Build: Days 17 and 18

The order of the day was W A L L S ! There are (some) interior walls now, you guys! This thing is starting to look like a house and less like a build site.

1) Insulation, insulation everywhere. Jeff didn’t love working with the denim: he says it’s really hard to cut and very dusty (“I had to blow my nose for two days to get all the blue stuff!”) So, Jeff, here is where I say in print that I am very sorry. I am still in love with it, though. It is soft, it stays between the studs just with friction (you don’t have to glue it on or anything), it really really really warms the house up, it really deadens sound (the house is set up about 50 feet from a major highway, and you can no longer hear that at all if you’re in the house. But, you know, just fyi if you’re ever working with the stuff.Everything is insulated though now: walls, ceiling, pipes, everything. Yay!
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2) Then we put a vapor barrier up on the outside of the insulation: a vapor barrier is just semi-permeable plastic (or something like that) that keeps any sneaky moisture that gets in from settling on your wallboards, and thus, it helps prevent mold. There are lots of really fancy vapor barriers out there, and they’re generally in the $60/ 9×12 section price range. However, a) they are all some variant of plastic sheeting, b) there isn’t anything commercially I can find that doesn’t off-gas, and c) they’re all about 2 mils., so we skipped all of that completely and bought six heavy duty 2 mil clear plastic drop cloths. $2.98 each, for a total savings of $342.12. That would be slightly more than half of cost of the fancy fridge I splashed out on. Yay!

Installation was easy as pie: I just staple-gunned the plastic right onto the studs all over the whole house (ceiling, too) and then cut out spaces for the electrical sockets and windows. If you’ve ever seen Dexter, my house looked unsettlingly like one of his kill rooms after I was done (it’s half done in the picture: I finished it up today.)

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3) And then the wallboards started going up! Based on your suggestions, I went with ply instead of beadboard, and that was SUCH a good call, I think. The ply is lovely. I really, really like it. My plan has been to paint it white, but I have to say, I actually kind of love the look of the ply and am toying with the idea of just doing a coat of clear poly and leaving it as-is. The color is really warm and nice, and the surface texture almost looks like linen (the boards themselves are perfectly smooth.)

The boards aren’t caulked yet, so there are some gaps, and there’s no molding, obviously, but this will give you a picture of what it looks like. If anything, it is a little rosier in person, kind of a soft pinky-brown. It looks kind of….sophisticated, which is such a weird thing to say about unfinished plywood.
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I’m a little squirrely about leaving it as-is: with all the love and respect in the world for cabins (my favorite house in the past ten years was a cabin!), I don’t want it to feel cabin-y, and with the bamboo floors, it might feel like a surfeit of wood. It sure is pretty, though. Options right now are 1) paint everything white, 2) paint most of it white and leave a wood accent wall up in the loft (and maybe keep the bathroom natural) or 3) leave it all natural.

I brought a scrap piece of wallboard home and am going to try out some samples of white on it tonight (plus the clear poly), just to see how it looks. If any of you have the kind of Serious! Opinions! about white paint that the entire internet apparently has, I will tell you that the colors I got are Benjamin Moore White Dove, B.M. Decorator’s White, B.M. Atrium White (the color the White House is painted, apparently!) and Behr Bridal Veil (Behr paint just came in first in Consumer Report’s test of low/no-VOC paints, and it’s like half the price of Benjamin Moore). If you don’t have Serious! Opinions! about white paint, join the club, but it’s one of the internet’s favorite topics, apparently.


Other things that happened, in brief:

-2/3rds of the shower is up!
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-Front door light switch box installed
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-Hole drilled through the front wall and wires pulled through for Future! Front! Light!
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-Mom came over today and put another coat of that pretty blue on the front door plus started painting the same color under the eaves. No pictures of that, because I forgot my camera and in any case was inside stapling plastic to my kill room sleeping loft ceiling, but it looks awesome.

