Yesterday was Day 1 of the tiny house build and despite a few setback (there are always setbacks!) we made good progress. We started out the day by leveling the trailer (so fun to do that with John's awesome laser level!) and checking the trailer for square. (Wright Trailers did a great job on this trailer!) We did some tool orientation and safety so we could ensure that we're all on the same page and ready to roll. Then we measured and cut our pressure treated plywood as the undercarriage...
Today we celebrated the hard work, incredible creativity, and mad building skills of our students as we wrapped up Tiny House Design-Build. As I've noted previously in Less is More Wrap Up and Tiny House Design-Build Wrap Up, Presentation Day feels like Xmas morning to me! Watching the activity of the design studio the night before Presentation Day is a bit like hanging out in Santa's workshop on Xmas Eve. It leaves one with a night of excitedly disrupted sleep, curiosity brewing about what will be revealed the following day.
Over the past two days of Tiny House Design-Build we've been busy on the build site with safety and tool orientation, insulating the wooden floor box of our trailer, and framing our first wall. In the studio we've explored design considerations ranging from siting, climate, and massing to codes, regulations, and what to look for (and ask for) when ordering a tiny house trailer.
It's been a very productive week for our tiny house, T42. (It's also been a very exciting week for Isha and I because we made A Big Announcement!) This week, with the help of a few friends and a couple Tiny House Sidekicks, we managed to install the sleeping loft, the studio pocket door, the bathroom pocket door, the studio wall, the access hatch for our loo bucket, and do the first coat of paint on the interior of our little house.
Yesterday Isha and I rallied a group of friends for Build Day #17 to install our French doors. We were eager to get our little house dried in before we moved it out from our covered build spot. It was great having a bunch of strong backs and clever brains for our door install. And it was especially nice to have Russ join us since he's a contractor and he was able to teach us some great tricks!
T42 has windows! Hip, hip, hooray!
They were two weeks late, but our windows finally arrived yesterday afternoon and with the help of my Tiny House Sidekick Meg and my friend Sarah we got them all* installed in an afternoon!
*Okay, well not quite all of them. Our hiccup on windows is that one of them was misordered. More on that in my next post...
On Wednesday, which was Build Day #14, we continued our exterior work with waterproofing quality control, instilling our rainscreen, and installing the first of our exterior trim. Our day started out with sealing up the space between the SIPs and the fenders with backerrod and a liquid-applied sealant. Air sealing is important for energy-efficiency and moisture management so it's nice to have this little step done. We also installed a few SIPs screws from the exterior through the SIPs and into the ledgers that hold up our storage loft. Now it's secured into the wall SIP from both sides. These were two little steps closer to being dried in. Once the windows and door are in we'll be able to be actually dried in and that's really exciting!
Next we started putting up our rainscreen system. "Rainscreen" is a tricky term because it makes it sounds like you're adding some sort of screen to the house to protect it from rain. The reality is that a rainscreen is almost a lack of things. It's negative space. Basically, a rain screen system - which is designed to protect your house from getting waterlogged and rotting - is a gap created between the exterior siding and the water resistant covering your sheathing. Unfortunately, linguistic matters get a bit more complicated by the fact that there is often bug screen involved in a rainscreen system! I'll try to break it down. Here we go!
In our case the wall system is structural insulated panels (SIPs) covered in a layer of R-Guard Cat 5, which is a liquid-applied water resistant barrier. We then stapled 3/8" cedar lath over the waterproofing layer, leaving the bottoms loose so we could add bug netting at the bottom. When we're ready to put the siding up we'll attach it to the lath strips and into the sheathing. (Since we're using SIPs we don't have to line up with studs, but if you're doing stick framing you do want to line up with the studs!) Installing the lath gives us a gap between the siding and the water resistant barrier so that any water that might get behind the siding can drain away. This provides a little breathing and airing out space which makes your siding more durable and protects the structure of the house from having waterlogged siding boards sitting right against it.
After the lath was up we picked up some bug netting (the fiberglass kind you'd use to make a screen for a window or screen door) and cut it into long strips. We tucked these under the bottoms of the lath, wrapping up a few inches on both sides, and then stapled the bottoms of the lath into place to hold the netting in place, too. We now have a screen at the bottom of the house behind the bottom trim board so that water can drain out but bugs can't get in!
Once the rainscreen was up we could install our bottom trim boards, so we wrapped up the day by installing our first trim boards. Woohoo! It's starting to come together!
The windows didn't arrive today as anticipated and they're now a couple weeks late. Fingers crossed that they come tomorrow!