Our roofing order came in from Triad Metal (located in South Asheville) and we put it right to use. We opted for a product called an AG Panel, which has become very popular due to its great value, function, and looks. It has the appeal of a standing-seam metal roof, without the price and tedious installation process. The "Colonial Red" we ordered matches our windows perfectly and compliments the cedar timbers well.
Here is a view from the top, giving you a sense of the layers in our roof. The 3' sections of the AG Panels fit our 18' roof length perfectly. Underneath the ridge cap is an adhesive seal that allows air to permeate but not insects and water. Here you can see Gerry slinging the first ridge cap up to me. This is a great system!
Nearing the end of the roof job, we had to cut a few sections to fit our front gable end framing. This was made easy by the "Turbo Shears" we purchased that attach to a drill and make cutting the 26 gauge metal a sinch (rather expensive at ~$90, but well worth it considering the future use it will receive). Notice our "sled", as we referred to it, that sits over the ridge to make installation "safer". I did enjoy the south western views from up there, but was always ready to get down.
The ridge cap is yet to be trimmed in these shots. The shed on the back of the home will also receive the same roof. It will contain the main electrical panel, propane tanks, and other various odds and ends. I can't tell you how exciting this stage has been...We can say good bye to that blue tarp, and rest easy knowing this tiny home is dried in!
Soffit and ridge vents came next in our pre-roofing checklist. Since our roof system will need ventilation but not insect habitation, we manufactured these nifty soffit vents. This metal mesh did the trick when shaped with a 3/4" dowel and stapled to the back of the blocking. The mesh will compress like a gasket to allow the air to move freely over the insulation and out through the ridge vent.
We picked up our 8 windows at Builder's First Source and installed them today (thank you Joe Canone! . . .See his sweet business card below). The windows are a beautiful shade of red/brown and are aluminum-clad. Prior to installation, we flashed the rough openings to ensure our envelope stays dry.
Proper window flashing involves managing the seems to prevent any water from making its way inside. Start with the bottom sill and work your way up. This tape is not cheap but is easily justified when you consider the cost of a leak.
Another important step is sealing up the gap between the rough opening and the window jamb. In this case we used spray foam for an air-tight seal. The excess will be removed to allow for trim. At this point, noise level inside the home dropped dramatically and gave a sense of security and comfort. . . It's starting to feel like like a home!
We have installed a loft! We reclaimed some cedar and redwood for this purpose, and they have worked out beautifully. 4 x 4 posts anchored into the side walls support the cedar decking on top. See more pics below:
Even though we are tall guys, there is plenty of headroom underneath this loft. Below you can see that we used some of the remaining square washers (from the floor system anchoring job) to lag the redwood 2 x 4's into the top plates.
This shot is from underneath the loft, where the kitchen and bathroom will be. A bed will fit nicely "upstairs" and will be a cozy getaway.
Up next we will be making and installing rafters! We can't wait to have a roof on this tiny home.
Walls keep flying up and framing continues. Both structural and envelope integrity are foremost in our minds at this point...
We opted for California corners in the framing, which increases envelope efficiency. By rotating the intersecting wall's corner stud 90 degrees the builder can insulate across the full stud bay, which helps in two ways:
As with the floor framing, we installed cross bracing in the wall framing. Noticeable differences in overall rigidity occurred after this step. You might be wondering about the insulation in the corner stud bays. We needed to complete this step at this point because the California corners make it difficult to wedge (rigid) insulation into them once the cross bracing is in place.
More reinforcements! We tied the wall framing to the entire floor system with 10" galvanized bolts and massive square washers (we found another use for the square washers...more on that later). The house is officially one with the frame of the trailer. Onward and upward!
We had the help of a friend next door to raise our first and heaviest wall. We installed sheathing prior to raising the wall, which makes glueing and screwing the ZIP board easier. The one draw back to this approach is that it adds weight to the wall, making it a little more difficult to raise.
