My brother (Darek) drove up from Florida last Friday. It took him almost 10 hours to get here because of a road closure and traffic. Considering I made the same trip in 6 hours a month earlier, that’s pretty bad.
Here’s how the next four days went down:
- Moved the shower inside before closing off the last accessible hole (the big window).
- Installed the last piece of sheathing and tar-paper on the roof. I started out up top with my body harness all hooked scooting my butt across the decking trying to keep my center of gravity as low as possible. Then my brother got up there and ran around like a monkey with a death wish. He’s done this before.
- Framed out the front compartment for the water heater, electrical hook-up, etc. This compartment wasn’t in the initial Sketchup design but when I built the foundation I conceived it and extended the foundation to accommodate it, but hadn’t done anything with it since. In the process of completing this my brother managed to cut through my brand new saw horse. I swear, you can’t take him anywhere.
- Put in the window flashing in all the sills in preparation to install the windows.
- Started priming the siding in the back yard. This turned out to be a mistake since it was so cold and humid I had to leave it out since it wouldn’t dry. Then, despite the forecast it rained a little and we had to run out and try to cover it up in the dark of night. Unfortunately some of it warped.
- Installed all the windows. When framing, I made the rough openings the size specified by the manufacturer which should include a little wiggle room for adjustments. But all the windows went in snug. Fortunately my framing turned out to be square.
- Installed the water heater and most of the plumbing including the shower manifold.
- Drove up to a metal roofing manufacturer about an hour north to order the roof. I took my laptop with me and was able to show them the 3D Sketchup model. That combined with actual measurements from the home, the owner was able to put together a parts list. I wanted to go with standing seam but that ran about 70% more on cost, so I went with the next best (cheapest) thing. Even they didn’t know exactly how to accomplish the transition in pitch I have on my roof. The first guy I talked to said “we just make it, we don’t install it”. Another guy there though was able to shed a little more light. We’ll see.
- Pressurized the water system and found/fixed a leak at the water heaters threaded connector. One of the connectors was over-tightened and thus the washer became deformed.
- Installed a few “nailers”, which are added boards to insure that you always have two boards in a corner (so that you have something to nail the internal siding to).
- Installed most of the insulation in the roof, which got me thinking about my choice in insulating material (see my last post).
- Installed the front door.
- Picked up the roof parts.
It was really fun to work with my brother again. We used to work together when we would help my Dad build houses (10+ years ago). This was a really good way to catch up.
He’ll be back up on the 27th to visit with his family and we plan to get the roof installed then.
Happy Holiday’s/Merry Christmas to everyone and I’ll talk to you in the new year!!
(lc:0, sc:64, lt:11, st:148)
There are three different types of insulation I considered for my tiny house;
Spray foam – I thought this might be the best choice since it has a high R value and there would be no leaks (since it is sprayed in to all the nooks and crannies). The reason I ultimately decided against it is because this is not a DIY solution and thus likely much more expensive.
Fiberglass – I’ve worked with fiberglass before and it is fairly inexpensive and very easy to install. The problem is it doesn’t have the highest R value (~ 3.4 per inch).
Styrofoam Boards supplemented with spray foam – This is a little more expensive than fiberglass (I’m not sure exactly what the comparison is) but has a much higher R value of 5 per inch. This was my choice because I thought it was the next best thing to pure spray foam and it was something I could do myself.
After working with the Styrofoam boards I think my decision might have been flawed, and in hindsight would have chosen differently. The first and most important reason is that while the R value of the Styrofoam is much higher per inch, the boards that I am using are 2 inches thick, thus giving me an effective R value of 10. If I were to use fiberglass, I would fill the entire wall cavity and thus have an effective R value of 12. Couple that with the ease/speed of installation (the boards are a huge pain and mess to work with) and the lower cost I think fiberglass would be the way to go for warmer climates (my TH is headed to Florida). For colder climates I think I would spring for the spray foam insulation.
This is something that needs to be done right the first time since it isn’t easy to change out. I would love to hear any opinions.
Fun fact: While researching R values I read that 1 inch of insulation is equivalent to 30 inches of concrete!
UPDATE: I have since worked with the styrofoam more and experimented with different cutting tools (circular and hand saw) and no longer find it as difficult to work with. I also got a better tool (Hilti) to inject the foam into the cracks. In addition, if I had used 3″ foam my R value concerns would be alleviated as well.
