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!