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…

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Doing My Best

It’s hard for me to keep the blog updated when I feel like I should be spending every free minute researching or building. This month, I’ve discovered that the siding installation is a bit more complicated than I’ve been picturing, as is building a house all by myself!

Let’s recap. Since I last posted, I finished all the staining. I would’ve finished the last boards on the 3rd, as planned, but I ran out of stain for the last set of 12! So I stained the final sides on Dec. 6th after picking up my 5th bucket of stain. The rest of that week was spent getting some car maintenance done before winter and researching how the rain screen, bug screen, trim, and siding will go together. Then winter came early. Normally we have a green Christmas where I live, so I was counting on having a couple more warm weeks to get the trim and siding up. Mother Nature had other plans!

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First, it was just a sprinkling of snow. Manageable.

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A few icicles.

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Then the snow stayed.

I was still determined to keep working on the house, to get the siding up before Christmas. One of my friends offered to help on a sunny day, so we put up most of the furring strips despite the fact that there was snow on the ground. I worked on the house on a couple more nice days and put up some wood underneath the eaves so I could attach the soffits. I started cutting the soffits, which was so much more difficult than I expected.

But it just kept snowing! And then I got sick with a cold. I actually don’t have any more pictures of the house in the snow because I was curled up inside researching rain screens and eating soup. But there was at least a foot of snow on the roof and the weather was nasty. With the wind, snow, and a windchill of -31°C, and being sick, I wasn’t working outside. So I researched and waited for the snow to melt as it usually does. The majority of it did finally melt, but not in time for me to get any more work done before Christmas.

So this is where the tiny house is at, and this is where it will most likely stay until spring:

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This isn’t ideal. I really wanted to have the siding up and the house protected properly for winter. At this point, it might even have been better to not have the furring strips up because the snow sticks to them, but there’s no point in taking them down. The Typar will keep the house dry inside, but I only have another 3 months before it should be covered to protect it from UV damage.

It’s discouraging, because I’ve done my best to get everything done before winter, but I simply had too much left to do for one person. I’ve been working on the house as much as I can. I worked on the house 14 days out of October and 19 days out of November. I need to balance the full-time project of the tiny house with working 5-6 days a week whilst still eating, sleeping, and socializing. I’ve only worked on the house 8 days this month, but that’s because it’s been negative temperatures. I’ve also been sick from not eating properly and spending too much time out in the cold. So it sucks. We’ll see what the new year brings.

Fascia Confusion

Before the temperature dropped too low, I knew I had to get out to stain my fascia boards, which are already on the house. Dealing with the fascia boards has not been straightforward. I didn’t even know what the word fascia meant before I started researching for the build, and there’s several different ways to install fascia and no obvious “right” way. When I pictured them, I assumed they would be the fourth edge that the roof sheathing would land on, so that’s how I installed mine. But that meant that they had to be installed back in June, before I was ready to do any staining. Tiny Nest (in B.C.) stained their fascia before putting it up, but I think they’re a bit more organized than me. 😛 Coincidentally, I ended up with the same brand of stain they used! I love following Canadian builds.

My overhang is only about 4.5″ instead of 6″ as I planned, in case I needed to add another board on top of the fascia. Some houses have a sub-fascia and then a decorative fascia on top. But I kinda forgot about all that when I was installing the drip edges and my roofing, so I can’t put a board on top of those. It’s probably better to have the house a little skinnier than the maximum, but it does mean that the rain drips off the roof onto my wheel well boxes and it’s loud.

I used butt joints for my fascia (with metal plates and nails holding them together), even though it probably would’ve been better to cut them at angles to account for expansion and contraction, like Tiny Nest did. 😛

The fascia is part of the exterior that was required for the rough building stages, but will show in the end, so I should’ve taken more care with it. There’s a twisty board end (which I’ve tried to fix, but it’s stubborn) and a gouge in another spot, but it looks good from a distance!

When I put the boards up, I figured I’d deal with staining later. Well, now it’s later, and of course it would’ve been easier to stain them before I put them up. Too late! In addition to that, they’ve also been rained on over the past several months, and have started to go a little grey. At the recommendation of the kind staff at the hardware store, I mixed up a solution of water, bleach, and TSP to clean the fascia (my parents used the same thing on our shed before staining). I spent a day up on a ladder scrubbing the fascia and thinking about how I’m a homeowner, now that I’m spending my free time on home maintenance. 😛

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When I was picking out the stain, I was trying to find a brown and a purple that went well together, but I forgot to match the brown to the roofing. When I first started staining the fascia on the side, I was a little nervous about the colour. On the front, where there’s no white drip edge separating the colours, I think it looks great! I’ll have to take some more pictures on a sunnier day.

