Sunday, November 28th, 2010:
Finished up the last bit of trim on the front and got the last of the cedar siding put up! It is extremely rewarding to step back and see the Tiny House completely sided. Looks sharp!
Made some progress inside as well: got the other gable wall covered with knotty pine and began laying out the plans for installing the Propane gas line.
Thanks go out to Bob and Hunter Coulson for their help and company today!
Saturday, November 27th, 2010:
Spent some time getting the Tiny House ready for the front cedar siding. Finished out the last of the cedar porch decking that had been waiting for the door installation, put up the cedar 1×4 trim around the door, installed backing for the siding to be nailed into, and rounded out the day by putting up knotty pine trim along the loft Ridge Beam.
Friday, November 26th, 2010:
Continued our work in the loft, and the knotty pine is going up much more quickly as we get the hang of it.
Jim Shively arrived mid-afternoon to install our front door. He made quick work of getting it in and shimmed just right. Made it look easy! It is starting to feel more and more like a tiny house. Having a front door is a HUGE improvement! A heartfelt THANK YOU to Jim for all of the time he’s put into researching, negotiating, ordering, advising, and installing this door for us. He singlehandedly solved one of the biggest challenges we ran into in this project. We are forever grateful!
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010:
Spent some time after work to address the wheel wells and to tie up a few more loose ends.
The wheel wells are a spot in the tiny house that open up right to the outside, and thus need to be well sealed and insulated. Our strategy to deal with this vulnerability point is to use high expanding spray foam (Great Stuff). It provides both a water and varmit/insect-proof barrier as well as sound insulation for an area that is pretty directly exposed to the temperatures outside.
Also tidied up the last bit of electrical lines and boxes as well as finished the framing on the canned-goods pantry.
Sunday, November 21st, 2010:
Continued putting up the knotty pine and wool insulation in the loft. With the gable wall complete we put a 2×2 strip in place on each side of the gable where the rafter lies behind the gable wall tongue and groove thus creating a terminal nailing surface for the side walls.
Following examples we’d seen from other tiny house builders, we used 2″ screws to put the knotty pine up on the gable wall. They stuck out like a sore thumb. Dan King stopped by as we were working yesterday and suggested we use a pneumatic finish nail gun which would allow the walls to look a lot more clean and finished. We have been using screws in everything in the tiny house due to the forces and vibrations that will be placed on it when it travels down the road. Dan suggested adding a dob of liquid nails construction adhesive behind the tongue and groove at each stud to back up the nails. We took him up on the suggestion and not only did it look MUCH better, but went so much more quickly!
Saturday, November 20th, 2010:
Began work on the interior of the Tiny House this weekend by putting up the knotty pine paneling on the loft gable wall. Putting the tongue and groove up on this wall first in particular was crucial as it will allow us to then build out a nailing surface for the adjacent walls of the loft when it comes time to put them up. This is due to the way the rafters are laid out for the roof…
As each board went up, we stuffed a layer of wool insulation behind, thus allowing us to insulate the loft without the need to use the plastic mesh that would be required if we blew the insulation in all at once. A little extra work, but its an area we can make a choice to avoid using plastic that would be behind every wall surface in our tiny home. On a side note -it’s pretty cool that we can put in insulation without having to wear protective gear or clothing. We love the choice to use wool!
Wrapped up the evening by putting two coats of polyurethane on our Birch front door. This is an area that we are conceding the use of a petroleum-based product. Being as the door is a barrier to the external elements, we knew we needed to use a solid, weather resistant product, and were unable to find a solid natural alternative…
Thanks goes out to Larry Davis for his help with finishing the front door!
Friday, November 19th, 2010:
We drove to Belleville, IL to pick up our custom built front door today!
The front door had proved to be one of the more challenging aspects of the project. A regular sized door (or even the smaller doors) that are readily available at home improvement stores are just too big for the needs of a Tiny House. We needed a very small, unconventionaly sized door that was made out of quality materials as it would be the the only barrier between the Tiny House and the elements.
Given the specialized knowledge required to build a quality door, and the unusual dimensions that a tiny house calls for, our limited construction skills were not going to lend themselves well to building the door ourselves. A friend and skilled finish carpenter, Jim Shively, recommended Liese Lumber in Belleville, IL for the job.
Jim gave them the dimensions and we had a custom built Birch door ready to pick up in under a week! This little door was fairly pricy, but Liese was able to do it for half the cost of the many places we looked into around the country, and in a fraction of the time…
A HUGE THANK YOU TO JIM SHIVELY for guiding us throughout the search for a custom built front door!
Thursday, November 18th, 2010.
Took advantage of some free time today to tackle some of the smaller projects that are a bit tedious, but needed attention none-the-less. Chief among them, cleaning up all of the electrical wiring, and securing the wires in their boxes. Next came more spray foam to continue sealing up gaps, then the trimming of yesterday’s spray foam around the windows. Small steps, but steps that allow the project to continue moving forward!
We have begun to fill in the many seams and gaps in the tiny house with low expanding spray foam. The goal is to seal the place up to prevent drafts and the like.
This is an area where we have not really been able to find a good natural alternative. The closest we’ve come is utilizing an expanding latex made by DAP, though it has left some things to be desired. Another product that we’re utilizing is labeled as ‘eco’ but it seems to be your typical run-of-the-mill polyurethane foam… Perhaps they are playing on the fact that by sealing up your home, you are increasing its energy efficiency?
While we may not be using an all natural product, we will have a very energy efficient place once its all sealed up!
Caulking the tiny house has been a pretty time consuming project, but an important one. All seams between siding pieces and around windows have now been filled in with caulk to keep water out as well as to seal the place up a bit.
Of particular importance were the gaps around the wheel wells. These are areas that could be a weak point for water due to the horizontal surfaces of the wells, creating an area that will, inevitably, catch rain. The gaps around the wheel wells were fairly large in places and needed a LOT of caulk.
Also started to work on finishing out the small pantry unit that we’ve designed for canned-goods storage!