(Grateful for: Taking it slow this weekend)
We’re picking up from our last update, where we finished framing and joisting the subfloor:
Since we extended our subfloor frame on each side of the trailer by approx. 10 inches, to add extra floor space to our tiny house, our frame is hanging off the sides and we are now staring at the gaps and racking our brains on how to cover and weatherproof the gaps, as pictured:
We decided to go with plywood. We used 3/4-inch OSB. It soon proved to be an arduous and tedious job to cut the plywood to size and fit it around the gaps. It didn’t help that when we were welding the rails off the trailer, we neglected to ask our welder to remove all the metal hardware from the sides of the trailer, which means we had to do a lot of extra cuts to accommodate those weird metal leftovers that extended here and there on the sides of the trailer.
Tip? If your trailer has rails that need to be welded off, and you are planning to extend your floor past the trailer bed, make sure you remove all the extra metal components from the sides of your trailer. It’s a pain in the poophole to cut your plywood around the weird metal leftovers.
We used a skill saw to cut the plywood and a sawzall to make the smaller cuts to fit around the metal hardware. We fixed the plywood in place with 1.5-inch galvanized nails.
Gaps are covered:
If you look at the picture below, you’ll see that the metal leftover bit forms a big hole. Holes are not good:
Got the job done with all fingers intact:
Right side of the trailer done. Moving on to the left:
We ended up using Spray Foam to seal up all the gaps and fill out the big holes left by the metal leftovers. We plan to then wrap the bottom with housewrap to fully waterproof it. I’m not convinced this is the best option…some of the holes are more than 1-inch wide and the spray foam label says it seals “up to one-inch gaps,” but I haven’t got a better idea than this. Thoughts?
The spray foam drying into a bulbous alien-poop looking thing:
Berk was the one who finished the bulk of the work in this post, aka cutting and installing all the plywood around the trailer. I was struggling to feel involved with the project, and after repeatedly hammering my own fingers and having things break on me and being plain unable to focus, I took a self-appointed break from working the trailer this weekend. Berk, on the other hand, suffered from a massive swollen right hand (from an unknown sting or splinter) over the weekend, which he probably got during his geology field trip on Friday, where he had to hike and whack through wildlands.
I think it’s important to be cognizant of setbacks (whether mental or physical ones).
We were a little bummed that this weekend’s work went slower, and was a little more painful to get through (compared to the weekend before, where we worked full days with exquisite morales). We got short with each other. I took long naps and stayed in bed to read and refused to touch the hammer. But I was grateful that we ended up knowing how to cut our losses, and not try to squeeze ourselves dry: If we couldn’t focus on building, we would spend time talking and checking in with each other. We got each other psyched up about the tiny house again. The reality is that we study full-time and work during the week, and often have to push ourselves to get all our schoolwork done by Friday, so that we can have the full weekend to build. My schedule of teaching every day at 8am makes me pretty nutty by late afternoon, when I am faced with mountains of schoolwork, and Berk’s job has him working until midnight for part of the week. Long story short: Breaks are OK. Getting behind schedule is OK. Sanity and self-preservation is bigger than the tiny house.
In other news, I also realized that while wool insulation is everything we can ever ask for in an insulation (sustainable, renewable, natural, non-toxic, non-ozone-depleting, non-lungs-damaging, mold-free, water resistant), we probably can’t afford it. The revelation sucks, because wool’s plus points are important to us. The next contenders are denim and cellulose. Denim insulation uses post-consumer denim/cotton products aka old jeans, and cellulose insulation essentially uses old newspapers. Both are recycled/post-consumer products, but unlike wool, they still go through a production process, which means chemicals.
I’m trying to get myself excited for old jeans, but looks like it’s bummer central this weekend.