How to build a wooden house by yourself: explained step by step

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Wooden houses are celebrating a brilliant comeback in recent years, because they combine ecological awareness and closeness to nature with tradition and coziness, but in terms of design come along quite modern. In addition to sustainability and resource conservation, the advantages of a house built from wood include good sound and heat insulation and a wide range of designs. And you can even build one yourself without too much effort. No matter if it should be a weekend cottage, a garden house or the actual home: If you’re wondering how to make a wooden house, you’ve come to the right place. Here comes our step-by-step guide from our architects.

Absolutely on trend: the wooden house

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Sketch of the finished house

A modern wooden house has a number of advantages for you. Last but not least, the raw material wood is renewable and therefore environmentally friendly. The ambience and the living climate are also improved by wood. Wood looks cozy and warm and fits perfectly with many different styles of furnishings and furniture.

If you want to have a wooden house built or if you want to build a wooden house yourself, we have numerous tips and tricks for you in this idea book. Building wooden houses is – with a little practice and craftsmanship – not an impossibility. For example, there are also numerous wooden houses that are available as prefabricated houses. The cost of the prefabricated house depends, of course, in particular equipment.

You are still looking for a plot of land or planning the layout of your house? Also check out our article with inspiring floor plans.

1. Planning: Which construction method? Which tool?

How to build a wooden house? The first step is a thorough planning. Once you have determined the location or the plot of land, as well as the size and floor plan, you should consider the construction method you want to use to build your wooden house. Possible are, for example, log construction and timber frame construction. The former method of construction is based on the outer shell consisting of logs as the load-bearing element of the building. Here the planks are connected by corner milling. The load-bearing element of a house with timber frame construction, on the other hand, is a stud frame made of wood. These compartments are then filled with mineral wool, hemp or other fillers.

Another important point that should be clarified before you start building is the question of materials and tools. The first concerns bearing timbers, logs, roof boards, windows, doors, tie rods and possibly rafters and purlins. As tools you should have a ladder, a cordless screwdriver, hand-held circular saw, hammer, saw, pliers, wood drill, drill, tape measure and spirit level at hand.

2. Laying of foundation and substructure

The be-all and end-all for the safety and longevity of your house is a professional foundation. It must be absolutely horizontal and load-bearing. To prevent later springing of the floor, you should prepare the foundation so that the bearing timbers are supported everywhere in the distance of about 50 cm. In addition, the foundation should be about 2 cm smaller than the house and at least 5 cm higher than the level of the ground surface all around. When choosing the foundation, you can opt for either a continuous slab foundation, a strip foundation or a point foundation, depending on the stability of the soil, the size of the house and your budget.

Once the foundation is in place, it is time to lay the substructure. For this purpose, the timber is placed on the foundation absolutely horizontally, flat and equidistant from each other, and is supported with the help of steel angles, concrete anchors, etc. anchored with it.

3. Erection of the walls

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And we are already at the next point of our instructions "How to build wooden houses – step by step". It goes to the erection of the walls. It is important to note that the wall planks are always put together so that the tongue points upwards. And: If necessary, use a mallet with rubber hammer, so as not to damage the wood. The lowest planks must be correctly measured and screwed to the frame timbers. Then the next planks are applied tightly into each other until the entire wall is in place. While doing this, be sure to constantly check that everything is level and the angles are correct.

4. Installation of windows and doors

The next step in building your wooden house is to install doors and windows. Slide the frames from above into the openings provided for them and press them firmly onto the lowest plank of the respective opening. Important: The windows must not be screwed into the logs under any circumstances, because they should be able to move freely during the weather-related settlement processes. Make sure that the doors and windows are vertical and angled, and that they open and close properly.

5. Structure of the roof

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Now it is time to build the roof of your new wooden house. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to the shape. Flat roofs, monopitch roofs, gable roofs, hipped roofs or any other roof shape you like are possible. However, flat and classic gable roofs are the easiest to realize. In the latter you can distinguish once again between rafter and purlin roofs. The rafter roof is especially popular for small building depths of up to 8 meters, as well as a roof pitch of over 30°. The purlin roof is the dominant design principle and allows for a larger roof support structure. It consists of several rafters staggered one behind the other in the ridge direction, which rest on the horizontal purlins, which in turn transfer the loads downward. With the rafter roof these purlins are omitted.

Now you have numerous options for covering your roof – for example, with roofing felt, shingles or tiles, with panels, sheets or slate, or even with copper, sheet metal or thatch. You are spoilt for choice.

6. Interior design

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When the wooden house is complete, you can start to build the interior, i.e. lay the floor first. To do this, place the floor boards on the stock timbers and nail them in place – either in view from above or hidden in the groove. Make sure that the boards are really parallel and measure regularly to keep the spacing and alignment the same. After that, the bracing is applied and finally the bottom is sealed with an appropriate varnish. This way it is protected from dirt right from the start.

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