Wall framing components

Walls define the interior space of the house and, together with the ceiling and floor,
constitute our “third skin” next to our clothes. It is very important how we treat this layer,
particularly if we live in a cooler part of the Earth where more than half of our life is spent in
the interior environment.


Erecting the first two wall frames

There are many factors applicable to wall assessment. The most important
information on walls includes the height, load-bearing capacity, or the interior and exterior
finish. Walls can be plain white, with rough wooden patterns, glossy, transparent, soft, or
sliding. This complex topic has been narrowed down in this tiny house construction guide to
cover primarily technical details one must know when intending to build a tiny house.


Individual componenets and functions thereof

  1. Sheathing – acts as bracing for the entire structure and
    protects the interior layers of the wall at the same time.
    However, it is not mandatory.
  2.  Battens – fixing the hydro insulation to the supports, and
    creating ventilation space.
  3. Rainscreen – hydro insulation against exterior dampness; the layer should also be capable of letting through any moisture from the inside of the wall
  4. Exterior cladding – protects the building from exterior weather
    influences and has an aesthetic function.
  5. Installations – this part of the structure accommodates the power, water, sewerage and other mechanical installations.
  6. Plate – part of the load-bearing frame
  7. Stud – part of the load-bearing frame
  8. Interior deck – aesthetic function; covers the installations behind it.
  9. Battens – holding the vapour barrier and creating space for installations
  10. Bracing – makes the structure more rigid and prevents undesired movements. The same function is served by the sheathing.
  11. Breathable membrane – prevents interior moisture from leaking into the
    thermal insulation. Moisture is transported in the other direction.
  12. Thermal insulation

If the foundations and the board that forms the first upper storey floor are ready, the
time has come to start on the load-bearing structure of the walls which will support the floor of the second storey or the roof structure. The load-bearing wall structure is accompanied by other components depicted in the picture on the next page. This chapter will summarise the basic construction principles for various types of walls, with an emphasis on wooden houses. We will explore individual material and aesthetic solutions of the façade and interior. There are many types of walls so the most important types best suited for tiny house construction have been selected for this book.


How to set up a foundation

The first step in foundation construction is precise surveying. To stake the foundation
position for a rectangular house correctly, we have to construct a right angle.


Hammer in the first stake and mark a
right angle obtained by means of an
angle. Measure out a length of rope to
find out the position of the centres of
other foundations, or other important
points, for example the building


A right angle is obtained by building a
simple angle of boards or stakes. A
right angle occurs in a triangle where
the sides are in a 5:4:3 proportion. A
common multiple will help us reach
practical dimensions of the tool. Some
practical dimensions are indicated in
the figure.



More info on the topic of building a house can be found in this amazing book:


Check out my new book!

The next step is adding the
remaining points. For an
orthogonal rectangular shape
with side lengths (a) and (b), as
in the figure, we can check using
the diagonals and any
imperfections in the surveying
can be rectified. The diagonal
lengths, (c), should be identical.
In the case of a square shape, the
diagonals should even be
perpendicular to each other.
 setting-out-foundations Another possible step is
constructing so-called
benches. These are used to
mark distances with a line.
The stakes can then be
removed and we can start
working on the foundations.
If necessary, ropes can be
tied to the nails in the
benches again to check
precision of your construction
Before the concrete mix sets, the
positions of the metal anchors to
which the fundamental loadbearing
flooring will be fastened,
must be finalised. Again, the
precise locations according to the
plans can be detected from the
positions already marked on the
auxiliary structures – benches.
The final surveying must be
checked properly as the bench
positions can sometimes be
disturbed during construction

Types of tiny house foundations


Want to know more about floor structure? Check out my new BOOK!

Once you have selected your location, secured your design/plans for the project and prepared your material, stage one – the foundations – follows. The construction of foundations must consider the factors determining their type and dimensions. The bigger your building the more respect must be paid to the site factors.


