Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Roof and wrap

During the winter holiday, I managed to get the box framing done for the wheel wells, and installed the remainder of the studs.

I have also installed weather-proofing just in time for the winter monsoon. It was supposed to rain yesterday, so I put in a marathon day of building and installed the top side beams, all of the rafters, and almost all of the plywood on the roof. I also covered the top with plastic sheeting and tarps, and used some leftover cheapo house wrap to cover all of the sides. Now I have a totally overbuilt tent!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Four walls

Happy Solstice to all!

Two complete walls and two half walls are framed, to be exact. The newly installed top plates and half walls provide the first real feeling of enclosure. Most of the design issues with the frame have been resolved. Now it is time to just cut and nail.

Unfortunately, my building vacation from work is over; but the holidays will allow for more building time over the coming two weeks. I am hoping to have all the wall framing including door and window portals done by the first weekend of the new year, along with installation of all of the rafters and the first layer of roofing material.

Friday, December 18, 2009


No big progress today due to some necessary recalculations and measurements, and a morning meeting for work. So I thought I would post some images from my calculations and plans to give you some idea of what I'm shooting for.

First, I would like to thank my secret Santa for giving me such a nice rafter speed square. I had one from Harbor Freight which was quite ugly and not very precise, but this aluminum square is a thing of beauty. I have used it a great deal in the two days I've had it, and it will see a lot more use in the months to come!

These models were made in Sketchup, which has been a very useful (and free!) program during the (never-ending) design stage of the project. The outside of the building as shown here is rusted steel, my current idea for siding. I found a local source with free delivery of steel 4x8 sheets today, Santa Rita Steel, and they were also of great assistance in suggesting how it will be attached to the framing.

Lastly, I wanted to post these images I used to figure out how the wood was going to integrate with the trailer structure. They remind me of an early 20th century modern art triptych.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Second wall

I thought that the morning rain would hinder my productivity today, but I managed to get the second wall up in the afternoon.

Tomorrow should bring more walls. The sides will go on in segments, since I am on my own at this point.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First wall up

My helper has gone back to Delaware, but before he left, we managed to get one wall up. I have spent the last couple of days finishing up attaching the plywood underfloor, and adding a few more studs to the wall. Next stop, the opposite wall, and then the roof?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Flooring nearing completion

Although we had high hopes to finish the flooring today, learning curves and rain made progress slow. Hopefully tomorrow will be clear enough for a full day of work.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

No ground broken; a beginning nonetheless

The tiny house on a trailer project has officially begun.

The goal: to create a portable, habitable home with less than 120 square feet interior. Cozy is the word.

The first step was to find a platform on which to build my tiny house. I enlisted the help of my step-father, who has a huge amount of experience with building, and loves projects such as this.

After much research, I settled on this trailer. Although I liked the "deckover" variety because the deck extends all the way to the edges of the 8.5' total width of the trailer, they were too high off the ground. The height would have taken precious head room from my loft space, as the total project must remain under 13.5'. While other trailers are lower to the ground, the deck width is typically only the width that will fit between the wheels. and I needed that extra few inches on each side.

A happy compromise was found in this trailer. As you can see, the deck is below the wheel well, but it also extends all the way to the edge of the trailer before and after the fenders. I got a good deal on the trailer as the dealer was making room for 2010 models.

The dealer was kind enough to deliver the trailer to my house, saving me the cost of renting a truck. My Honda Fit would not be up to the task I'm afraid.

The next task was to remove the pressure treated boards that came on the trailer bed.My plan was to use the space underneath the platform level for insulation, thereby saving a little bit of headroom in my sleeping loft (I'm sort of tall, so every bit of space up there counts).

After removing the boards, we were ready to begin installing the layers under the flooring. I made a large order at my local lumber yard, and they delivered the next morning.

The first layer was corrugated tin, so that there would be something to hold up the insulations. The tin was mounted between the two steel C bars which make up the primary support for the trailer along the left and right sides.
With a good cobalt drill bit, the tin panels went in quite easily.

And once the panels were in place, we put in a layer of vapor barrier, and then the insulation.

Once the insulation was done, one more layer of vapor barrier for good measure...

...and the first week of building is done!

In addition to the above, we spent a lot of hours planning, measuring, setting up electric saws, shopping for materials and ideas, and debating, as well as a huge amount of learning. Tomorrow will bring the floor, and then, if the weather isn't too bad, the walls and roof over the following couple of days!