A note about our sheathing: We prefer the AdvanTech ZIP System for a few reasons: time and money. Our price was $10/sheet (with a $3/sheet rebate available at the time). 7/16" OSB was $20-$30/sheet at local stores. We bought two rolls of tape at $30/roll (we will need some for the roof too...more on that later) which seals up the seems. There is no need for a house wrap, so a tremendous amount of time is saved here. This product is a no-brainer.
The second wall went up according to plan. At this point you can feel the inner dimensions of the home. Honestly it feels larger than it looks. It's easy to imagine the layout of the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. . . Thrilled about getting to the 2nd story!
In the interest of keeping our structure level and square we cut all of our studs with stops so corresponding components would be precisely the same lengths. So much of the time spent building a home is in the design and planning process. Once all the prep work is done, putting the parts together goes relatively quickly and is a real treat.
Here you can see the first wall assembled and ready to raise. We are including 4 x 6 cedar timbers in the design and they will be weight-bearing. This requires we build them into the framing. Notice the three windows also! There's going to be a lot of light in this Wishbone Tiny Home.
Here's a detail of the first purlin. This will extend out over the porch area and support a gabled entry.
Today we added some cross bracing to our floor framing and installed our rigid extruded polystyrene insulation. Two layers of 2" and one layer of 1" insulation filled the cavities well. Overall R value of the flooring system should be around 30, which is what ENERGY STAR recommends for the most harsh North American climates.
In anticipation of shower drain plumbing, we created this cavity. Other insulation options include traditional fiberglass, dense pack cellulose, spray foam, or sheep wool insulation.
After insulation we glued and screwed 3/4" subfloor to the framing. This is a huge step because it feels like the real beginning of the home. Walls are next!
After we leveled the foundation with the scissor jacks, we fastened a series of pressure-treated 2 x 6 to the frame of the trailer with heavy duty screws. This initial step gives us a perpendicular structure to the steel cross members of the trailer so that the floor system will be more secure. Later we will share how we unitize the home and trailer framing. Looking forward to floor framing!
A layer of 3/4" pressure-treated plywood is fastened to the 2 x 6's below. As you can see, we have decided to cantilever the floor framing out to the exterior edge of the fenders. This amounts to an 18" increase in the width of our structure, bringing it closer to 8' x 16' overall. Next we will frame the floor and anchor the system to the trailer with additional measures. It's really satisfying to see the extra space fore and aft of the fenders come into play!
Our 2 x 6 floor framing system went in without a htich today. We essentially made three different boxes and tied them together. The gaping hole in the foreground is for the porch that will go in much later. Below you will see how we chose to anchor this system to the frame of the trailer...
We opted for a 10" foundation bolt that essentially grabs the notched 2 x 6 and bolts it to the metal frame below. The nuts you see are securing a U-bolt that hugs the foundation bolt to the 2 x 6. We repeated this at 12 total locations throughout the footprint of the home. Although time consuming, this step is critical to creating a secure foundation for the home. Both wind forces (highway speeds) and road turbulence (new term?) can actually detach the home from the frame of the trailer if not done properly. Super solid!
It's an exciting day that marks the beginning of a new tiny home. This particular home started its life at the shop of Mike Moore, a custom welder and trailer manufacturer located in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Our specifications included two 5200# axles with electronic braking, leveling jacks at the corners, and anchor points for the framing system of the home. Now its off to the Wishbone shop in Asheville, NC to have some real fun!
Here is our sketch of the trailer that Mike so diligently followed. It's worth noting that we decided not to add the weather and pest plate guard to the bottom side of the trailer due to some feedback from Mike. It would add significant cost to the project and we could benefit from having access to the underside of the frame. We opted instead for some mounting tabs underneath that we will eventually use to install a plastic sheathing product to keep rocks, weather, and pests away from the home's underside.
Wishbone Tiny Homes Blog
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