We’re still waiting for our contractor to dig the pond for us, but in the mean time we’ve started the post and beam cabin construction framing stage. This is the part we’ve been looking forward too. The prep work for a building project generally takes a long time, and you don’t really see results. But framing, that goes fast, and it is pretty satisfying.
Post and beam construction
Post and beam framing is basically how it sounds. It uses heavy timber to make a frame that is all supported by upright posts, and horizontal beams, and more posts on top of the beams. It’s basically a shell of a building, and then it’s filled in with walls, windows and the roof. We have never built a post and beam structure, so this has been pretty fun to learn.
First floor posts and beams
The first step for the post and beam cabin construction was to build the first floor posts. We were given very large pallets for free that were made from large beams. All we had to do was take apart the pallets. Between Tony, my dad, and myself, we got the pallets taken apart and all the nails removed, which saved us a ton of money on lumber. The first floor posts are 10.5 feet high, with a notch cut out at 8 feet. We installed three posts on each beam, tacked them in place with some screws, and added some temporary bracing. The upper beams fit inside the notches and hold the structure together.
Loft level posts
We are adding a loft area in the back of the cabin. The cabin will be a total of 18 feet tall to the top of the peak. We want to have windows in the front and back gables, so Tony designed the gables to have several smaller posts and smaller beams so we can fit the windows in the center of the gables. We were able to install these from on top of the main level beams. We hoisted some extra beams up so we could stand on them, and then put the loft left level posts and beams in place. We made sure they were plumb, and then tacked them in place with some screws. Temporary bracing is always a good idea so the structure doesn’t move too much as you’re climbing up it.
Even more posts and beams
We added beams to attach all the upper posts together, and then the final posts were another 30 inches higher to finish off the upper peak. The cabin will be a total of about 18 feet tall. The rafters will span the three 18 foot beams on each side of the roof. I did go up there to help Tony get that last beam up, but I did not enjoy it very much. Especially with the little bit of snow we got today, it did not help my slight fear of heights! Doesn’t it look great though? Next will be the rafters and the floor joists for the main floor and the loft.
CABIN DESIGN AND PLAN
PHASE 1: SITE PREP AND EXCAVATION
- Trench for water line and electrical
- Basement, gravel pad, blocks, and beams
- Pond and driveway
PHASE 2: FRAMING
- Post and beam cabin construction
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