Foundation slab – cabin Ann ; East Pennsylvania

With tiny buildings of the garden woodshed type, foundations are practically no problem to think about. The main task is just evening out the base to prevent bending and moulding of the building. Light, single-storey wooden structures generate little load which does not have to be distributed through foundations. However, the bigger the designed building, the more structures in the flooring, walls and roofing it contains and, logically, the heavier it will be. An expert can advise you on the choice of appropriate foundations but a skilled layman with some experience is often capable of doing it himself. Usually it suffices to proceed on instinct and build the foundations in proportion to the remaining part of the building.

Other articles are dedicated primarily to surveying the foundations and the individual factors with direct impact on the dimensions and types thereof.

Types of foundations:


brick foundation


stone foundation

Masonry foundations are good solution for those, who are planning to build a small wooden structure as a garden sheds, vacation cabins, or tiny houses. If you are interested in detailed description on masonry foundations please continue HERE.


  • Pillar in concrete
  • Concrete foundation blocks
  • Block in hard paperboard forms
  • Ground screws
  • Concrete foudnation slab
  • Handi block
  • Diamond pier

Everything needed to build the house you will find in this book.

To  purchase this publication please click HERE.

Floor framing


Want to know more about floor structure? Check out my new BOOK!

The floor is a structure supported by the building foundation directly. In small buildings where no deep concrete foundations along the entire perimeter are considered, the floor will have to resist fluctuating temperatures as it is in direct contact with the exterior environment. Therefore, include sufficient thermal insulation in your calculations, primarily in cool weather conditions.

The floor structure distributes the load from the walls, upper storeys and roof straight to the building foundations. In the positions of planned load-bearing walls and partitions, the floor structure should be designed to avoid too much of a deflection. This is achieved by appropriate location of load-bearing components in the floor structure which is a natural part of all good project documents.


Load-bearing floor structure; Czech Republic

From the point of view of humidity and heat transfer, this is identical to the structure of walls and roofs; therefore, the cluster of layers with vapour-impermeable film and semipermeable hydro insulation, so typical for larger buildings, is encountered here as well. The intention is preventing the inside layers from becoming wet and maintaining permeability in the outward direction.

The top floor layer is worn at places with high user exposure. One should choose materials which are easy to repair and renovate the surface of. This makes solid wood rather than sandwich-structured composites the best option.



More information can be found in this book

Individual components and functions thereof


Flooring components

1.  Foundations

2. Asphalt sheet -insulating the joists from rising moisture from the ground

3. Blocking – used as bracing for individual floor joists

4. Multiple joist – this structure distributes loads directly to the building foundations


Want to know more about floor structure? Check out my new BOOK!

5. Wire lath – separating thermal insulation from the exterior environment, preventingWant to know more about floor structure? Check out my new BOOK!rodents from entering etc. Other materials can substitute for the lath – OSB/plywood or other suitable material – however, they must be permeable to facilitate vapour elimination – this may be achieved e.g. by drilling holes in the boards

6. Vapour-permeable air barrier material – preventing exterior moisture from entering the structure while letting moisture from the structure out into the exterior

7. Vapour barrier – preventing interior moisture from entering the thermal insulation while letting undesired moisture through in the opposite direction. Also prevents small parts of thermal insulation from entering the interior environment of the building

8. Wood floor joist – load-bearing function

9. Base board – bracing the entire floor structure, distributing the loads on the walls, acting as base for the finish flooring layer

10. Finish flooring – this floor layer has primarily an aesthetic function, improving the user
comfort in the environment

For detailed information, please click HERE .

Masonry foundation


Small cabin foundation


1.) Concrete (binder/sand/gravel/water), complex dry concrete
mix, or clay soil.
2.) Asphalt sheet
3.) Masonry materials – bricks/rocks/concrete blocks



Want to know more about small house foundation? Check out my new BOOK!