-I bought some flooring for the bathroom floor. Did I mention that we discovered that we couldn’t tile after all, based on the position of the bathroom vis a vis the trailer? Truth. And that is kind of sad, because wood’s tricky in a frequently-wet space, especially given things like the bathing of dogs in the bathroom, and if tile is out, that leaves [duh-duh-duh] vinyl. Sheet vinyl, to be precise, since tiles tend to come up in humid situations. So I wasn’t loving that, as you might imagine. However, I found this stuff called Fiber Floor, which is a vinyl composite, but has really limited off-gassing, is 80% recycled and fully recyclable, and is not all that hideous looking. Also: I found a warehouse that specialized in remnants and stocked Fiber Floor, and they had a piece that was just the size I needed (I only need 86 sq.ft for the bathroom: this was about 100) and cost thirty-six dollars. That is maybe a fifth of what I thought I was going to pay, so I am pretty pleased about it. The stuff I got looks like this: it’s got a little bit of texture, doesn’t look hugely fakey, and I think it’ll blend nicely with the bamboo (it’s about the same color).

I am sort of stoked about how scroungy I’ve been with the floors: I’ve got 2/3rds of the flooring already, and the total cost right now is $176, which is less than a buck a sq. ft. Just need to square away some flooring for the loft and then I’ll be set! The guy at the warehouse is checking into some inexpensive bamboo for me (leftover from new bamboo floors some church is putting in); if that doesn’t come through, they happened to have a laminate that looks like whitewashed barn boards in exactly the right amount I need for the loft at sixty cents a sq. ft. That is kind of an amazing deal, but I swore I’d avoid laminate of any sort with the dogs, since they are really tough on floors and I’m certain the laminate will get ripped up. That said, SIXTY CENTS A FOOT, and also, it’s not like the loft is going to be all that highly trafficked. So if I can’t get the bamboo:

A couple of big purchases coming up: I’m ordering my tankless hot water heater Monday (my mom is getting one too, after not having hot water in like two years!) Also, I’ve got to get my countertops (I’m going to do the dark gray Paperstone, which you guys liked when I polled you about it). Based on what Green Countertops Direct (the place that does Paperstone remnants) has in right now, I think I’ll be able to get 12 ft of countertop for about $100, which is pretty stupendous, since new this stuff costs about $60 PER FOOT (no way in hell I’d be able to just up and buy it from the factory, which is yet another reason I am very happy to be building small: remnants!) Tragically, shipping the counters is going to double the price: the factory is in Hoquiam, Washington, and for about ten insane seconds, I was like, “Well, what if I just drove up there and got them myself?”, though I realized quickly that that was a dumb idea. Toying with the idea of finding somebody on craigslist who can pick them up and put them on a bus for me, though.
Anyway, I love, love, love the house. I am so happy, you guys.

Build: Day Fifteen & Sixteen

Progress update!

1) Painting! I finished painting the exterior finally, even the super annoying stuff way up high (my mom came the last day and helped with some of the extra-extra annoying stuff, which was a lifesaver). Verdict on the color now that it’s all on? Pretty good, especially with the white trim and the…..

P A I N T E D D O O R!
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I am so pleased with the former Sadness Door! There was much talk of red in the comments, I know, and that was what I was considering for a long time, but when push came to shove,
a. I was still missing the blues, and
b. more practically, I had a lot of blue paint that I’d already paid for left over from when I was trying out samples.

Sadness Door is now painted Sherwin Williams ‘Rainstorm’, one of the colors I was considering for a whole-house color. In person, it is a really gorgeous Prussian blue and I am totally enamored with it. Mom painted the door: it needs another coat yet, but I’m nuts about the way it looks. Same color is going under the eaves: I am told by my Sicilian father that blue under the eaves is Italian Good Luck, and who am I to argue with that?

2) Got the rest of the trim up around the windows. Yay! Trim needs a little going-over in spots: there were some places that accidentally got hit with the house paint color, and some raw ends I apparently didn’t do, but it’s looking pretty good! Here it is on the boring side of the house (just imagine it with a slat screen someday.)
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…and in the back, where I never take pictures.
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The flashing has a ton of paint on it–I couldn’t really get it successfully taped off–and at some point, I’m going to need to get back up on the ladder with a wire brush and get it off so I have nice neat, shiny, galvanized lines. But, you know, just imagine that part.

