Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Floor frame was completed by mid-afternoon. A lot of work went into it, so much more than we could have imagined! The Aluminum Flashing was easily one of the more challenging aspects. Glad its done! It was fun to shoot the tar into the seams between sheets of aluminum, though…

The BEST PART BY FAR was installing the insulation! Gabby’s goal of utilizing as much natural material in our tiny house as we possibly can led her to discover the concept of using sheep’s wool as an insulation material. It sounded a little out there at first, but the more research we did about it, the more it started to not only become more attractive, but to actually make a lot of sense! While the use of wool insulation is much more common in Europe and Canada presently, Gabby was able to find a couple of suppliers in the States. We ultimately decided to go with Oregon Shepherd. It was important to us that we went with a company that used no chemicals or petroleum products in their wool. Oregon Shepherd only uses Borax, a naturally occurring mineral, and a protein to bind the Borax to the wool. They also use wool produced in the U.S., not wool imported from Europe. The wool they sell was grown in Oregon, Wyoming, and Montana. Having grown up in Oregon, I’m pretty excited to have a little Oregon Love in our tiny house as well.

So, good idea? The wool will provide R-20 to R-30 insulation value, it continues to expand over time instead of compact as does fiberglass, it will not mildew, is fire and rodent resistant, will not off-gas as may foamboard, can withstand the negative effects of condensation, and is a natural, renewable resource. Time will tell!

This is definitely worth mentioning: To take advantage of the help with framing this weekend, we needed to place an expedited order for enough insulation just for the floor. We placed the order on Wednesday and opted for 2-day shipping. (Expensive, but it would be the only thing holding us up from getting a start while there was still a free weekend and so many friends offering help!) I placed the oder a little late in the day on Wednesday, and Oregon Shepherd was unable to get it to FedEx in time for a 2-day delivery. SO THEY SENT IT OVERNIGHT ON THURSDAY. Without charging us anything extra. I know they must have lost money on this order, as overnight is WAY more expensive even than two day shipping. This company has integrity and customer service comes FIRST. Thanks to Bob Workman and the good folks at Oregon Shepherd!

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Comments on: "Saturday, September 11th: Insulating and Decking the Floor" (2)

  1. Hey Guys,

    Nice job on the house. I am building one myself and am thinking of using wool insulation. I had been tossing around the idea of cellulose or possibly woodchip and clay infill. I really would like to do woodchip and clay, but I don’t think it makes much sense if i ever want to move the house again. If I rule that one out I will probably use wool if I can afford it. Keep up the good work!

    ~Ian

    • Thanks Ian. Are you building a Tumbleweed Tiny House?

      We cannot recommend the wool insulation highly enough. It has been a great experience, from the folks we purchased from, to the installation, to the performance. I agree, the woodchip and clay might be a bit heavy for this type of home. The cellulose might be challenging as well, given the nature of these tiny houses to hold on to the moisture from cooking/bathing/etc. Jay Shafer discusses this in his Tiny House book, warning tiny house folks about the moisture concerns. We liked wool because of how it reacts to moisture, specifically.

      Good luck with your project! Would love to see some photos from your build.

      Best,
      Evan & Gabby

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