May 25, 2013 – My mom was in town for a few days to visit and pick up a friend from the airport; which worked out great for us as she was a big help today (thanks mom). My mom used to be quite the woodworker and builder tackling roofing projects and building cabinets and other furniture items for the home. Growing up, whenever I asked my mom for something she would say, “oh honey, we can make that”. It was annoying at the time because I didn’t get what I wanted and more times than not, we didn’t make it. But it did teach me that you don’t always have to buy what you want, sometimes you can tackle it yourself. Hmmm, a tiny house comes to mind.
We got back to work putting up the other dormer wall and putting up the rafters. Like I mentioned before, the dormers were not in our building plans and we were making it up as we went along. We consulted YouTube, other tiny house blogs, and builder friends, and hoped for the best. One thing we had to figure out was the angle to cut the rafters that would sit on the dormer walls. When you know the pitch of your roof, it’s easy to figure out the angle you need to cut. However, when you don’t know what the pitch is, it’s a little more complicated. Of course there is always math to help you figure it out. Using the Pythagorean theorem and taking the Sin, Cosine, etc. will eventually give you the number you need. At one time I spent a while figuring this all out, but of course didn’t keep my notes and rather than give myself a headache again, we decided to go with the trial and error method. After a few cuts, we settled in on an eight degree angle for the portion of the rafter that attaches to the ridge beam. Knowing this, I was able to find a calculator online that informed me we had a 1.68/12 pitch roof. Definitely not very steep, but it should shed rain and gives us maximum head room in the loft. In the winter we might have to rake the snow off the dormer roof section, but it’s such a small section of roof that it will probably be just fine.
While Pete and I measured and cut the rafters, my mom chiseled out the wall sheathing that was in the way of the rafters. By then we had all the rafters ready to be nailed/screwed in place. The rafters that flank the dormer walls are doubled up with 1/2 inch plywood in between. This gives us extra strength in addition to making it easier to frame in the side walls. By quitting time (6pm cow milking time) we had the dormers up and all rafters in place.
It’s amazing how much more we accomplished with a pair of extra hands! Pete said my mom should come over every weekend. :)