Mini Porch

My porch floor is finished! It’s so pretty and new that I don’t want to step on it with my dirty work boots!

It’s taken a lot of little steps to get the porch done. I covered most of the work in my last post, but I still spent six hours today working on it, as well as several hours throughout the week. I did a third coat of paint on the post. I primed and spray painted the porch and the back of the trailer (after sanding away a few spots of rust).

The porch has so many weird little corners that I needed to figure out. First off, the side wall sheathing was installed while the plywood porch was in place, so when I took the plywood out, I had a 5/8″ gap to deal with. I was planning on notching the porch boards to fit, but then I realized gluing in a strip of plywood would be way easier. I decided to paint it purple, so in the gaps between the porch boards, you would see a little colour.

I glued in the piece, then I thought I should caulk it as well, so no water can get stuck behind the piece.

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No more purple, oh well.

I spent a while fiddling with the boards to get them just right.

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Test fit!

I marked them, then predrilled, countersank, and set the screws partway in.

The edge of metal on the right side of the porch was simply not wide enough to accommodate the thick screws for drilling into the trailer, so I used some heavy duty adhesive. The first piece is almost completely underneath the threshold of the door, so that piece doesn’t have any screws in it:

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First piece down!

I didn’t want to put any screws into the flange (the 3 1/2″ on the left) where they’d be exposed, and besides, the wiring for the trailer lights runs underneath there. So that’s why there are no screws on the left.

After that I glued down the next five pieces and clamped them. Then I used the impact driver and burned through some screws and an hour or two. Drilling into metal is not fun! But it’s done! Oh and one screw unfortunately lined up exactly with some c-channel underneath, so it couldn’t tighten up and had to be glued in.

I shimmed the threshold because it was just a little higher than the decking:

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Then some caulking and it was finished!

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🙂

The boards are spanning three feet and bowed a little when you stepped on them, so the green screws in the center are for some support pieces underneath. My sis helped me with those. 🙂

My porch floor is done, so now I can get the trim up around the door and on those corners, and get the siding going!

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I’ll get some less fuzzy pictures soon. 😛

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P.S. I bought a third caulking gun, and it works amazingly. It is fifty times easier to use than the others I’ve used. I caulked around the octagon before I bought the new gun, and I was switching back and forth between two half-broken ones. With the new one, it took less than 20 minutes to caulk and tool one window, when before it was taking over an hour! I easily finished the last two windows, as well as around the wheel wells. 🙂

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$5, $10.50, & $13.50, respectively.

The porch ceiling will be the last exterior piece to go up. Trim and siding first!

It’s been a great week. I’ve been picking away at little to-do’s like priming and painting the plywood edges to protect them. I put together my porch! I’ve been researching HRVs and HVACs, as well as fans and vent hoods. I also did some 3D modeling of my future furniture, and it’s looking good!

It was pouring rain last night, so I went out and laid in my loft for a while, smiling in my little house that I built, listening to the rain, protected. I need to do something about the rain loudly hitting the wheel wells though…

And today was T-shirt weather! I had the windows in the tiny house open. 🙂 Cheers to warm weather!

Colour Reveal!

Hi lovelies, I’m back again! It seems that the blog is not as high on my priority list as it once was… Truthfully, I just really prefer to write a post about one step when it is fully completed. Building isn’t that neat though. Tasks are constantly dragging on and overlapping. I don’t get to neatly finish one aspect of the house. At this point, multiple tasks require my attention and time simultaneously. I’m always balancing, doing a bit here, getting behind there, then switching to something else, and so on.

The other difficulty is that I never feel like I have time to write. If it’s daylight, I feel I should be outside working on the tiny house, and if it’s nighttime, then I should be researching or working in the garage. And if I did work on the house all day, then I’m too tired to stay up and blog.

I’m going to try to post more often, with simple updates, rather than lengthy posts about the past month and a half, but that’s what this is! Look, purple paint!

