Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Building the Solar Shed, Part Two: More Framing

by Tara

We awoke this morning to find a half an inch of snow on the ground, and more soft, white flakes tumbling from grey skies overhead. Crap. The forecast had called for sun and unseasonable warmth! Despite the fact that our springlike weather disappeared overnight, Charlie rolled up the driveway at 8AM on the dot, cheery as ever, ready to start the build.


Not long after, our dear friend Joanna arrived too. She's been wanting to build a shed of her own, so we called to see if she wanted to learn how with us. We were thrilled when she jumped at the chance, taking a day off from work to help out. And so, with Charlie acting as project manager, we all got to work nailing studs to headers and footers, cutting bird mouth joints, toe-nailing in rafters, putting up plywood siding, and installing tongue-and-groove roof decking.

Tara Measuring Solar Shed Bottom Plate Length Tyler Driving Concrete Screws into Sill Plate Joanna Driving Nails Joanna & Tara Hammering Nails on Solar Shed Charlie Sawing Bird's Mouth Rafter Cuts Charlie Sawing Bird's Mouth Rafter Cuts Charlie Toe-Nailing First Rafter

Much to my surprise and delight, just as Tyler had promised, building the shed was easy. What's more, the whole project was a blast because we had such great company. Joanna was eager to help and just as excited to learn as we were, and Charlie was just a dream come true, selflessly sharing his time and vast building knowledge with us.

Us Nailing Rafter in Place on Solar Shed Tara Toe-Nailing Rafter Joanna Driving Screws in Solar Shed Tara Nailing Stud on Solar Shed Joanna With Nails in her Mouth Joanna Hammering

At 8AM this morning, there was nothing but concrete slab at the end of our driveway. By the time we started packing at 4PM, there was a three-dimensional building sitting on it! This project has renewed my faith in our ability to make this homesteading a reality. I love timber framing and natural building but man is there something to be said for dimensional lumber and stick framing. It's fast!

Solar Shed in Progress Solar Shed in Progress Solar Shed Framing Joanna in Solar Shed Solar Shed in Progress Tyler & Joanna Laying Roof Decking

Over the next few weeks we'll put up tar paper, insulate the inside, and find some reclaimed barn boards for siding. Come spring, finances permitting, we'll put six solar panels on the roof and hook up a charge controller, inverter, batteries and more. It feels so good to have this shed started! I feel accomplished and satisfied, and I've learned a ton. Charlie and Joanna, I cannot thank you enough!

Previous Entry
Next Entry


awesome stuff guys. living the dream. looking forward to end product on solar shed. cheers from seattle
Posted by aaron p on January 29th, 2014 at 3:05 PM
Geez that looks cold guys! BTW my wife loved the cook book Tara - and I'm passing on the link to some other friends who are keen to look into it -- you might even inspire me to cook yet!
Posted by Scot McPhie on January 31st, 2014 at 5:53 PM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=506557879373788&set=a.506557836040459.131441.272688249427420&type=1&theater#!/media/set/?set=a.506557836040459.131441.272688249427420&type=1 heres mo pictures of that barb wire entry
Posted by bgw on February 3rd, 2014 at 12:40 PM
aaron p - Thank you! We're looking forward to the end product, too. :-)

Scot - I am so glad to hear that your wife is loving my cookbook. I've been getting emails from various wives out there thanking me for teaching their husbands how to cook. Give it a shot!

Bruce - Nice! Hope you're well!
Posted by Tara on February 9th, 2014 at 5:28 PM