It’s never easy figuring out the order of things when building your very first tiny house, it’s like a game of chess; you have to be thinking a few steps ahead.

I’m still not sure if I’ve been doing things in the right order and occasionally I’ll get to a stage and wish I’d done something differently at a previous stage. But there’s no better way to learn than by doing, so I’m continuing on and making notes of where the process can be improved.

Fascias and Sub-fascias

My research has led me to ignore the sub-fascia, which primarily seems to be there to iron out any imperfections with the rafter tail lengths and to make things look a little straighter. It may add additional strength too, but as I will be adding blocking between the rafter tails AND hurricane ties, I’m not too concerned.

With the already tight width in which us tiny house builders are limited to, I feel adding an additional 1/2″ of sub-fascia is unnecessary.

Overhang underneath Dormer

photo 1As I wanted a small overhang underneath the dormer windows (see image to the right), I first had to figure out how to create this and whether or not to place it over the ply, or directly attached to the framing. I thought it would be easier to add it over the ply, this dictated the order in which to conduct the necessary steps.

So once I had installed all the plywood sheathing, it was time to create the overhang.

Deciding on this method was simply made by looking at pictures online and alot of head scratching.

There seemed to be multiple ways to do it, but this was the way that materialised.

  • Cut down a 2×4 to the length required to jam between the two dormer end rafters.
  • Rip a 45º angle in the top of the 2×4 (or whatever angle to match your rafters)
  • Build one short rafter tail to match the overhang of all other rafters and test it for length and angle.
  • Trace this one and create as many tails as you need for both sides.
  • I marked out the 16″ on centre marks and then screwed them in from the back.
  • I then screwed these overhangs onto the wall, first by ‘end-screwing’ through the last rafter and then ‘face-screwing’ (weird made up term) through the plywood and into the studs.

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I then needed to make a plywood section to go over this.

Fine Tuning the rafter tails

It’s best to make sure that all the rafter tails protrude out at the exact same length and the plumb cuts all match.

In hindsight, it would’ve been ideal to have cut this plumb line at the time of making the rafters, but I was scared at the time incase I screwed up the size of my overhang.

(NOTE: Don’t forget to take note of the thickness of your ‘rain-skirt’, sheathing and siding as this could take up your entire over-hang)

To fine tune the rafter tails, I measured the amount they kick out from the plywood (3″ in my case) and then I used a small level to check the ends were plumb.

I also set up a chalk line wrapped around nails in the end rafters to mark the horizontal cut across all rafters. I carefully used a level along this line to make sure all the tails would be level and then used the skill saw to do all the necessary cutting.

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Make sure (unlike in this picture) you have installed the overhang section before snapping this line.

Installing Fascias

This isn’t the easiest job when working alone. I had a 12′ piece of cedar that needed to be raised up to about 9′ off the ground.

I attached one end with a screw, then raised the other end, attaching that with a screw. I would check the alignment with the end rafter and adjust accordingly. I was very lucky with my 2nd attempt as it lined up perfectly.

I then made sure it was level and then worked along hammering home some galvanised ‘ardox’ nails, one in each rafter tail. I could’ve used some finishing nails here, but I’m expecting the nail heads to be below the metal flashing once that’s installed.

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Dormer Overhang

I needed to figure out how to build the dormer overhang. There appears to be a ba-zillion ways to do this, but here’s how I did it:

I wanted a 3″ overhang again, so when installing the plywood, I simply allowed it to overhang by 3″. I could’ve used an additional rafter for this, but decided against it at the time. My dormer rafters are a little weird anyway, I was confused during this stage, as I was making sure I had nailing surfaces inside for the interior trim. I’m sure there are better ways, but it works!

  • I simply ripped down a 2×4 so that it measured 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.
  • I cut the angles at each end
  • The 1″ x 1 1/2″ piece that I ripped off, was added to the bottom of the 2 x 4 which will be the nailing surface for the unvented soffit. (I used glue and screws from the bottom up to create this piece)
  • I screwed this entire piece side on to the rafter and from above through the ply.

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I was now able to add the 1×6 cedar, but before this, I added a length of sealer tape to the inside corner of the dormer as it would be easier to add than after the 1×6. (pictures to follow soon)

What’s next?

The windows have arrived and the roofing steel should arrive next week, so it’s action time.

However, I am currently dealing with rain, so will be installing the blocking between the rafter tails from the inside. I also have to consider framing the skylight curb and for the octagonal window.

My body is tiring, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying this process. It’s a mental workout as well as physical. It’s nice to catch up on the blogging as it gives me a slight rest period.

Anyway, until next time…