good amount of time not only getting the two beams square but also getting them level first giving each beam level then making sure that they were also level to each other we made a daddy by raising or lowering those brackets and the piers hey you ain’t ninja crying as your high-fiving yep you’re unique and I love it we started by butting together the two end boards and marking off where each one of the floor joists will need to go and can I just say how cool it is to come out of my shop build where my friend George taught me so much about building and framing and be able to put that knowledge into use but then to also be able to pass it along to yet another friend I just like the circle of things before attaching the joists each one needed to be cut to length so Anna and I worked out a quick system where I would mark the boards draw a line then pass them to her and cut then to attach them we would use the marks we made previously on those two outside boards to line the joist up you can see that you use a speed square to make sure that the tops are flush to one another while Ian sticks it in place with a nail this keeps things aligned and also your hands out of the way we repeated this all the way down until all the joists were attached and what I mentioned earlier about being cramped while building then we didn’t have much area to work outside of the footprint where the house was actually gonna be going so that’s why we are building the floor directly on the peregrines it was a little bit of a balancing act but heck we got it done with that done we made a few marks on the beams then centered up the floor before taking the diagonal measurements and squaring it up once both read the same measurement we attach the floor to the beams by tone nailing in a few nails through each joist next up was ducking for a subfloor we went when three-quarter inch treated plywood and this step is as simple as laying down the panel and attaching it to each joist and it did tickle me that Anne was so impressed with our work up to this point when things lined up perfectly this is the best part about taking the time to make sure things are square so that things like this it makes these all these next steps go so much quicker and easier and that’s the truth if you build a structure I can’t recommend not to take your time to make sure things are square and level because it will make all the next steps go so much quicker and easier for you I have on the floor we did stagger the seams of the plywood and wood nailed the corners to talk them in place then we chalk line to mark the location of each joist so that we could quickly come through and do the intermediate nailing I got to introduce and to bump mode on a nailer and I might be mistaken but I think she was a fan if you aren’t familiar bump mode allows you to hold the trigger down and the gun will shoot a nail when the nozzle is compressed next we had a pause because we were building this tiny house on the fly and I really wanted to take a second to model up the walls we were about to start framing so that we would be able to have a clear cut plan of attack and while I do that let me take a moment to talk to you about this video sponsor which is Wix com Wix is a free website building platform designed to take the fear and frustrations out of building a website like many of you guys I’m a creator who works with her hands I am not much of a web developer fortunately Wix makes it quick for even the most inexperienced business owners creators and artists to develop their own sophisticated looking website using their built-in templates I personally use the Wix platform to create a site for my custom grenades tools that I sell in both metal and wood Wix not only streamline the site building process with their drag-and-drop interface but they also take care of a lot of the heavy lifting on the back end such as reliable hosting to keep my website safe and secure custom domain name mailbox and even email marketing not only does Wix have a lot of function built into it such as listing products collecting payments and sending invoices but they are all very intuitive to set up so if you’re interested in starting a free website then go to Wix calm slash go slash april Wilkerson or clicked a link down in the description below big THANK YOU to waiks for supporting my channel but let’s get back to framing we will be using the floor we just built to build all of the walls on we started building the back wall first because it’s one of the two largest and it also doesn’t have any windows or doors to Freeman we started off with what will be the top and bottom plate butted up next to each other and first merked off where all the studs needed to be placed every step needed to be cut to link so we set up a system once again to knock it out quickly and I think it’s worth noting that it takes a surprisingly small amount of tools in order to complete such an undertaking we were restricted to only using battery-operated tools because of the location and about 90% of the entire building relied on a circular saw and a framing nailer here’s a photo we took of all the tools we used after the project was complete the only thing missing from the photo is a chalk line and that’s an important one so don’t don’t forget that one with this wall not having any doors or windows to Freeman it really did come together very quickly next we frame the two side walls and we actually built it directly on top of the larger wall that we’ve just finished you under in the neither don’t nail the wall into the other wall then we did the exact same to the other short wall over on the other side and if you’re interested I will have a full set of plans for this tiny house over on my website look for a link down in the description after getting the third wall built we had a pause and stand these up before building that fourth and final wall instead of doing what I did on my shop where we framed stood up the walls and then skim them while being on ladders and then I decided to try skinning the walls before ever standing them up we’ll be using t 111 for siding but since house syrup has to go down first that is where we started we quickly squared up the wall and then stretch the house wrap tightly across the studs and stapled it down you’ll notice that we are skipping sheathing the walls and OSB first that’s because we’ll be using 5/8 inch siding which is thick enough to give the wall it’s needed shear strength this not only saves time but it also saves a little bit of cost once we got the house wrap attached we came back with the tongue-and-groove t 111 siding and let me say that while it may seem the simpler option to skin the walls before standing them up I don’t think it is it doesn’t remove a lot of a lot of work later but it presents a whole new set of challenges and introduces a lot of points from potential mistakes doing it this way you have to make sure that you compensate for the correct amount for the double top plate that will later be added in the siding overhang at the bottom and the end the fighting side overhang where the mating of two walls will later be joined together doing it both ways now I can honestly say I don’t think this route is any quicker and I don’t know if I would say that it’s easier either even though the wall isn’t too terribly heavy it definitely required more than two sets of hands to get it stood up and braced thankfully and has some awesome neighbors that were able to chip in get mine forward okay Annie why don’t you get yours off the foundation okay now that siding overhangs the base plate of the walls by about an inch with that once we stood the wall mostly up we had to move it forward enough for this lip to fall off the edge of the floor then we could line up the wall squarely to the floor then attach some bracing to hold it in place and went directly from the outside stead of the wall to the Foundation’s side wall you should be able to let it go now whoo thank you so much for helping right even though we were losing daylight we were bound and determined just stand up these other two walls when trying to stand up that first short while we ran into a problem where the two braces were interfering with each other so we switched the brace holding the wall square to the inside of the short wall and then continued nailing it in place then we also placed a brace in the center of the large wall going down to a cleat on the ground because we discovered we wouldn’t have enough room to move the other short wall into place with this side brace located where it was again the jobsite was a little bit cramped but we made it work the last thing we did that day with the little bit of daylight we had left was cut all of the studs and cripples for that last remaining wall this way the next morning we could start right in on building out the wall we once again used the floor as a work surface to build the walls and decided to build it in two parts to make standing it up on our own easier and with breaking the wall into two we framed and then house wrapped one section moved it into place then repeated with a second or actually since this second section is mostly door opening we didn’t bother with house wrapping yet before standing it up and after plumbing that final wall we came back and secured it to the two side walls then came back and cut out that bottom scab piece next we attached the second top plate the reason you don’t do this in the initial framing step is because you want to use it as a way to tie the four walls together and you can only do that once all for standing I can show you what I mean in the model I sketched up a little bit easier see this top plate ends at the wall but the second top plate connects not only to this wall but also to its neighboring wall and with the majority of the walls done we came back with the house wrap on this last just with it having a door in it I cut two diagonal lines from both top corners down to the center to create a V then wrap the loose ends up or around the wall once things were tight I stapled them in place and then cut off the remainder now all of the seams in the house wrap needed to be taped over so next we went around all four sides and taped every horizontal and vertical seam and that is where I’m gonna have to stop for this one if it isn’t obvious from the footage and I had a blast building this it is just way too much fun building things with friends if you would like to see more than I definitely recommend checking out Ann’s video on the project I have left you’ll link down in the description and of course stay tuned for my next video where I will continue on with the build process until then I hope that you enjoyed this one I hope that you learned something and I hope that you’re building something of your own I will see you soon because I’m a carpenter yep stop what you’re doing no I’m your pack you’ll because you’re wearing yoga pants and you know I always like to be oh my goodness and then we’ll come back and do all the intermediate and I can introduce you to book mode that’s not okay you hit your hand yeah Annie you all right yeah you

