Finishing the trim and starting electrical brings Tiny Refuge another step closer to being lived in. Saturday we finished the rest of the trim. A word about the trim, it has taken a while to get through all of the trim because Stefan is making all of the trim out of leftover siding. There is a lot of leftover siding, which is ironic since I thought ironic since I was convinced in December that I was going to be really short on siding and that I would have to order a great deal more.
Making all of the trim is not the fastest process. Stefan cuts the pieces to a rough size, cutting off the groove edge and removing the tongue, cutting the siding to width on the table saw, adding chamfers either with the hand plane, the mitre saw or the table saw depending on the chamfer. The trim then gets sanded on all sides that are exposed, this was my job, the ¼ palm sander and I are very good friends now. Once the trim is sanded, if it’s not already cut to the exact size, the trim is cut to size and installed. The windows were pretty straightforward, with the exception of chamfers, there are no angled cuts on the window trim. The trim for the edges of the dormers and between the dormer walls and ceiling needed angled cuts, so there was a lot of cut, check the trim in place and repeat until it’s installed.
The trim in place along the top angled edge of the dormer. All of the trim has been custom made for Tiny Refuge using leftover siding.
Where the ridge beam meets the wall before trim.
The trim where the ridge beam meets the wall in place in the main loft.
The main loft with all of it’s trim in place.
The light isn’t great in this photo, but if you look carefully you can see the trim is in place between the dormer wall and the ceiling.
Sunday morning we finished the last pieces of trim until the floor goes in. The bathroom wall was built and sided fairly quickly. Then the electrical work started. The panel was placed and as the panel is in the bathroom, I didn’t get to see much of what was going on. There were moments of banging but it was mostly quiet steady work. Every time I checked on the panel the mess that was the wires that had been sitting there since January started looking more and more organized. Order from what had looked so chaotic. There were two wires coming to the panel that I didn’t label, so they took a short bit to figure out. I labelled by wires using different coloured electrical tape. I labelled each circuit and then made a list of the circuits using the same coloured tape.
Next week: more electrical and maybe some flooring!
The studs going in place for the wall between the kitchen and the bathroom.
Making the cut.
Et voilà! A wall.
We were able to use up some of the siding that had some imperfections in the sections of the wall that will be hidden by kitchen cabinets.
The wires destined for the electrical panel.
You can see the wires destined for the electrical panel in the bottom right of the picture after the spray foam went in.
My breaker panel. I am bought a 60 amp panel and am swapping out the 60 amp breaker for a 50 amp breaker. The panel isn’t completely wired yet, but it is getting there.
For those who are interested, a front view of the panel.
Outlets dangling from the wall.
An outlet all wired and in place. There are more than a few outlets in this house. More than 20, which is a lot for such a small space. With the spray foam insulation adding an outlet later on becomes really complicated.
Last week, I had to delay building my roof because there was a delay at the sawmill where I ordered my ridge beam (which I keep wanting to call roof beam – new vocabularies make my brain work). The 22′ 4″x6″ ridge beam was supposed to arrive Monday. Tuesday, I heard nothing from them so I called to check in, my ridge beam would be delivered by Thursday. Thursday morning, I called them to check where things were at… they didn’t know if they had even received the lumber yet. I was not feeling very serene, calm or laid back as I waited for them to call me back to let me know if they had received it or not. I anxiously waited for them to call, I am not very good at waiting so I called them back and they had indeed received the lumber and they would deliver the next day.
In the end my ridge beam, interior and exterior siding were delivered Saturday morning at 7:15am. Which worked out for the best as There was only one person delivering my order, if he had arrived Friday afternoon, I don’t think I would have been able to help him carry the ridge beam alone to my tiny house. By the time he was ready to unload the ridge beam, Stefan had arrived and the ridge beam was unloaded. I tried to help, but being at least 6 inches shorter than both Stefan and the gentleman from the sawmill, I was of little help as they carried the ridge beam on their shoulders.
