Door

A Productive Vacation

Pete and I had every day last week to work on the tiny house; typically we only work two days every weekend.  While we didn’t accomplish everything we had wanted to, we got a lot of little details taken care of and are that much closer to having the exterior complete.  My mom also spent the week with us and she got busy staining boards and sealing the door when she wasn’t working her own job.

Here is what we managed to accomplish:

We installed the Denver gable trim on the back of the house, but still need to trim it at the top; we installed the soffit boards at the front of the house along with the Denver gable trim; we installed the soffit boards on the dormers; we installed the end wall trim under each of the dormer windows; we installed one 10′ 6″ section of ridge cap over the 12:12 pitched portion of the roof; we framed in the dormer windows, storage loft window, and finished framing the window opposite the porch window (we still need to frame in the porch window but we were waiting for the door to be installed first); we installed sidewall trim on one side of each dormer along with the fascia boards and Denver gable trim; we put up more corner trim in preparation for siding; we stained the porch ceiling; we sided the back of the house; and had the door installed.

We brought the door over to the tiny house for the first time since we picked it up from the door people.  My mom was going to start sealing the door and before she got there we decided to put the door in place and see how it looked.  The company that made our door did a fantastic job; however, they apparently didn’t pay too close attention to our rough opening size because the door/frame was a half-inch taller than our opening and it just barely fit from side to side.  We figured our only option was to sawzall the door header.  We borrowed our friend Eric’s sawzall and Pete went to work taking out an extra inch.  We then proceeded to put the door in place and start leveling it.  After messing around for about half an hour, we decided installing a door was beyond our skill level and had my mom call for help.  She called our long-time family friend John who runs his own carpentry business, JW Ferguson Contracting here in Marquette.  John showed up just before dark as Pete and I were still putting siding up on the back of the house.  We watched John quickly go to work and while he said we could continue doing what we were doing, we wanted to see how a door is supposed to be installed.  We had watched a few YouTube videos, as usual, but quickly admitted defeat.  While we watched John work, we realized we were on the right track to start out, but he knew the order of how to go about screwing and shimming and in no time the door was installed.  When I asked him how much we owed him, he said one hug!  Apparently that’s only his rate for long-time family friends; he has after all known me since I was a baby!  Thanks John for showing up in the evening after a busy day and installing our door!

We had really wanted to get the roof completed this week, but realized we still needed to order a few trim pieces and that would take a week to come in.  We also had to get more trim boards and since we cleaned ProBuild out of their stock of 5/4 cedar we were going to have to wait a few days for that to come in as well.  In another couple of weeks we should be able to declare the exterior complete.

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Categories: Door, Dormers, Fascia, Framing, Porch Ceiling, Roofing, Soffits, Trim, Windows | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Lull

January 21, 2013 – Happy New Year folks! It’s a good thing that “do a better job keeping up with the blog” was not one of my resolutions. Nothing has happened on the tiny house since my last post other than being covered by a giant tarp, twice.

Pete and I had the good fortune to be able to take a trip to Costa Rica after Thanksgiving for my brother’s wedding. The trip was partially funded by my dad and step-mom, so thankfully we did not have to completely drain the tiny house fund, thanks dad and Ruthanne! Pete was already downstate, so I called up Jeff to get some help covering the tiny house with the tarp before heading out of town. I thought we did a decent job securing the tarp, but when we got back from our trip, the giant tarp was lying on the ground. Luckily we still had the 6 mil poly and another tarp covering the roof; so the house was still protected. We had hopes of being able to work on the house during the winter; at the very least of getting the dormers figured out and the roof completed, but we also wanted the house protected from the elements. Especially the housewrap, as apparently the manufacturer recommends having the house sided within 90 days of putting on the housewrap. Since we knew that wasn’t going to happen, we figured at least covering the sides of the house with a tarp would be good enough. Unfortunately, it was kind of an all or nothing deal. The tarp is such a monster that it catches the wind pretty easily and needed to be tied down very securely. In doing so, it made it not worth trying to remove it to work on from time to time; so the tiny house will sit until spring.

So far, we’ve had another very mild winter. This is the third year in a row that we haven’t seen much snow. We got a few inches over the weekend and our temperatures dropped quite a bit, but we’ve only had to shovel once…and by we, I mean Pete. Although we enjoy outdoor winter activities, it would also be nice to have spring come early and get back to work on the tiny house.

We stopped in at the Modern Woodsmith a couple of weeks ago to take a peek at our door and drop off the door knob and deadbolt. I got a call today that it’s ready to pick up. It turned out so nice and we can’t wait to install it. It still needs to be sealed, which we will probably wait until spring to do.

In the meantime, we have been trying to pare down our belongings in anticipation of living in such a small space. We’ve started in the closet and have a bag of clothes ready to go to Goodwill as well as a few other odds and ends. Since not much work will be done on the house for a little while, I’ll do my best to come up with tiny house topics to write about. If you have any ideas, send them my way.