The dimensions of a common foundation of this type amount to about 14″ x 14″/ 350 x
350mm, or even less. For gazebos and small garden tool sheds, bricks laid flat on the ground
often suffice. The recommended dimensions of the foundations for a specific shed should
form a part of the project documents – plans. Even this stage, like the remaining
technological stages, is governed by the rule that the foundation size should be in proportion
to the size of the shed. Practically every builder/tradesman with a bit of experience has
intuition for the proportions in such small structures.
Before we start with the foundation, the base should be prepared. Sometimes it is
enough to flatten the place; the topsoil can be removed prior to that (4″ / 100mm of the top
soil layer containing the roots of grasses and other small plants). If you wish your
foundations to be more profound, pour concrete in the base and lay the brick foundations on
a piece of board to prevent ground water from rising. The total foundation height should be
at least approx. 12″/ 300mm to ensure a sufficient gap between the wooden structures and
the ground surface.

The base can be improved with a concrete or mortar bed, in which an asphalt sheet may be placed to prevent ground moisture from entering higher parts of the structure.

The base can be improved with a concrete or mortar bed, in which an asphalt sheet may be placed to prevent ground moisture from entering higher parts of the structure.

Uncover the ground approx. 4"/ 100mm deep and tamp. This practically forms the base for a brick, stone or other foundation.

Uncover the ground approx. 4″/ 100mm deep and tamp. This practically forms the base for a brick, stone or other foundation.



Now the brick foundation can be completed on such prepared base. Cement and lime mortar can be used as a binder.



If suitable rocks are available, use them. Instead of a classic mortar, you can use clay soil dug near the site to bind the rocks together.




To know more about the foundation buy this book!

This book can be ordered HERE.

Crooked Pin-Up playhouses family



Thank you to all who send us photos of Crooked Pin-Up playhouse! CROOKED PLAYHOUSE PLANS
Our plans serve as step by step detailed construction guide, but plans can be used also just for an inspiration. As you can see in the attached pictures.

rough DIY framing is finished

Candy cabin construction deep in the rainforest! Hawaiian Big Island.

Hi there,
The hard drive that contained the downloaded candy plans went corrupt and we were unable to access them when we were ready to build. We had reviewed it previously in preparation for our trip to the east side Big Island where we were going to erect the cabin, so we made some modifications to size and configuration based on what we remembered for an easier build (in terms of measurements and layout. You will see a very basic ‘foundation’ that does not include ground spikes because they cannot penetrate lava rock, and a larger roof overhang as our property is in a Hawaiian rainforest. Our next trip will check the foundation (eventually we may lift the entire thing and place it on stilted piers, but they were super heavy and we couldn’t reasonably carry them given their weight and the weather conditions.
We began our build in December, 2015 and will be returning in August to continue the work. Our build included hand clearing the land, removing trees and (haha) leveling the site. My husband and two adolescent daughters were beasts, going from raw rain forest to cabin shell in about one week, treading 250 feet through rain and mud with supplies from the cinder and gravel to the wood and roof sheeting after hand clearing with chainsaws, machetes and hand axes.
We plan to erect three more throughout this three-acre parcel  in the future, but no one’s thinking that far ahead right now. Lots to do still but your site started it all, so thanks for the motivation and the (lost) plans!! If a goofy family of four can launch this process, I think anyone can 🙂
Marcella Anthony

First Pin-Up Prefab Tiny house part "2"

We are assembling wall, floor and roof panels. Construction of the experimental tiny-house continues successfuly!


Prefab Tiny House "France"

The process how I am building the new Pin-Up Prefab house called “France”!

Help me choose the cover for my upcoming book

Version A

Version B













Dear readers and fans of Pin Up Houses, I’m excited to announce I’m finalizing the work on my upcoming book titled How to build a tiny house. Yet there’s one more thing I need you to help me with. As you can see, I’ve prepared several book covers to choose from. Since each cover has its own strengths, I am calling on you to help me pick the cover that will make the best book possible. Which one do you like? Let me know. Thank You.

— Joshua

Cabin Ann

Cabin Ann

This DIY cottage was originally called the Pentagon Cabin, as the walls spreadi out at a diagonal angle from the floor. This allows for a surprisingly large space in which to live in and provide you comfortable housing. This cabin is one of the most popular cabins plans with a loft in our portfolio.. You will love it! This cabin is named after one of the most famous pin-up girls, Anne Gwynne. It’s really easy to build your cottage with our original vacation cabin plans!

Construction of Ann Cabin

Construction of cabin Ann- Eastern Pennsylvania