Tiny Cottage Loft Scaffold Up

Lili dog checking out the new wood work.

Today we finished up the kids’ loft which will be up over the front room of the tiny cottage. Their loft has a window looking out over the upper pond and south field, room enough for a queen bed that takes up the whole floor, two large counters for play and projects, built in cloth’s push-me-pull-you draws and book shelves on either side. That’s a lot of functionality in the end eves of such a small cottage! To give them a little extra room I’m going to make a curved balcony that sweeps out over the arch between the commons room and the front room.

The diagonals bracing the scaffolding approximate the arch that will go between the rooms. They give a feeling for the space as it will be in the end. I intend to do that arch in red brick which will contrast with the plaster walls. The 2×6 above the arch demonstrates the width of the arch. This was handy for showing what the space would look like and how the balcony would interact with the rest of the room. The loft balcony will only come out about half of the cantilevered portion of the scaffold planking.

The big question on the loft now is how do the kids get up there? Their loft bed in the old farm house has a nice ladder. Ben suggested building a jungle gym in the new house. A climbing rope has also been suggested as well as a climbing tree, rock climbing wall – after all the house is stone – and of course a boring old ladder. All are possibilities.


A trick for working up over your head – clamp the planks and beams together. This makes it easier to screw up. er… I didn’t mean that the way it sounded!


As we put up the thirteen foot long 2×6 beam we found we lacked the necessary number of hands hold the beam in place, set the studs and screw it all together. The solution was to hang the beam from sky hooks. Fortunately there are handy pieces of rebar right where I needed a few sky hooks. What luck.

The 2×4 under the beam along the wall gave us one more hand as we got the beam level before screwing it to the studs. A secondary support, just visible in the first photo, goes under the beam along the stud to prevent shearing problems with the screws.

In farm news, we were down to our last four round bales of hay having used a bit more than I anticipated between having more pigs than last year and the warmer, wetter weather. We’ve been feeding the pigs about 3 round bales per week. Today we received a load of ten more round bales. I appreciate John B’s quick delivery.

Outdoors: 27°F/4°F Partially Sunny, 4″ Snow
Farm House: 47°F/44°F forgot fire – rise in temp was Sun? Body heat?
Tiny Cottage: 52°F/43°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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10 Responses to Tiny Cottage Loft Scaffold Up

  1. Adrianna says:

    I was just wondering how much head room there’ll be in the loft?

  2. Not much. It is a kiddlin’ space and the entire floor is the bed so I don’t expect they’ll be standing much. In the center it is about 48″, slightly less at the edge of the counters and then sweeping down with the curve of the roof to the floor of the loft which is the top of the bond beam of the walls. But! Will and Ben think it is spacious considering their existing loft has only 28″ of headroom. :) Hope, being only 36″ tall thinks it is just grand.

  3. EllaJac says:

    Do all 3 of your kids share one large bed? Do they mind it? I think I’m the only Mama with a huge 4 bedroom house, only 2 kids, and not only do they share a room, but they share the lower bunk of their bunkbed – one head at each end. They’re still pretty young (and therefore they can fit!) but it sure saves on bedding and laundry!

  4. The two boys share the loft bed in our old farm house. They have been repeatedly offered separate beds and rooms but insist that they like what they have. The loft bed is pretty special. Sometimes I’ll show pictures of it and describe the Chinese wooden puzzle way I built it.

    Hope would love to be up there too but she still sleeps with Holly and I.

  5. Ryan says:

    I woke up in the middle of the night. “Where does Hope sleep???” I think I found the answer.

    Now I wonder, as the kids grow do you plan a larger home / bunkhouse?

  6. Ryan,

    We plan to eventually expand the tiny cottage adding space for food storage and a folly tower with additional rooms.

    The origin of doing such a small house had nothing to do with idealism or environmental conservation but rather the very practical aspect of that was as much as we could possibly accomplish before winter hit hard. And we made it! :)

    In time we’ve discovered that we can pack a lot into such a small space. There are actually two lofts, one in the front which we call the kids’ loft and one in the back which we call the attic. I am considering adding arched dormer windows. This is quite doable because our concrete roof is only 1.5″ thick. I have to make this choice before I add the additional planned lightweight concrete roof and then top layer of hard engineered fiber concrete which will eventually be earth covered.

    Cheers,

    -Walter

  7. is there any room for a large family?

    • Ours is a family of five and it has worked very well for us for the past eight years. The cottage is our quiet space. We farm so we spend much of our time outdoors. Indoors we are respectful. If listening to music individually we use headphones for example.

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