Tiny House Construction – Week 6

Tiny House Construction – Week 6

All of a sudden the build has got very tall, which amongst other things means lots of trips up and down ladders. The inclusion of angles has also caused much head scratching. Despite this, some great progress was made this week.

I also placed my window and door orders, which is a pretty big deal in any house build. I worked with a local company and after many trips and quotes I ordered the custom windows and doors that I have painstakingly sized and positioned. I’m sure it will all be fine when they arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Watch a time lapse to see what I got up to this week:

Day 24

I started the day with a couple of small jobs: cutting the threaded rod to length and nailing down the loft rafters. I then started cutting the wood to frame the two upper end walls.

Day 25

Today I continued to cut and nail together the two upper end walls, which are the last of the exterior end walls. These two walls contain the first non-90 degree angles in the house, which made nailing them together just that bit tricker. It’s times like these that a second pair of hands for five minutes would be a huge advantage.

Day 26

Richard came and gave me a hand today, and we absolutely hit it out of the park! Before he arrived I finished nailing the last upper end wall and got one up into place. With his help we got the second up and nailed in.

The end loft wall up

The end loft wall up

Next we rigged up a climbing rope that will act as a safety line when I start working on the roof. I will use my climbing harness to clip in to the rope which will stop me from hitting the deck and hopefully from breaking any bones should I fall at any point.

Richard testing the safety rope. He didn't die

Richard testing the safety rope. He didn’t die

Next up was to go and collect the 22′ continuous LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beam from the builders merchants. The LVL bean is an engineered piece of wood, kind of like a huge beam made out of plywood, which despite it’s length remains straight and strong. We decided to put the beam on top of the van, but I wasn’t sure how this would go as the beam is a fair bit longer! Fortunately we only had to drive a few hundred meters and the beam didn’t flex that much, so it was actually a lot easier than I had expected.

A 22' piece of wood? No problem

A 22′ piece of wood? No problem

The last job of the day was to re-do one of the end walls, which I had made an error with due to angles hurting my head. This error meant the end walls wasn’t quite the right shape, and was pulling the other upper walls out of square. Thankfully Richard noticed the error in my method as I was talking him through my plan for the rafters. It went something like:

J: This is how I’m going to do the rafters

R: I don’t think you can do that

J: I think you can, I did it on the end wall and it worked fine

[we both look at a rather wonky looking wall]

J: … Maybe I got that wrong then

Day 27, 28, 29

So… angles. After such a productive day with Richard, my voyage into the world of angles that will be the roof didn’t have the best of starts. It took me a few attempts to get the first rafter correct on the first day, and then a few more attempts the next day to get the second rafter correct (the roof has two pitches, and therefore two different shaped rafters… and therefore different angles).

Things went a bit better on day three and things started to measure up a little, but as I had been finding this process a little frustrating I realised that perhaps I was getting burnt out by the project. I have been working really hard at it for over a month now, which I knew wasn’t going to be sustainable.

I know I need to learn when to take a step back from things and this seems like a good time. I’m going to force myself to take things a little easier.

Day 30

Coming back for a half day I cut the LVL bean down to length. The only beam I could get my hands on was far too big for the house, so I used my skill saw to cut it down not once, but twice to accommodate the different roof pitches. You wouldn’t do this in a ‘normal’ house, but every inch counts here.

I made a test cut before doing it for real

I made a test cut before doing it for real

This was pretty nerve wracking, as this wasn’t a cheap piece of wood so I triple checked my measurements and 3D model before going for it. The cut was pretty straight forward and I also sanded the bottom surface. I think the engineered ‘grain’ of the wood is beautiful, so I actually modified my plans to have the bottom edge of the beam visible inside the house.

The LVL cut to size

The LVL cut to size

The LVL 'grain'

The LVL ‘grain’ once sanded

Richard came to give me a hand getting the beam in place which wasn’t too tricky (it now weighs a lot less than when I bought it!) and it fitted nicely. Win!

The beam in place

The beam in place

We also put up the scaffolding inside the house, ready for me to start working on the rafters.

It's starting to get a bit busy in here.

It’s starting to get a bit busy in here.

There where some tough days this week, but all-in-all things are coming together very nicely. Richard was a huge help this week, so thanks a lot buddy.

I have lots of rafters to build now, which will be my first job for next week. Hopefully I have ironed out most of the kinks and will be coming at it a little refreshed after a couple of days off.



about 1 year ago

You weren't struggling with trigonometry were you Joe? After all those maths lessons where you nearly broke my neck its coming along so well now, cant wait for a holiday out to see your housey, we totally understand the pain of it all frying your brain xx



about 1 year ago

So glad to see you got the beam cut down without too much difficulty :) it looks great!



about 1 year ago

That all sounds very nerve-wracking! What a boon is a good friend like your Richard. love, Grandma'


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