Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Micro Home Rafter Layout by Walt Barrett

Well it rained yesterday and this morning , So we took advantage of the spare time to lay out the gambrel roof rafters on my concrete shop floor. I had to figure out the lengths of the two piece rafters and the angles for the saw cuts. I'm no ace carpenter but I do know my math and geometry. We took some scrap and made some experimental cuts based on a mock up that we laid out on the shop floor. I knew the height I wanted to the bottom of the 2" x 6" ridge pole and I knew the height I needed down to the break in the rafter so it was a simple matter to lay out the lumber on the floor to get the proper inside dimensions and trace off the angles. Then we cut some sample pieces out of scrap and checked it out. It looked good so we then cut a set out of fresh 2"x 6" lumber. They were perfect-- beginners luck! I'll post a photo of this ASAP.
I noticed that some people do not use a ridge board on their gambrel roof designs, but for that little bit of extra work, we are gaining all kinds of strength and rigidity. We will screw and glue gussets to both sides of the rafter Angle cuts and use metal fastening brackets to tie them into the floor and ridge board. It's just plain good quality engineering practice.
We will not skimp on this product.
By changing from the gabled end roof to the gambrel roof, we may have detracted a bit from the cosmetics, but we have gained a great deal of head room for both sleeping and hanging clothing etc. We are more concerned in getting the maximum usage out of a given area than we are in cosmetics. We need practical housing for retirees and less fortunate people. Of course, we don't want ugly either.
It's getting pretty cozy in the building already now that the windows and doors are installed. John says he wants to use it for an office. It's a great spot for it overlooking our lake. I have recently visited the home of a well known writer in Connecticut and he has a great writers cabin in the woods a few hundred feet from the main house. As a struggling writer myself I find that it is really great to have a quiet spot where you can work with no interruptions.
If any of our readers can put us on to low cost land where we and put up these homes we would certainly appreciate it. It could mean jobs and an assembly shop for that area. You can only ship so far without spending an absolute fortune these days.
Please feel free to ask any questions or make any comments, positive or negative, that's how we learn. We are trying to refine our design and will soon be building an 8' x 16' foot spacious luxury mansion model, lol!
If these homes are too Small for you please look at them from the perspective of the homeless, or the people with gigantic heating bills, and no way to pay them. It made me think twice!
And don't be fooled by the dropping cost of oil, Their only fueling with us again! You'll see after the election!

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