Uncut Tiny House Improved

The other day I posed the riddle… can a tiny house be built without a saw and off-the-shelf materials? That’s the goal of this design exercise. In my first pass at solving this challenge there were a few things that didn’t quite work so well, so I went back to the drawing board.

  • I made the roof a bit taller so that the rafter overlap at the top was stronger. I also added H1 hurricane ties.
  • I removed the 4×4 posts on the sides and reduced the amount of wood used.
  • I changed the foundation to 4x6s on concrete piers.
  • I added some windows on the side and there’s still a door on each end.
  • I also made it longer, now 20 feet.

I imagine that the floor, wall, and ceiling panels would be partially built before putting into place – then finished by insulating and attaching the exterior plywood siding. You can see those steps illustrated below. This approach would also make it easier to add electrical, plumbing, and exterior house wrap before attaching the exterior sheathing/siding.

The partially built panels would also be lighter and easier to handle for one person, giving the owner-builer the opportunity to use fasteners to help secure the panels in place. The disadvantage would only be that the exterior siding would need to be lifted into place and fastened once the walls were wired, plumbed, insulated and wrapped.

I’ll put all the details, materials list, and step-by-step instructions in the plans – should be available soon.


In the mean time – those of you playing with SketchUp might enjoy a peek at the Uncut Tiny House SketchUp file. Be sure to review the scenes first, it will give you a quick look at the building process.


Above: 4x6s on piers and floor supporting lumber.


Above: Floor panels fastened.


Above: Insulation foam panels glued into panels.


Above: Floor decking fastened to floor panels.


Above: Wall panels fastened in place.


Above: Ceiling panels fastened to the top of walls. This would be a good moment to add electric and plumbing.

(Note: the exterior ‘trim’ lumber will tie the walls and ceiling panels together. Don’t panic.)


Above: Walls with glued in foam panels and plexiglass windows. This would be a good moment to wrap it with house wrap.


Above: Walls sheathed.


Above: Ceiling insulated.


Above: Ceiling panels sheathed.


Above: Panels and framing all tied together with an exo-skelaton of wood. If you wanted a flat roof you’d nearly be done. If not continue with the pitched roof.


Above: Roof framing with H1 hurricane ties. Gable rafters have 2’x4′ plywood sandwiched between them to help support the foam board that will be cut to complete the wall.


Above: Gables completed.


Above: Roof sheathed.


Above: Roofing added.


Above: Deck porch added.


Above: Doors added. Now your work would turn inside or to applying a finish to the exterior.


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