Low Income Housing Plans



Low Income Housing Plans works with low income housing groups to design and provide plans that are cost effective, functional and as easy to build as possible.

Functional: Design features that make the homes functional include:

  • Window placement is away from areas of the home that can be used for sleeping. and facing the access side of the home.
  • Door placement options include the short wall or long wall of the home so the orientation can be best suited for the site.
  • Overall height is less than 10'-6" which allows from off site trailering or moving of the home if it needs to be moved to a new site.


Cost Effective: Elements that help to keep construction costs of the low income housing down include:

  • 24 Inch On Center Wall Framing: This saves a few 2x4 boards in each of the walls.
  • T1-11 Siding. This is the most cost effective siding and it is easiest to install.
  • Asphalt Roll roofing. This is the easiest and cheapest roofing. It allows for a lower slope roof


Easy To Build: Tiny homes being used for Low Income Housing must be easy to build because they are mainly built with volunteer help that may or may not have experience framing, installing windows and doors, siding, and roofing etc.

  • Lean to style pent roof: A pent roof design reduces the labor needed to frame the roof. Each rafter is a single board instead of two boards. The gable walls of the shed are designed to be framed with a horizontal top plate to make them easier to frame. The siding covers the 1'-3" gap between the top plate and the angled roof rafter.

  • Concrete Block Foundation: The foudation is designed to be 4 concrete blocks. This makes it easier to level the home as opposed to wood rails. Wood rails may be used if desired.


10 Steps To Build Low Income Housing


How to build low income housing foundation installLow Income Housing Foundation is build by installing a concrete block at each corner. Make sure that the blocks are level in relation to each other and the diagonals are the same.


Low income housing floor framing beams2.1 INSTALL BEAMS THAT WILL HOLD THE JOISTS: The floor is framed by first installing the rim-beam boards. They are made by nailing three 2x6 boards together using two 3 inch nails spaced 12 inches apart. Nail down both sides of the beam. Layout the floor joists on each of the beams. Make sure to lay out the dimensions from the same ends. Install joist hangers at the marks per the layout shown on the plans. Set the beams on the concrete blocks. Tips: Use a block of the floor joist boards to verify the height of the hanger before nailing it on.

How to build low income housing floor framing2.2 INSTALL THE FLOOR JOISTS. Cut the joists to length shown on plans. Set the joists on the hangers between the two beams. Nail the joists into the hangers using approved nails.


How to build low income housing floor sheeting2.3 INSTALL FLOOR SHEETING: Make sure that the floor joist and rim joist assembly is square by measuring diagonally. When the two diagonals are the same it is square. Note. If one of the length or width dimensions is off then the diagonals will not be able to be made to match.

Orient the floor sheeting so that the tongue is overhanging the edge of the floor framing. Set a floor sheet on the joists starting at the same end you laid out the joists from. Make sure that the joist and the beam/rim board are flush with the two edges of the floor sheet. Nail the sheeting to the joists using 2 1/2" galvanized nails at 6 inches on center around the edges and 12 inches in the field. Stagger the joints and use construction adhesive on the tops of the joists to increase the floor strength.

Cut the tongue off the sheeting where it overhangs the rim board.


Use the dimensions shown on the plans to mark one rafter. Cut out the lower seat cut and birds mouth and then set the rafter on the walls of the low income home. Double check the top marks to make sure they are in the correct location, adjust as necessary. Take it down and cut out the upper birdsmouth and seat cut. Then set it on the walls again to make sure it fits. After you get the cuts correct, use the first rafter as a template for the other rafters. Crown the boards and lay the first rafter on the side of each board, make the edges flush and then mark and cut them.



How to build low income housing wall framingAll boards should be crowned by looking down the edge of the board and standing the edge that is bowed upward.

4.1 Measure the floor length and width and make sure it matches the plans, cut the wall plates to length. (the double top plate is cut and installed after the walls are stood up.) Lay the sets of plates in their respective locations on the floor to double check their length and make sure that they all fit together along the edges of the house. Stand the plates on their edges, making sure they are crowned. Layout the stud locations from the plans onto the edges of the plates. Mark them so you will know where to nail the wall studs.