(lc:0, sc:0, lt:11, st:84)
My brother had some work he needed to wrap up at home so he didn’t make it up yesterday and is instead driving up today. It just as well since it’s… (wait for it) … raining here. And I’m not talking about a spring shower, this is full-blown freeze-your-ass-off downpour. Here’s a picture of my backyard, and no, I don’t live on a lake
Hopefully I’ll have more for you in the coming days other than an Atlanta weather report.
(lc:0, sc:0, lt:11, st:84)
Still no progress on the tiny house.
The roofer that I contacted never showed. I don’t know what it is about contractors and being unreliable. Perhaps it has something to do with the often low barrier of entry for the industry (what’s a hammer cost, ~$7). If you don’t want the job, just say so, don’t say you’ll come out and then don’t show. There is another place that I know of that sells metal roofing by my house, they should be able to help me.
My HD order is going to be delivered on Wednesday This works out perfectly since my brother is slated to arrive on Thursday. It’s been raining here but it should be over by the time he arrives.
(lc:0, sc:0, lt:11, st:84)
No physical work this weekend. My fiancé said that I needed to spend time with the family, something about it being close to Christmas. Of course, she then sent me out alone to put lights up on the house, so much for that I think my regular talk about sustainability and conservation have taken hold of her as she has recently decided that having a baby generates too much waste and has switched our son over to cloth diapers (http://thelouchefamily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/changing-diapers/) . Now I just need to convince her to move into a tiny house
What I did get done over the last week is to put in another order with my friend John at The Home Depot. This one took a little longer for me to get organized since I had originally wanted to include the special order metal roofing. Unfortunately after about 20 hours of research, while I think I now know pretty much everything to do the job, I am still a little uncertain about one small but critical section. That is how to handle the ridge cap at the roof angle transition created by the dormers. So I decided that I needed to talk with a roofer who specializes in metal rather than going through HD for it. I made an appointment with someone for this week and I’ll let you know what I learn.
The only thing I have left to buy is the roof, flooring, plumbing, and electrical. Soon I’m going to get to remove the vacuum hose from my pocket that is this house.
Also, my brother is likely going to come up and help me out for a week before Christmas! He is a jack of all trades when it comes to construction and him and I working together should produce some substantial results. I’m pretty excited.
Since I have no pictures for this post I leave you with a short clip from “The Money Pit”:
(lc:0, sc:0, lt:11, st:84)
I woke up on Tuesday to find everything covered in ice. It had rained on Monday (the day I had originally planned to work) and Heavy rain was forecast for Wednesday, so I wanted to try to get the roof sheathing done. I almost made it. After a full day’s work I had completed everything with only one small section unsheathed.
Over the weekend my fiancé’s father gave me a harness to wear while working on the roof. It’s really nice and I really appreciated it. It was a little bit of a pain to use since the cables that secure the harness to the structure are a fixed length and thus required constant repositioning as I moved around. But having that safety net was worth it. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to stand on top of the roof without it. I may look into getting a new cable system for it though.
I was a little unsure of how I was going to get an entire uncut sheet of plywood up 14 feet by myself. I had previously purchased a bunch of C clamps and pulley’s thinking I would make some complicated rig to do the job. But it turned out that just sliding it up an extension ladder was really easy and quick. (Notice in the picture the two temporary pieces of wood that hold the sheet in place after I get it up there.)
My fiancé usually picks up our little-one from daycare but she had an appointment so I needed to pick him up that day. I worked right up until I had to leave and picked right back up when she got home at around 6pm. The sun had already set but fortunately my impact driver has a little flashlight on the tip After driving a few final screws for the evening I went through the arduous task of putting the tarp in place. This is now more difficult since it must be done entirely from the outside of the house since I can no longer reach up through the rafters.
When I took the dogs out this morning I noticed that one of the tarps had already blown off in the overnight monsoon. I didn’t have the time or energy to put it back up. I need to get a heavier duty twine!
Finally, thanks to everyone for their suggestions on the paint color. Especially Michael over at http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/ who is the only reason many of you know about my project. I’ll let the final color choice be a surprise.
(lc:0, sc:8.5, lt:11, st:84)