With the delivery all stowed away and the ridge beam hanging out of the large window opening, Stefan and I began working on the rafters. Stefan’s plan was to build the framing to support the ridge beam, get the ridge beam set in place, then build the 3 sections of roof at 45 degrees first, sheath them and then build the dormer sections of the roof. We also, as per the plans, attached the sole plate (the piece of wood on top of the loft framing that the rafters and dormer framing would be attached to) through the flooring into the loft framing with lag bolts. Julie and Julien, who attended the Yestermorrow course, were a great help. By the end of Saturday, the ridge beam was in place, the 45 degree sections of the roof were sheathed, the sole plate was firmly attached and we were ready to build some dormers.
Sunday, saw the dormers built, one of the end sections of the house insulated, wrapped and the furring in place. A big Thank You to Julie and Julien for coming out and helping with my build.
The second weekend of building with Stefan was really good. We had hoped that my ridge been would be here so that we could start working on the rafters, but the sawmill was unable to deliver my 22′ 4×6 ridge beam. Plans were changed – instead of rafters, we set out to finish the 4th wall of the house and the 4 walls ready for siding. I ordered 4’x8′ sheets of 1″ extruded polystyrene insulation to put around the house to help increase the Rvalue of my walls. Code in Québec calls for R25 in walls – in order to get that kind of Rvalue in my walls and keep as much interior space as possible, the exterior walls have to be insulated as well.
Before we insulated, we finished the 4th wall of the house which was different from the first three for several reasons. I have chosen to almost create a bay window in that end wall of the house. Doing so creates some interesting challenges in a tiny home. The plans for the house call for parallam posts and beams in that wall along with a threaded rod under the window and strapping around the edges. I could not find the exact posts and beams required and ended up with slightly smaller posts (1/4″ smaller on one side) and beams that were almost 2″ wider. Parallam is an engineered wood, quite beautiful to look at. It is also heavy. The wall went together pretty quickly and then we built the loft framing.
By the end of Saturday, we had the 4 walls built and sheathed. Sunday we only did a half day, we put up the insulation, wrapped the house with house wrap and then put up strapping until the nail gun ran out of nails. Not bad for a day and a half.
This past Saturday and Sunday so very much was accomplished. I am really happy. Stefan, the carpenter who has been hired to help with the build, was here bright and early to start building Saturday morning. The goal for Saturday was to complete the two long walls of the house and we did. The pace was quick and steady throughout the day. We built the first wall on the trailer bed, placed the fancy Simpson strong ties to attach the house to the trailer, squared the wall, tacked it down to the bed of the trailer so that it wouldn’t move, nailed in the strapping, and sheathed it. The second wall was built on top of the first wall. We trimmed off about 1 1/2 inches off the top of each of the bolts that are welded to the frame so that we didn’t have to lift the walls any higher than necessary.
It was a huge relief to be working with someone who builds and renovates homes for a living. I am more than happy to learn from someone else’s mistakes and not worry about making mistakes that could affect the stability of my home. Stefan spent some time researching and learning about tiny houses. I really appreciated that while he was looking over the plans for the house he found out why they are built differently than a traditional home.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of what we did on that first day, I don’t usually take pictures or think to take pictures. Here is a picture of the start of the day:
This is what we had at the end of the day:
Sunday morning, helpers came to help us raise the walls. Once again, I was very happy to have Stefan there to lead the wall raising. Negotiating raising the walls, getting them placed on the bolts and then braced went relatively smoothly and was done in under an hour. One of our helpers, a good friend who came with his children, stuck around for the rest of the day to help. Yay!
The front wall (by the trailer hitch) was built, squared, raised and secured into place. We sheathed that wall once it was in place we sheathed it and the ends of the long walls closest to it. With rain in the forecast put the tarp in place and worked with it draped over the top of the house as we finished up the afternoon starting on the back wall of the house. The day ended a little early and I am very happy with what we got done.