Beams & Ridge Board!

Guess who’s making it happen? Me 🙂

Thursday after work Dylan, Bob, and I leveled the trailer.

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Then Friday morning before work I was out cutting my beams to length. I’m at Dylan’s using some of the tools over here, and I love the saw they have! It’s attached to a fold down table, has wheels, the whole blade slides as well as chops, and it has a laser! It’s so fun to use and I’m proud that I can confidently use it.

Dylan and I put up the loft supports and beams, so now I have a loft!

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So beautiful!

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I had to go to work, so securing the beams had to wait until Saturday. At my engineer’s recommendation, all the beams are resting on the horizontal 2x4s. The 2x4s are nailed to the studs, and the 4×4 beams are attached to the studs with nails in from the side:

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However, some of the studs had other studs right next to them so I wasn’t able to fit the nail gun or even a hammer in between. Dylan and I attached those beams with L brackets on the top and bottom, similar to how we attached the front porch post.

The last beam, closest to the wall, is only a 2×4. The way, I was able to nail it into the studs of the back wall, and the last beam is what will support the ends of my flooring up there.

I chose 4x4s instead of 2x6s (which both support about the same weight) partly for the look, and to save 2″ of headroom. 🙂

Walking underneath the beams gives me plenty of headroom and doesn’t feel cramped. It just seems cozy and protects me from the wind and sun. It’s truly becoming a shelter. ❤ Sometimes though, walking on the 6″ high stack of plywood that I still have in the house, I felt the need to duck, so it is a low ceiling for anyone taller than me. But we did have people over who are 6′ tall and they felt comfortable. So that’s good! The only thing to worry about now is the door, which is several inches shorter.

Being up in the loft is dreamy. Saturday was pretty sunny after some morning rain, and Sunday has been rainy-sunny-rainy-sunny all day, but I got the chance to sit up there and look at some fluffy white clouds in a bright blue sky. 😀

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I never want to get down!

On Saturday, after securing the beams, Dylan and I did what we could to prepare for the ridge board. He made a temporary piece for the porch, which I should’ve done ages ago:

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It’s not a work day without Tim’s 🙂

We nailed on some metal pieces at the top of the walls that the rafters would fit into, and I added some temporary nails at the peaks:

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These nails are to prevent the ridge board from falling to one side.

I had planned to get the ridge board up on Saturday, but my helpers were busy and it was getting late (we got a late start because of the rain), so it got pushed to Sunday. I also decided to buy more L brackets to connect the rafters to the ridge board instead of toenailing them, which meant I had to wait until stores open at noon on Sunday.

Oh, and I bought my own jigsaw:

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It wasn’t on sale, but I had enough Canadian Tire points that it only cost me $10. 🙂

By the time I got back from the hardware store at 12:30ish, Dylan had wrangled some hungover teenagers to help. 😛

Putting the board up wasn’t difficult, and as expected, just required a lot of holding while securing the rafters. I purposely only made 8 rafters in case my angles were a little off (so I could improve on the next set) but they lined up pretty well! Phew! The birdmouths have a bit of a gap vertically, but that might just be that the ridge board isn’t pushed as high as it should be in the middle, and that will get ironed out as I add more rafters. So, tada, I have a roof! At least, the start of one:

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For the first time, I was able to tarp the house properly over the top:

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Sitting up there, I know I made the right decisions about headroom. It feels so spacious, even on the sides! I have already hit my head once though. 😛

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It’s not pretty but it’s covered!

Now I can enjoy the rain again, knowing my floor isn’t getting rained on. 🙂

I’ve had such a lovely and productive weekend off. I’ve learned:

1. to always assume that what you want to get done in a day is going to get pushed to the next day and…

2. it’s better to work for a few hours every day than try to get everything done all in one long day. Little steps!

And I even managed to go camping on Friday night with friends. It’s all about balance. 🙂

Until next time! ❤

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And It Begins!

I had Thursday off, but of course it was rainy. I moved over some of my tools and materials from my mum’s:

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And then Friday morning before work in the afternoon, I sanded the rest of the beams. This time, I wasn’t letting the rain stop me:

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Protected underneath the roof between the house and the garage.

(By the way, those are some brand new saw horses that I got on a great sale. 🙂 )

I was up bright and early on Saturday to get the house out of storage, and despite taking a back road this time, the move was easy.

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Last time we didn’t have the forklift, and it made getting the tiny house out of the corner so much simpler.

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It’s kind of lucky that I didn’t have the ridge beam up for this doorway.

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And she’s out, easy peasy!

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We didn’t hit any wires!

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The legal road height limit is 4.15m, so 4.9m gives us plenty of room, especially without a roof! However, there’s another sign behind the tiny house that says the bridge is only 3.9m at the sides.

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No problem!

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The only part that was nerve-wracking this time was forgetting the foam pieces for the roof in the trailer. Last time, we took them in the car and then put them in the trailer for storage. This time around I forgot that there was anything to take out before moving the house. At the end of the drive – which only took about 10 minutes – going 70-80km/hr, the foam pieces started blowing around inside, but we didn’t lose any. 🙂

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In the new spot 🙂

On the drive, I was also admiring how straight everything looks! I think I’ve done pretty well so far, and now I get to see my lovely little house-in-progress every day again!