It took about 3 hours to scrub the fascia clean, then an hour to sand it all, and another 4 hours moving the ladder and carrying the stain bucket up and down, up and down to stain it all. It was worth it though. So far I’m happy with the stain I picked and I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with staining while I was trying to get my roof on in June. See my previous post for details about staining my siding!

Stain Splatters

After installing all the windows, it was time to pick a stain colour for my siding! Which I was avoiding, because it’s a big decision! I’m doing pine beveled siding, and the colour I choose is going to be the colour of the entire exterior of my house! I also looked at paint colours for my door, post, and exterior trim, but I’m not revealing those yet. 😉

I wanted a stain that would still show the grain of the wood. Some people don’t like how many knots pine has, but I don’t mind at all – which is convenient, because pine is one of the cheapest and lightest wood types. 😛 I like the personality in wood grain, and I’m so happy to be able to use real wood for my house instead of plastics and particle board. 🙂 There weren’t that many options for semi-transparent stains, so it didn’t take me long to choose…

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I was aiming for not too red/orange and not too grey, and this seemed like the best one!

I’ve been going to a different hardware store, and the staff have been really helpful and gave me a great price on the stain. 🙂 I started staining on November 7th, in the heated garage (thanks parents!), and I’ve been staining almost every day and sometimes twice a day since! I learned that the wood fibers on the smooth side of the siding get heated while the wood is being cut, creating what’s called “mill glaze”. This closes the grain of the wood from accepting stain, so I have spent several days sanding my siding as well. It’s been a process!

I’ve really learned how to manage my time better and fit staining into my day, more than any other part of the build so far. With other tasks, I’ve usually been doing things for the first time so I never know how long it’s going to take. Then when I get the hang of it, I’m done and move on to another new thing. With the staining, it’s easy work, and I’ve already gotten plenty of practice, so I know exactly what to do and how long it’s going to take me. Instead of wondering how long it will take or having to wait until a day off, I know I need about two hours and I can get a decent amount done. That knowledge takes away the uncertainty that makes me hesitate. It’s easier to get out there and work on it, no matter my mood or the time of day, because I know exactly what I’m doing. I can blast my music, take the time to think, and go out to the garage rain or shine, day or night. It’s great!

The one thing limiting me is space. The garage is filled with stuff for renovations in my parents’ house, and I only have so much room on the sawhorses. At first, I decided I would stain 6 boards a day. I have room for five on the sawhorses, and one more on a stack of wood. And since I’d be staining every day, I didn’t want to allot too much. I have to stain the front and back in case water gets behind the siding, so that’s a lot of staining! Doing 6 boards a day and giving them 24 hours to dry before stacking them meant that it would take me 32 days to stain all of my siding. At first, I was okay with that because I had expected it to take a long time. Plus I was probably going to get someone else to install it for me later, so my work would be done when I finished the staining.

After about a week, I started doing a little more research, and any day I didn’t stain meant one more day into December I would need to stain. So I decided to start staining 12 boards a day, 6 during the day and 6 after work (I’m working 6 nights a week right now). I found more stacks in the garage to put boards on, and made room underneath the sawhorses for 3-4 boards. I also started to think about installing the siding myself. The only thing stopping me was a lack of help, and a few people offered theirs recently. I really didn’t want to spend the money and the more I thought about it, the less I wanted some stranger doing a mediocre job (or worse) on my house! I’ve done everything on it, except the welding and insulation, and I’m reluctant to let anyone else touch my house.

I’ve gotten faster at staining, and I’m usually pretty tired and/or cranky after work, so I switched to staining 12 boards during the day time. It is a bit of a musical chairs game with the boards but it’s working out so far. I’m 47% finished staining, and I hope to be done within the first few days of December. Take a look at my work so far, and remember, as always, I’ve never done this before! 😛

Aaaand this is why I no longer stain at night:

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Don’t kick your stain bucket. 😛

All is well, and I’m getting this done as fast as I can! It’s getting colder outside…

 

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