Subframe and DIY Insulated Roofing Panels

Before I could close everything in on the walls with OSB, I had to frame up my window and door openings. This was easy and pleasing work. After dealing with eight inch thick timbers, a 2×4 seems like a twig. I can certainly see the appeal, but looking back, I’m overly satisfied with the work that I put in the timbers.

My hopes were idealistic when it came to closing in the frame. When you set out to build a timber frame, you’re thinking things like “I’m building naturally.” Timber framing is certainly a natural process, but unless you utilize strawbale, wattle and daub, or hempcrete, it’s not going to be that natural at all. I really want to make a timber frame structure with an enclosure of that sort, but for our main home, I wanted to stick to what I knew. I guarantee my future woodshop will be my experiment with natural building.

Our cabin will contain eight windows: a generous one for each loft and six identically-sized windows on the main level. All are either on the east, south, and west walls. The north side contains no windows since this will be the side we place the addition on.

Framing around an existing timber frame was easy and since the timber frame carries the structural load, I was ablet to space my 2x4s two feet on center.

Headers for windows weren’t absolutely necessary since the function of a header is to carry the load of the structure above it, but it’s nice to have that extra insurance against sagging timbers.

It seems that our view of the sunset in the kitchen and loft will be rather impeccable.

Once the subframe was complete, I jumped right into the rigid insulation for the roof. I was able to locate this insulation for an incredibly cheap price even though it’s probably not what I would have selected if I were buying new.

There’s always a price to pay when you try to go cheap. My insulation was sold by the bundle for $10 a bundle. I only needed three bundles. So for 30 bucks, I sourced my roofing insulation. With that being said, it was certainly an odd product. They came in 4’x4′ pieces and tapered from 2 1/2″ down to 1/2″. To my knowledge, they’re commonly used on flat roofs for industrial buildings. The taper allows one to create a very small slope to ensure that the roofing above it doesn’t have water pooling on it.

I used them just like I would use full board insulation and installed one row at a time with the thick side on the bottom. Then the second row was installed directly over the first with the taper going the other way and the thick side at the top. With this method, I was able to stagger my joints and it aided in creating an effective thermal barrier.

My beef with the stuff is that it was inconsistent with the thickness. It wasn’t labelled correctly and some pieces were 2 1/2″ thick on the fat end, while some were 1 3/4″. This made for an awful time when it came to making a perfectly flat surface for the OSB to lay on. It took some strategic placement, but it worked out in the end… Long story short, buying used or discount items has it’s perks, but only if you’re willing to deal with sub-par stuff. Time can be money when you’re building a home.

After that adventure, I placed 1/2″ OSB on top of the insulation and nailed it in to the rafters with 6″ long landscaping nails. Screws would have been the choice of online forums, but the nails seem to seat better in the OSB and the finished result is a solid roof with absolutely no give. I’m pretty content with my homemade insulated panels.

Next in line is fascia boards, felt paper, drip edge, and shingles before I move on to the walls and windows.


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