Monday, July 30, 2012

Little house destroyed in fire

Tiny house builder Kim Langston was almost finished building her tiny house, when it was destroyed by a fire in the barn where she was building it. Her tiny house was a total loss.

A fundraiser has been set up to help Kim rebuild. Checks can be mailed to her credit union:

Washington State Employee’s Credit Union, West Olympia Branch
2302 Harrison Ave NW, Ste 201,
Olympia, WA 98502

Donations should be made to “Kim Langston Tiny House Fund”

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nailers for siding

Before I can put siding on the top of the end walls, I need to add some studs to nail the siding to. I added 2 short vertical studs up the center line where the edges of the siding will meet.

The end rafters are 2x6 so they extend beyond the wall studs and cannot be used to nail the siding to. I had to add 2x4 nailers to the end rafters on both sides so I can nail the siding to them. The nailers are flush with the exterior of the wall studs. These details are not shown on the plans. I have to do something similar on the opposite end with the door.

We had some heavy rains late yesterday. The bottom of my siding got wet and started to warp. I clamped some scrap 2x4's against the siding to coax the siding back in place. I need to get some primer on this siding ASAP. If I was building this shed again, I would use some Smart Siding instead of the T1-11 to prevent warping.

I moved the rest of my siding inside the shed today. It was leaning up against the side of my house and I didn't want it to damage my vinyl siding. The tarp is over the end because the top of the end wall is still open to the weather.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wall siding

Last Monday I put up the 2 remaining pieces of roof sheathing. They were supposed to be about 25 inches wide, but I had made a mistake when I cut the other roof sheathing and I didn't have enough plywood. When I cut the 22 inch wide pieces, I cut them both from one piece of plywood. I should have cut the 22 inch pieces from 2 separate pieces of plywood, so I would have the wider remnants to cut the 25 inch pieces. So I fudged a bit and used two 24 inch wide pieces instead. I covered one side with tar paper and threw a tarp over the other side, because it was supposed to rain this past week.

My aikido buddy, Todd, came over with his nail gun this morning. We put up the T1-11 siding on 3 sides, within a couple of hours. This would have taken me at least 2 days of work, if I was doing it by myself. Thanks Todd!

Here is a view of the inside of the shed. The frame for the window can be seen on the right. I need to do some housekeeping: sweeping up sawdust and picking up scraps of wood.

My door was delivered this week. I was anxious to measure the door and make sure my rough opening was large enough; I confirmed today that it is. I stored my door inside the shed, to keep it out of the weather. I also planned to move the remaining T1-11 siding inside the shed, because it is leaning against my house. It started raining late this afternoon, so I'll have to move it tomorrow.

My wife has been very supportive of this project; she has held the walls up when I was nailing them in place and helped in other ways as needed. Now that the sheathing is on, she is getting excited. She is talking about putting a wreath on the door, curtains in the windows and flower boxes under the windows! When we are done, the exterior of my shed will look like a tiny house!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roof sheathing

Not a lot to report today. I spent the day cutting plywood and nailing it on the roof. The four smaller pieces are about 22" wide, so I had to cut the plywood lengthwise. I also cut some long pieces about 3" wide to fill in the gaps at the peak. The wind picked up a bit this afternoon, so I had to carefully raise the panels up my ladder between gusts. I have about 3/4 of the roof covered with plywood. I'll probably cover the finished side with builder's paper tomorrow after work, just in case we get thunderstorms. I drove some extra timber lock screws down through the top plates and into every other stud. I figure the extra steel can't hurt. I also bought some primer this weekend. The T1-11 side panels will go up next and I want to prime them as soon as they go up. Hopefully the wall siding will add more rigidity to my shed. I can feel some slight motion now when I am up on the roof.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Topping Off the frame

I started off today tightening up the frame. The SS plans call for 6" timber lock screws but I found in most places they were too long; the threads would be exposed on the opposite side. I used some oversized nuts and washers to snug up the screws. I don't know if the timber lock screws come in 5" lengths; if so I believe that length would work better.

I put a level up on the roof peak and was surprised that it came out fairly level. Another pair of hands would have helped to make it perfect.

Time for the Topping Out ceremony. I cut a small pine and nailed it to the peak. The bough is placed as a symbol of thanksgiving and respect. Some say it gives thanks to the forest for providing timber for a new home. Some say it gives thanks for a safe raising. A few simply say it's "good luck." It was a chance to stand back and look at what I have accomplished so far.

Next I started cutting the plywood for the roof sheathing. The two pieces I put up today were 7' 3" long and 4' wide. I drove temporary nails into one of the purlins and pushed the plywood up the ladder and over the side. This worked well. I think I will be able to do a lot of the roofing from my ladder. This will be good because I'm not crazy about heights!

The SS plans call for two roof panels of different widths. The wider panel overlaps the shorter one. The problem I found is that the plywood for the shorter panel only extends to the side of the panel, so there is this 3.5" gap at the peak. If the plywood was wider, it would overlap the edge of the longer panel and there would not be this gap. This would require moving the purlins since we only have 48" of plywood to work with. (I hope this make sense!) I didn't think of this when I was building the roof panels. I may add a short strip of plywood at the peak so it is all level.

Tomorrow I hope to finish sheathing the roof and put down the tar paper.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Raising remaining roof panels

I took the day off from work and finished my last roof panel this morning. I've been using the base of the walls as a jig to align the roof panels when I nail them together.

I've found the best way to hold everything together while nailing, is to put a short block of wood across the roof panels and step on it with my weight, to keep everything from moving. It works pretty well.

Here is the final finished panel. I wondered how much these panels actually weigh, since I am muscling them up to the roof by myself. I decided to get out the trusty bathroom scale!

