Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not A Lot To Take Pictures Of

While I feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend there is not a lot to show for it. I spent a fair amount of time on working on electrical issues trying to button up the external needs of the electrical system. What that means is: DC comes from the Batteries, Charger out to the Batteries, and where the solar, cable, and AC comes in. I also installed a plug at the front door so I have an external outlet.

My boating background led me to use a 250v/30amp plug from a boat. Rugged, waterproof, beefy, I like it. The only thing left to do on the tongue end is to put a box in for the solar input. On the door end I have a light that I will install and then that should be that.

I put another coat of log oil on the cedar siding and then covered all the new wood in the peaks. I also finished the sofits and they came out excellent.

I started testing some colors for trim, wanted something darker but that still showed the wood grain. The dark brown I tested was too dark. I have a teak colored piece that may be too light but I liked it the best so far. I also tested a red that I am going to use in the bathroom on my cedar. I am not convinced that I am going to use this either. Lot's of decision to make!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A New Window And The Exterior Is Taking Shape

Well the exterior is starting to come together with having the major work done. Still have a lot of trim work to do but we finished both ends of the Cottage this weekend with siding. I am pleased with how this looks. I was able to oil the door end of the Cottage but not the front end.

As you can see we don't have the trim or soffits up yet but this siding really changes the complexion of the Mobile Cottage. She is become the fulfillment of my dream at least externally. We put in the soffits on the front end of the cottage. They really look sharp but it is hard to tell in the photo, they will also look better once oiled. It will be far more noticeable on the door end of the Cottage which should get done next weekend. From the picture below you can see that I had completed one side.

I am adding a window up in the loft for both ventilation and life safety purposes. I am going to build the window myself and have it be a vertically split window that opens in the middle. It should be kind of funky but the thought of burning to death and not being able to get out of the loft did not sit well with me. So....cut out a window!
For all of you who notice that my main window below my new window is off set and I suppose an explanation is in order. If you look at the front of the Cottage you would notice I have a space for a door and what would seem a great place for a little window. If that is what you are thinking we are on the same page. Unfortunately at the time I ordered the "really cool" window and door my understanding of space planning, support walls and the doggone measuring tape I was using were not in sync. In other words I ordered too big of window and well it just did not leave enough support in the wall for this type of structure (My construction foreman said no way). At the cost of my "really cool" Window I was not ordering a second one, so we made the executive decision to put it on the other end of the Cottage. Then the shower got in the way of keeping the window centered. So now I have a great view from my composting toilet. :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Outside Inside, All Things Moving Forward

We finished spraying the foam and then spent time trimming it to fit the walls. It was a bit of a mess but took far less time then I thought. I am very pleased with the outcome. I believe the cottage is very tight, sealed in every respect and with a superior quantity of insulation with an R-value of 24. There is a great article in the latest issue of Fine Homebuilding about foam insulation. You can also go to this site do a search on foam insulation, they actually have a great bit of information on foam insulation both of the Soy and traditional varieties.

Okay now that insulation is done, I got focused on finishing up the door end of the house exterior.

In order to do this we needed to take a good look at the door. I am pretty excited about my door. I had it custom built by young local builder Mackenzie Strawn at Stayon Wood Windows And Doors. It is a Dutch door with outward left hand swing.

It required some modification to the door area based on the way the door was built.We cut a small section of entry way out to sit the door in at the right height.

As we started to prep for the interior I moved some wood from my storage area. As I looked at it, it really fired me up. It looks great. It is from Colorado and is known at Beetle Kill Pine. It has a silver/blue tone to it. I can't wait to see it on the wall.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Little Trim And A Big Bunch Green Foam

In order to seal the area in between the rafters was to trim them in. We ran a filler piece of cedar siding to get the face even and then put in a trimmed top piece that was beveled to fit under the plywood roof. We left the groove on for the 2nd piece. We then put on the second piece that was tongue end and cut the groove side just eliminating the groove. We then took a router and detailed the edge. As a little touch we put a rounded detail on all four corners.

I think I am going to stain this with a dark stain although I am toying with the idea of painting the trim. I don't have to decided for a bit, anyone has any suggestions feel free to toss them in. I will be eventually putting on gutters for a catchment system for water. They will be tan and will only block the top board. I will also run a small piece of aluminum flashing under the metal roof and then into the gutter.

Big first step on the interior. Insulation! For those you have not followed along closely I chose to go with a close cell foam which should give me an R value of 18 for the depth of a 2x4. I am filling the entire space with this foam. After looking at several companies I choose to go with Foam It Green.
The instructions and video's were clear, easy to follow and proved themselves true. It went on as advertised and I really had no issues. The biggest thing for me was getting the temperature correct so we had a bit of a wait in the morning to catch the right weather window. While this was an expensive option I strongly believe it will pay off in a warmer, more sealed environment. I also it added some structural integrity to my Mini Mobile Cottage.

The picture above is wall section I did as a test. I then worked the ceiling. For a second round I took a can of Dark Green paint to hit the shallow spots. I am pleased with how this is coming out and while both the Foam It Green folks and my own calculations said I would be a little short if I got three A/B packages of the 602. It looks like at this point I won't use any hard foam filler and will be able to cover a 100% of what I wanted to fill. Sweet.

I know this is the best R value on the market and with the closed cell foam effect the unit should be sealed tight as a drum. I will make a run to the storage locker next weekend for some of the Tongue and Groove pine for the interior.This will be fun.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A ROOF! Okay It Is Now Time To Get Serious

Well it took 4 Weekends but it was worth it. I now have a roof over my head. And a sturdy bugger it is. I am highly confident this is not only secure but will keep me warm through the toughest of winters. I tried to document both holes cut in the roof so that you can see how we did it. The last piece of that was to keep my chimney upright so I need to build a box that matched the taper of the roof and was not a source of water into the house. Small challenge but a challenge it was. Here is what we ended up with. First a picture of the propane Dickinson Stove.

So we created this out of treated 2x8's and used aluminum flashing on each of the weather sides of the unit. They were shingled on top of a layer of Butel tape (window wrapping). We also layed in aluminum flashing down to the roof edge so any water getting in would only get the to flashing and run off the bottom of the roof. Add in some flashing sealant and wow a little chimney takes shape.

Once in place I put a little plastic lid on it till we are ready to make it look nice. I will cover all the sides in cedar like the cottage and put the propane bell that came with the stove.

We finished the side and then placed the rake covers in place and then started on the ridgecap. We were finding that the screws were not seating properly until you reversed them all the way out and then put them in a second time. For any of you self builders out there, you may want to note that. I am pleased with the finished product.
 This is the exhaust vent for the wounded composting toilet. I have aluminum tape around the hole that will be covered with a black sealant when all said and done. The pipe that comes up here is significant and will need to be anchored or removed for travel.

 We fastened the entire port side before coming back and working our way down the starboard side. We always started in the middle to keep from putting wrinkles in the metal. It worked fairly well.

 Rake covers came out excellent. I was not sure if I was going to like these and thought about just going with wood but, now that they are on I really like the look. I have more then enough wood showing and this is a great contrast to it.
We will now be mounting the eve trim that will also seal the interior so that I can start to insulate with the closed cell foam. I figure we have a half day of trim work and internal taping to get the cottage ready to spray. This will be a full day event I would expect. I have 3 sets of spray canisters. I will explain the full process in a later blog post. I am trying to multitask so I spend a hour sanding and varnishing my table before each work day. While I have several more coats to go, it is looking pretty good.