3) Plumbing! On Monday, Jeff ran the plumbing. But I have no in-progress pictures of that, because I was in Phoenix. I had a couple of good reasons for abandoning my happy little build site and a fun day of learning about plumbing, though, the biggest being:

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I unashamedly love Ikea. I love basically everything about it. I love convertible furniture, I love their cool kitchen stuff, I love wandering around in their “Here is how you can comfortably fit a family of four in 468 sq. ft!” displays. I love the little Scandinavian food area and I love eavesdropping on couples getting in relationship-ending fights over which finish they want for their Snedlar. Love it!  My Ikea mission this time included sinks (bathroom and kitchen), fun kitchen organizationy things and a foldup table. And indeed, I got all those things! But the other reason I had to brave Phoenix was to pick up my denim! insulation! The story of why I had to brave Phoenix for insulation is long and boring and I promise you that you don’t need a rundown of what quantities Lowe’s does and does not carry and how they will order it: suffice to say, if you want a small amount of denim insulation, you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it, and you live near a recalcitrant Lowe’s, you might find yourself driving to the surprisingly small factory where Bonded Logic (the company) makes all the denim insulation (aka Ultratouch) in America. The good news for me is that that happened to be within driving distance (I won’t go over the bad news, but suffice to say, it rhymes with ‘Screenix’). This company, PS: is kind of amazing–they pulled two bags, which is a smaller quantity than they normally sell but all I need for the houselet, off the production line for me, and then they gave me the wholesale price since I drove up there. Their product is great, but they also were pretty terrific.

Educational segment! Would you like to see what a denim-insulation-making factory looks like? It looks like this!
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Educational question: is it possible to get two enormous bags (measuring 236 linear feet) of denim insulation into the back of a 2006 Scion xa? Yes, you say? Well, what if you have a pit bull in the front seat? The answer, surprisingly, is yes again, though barely!
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[
My car is the greatest. There is basically nothing you can’t fit in it. I bet you could get like six dozen clowns in there.]

Once I got that, there was a brief lacuna when I attempted to buy a compact dishwasher from a crazy hoarder on Craigslist (verrrrry narrow paths through house, towering inferno of madness everywhere else). The dishwasher turned out to be not compact enough for me (or my very-stuffed car), but I say again: Craigslist is an amazing introduction to a vibrant crossection of humanity that you might not otherwise get to witness.

And then: Ikea, where I found everything I was looking for: kitchen sink, which comes with an awesome strainer basket that goes over the small bowl and a cutting board that fits snugly into the larger bowl, adding significantly to my kitchen prep space (and you all know I’m a sucker for robot furniture). Dish drainer that can hang over my sink, harmlessly letting dishes drip into the sink itself, and then can be folded up when not in use. Bathroom sink, which I think is going to sit parallel with the giant window in the bathroom (solving my picturesque toilet problem). Magnetic knife rack. Folding table, which looks better in person, and hey, it’s a tiny house classic for a reason. Then I ate mushroom crepes and strange, delicious Swedish sparkling elderberry cider and felt happy, even though I was still in Phoenix.

And did it all fit in my magical car, even with the denim insulation and the pit bull? Well, obviously!

W. kitchen sink and table
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W. bathroom sink + pit bull
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When I got home, I quietly chucked the insulation in Jeff’s car (it pays to have your contractor live nearby) and went to bed.

Today I was also largely away from the build site: I went to Gersons with my mom to get faucets, and it turned into kind of an epic trip. But I did go down and take pictures, and as always, Jeff has been hoppin’.

Walls mostly insulated
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Insulated ceiling
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Here’s Nellie sitting on a pile of denim insulation, neatly illustrating why I wanted it in the house in the first place.
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Plumbing! (hole there=toilet pipe opening)
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Tomorrow was supposed to be Interior Walls Day, but when I got home, I realized that one bag of my insulation is actually the wrong size (which I should have caught yesterday but didn’t, due to the fact that my car was one big blue mass after the insulation guys loaded it up). So Plan of the Day is to figure that out so we can finish insulating the last of the walls. I assume that while I’m doing that, Jeff’s going to start putting the wallboard up on the walls that have already been insulated. I forsee more painting in my immediate future, though hopefully not another drive to Phoenix.

*ETA: I just talked to the awesome lady at Bonded Logic, the insulation place, who apologized for the mistake about 75 times and told me that they’re going to send a courier (!!) from Phoenix to my town with my new insulation today. That is going to cost them an arm and a leg, and it puts them into my current Hall of Customer Service Champions. Seriously, these guys are just terrific. If you build a tiny house, may I suggest Bonded Logic’s Denim Ultratouch Insulation? It is more expensive then fiberglass, but a million times better on basically every metric, plus it is not going to poison you, plus the company is delightful. Talk to Elizabeth, she is the greatest.

Build: Day Six

Now that I have (nearly) all of my exterior walls finished up (waaaaaalls!), today was the day to start on the ceiling framing (we just did the front section of the house today). This was weirdly fun, even though it involved a LOT of sawdust in the eyes.  I have learned a ton from this build, but today was especially like OJT Woodworking School; this was in part because almost everything we did today had an identical copy of (we were framing two identical small ceiling sections), so the way things evolved is that Jeff did one thing, then I watched him and tried to duplicate what he did for the second thing. Fun! Jeff and I talk very little during the build (Jeff, who is a very nice guy, is nevertheless not a talker). Also, the generator is loud, and makes it hard for anybody to hear anybody. So we conducted a lot of today’s Intro to Ceiling Framing in mime: Jeff would do something, and then he would mutely hand me some wood and a pencil and a power tool and I would copy it. It was in this manner that I learned how to make rafters.

But before we even get to rafters, let’s talk ceiling beams! (sorry! FUNNEST BLOG EVER, right?)[Oh, PS: Sorry for the picture quality today: I realized when I got there that I’d left my camera’s battery in the charger at home, so all of these were taken with an elderly iPhone that features a half-busted LED.]

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So apparently there are two ways you can go with beams: you can either get huge, heavy thick cut pieces of wood like you might see in a mead hall of the sort featured in an early Anglo-Saxon text called “How To Slaughter A Thousand Men in a Mead Hall”. Orrrr, if you’re working in primarily 2x4s (like we are), you can take two 2x4s, glue them together with hard core construction adhesive, fire a bunch of nails in them, and boom! instant beam! This has the benefit of still being strong without being so heavy that it takes out your entire ceiling (though they’re still pretty heavy: I was lifting them over my head all day and now my shoulders are mad at me.)

Step one: glue (this is Beam #1, which Jeff is doing, but I built Beam #2, go me!)
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Step two: Nail
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Step three: cut a little notch in the wall framing on both sides and slot the beam into that.

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Step four: profit!

Dos beams (and one thumb)!
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Actually, there’s a step 3.5 in there: cut down the temporary lintel over the door that held everything together, pre-beams. Once we cut it down, I put it to the side and said to Jeff, “I’ll just put this over here in case we have to fight any orcs”, which I am telling you about now because it ACTUALLY GOT A CHUCKLE OUT OF JEFF! This was the greatest accomplishment of my day.

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Next, we cut the rafters, fourteen little ones that sloped down just on one side (for both eight foot ceilings) and seven bigger ones that sloped on both sides (for the 10 foot ceiling). Cutting rafters is so fun!

Jeff did a little measuring, then drew out a the shape he wanted the rafter to be on a 2×4 (you can just see that in the picture): he cut that shape out and then used it as a template for the rest of the rafters.

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This went very fast. Here’s our pile-o-rafters:
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Then we arranged them from the side of the house to the beam and nailed them in.
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This all was done up on the ladder: when Jeff was installing his side, instead of putting one rafter up, coming down the ladder, moving the ladder, going back up with another rafter, etc., when he was done, he just kind of did a pull up on the ceiling beams, then I moved the ladder a few feet, then he pulled himself over a few feet monkey-style until he could get his feet back on the ladder. When it came time for me to install my side, I just went up and down the ladder a lot, because I found that that shit was way beyond me. Jeff is kind of a superstar. I didn’t leave him hanging on the ceiling so I could get a picture–that would have been unkind–but here’s some more monkey stuff up in the ceiling.

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I believe in that picture he is tiptoeing on one foot on the ladder and has the other foot just braced somewhere in space. BEST CONTRACTOR/MOST INSANE CONTRACTOR!

Right set of rafters installed
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Left set of rafters installed! (that is MY SIDE!)
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Next, we had to build  the inner edges of the eight foot ceilings up a bit, so the rafters for the ten foot ceiling would have something to rest on. One of the best lessons I learned in Woodworking School today was that if you have a complicated section to frame out, especially if it’s anywhere higher than at eye level, it makes the most sense to build the section on the ground and then just lift it up and install it.

…which is why Jeff is building these little hold-the-ceiling-up boxes on the ground
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Once that was built, we lifted it up above the eight foot ceiling (harder than it sounds!) and nailed it in
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After that, we had a level base on which to place the bigger rafters (the ones that go over the ten foot ceiling.) See how they’re resting on the new box we built on the ground? Incidentally, I don’t know WTH Jeff is doing there, but it apparently involves some epic veins.
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All three sets in!
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EPIC CEILING SHOT!
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[Does the ceiling make a little more sense now? I was having trouble really explaining it yesterday]

The whole shebang
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And then we called it a day, because come on, that’s awesome.

Oh, also: I have had another failure in The Battle For Denim Insulation, which is that the lady from Craigslist that had a bunch of extra denim wrote me today and said they’d run into problems with their build and were actually going to be using all of their insulation after all. And of course, I could just buy it from an actual store, but that starts getting somewhat spendy. We’ll see how it goes; right now, I am trying hard to convince myself of the merits of rigid foam board. The labeling on the side is trying hard to convince me that it is awesome!
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Which, whatever, foam board, I know that you are functionally non-recyclable and I do not care for that, though I do appreciate your relative paucity of toxic chemicals.

After the day’s fun ceiling action was over, I ran home, let the poor dogs out, threw some dogs in the car and headed up to Lumber Liquidators to help resolve my floor dilemma. I got lost in some crazy construction-related detours, ended up getting there five minutes after they closed, somehow persuaded the nice salesman to give me some samples anyway and then came home. I got samples of strand bamboo in dark, medium and light (I don’t know which specific finishes they are, since I didn’t want to make the poor guy hunt: I just asked for the first things he saw in dark, light and medium.) Had I gotten there on time, I also would have picked up some cork (which I’m considering for the floor in the loft), but as it was, I didn’t want to press my luck. Tomorrow, I am going to brush all the animals and see what their hair looks like on each of the floor samples (I may try to figure out how to get them to dig at the board too, just to gauge scratchability). Also, while the nice guy was getting me samples, I took a look at that tiger-stripe bamboo, which turns out to be a lot more subtle and pretty in person (it is interesting, but not nearly as HEY LOOKIT ME, I’M A FLOOR! as it appears in the picture.) Strong contender, I think!

Tomorrow is the last build day before Thanksgiving, which Jeff is remarkably taking off: we’re only working in the morning, but the plan is to frame the rest of the ceiling out (over the loft/kitchen/bathroom.) Yay house!