Turns out the panels are just shy of 60 pounds each.

When raising the 3rd panel, I used some rope again as a second pair of hands. I pushed the panel up the ladder and tied it off to keep it in place. Then I moved to the loft and pulled it up the rest of the way. I had to be careful with the 3rd panel because it is close to my neighbor's fence. If I had lost control of it, it would have taken out my neighbor's fence!

The 2x4 I had nailed to the panel to use as a guide, worked perfectly. It held the top of the panel in place as I pushed it up. The stop block at the bottom of the panel rested against the top plate and kept the panel from sliding off.

I used my grandfather's big C clamp for final adjustments. Note the safety rope at the peak.

I raised the 4th panel the same way as the 3rd panel. Once it was in place, I used the C clamp to adjust the eave into the proper position.

I attached the panels together with timber lock screws. I also used the C clamp to move the center of the panels up slightly so the peak would be level. Once it was at the proper height, I drove timber lock screws up through the top plates and into the eaves of the roof panels.

Putting up all the panels by myself took extra time; if I had another set of hands, it would have gone quicker and aligning the panels would have been easier. But I wanted to see if it was possible for one person to raise the roof panels, and it is.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tightening up the eaves

I did some tightening up of the frame today. When the timber lock screws are driven in, they tend to separate the eave purlin from the top plate. There is a tiny space which can be seen in this picture.

I backed out the timber lock screws and used my big clamp to draw the eave and top plate together. Then I re-tightened the screws and also drove in a couple of 16P nails on an angle. Now there is no space between them.

I laid out the 3rd roof panel, cut the 2x4s and nailed it together. When laying out the panels, I needed to pay attention to where the plywood sheets for the roof end. In the picture below, one plywood sheet runs width wise from the peak to a purlin. I want the center of the pulin to be exactly 48" from the peak, so I can nail into the purlin. The SS plans are a little confusing to me in this area.

3rd roof panel is finished and ready to go. I nailed a short 2x4 to the top to use as a guide (and extra hand) when raising this panel. I also added another stop block to hold the panel flush with the top plate.

I had to make a run to get another dozen 2x4s, 9 of which I will need for the last roof panel. I must have counted wrong on my original order! I also need some additional 2x4s for a temporary loft above the front door, so I have a place to stand when I raise the rest of the roof.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two roof panels installed

I finished the 2nd roof panel yesterday and installed the first half of the roof today.
I nailed a piece of scrap wood to the bottom edge of the first panel. When I lifted the panel into place, I rested the one end on the top plate.

I used my big C clamp to hold the top piece of the panel in position, while I toe nailed it in place. Then I put a timber lock screw in the end to hold it in position. I went down to the deck and added another couple of timber lock screws up through the top plate and into the eave. Note the rope I used as a safety line to keep the panel from falling too far, if I dropped it!

Here is a view of the first roof panel in position.

The second panel overlaps the first panel at the peak. I pushed the second panel up into the loft over the side wall. I used some rope to hold one end of the panel in position while I worked on the other end. (I've been doing this all solo.) I used the C clamp again to hold the panel in position while I aligned the peak.

Then I drove in more timber lock screws to secure the second panel.

Here is what the first half of the roof looks like from a distance.

Monday, July 9, 2012

First roof panel done

I nailed together the first roof panel tonight after getting home from work. Each panel consists of 9 2x4's; 5 are cut to one length and the other 4 are cut to a different length. It takes a lot of nails to join these 2x4's into a panel! I was able to move the finished panel around and carefully moved it up onto my temporary loft by myself. (You can see it in the picture if you look carefully.) I plan to nail some blocks to the underside of the panels to hold them in approximate position and so they don't go sliding over the side of my SS.

I added a diagonal brace to one corner to stiffen up the frame. It worked great; the frame feels much more rigid. I plan to add one to the other corner also. If I had the plywood sheathing on, I'm sure it would be more rigid. I'm waiting to get the roof on before I put on the sheathing, because I'm not sure how high the sheathing will go on the sides. Once the roof is on, I'll butt the sheathing against the underside of the roof overhang.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 8 - all 4 walls up

I assembled the top of the 4th wall today. I ran out of room on my deck for assembly, so I angled the top of the wall onto the deck and attached the end rafters. I raised the bottom of the wall on blocks to make it level.

I used my other circular saw for the 45 degree cuts today, and it did a better job. The angular adjustment on this saw is more precise.

What I don't like is that this saw does not have a safety switch on it. It also doesn't have a trigger guard so you have to be careful where you put your index finger.

This wall was heavy and the base of the wall was off the platform on the grass. I used two 2x4's on the ground to slide the wall over to the deck. Then I put scrap 2x4's under the wall, one side at a time, to slowly raise the wall up to the deck.

I had to persuade one of the corners into position before nailing it together.

All walls up and nailed together.

I started the cutting and assembly of the first roof panel as well. My plan is to get the 4 roof panels made when I come home from work this week and then raise the roof next weekend.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 7 - My shed goes 3D !

I framed the bottom part of my final wall today. This wall will contain an exterior steel door. Because my SS is only 11 feet tall, instead of 12 feet, I had to modify the framing to fit the rough opening for the door. Not difficult but time consuming. I ran out of deck space, so I didn't add the end rafters. I'll finish that wall tomorrow.

It was finally time to raise the walls. I raised the rear wall first and had my wife hold it steady while I nailed it down and added a brace to the corner. The second wall went up easily and everything was square.

I dragged the 3rd wall onto the platform from the grass. The hardest part was juggling the walls around the free space on the deck.

Third wall up, aligned and nailed down.

It is amazing: it took a week to build the platform and walls, and it took 30 minutes to raise the walls and go 3D !