Design – 12ft House – Part 10

Last time we looked a locating the doors and windows in plan, and to be able to do that in elevation, we will need to draw the building section to determine all the heights we will be working with.

As always, we will start with what we know:

  • The walls are 6″ thick
  • The cabin is 12 ft wide
  • We will set the wall height to an 8 ft standard.
  • The main roof pitch will be 12:12 (45 degrees)
  • The floor thickness will be 8″ (2 x 8 floor joists)
  • The roof thickness will be 6″ (2×6 rafters or truss)
  • And the roof overhang will be 1′-6″

Some of these assumptions will need testing, but for now that is where we will begin. And remember, we are beginning this section for the purpose of finding the heights needed to draw the elevations (exterior views).

Follow along with the section drawing below (figure 1) as I take you through the order in which I normally construct the building section.

First we will draw the floor line (#1).
This will be the base line for all that comes next.

Next draw the outside of the cabin walls. (#2)
These lines will be 12ft apart. I find it very helpful to use graph paper for my drawing, since it keeps things in scale. For this drawing I would suggest that each quarter inch be one foot on the cabin. So these two wall lines would be 12 quarters or 3″ apart.

Draw the wall thickness next. (#3).
We know that the walls are 6″ thick, which would be 1/8″ on the graph paper.

Next we will draw the wall height line. (#4).
Draw this horizontal line 8 ft (2″ on the paper) above the floor line. This line will also represent the flat ceiling line over the bathroom, closet and kitchen.

Cabin Plan Section Outline

The roof pitch comes next. (#5).
This line is drawn beginning at the top of the wall on the inside wall line. The inside face of the wall is where the rafter or truss will sit and represents the inside face of the roof. Draw this line at a 45 degree angle. I usually so this by measuring over 12ft (in scale) and then up 12ft and connecting the two points.

Now draw the floor thickness. (#6).
Since we will be using 2 x 8 floor joists, draw a horizontal line 8″ below the floor line.

The roof thickness comes next. (#7).
In a similar manner as we did for the floor thickness, draw parallel lines 6″ above the inside roof line you drew in #5. This line will represent the outside of the roof.

Next draw the roof overhang. (#8).
Draw two vertical lines 1′-6″ (to scale… 3/8″) outside of the two exterior wall lines. This will be the roof overhang and will determine the gutter or eave height for the elevations.

Now finally darken in all the structure that you have just outlined (figure 2 below).

Cabin Plan Section Diagram

So now you have almost all the information you need to draw the elevations. The only thing we will need to add to this section is the porch. I think we have done enough drawing for today, so I’ll save the porch for next time.

As always, your comments are very valuable not only to me but to the others who drop by.




  • Allison Provine

    Reply Reply August 24, 2014

    I like the lay out. Am looking to build similar or same. Prefer the salt box roof style. Are blue prints with supply list available for sale? Have a few of your blue prints and supply lists for wilderness cabin 2 and one other cottage plus printed catalog. Like the 2 x 6 construction.

  • Scott

    Reply Reply June 24, 2012

    on your 12 ft cabin drawing in the recent blog post, you need to raise your rafters
    to sit on the deck created by the floor joists with birdsmouth cutouts. This assumes
    you are not going to have open floor joists with a view to the roof rafters from below.

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply June 25, 2012

      Scott… Thanks for the thought, it would increase the headroom in that area, but in this case I am planning to have the bedroom and the living areas a cathedral ceiling. The little attic will be used for mechanical equipment and possibly for some storage.

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