I moved the majority of the materials into the garage while it was sunny. The floor and piles of plywood are tarped again before the rain, but hopefully this week I’ll have the beginnings of a roof up! Then I’ll be able to tarp it over the top and rain will be able to run off it instead of pooling inside and stressing me out. 😛

Fingers crossed that putting up the ridge board will be a breeze!

Back in My Boots!

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Happy Beltane! It’s midway between spring and summer, and it’s a new month. I’m ready to start fresh!

April Recap:

It was a very busy month with my two jobs, and I turned 20! My aunt, uncle and cousins sent me this card, wishing me happy construction, and I thought it was very fitting. 🙂

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I finished my SketchUp model, which was a big accomplishment for me, and sent it to the engineer. She replied saying I needed collar ties, which I knew about but had forgotten to include. It only took a few minutes to add them and send it off again, so now I’m just waiting on the final reply for that.

I’ve been working on my steps list, which is a detailed PowerPoint I’m writing for anyone who wants the step-by-step info on how to build a tiny house. Maybe no one will use it, but maybe it will be helpful to someone. Plus I’ve done so much research on every little thing I’ve done so far. It would feel like a waste to leave it all to just float around in my brain. 😛 I want to consolidate what I’ve learned into one place to make it easier for anyone following in my footsteps. 🙂 So I’ll soon be posting the next set of steps that I’ve completed in real life and recorded.

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Today I finally had a chance to sand some of my beams. I’ll be getting the house out any day now, so I want to have those done. I finished half of them, and will sand the other half later this week. I forgot how much I enjoy sanding, although I’m very grateful I have power tools!

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My main goal was to get rid of the roughness like this, not to make them perfect. I just didn’t want to have to sand them above my head once they’re in the house.

I find it can be really hard to motivate myself to get started, but once I tied up my boots and went outside in the sunshine, it was lovely! Sanding is so peaceful, almost meditative for me. I love working with wood, seeing all the details and imagining the story behind every piece. I can let my mind wander, and I’m away from technology and not trying to multitask, which is a great change. It’s so good to get outside and to work with my hands too. I’ve had a great day and I’m feeling accomplished!

I also finished sorting through my old bedroom. It’s a relief to get rid of some old clothes and junk that I kept “just in case”. I’m living with my boyfriend now at his parents’ house, and the tiny house will be moved here. I was over here most of the time last year anyway, so this way it’ll be easier to walk across the driveway to work on the house rather than driving back to my parents’ house.

I did miss out on hanging out with some friends today so I could sand instead, and it’s hard. I’m still building my daily life as a young adult, which is often more than enough to deal with, so I must be crazy to be building a HOUSE on top of normal life. I don’t know how other people manage to get big projects done while still balancing their everyday lives. Little by little, I suppose.

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Something else I’m starting this month is a shopping ban, inspired by Cait’s at Blonde on a Budget (and she’s Canadian too 🙂 ). I spent way too much money last month, and even though I’ve made decent progress putting money towards the tiny house, I want to pay it off faster than I have been. So, I might do this for just May, or maybe I’ll do it for 3 months, or six months, or a year! The idea is to only buy the essentials – food, basic toiletries, and gas (plus bills). You can have an “approved buy list” for things you know you’ll need soon, but I haven’t made one yet and I’ve already bought enough recently. I think I have enough stuff at the moment!  You’re also allowed to replace anything that gets worn out or breaks. But really, you get to make your own rules for what works for you.

For my shopping ban, I’m focusing on not buying physical things that I don’t need. Going out to restaurants and treats from the corner store are permitted (within budget), while clothes, crystals, and knick-knacks are not. I will be buying books occasionally, but then taking them into the used book store to swap for different ones or donating them. I want to read more, so that’s why I’m not restricting myself as much for books, but I will also be going to the library more often. And the one extra I will be spending money on is my hair. 😛

I find that every time I got out, I come home with things I never planned on buying, and I want to stop doing that. So I’m going to avoid the malls and even when I do end up there, I’ll know that I’m not allowed to buy anything, rather than thinking, meh, why not buy this? My tiny house is the reason. My future is the reason. Travel, a car, a motorcycle, an education, land, these are all things I want to save for! Since it seems like I can’t differentiate between what I need and what I temporarily want, I’m doing a shopping ban to break the habit of mindlessly buying random stuff! I have no space left to put all the crap I buy! I’m so lucky to have as many clothes and shoes and beautiful things as I do, I should be grateful for what I have, instead of passively browsing for new things.

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Lastly, I’m starting a Facebook page for my little house. 🙂 I’m shy about sharing all the details of my life with the acquaintances I have on Facebook (this blog is for close family and interested strangers 😛 ), so I’ll be using the page to give people a look into what I’m up to without having to get into everything. Plus it will be good for quick updates. I’ll post on here when that’s up and running! Thanks for reading!!

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