Categories: Door, Dormers, Roofing, Tiny House Living | Tags: | 11 Comments

Lofts Complete & A Roof Started

October 8, 2012 – Pete’s parents, Sid and Nancy, and his brother Stefan came up for the weekend to help us with the tiny house.  While the weather was not always on our side, we were able to get the loft beams and flooring installed (mostly) and the roof beam in place with a few rafters holding it all together.  A big thank you to Pete’s family for helping us out!  We also have to give some long overdue credit to Pete’s co-worker Eric for many tools on loan.  We’ve been borrowing Eric’s table saw and jig saw continuously throughout the project and this past weekend we grabbed a few ladders, a belt sander, and a few other gadgets.  Thanks Eric for having such a well stocked workshop and the generosity to loan out your stuff!

Friday morning, Pete and his mom stayed home to make breakfast, while Sid and Stefan and I ran to ProBuild to pick up supplies.  We ordered 3/4 Doug fir tongue and groove flooring for the loft floor which was waiting to be picked up.  We also picked up some cedar decking for the porch floor as well as cedar 1 x 6’s for the fascia; a couple boxes of nails and screws as wells as Simpson straps and hurricane clips for the rafters.  A quick stop at Eric’s to pick up the above mentioned goodies and we were ready to get to work.

It was around noon before we ate breakfast and got to work and Nancy and I left the boys to take a run to Munising to meet with the door maker.  We’re having a company called The Modern Woodsmith out of Munising, Michigan custom make our door.  The door to the tiny house is only 1′ 10.5″ wide, which makes it difficult to find a ready-made door or to repurpose an existing door.  Also, from our understanding, doors are a bit tricky to make and way beyond our skill level.  I had spoken Jason and Tim on the phone a few times and went over the design Pete and I were thinking about, but we wanted to meet with them to make absolutely sure they were familiar with our project and what we had in mind.  Their showroom was amazing and made the task of picking the type of wood for the door very difficult.  Pete wanted curly maple, but when I saw all the choices I became uncertain.  Wood has a lot of variability and while one sample of curly maple or bird’s-eye maple can be spectacular, other pieces can be lacking.  I left with all the details in place except for the type of wood.  I took a bunch of pictures of doors they had on site so Pete and I could look over our choices; we wanted to be able to pick out the actual wood for our door.  (I stopped back in there today and was able to look at some of the wood they had in stock and decided on an African mahogany.  The door will be mostly glass with a 4.5″ – 5.5″ African mahogany frame.  I have no doubt it will be gorgeous).

Meanwhile, the guys were hard at work sanding the 4×4 loft beams and framing in the door wall.  By Friday evening all the loft beams were in place, the rim boards that join the side walls to the front and back wall were in place and we were ready to install the Doug fir loft flooring.  However, Saturday morning the weather was more than disagreeable.  The forecast was calling for 80% chance of precipitation with snow in some areas of the U.P.  While we did not get any snow in our area, we did have plenty of blowing rain, sleet, hail, and even some blue skies and sunshine throughout the day.

Nancy and I decided to sneak away for a couple of hours and visit the farmer’s market.  When we returned the Doug fir flooring was on its way to being installed under our two layers of 6 mil poly and a tarp.  We were trying to keep the layers of plastic and tarp elevated slightly with makeshift posts, but it was difficult working while trying to hold the temporary roof up.  We were also having some difficulty getting the finishing nailer to work consistently.  At some point that afternoon, we decided to call it a day and see what Sunday’s weather would bring.

On Sunday the weather was much more cooperative and we were able to take the plastic and tarp off the tiny house and really get to work.  Stefan had to be back downstate for work on Monday, but Sid decided to stay and help us for another day if we would meet Nancy halfway on Monday.  It looked as though we were going to be short on Doug fir flooring, so while the guys started figuring out rafters and bird mouth cuts, I ran to Lowe’s and Menard’s to see if I could get more flooring.  While I was unsuccessful on the flooring, I did pick up some  1″ cedar tongue and groove siding for the porch ceiling.  We put up the cedar for the porch ceiling and I quickly got to work fluffing up some wool insulation to fill in the space.  Pete was still working at installing the Doug fir flooring and Sid started cutting the rafters.  We used up all the Doug fir flooring (or so we thought) and installed the sole plate in order to put up the ridge beam and rafters.  By the end of Sunday, we had the ridge beam in place and nine rafters up.  It really is starting to look like a house.

We thought we were going to be able to put in a few more hours on Monday before driving Sid to meet Nancy; however, Pete got a call about a wildfire and needed to be ready to leave at 5am the next morning.  I got up and drove Sid to Newberry to meet Nancy and when I got home I promptly looked for more Doug fir flooring that I swear I saw leaning up in the garage.  As it turns out, we had the exact amount needed for both lofts and I didn’t need to order any extra.  It was a shame we didn’t realize this earlier, as we put up the sole plate and started putting in some rafters, thinking that we would just not nail in the sole plate at the sleeping loft end.  Now we’ll have to try to slide the last piece of Doug fir flooring under the sole plate; however, if this proves to be too difficult, we’ll just cut the 20′ board and install it in two pieces.  Either way, we’re making good progress.

Because so much was happening and quite a few people were working on different tasks I don’t have the usual amount of pictures detailing each step; however, in addition to the few pictures I did take, Nancy was kind enough to act as photographer for the weekend.  Thanks Nancy!

Categories: Door, Insulation, Loft Beams, Loft Flooring, Porch Ceiling, Porch Deck, Rafters, Roofing | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

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