Today I wanted to share with you all on how I framed the floor of my house. The framing was done with treated 2×4’s placed on 2 foot centers. The trick to framing is to have all your joists designed to both land on 24″ centers (so when you place sub flooring – 4 feet wide – you know exactly where to screw into the floor joists). The other thing you need to consider is the forces that the floor is going to be encountering, this effectively is your foundation, so it’s important for this to be really strong.
To add more strength I used corner braces that are used in hurricane prone area building, I also tied the floor joists to the deck of the trailer using high sheer strength screws. I screwed from below the trailer, through the trailer decking, into the joists. In certain key joints I chiseled out notches for the cross members to sit into, this wasn’t in the plans, but I thought the potential forces seemed to call for it. Here is a video and then a bunch of photos after that.
After removing the boards for the deck of my house, I then flashed the whole surface of the trailer with galvanized metal flashing. This will prevent moisture from getting into the insulation and floor framing and prevent mice or road debris from entering into the undercarriage. I made sure to overlap the seams and then used flashing adhesive to seal it all up. The sheets then were secured using staples and the vapor barrier was placed on top of that.
It’s worth noting my approach to moisture when it comes to my Tiny House. I have several layers of redundancy to prevent moisture from becoming and issue. First is the fact that the trailer is inherently off the ground, this means that there is a good air flow to dry out any moisture that does make its way under the house. I plan to have a gravel pad to facilitate better drainage under where the house is parked. From there I have the trailer decking which is pressure treated. I think it is very unlikely that much water will be able to get up underneath the trailer other than if I were to drive it down a road after/during a rain shower. From there I have a sealed layer of galvanized metal flashing. This will prevent any water from entering an because its galvanized, it is well adapt at handling it if it does. On top of that is a sheet of 6mil vapor barrier. On top of that is my floor framing and insulation. The floor framing is also treated and the foam is closed cell so it will not absorb any moisture. All in all I think moisture isn’t going to be a huge issue because of the air flow, but if it does get in, there are multiple layers to handle it.
First step was to cut a hole for the tiny house deck. The decking of the actual trailer is treated lumber, to cut the hole I used a sawzall to make the cuts.
Then I attached galvanized flashing to the deck, being sure to overlap the seams and seal them with flashing adhesive.
Then I added a 6mil vapor barrier.
Finally all my floor framing (covered in depth in another post) is all treated lumber.
Today was day one of building the Tiny House and I didn’t get as far as I hopped I would. My welder let me know that he wasn’t going to have time until Monday to tackle the project, but it shouldn’t take him that long to do. So most of the day was spent driving to Lexington to pickup my trailer at Kaufman Trailers, then talking with the welder about what needed to be done. The welder had some ideas on how to improve the structural integrity of the anchoring of the house to the trailer over and above what Tumbleweed recommended so the plan has changed slightly.
Even though I didn’t get started on the floor framing like I had wanted, I have a game plan for the welding, I picked up almost all the lumbar for the floor framing and all the little things have been collected.
Here is a photo of the last load of lumber for the floor portion of the build.
Today I learned a few important lessons that I think I’d be wise to keep in mind during this process.
Everything and I do mean EVERYTHING takes way longer than you thought it would.
Have a plan, think it through, then be prepared to totally change it as things come up.
While building a Tiny House always have: work gloves, a tape measure, you house plans, pencil, calculator, patience…
My good friend Alex over at Tiny House Talk just posted a interview I did with him that I wanted to share with all of you. It talks a little bit about how I arrived at Tiny Houses, then we get into my plans to build starting in November 2012. It was a lot of fun talk to Alex and you can find his full post and transcript here
Over four years ago I discovered Tiny Houses and fell in love with them. I have always been fascinated with alternative housing, from the time I was a boy I built countless forts in the woods. So we have arrived, I will be building my Tiny House starting in just a few short weeks!
I have no idea how long it is going to take me, but it will be a challenge for sure. To set the bar for you all, the biggest thing I have ever built has been a chicken coop. I have no finish carpentry experience or house building experience, but I have been researching vigorously, talking to a lot of people, and will have friends help out where they can.
Many of you might have remembered that not too long ago I thought building my Tiny House was going to be a dream differed for another year or so, but recently I received a sizable bump in income with my other job and things started to fall into place. It’s kind of crazy how everything just clicked all of a sudden. Within two weeks my income grew, I had a place to build the house, and the last few details clicked too. I then found myself sitting here asking myself, “is there anything holding me back from doing this?” The answer was no, I have arrived at the edge and all I had to do was take the plunge.
The land that I will be building on (on a trailer that is) is 2 acres right on the lake here in Charlotte, NC. I am currently house sitting for them so I am keeping an eye after it and mow the lawn.
Going forward I will be detailing all the steps of building, have videos, interviews, informational posts and once it is complete I will be opening it up to tours for those of you who are close by. Once I start doing these posts I will also have a new menu item that will easily categorize the building process for those who are building their own Tiny House.