Tag Archives: interior siding

Building Bonanza Update: Kitchen Installation

It has been a full week of building.  The kitchen cabinets are in, the plumbing has been started and is almost complete inside the house, another order of lumber was done  for the bathroom siding, the ceiling under the loft and the remainder of the trim; the bathtub has been built and the fiberglass tub is ⅔ complete.

The kitchen cabinets went in beautifully.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze in some spots, the wheel well boxes had to be shaved down in size and there are shims in places I didn’t even know one would put shims.  The kitchen looks great. I was concerned that the house would feel smaller once the kitchen was in, but it doesn’t.  I wanted to be sure that there was a good amount of storage and counter space in the kitchen, but that there is also enough space between the counters so that two people can work in the kitchen and so that someone can still get to the bathroom if someone is cooking.  Mission accomplished!  There is just about 3′ of space between the kitchen cabinets and the comfort of that space has been tested thoroughly as construction continues.  It’s a great spot to work out the next challenge.  I can feel the kitchen parties happening already.

A word about my countertop. I have decided to go with a butcher block countertop.  Not the best choice weight wise, but a good choice as far as handling the stresses of the road.  We took a field trip after my last post to visit  a countertop supplier in Montreal.  They had gorgeous options in all things countertop.   They came in at twice to almost three times the price of Ikea for a solid wood butcher block counter.   To see the Ikea countertop, I had to buy the countertop sight unseen with the exception of well-worn sample in the kitchen department.  Another field trip to Ikea.  After watching the stock for the countertops  for a week, they were finally in stock on Good Friday.  So off we went to find the store packed.  We navigated through the maze of the showroom using as many shortcuts as possible to stand in a considerable line and wait to order the countertop. Once ordered, another journey to navigate through the rest of the showroom and then down to the stock floor and navigate out of the small items stock into the large item stock room to wait in a longer line to pay for the countertops.  Then to the returns/merchandise pick up counter, where I took a number, with only 41 people ahead of me to find out that I didn’t need to pick a number, just stand and wait in front of a large screen to watch my order travel through three columns of received, being prepared, and completed.  Fortunately, my order was automatically put in the queue when I paid and equally fortunate, I got another number about halfway through my first wait of 41 people, in case I had to return the countertops.  I got the countertops and decided to return them, despite the long wait to see them.  The joinery in the butcher block made for weak point that would be problematic in the road.  There was a wooden table like the countertop  in the As-Is department that was bowed out of shape.  I highly recommend staying away from Ikea on a holiday or weekend if at all possible, unless you enjoy long lines and lots of waiting.

A Little Trim, A Little Electrical

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.

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!

Interior Siding and Trim

There is siding on lofts , the great room and the kitchen.  There is just a bit of siding left to do in the kitchen along the wall that divides the kitchen and the bathroom (that wall hasn’t been built yet).  The windows in the loft have their trim and the long dormer edges are trimmed.  All is good and right in the world.  I am possibly a month away from living in my tiny house.  A month!

Saturday, we finished off the siding on the dormers in the bedroom loft and then started on the small bit of 12/12 ceiling at the end of main loft.  Once again I was manning the nail gun and Stefan was on the saw.  It was really satisfying to cover up the insulation and watch the purple disappear.  That satisfaction was only trumped by seeing the windows trimmed.

I discovered this week that I missed a pretty important detail when I ordered my siding.   A lot of tiny houses use ¼” siding to cut down on weight.  I missed that detail and just ordered siding.  My siding is ¾”, which means it’s easier to install, is more solid and three times as heavy.   It’s not the most comfortable of realizations I have had over the course of this build and it impacts a great deal.  Now I just have to weigh one of the pieces of siding and start doing some math before I can choose the flooring I will install, which after a recent decision, choosing flooring has become a bit tricky.

Here’s a bit about that decision: while roughing in the electrical, I decided to add in-floor heating.  I contacted a tiny houser in Vermont who has been wintering in their tiny house with straw bales stacked around the base of their trailer and he wished he had installed in-floor heating.  So I went for it.  I have my in-floor heat mats and 2 thermostats.  I am hoping to install ceramic tile floor – a heavy choice, but a choice that lets the in-floor heating radiate into the room.  Wood insulates , so in-floor heating will heat up the floor, but that heat won’t radiate much into the room.

So choices have to be made and wood has to be weighed.

Fun fact:  in carpentry, a beveled edge is called a chamfer.  I learned that this weekend.

Interior Siding: Part II

This has been a wonderfully busy week for Tiny Refuge.  The replacement for my door finally arrived and it was installed.  The door they originally sent was 1/4″ too short, leaving enough space for the weather to get in. I have been waiting for the new door for months.  Not only do I have a new door, I have a door handle and a deadbolt.  Much fancier than the scraps of 2×4 that were standing in for a door handle.

I spent quite a few hours this week sanding the ridge beam.  I wasn’t sure if the ridge beam was going to be visible or not, so I didn’t get it sanded at the sawmill.  It had a few dark marks on it and was rough enough that you could get splinters if you rubbed it the wrong way.  I  used a palm sander and got that ridge beam smooth.  I am going to leave it exposed and as we installed some of the ceiling this weekend, it needed to be sanded before hand.