I wasn’t happy with the coverage, even after three coats, so I decided to do a fourth coat.

It took me 25 and a half hours to do one coat of primer with cheap brushes (which were recommended to me for primer because it can wreck your brushes). Then it only took me 15 hours to do four coats of paint with a roller! Priming and painting does get a little monotonous, but I took my laptop out to the garage, and listening to a show on Netflix kept me from getting bored. 🙂 I primed for nine hours one day!

My dad was home for a week in March, and was able to help me with the corner trim pieces and a couple of windows. 🙂

That’s all we had time for before he went back to Ottawa, but my mum kindly helped me put up the trim for three more windows! 🙂

Then I went on a trip to Toronto! I got to visit some of my favourite people, including my sis, and I got to celebrate her 19th birthday with her! 🙂 The following weekend I was away, and after that was my 21st birthday, then halfway through April I finally had time to get the tools out again.

When Dad and I put up the three corners, I realized my measuring had been a bit off. Because of the angles were the trim meets the roof overhang, the side wall corner trim pieces were about a quarter inch longer than the end wall pieces. I decided to put them up anyway, to be trimmed later with the jigsaw, and that’s exactly what I did:

A quick 15 minute touch-up several days in a row, and done!

Next was the tricky octagon. I wasn’t quite sure how well I could get 8 pieces to line up. I sanded the end grain a little, because the roughness was keeping the pieces from fitting tightly together. Then I predrilled, countersank, and set the screws, and got out the ladder. I ended up using Tuck Tape to get the pieces exactly where I needed them, and it held until I got the pieces screwed down. 🙂

I also put up the trim around the wheel wells, now that there isn’t snow sitting on them.

I purposely cut all my trim to leave about an 1/8″ gap around the windows. Another tiny house builder left a small gap as well, and it seemed better than having anything tight together. Flexing, expansion, draining – these all seemed like good reasons to have a little space. Add primer and four coats of paint to both ends of a piece, and that gap ends up bigger than planned. But I wasn’t about to delay putting the trim up so I could trim the ends a little, then have to prime and repaint them. I was also wondering whether or not to caulk the gap, so that made the decision. I bought white, paintable, permanently flexible caulk. I chose to caulk the top of the trim as well, so any water that gets behind the siding won’t get behind the trim.

I was then reminded of how much I hate caulking. It’s such a pain, and a mess, and uncooperative. I only got three out of six windows done in one day. The tube said not to tool (as in smoothing it out, usually with your finger), so I did the top of the trim on five windows and the wheel wells without tooling, because that will be hidden by the siding. But it doesn’t look great and I ended up tooling around the windows. It’s still not super tidy, but I’m going to paint the edge along the trim.

I still have eight pieces of trim to put up, but I can only do that after the porch floor is finished. And I can’t finish the porch floor until I paint the post. And it keeps raining!

I bought some decking that was frozen together because it was “all they had”, then had to exchange the pieces when the ice melted and the inner sides were black. I also had to go back for an extra piece of decking. So many trips to the hardware store!

I cut the decking, sanded it all, stained it all, and drove to a specialty store for the right screws. I also had to cut, prime, and paint a little strip of plywood to take the place of the old temporary porch floor (which I had to cut out). I cut and primed a piece for the ceiling as well, and bought some little trim for around the porch post.

I brought in some of the lighter purple paint to the hardware store, and they darkened it for free. 🙂 I primed the post, then did two coats of paint. I think I’ll do a third. The door will eventually be this colour as well. 🙂

I think that just about catches you up to now. I wanted to have the siding up by the end of April, but then little things kept adding up on my list of “Before Siding”. The house wrap isn’t showing any signs of wear, and I’m doing the best I can to get everything done!

Oh, and the first half of the house is completely paid off! I am debt free, for now!

