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.


No more purple, oh well.

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


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:


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:


Then some caulking and it was finished!



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!


I’ll get some less fuzzy pictures soon. 😛


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. 🙂


$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!


Shell Budget: Trailer/Floor

The second part of my budget is the Shell. It includes everything from the wall studs to the roofing material. When the shell is done, the house will look complete from the outside, with windows and siding.

The first category in my shell budget, Trailer/Floor, is all done and filled in:

My Trailer, from Warman’s Welding in New Brunswick, was over budget at $7015. Read about why it’s over budget here.

Gas was over budget at $402.50. I assumed I’d pick up the trailer, but then I found out they deliver. It didn’t save me money, but it saved me the stress and time of going to get it myself.

My budget for all-threaded rods was zero because they were included in the cost of the trailer, but then they ended up in the wrong spots. I paid a welder to grind them off, put rods in the right places, and add a few so the house is secured at more points. That cost $253.05.

For Insulation, I was way over budget at $1217.15. I had originally planned to use Roxul, but I wouldn’t have been able to get enough Roxul into the trailer frame for a high enough R-value. I chose spray foam instead and it worked out well.

For Glue, I was slightly over budget at $27.56. I used four tubes out of the six I bought, so I’m only including the cost of the four.

For Plywood, I was over budget at $248.66. I didn’t realize how expensive it is! Most builders use OSB because it’s cheap, but it also swells and it’s heavy. I decided that less weight and warping were worth the extra money.

For Metal Screws, I was over budget at $74.40. Specialty fasteners are of course more expensive, and I melted so many! There are less than 300 in the trailer, but I had to buy 500.

This was a painful category. I estimated I’d spend $6815 and I spent $9238.32. That’s $2423.32 over budget 😦 I’m jealous of tiny housers who found cheaper trailers and didn’t spend so much on insulation, but in the end, I’m okay with investing in the foundation of my house. The one thing I’d change is I would get the trailer delivered earlier so I’d have more summer build time.

All-Threaded Rods

When I ordered my trailer, I knew I was going to need all-threaded rods to attach the house to, but I didn’t have exact framing plans to go from. Tumbleweed’s trailers have an all-threaded rod on each corner (unless there’s a corner porch) and on both sides of the wheel wells, so I chose to have eight, 1 3/4″ from the edge so they’d land in the middle of the 2x4s at the bottom of my wall. I figured 6″ from each corner would be enough to keep the rods away from studs, but I wasn’t clear enough. They were welded 1 3/4″ from each edge, exactly in the way of all my corners. While I freaked out about all the money I’d spent, how I’d have to spend more on a welder, and how the trailer wasn’t ready to go when it arrived like I’d planned, my mum called a welder and asked about an onsite job.

She also did a bit of research on anchoring houses. Normal houses should be anchored no further than 6 feet apart, so 8 rods for my moveable house isn’t enough. Since I was going to have to get a welder anyway, I decided to get more rods too. I spent hours figuring out the locations of studs to figure out where to put the rods, and then Mum and I drew up a map of the trailer and carefully drew in where all the rods should go to avoid studs. The rods ended up 6″ from the corners and wheel wells, expect for one that interfered with a window and the end of the loft. That one is going to be tight. We also added more in between the corner ones so that the rods aren’t so far apart.

Then we drew the locations onto the trailer for the welder, who thankfully squeezed us into his busy day at the last minute so we could work on the floor over the weekend.

The welder said the pink suited us. Gee thanks.

The welder said the pink suited us. Gee thanks.

Mum says I have two strikes against me in the construction industry: I’m young, and I’m female. Society isn’t equal yet. If I’m ever in a hardware store with my mum, my dad, or my boyfriend, I’m never the one they look at and talk to. I’ve gone into the hardware store alone and been ignored. But as the build goes on, I’ll become more familiar with the people at the local hardware stores, I’ll know better what I’m talking about (hopefully), and I’ll become more assertive. Even already, I’ve learned. I told the insulator I’d be home all day, and what did he do? He took all day and made me wait. But with the welder, we pushed and got what we wanted.

All of the gas-powered welding equipment was at other jobs, but the welder found an electric one and came out. We had to move the plug several times because we only had 15amp plugs instead of 20amps. Despite tripping the breaker about 20 times, he got the job done in about 2 hours and I now have 16 shiny rods in all the right places (fingers crossed). He even ground off the old rods for me 🙂 It was funny; he got straight to work and started hammering the side of one of the old rods. Then he looked up and said, “You don’t need this right?”

