Finishing the framing, preparing for armageddon (a.k.a, sheathing)
Hello all! It’s been a while. I know…I’ve left you bored and alone, brooding and staring at your screen, just hoping more posts would appear in a timely fashion. I failed you, yes. But here I am! Back!
(But first, a shout-out to some of those who have helped me recently! Thank you Sal, Art, and Luis at the Strickland Home Depot. You guys are awesome and you don’t make fun of my project. Nor do you treat me like an idiot just because I’m a woman in a construction store. Thank you to Matt and Brian at 84 Lumber, who are pretty much just kick ass. And thank you to Yfke (tiny house partner in crime) Alicia (sander extraordinaire) Chris (king of sheathing) and of course, the magical Dan, who has made this all possible!)
So, I need to catch you up on the progress of the tiny house. Due to the vague plans, the last few weeks has been fueled by google searches, calls to lumber stores, etc. I’ve gotten all of the info I needed from every source outside of the plans…and this work has kind of prevented me from having extra time to fill you in on the tiny house goings-on. But now…for your viewing pleasure: The tiny house blog continues!
So. When we last spoke, I was finishing up the framing, as seen below. The giantly thick rectangle in the front was the toughest wall – it holds the huge bay window and provides the only support for the door end of the house. So, per the plans, I went out of my way to hunt down parallam beams. What are these mysterious “parallams,” you might ask? Well, I had to google it. They are insanely heavy, very pricy, engineered wood boards created to withhold weights that no tiny house could ever really produce. And since I like safety and am a fan of overkill, I went with them. Fun fact – the vertical beams, before being cut, comprised the huge log of death that crushed my finger. I took great pleasure in cutting them into submission.
We also built a porch. Which will likely be redone, as we found that the composite porch crap is quite flexible. And by “flexible,” I mean that I hold my breath each time I step on the damn thing, hoping I don’t snap through the “boards.” I am NOT that heavy, folks. Pro tip: go with treated wood and spend the extra minutes staining it.
So. Once the beastly posts were tamed, the lower-level frame was finished. From here, I needed to add the reinforcing – the CS14 strapping around the frame, as well as the hurricane ties, which secure the frame to the trailer via the incorporated bolts. (if you look in the bottom corners of that frame in the first picture, you’ll notice a metal thingee in each bottom corner. These are the hurricane ties.)
Here’s a close up of the tie. PS…if you are building a tiny house and reach this point in work…here’s a helpful tip – if the nut you purchase doesn’t fit the bolt, the bolt is likely a “Special” bolt. This means it is not only stronger, but it is annoying, as you can’t find a proper bolt outside of a specialty store. You’ll likely need an #18 5/8 nut, as opposed to the standard #11 5/8 nut which is readily available everywhere. I found my #18 nuts at Fastenal. Just google “fastener stores,” and you’ll likely find someone who can help. Because the associates at big box stores will just stare at you and say “uhhh…I dunno. are you sure you’re putting it on right? these work.” No, sir. No they do not. Anyway…here’s another picture of the hurricane tie. Because I have another picture, that’s why.
Ok. So, after I tightened all of the hurricane ties down with the special order nuts, I put the CS14 strapping around 3 of the wall frames, per the plans. This was not all that hard, but when the box says “wear protective eye gear and gloves when handling,” don’t ignore that. This strapping is no joke. I know this, because when it was finally cut, it snapped back and simultaneously cut and cauterised a wound on my leg. I’ll wear it as a badge of home-building pride, along with all of the other dings, breaks, bruises, and aches.
<–the metal strap. This runs around 3 of the 4 sides of the trailer, and is nailed in every other space. The purpose of this is to not only reinforce the walls’ connection to each other, but to make sure that, if this house tips off the trailer while flying down the highway, it sure as hell all goes together. No wall left behind, people!
So…what with the title of this article, then? Why no mention of this “Armageddon?” Well, it’s a reference to the next step, which is both daunting and exciting – sheathing! Or, for those of you who use non-construction based vocabularies (and didn’t google it, like I did), it’s time to put up the boards around the framing that form the actual house. YAY! Yay, but also ouch…because…it’s a lot of work. Since this blog is not in real-time, I will admit that we’re almost done with it, because I’m on a very tight time frame (frame! haha! get it! ok, enough.) when it comes to closing in the house. I have until Aug 15, which is when my grad classes resume, and then I’ll have barely enough time to eat and shower, let alone build a house. It’s getting close!
Stay tuned for the next riveting episode, which will be up in the next day or two – in which these questions may (or may not) be answered!:
Did Julie sheet the house correctly? Did she get help, and if so, from whom? Were any bones broken? Does the house look sexy now? What happens to a hand when you do all of the nailing manually, and does ibuprofen truly work on construction-induced pains? AND MORE!
See you soon, tiny house fans!