GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Building a Pier-and-Beam Cabin

Tristan123 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on
Hi everyone,
I am currently building a small cabin by myself (first time) in Western NC (climate zone 5). It’s a very simple 360 SF rectangular building elevated on pier and beams (open crawlspace) with a cathedral ceiling (6/12 gable roof).
My floor assembly will be from the top down :
  • Laminate Flooring (not installed yet nor bought)
  • Underlayment (not installed yet nor bought)
  • T&G OSB Floor Sheathing (installed)
  • 2X10 Joists with faced fiber glass insulation (framing installed only)
  • 1″ Foam insulation on underside of joists (not installed yet nor bought)
  • 0.75″ Pressure treated plywood (not installed yet)
Because the underside of the cabin will be open to the elements, I thought that adding 1″ of insulation would be helpful. I also decided to add the PT plywood to prevent rodents and/or insert from easily accessing the cavity. Is that a good assembly? (meaning I won’t have issues with moisture and mold) Any recommendations?
My ceiling assembly will be from the top down :
  • Metal roof (not installed yet nor bought)
  • Titanium Underlayment (not installed yet nor bought)
  • 1/2″ plywood (installed)
  • 2X12 Rafters with 1″ space for air movement and R38C insulation faced (rafter only installed)
  • Intello Plus (not installed yet nor bought)
  • Furring Strips (not installed yet nor bought) (with additional rigid insulation in between strips?)
  • T&G (not installed yet nor bought)
This assembly brings up the eternal debate with using T&G on the ceiling. I did a lot of reading on the subject. Installing sheetrock isn’t practical as I work mostly by myself. The other option I am entertaining is to install two layers of 1/2″ rigid insulation staggered at the seams. The Intello route seems easier but I worry that all the staples to install the product and nails for the furring strips could lead to leaks? What do you think is the best option between the intello and the rigid insulation?
My wall assembly will be from the outside to inside :
  • wood siding (not installed yet nor bought)
  • building wrap (not installed yet)
  • OSB wall sheathing (installed)
  • 2X6 wall with Fiber glass faced insulation (framing only installed)
  • T&G (not installed yet nor bought)
In the case of the wall, would I have to match whatever I end up going with for the ceiling?  I know that hot and humid air rises, hence being more problematic for the ceiling in terms of leaks but I guess that It would not be enough of an excuse to leave leaky walls?
I decided not to add additional rigid insulation on the outside because of the complexity it would add when installing windows as this is my first time building.
Thank you very much for your input.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |