Ridge Beam

Ridge Beam

After this past Sunday’s BBBBq, I can safely tell you three things I learned:

  1. Stop staying up late to dimension our Tiny House.
  2. A 20ft 4×6 ridge beam is one heavy hunk of wood.
  3. Last but not least, handling both the build and barbecue without Jenna is tough (thanks for helping Ashley).

On the bright side though, the food was delicious and the beam was placed in the correct location (we hope!). I made sure it was nice and sturdy too (thank you Matt for snapping those pictures, now OSHA will for sure come for an inspection… yeah, thanks).

We all know you prefer images to lengthy paragraphs so here’s a bunch of them (including lots of dogs). If you want to read more details about the three things I learned, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the article!

Kona the supervisor was a big part of the day. He made sure we didn’t screw up on the build and were using our safety equipment.

He made sure we didn’t screw up the food.

And he made sure Thea’s dog Zoe stayed in line. Or at least that her bottom smelled right… I guess

All that work takes its toll on a dog ya know? One has to recharge.

But the day wasn’t all about dogs and food, we did get some work done!

But yeah, mainly it was about dogs and food…

The nitty-gritty of the three lessons learned:

1. I should stop staying up late to dimension our Tiny House.

I was up past 2am the night before the BBBBq, working on the house plans and 3D models, figuring out exactly where that ridge beam should sit. I also woke up early to dimension the rafters and also buy the groceries for the barbecue. When our friends started showing up, we built a dummy rafter and three support studs to position the beam at the exact height I had calculated. This is a critical dimension that defines how high the rim of our roof will be. And in my calculations, it would sit just a couple of inches under the 13ft6 street legal height limit. Well, as I predicted in previous posts, my dimensioning was all wrong… again… After installing the support studs, we realized the ridge beam would have been sitting six inches too low. You can see in the video how the support studs were installed a couple of times.

2. A 20ft 4×6 ridge beam is one heavy piece of wood.

When the ridge beam was delivered, there were no walls on the trailer. My uncle Matt and I both grabbed an end of the beam and walked it between the trailer and the wall. Now if you remember, we don’t have that much room around the trailer to play with… And we also now have a 6ft high pile of insulation foam boards preventing straight access to that beam. The only way that beam was getting on the other side of the house was to lift it up vertically and work our way around. That took four guys to do.

And as if handling a 100lbs+ 20ft long piece of wood wasn’t hard enough, we had to shorten it to be able to extend it a little! Yep, 20ft wasn’t long enough… I ordered the beam based on the plans, which had a hip roof at the front of the house. That means that the ridge beam doesn’t need to be the whole length of the house. We decided on extending the roof all the way to the edge. Our frame is just over 20ft long and we need a little bit of overhang on the front and back of the house. I purchased another 4×6 beam @ 8ft long to add to the existing beam. We cut both pieces at 45deg, glued them together and installed temporary 2×4 braces on each side. Later on, I’ll get metal brackets and drive a threaded rod through the assembly.

3. Handling the build and barbecuing for our great workers is definitely easier with the help of Jenna.

I bought a tri-tip asada and a marinated lamb leg to throw in the rotisserie. I figured cutting some potatoes and letting them cook underneath, where the juices will fall would be an easy thing to do and forget while it cooks. Think again… still lots of work. Thank you Ashley for helping out with the food!



  1. Colin
    February 26, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Hey! What kind of beam did you use? Glue lam?

    • February 26, 2017 / 6:02 pm

      Honestly, I don’t know! It was four years ago now. We used whatever the Tumbleweed plans called for.

  2. March 10, 2015 / 4:52 am

    Hi! Nice Tiny!
    Could you share SketchUp model?
    If it posible ))
    Thank you!

    • March 10, 2015 / 5:26 am

      Thank you! We can’t share a sketchup model though. Our house is based on a Tumbleweed Cypress 20 Overlook though if you want.

  3. March 10, 2015 / 4:50 am

    Hi! cool house!
    Could you share your SketchUp model?
    If it’s posible ))
    Thank you!

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