Sunday, April 21, 2013

Subfloor Framing Completed

The build has officially begun!

Yesterday, we framed the subfloor that will be fastened to the trailer. We had a few minor hang-ups, but nothing could slow our momentum...we've been waiting too long!!

We started by studying our blue-prints for the framing design the night before and reviewing our materials list. Turns out having 6 months of time where you can do nothing but learn, and experiment, and plan and scrutinize and pays off.

Our only hang-up worth noting was the issue of stripping the screws. (Of course I got the wrong screws to begin with, but the hardware store wasn't far away, thank goodness) Each time we would try to drive a screw into the stud- it would immediately strip. Even when we pre-drilled a hole! 

We started to think that we had just got sold some cheap screws. We were solemnly ready to drive to Lowe's once again, but thanks to my Dad's friendly neighbor, Mario, we learned what the problem was. Turns out the drill we were using (plugs into the wall) was a little on the powerful side for this particular application. He taught us that those drills spin at such high speeds that the immediate change in velocity, plus the friction of moving through wood, was too much for the screw to handle- hence the stripping. He recommended we use a cordless drill, but the battery was still charging at the time; he showed us how make it work with what we had.  We needed to pre-drill, then apply great downward/inward force and drill very slowly. It worked! Trip to Lowe's averted!

And from then on, things went as they have with most every step so far- smoothly. :) Sure it took us a few hours, but we enjoyed the work. We just followed our own instructions and everything fit together like a puzzle!

Extensive planning and research really pays off.

Today, we plan to grab some re-claimed pressure treated wood from Dan's Dad- this will be used to re-inforce the trailer decking before applying the flashing and framing. Next we will head to Lowe's to grab our next round of materials. And today at my Dad's, we will mount the time-lapse camera (YAY!), re-inforce the deck, apply flashing, secure framing to trailer, and insulate!

Things are moving right along!

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  1. Greetings! My husband and I are hoping to build a tiny house in the future, and we're just in the planning stages. :) While pondering floor size and trying to figure out how to build over the wheel wells, we got a little stuck. On a trailer bed like yours, how do you secure the outer parts of the extended sides (the parts that are beyond the space in between the wheel wells)? I've spent all morning scrutinizing other builds, videos and blogs trying to figure out an answer. Any help would be great!

  2. Hi Rachel!
    That's great that you and your hubby are going to build tiny! With any trailer bed, always keep in mind the DMV restrictions for your state. In my state the max width is 8'6" so we built with that number as our guide...that is what lead to the overhang on our trailer. Many tiny house designs keep the floor within the measures of the actual trailer deck so that nothing over-hangs. There is nothing wrong with over-hang, it just requires a few more areas of thought. We wanted to do 8 feet 6 inches, because by the time the walls go up using 2x4s- the wall thickness takes about 7 inches off your interior width. ANYWAY - for a foundation that overhangs, you will want to add some 4x4s to your framing. The walls are load bearing, so that is a lot of weight to put on something that hangs, in enough time it could effectively cause the "foundation" to bow. By using 4x4s you are dispersning the weight across the deck of the trailer, away from the edge bearing the weight. We would also recommend you bolt all four corners of your "foundation" to the steel of the trailer frame. We put our foundation on and then drilled down through the 4x4, decking, and down through the steel. Then we secured it would huge bolts. Here is a post that explains a little more and shows pictures.

    Thanks for reading and good luck!

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