Now I just have to figure out air circulation, heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical…

Winter Blues

I realized I didn’t publish any posts in February. I’ve been picking away at tasks, barely. I cut all of the exterior trim, and started priming, but my morale has been low. I’ve been having a hard time doing anything on the house. It’s hard, doing this alone. I work six days a week. And there’s always tomorrow… Tomorrow I’ll make time, tomorrow I’ll get up early, tomorrow I’ll feel excited about the build again. But I have hit the low before the final stretch. There’s still so much work to do and not a lot of reward yet.

The weather warmed up a bit, but I got sick with another cold and then a stomach bug. 😦 Last night we got a little snow storm, but it’s back up to positive temps and the snow is melting away again. It’s been a weird, windy winter. Time is ticking away for my exposed house wrap, but it’s looking like I’ll get that covered mid-April. It should be covered by the end of March, but that’s not going to happen and then I’m going away for 10 days.

In January, I finished cutting and put up the soffits. In February, I cut all 50 pieces of trim for the exterior, for the corners and around the windows and wheel wells. I started priming, and after being sick, I’m back to priming. I’ve got a great little filtering mask that really helps with the smell, and I don’t have to worry about the weather thanks to the heated garage. 🙂 Soon I’ll be on to the purple paint, and I plan to have the trim up before I leave for my trip! When I get back I’ll be getting the siding on (finally) and then it’s on to interior work (finally).

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Because I Can

Back in December, work on the tiny house slowed to a halt – snow came early, I got sick, then it was Christmas and time to give myself a break from the tiny house build for the holidays. As a Christmas present to myself, I bought the queen-sized mattress that will go in the tiny house. I bought the thinnest one I could find, 5″ thick, and it was on sale! 🙂 The thinner the mattress, the more headroom I’ll have in the loft.

In the meantime, instead of putting the mattress on the floor, I decided to build a platform for it, because I can do that sort of thing. 🙂 I wasn’t going to spend several hundred dollars on a particle board bed frame when I won’t even need it in the tiny house. Besides, if I can build a house, a simple platform is an easy project. It only took me an afternoon (plus a lot of trips to different hardware stores to collect materials). It cost about $150 in materials, which is more than a cheap metal frame, but oh well! Plus I bought extra materials for a potential headboard, so the platform alone cost less than that. I’m pretty proud of it!

I’ve been pretty down this month, disappointed in myself for not getting the siding up in time for winter and trying to figure out what to do next. It’s tough, being solely responsible for this massive project, with no one to kick me out of bed to work on it except myself. My bed is so comfy! As much as I enjoy having full control over how I spend my time, I don’t always spend it wisely. Watching TV is more immediately appealing than going out and getting work done on the house. I’m learning to balance everything, to motivate myself, to plan small specific steps, to get out there even if it’s snowing. 😛 By this fall, I intend to be sleeping in the loft of my finished tiny house, so I just have to keep working towards that. ❤

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Soffits and Snowflakes

Vinyl siding is pretty stiff, until you cut off the edges. Then it’s a flimsy piece of crap. 😛 I’m quite disappointed with my homemade soffits and how bumpy they are, but they’re done. I don’t know what else I could’ve used. Anything I could’ve done differently, structure-wise, would’ve had to have been changed way earlier on when I didn’t know how difficult the vinyl was going to be. I think some older houses have wood underneath their overhangs, but that would’ve just added more weight to the tiny house. Besides, only about two inches of the vinyl will show along the sides once the siding is up.

I put up the vinyl under one side eave yesterday, and finished off the final overhang today, just as it was starting to snow! Almost all our snow had melted, but it was only a matter of time until we got more. 😛

The vinyl was easier to attach under the sides, but it was still difficult to avoid ripples. The rafters are 24″ apart and the vinyl sagged between them:

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This was my solution:

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So it doesn’t look great from up on the ladder:

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😦

We’ll see how it holds up.

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The snow’s back!

I should get used to working in the snow. I really need to have my siding up before the end of March or risk damage to my house wrap. I’ll be out working in the cold, hopefully getting everything done very quickly!

 

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Quotes

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris