We Make Mistakes…So You Don’t Have To.

June 17, 2012 – Last weekend we began to cut our subfloor when we started to get the feeling that we had made a mistake. Upon further investigation today, it turns out that we made more than one mistake.

Mistake #1 – Our trailer wheel wells are a different size than the trailer featured in our plans. Our plans tell us that the “floor framing may need to be altered to accommodate location of wheel wells”.  In the process of kinda following the plans and kinda not (because the dimensions on the plans did not work with our trailer), we put the boards that divide the front porch area and the entrance to the house in the wrong spot. In the plans, the divider area looked centered between the porch and entry way, so that’s where we put it. Well, it turns out that the divider area goes where the port side wall ends and the door jamb begins. Oops!  No worries, we just used a grinder to cut the corner braces that were glued and nailed into place with ring-shank nails; and a sawzall to cut trough the ring-shank nails that held the boards in from the ends. After that, we cut new boards (luckily we had some scrap that was long enough) and put them in the correct location.

Mistake #2 – Again, because we had to modify our floor framing plans to accommodate our different sized wheel wells, we failed to understand the importance of placing floor joists 16 inches on center (something the plans don’t mention).   We framed our floor in three sections and we evenly spaced the floor joists within each section. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to lay the subfloor that we realized why such details are important.  It turns out, that if you place your boards 12, 16, or 24 inches on center, when you lay down a 4′ x 8′ sheet of subfloor it lands nicely on a floor joist and can be nailed down properly.  Oops again!  We have three options to correct the situation:

Option #1 – Place extra boards in the floor frame in the correct locations.

Option #2 – Move existing boards to the correct location.

Option #3 – Cut the subfloor so that it lands on an existing board.

We’re leaning toward option #3.

I’ll shortly be adding my brother Chris to my speed dial, as he has been invaluable to our building project.  He has taken numerous phone calls and Skype sessions to help walk us through details and remedy our goof ups. After the last phone call today when I told him how frustrating of a day it had been, he kindly told us that this will be one of many frustrating days and that any mistakes we make can be fixed.  I had been starting to fear that at the end of this project we would wind up with a house unfit to live in, but as long as Chris keeps answering his phone, I think we’ll be okay.

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Categories: Floor, Framing | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “We Make Mistakes…So You Don’t Have To.

  1. Cringe! I’m so sorry you guys, these floor framing days were super hard for me too. My dad and I nearly had the same problem with the wheel wells as ours were not only different from the plans, but also from each other (I suspect this may be fairly common on flatbeds).

    Somehow we averted disaster, but you’ve reminded me that I should evdeavour to mention not only the important things I do wrong but also the important things I almost do.

    Are you guys working off of Tumbleweed plans then I take it? They can be bafflingly unclear, so don’t feel bad! If you should have any tiny house questions, feel free to ask! I’d be happy to help out if can 🙂

  2. Kimberly Smith

    Ah yes, you aren’t the first to make the mistakes you’ve made. And as you continue – only you will notice/see the blunders that add to the character of the place – It’s going to be beautiful, and fully fit for living. Loving your updates!

  3. Don’t get too stressed out. Everyone makes mistakes when trying something new. When I look back at the first pair of trousers I ever sewed… Ok, let’s not look at the back of those pants! And so it is with houses. Glad your brother is available to give advice, love, and support.

  4. Thank you everyone for the supportive comments. And Ella, we’ll be in touch! 🙂

  5. Kristie

    I say no big deal, you guys aren’t professional builders! All of these mis steps will just make you appreciate your house even more! And these mistakes now will help you learn for what is coming (walls and how to place boards…)Thank god for your brother! Think how skilled you’ll be later in life! Cripes, you even mentioned a TYPE of nail!

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