Category Archives: Framing

stick it to the floor and watch me roll

Below is the vapor barrier of 4 mil plastic that will act as the vapor barrier between the floor and the floor framing.  I just rolled it out and stapled it from front corner to back corner, being careful to pull the plastic taut at each bay.  It was kind of a pain, but just time wise.  Pretty easy, all things considered.  Also I added another 1″ of expanded polystyrene and used a hacksaw to cut this time.  Made things infinitely easier.  You sacrifice a bit of R value with the polystyrene but it has a plastic/foil layer to deflect moisture, and its way easier to push into corners as it is a bit softer and doesn’t snap if it bends.  It’s all a matter of how nice and square your framing is (mine wasn’t since I used some reused boards and some new) and how good you are at cutting straight lines 8 feet long with a hacksaw/utility knife.

Before I put the vapor barrier on, I bolted more bolts through the framing into the trailer.  This is the way to do it.  Even though the trailer had 10 or so 3/8″ diameter holes around the outside and some down the middle, these 1/2″ galvanized bolts are way beefier and better.  If I were to do this again, I’d just go ahead and skip using the holes as they are (3/8″), I’d buy a 12″ long 1/2″ diameter drill bit that can handle drilling through steel, and just make those holes a bit bigger and sink these bigger, badder-ass bolts through.  I feel OK though, I have about 20 bolts in all, around the outside, about 2 feet in on each side and then up the middle.  Be sure to measure and account for everything involved.  As you can see below, I didnt give myself much of a thread to work with, so I sunk the bolts into the wood a bit.  Once you get the ratchet on there, though, you can just crank em in.

I spent about 2.5 days straight doing the flooring.  Things I learned: use plywood no matter what, first.  Make sure if you use rough cut wood that you make your first laid board is your best 100% straight board and work everything to meet it.  Errors compound.  Use little slices of wood to fill out long cracks, and it can look OK.  Things I gained more skill in: using a circular saw to cut 1/2″ wide 12 foot long pieces of hemlock!!!!!!!

So the floor is on.  It’s rough cut hemlock, and it looks like the floor of a barn (I hope).  There are some pretty obvious “patches” where I had to fill in between cracks with slices of wood and I learned from it (and hopefully someone else out there will, too).  This is the first carpenter/lumber part that I did 100% solo.  It can get pretty frustrating.

Walls next, perhaps this weekend?

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a cushion convector

Finally got the insulation in, with much help from Chris.   That stuff sucks.  I got two different types because there were only 3 sheets left of the white polystyrene stuff, so I got some blue as well.  It is a pain to cut, especially since none of the bays were 16″ wide (the blue “scoreboard” insulation is pre-scored at 16″ and 24″).  It’s also what I saw most of the other folks using, so I went with it.  I did read yesterday that fiberglass insulation is a haven for mice, so I might want to avoid that in my walls.  I dont need mice.  Spray foam is wicked expensive, and would be a pain, really.

After we got the insulation cut and stuffed in, we sealed the cracks with sprayfoam insulation.  I didnt buy enough though, so I’ll finish that today:

Then, with the rest of the afternoon we got the sucker bolted down.  Note to self: check the diameter of the holes in the trailer before buying your bit.  I bought a bit that was 1/8″ too big, so Chris and I had to mark out two holes, slide the whole foundation, drill em, make sure the bolt fit, then mark the rest, then move, then drill, then bolt, repeat.  This was one of those pieces of working on the house where you dont get a lot done, visibly, but it’s out of the way, thank god.

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why weigh on a sunny day?

Today was sunny, and the warmest day of 2010.  And I think it broke a record for both its ability to be Epcot Center and for the actual temperature.  Tomorrow will challenge these records.  The sunrise was nice this morning, mellow (note Camel’s Hump in the bottom right of the image).


Tuesday night, Pete and I had dinner at the Bluebird Tavern in Burlington.  We both got the burger, above, which is $10 on Tuesdays–a pleasant surprise.  It’s 5 cuts of local beef, ground together, with bleu cheese, hand cut fries sprinkled with Kosher salt, and homemade aioli and ketchups on the side.  We also had some Gimlets in honor of JSK.  Fresh squeezed lime juice made these drinks dance on the ol’ t-buds (that’s taste buds).  We rearranged the entire floor plan lay out on a placemat at the bar.  I’ll work on that and post it one of these days or nights when it gets rainy and/or cold again, but it’s a great layout, much more appropriate usage of the space.

Tomorrow I will buy a table saw because I haven’t spent enough money on Phish tickets already (thanks Thursday Hartford pavilion pull) and paint and I will sand the hell out of the trailer then paint it up nice.

I stopped by ReBUILD again on my way home and they were basically out of 2 x 4’s.  Which is fine, because it got me talking with an employee and he offered to fill an order.  So, I gave him my cuts and what I need (basically 100 pieces composed of 2x4x8’s 2x4x10’s and 2x4x12’s)  He said he should be able to get most of them done tomorrow, or at least early next week.  Looks like I’ll have all of my lumber (or damn close to it) by next week, which is just exciting.  Real excitement here, folks, all at $0.20/foot, too.

That’s one thing that this project needs and provides, too–conversations.  Talking to people about projects like this is the best.  Lots of support from friends and strangers, and the conversations get you far more than the internet alone could, and it’s downright fun.  Fun is good.  Generally, I think if you’re psyched about it, other people rally behind it too.

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Filed under Framing, Materials, Tiny House

Followed the lines going south

This is the wall that will be facing south.  The two big openings are for modified sliding glass door panels that will be generously donated by the Foulk/Wasserman contingent for whom Kristen and I are house and dog sitting.

The one on the right (east) will be fixed in place, just like a normal window.  The one on the left (west) will be a sliding door much like you’d see on a barn, with the track and pulley looking things.  That way in the summer, it can be open allowing in some air, and a door to walk through.  In the summer, this wall will likely face north, which is the great thing about a house that’s on wheels.  You can turn it as the weather changes.

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I can see through the lines

I corrected the floor layout to coincide with the cross ribs on the trailer.  The joists are never wider than about 20 or so inches, which should be OK since some folks frame 24″ OC.  Any thoughts on this?  It appears there should be more framing under things like the shower in other people’s plans.

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Filed under Floor, Framing