It’s starting to look like a house!

The morning of our next work day, I was making breakfast in the RV and could hear a steady sound of something dripping outside. It wasn’t raining at the moment, but it had showered the night before. So, I went outside and followed the noise which led me to look under the trailer. Lo and behold, water was streaming from one of the holes we drilled into the aluminum flashing! Mike’s plan to prevent water-logging had worked! Knowing this was a huge relief.

Water dripping from a hole we drilled into the aluminum flashing underneath the subfloor.
Water dripping from a hole we drilled into the aluminum flashing underneath the subfloor.

 

 

We started our morning by first installing the bedroom floor joists that were now stained and coated with polyurethane. It was pretty straight forward and went up quickly.

Look at those beautiful beams!
Check out those beams!

 

 

Next, we began building the walls for the bedroom, and here is where things began to slow down a bit due to the complexity of the design that Mike came up with. Many first-time DIY tiny home builders go with the simplest roof design possible which would be a shed style roof, or maybe a gable style roof if they’re feeling adventurous. Building roofs can be a very difficult part of the project if you don’t know what you’re doing. Some of the more intricate roof designs you may see on tiny homes are a gable style roof combined with dormers in the bedroom area. For our very first home building project, we decided to take it a step further and make a gable style roof within the dormer roof. Because of its complexity, Mike thought it best to build the walls on the floor first so we could draw out all the lines, measurements, angles, etc.

Building the walls on the floor allowed us to effectively draw their blueprints right onto the plywood and assemble them as such. Kind of like tracing.
Building the walls on the floor allowed us to effectively draw their blueprints right onto the plywood and assemble them as such. Kind of like tracing.

 

First bedroom wall -- success!
First bedroom wall — success!

 

 

By the end of a miserably hot weekend, we had all three bedroom/dormer walls up.

All bedroom loft walls done.
All bedroom loft walls done.

 

 

The following weekend we started with installing the storage loft floor joists.

 

 

Next, we installed a few roof rafters so we could get the main ridge beam up.

 

 

Then, we installed the rest of the roof rafters on the side of the house with the gable roof.

 

 

It is worth mentioning, once we got the fiasco with the floor situated, the building up to this point has gone amazingly well. All of Mike’s measurements and cuts have been accurate and everything has just fit and gone together perfectly. I think he was just as impressed as I was. And so began the finalizing of the dormer roof rafters—the most complicated portion in this whole structure. There are more angles and pieces in this thing than I can attempt to describe. To be honest, I really had no visual concept of how this monstrosity would look when complete. Fortunately, Mike had this all figured out.

As we stood up in the loft, he scribbled down some angles and measured some other things. We needed to figure out the angles in which these dormer roof rafters needed to be cut. A few minutes later, seemingly with great joy, Mike exclaimed, “Let’s go do some math!” Bleh. Into the RV we went to consult the plans and solve some problems. Twenty years later, high school math had come back to haunt me and laugh in my face. As soon as Mike started spewing words like the inverse of tangent, sine, cosine, and theta, my eyes began to glaze over. I was glad when he appeared satisfied with his results, and we were back outside where I could just fetch him things like the drill and the screw gun.

2x4s will be cut to fit into each of these four corners.
2x4s will be cut to fit into each of these four corners.

 

The opposite end of the 2x4 will rest in this outer corner that Mike is notching out.
The opposite end of the 2×4 will rest in this outer corner that Mike is notching out.

 

Installing one of the main corner roof rafters over the bedroom loft.
Installing one of the main corner roof rafters over the bedroom loft.

 

The opposite end of the rafter in place.
The opposite end of the rafter in place.

 

Bedroom loft roof rafters done. Boom.
Bedroom loft roof rafters done. Boom.

 

We've been using this miter saw to its full potential. It rocks!

 

 

The next morning, we were fortunate to have Mike’s dock-mate, Rusty, give us a hand with some of the more challenging wall sheathing. This was a huge help!

Thanks Rusty!
Thanks Rusty!

 

The neighborhood deer don't even care about the racket we're making anymore.
The neighborhood deer don’t even care about the racket we’re making anymore.

 

 

And then just like that, all the wall sheathing was done!

We finished off the weekend with attaching good ‘ol Tyvek and installing some hurricane straps.

Hurricane straps help keep the roof from flying off in high winds.
Hurricane straps help keep the roof from flying off in high winds.

 

Glad we got the Tyvek on before a bunch of rain rolled through!

Glad we got the Tyvek on before a bunch of rain rolled through!

Author: Debora Schwartz

I am a traveler, a writer, an outdoor enthusiast and a tiny house dweller.

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