Timber Frame House Photo Update: The Floor Platform & More

by ziggy on June 5, 2012 -- 5 comments -- Follow

Timber frame house subfloor

The latest step: installing reclaimed subflooring material

The major framing of the timber frame house floor platform is complete! All of the sill beams and floor joists are firmly in place, and now we are at the exciting stage of installing our reclaimed tongue and groove subflooring.


Here’s a photo update of how things are shaping up at the work site.

Timber delivery

The truck and trailer packed full o' timbers -- it was an adrenaline high to drive home the (heavy) material for our house

Tenon joinery

Finishing touches on an angled tenon joint for the sill beam

Sill beam half lap joint

A fun angled half lap joint for the east sill beams

Half lap timber frame joint

The same half lap joint in place on the pier foundation

Timber frame house sill beam foundation

All of the sill beams installed on the pier foundation

Angled sill beam

A detailed look at the funky east end of the sill beam construction - a couple of 45 degree angles

Insulation joists

The 2x6 insulation joists for holding in blown cellulose are installed at the bottom of the sill beam -- metal roofing will later be attached

3x10 Floor joists

3x10 floor joists completely installed... that was a lot of sawing!

White oak floor joists

Detailed look at the white oak floor joists

Porch floor joists

The porch floor joists pocket detail

Timber frame floor platform

The floor platform is very high off the ground... that means the house is going to be extra tall! Taller than the stick I am holding here

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  • That’s going to be one tall little building! Can’t wait to see more photos of your progress.

  • Ed

    I’m just catching up on your blog so please excuse my selection of the most recent marginally relevant post to comment on.

    In an earlier post you discussed various options for insulation in the floor. You rejected cellulose fibre (recycled newsprint) on the basis that it would have to be blown in. I really hope that’s not true as it’s what I plan to use for my floor (in a similar general structure to yours but a bit more “engineered” – probably with OSB I-beams – as I have to get my designe past UK building inspectors).

    Cellulose has to be blown into walls and sloping roofs because in those applications it needs to be compressed enough that settlement is not an issue. Where it’s used horizontally I believe that just pouring it in, and perhaps tamping it down a bit, is quite sufficient. So does the builder here:


    I’m not so convinced about his use of peg board below the cellulose – I’m still puzzling about a more substantial option for this application and how to neatly attach it to the joists if there’s insufficient crawl space under the floor.

    Might be a bit trickier in your case where you’ve already put the floor down on top but maybe there’s a way to work around that.

  • Hey Ed:

    We are doing blown cellulose after all, based on the fact that it’s insulation properties are a lot higher than light clay straw.

    I’m not sure exactly what your question is, or if you have one, but our plan is to contain the cellulose with old roofing metal, attached to 2×6 joists attached to the floor platform sill beams. It’s a rather huge 20″ cavity to fill, and will be r-60+ with the cellulose.

  • Ed

    Hi Ziggy,

    Yes, a metal bottom to the building sounds like a good idea from the point of view of repelling nibbling boarders. 20″ is good; I have in mind nearly as much – 450 mm so just under 18″.

    On the other hand, I’d be very concerned about having a completely non-vapour-permeable layer (metal sheet) in direct contact with the vapour-permeable insulation. The problem is that water vapour will migrate through the cellulose so that, if there was no condensation, the partial pressure of water vapour in contact with the metal will be the same as that inside the house. If the relative humidity in the house is around 50% and the temperature of the metal is more than about 10 °C (18 °F) cooler than the inside air then condensation will happen and there’ll be nowhere for the condensate to go. It’ll probably not take very long for horrible things to grow in the cellulose if it’s permanently damp – even with the borax treatment.

    I’d strongly suggest you get some input from somebody local who has reasonable knowledge of building science before doing what you plan.

    The sort of thing I have in mind is, top to bottom: cellulose insulation, OSB, breathable membrane (Tyvek or whatever), treated battens, metal lathe (as used to key plaster) but I’m really not sure yet.

  • Megan

    Is there a community somewhere doing cob building that can be visited or joined?

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