Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Walls: Round Two

Reviewing the game plan.
It's almost time to raise the roof!!

This past weekend we were determined to keep up the steady pace we've been chugging along at. First and foremost, we wanted to finish both of the long walls. Well, we came damn close! If not for rainy weather, we would have stuck it out and finished the last little bit.

On Saturday morning we headed to pick up some more lumber for the roof joists. Yes, we were feeling quite ambitious thinking we were going to build two walls and raise them all in one weekend. HA! We quickly realized this after getting halfway through the first large wall. But hey, thats one less thing we will need to pick up this week.

Once again- very glad that we grabbed the bulk of our materials during the week. It does take time to select all your boards (we needed over 40 different pieces)- especially when you need to examine each one for cracks, knots, and warping. I definitly recommend this strategy to new builders- or anyone really. It really helps to us get rolling right away when we know we can just show up to the site and start.

Jake helped!

We chose to set up the house with a passive solar design, meaning the bulk of the glass is on one wall, while there is next to nothing on the opposite wall. (We actually have nothing on the back wall. More on that later.) Our tiny house has the door and the bulk of windows on a long side....usually most people design their tiny houses with the door on a short wall. While I like the "zen" flow this produces, I'm not a fan of how they look when parked and landscaped. It's only natural to have the front door be facing out into the yard space. I'd much rather have a broad wall facing anyone who approaches. Not to mention, it's important that the small side walls be sturdy- and any large door or window is going to weaken the integrity to an extent. Another aspect is that the small walls  don't allow for many options; we have a large door...so it would need to be right smack in the center. Placing a door too close to a corner is not a good idea, structurally.
Our first, "Holy Shit! It's happening!" moment...

So through a combination of reasons, we decided on what you see coming together in the little video below. We opted not to put any windows on the back long wall because:
A) A blank wall is a super easy framing job and goes quick. Just 16s on center all the way, baby!  
B) Re-inforces the passive solar concept.
C) This wall will have the wet bath and majority of closet/cabinet storage, so windows would just get in the way!
D) Building this one first gave us the confidence to do the more complicated one the next day...lol


We actually had a little help from others this weekend! My little brother, Jake, helped out until he had to head into work, then my sister and her boyfriend came over and lent a hand here and there. It was nice to have people milling around, bringing in new excitement and energy for the project. My Dad has been the most fun to watch. I think by the end of this weekend, he's now more excited than we are! haha

He was always open minded and thought it was a cool idea, but as we started building the foundation on the trailer he began to perk up more. The weekend we built the small walls, he was texting and checking on our progress because he was at work. This past weekend, he set out his lawn chair and watched us with a big grin on his face. He couldn't stop hopping up and pacing around excitedly, talking about how cool it was to watch it come together. We are so greatful for him, and for everyone who has supported us, offered advice, and given encouragement.

Next weekend, we are going to need a lot of help. We've already started extending a few "invitations"- if you will. Just kidding, we know we're asking for labor. ;) But based on the two huge walls- there's no way we're doing this alone. Dan and I thought the blank long wall was hefty...well, that second wall? With the framing for three windows and a door? HOLY CRAP. We aren't even done adding all the framing and it was a serious struggle for us to just lift and tilt that thing with any sort of control. As my little frame wobbled and struggled to muster strength under the weight, I thought of the old addage, "Many hands make for light work." --Well then, many hands we shall have next time!

Here's hoping next weekend is rain free and the walls go up!

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