CocoCabin - my new studio, shed, workshop build

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  • So, that's a good question.

    Original plan was

    phase 1
    Build and get it watertight, insulating only the floor (because of the challenge of doing this once the building is built)
    phase 2 (when I have more money)
    Insulate and clad the internal walls and ceiling and get power out there, using a professional for the more challenging bits of the electrics.

    But, we're not really sure how long we'll live here and I don't have much cash, so in the end that's all changed around a bit.

    The current situation is the cabin is built and watertight, the ceiling has been insulated with Freecycle insulation and clad in white painted MDF, and I ended up learning the electrical stuff myself and running power from the main house CU.

    The walls are currently uninsulated and unclad, and I probably won't get to that anytime soon.

    I'm happy to wear a coat while I'm working in there for now

    BUT, all of this is yet to come in pictures, so sorry for the spoilers

  • Walls up and the front clad in OSB with the openings cut for door and windows

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  • How will you heat? I have been mulling over building a shepherds cabin type thing for guests to stay in here, with possibly a log burner. We live in the countryside and manage our own woodland so it’d be more than offset by the trees.

  • Time to start framing the roof. I did the maths and used the OSB clad nice flat floor (before the walls went up) to draw out the roof pitch and span in 1:1 with a Sharpie, and used this to cut my first rafter. I then cut them all from the first one.

    My rafters didn't require any 'birds mouths' because of the eavesless design of the structure the rafters were simply going to terminate on top of the side walls.

    Notice how the OSB cladding extended above the top plate of the walls, so that the rafter ends would be fully enclosed.

    In this first pic you can see the temporary braces I put up to get the ridge board in place, and you can see that I use offcuts to make the top of these braces pretty well enclosed,so that I could get the big bit of timber up myself without worrying to much about balancing it

    In the second pic you can see the first rafters going up. Unused used simple joist hangers turned sideways for the downward end of the rafter, and L brackets the secure the top end of the rafter to the ridge board

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  • I don't think I will bother heating it until it's fully insulated, would be a waste of time. I'm pretty comfortable working in the cold as long as I'm busy.

    I would say from what you've described though a wood burner would be your best bet. You can also get some very good small ones with integrated water heaters which are really useful for boiling water but also for introducing thermal mass into the space thus making the heat last longer through the night

  • My method used a ridge BOARD, not a ridge BEAM. This means that the ridge piece is not technically load bearing, it's just there to provide a good surface to brace your rafters against. It seems like a great method of have a 'cathedral roof' aka no full triangular trusses which would dissect the space inside.

    Because of this, angle brackets are fine and proper angled rafter hangers are not necessary. These brackets are simply in place to stop the rafters sliding sideways

    All of these considerations are, of course, slightly moot as it's such a small building with such a small roof

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  • Cladding the roof with 11mm OSB

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  • House wrap!
    A breathable, waterproof membrane that you staple on to the OSB before cladding.

    This protects the wood from drafts and leaks for its entire lifetime but is particulary useful in waterproofing the building for upto a couple of months while the cladding isn't on yet and glazing isn't in

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  • I keep reading the title of this as cock cabin or saying it in my head like Kurt Cobain.

    V impressive.

  • Thanks a lot. Now every time I look out my window and see the cabin all I think is Cock Cabin

  • I tried to find pictures of me putting on the treated battens on the outside of the housewrap for hanging the metal cladding. These are all I could find

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  • Great work.. keep it up..

  • The cladding arriving. I ordered it from CladCo.

    They do two different thicknesses in their 13/3 corrugated steel, o.5mm and 0.7mm. I went for the cheaper 0.5mm

    They do two different coatings, a standard polyester paint and a more durable PVC coating called Plasticol. I went for the standard polyester paint.

    They stamp it out and cut it to your length, and price it by the metre. I ordered the side wall and roof pieces to the correct length, and then i ordered longer sections for the gable end walls, long enough to allow for the diagonal cuts.

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  • I started the cladding on one of the gable end walls. Up to the point when this first photo was taken it was pretty smooth sailing because I was able to only make cuts where they would not be on show when the cabin would be finished. The right hand vertical corner and the gable angles will all be concealed by 150mm flashings, so as long as they are close to correct it'll be fine.

    Once I had to mark up and cut the left hand corner piece (missing in this first shot) I found my angle grinder was too messing and my aviation snips were too much hard work.

    I was told by Makita that to cut sheet metal I would need a metal-specific circular saw, but that seemed to specific to be worth the money. I got a normal circular saw and bought an after-market metal blade, specifically against the advice of the experts, and it worked an absolute treat.

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  • With the new circular saw in hand things starting moving faster. I was using 45mm self-tapping screws with a mastic washer on them, which came from CladCo.

    Technically speaking for corrugated cladding they recommend the 65mm screw with the much bigger and more flexible 'baz' washer, which gives a much better seal on the curvature of the profile, but they only do them in 65mm which would go straight through my battens and OSB and into the interior, and I didn't want to be bound to finding studs because a) you want your screw spacing to be aesthetically pleasing and b) you have to put your screws on the top of a corrugation (a hill not a trough) and this may not land on a stud.

    The screws were slightly harder work than I thought but with a bit of practice they bit through the steel pretty well.

    I did the gable end walls first, then the roof. Then the back wall, and saved the tricky front wall, with all the holes in it, for last.

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  • This is great! So much info here - thanks pal!

  • Pleasure! Great to be able to share

  • At first I was using pink bricklayers string, attached to a loose screw in either end of the batten and pulled tight over the metal sheet, to make my screw lines.

    But the movement of the string and the few mm it floats of the sheet means you end up with slightly wavey lines.

    In the end I changed over to a chalk line and found the results very satisfactory

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  • This is brilliant. I will be ripping off most, if not all of your decisions in the not too distant future.

  • Maybe I am an idiot but how do you put the membrane and cladding on the sides facing the fence?

  • I decided to fit my door BEFORE the metal cladding went on the front,but fit my windows AFTER.

    this was because I wanted the cladding to overlap the door frame and cover the gaps which would be full of packers and expanding foam.

    The window frames, however, I'd designed to protrude beyond the surface of the cladding. And leaving those frames off would allow me to hang the metal sheets over the window recess and Sharpie mark the aperture from inside. Before taking the sheet back down and cutting out the waste.

    The door was a hardwood, pre-hung door with locks and hinges and everything ready to go. I got it for £300 off some polish builders on gumtree. they'd ordered the wrong width for a job so had one spare.

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  • Not at all. I left a gap around the back, just big enough for maintainance of the fence and building. The side fence by the gable end wall slopes inwards slightly so this gap is barely visible on the front left, but if you go round the back you can JUST ABOUT get in

  • This is a very cool project!

    One question with my structural engineer's hat on though:

    My method used a ridge BOARD, not a ridge BEAM. This means that the ridge piece is not technically load bearing, it's just there to provide a good surface to brace your rafters against. It seems like a great method of have a 'cathedral roof' aka no full triangular trusses which would dissect the space inside.

    What is stopping roof spread and the walls being pushed outwards when it snows? If the rafters don't have a vertical support at the top, they will have a horizontal reaction at their base. In a traditional timber residential roof with a ridge board, this thrust is taken out by the loft joists acting as ties but I don't see any. TBH, your ridge board looks big enough to be working as a beam, is it still sitting on posts?

  • to reiterate what everyone else has said, this is amazing, thanks so much

    Also IKO sponsored Sanne Cant so the right choice using them!

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CocoCabin - my new studio, shed, workshop build

Posted by Avatar for nick_warner @nick_warner