Installing Shiplap in the Solar Cottage

Installing Shiplap in the Solar Cottage

Once the solid hardwood floor was down and the plumbing and electrical wiring were complete, we then had foam insulation blown onto the walls and ceiling. After that, THEN it was time to start on the shiplap walls in our little solar cottage!

There were several reasons we decided on shiplap. 1.) It’s a very popular style and I happen to love it. 2.) It adds structural integrity and strength to all the walls (especially since Joe insisted on screwing the boards in as opposed to using a nail gun). 3.) We wanted a cottage/farmhouse feel and shiplap was used historically in cottages/farmhouses.  4.) The wood used in shiplap is more eco-friendly than many products. 5.) It was fairly easy to install once we got the basics down: corners, trimming out the windows, going around doors and sockets, etc.

Once we figured out how many boards we needed, we ordered the shiplap from a local lumber yard. This was our first time to install shiplap.

A room full of shiplap! We probably ended up with two to three orders this size before finishing the entire house.

A room full of shiplap! We probably ended up with two to three orders this size before finishing the entire house.

Starting at the bottom, we worked our way up each wall. We staggered the board length in a way we thought visually appealing. We used wooden paint stir sticks for spacing purposes. We had a pretty good system going; while I cut a board on the table saw, Joe was screwing in the previous board and measuring for the next one.

The first shiplap board going up!

The first shiplap board going up!

First row of shiplap complete!

First row of shiplap complete!

Working our way up the gabled wall

Working our way up the gabled wall

Looking at the number of boards and the number of walls, I thought we could get the entire house done in a couple of weekends. Of course, thinking you can get something done faster is always the case, Right?!?! Since we were pre-drilling and then screwing in each board, the whole project took WAY longer that it normally would have. Also, we were working on a ladder most of the time as we worked our way up, and the gabled wall on each side of the cottage was no easy feat. Looking back, my guess is that it took us six weekends to complete all the shiplap in the solar cottage.

Working on opposite walls

Working on opposite walls

Building our own off-grid solar cottage has been extremely rewarding; it amazes me to see what we can create with our own two hands. We’ve accomplished so much and have enjoyed the learning process along the way.

Shilplap bathroom complete!

Shilplap bathroom complete!

Living area shiplap wall complete!

Living area shiplap wall complete!

Kitchen area shiplap wall complete. We used beadboard on the ceiling.

Kitchen area shiplap wall complete. We used beadboard on the ceiling.

If you’d like to see more of modern off-grid-living, check out our video here!

Howdy from Texas!

Karin and Joe