Insulating and Flashing the Floor

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 7:45 AM

This was the third day working on the tiny house.  I continue to make progress.  However, everything always takes a lot longer than I am expecting.  Even the smallest tasks seem to generate problems that require huge amounts of thinking to resolve.

Here’s who helped today:

  • Andrew (construction)
  • Sabina (construction)
  • Sheila (construction and food)

Here’s what we accomplished today:

  • Cutting up and installing all of the polystyrene in the floor.
Andrew and I Installing Polystyrene

Andrew and I Installing Polystyrene

  • Finishing installation of all of the rubber flashing on the underside of the treated wood to separate the wood from the aluminum flashing.
  • Cutting the aluminum flashing, laying it out in strips and stapling it to the floor
  • Flipping the floor over
  • Filling gaps in the polystyrene with spray foam (kind of cool and kind of yucky and sticky at the same time)

Flipping the floor over was a little bit tricky, especially since the entire floor is still sitting in my garage.  Luckily, the distance from the floor to the ceiling in my garage is longer than the width of the floor.  Thus, we were able to lift the floor up on its side, scoot the whole floor from one side of the garage to the other and then lay the floor back down on its other side.

Today’s Epiphanies:

  • It is much easier to cut large sheets of polystyrene with two people.  Having one person on each side of the polystyrene really cuts down on the time required to cut up all of the pieces.  It’s amazing how much time it takes for a single person to walk back and forth between two sides of a 4×8 foot sheet of polystyrene.
  • Cans of expanding spray foam clog up and become unusable within a few hours of first use, so don’t open one up until you are ready to use it up.

Andrew and I used the following process:

  • Lay the polystyrene down over the section of the floor where it will go.
  • Each person marks their side of the polystyrene that will need to be cut.
  • Lay a furring strip down and lightly clamp it to both sides to provide a straight edge to cut along
  • Make the cut with a paring knife
  • Install the polystyrene in the frame

I discovered that the sticky side of the rubber flashing sticks much better to the polystyrene that it does to the pressure treated wood, which is kind of wet from all the chemicals within it.  As a result, I found that it was much easier to install all of the polystyrene and then lay the rubber stripping over both the treated wood and the polystyrene instead of wrapping the rubber around the wood and then installing the polystyrene.

Problems we ran into today:

  • Discovering that the two by four boards along the outside edge of my floor frame are bowed outwards by as much as ¼ inch in the middle.  I’m not sure how this happened, but I’m guessing we cut the floor joists in the middle of the frame a little bit too long.  I don’t know what to do about this yet or whether it even matters.  I’m considering waiting to see if it creates a problem and dealing with it later, only if I need to.
  • Trying to decide when to move the floor back onto the trailer.  It would be nice to move the floor out of our garage and to do so before I install the plywood which will make it even heavier.  However, I still have a bunch of welding I need to do on the trailer which I don’t think I can do while the floor is on it.  So even if I get the floor on the trailer, I will probably have to take it off again sometime in the future.

Favorite part of my day:

  • Sitting down to a dinner of rice and carnitas pork with Andrew, Sabine and Ian.  It felt good to relax with my friends after a day of work.
Fully Flashed Floor (Sheila, Andrew and Sabine)

Fully Flashed Floor (Sheila, Andrew and Sabine)

Next up:

  • Ask my friends for help, expertise and tools
  • Find a welder who can add the all threaded rod to my trailer
  • Cut out the plywood for the floor.
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