31 Oct

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve spent a lot of time studying everything from different construction techniques, to the proper nailing schedules mandated by the County (meaning, which type of nail – and there are many – to how far apart they should be from one another, from edges of plywood, from joints, edges of stick frame elements, etc.).

I definitely have a different approach than charge-right-in Ella at, whom I admire greatly for her initiative.  I myself feel more comfortable figuring out what I’m doing – at least most of the way – and then moving fast. I hate needing something, driving to Home Depot, trying to figure out what I need and realizing I should have brought part of my project with me, taking a guess and buying something, then driving home and  finding out it wasn’t the right thing to buy. Then head back to Home Depot again. Repeat, ad nauseum, lol.

One invaluable place to learn has been Youtube. It’s quite interesting that if you want to know how to do most any task, you can find a video demonstration of it. From “how to fix a squeaky floor,” to “how to frame a house,” to “how to remove hard water stains in toilets” to “how to replace the blade in a Skil-saw,” you can find it. An added bonus is that if you check out a couple different videos on the same topic, often you can pick up some small but very useful trick of the trade from an experienced craftsperson, the kind of information that’s often not in any books.

I’ve also been busy finishing an incredibly detailed CAD model of my tiny house and trailer right down to every board, cabinet, and power outlet. Since my house will maximize width and ceiling height, I will construct the trailer myself using leaf springs and a pair of 4″ drop axles from Dexter.  And serious trailer fabrication is necessary anyhow since my house has a major unique twist which I can’t wait to reveal.

One big delay for me was the time learning about, deciding on, and converting my design from stick-built to SIP construction. I’m excited about it since it will greatly speed construction, improve insulation, and reduce weight.

I think total weight is a piece of information not accurately captured by many mobile tiny house folks. 2×4’s are relatively heavy and add up fast, and so does siding, inside and out. I would not be surprised if, once a Tumbleweed (for example) is fully laden, it exceeds the published approximate weight by a significant amount. That’s important because overloading the axles, springs, brakes, tongue, and/or tow vehicle’s gross towing rating, are all bad news.

I’ve figured out some ways to reduce house weight cost-effectively, or even at a cost savings. Looking forward to sharing!


2 Responses to “Progress!”

  1. Agent L January 14, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    2x4s are heavy when wet, when I go to the home depot (Construction worker all my life but no expert here) I buy the wet ones because they are easier to nail by hand. The nails just sink in like butter. But for a trailer like yours where weight is an issue try getting lighter 2x4s, there is no brand or anything they just come in to the store wet sometimes. and even in a wet pile you will find light ones below. Or you can always spread them out in the sun. but with lighter ones they arent as easy to nail.

    By the way I just found your blog, why havent you updated? damn october 18th? just sayin…

  2. carley November 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I can’t wait to hear the twist and the secret to lightweight-ness! I’m designing my own right now and I would love to know your ideas.

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