Monday, January 31, 2011

Small Steps In The Right Direction

We had a complex weekend of transitioning from the foundation build to getting the flooring in place and building the boxes that will house the wheel wells. Key decisions we needed to make is where are the internal walls were really going to go, lay out the kitchen cabinet, lock down where the door is going to go. I knew what wall it was going in, but had not decided how far from each side wall it will be. I needed to know this as I will run flooring out that door space that I can cut to the right length once I have a door to put in. Once we got all the insulation in, we screwed and glued each of the top panels in. I then put down a layer of under-layment for the hard wood floor.  
Stet was pretty concerned about the weight over the wheel well's and we both agreed that building a more robust structure was worth the weight of the boxes. Stet used fully treated 2x6's and treated 2x4 for the structure, he then lined the inside of the boxes with 1/2 CDX plywood that we treated with the water proofing and then will cover that with metal sheeting and tape to entirely seal the box area. They are robust and water tight and should work excellent to hold load bearing weight from the roof.

You are probably asking what this is going to look like on the inside with these monster looking boxes. Well not so fast there sparky, the right side wall will be covered by the Kitchen counter. The left side wall will have shelving above them with some below window shelves so it does not encroach that much on the living space. At the very end of the box toward the door I have 8 feet of open space. So they are not that intrusive or at least I don't think they will be. The only other option is to use a flat bed trailer that would cause the loss of 8 inches of head room in the loft. This was not an acceptable option in my mind.

Another part of the complexity was that I had never laid down hard wood flooring, for that matter any type of flooring. I had a challenge with the flooring gun that I bought. For those of you who are wondering why I bought a Flooring gun and did not rent, rentals of the gun is around $90 bucks a weekend, I figured it would take me two weekends or $180. The gun cost $200 and at this rate the two weekend plan still looks like a reasonable guess. It took me a bit to figure out how to use the gun and I only destroyed about 4 boards as the bracing board moved by the action of the hammer and power gun thus making the wall off square. I tore them up and started over again screwing the perimeter boards in. These screws will be covered by the T&G wall boards. After a little bit of tweaking the floor is coming out fine. I am pleased with the choice of wood, Acacia, blond stained. I layed out about 8 rows and made sure all of the joints were off set. I expect to be finished by the end of next weekend and we will move on to framing in the walls.

Apple was for lunch!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Foundation Sandwich is hours away from Flooring!

With the trailer stabilized and 56 bolts attaching treated 2x6 timbers we were now ready to commit to attaching the "engineered panels" we made to each other and to the trailer. All but one were kept in the full 4x8 plywood size. The CDX Plywood was treated and we laid down Tyvek as a barrier for the outside edge of the foundation sandwich which will eventually have sheathing and siding on top of it. We marked a point zero at the rear left hand corner and squared and aligned each piece attaching them to each of the bolted 2x6 timbers. We also then attached each of the 4x8 section together using the heavy construction adhesive and over 25-3 inch deck screws. Once the flooring is complete and we attach the walls we will run bolts every 2.5 feet through the wall plate, foundation sandwich and trailer to tie it all into a single unit. Here is the trailer as we set the first panel at point zero.
We worked our way up the trailer a panel at a time making sure the entire package was square. Then we worked on the one panel space that needed modification.

I had the trailer width built to 98 inches to see if I could gain a slight width advantage. But after a few sessions of deliberation about overall width, over hang on the roof, width of walls, and transportation restrictions I relented and went with a 96 inch build out. It made this process a piece of cake as each sheet of plywood fit perfectly. I have an inch of trailer width on each of the panel and we will run metal sheeting as a sill so water won't collect there. As I look at this picture it looks like a lot of space but add a half inch of plywood and 5/16 inch siding and the width of the folded metal sheeting and it should not be an issue.
I choose to go with R-Max rigid board. The two inch boards have an R value of 12.9 and the 1 inch have an R value of 5.6. On a 2x4 on end I have 3 and a half inches that I need to fill. I have seen this done a variety of ways through my searches. I decided I wanted the most R value that I could get in a 2x4 pattern. On the Mini Mobile Cottage blog, Jeff stated very clearly they were not as warm as they expected to be by using the all white foam board, so I went with the R-Max to end up with an R rating of  18.5. I believe I will spend around $1100.00 on insulation but I think it is worth it knowing I expect to live in either Portland or Seattle areas. I also come from living year round on a sailboat that has a robust quarter inch of fiberglass for insulation. R 18.5 sounds toasty warm to me.

The insulation was really easy to work with (we will see how it is doing the roof area) and we cut it right to width and then trimmed as necessary to fit. I had several cans of foam and didn't even look at them as the fit was so tight. After putting in the two inch boards we came back and put in another inch board and only pressed it to the edge of the 2x4 so the air gap was in the middle of the insulation, well for the most part. I will start next weekend by putting on the remaining CDX plywood. That will be screwed and glued per my standard practice and we believe it this a rock solid single unit that is intimately tied to the metal of the trailer. Next weekend we start the flooring!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Construction Starts

Took the trailer up from Dundee, OR to the build site in Olympia on Friday, January 14th. It was raining like crazy. On Saturday we got the barn cleaned out and were ready to move the trailer in. Trying to angle in the 24ft trailer put the truck out in the grass, wet grass. Yup that looks like a stuck truck. We had to grab Stet's Geo and swing the trailer in with it. The trailer fit with about 8 inches to spare.

Once we got it in, I jacked and leveled it, while placing it on jack stands. I used three to a side it came out real stable.
As for construction, we covered the bottom sheets of plywood with a water and bug repellent. I looked at a lot of different options for coating the bottom exterior grade plywood. Since the wood will never touch ground but will be exposed to some road grim and potentially some bug issues this green copper product seemed like the best option. We are building this in four foot sections. You can see below on of the sections in production. This are all screwed and glued in putting them together.

We stacked up the sections to let them cure. Next weekend we will flip them and place in the insulation and put on the top of the sandwich. It is my goal to have the foundation sandwich 100% done to be able to address the flooring the follow two weekends (hopefully).
Stet discussing ideas on how we are going to floor the foundation sandwich. We also need to pre-plan the propane run. I am toying with the idea of bringing in a professional to plumb the propane which will be used for the Stove, Instant Water Heater, Fireplace, and the deck BBQ.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Changing Plans and Starting Construction

 As I got past the end of 2010 which was a exciting year for me, I am steadfast in my focus on building my Mini Mobile Cottage. It looks like January 15th is going to be the day we start putting lumber together. The first part of the project is to build a foundation sandwich as seen in my previous post. I wanted to add some stability to the foundation so I bolted treated 2x6's to the I-beams of the trailer.My brother Bob and his son Jordan assisted in the project, pleased to have their help.

Since I have had too much time thinking through all the aspects of the project I came to the conclusion that to put a porch on the trailer and lose 2ft of living space was pretty foolish. I changed the plan. I will be building a deck off the back of the trailer that will be 4ft x 8ft to replace my little 2ft porch. While this modified my interior plan it also allowed me to revisit the door and how I was going to address putting two windows on either side of the center door. I priced windows at a Pella show room and proudly walked our with a quote for $900 per window and I need two...Yikes. I paid $600 for ALL of the other windows (6) brand new Pella Impervia's. After pondering that for a week I found a mini house that I liked with a similar layout to what I was looking for. I am going with a single door on left hand side of the wall and a single window. So here is where I am at with the layout. I reserve the right to make more changes but I am getting very very close to locking down the plan.
Hopefully the next post will show something with sheets of plywood!