Build: Day One and Two

DAY ONE

Monday was the first day of the build, and build we did! Or rather, build Jeff did: I’m working M/Th/Sat this week. But he and my mom supervised the delivery of New! Trailer! at the build site, which went in without a hitch. At least, getting it there went without a hitch: when Mom went in to make sure she was directing the trailer delivery guy to the right place, the feed store guy told her that oh, by the way, he’d changed the space he’d initially told us we were going to get and was putting us way in the back. He made it sound like a great thing, since there was a separate fence we could shut and lock at night, more room, blah blah blah, and that was all well and good until he mentioned the one tiny little detail that THERE WAS NO POWER. Yep! No electrical hookups, and we are BUILDING A HOUSE (in a non-Amish way). And when Mom mentioned the usefulness of electricity in BUILDING A HOUSE and tried to get him to put us in the space he’d initially set up, he totally dug in his heels and refused, because all of the sudden, hey, maybe his insurance doesn’t cover it and he doesn’t want to be responsible and blee bling bloo (nearly all of the guys who work at the site are fabulous and I love them: this one guy who was on that day is the exception). Anyway, after some frantic calls back and forth between my mom and Jeff and me at work, the trailer ended up going to the power-free back lot (which is where they store their hay).

DSC09958The trailer in its new habitat
DSC09949So, there’s no power, but there is water! And by water, I mean a random utility sink propped up on concrete blocks and hooked directly into the main waterline. Stay classy!
DSC09977The sink contained many confused lizards that I had to rescue before I tried out the tap.
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I, in the meantime, did one of those things you never think you’re going to do until you’re in the middle of doing it: I rented a portable generator.

Why yes, that is a large generator in the back of a Scion xa. The Scion xa can also fit four (4) taiko drums, a queen-sized mattress set, three dogs/two cats, and all the things one might need for a year in Canada (not at the same time). BEST CAR!
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I knew nothing about generators before up and renting one for the month, and I still know very little. They are loud, they run on gas, they start up like a lawnmower, the one I got is apparently the good kind, and in southern AZ, they apparently cost $228/month plus tax to rent. The more you know! Jeff primarily needs it for his skillsaw: the rest of his stuff is generally cordless, and that’s going to solve our power needs (plus, Jeff is going to try to do as many of the cuts for the day as possible at his own house and just bring them down). Since it was only $36 bucks a month to rent the spot at the feed store, since I didn’t have a backup plan and since it would have cost money to hire somebody to move the trailer again, it seemed like the whole generator business was worth it. But that dude’s on my shit list, I’ll tell you what.

Anyway, then I went back to work, got home, went over to Jeff’s to see how things had gone (he lives next door) and found out that in the four hours I spent at work that afternoon, Jeff had BUILT AND INSULATED THE ENTIRE FLOOR. He’d just cut all the wood with a handsaw, no big deal. BEST CONTRACTOR.

BAM!
DSC09963So just for the construction-minded among you, here’s how it was put together: first, he put flashing [PS: don’t do a google image search for ‘floor flashing’–you’ll get gross pictures of Courtney Stodden] and a vapor barrier over the wood deck of the trailer, then he did a grid of 2x4s and 1x2s all across the bed of the trailer (which sounds complicated, but if you’ve ever seen a slatted Ikea bed, it basically looks like that: big center support, slats going out on both sides). That’s the bottom layer of the little stack you see in this picture (sorry I don’t have in-progress shots)
DSC09962Jeff bolted the wood frame into the base of the trailer, using the brackets that came welded onto the trailer itself: we’re also going to weld some long vertical supports to the trailer frame and when we do the walls, we’ll build those vertical supports right in (which means the trailer really is integral to the construction of the house: the house isn’t just sitting on top of it). There are crazy heavy welded wire tie-downs built into the bottom of the trailer, and if I connect those to a concrete pad when I park the house, that house is not going anywhere in inclimate weather: it’s much sturdier than a mobile home, which basically just sits on the ground, and in some cases, it’s going to be sturdier than the kind of normal stick-built house that just rests on its foundation. In this case, there’s no real structural separation between the foundation and the house.Anyway, then he insulated the floor with foam that had been lined on both sides with a reflective barrier (which is going to help both with moisture and with insulation.) It looks like this (this is just a scrap that was laying around):
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The insulation thing has really been a thorn in my side: I am trying to go as low VOC as possible with this thing, and I was prepared to make insulation kind of my hill to die on. You see, I really wanted to do denim insulation: the R-value is good, it is recycled and not full of horrifying chemicals, and you can just roll it on like fiberglass without worrying about the shards getting in your skin and lungs (it’s just jeans). Jeff really wanted to use rigid foam board: he pointed out that it was narrower (space saving!), had a comparable R-value (true), was cheaper (definitely true), and that he knew how to install it (fair): he also sort of subtly implied that he thought the denim was hippie nonsense (which, yes, but it is also totally great by lots of different practical metrics.) I countered with the fact that I had already bought some denim insulation on Craigslist (I did: not enough, but it’s a sizeable amount), and by god we were gonna use it. And then he just up and insulated the floor using the stuff he wanted to use in the first place. WORST CONTRACTOR! (just kidding, he really is the best). I am still holding out for denim in the walls, but I am grudgingly beginning to admit that there may be a place for this foam business in the floor and ceiling. AND we are using this crazy composite roll-out material on the roof instead of the nice, friendly, sounds-good-in-the-rain tin I wanted because of the way the roof is sloping. ALREADY I AM SELLING OUT!

