June 7, 2015
I had a great day working on the tiny house yesterday. It was one of my best days in months and a complete contrast from my day just one week ago. I’m finally making real progress on the interior siding, things are going smoothly and I’m no longer running into problems that I can’t solve. I’m actually having fun with the tiny house for the first time in quite a while.
My only wish at this point is that I had more time to spend on it. Now that I actually know what I’m doing and am making progress, I find myself wishing I could take a whole week off to keep working on the house and get the interior siding done. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough vacation time to do this. However, Sheila told me that it’s so rare that I really enjoy working on the tiny house that I shouldn’t be trying to rush through what I’m doing. If the interior siding takes me another four weeks, then that’s four weeks of time that I can say I’m enjoying working on my house. My wife can be very wise sometimes.
I was so excited about working on the house yesterday that I was ready to go at 6:45 AM. Since that was too early to run power tools, I spent the first couple hours of my morning going to Lowe’s to purchase more packages of interior siding and some 1 x 4 x 8′ select white pine boards to use as trim around the windows. On the way home from the hardware store, I picked up a sandwich at Panera bread so I wouldn’t have to worry about lunch later. I rarely buy myself lunch, but I didn’t want to be distracted by stopping to make food today. Plus, I knew having a yummy sandwich to look forward to might inspire me to actually take a break for lunch instead of just working all day.
I finally got over to the tiny house at about 10:00 AM and spent the next couple of hours installing rest of the interior siding on the front gable and most of the rest of the siding on the right side of the ceiling. At about 1:00 PM, I took a break, perched myself on the edge of my loft and ate my delicious sandwich.
After lunch, I went back over to my not-so-tiny house to do some work on the table saw. The first thing I had to do was rip a long strip of siding to fit at the very top of the ceiling, near the ridge beam. I decided to make the cut on this siding at a 45° angle so that the siding wouldn’t press into or stress the plastic sheeting any more than it needed to.
The next thing I did was start to prepare my wood for the window trim. I watched the Tumbleweed video again to see how they installed their trim. They don’t say it on the video or specify it in the plans, but I could tell from the video that the vertical strips of siding on the left and right side of the window were a different width than the horizontal pieces of siding on the top and bottom. I paused the video for a while and actually took a tape measure to my television, trying to figure out what dimension the vertical pieces were. I eventually convinced myself that while the horizontal pieces were 3 1/2″ wide, the vertical pieces were only 2 3/4″ wide. The difference in width requires ripping a 3/4″ strip off of some of my trim boards. However, the effect provides a nice contrast along with an additional benefit. Each time I rip a board, I will also be left with a 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 8′ strip of pine that I can use as trim along the corners. To test all of this out, I ripped just one board, sanded the freshly cut edges, cut two horizontal and two vertical trim pieces for my gable window and went back over to the tiny house to see if it would all work.
Before installing the trim around the windows, I first installed the final strip the siding on the right side of the ceiling. With that, I could call three surfaces of my interior complete: the right side ceiling and both gables. That felt good.
With the right side of the ceiling complete, I moved on to installing the trim boards that I carefully cut back at the house after lunch. I started with the gable window. This was fairly straightforward except for the horizontal trim board above the window which I had to cut at a 45° angle on each upper corner to avoid the ceiling. I brought the cut in an extra 3/4″ from the ceiling to make room for the trim board that will run along both sides of the gable. Once I had everything cut to size, I glued and nailed each piece into place using 2 inch finish nails.
One thing I should note here is that in the Tumbleweed video, they demonstrate how to carefully cut a small notch on the backside of the trim boards so that the trim boards seat nicely over the window frame. Tumbleweed had to do this because their window frames stuck out past the edge of their interior siding by about 1/4″. However, for whatever reason, that did not happen for me. My window frame ended up being exactly flush with my interior siding. I don’t know how that happened. I certainly didn’t plan it, but I’m going to accept this wonderful gift from the universe. It means that I can install of my trim boards as they are, without any complicated cuts.
With the gable window trimmed, I decided to finish the electrical work on the front gable as well. On Friday after work, I had already carefully cut and installed the siding around all of the electrical outlets and switches. I had also installed all the cover plates. Now it was time to install the light above the gable window. The only problem I ran into with that was that I evidently wasn’t quite as precise as I should have been cutting the hole in my siding around the electrical box. As a result, I ended up having a small gap in the siding that showed below the fixture. I fixed this by carefully cutting out a circular crescent of siding and gluing it in place inside the gap. That took a little while but came out fairly well. After that, the rest of the installation was fairly straightforward and I think it came out nicely. I really like the Hampton Bay Weathered Spruce Lodge light fixtures that I purchased from Home Depot.
Although it was getting a little bit late when I finished installing my light, I was having such fun and things were looking so nice that I decided to continue with trimming the skylight. This was a little more complicated. The three-quarter inch thick pine boards I had used to trim the the interior of the skylight several weeks ago ended up being just a little bit too wide (which was certainly better than a little bit too narrow!). I had not nailed these pieces in place earlier because I knew they might not be exactly the right size. With the siding in place, I could now mark where they needed to be trimmed by running a pencil down the edge. I then pulled them all out and individually trimmed each one down to size by carefully clamping a guide to each piece of wood and running my circular saw down the edge. Once I was convinced they were the right size, I glued and nailed them into place and then added the trim boards.
I finally called it quits at about 7:00 PM last night, about 12 hours after I started working. I worked a little longer than normal yesterday, but I really wanted to get those trim boards installed. I wanted to have at least a small part of my house that looked actually finished. I have to say that I’m really happy with the way things are turning out. I think it looks beautiful. I can’t wait to get more work done, but for now I’m just going to rest and try to enjoy what I have created.