Tiny Helpers for our Tiny House

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bryce, Anthony and Adrian the Builders

Bryce, Anthony and Adrian the Builders

Today was such an unusual and productive day of work that I think it deserves its own category: Tiny Helpers for Our Tiny Home.  Today, our friends, Adrian and Evelyn, came over with their sons, Bryce and Anthony, to help us work on our tiny home.  Bryce is almost 5 and Anthony is 2 1/2.  The four of them were our only volunteers today.  When Adrian and Evelyn told me they were coming over with their kids, I was looking forward to seeing them all, but did not think we would actually get that much done on the tiny house.  Boy, was I mistaken.  Not only did Adrian show up ready to work with his hammer, tool belt and drill, his kids showed up with their very own little tool belts as well.  Adrian wasn’t there for more than 10 minutes before he started drilling pilot holes and hammering nails (Adrian has done a lot of work on his house and is actually a pretty good carpenter).  I was impressed enough that he jumped in so quickly.  What I was not expecting was for his kids to actually help too.  The next time I looked up, Bryce and Anthony were actually drilling holes and hammering nails with their father!  It was incredible and extremely cute.  Within a few hours, we had assembled almost the entire right wall, accomplishing more before lunch than I expected to accomplish all day.  I’m pretty sure watching Adrian and Evelyn’s kids help build our wall today is the most fun I have had since we started the tiny house project.

Adrian Helps Anthony Hammer a Few Nails

Adrian Helps Anthony Hammer a Few Nails

Here’s who helped today:

  • Adrian (master builder & awesome father)
  • Evelyn (construction and kid watching)
  • Bryce (tiny house builder in training)
  • Anthony (tiny house builder in training)
  • Sheila (construction and lunch)

Here’s what we did today:

  • Assembled all of the pieces of the right wall and hammered them together.
  • Cut out and installed all of the little pieces that run down the center of the wall
  • Laid out the left wall, marking the top and bottom plates for all of the studs, wheel wells and windows.
  • Cut out all the pieces required for the left wall.

Evelyn left shortly before lunch and Adrian and the kids left after lunch, so for the rest of the afternoon, it was just Sheila and I.  Since I wasn’t expecting to get the whole right wall done, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do once we finished.  We thought about moving the wall off the trailer, but without plywood attached, the wall is very fragile and difficult to move.  I thought about installing plywood, but I needed some more time to think about how far the plywood will hang off the top and bottom of the walls and how to accurately make the cut out around the wheel well.  Instead of continuing with the right wall, we decided to spend the rest of our day laying out the left wall and then quitting a little bit early, giving me enough time to make this entry before 11:00 PM like last night.

Today’s Epiphanies:

  • It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, anybody can be contributing part of a project like building a tiny house (and have fun too).

Problems we ran into today:

  • I can’t think of any problems we ran into today.  Everything seemed to work perfectly.  All of the wood lined up and nailed together without any issues.  That’s pretty astounding!

I think it really helped that we built a jig on the floor of the tiny house last night, basically bounding the edges of the walls.  This kept things lined up and square as we were working today.

NOTE from 2/2/14: I discovered today that the jig I built on the floor was not actually square.  The mistake I made was that I did not actually measure the jig before I used it.  I just assumed that if it was lined up with the floor, it was square.  As a result of this, the top and bottom plates of both the left and right walls ended up being different lengths by about 1/4 inch.  I noticed the error on the right wall after the plywood was already installed and it was too late to fix.  Luckily that error was fairly small.  The error on the left wall was much bigger.  However, I noticed it before I installed the plywood which meant that I was able to pull the front end of the wall apart, cut down some of the lumber on the bottom plate to make it the right size, and screw it all back together.

Next up:

  • Attaching plywood to the right wall and moving it off the trailer
  • Laying out and assembling the left wall
Right Wall Framed!

Right Wall Framed!

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