Pine lining and exposed rafters

Disclaimer: in case you haven’t worked it out yet I’m not exactly up to date with these blog posts. If you notice any inconsistencies in how many Sundays I’m mentioning within the period of this week, that’s why. Lots of time building and trying to make decisions means less time for writing about it all. But, on with it!


During my chats with Tom, the idea of exposed roof rafters has come up a few times. I love the idea – who doesn’t? Brings to mind glorious wooden beams stained with character and history, bit fancy really. Personally, I’ve opted for pine lining tongue and groove boards for the ceiling, which will sit above my 90x45mm pine rafters. Not exactly majestic barn rafters made of oak or anything quite so Grand Designs-y, but since my introduction to pine lining at the Hollyburton workshop I’ve been pretty sold on the idea. I had originally planned to do the floor with something similar but now that we’ve used yellow tongue ply it will probably be cheaper, lighter and easier to whack some laminate boards on the top later.

I do realise that most tiny housers have all of these design things worked out and lined up before they start but I’m not too stressed about the ad-hoc nature of things at the moment. I think not starting with a specific picture of how things need to be is often the best way to go. There’s far less room for disappointment if you don’t start with fixed expectations, right? It’s also getting to the point where I’m tempted to stop looking at the pictures of these gorgeous and ridiculously well planned out tinies floating all around the interwebs. Now that my build has progressed to a point that I can’t just switch my bathroom around or extend the space for my kitchen bench it’s becoming more a case of, ‘Oh, maybe I should’ve done things like that?!’ instead of the dreaming stage where it was much closer to, ‘Oh yes I’ll make a mental note of this amazing feature, I’m SURE I can have all the best parts from ALL of these houses crammed into my 18 square metres, no problem!’ Second guessing yourself at this point in the game isn’t much fun – I’m doing my best to keep away from any grass is greener kind of inclinations. My tiny is what it is and will be just right for me. And if not I’ll work around it. Or build another one. KIDDING! (Mostly).

Anyway, keeping the roof rafters exposed just meant applying the lining on the topside, rather then the underside of the ceiling. The pine looks and smells and feels amazing. Definitely one of those heart fluttering moments to see it go up. Suddenly, there’s a ceiling up there! Over my head! The space keeps changing dramatically as things progress. Sometimes it expands and I high five myself and strut around my luxurious 18 square metres, sure I’ll never fill it all! Sometimes it shrinks down to a conservative 18 square metres and my brain starts to wonder whether my Mum was right and I should’ve maybe tried living in a caravan or actually testing this tiny living thing out before I jumped face first into this swampy adventure….

Nah. Maybe. Oh well! Too late for that. Look at my rafters!


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There are some things I would reconsider next time before going for the exposed rafters – firstly we got the lining up on Sunday and it had to sit out in the weather for a week. And when I say weather, I mean pouring rain, thunderstorms and gale force wind. And when I say lining I mean not really meant to be exposed to any weather – let alone that sort of weather. More than a few restless nights were spent worrying about buckled and stained boards! Thankfully when I checked last weekend they were fine, there’s no obvious signs of any discolouration or warping. Secondly, putting the lining on before the electrician has come in may cause some headaches when it comes to wiring the roof. I’m just working on the assumption that we’ll be able to work around that problem when it comes to it for now. I may have to rethink the kind of lights I use, but again, no fixed expectations are helping with the problem solving as we go.

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The rafters will need a little TLC once I get to the inside, some sanding and possibly some polish, we’ll see what it looks like when I get to it. Despite some of these prickly details, the lining is on! And it looks amazing. And did I mention the smell? Mmmm…piney. Getting closer and closer to being some kind of inhabitable dwelling. EEK!

Some darn fine grass when you think about it, really.


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