Framing--the Backbone of your Log Cabin
Framing is structural skeleton of your house. The drawing at top indicates important framing members of any of cottages. The most important elements are sill, header, joists, girders, sole, flooring, studs, plate, and rafters. Let's take a look at these parts.
Except in case of concrete slab construction, sill is first wood member to rest on foundations and will be first wood member you will put down. The sill is usually a 2-by-4-inch piece. In pier construction you will note that I have occasionally used a 2-by-6-inch member. This is because header is made up of two pieces 2 inches thick, instead of one, as shown in illustration.
Sills form a bearing surface for undersides of joists. They should be bolted to slab or wall foundations. If you are using pier foundations, it is important that you first put down sill around building, then spike inner header to sill from underside. After this is done, lay out joists and securely spike inner header to them.
At corners, stagger these two parts. Then spike outer header to inner one, overlapping at staggered corner edge. What you have done is to build a girder with a resting place for joists.
Headers, except as noted above, are usually 2 inches thick and same width as joists. They run around outside perimeter of building and help keep joists in a vertical position. They also help to transmit roof and wall loads to foundation.
The notched joist arrangement is used when no sill is provided. The blocking provides a bearing spot for joists. If you use pier foundations, be sure to follow sectional drawings for each cottage, because this header may actually be a girder around outside of building.