Framing My Tiny Home


It’s me, forever playing catch up on this blog – shoutout to my mom for encouraging me to keep going. “Aunt Cindy needs a blog update.”

Aunt Cindy, this one is for you 🙂

Anyways, last time we were together, we covered the roof removal. It was quite a process, of which I’m glad we won’t have to ever repeat. Destroying things and killing weeds and removing boards and hammering nails is a monotonous process; it’s safe to say I am ready for the rebuilding process. 

I’m not sure if I shared this, but I decided to hire a local contractor to frame out the building. Over the summer, I was gathering quotes and interviewing different people for the job, and after only receiving 2 of the 7 quotes I had appointments for, I decided to go with the man who did my parent’s addition 7 years ago. John Null is a local contractor out of Hallsville, and does great work quickly, and for cheap. He will customize his services to fit your budget, of which I was very thankful for; his initial quote was $2000 to frame the lofts, and in the end I paid $2400. Quite the bargain considering the second quote I received was from a company out of Columbia, who quoted me $20,000 for the same exact job. 


John Null came out the week before to finalize my plans and go over the hand drawn blueprints (I’m pretty cheap and didn’t want to pay an official architect person to draw something I knew dad could do), and he began work October 14th. John worked over the course of a week with his youngest son, Joseph, and saved dad and I so much worry and time. I can’t imagine where we would be if we would have had to do the framework ourselves. 

As we all know, I had purchased the lumber ahead of time because building material prices skyrocketed since the pandemic started, and I wanted to spend the least amount possible. Even still, by the time John started, we were short of a couple pieces, and had to make several late night trips to Menards for  framing studs, rafters, and OSB for the exterior. I learned how to handpick framing lumber, and can now distinguish what is useable vs what isn’t. 

With all the newly acquired lumber, John set to work.

Luckily, I was able to work from home every day he was here working, and you know I set up in the guest bedroom supervising from the back windows LOL. Nah, I had full trust in John because of my dad’s trust in him, but as a Type A personality it was very unnerving having someone come in and start messing and doing things to my project. I had fears that someone would get hurt on the worksite, that there would be communication issues and it wouldn’t be built like how I’d been dreaming, or if it would rain on my $1200 stack of lumber, (which did happen once but it was ok), that once it was finished I would stand inside and realize how S M A L L it was and maybe it was too small and can I really do this, live small?

Thankfully, it was smooth sailing, and in a week and a half, my home was framed and John was paid and nobody got hurt and it was everything I had planned, and in fact, it’s actually bigger than I had imagined. It doesn’t feel tight or tiny at all!

My bedroom loft with the roof lined out!


Dad and John finalizing plans.. The oak rafters from the roof removal were reused as X cross braces! Cross braces are used to stabilize the building until all the windows and exterior are done.


The view standing in the living room looking upwards


Standing in the living room, looking into my bedroom loft.


Standing in the kitchen, looking up towards my 2nd loft – the guest space/home office. Dad always being a cheese.



Isn’t it wonderful?!

The north side, looking straight on in the picture above, sits at 15ft, and the south side is 13ft. We opted for a ‘shed’ style roof, where it all slopes in one direction. Shed style roofs are easy to install, easy to walk, not to mention with mine sloping towards the south, it will catch alllll the sun. I hope to install solar panels on the roof next summer, as well as a rainwater catchment system. It’s my ultimate goal to be completely off grid – using solar for all my power, and filtered rain for my water. I have a lot to learn until then *excited nervous face*


This post is long overdue, but super exciting. Although I have been making regular Tiny Home updates to my Facebook and tiny home Instagram account – find me @sarahstinyhome –  I’m trying to be better with blogging it as well. Blogging is a highly detailed account of this journey, and I know I’ll want to remember all the little things down the road. 

One last thing to cover in this post, the cost of this build. 

  • $2400 – Payment to John
  • $1200 – Framing studs – Menards
  • $116 – Last minute 2x4x8’s – Menards and LaCrosse Lumber
  • $1385 – Rafters, OSB and Facia – MidCity Lumber

The total to have my Tiny Home framed out was $5,101

Yea. Itsa lot. But it was worth every penny spent, so I’m not mad. Just kinda like ._. everything’s fine :S

This might be my longest post to date, but I did receive requests for longer, more in depth posts, so you’re welcome 🙂

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me through this journey, and supporting this process. Thanks to Taylor and Amber for understanding my hectic schedule, thanks to my parents for letting me stay with them, thanks to my dad for being the BEST work partner I could have asked for, thanks to my sisters for understanding why I’m tired and kinda grouchy, thanks to my coworkers and boss for being understanding with scheduling, and thank you to all my friends, family, and complete strangers who are interested and stay excited. I love ya’ll.

Roof Removal!

Hello all, and welcome to another episode of I’m-so-stressed-and-busy-I-forget-to-update-my-blog-on-time!

The last time I wrote on here, we covered the discovery of the walnut wood, and I shared my exterior design plans. That was about the only progress made on the tiny home over the course of September – a lot of small projects of course, but none to write about. Only in the past month have several large projects been started, of which we will start the catch up game in this post.

As we all know, or maybe you don’t if you’re new here (Hi! I’m Sarah Burkhardt, and I’m flipping an 11×24 shed on my parent’s property into a tiny home) the roof on the shed had to be removed so we could frame out the lofts and put on a new roof. Dad and I knew this would be a tremendous, all day project, but luckily a few family friends pulled through and made it much more manageable, let alone enjoyable.

Shout-outs in advance go to Tom and Adam for helping us tear off the roof, and to Roger for lending us his trailer to cart all the shingles and trash to the dump. We could not have done this project without your assistance.

At the beginning of October, I was fortunate enough to schedule my contractor John Null to start the framework on October 15th. Dad and I knew we had to get off the roof before then, so we picked October 10th as Roof Removal day. Tom and Adam showed up early that Saturday morning to begin ripping the shingles off. Dad had only expected there to be two layers of shingles on the roof – turns out there were 6!! 6 layers of shingles, about 5,000lbs on the roof of the building, of which we scraped off the roof, onto the ground, and then from the ground into a nearby parked dumpster. 

After we removed all the shingles and carted the dumpster to the dump (thanks Roger!) we started removing the oaken roof that was acting as the underlayment to the shingles. 

Originally, Adam and dad were on the roof attempting to pry the boards off the rafters, but quickly realized they were getting nowhere. It would have taken SO much longer, so we compromised. Adam stayed on top of the building prying off the boards from the south end, and dad and I used 2×4’s from the inside, hitting upwards and knocking off the north side boards. 

Once that top layer was gone, it was pretty easy to saw off the rafters, as well as the sagging front ‘porch’ and the southern eaves. 

After 9 hours of work, the roof was finally removed! All 4 of us shed some blood, received multiple splinters and knocked heads, and stepped on nails, but thankfully no serious injuries were received. And it was pretty satisfying to see the after, compared to the before that morning. 

We were able to get SO much done in such a small amount of time, and it’s times like these where I am truly thankful for all the friends my family has, an extended family that I can always count on.