Oh, right, back to the floor. After the insulation, he did the top layer, which in my case is a nice, marine-grade plywood (also good for keeping water out). It’s all nailed together, kind of like a very sturdy wooden sandwich. We’ve just put the floor in over the deck: we’re also going to extend it up and over the fenders of the trailer (it’ll be a little wood box, which on one side of the house will be part of the stairs and on the other side will be….architectural interest) and then over the hitch (to make a little three foot bump-out/library/bay window). That’s part of Thursday’s project. Anyway, it is quite a floor.

DAY TWO

Today I painted it! Once we have walls, I’m going to put in bamboo flooring over the plywood subfloor, so you will never see this paint job, but I did it both to help seal/protect the subfloor and to, yet again, help keep moisture out.

Please be in awe of my fancy painting table
DSC09968I decided to live large and buy myself an extendable handle that screwed onto my paint roller. Dear friends: if you ever have to paint a floor, do yourself a favor and acquire one of these. It ruled.
DSC09970Paintin’ a floor
DSC09971Mistakes were made. I did not think to bring a) an edger or b) painter’s tape, because I was under the mistaken impression that the floor would be up and over the fenders already and I wouldn’t have any detail work to do. Which meant when I got to my beautiful diamond-plate fenders, this happened:

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Diamond-plate metal fenders are not something I ever thought I would have an opinion about, but when I saw paint going on MY fenders of MY trailer, even though I knew that they were going to be covered eventually, well, I just could not have that. Had I brought a rag or a drop cloth? I HAD NOT. Luckily, I had a little piece of fleece from making dog tugs in my car, and I roped it into service, first as a rag and then as a fender cover.

Learning curve!
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Much better
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About that point, my mom came over to help, and boy, my mom does not mess around when it comes to painting. I had only painted about a third of the floor when she got there, but after she showed up, we had that baby knocked out in about 45 minutes.

Do not mess with my mom, or she will paint you.
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BOOM. Done!
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…ish. Ignore that part in the front, which requires an edger.

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Tomorrow, I shall go back and do it all over again once this first coat cures.

Jeff’s got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so he’s not going to be back building until Thursday, but on Thursday, I will be able to help, and that is when we are going to be framing out the back of the house! And then the front of the house the next time he’s there! It is going to be like a barn raising!

Here’s what the back of the house looks like right now (and also, there’s Jeff, who attempted to escape into his house when he saw me get out the camera).

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I got home and immediately jumped into working on my stove (sanded and put special high-heat enamel on the rusty cast-iron burners, polished up all the chrome with Turtle Wax: now it just needs some de-rusting on the inside, and of course to be looked at by someone who is a specialist in making alcohol stoves Not A Deathtrap). It was only when I finished that that I realized that the pool had closed, which is a problem given my mom’s eccentric notion that one does not need to have hot water in one’s house if there’s a perfectly good shower at the pool down the street. So now I am going to go, disgusting and covered in paint, to bed. Yet another of the many perils of fine homebuilding.