May 16, 2015
I had a really good time working on the tiny house yesterday, despite the fact that I did not sleep very well the night before. I can’t say that I wasn’t a little bit tired in the morning. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to replace the saw blade in my chop saw because I think my brain just wasn’t working right yet (yes, I was actually still using the SAME blade that came with the saw and that had already cut all the other wood for my house). However, by about 10 o’clock, I started to wake up and function a little bit more normally. Soon after that, Andrew arrived to help and after that, the day went pretty well.
Who helped yesterday:
- Andrew (my right hand man, once again)
- Sheila (brought pizza for lunch)
- Gregory (loaned me his awesome Bosch table saw)
Andrew and I worked on several different things yesterday. First, based on my decision in my prior post about vapor barriers, we completely sealed all of the 6 mm poly that we had installed in the ceiling. This was a little bit time-consuming, but not too hard. We put a layer of caulk all around the edges of the plastic, wherever it ended in contact with the wood. The instructions I found online for this said to use polyurethane caulk which is supposed to be really caustic and very hard to clean up. I couldn’t find polyurethane caulk at the hardware store and didn’t want to deal with that stuff so I just used some leftover acrylic latex caulk. After applying a bead of caulk around the lower edges of the plastic, I stapled the edges down, making sure the staples went through the caulk. After that, Andrew and I used either Tyvek tape or leftover rubber flashing to seal every single seam and every single hole or puncture we could find in the plastic. Both the tape and the flashing seemed to work for this purpose although the flashing seemed to work just a little bit better. If you really pressed the flashing into the plastic, it seemed to bond with the plastic in a way that prevented being able to pull it off again.
Once we had the plastic on the ceiling completely sealed, we spent some time starting to sort through all of the interior quarter inch pine tongue and groove interior siding and cut up some of this wood to go on the walls. It took us a while to figure out where we wanted to start with this and whether we wanted to install the siding starting at the bottom or the top. Eventually we decided to start at the loft level and work up towards the ridge beam. We got only a few pieces measured and cut before running into a small problem. We realized that to install the siding on the inside of the ceiling, we would have to go around the skylight and doing so correctly would mean finally figuring out something I have been putting off for a long time: how to trim the interior of the skylight.
It took a bit of thinking to figure out how to trim the skylight, but the final solution we came up did not take all that long to create and I think it looks really good. The first thing we had to do was install some strips of plastic trim that came with skylight. After studying these pieces for a while, I finally concluded that they should have been installed before the skylight was installed (the Velux instructions never mentioned this). The strips had a little plastic fin that was supposed to go underneath the roofing plywood that was of course completely impossible to get underneath the plywood now that the skylight was installed. Eventually, we decided to simply rip the fin off with a table saw and install the pieces with a small gap between them and the plywood. For the rest of the trim, I pulled out a spare piece of 3/4″tongue and groove board leftover from the loft and cut it into four pieces to go around the four sides of the skylight frame. If you remember from my earlier post on installing the skylight, I cut the hole in the exterior roofing plywood for the skylight the right size, but mistakenly made the 2 x 4 framing for the skylight ¾” bigger than that hole on all sides.
I chose the ¾” x 6″ tongue and groove because it was exactly the right size to fill up that space. I ripped the tongue and groove to 4 3/4″ wide to accommodate the 3 ½” rafters, the ½” plywood on the roof and the 1/4″ interior siding. With a little bit of notching, I was able to get the tongue and groove to overlap and completely conceal the edges of the roofing plywood, including the gap between the plywood and the plastic trim pieces. What I had left was a beautiful pine frame that completely covered the plywood and all sides of the original rough opening while also sticking out past the edge of the rafters by exactly the width of the interior siding. Now, when I install the interior siding, it will come up flush with the frame and I will be able to easily install a frame around the entire thing.
Best of all, we built all of the skylight trim entirely out of scrap wood.
I almost did not build the skylight trim yesterday. When Andrew and I figured out we needed to build it, it was already 5:00 and I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I was thinking about quitting, but Andrew encouraged me to just take a shot at it. I’m really glad he did this because building this frame ended up being one of the most fun things I have done on the house in quite some time. Sheila came out at 6:00 PM to make sure we were not working too hard or too long, but I assured her that we were on a roll, actually having fun and that neither one of us wanted to quit. By 7:00 PM, we had the whole thing done. After trimming the skylight, we all went over to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. After everything we accomplished today, dinner tasted especially good.
Favorite part of the day:
- My favorite part of the day was building the trim for the skylight and actually having fun with it. Ever since I started working on the tiny house again about six weeks ago, I have really been struggling with it. I feel like I’m constantly encountering problems I don’t know how to solve. As a result, I always feel tired and worn out, I never feel like I’m making progress fast enough and I have been having real trouble sleeping. Yesterday, I finally decided to try something different. I decided to simply stop caring how much progress I made. I did not push myself, I did not rush and I did not stop once to think about how much I was or was not accomplishing. As a result, I not only had more fun working on the tiny house then I can remember having a long time, I also got my first good night’s sleep in weeks.