Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

55: Addendum

For some reason today I can only upload one pic per post here on So, today you get two posts.

When my trusses arrived, the bottom (heel) end was square cut. This is pretty much how all trusses are made. If I left them square cut then all the fascia boards would be at an angle and not parallel to the side of the building. So, I had to make an angled cut on the end of each truss to “flush” them up.

It’s not too hard making those cuts, but it is a little tricky getting all the cuts to line up so that when the fascia board goes on, it looks nice and straight. I built a 16x20 workshop about 12 years ago and I remember how difficult it was to get the truss end cuts to line up.

I was perusing videos about house building on YouTube one day and came across an ingenious method of lining up those pesky end-cuts. It involves running two string lines, one above the trusses and one below. You then align a straightedge just touching top and bottom strings and use that to draw your cut line. Voila, you now get straight, aligned cuts IF you can cut straight (while standing on a tall ladder, with a saw turned 90 degrees to your body, blowing sawdust back into your face).

Using a circular saw that way is neither a good way, nor a safe way to do it. So, about halfway through the job I ended up erecting temporary scaffolding to stand on.

P.S. YouTube has a lot of good videos on most any aspect of building a house. Just type in your subject in the search window.

54: Purlins

No, I didn’t die…and No, I didn’t quit building my house OR quit writing about the project…

Yes, I did hurt my knee (torn meniscus, the orthopede thinks), and that has slowed down my ability to climb around up in the trusses like a monkey…and

Yes, the weather has been spotty… a good day here and there, followed by several days of cold, windy, wet… and

Yes, I am guilty of thinking I would finish up one part of building the house (like getting all the purlins and fascia on) before writing about that phase into the blog…SO, here is an update.

I have most of the purlins on. What are purlins you ask. Since I am using a metal roof on this house, and since my roof trusses are set four feet apart, I decided to use the same method of roof attachment that exists in my workshop, and that is, “purlins”. Some people call them 2x4 nailers, or 2x4 furring strips. Whatever you call them, they run perpendicular to the trusses along the “length” of the house. They are spaced every two feet from the fascia board at the bottom (of each truss) all the way up to the peak of the roof. The metal roof will screw directly down onto the purlins.