September 30, 2012 – Several weeks ago, we planned for the last weekend in September to put up the walls, the roof, and get the windows in. We realized these were lofty goals, especially since everything seems to take us a little longer than we’d like; however, Pete asked his parents and one of his brother’s to come up and help us tackle the tiny house raising. As to be expected, our lofty goals went to the wayside. Two weeks ago, Pete got called out to northern Minnesota to fight wildfires. He wasn’t due back until Saturday the 29th, so his family made other plans. Pete ended up coming home a few days early and the weather was supposed to be great this weekend, so we decided to proceed as planned. Thankfully, Pete’s co-worker, Vince, came to the rescue. We knew we couldn’t get the whole house up in one weekend without a lot of help, so we decided to just tackle the walls and buy some heavy-duty plastic to cover the house with until we can get the roof on.
For several weeks our roofing, skylight, and loft beams had been sitting at ProBuild and our windows came in a little over a week ago. We decided to wait and have everything delivered at the same time which was scheduled for Friday afternoon. We ran to ProBuild in the morning to pick up some heavy-duty plastic, and an assortment of structural screws for putting the walls up; and also to give them a large sum of money…windows aren’t cheap.
We also decided to move the build site to our current residence. Since June, we have been occupying half of Jeff and Cindy’s garage and we are so grateful for their hospitality. However, the folks who own the home that we are staying in, moved a bunch of their stuff out and we have an empty garage to work in. We also thought, that by having the tiny house just outside, we might be able to work on it in the evenings and not just weekends.
After leaving ProBuild we ran to Jeff and Cindy’s to start gathering our tools and building supplies. We waited for our delivery of other supplies and then went back to Jeff and Cindy’s to move the trailer with all the walls stacked on top. Once we got the trailer to our place, we had to start installing the scissor jacks so the trailer could be leveled.
We were drilling through steel, so we needed a small 1/8″ drill bit to start the hole and then an 11/32″ bit to get the final size. We started with the front jacks because there was only one good place to put them and it didn’t require modifying the trailer. We placed the jacks under the trailer and raised the jacks until the trailer just started to lift off the ground. Then Pete marked the location where the holes needed to be drilled. He drilled both holes with the smaller bit and then drilled out one of the holes with the larger bit. When he went to drill the second hole to the final size, the drill bit was already dull. We managed to get the second hole drilled out and the one scissor jack installed, but had to call it a night because it was getting dark. We were also going to have to pick up some new bits the next day to get through three more jacks. The jacks that were installed on the back of the trailer had to be placed in the location that originally stored the loading ramps that came with the trailer. Because of that, we had to grind off steel plates on both sides that held up the loading ramp. Long and boring story short and many drill bits later, we managed to get all the holes drilled and all jacks installed.
Meanwhile, while Pete was working on the scissor jacks, Vince and I got to work cutting the window openings on the smaller walls.
It took us until 4pm Saturday to get the last of the jacks installed and the window openings cut. At this point we had to make a decision on whether or not we should start putting up walls or wait until tomorrow. We decided to proceed and started with the heaviest of the walls. This was no easy task, as the longest wall was super heavy and had to be picked up and set down so that the rebar would come through the holes on the bottom plate. With a little forethought, some concrete blocks, and a lot of luck, we managed to get the wall up and in place without anyone getting hurt. After the big wall was secured in place, the rest were a piece of cake. The next wall to go up was the second longest wall, followed by the end wall (the wall at the front of the trailer). Once these three walls were in place and temporarily secured, we called it a night.
We got a 10am start on Sunday and finished securing the first three walls in place. This required a run to the hardware store to pick up a deep well socket to secure the Simpson strong ties in place. I ran to Ace, since it’s closer to our house than Lowe’s; however, I have now learned to just go straight to Lowe’s. I stopped at Ace for a nut driver and the deep well socket. I brought with me our socket wrench so that I could get one that was compatible with our wrench. I’m pretty sure I knew more about tools and Ace itself than the kid helping me, which isn’t saying much. We found a deep well socket in the right size, but it didn’t work with our socket wrench. So I came home with a regular wrench instead. The wrench was too long to fit in the space and wasn’t working and Pete and Vince told me that there is an adapter I can get to make the deep well socket fit into our socket wrench. So, off I went to Lowe’s this time as I didn’t trust the kid at Ace to help me find the adapter. Another long and boring story short, I got the deep well socket and the adapter and we were able to secure the walls to the Simpson strong ties. We got the remaining walls in place and all the walls went up fairly smoothly. However, another trip to Lowe’s was necessary as we were two nuts short for the Simpson strong ties. It was at this point, that we were so grateful to be living closer to town than when we first started this whole project. Prior to current residence, it would have been a 1/2 hour drive to Lowe’s.
We got back to the house and needed to get the house wrap on. We had purchased a roll of house wrap a while back, but a co-worker of mine had a couple leftover rolls that he said we could have so we had the ProBuild delivery driver take back the roll we had purchased. We picked the partial roll of the house wrap that looked to have the most on it and started with the shorter of the long walls; the roll had just enough to cover this wall. We decided to proceed anyway and that’s when we learned how difficult it is to put up house wrap. The house wrap was not going on well. It was wrinkled, we had a big crease, and then put a hole in it when trying to fix the crease. At this point we decided we were going to need to buy more house wrap anyway and ripped the sheet down to start over. For the final trip to Lowe’s, I ran and picked up a new roll of house wrap and some smaller sized staples as the ones we were using were bigger than they needed to be.
The learning curve is pretty short as far as house wrap goes and when I got back with the new roll, we had a new plan and determination to get it right this time. The final long and boring story short, the house wrap went up the second time without any issues. By this time we were all a little tired and ready to call it quits but we still had to get the heavy-duty plastic and a tarp over the house to protect it until it has a roof. This too, is not very exciting so I’ll let the pictures tell the rest.