Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Early house warming gifts

Maragaret found me a tiny copy of Lester Walker's "Tiny Houses"
- a book I have seen and love, but only in large versions before.

A friend Paul made me this twirly piece. Not only beautiful when it moves in the wind, but also for the outside and lightweight (made of cedar). Perfect!

Technically a house "making" gift, a plane"let" donated by my parents.

UPdate June 27th

Up until now I have been battling rain and the end of school stuff, working in very small windows of time. Now this week, in the gap of time between work and grad school I am trying to get as much done as possible. So here is what we have accomplished.... but of course I forgot to take the final photo of all the walls actually up and leveled. 

The North wall.

Screwing this brace made it much easier to brace the walls while attaching the studs.

A carpenter friend suggested adding a 10 penny (10d) nail in between the screws to add strength against shearing.
Margaret posing with the "enforcer"- the pipe wrench we use to twist the studs back into place.
Margaret an I were able to finish the two side walls after we finally figured out how to calculate the roof angle.

At this point, with all the walls stacked on the deck, it felt a little like a pop-up book that had yet to be opened.  

And finally it goes up!

Maple helps hit in some nails with a block of wood.

And tomorrow I start the rafters!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The subfloor is complete

After competing with the rain, my father and I finished sheathing the subfloor with 1/2 inch ply, Because of the odd spacing of the floor joists I needed 7 sheets for a 6 sheet job, but I will be using some of the extra for my window/ door headers and my dad already used some of it on another job.

Note about tarps. Definitely go with the more expensive sort... I went through one in only one storm. Now that I've switched to some heavy duty visqueen it has lasted through a number downpours. I plan to invest in a much larger tarp to help cover the walls once they are up.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

And it starts!

It was a slow beginning as I took Memorial Day weekend to level and measure the trailer and to pick up the pressure treated 2x4s from Slutsky's Lumber. 

(Slutsky's in Ellenville is a small operation with a big heart and great quality lumber, and what I am not able to get reclaimed will most likely be gotten there. My goal is to never step foot into a home depot type store for this project  1. Because I am trying to buy local out of principle 2. I have cried at big box hardware stores before and often leave without what I need after an hour of wandering around.) 

No planning or reading of other tiny houses can completely prepare you for the start. This weekend I learned that every trailer is definitely unique and requires unique solutions. For example, after talking to the spray foam insulation guys, I decided to forego the aluminum flashing on the bottom. This way closed-cell insulation can be sprayed from the bottom at the same time as the walls. Bonus too is that I don't have to think about plumbing quite yet. Also, due to the spacing of the metal crossbeams I decided to bolt my joist vertically and directly to the trailer, with "floating" joists in-between, making the spacing about 13.5" on center. 

First step was to notch the rim joists so they sit flush against the outside of the trailer, and then the circular saw to notch them around wheel wells and at the ends.

The joists are drilled vertically, clamped, re-drilled, counter-sunk, and bolted. Originally thought I could use galvanized carriage bolts... that is until I snapped two of them. So after a quick trip to the hardware store for stainless steel (so they don't react to the pressure treated wood), I was able to bolt it all down.

To seal the gap in the wheel wells my father helped bend aluminum, and then we put some copper flashing in-between to avoid corrosion with the pt wood.

Over Memorial Day weekend I had been pretty much lifting stuff solo as I fumbled through the beginning steps, but my friend Margaret and my brother came to the rescue the next weekend to help finish installing the "floating" joist. My brother welded metal braces to the trailer while Margaret and I screwed and bolted everything together.



My niece learning how to weld.