What a Christmas week it has been

I know we are in catch-up mode on the posts, so we did not accomplish all this since Wednesday night.  But I feel very good about our progress in the last week.   9WKnX%FPT0eRAKgvYjpxAgThe walls and sheathing from Volstrukt arrived late Thursday, December 22nd.   Two large boxes of 1200 pounds and then a skid of sheathing for the sides and roof arrived each on a separate tractor trailer.

The driveway finished that same morning and they moved the trailer into its position.   We were eager to get up early the next morning and we were fortunate to have some of the kids home to help us out.  Volstrukt really does a nice job putting labels and instructions together.  We laid out all the pieces around the trailer jr+ScnelTsquGmm1k+62WAin their respective positions.  Before we began building, we made sure the trailer was level in all directions.   After that was accomplished, we started to put the walls up.   Instructions said to start in a corner, building out from DSC_0509there and simply connecting the panels on the trailer.   We cut some foam insulation and strips of 3/4″ plywood and placed them underneath each section.   This creates a thermal barrier and also ensures it is at the right height when we lay down the subfloor.

RYGJTlV6TgGuzRaOEVsG5AWe had flood lights going and worked until late in the evening (dinner at 10PM), but wanted to get all the wall sections at least positioned before some of the kids had to leave next morning.  We also knew it would rain so we placed our tarp over the framing, erecting some long poles in a few places to ensure the water would not pool up.

Well, the idea was the right one, the execution was not as sharp.   When we woke up in the morning, the poles had fallen and water was everywhere.   After cleanup, we adjusted our design slightly, placing temporary roof panels to make the water run off. We also rearranged the tarp, removing excess and making it tighter.  The day had been pretty rain free, but it was going to pour again that night. We went to bed exhausted but with spirits lifted and quite optomistic.

The next morning was perhaps worse than the last.  There were pools of water on parts of the tarp that were still attached. The tarp was ripped in half and there were high wind warnings in the forecast for the next day.  Challenges?  Nah, we got this.  Time to ditch the tarp.   While there were high winds coming, no precipitation for 5 days.   We folded all the tarp sections (good news – we now have several smaller tarps) and stored them away.  We used ratchet straps to secure the walls to the trailer.   Time to celebrate Christmas.

After a couple of days off we jumped back in, working on making sure all the walls were plum which meant we had to make some adjustments to the framing.  Either the trailer frame was off, the measurements I had given were off, or the framing structure was off.  No use arguing.  There was nothing to do than to deal with it, as we needed to move on.   These last couple of days have been freezing (12 degrees F this morning), but we are making great progress.  I was born in Sweden, so this is just everyday weather, but I give Julia a lot of credit as she is from Portugal.  She just put on layers and got out there.  3v5sVaXUTgKczgPKbtSrpAThe picture on the left was taken from the top of the trailer. Julia appears to have short legs and looks like “Pop” from the Rice Krispies  commercial.  She even made a hat from bubble wrap.  Nothing seems to deter her from getting the job done.  Some of the roof panels were very heavy, but that didn’t stop her.  She helped me lift and screw them in.  Such a trooper!!  Now all is leveled, bolted down, and ready for the next step.

Here is the deal.  We have tomorrow, Friday to get all the sheathing up, as it is going to snow on Saturday.  Next update will be next year.

Hope you are all having a great holiday season and wishing you and your families the very best in the New Year.


Getting ready for the build….

It has been a while since we posted last.  While we may not have had much to show, we have been very busy working through design details, discussing with various suppliers, and ordering a number of parts and components.  We pushed the design limits of what we seen in a Tiny House in various areas and it resulted in us having to leave some of the more conservative suppliers behind.

With time ticking by, we knew that winter weather was around the corner and it became clear that we would not finish the envelope (basically the weatherproof walls and roof) before the cold and snow set in.  So we came up with the brilliant idea that all we needed was to rent some space in an old barn, unused garage, or warehouse for a month or two.  We spent about a week on that goose chase.   Looked at dozen buildings, spoke to a few folks, and called and researched quite a few more.   They either did not have a 14′ door way, wanted exorbitant amount of money, or were not interested in just a couple of months.  We then thought of building a frame, but soon realized that would also be a lot of work and expense for just a very short window.   Decision made – we will just deal with the weather.

Our trailer arrived back in November, delivered from Canada by Derek at Sierra Shipping.  He was great.  It was parked in the driveway and the first task was to erect the custom made steel frame that would surround our 13′ (3.9m) open span and still allow for a roof top deck.  DSC_0494.jpgGiven it was close to 300 lbs, we enlisted our neighbor Steve to assist.  We then painted it black to keep it from discoloring.  It was not until the frame was up that we could finalize the measurements and complete the drawings and start construction of the Steel Walls.

While we waited for the walls, we decided that the driveway was not really the best place for this house as it was being built.  Perhaps the blue tarp that we draped it in made it stand out a bit in the neighborhood.IMG_3012  But the drive also slopes a lot, making it awkward to level and it took up a fair amount of room which made backing out of the garage a 10 point turn.   So we came up with another brilliant idea.  Let’s add a crushed stone driveway so we can park it in the back of the house.  It would be out of the way and it can serve as a guest house when we are not on the road.   Decision made.