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.
It’s like Christmas came early today. I am so very happy with the work that was done today. I am 19 1/2 inches away from a subfloor. 19 1/2 inches. Even better, tomorrow I get to start working on my wall framing. I head back to work Tuesday and will be building on weekends from here on in. I am so glad I took the past 2 weeks off to start my build.
Friday morning , a welder came and welded on taller threaded rods onto my trailer. He was fast, and charged me less than what he had quoted. Yay! I got rods. The rest of the day was still spent working on flashing and we got held up by the rain. I had hoped to be a little further along by the end of the day, but then the rain came. We wrangled one of my uncles and a couple of my cousins to come over and help us move some of the sections of the subfloor about, which they did help us do, but we weren’t able to do as much as we hoped because of the rain.
Saturday was a day where a lot of work was done, but nothing really looked any different. My uncle Phil and cousin Alex came back over and helped us move some of the subfloor sections as we needed some muscle. We also put down some more Blueskin on the pressure treated wood on the trailer. We got 2 sections in place, which with the new threaded rod was a bit of a challenge, figuring out where to drill holes and then having to re-drill holes when things didn’t line up quite as expected. The third section was set up in place, raised up on blocks as we tried to line up the holes previously drilled and drill some new ones for the newly added rods. Throughout the process of this build, checking for square has been a regular part of the process. With the 3rd section of the subfloor up on blocks, we checked for square and the previously square structure was completely out of alignment. At the end of the day we had to leave the subfloor incomplete, unscrew the flashing on 2 sides of that section of subfloor and leave the section undone over night, while I went to a kegger at my brother & sister-in-law’s. It was a much-needed evening of laughter, good food, good beer and friends.
When we were able to get to the construction this morning, we unscrewed a 3rd side of the flashing from that section, used a series of clamps to get the subfloor square and then screwed the flashing back on and got back to getting the holes lined up for the subfloor to fit over the threaded rods. My father was amazing as I found the process of getting everything lined up really frustrating. He was able to get the subfloor in place. Yay!
We started getting the insulation into the subfloor, a very quick and satisfying process of laying batts in the subfloor, when my neighbour Mike asked if he could lend a hand. Mike was my favourite person today. I did not realize that Mike used to build houses. Mike also has amazing toys or tools, call them what you will, a contractor’s circular saw is a beautiful thing. With Mike’s help we relevelled the trailer, and magically the subfloor was pretty much complete, if it hadn’t been for my purchasing one too few sheets of 3/4 plywood, the subfloor would be finished right now. As it stands, a quick trip to the hardware store and a rummage through their off cuts and my subfloor will be done tomorrow and the process of starting the wall framing can begin.
My goal for these first two weeks of construction is to get the subfloor done. For a while, I had hoped that maybe I could get some walls up, but I think it’s going to be a completed subfloor. I am not working as many hours every day as I had hoped, as I cannot work alone during this stage of the build. Turning over sections of the subfloor alone just isn’t feasible. So my schedule is restricted, nonetheless, construction is moving forward.
Today, most of the flashing is done, we had to stop working on the trailer as thunder rumbled in the distance (didn’t feel wise to work with metal when there was thunder for some reason) and I had to go and by an extra piece of the galvanized flashing I am using, as I miscalculated when I first purchased the flashing. In the end the slow pace is working out well. Every morning my father and I bring in a set of realizations that help us move forward. This morning our realizations had to do with wrapping the flashing up the edges of the framing of the subfloor. My original plan of folding the flashing over the edges of the framing didn’t work well with the flashing I ended up buying.
Most of what I have read recommends aluminum flashing for the underside of the subfloor. The decking of my trailer and the wood I am using on the outer edges of the subfloor are pressure treated, and the chemicals used in pressure treating the wood can react with aluminum. So I am going with galvanized flashing (I would tell you the metal that has been galvanized if I knew what kind of metal it is). The galvanized flashing that I was able to get is much thicker than the aluminum flashing and possibly also less flexible than aluminum, so wrapping it over the edges of the subfloor was far from pretty and left space for water to well in, so today all of the excess flashing was cut off. I am also using a product by Bakor called Blueskin WP 200, to seal the seams of the flashing and I am being possibly a little extra cautious and am using it wherever the flashing comes into contact with the pressure treated wood. Possibly overkill, on the other hand, this is a section of the house that will not be easy to go back and redo once I am further along and I want to prevent as much corrosion as I can.
Tomorrow, a welder comes to add extra threaded rods to my trailer, as the rods that are already welded onto my trailer are not long enough. Once the new rods are welded on, we can drill new holes in the sublfoor, set the 3 sections of the subfloor onto the trailer right-side up and move onto insulating and covering the whole thing up with plywood. Then it’s onto framing the walls and I have to decide exactly where my door will be.
Construction has begun!!!! The subfloor is currently under construction and it is challenging, frustrating and exciting. I started working alone, me with the dogs, music, my fancy drill, my dad’s saw and built the frame for the section of the subfloor. I had so much fun! It was really satisfying to put it together.
By the end of the first day of working on the subfloor (yesterday), two of the three sections of the subfloor were mostly put together with the help of my parents. Today, we continued working on those two sections of subfloor, cut the wood for the third section of the subfloor, drilled holes for the rods that are built into the trailer, bought the insulation needed for the subfloor, and I contacted Simpson Strong Ties so that I can get the strong ties that I need to help attach the house to the trailer.
The hold down ties called for in my tumbleweed plans are not available in Eastern Canada. So, I made a couple of trips to different hardware stores to try to place an order. The customer service department and Simpson Strong Ties was pretty wonderful. Helpful, quick and pleasant to talk to. Much more helpful that one of the hardware chains that I contacted locally to place that special order. I called, trying to place the order, only able to leave a message. They called back, not leaving a message, so I had to call back without any indication of whom to reach and their phone system goes directly to a voicemail system that is only really navigable with the extension number of the person you want to reach. I didn’t know who to contact and when I tried to dial 0 to speak to a person, I was directed to their general voicemail, which is I left my original message. When I did finally reach a person, and I explained what I wanted to order, they told me I had to come in. When I did get to the store, they told me they couldn’t make the order because they don’t carry Simpson Strong Ties. How very helpful. To be fair, they have been wonderful otherwise, but in this particular instance, they were less than helpful. Today included 3 trips to the hardware store.
I think I will have to include mileage for trips to hardware stores in my budget. It’s going to add up.