4.2 Separate the plates so the wall studs will fit between them.

4.3 Build the door and window headers and install them first. Mark the king studs with the bottom of header height. Nail the king studs to the headers. Nail the king studs to the top and bottom plates.

4.4 Cut and crown the wall studs and set them between the separated plates.

4.5 Nail the plates to the wall studs, making sure to install the wall studs on the correct side of the layout marks. 2x4 walls get 2 nails into each end of each stud.

4.6 STAND THE WALLS: Stand one of the long walls first. Stand the wall and line it up with the edge of the floor sheeting. Nail it to the floor. Try to get the nails to go through the bottom plate, sheeting and into the floor joists and rim boards. Put two nails between each of the wall studs, one into the rim and one into the adjacent floor joist.

step 5: Install Siding

How to build low income housing roof rafters

5.1 Start on the long wall without any door or window openings. Start at the edge that you laid out the wall studs from so the siding joints hit wall studs. Line up the edges of the siding with the corner of the shed. Make sure the top corner is 1/2" below the top of the top plate. Make sure that the edge opposite the edge on the corner of the shed splits a 2x4 wall stud so that both pieces of siding installed to that stud will be supported by it. Install two nails along the corner edge.

5.2 Move the wall laterally until the top edge of the siding is parallel to 1/2" down from the top edge of the top plate. This will make the wall square. Install a nail at the top corner opposite from the edge you installed the two nails on.

5.3 Use a level to check the wall for square. If it is then install a few more nails around the perimeter so you can continue installing siding along the wall.

5.4 Continue installing siding along the wall. Make sure that the seams at the verticle joints are even.

5.5 At the end of the wall cut the siding off so it hits the corner if necessary.

5.6 Install sidng along the next wall using the same process.

5.7 Cut out doors and window openings when you get to them. You may cut them before or after installing the siding. They can be cut on the house by marking the door or window location, (MEASURE TWICE), setting a circular saw at the depth of the siding and cutting along the line you marked.

5.8 Install "Z" metal flashing along the top of the siding pieces on the tall wall before installing the upper siding pieces. Set the flashing on the top edge of the siding and nail the flashing to the wall studs. Set the upper piece of siding and nail it.

step 6: Frame The Roof

How to build low income housing roof rafters

6.1 Layout the rafter locations on the wall plates. Start at one end and mark the locations at 24" on center. Then mark the opposite wall top plate. Make sure you layout each top plate from the same end of the shed

6.2 Straighten the long walls. Pull a string line along the top plate of the wall to make sure it is straight. If it is not you can use a 2x4 board to temporarily nail close to the top and then angle down to the floor where you will nail a block to the floor. Push the wall straight and then nail the diagonal board to the wall and the block. Remove the board after the roof is sheeted.

6.3 Set a rafter on the marks and adjust it from side to side. It works best to push all the lower ends up against the siding on the lower wall. Nail the rafter to the top plates using 2 1/2 nails, install two nails on one side and one on the other of each end.

6.3 Continue setting roof rafters. You can check that the rafters tops are flush with each other by laying a straight board across the tops, move the next rafter until it touches the bottom of the board, this keeps your roof flat. Check for flatness at both ends of the rafter as you go along because they will have a crown that will make them vary.

Install the fasia board. Double check that the

step 7: Install Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are installed directly onto the T1-11 siding. (This is different from installing a window on a regular home where it is installed on the O.S.B. sheeting under the siding.)

7.1 Install flashing around the opening in the following order: Sides first, then install the top and overlap the sides and go out past the window opening but not past where the trim will cover.

7.2 Test the window and install silicone.Set the window in the opening to check that it fits. Remove the window and install silicone around the window opening where the nailing flange will sit.

7.3 Set the window in the opening, typically on a 1/4" shim. Make sure the window is level and plumb. Make sure the reveal around the window on the inside is as even as possible. Screw the window to the low income house per the manufacturers instructions. Typically you will use a 1 1/4" exterior grade screw at each corner and at every other hole in the nailing flange. Do not use nails as a miss with the hammer will crack the vinyl window frame. Remove the shim after the window is screwed on.

7.4 Install the door

Step 8: Install Trim


Step 9: Install Roofing


Step 10: Paint The Low Income House

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