100 thoughts on “Tiny House Build – Foundation and Framing

  1. So… you were able to get the tractor to the location to push over the old shed, but then hand-carried all of the material? Wow, maybe I am just lazy, but seems like there's an easy solution in there somewhere. ;).

    Love your videos. Love the build!

  2. What kind of tractor did you use for the demolition? I’ve been researching tractors for my own needs and would love some user input.

  3. As always, great video April…Now I'm a fan of Ann too. Can't tell you how much you have inspired me and my girlfriend to get into being creative and becoming makers. I just started on my shop build after collecting and buying all the tools a good woodworking shop needs. Keep em coming.

  4. I didn't hear you say what nails you used in the PT lumber?? IF you didn't use nails made for PT, those nails WILL fail fairly soon as the salts in the PT lumber will rust them through! SR

  5. Boy do I live in the wrong areas…Adam Booth has more concrete on his lot than he does grass, you can use blocks with adjustable brackets…ugh. I have to have a slab WITH Rat wall, AND permits, AND approval of the neighbors, AND yea…it goes on and on… 🙁

  6. Something's wrong here, all the beauties I know won't get dirty with me, or sweaty. Your method of squaring is better, I would have used a square.

  7. I'm going to start by saying, this was an incredible undertaking, and I am so impressed by what you accomplished. But… A ground heaves when it freezes and moves up and down with moister, that is why they dig below the frost line, (how deep the earth freezes during the winter. Tongue and groove plywood should always be used for the subfloor, glued down and staggered at 4'. House wrap should not be wrapped into the opening, this allows any water that gets behind the wrap to go into the house. It should be cut to the opening, the door or window installed with dymonic behind the flange directly to the plywood, then peel and stick applied over the flange to the plywood, then the house wrap seam taped to the peel and stick tape. Again, you are doing an awesome job overall, but I have been in the business for a long time and somethings (even for a shed) make me cringe. Good luck on the rest of your project and I am anxious to see the rest.

  8. Hi April, by any chance do you have any videos showing the video equipment that you use, I really love your videos and the voiceover format that you have, I’m a cabinet maker and installe, leaving in California, I just open my youtube channel about 4 months ago and I am very glad that I found your channel, very inspirational, I also follow Frank Howart, Ron Paulk, Jay Bates and others.

    Thank you so much for your channel, I’ve learned a lot.

  9. Being french I don’t get what’s the use for the house wrap, we don’t use that here, could someone explain please ?

  10. … nice job tradegirl's very nice one, if you put some logins in the walls and roof you are close to perfection.
    Now about you DCS 577 … that circular saw is to big and will break you muscle , if you have a choice don't used , except ripes of , the rest of the jobs are not made for the DCS 577 .

  11. Very informative! I hope to build my daughter and I a tiny house In the next few months. I loved seeing the "wall part" I definitely learned from that.

  12. Just SO MUCH awesomeness. The dead shed will be compost in six months in Seattle, but better 86 it so you don't get termites. Square and Level! Modeling EVERY project is very important for strategizing, an even for later for reference. You guys KICK BUTT! Great pic of tools used. April, your narration is Exemplary. This build is SO much fun!

  13. I love the idea of building a tiny house, something that I would like to do for myself someday. I always love the work you do. Thanks for the videos that you do.

    I saw that you used Sketchup. I haven’t been able to find the download, just the online version, which I don’t like and only works when I’m online. Can you help me with that?

  14. Very nice. Good job. I would have put bridging in between floor joists(to spread weight loads) and used tongue and groove plywood . Don't know how cold it gets there, could have used poly and insulation in the floor?

  15. I'm not a woodworker nor do I have much knowledge, but is nailing the floor to the beams enough to not make the house move/blow down?

  16. No need to wait to install the second top plate. Just leave the plate on one end short and the other long. When you stand them up, just lap the long end over the lower top plate of the adjacent wall. Tip: If boards have a slight crown to them, assemble them so that the crown on the lower top plate is the opposite of the upper top plate. When nailed together, the two boards will work to straighten each other.

  17. These two girls are kicking ass, both wearing shoes or boots and then a guy comes into the picture and he is wearing flip flops…smh lol

  18. I just came across your videos and you are such a sweet person. I will be watching more of your videos and I may just try doing one myself.

  19. Love your channel. If you’re thinking of doing something like this again, have a look at diamond piers https://www.diamondpiers.com

    They don’t work well in rock but they’re great in wet loamy soil like you had there.

  20. What is this line of work called? I just graduated and I am trying to pursue a career but I don't know what to get into. I thought I wanted to be a mechanic but now i am more interested in this. The way she planned it out on the laptop and got to build it by herself hands on, i want that knowledge. What is this called? Is it just carpentry ?

  21. LOL, I had to rewind several times to understand what "house syrup" was before I figured out that the speech to text tool was misunderstanding "house wrap". Great build, thanks for sharing the details.

  22. Спасибо за возможность посмотреть как работаешь. Интересно и не обычно для нас. Тяжести старайтесь не подымать.) Таких женщин надо беречь.)

  23. Hey, April! I myself am thinking about building a tiny house! I came across this video and was wondering if you had the costs of the materials you used?

  24. Another motivational video! Thought from the arm chair – design/build the back wall in 2 sections so just the 2 of you can work it.

  25. Why did you initially build the front wall at the same height as the others? And then increased the height for the roof afterwards.

  26. Would the piers you used as foundation, something appropriate for a tiny house on wheels set semi-permanent on a property? Can you suggest alternatives?

  27. Hi April!! here fron Seattle area 2. What software do you use to create your wood work designs? Also I want to recognize and congratulate you for your hard and good work on your projects..

  28. Just recently found your channel and as a young woman I have to say I'm incredibly inspired and happy that you have a channel and share your knowledge with us!

  29. your way of building the cabin is much simpler and quicker albeit costlier. you should advise the cabin builder to get a miller saw mill first.

  30. Found your channel from Shannon's home improvements channel, pretty cool to see some bad ass ladies building and doing it for themselves

  31. Hurricane Straps are good for extra support for attaching Floor Joists to your Skids. In addition to toe nailing. I've used them before and make good sense. Especially in High Wind Areas…

  32. Should of insulated the floor prior then moisture wrap missed the spacer clips for the roof, 30 # paper would of been better on the roof 15# won’t last . Caulk the shit out that butt joint. Next to the front door , roof doesn’t need to breath in Washington?

  33. hold your hammer a little lower on the handle and you'll get a better result with less physical strength…ijs

  34. I like what you did but is that acceptable for code to put that on blocks like that. Just thinkin' ahead when I do it.

  35. we just got the tiny house plans and notice it doesn't have a list of materials. With watching you videos and the plans I think we got this. Love your videos.

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