By the time Saturday rolled around, the tiny house was ready for some more siding.  Saturday we finished the dormer fronts and  the ceiling in the dormers.  The dormer fronts were pretty straightforward, with far fewer cutouts than the main floor.  The ceiling on the other hand was a little more challenging.  I am using wider boards on my ceiling and unlike the walls, where I manned the saw and Stefan did the installation, we were both up in the lofts getting the boards in place.  We started the installation at the ridge beam and then worked towards the walls.

Sunday, we started tackling the dormer sides and I was up in the loft installing the siding.  Saturday, I used a nail gun (the brad nailer) for the first time and Sunday I was manning the brad nailer.  The dormer sides are slow going.  The angles are slightly different on each one and the top two pieces of siding require cuts on the table saw and the mitre saw.  The tiny house only has space for the mitre saw, so the top two pieces required quite a few trips outside.  We got 5 ½ dormers done and one of the small sections of 12/12 pitch ceiling done in the small loft.

Next weekend: the dormer sides will get finished, as will the ceiling on the rest of the 12/12 ceiling. The bathroom wall will get built and sided and then we start on trim.

Interior Siding: The Beginning

Last week was quite the week.  Tiny Refuge went from bare studs with electrical, to purple with some studs coming through to beautiful knotty pine siding.  Part of me had forgotten what  a difference siding made to the exterior of the house. It is certainly making a wonderful difference to the interior.

The interior siding arrived just under four months ago when the ridge beam was delivered.  It was stacked beside the big house, protected under tarps, until December when it was brought inside before the snow fell.  Although it might have been fine to stay outside, the thought of snow sneaking its way inside the tarp and then melting, was enough to move the whole lot into the tiny house.  That pile of siding, much of which is 16′ in length was really interesting to get inside the house and then even more interesting to cut and install.

We set up the mitre saw next to the large window on the short wall of the house.  Then we set up a ladder outside, lined up with the window.  Whenever a 16′ board was cut, we had to open the window and slide the board outside, where  it would rest on the ladder and stay level to be cut.  If the board was the wrong way around, it was fed outside through the window, turned and then sent back in through the window.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold on Saturday and though colder on Sunday, it wasn’t too bad.  The insulation got it’s first real test and I have to say, it did a great job.  I had read a post by Laura Moreland of Tiny House Ontario on Tiny House Listings that described the effect opening a door had on the heat in her tiny house.  It had me rather nervous, and I am happy to say that Tiny Refuge held its heat fairly well.  Granted it was a balmy -12C (10F) and not -31C (-23).  Nonetheless, it was reassuring that with the small electrical heater going, the house remained comfortable while the window was completely open for minutes at a time.

We started by installing the 2×3 stud that is the beginning of the bathroom wall, with cutouts in it for the wires to be able to reach the breaker panel that will be in the wall.  Then the siding started going up.  It was a little bit of slow going with all of the cutouts needed for the electrical outlets and switches and for the wheel wells and windows.  Stefan used the table saw for the long straight cuts and we used two different tools for the smaller cutouts.  The first was a jigsaw and the second  was an oscillating multi-tool.  We used the multi-tool a little with the exterior siding, but it really got good use with the interior siding.  It was nice tool to use.  The jigsaw was also fun, I even got to cut circles with it and they were pretty fantastic for my first shot of cutting circles with a jigsaw.

We had wonderful help on Saturday from René.  He manned the mitre saw and juggled 16′ boards.

Siding Completed!

The exterior siding on my tiny house is done!   This weekend we finished up the siding on the dormers and it is really satisfying to see the house with all of its siding completed.  Unfortunately, the roof wasn’t able to be done this past week because the 4″ screws weren’t delivered.  So, fingers crossed, the roof will get done this week.

In order to put up the siding on the dormers, the flashing had to go up along the front and two sides of the dormer where they meet the roof line.  Aluminum flashing 4×4 L flashing was cut to size and nailed into place with the roofing nailer and then strips of  weather guard  was installed on the side of the flashing that was on the roof.  All of this to keep water out.  After the flashing was installed, the trim was put up and then the siding.

The angled sides of the dormers ended up going more quickly than expected.  Getting the angles for the slope of the roof took a bit of time, but once that was done, it was a matter of getting one piece cut and checking that the angles were right (there angles were not the same for each dormer – some of that due to the insulation, the flashing, etc) and then cutting it to size and then using that piece as a template for the piece above it.  I was rocking the mitre saw, changing the angle of the saw and making some simple notches.  I then would run the cut pieces to Stefan, who was up on the scaffolding or a ladder and he would check the fit, get me to adjust the size and then install them.  The last couple of pieces on each side of the dormers were the trickiest, requiring lots of different angles.  There wasn’t much waste and I should have enough siding left over to build a small utility shed on the tongue side of the house.

Once all the siding was up, we moved the interior siding that was delivered back in October into the tiny house.  I started to move it early this week with the help of my aunt and two of my cousins. It became clear  that my original plan for getting the interior siding into the tiny house was not going to work out.  So we left the job half done and Stefan and I finished it this weekend. Stacking 16′ long boards inside a 20’10” house takes patience and delicacy.

Next step, a roof (everyone send good thoughts out for a delivery of 4″ metal roofing screws on Tuesday), then getting the electrical and gas lines roughed in, so that the spray foam insulation can go in.  Once that is done, the interior can begin.

A dormer with all of the siding up.
A dormer with all of the siding up.
Stefan installing the flashing.
Stefan installing the flashing.