Squaring and Moving the Floor

Saturday, January 11, 2014, 7:55 PM at home in Santa Clara

I kept working on the tiny house today, pretty much by myself. Tonight, I find that I am more physically tired than mentally tired which is odd because I didn’t really do all that much physical labor today. I think two days of construction is simply starting to catch up with me. I’m planning to take the day off tomorrow.



Who helped today:

  • A collection of people from my neighborhood (for about five minutes)

What I accomplished today:

  • Squaring the frame (this was harder and took longer than I expected)
  • Nailing three 10 foot boards diagonally across the frame to hold it in square.
  • Getting about eight people from our neighborhood together to help move the frame off of the trailer, flip it over and move it into our garage (it just barely fits)
Moving the Floor

Moving the Floor

  • Borrowing our neighbor’s truck to move our trailer to the far left side of our driveway so we can park our car in the driveway next to the trailer.
  • Starting to cut up polystyrene to fit into the spaces between the studs in the floor.

It sure seems like I should have accomplished more today given that I worked from about 7:30 AM to about 7:00 PM. However, the things that I had to do today were time-consuming and difficult, especially working by myself.

Problems I ran into today:

  • Trying to figure out how to square the frame. Since I had not yet hammered the front half of the frame (the section in front of the wheel wells) to the back half of the frame, I decided to start by simply squaring the front half of the frame by itself (just the part in front of the wheel wells). I then hammered a 10 foot 2 x 4 onto the top half diagonally to hold it into place.
  • After I finished squaring the front half, I started trying to square the entire frame. I was having a lot of trouble until I realized that the wheel wells were getting in the way. I ended up solving this problem by sliding the top half of the frame away from the bottom half by 1/8 inch so I could have some wiggle room around the wheel wells. That finally allowed me to rack the top and bottom half of the frame until everything was Square. I was very happy when both diagonal measurements came out to 238-3/16″, exactly what I had calculated it should be! (Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist).
Diagonal Measurement vs Predict (left)

Diagonal Measurement vs Predict (left)

Diagonal Measurement vs Predict (right)

Diagonal Measurement vs Predict (right)

  • Trying to figure out a good way to cut polystyrene sheets. Pretty much everything I came up with created a mess. A circular saw made a clean-cut, but generated a generous amount of Styrofoam snow that stuck to everything. Large kitchen knives were too hard to pull through the material.  Any cutting instrument with the serrated blade made a mess. I eventually settled on a 3″ pairing knife which was not perfect, but got the job done.

Favorite part of the day:

Meeting our new neighbor, Nicole, who came over to help us move the frame. She’s a park ranger who works at the San Mateo beaches. Like us, she loves biking, hiking and being outdoors. Her husband is a carpenter. They just moved to our complex from an 80 acre piece of land they lived on in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Bear Creek Road only 5 miles from our property. She loves the idea of our tiny house and said that we could come borrow her husband’s power tools anytime we wanted.

Floor in Our Garage

Floor in Our Garage

We had to move all our bikes into the living room to make room for the floor of our tiny house.   That means our main house is starting to look like a garage and our garage is starting to look like a tiny house.

Next up:

  • Finish installing the Styrofoam polystyrene insulation
  • Install the aluminum flashing on the bottom side of the frame
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