My advice is to get the trailer company to do everything you need except the rods. Then, make sure you have your framing plans done and mark the rods where they won’t get in the way of any studs. Make sure to account for the studs around windows and doors. It’s worth it to get a welder after you have the trailer and know exactly where the wheel wells ended up and things like that. Trailer companies don’t think like construction workers.

Oh, and it’s easiest to get the washers and nuts from the welder rather than trying to find the right size at a store. That’s another reason to skip getting rods done by the trailer company.

All the hardware from the welder on top of all my screws.

All the hardware from the welder on top of all my screws.

The holes from the old ones will get filled with silicone or something later.

The holes from the old ones will get filled with silicone or something later.

We primed any bare metal on the trailer and spray-painted with black.

Then when it had dried, we covered the trailer in plastic and tape to try and get a tighter seal. I want to protect my expensive insulation from any water, and the tarp kept getting caught by the wind and letting water in.

Let's see how an $8 sheet of plastic handles the small amount of rain we're supposed to get.

Let’s see how an $8 sheet of plastic handles the small amount of rain we’re supposed to get.

I’ll find out on Monday how much I owe the welder, but at least now I can breathe easy and work on my floor!

Trailer Insulation!

This is all happening so fast. My trailer is now filled with spray foam. Craziness!

Protecting Mum's favourite tree.

Protecting Mum’s favourite tree from over-spray.





Starting to spray!

Starting to spray!

It’s kinda cool that I was able to see the spraying. Normally you have to be out of the house, but since the trailer’s outside, I watched (and took pictures) safely from inside.

1st layer going in.

1st layer going in.

2nd layer filling up.

2nd layer filling up.

The spray is dark at first, but then lightens as it expands.

The spray is dark at first, but then lightens as it expands.

Done, in less than an hour!

Done, in less than an hour!

Taking off the tape.

Taking off the tape.

He also used a knife to clean up the places that were higher than the crossmembers. Also, notice how he took off his mask and gloves? I know it’s out in open air, but you’re supposed to stay out of the area for at least 24 hours for the foam to off-gas and cure.

I’m glad it’s all done, but my appointment was for 8:30 this morning. I got up at 7 to finish drying out the trailer. I toweled it dry and no one came! I called them after 9 o’clock when no one arrived, and they told me the guy hadn’t left (the place is an hour away) and was considering the weather. Yes, it was misting, but I still should’ve received a call! The woman who answered the phone told me she’d call back around noon to tell me whether or not the guy could come later when it was supposed to be sunnier. At 10, it was sunny, so I called her to tell her and to ask a few questions. She said she would call back in fifteen minutes to give me a time. At 12:15, she finally called and said that he would arrive between 2 and 3pm. At 4:40, after much discussion about how Maritimers are notoriously late and unreliable, just as I was about to give up waiting, the truck pulled up. He was out of the driveway again by 6 o’clock, and since I paid with cash, I got a small discount 🙂 Every bit saved counts! Despite the long day of waiting, I can’t believe how fast things are moving along!

Bye bye money.

Bye bye money.

They'll be back when the shell is done to insulate the rest.

They’ll be back when the shell is done to insulate the rest.

So Much Rain!

I totally jinxed myself in my last post. It poured for 3 days straight.

I checked on the tarp the morning after I put it on, and it had come off a little. I had barely fixed it when it started raining. By the time I got to my front door it was absolutely pouring. Then when I got home that night, I checked it again. One corner had come off, but it was the porch corner, so the water didn’t get trapped.

But then it kept raining. And raining. Water pooled on the tarp between every crossmember.

This happened:

So my mum and I used the Canadian Tire points I earned from buying my trailer and bought a shop vac on sale 🙂 I bought my own set of bungee cords, also on sale.

When it finally stopped raining earlier tonight, I went out and started vacuuming water. I’ve never done that before, but I suppose it’s just the first in what will be a long list of things I’ve never done 😛 It took me two and a half hours to get all the water off the tarp, get out the water that found its way into the trailer, and re-tarp the trailer.

All the cavities are connected, so the entire trailer had some water on it, but the worst spot was the window seat. It had more than an inch of water in it. The trailer isn’t completely dry yet, but I was absolutely soaked and it was sprinkling on and off. I’m going to get up early and dry it out as best I can before the insulators come at 8:30. Eek!

I folded the tarp in half this time, because it’s a 20×28 and the trailer’s no wider than 8’6″. I think it worked out better; there’s less loose tarp to catch the wind. I realized that with it folded, one side has no grommets, but all the corners are bungeed and the edges are weighed down.

I need to start paying extra attention to the weather and the time of day. It’s not so fun to work outside in the dark. I’ll also need to get used to doing physical things instead of spending time on the computer 😛

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