Walls Coming Along and Mistakes Fixed

July 29, 2012 – We always start our work weekends out with good intentions.  We plan on getting up early and getting to the job site right away.  We plan on working long hours and accomplishing a good deal of work.  Well, in reality, we work 4 – 10 hour days during the work week and never quite accomplish as much as we plan.  Such is life.

This weekend was no different.  After a leisurely breakfast Friday morning, we went to ProBuild.  Lately, it seems like we’ve been at ProBuild every Friday for at least an hour taking up Tony and Phil’s time with our incessant questions.  They talk to us in “builder’s talk” and then we ask “what’s that mean”?  Lucky for us, they’re pretty patient with us.  We thought we’d be starting on a new wall right off the bat; however, we weren’t quite finished with the first wall we built.  We assumed, because our framed in floor remained wobbly, that we would be able to square up our wall when we put the sheathing on.  This, however, was not the case.  The first wall we built had so much hardware in it, that it would not budge; which would be fine if it had been square, but it was not – we were a 1/2 inch off from being square.  We called Chris, hoping he would say that a 1/2 inch wasn’t a big deal; however, our hopes were dashed when he said to take out the screws and corner braces and get it to within an 1/8 of an inch.

All hope for the weekend was not lost though, we managed to square up our back wall, fix the rebar situation, tape out our floor plan to finalize window placement, and cut most of the studs for the shorter of our two side walls.



Categories: Framing, Walls, Welding | 1 Comment

Starting on Walls and Discovering Mistakes…Again

July 22, 2012 – We started framing in our first wall this weekend and of course in the process discovered another goof-up.  Well, it wouldn’t be homemade if there weren’t some mistakes right?  That’s my mantra I try to repeat to myself when frustration sets in.

In past blog posts I talked quite a bit about the welding that needed to be done on the trailer.  After many delays with the welding aspect, we finally found a welder who was able to get the job done.  Prior to the welder starting, he asked us to measure out how long the all thread rod needed to be and give him the measurement.  In order to do this, we put one of the pieces of all thread rod through the drilled hole in the subfloor and set a 2×4 next to it.  We then put one of the Simpson Strong Tie connectors on the all thread rod with the mounting hardware and measured to a point where we had 5-6 threads exposed.  This would be how long the all thread rod would need to be in order to go through the bottom plate of our walls and into the Simpson Strong Tie connector.

Here is where is gets frustrating.  We started on the back wall of the tiny house this weekend.  The back wall is designed to have a 2 – 2×4 thick bottom plate, as opposed to the side walls that have just 1 – 2×4 bottom plate, making the pieces of rebar too short to mount the Simpson Strong Tie connectors.  This discovery was disheartening to say the least.  Our project was started two months later than we would have liked trying to prepare for the welding portion of the project and find a welder only to now realize that after all that time we screwed up.

Well, like my brother told me during our last episode of frustration, all of our mistakes can be fixed.  Today, our friends, Kirk and Tami flew into Marquette for a day trip (Kirk has his own plane!).  We picked them up at the airport and before going out to lunch, we brought them to the build site.  Kirk has a lot of welding experience and came up with a good fix for our goof.  His solution was to cut the rebar shorter, use some permanent loctite and a coupler and piece together another length of rebar to make it the right height.  Thank you Kirk!  It’s so nice that we can fly out consultants for the project!  🙂

In the meantime, we built our first wall.  This wall was pretty straight forward.  We were able to follow the plans and other than building it as a mirror image to the plans, we did not have to make any changes.  We did discover, once the wall was finished and standing up, that the window is a little lower than we would have liked.  For my 5′ 3″ height, it’s fine, but it’s a little low for Pete’s at 5′ 10″.  Luckily it’s only the bathroom window and the other windows will be higher up on the wall.  The final touch was adding a CS-14 strap along the wall.  The plans call for this and we’re thinking it’s for added support for tornado-like conditions when the house is pulled down the highway.

Next weekend we’ll start on another wall and fix the rebar situation.

Categories: Framing, Walls, Welding, Windows | 2 Comments

New Construction Site – Here We Come

June 8, 2012 – At the end of July, our lease is up and our landlord will be moving back into her home. We didn’t want to get too far along on the tiny house knowing that we’d have to relocate so we packed up the tools and hitched up the house. Speaking of tools, Jay Shafer – the creator of the Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, claims only 14 tools are needed to build a tiny house. While we thought we were going to have to borrow tools from everyone we know, it turned out that between us and my mom we had all 14 (we did borrow a nail gun from a co-worker). A big thank you goes out to my mom for letting us raid her basement for all things useful to the project. Thanks mom!

Once we got the trailer hitched to the truck we realized we had a small problem. The trailer came with drop down supports at the back of the trailer. When we first brought the trailer home, we dropped the supports and built the floor. It wasn’t until today that we realized not only would the supports not come out, but that we also could not put them back in the upright position because the floor was now in the way. We discussed grabbing the grinder and cutting them off, but for some reason instead we decided to drive the trailer up to a small hill in the yard so that the supports would fall out. To make a long story short, it all worked out in the end, but really we should have just cut the darn things off. At one point the trailer and the truck were wedged between the barn and a spruce tree and no amount of going forward or backwards was helping the situation.  While one of the supports did come out, the other one was still on and being driven into the ground as Pete tried to maneuver the trailer.  Like I said, it all worked out in the end.

Our new construction site is in the driveway of our friends Jeff & Cindy Noble. Jeff and Cindy were kind enough to let us move the project to their house and we are so very grateful for their hospitality. Thanks Jeff & Cindy!  We’ll see how they react when we ask to live there permanently!  🙂

We had hoped to be super productive this weekend. We anticipated getting the welding done and the floor sheathed with the aluminum; however the welding supplies that we thought would be in stock were not and we are having to order materials. We did manage to get the VERY heavy floor off the trailer and stored in the garage. Just in time too! As soon as we got the floor off the rain came down.



Categories: Floor, Trailer, Welding | 10 Comments

What’s The Hold Up!

May 25, 2012 – Last weekend we continued working on the floor framing and completed two sections of the floor (out of three sections). The majority of the time was spent screwing in corner braces to all areas where two boards join. This was a long and tedious process and not very exciting, so I did not feel it warranted its’ own post.

We are now waiting on some welding that needs to be done. The plans call for some “all thread rod” (which to me looks like rebar), to be welded in various spots around the trailer to tie the floor framing and walls into the trailer frame. A fire officer who works for the DNR and has welding experience was recommended and has agreed to take on the job; however, as I type, the UP is on fire and our fire officer is a little tied up at the moment.

So, we either wait until the flames subside; or we find a new welder. I’ll keep you posted.

Categories: Framing, Welding | Leave a comment

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