Friday, March 28, 2014

Let the framing begin!

When we first decided to build our own tiny home, it seemed like it would take forever to get to the framing part.  Yet here we are!  Framing!  To see the walls coming together is incredible.  My husband is quite amazing at all things and this is no exception.  He has been working during the week to get them up without my help.  And he's gotten a lot done in just a few days. 

He put down the flooring for the bed platform.  We used 1/2 inch plywood since it's going to be covered by the bed.  Nothing fancy. 

Laying out the by one.

All cut and ready to be screwed together.

One side up and another ready to go into place.  The hubby rigged up a nice support for holding them in place while he works.  Along the side of the trailer are slots for tie downs and such.  A 2x4 fit in them perfectly. He used 2x4s to hold the wall steady and then put a screw in the top to hold them in place temporarily.  Pretty ingenious, no?   

Second wall up!  You can see the support 2x4s peeking up over the top of the wall. 

 Better picture of his supports and how they hold everything in place for him.

Lucky came around again to offer a paw helping out. 

We left the tarp down over the floor to protect it while we finish building.  We'll cut it out against the wall when done. 

The hubby used 16 foot 2x4s to help true up the walls so he could finish screwing them in place.  Everything came out square and pretty! 

The walls of the bedroom platform are resting against the back there.  They will be put in place the next dry day we have.  Rain has arrived for the next few days. 

Not a bad start for only a few days.  The speed in which things keep moving along is still amazing me.  I am impatiently looking forward to move in day but it seems much closer now than ever before. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

I have a hard time staying in one place for too long.  I get this need to pack up and go and it's so hard to ignore it.  It starts small like a tiny whisper in my mind then festers into a demanding shout for change.  I've always quieted the shout with moving into a new apartment or by changing something reasonable.  Large scale change didn't always seem feasible. 

My need to move started when I was born.  I was born into an Army family.  I was born in Texas but left there when I was little more an maybe a year old.  Since then, it's been a constant change every 3 or 4 years.  I was even lucky enough to spend a good chunk of my childhood in Germany.   As a child, I thought I hated moving so much.  Not growing up with the same friends seemed a curse.  Did I really ever fit in?  Military Brats will know what I mean.  As I got older, I realized that not fitting in wasn't that big of a deal.  I always got to be me and developed friendships that have lasted throughout the years.  Moving and having to start over made me more resilient and helped me overcome my shyness. Not to mention all the new adventures I had in new places.  Living in Germany was amazing.  I loved all the history and wonderful things about the country.... yes, Polka is one of them! 

Since I got out of the Army, I have been stuck in Georgia.  Yes, stuck is how I feel.  I moved here to be closer to the man that became my husband.  We stayed here because he had a good job and family here.  We both were unhappy about it but we stayed.  Years passed and yet we stayed because it was easy.  We have dreamed of moving, buying land somewhere and building a cabin but the funds to do so did not exist. 

The solution came to us last year.  We could build a tiny house on wheels and move around the country!  We wouldn't have to worry about houses to rent or buy (land rentals are very cheap in most areas) and could easily pack up and move if we hated an area.  Making our tiny home off grid frees up all the extras we pay for every month, on top of rent.  We realized we could save a LOT of cash and still be able to live a good life. 

When you living expenses are cut down so drastically, you can survive on a lot less.  Meaning you can work part time or full time at less pay and still be happy.  Which means you do not slave away to pay for material possessions you do not need and to keep a roof over your head.  This is our solution for our life.  We plan  to move around and see different states in our tiny home.  We want to be able to take the time to go camping and hiking as much as our hearts desire.  We plan to work less stressful jobs and just enjoy life.  That is why we are building our tiny home.  This is our life and we welcome you to it.  It may not be for you but you can always visit! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We've been floored!!

Oak flooring, that is.  We had a very nice weekend.  Sunny and mid 60's...a little windier than we would have liked but still an great weekend.  We got the floor installed and the deck boards in also.  It was a hard work weekend..and I do mean hard work!  My muscles are still screaming at me today.  But my floor looks gorgeous and that's all that counts! 

We wanted a heavy duty floor so we used 12inch wide by 1 3/8 inch thick oak trailer floor.  The kind they use in semi trailers. We were able to get 6 13ft long pieces for free from a family member...which covered about a third of the floor.  We then ordered the rest in 16ft long pieces.  It was heavy!

It comes shiplap cut. Which allows for closer seams and helps make it sturdier. 

To strengthen the joint where the two boards meet, we cut a 1/2 inch grove and glued in a piece of 1/2 inch plywood.  The opposite board has a groove in the connecting end to mate up to the first.  

 The flooring had a small ridge down the sides to leave a gap in the floor when used on semi trailers.  We did not want that big of a gap so we had to chisel it off both sides of the board before installing it.  Took a bit more time but the seams look fantastic!

We had a helper Saturday.  Lucky, our friend's cat hung about most of the day.  He enjoyed climbing all over the wood and the trailer as we worked.

First row done!  We used 5/16 countersink self tapping screws to bolt down the floor to the steel cross beams underneath.  We were going to cover the screw heads up later but I found I loved the rustic look of them showing.  So they will stay visible under the varnish.

Slowly coming together board by board.


Halfway there! 

Shadow play! 
Break time so we decided to goof off a bit. :)

We ran into a snag towards the end.  One of the salvaged pieces we got was not cut right.  The ship lap was off by 3mm leaving a big gap.  We left it for last since the space was a bit narrower than the others.

We had to cut off a small section the entire length of the board with the circular saw, set at the proper dept.

We had to then chisel off the cut part flush with the ship lap, making it the full 1/2 wide. Since the last row had to be ripped a bit narrower than the others, it worked out perfectly. 

  And I couldn't be happier. 
  I love how it turned out.

I love how the tree's shadow falls on the finished floor.  Just had to get a picture or 3!

We had enough time to put down the deck boards also.  We have a porch roughly 5ft by 8ft on the back that will be covered by the roof.  We used 2x8 pressure treated wood and left gaps so that rain and dirt won't collect on the porch. 

We put down a 10 inch wide piece of aluminum flashing the full length between the deck and house floor.  The underside is angled down to help water run away from the house wall.  The top part will be nailed to the inside of the front wall under the bead board. 

Now that the floor is done, we can start to get our lumber list together and buy the framing materials!!  We will be getting the windows very soon also.  It's starting to fall together slowly but surely! :)