Walls are started and the cabin starts looking like a….home.


18V Makita circular saw


3 nails into each 2×6 at bottom and top

Walls!  This was a very exciting step to take, as it showed the outline of the cabin still to come.  The first picture shows my trusty 18V cordless Makita circular saw that I used to cut the 2 bys to proper lengths.  I have 3 batteries for it so there was never a slow down in cutting – no waiting for batteries to charge.

To make the walls, I nailed together sets of studs connected top and bottom into “boxes” of no more than 4 feet long.  I needed to do this in order to lift them up by myself.  The studs are set at 24″ on center as described in Value Engineering/Advanced Home Building Techniques/Advanced Framing.  This type of building is very appropriate for Tiny Homes as it reduces waste, weight, cost, and difficulty.

That being said, I still ended up with doubled 2x6s every 3 or 4 feet due to the stud “boxes” being set next to each other.  If I hadn’t had to build this way I could have been much more efficient, but….single and short woman here!


A section of wall built before lifting into place.

Hopefully, this picture shows the stud “box” I am talking about – a section of wall about 3 feet long.


This is a whole wall of studs all ready to lift

Here are the studs ready to lift up along the non-window side of the cabin.  I started on this side because it seemed the easiest to frame.  I forgot to mention earlier that I painstakingly worked out a framing diagram so I had all the measurements already figured out.  I’m glad I took the time to do this, as I was able to determine where any extra weight would be placed on the wall and build in extra crossbeams to nail things like counter tops too.  Ok, that sentence is awkward, but hopefully clear enough!


Kitchen window brought home on my wonderful scooter

I thought a picture of the final window I purchased would be nice to show, as I brought it home by scooter.  I brought a lot of my supplies and equipment home this way.  I do have a truck,, but prefer driving the scooter, and enjoy the funny looks on the way home.

Building a new deck on the newly-painted frame

First the frame needed rust removed and to be painted.  I used a rust-bonding paint at first, but it didn’t seem to bond as it should have.  Possibly the damp and cold weather caused the problem, but I soon switched to plain old Rustoleum-type paints.  This stuff worked well, sticking and covering smoothly.


The tires and axles need to be replaced, contrasting markedly with the painted sections.

The tires are rotting, and the brake wiring is cut.  The old axles actually work and are strong, although old.  I will be replacing the tires, and probably the axles in the future.

Once the paint was dry, it was time to start the new build!  This is picture-heavy, as I wanted to record lots of details.   The camera used is pretty old and I apologize for the picture quality.


One of many hauls from the local Restore. I got the whole box for $15. Not visible are 2 unopened boxes of heavy metal strapping, a real find.

Approximately 75% of the metal strapping, fasteners, and whatnot came from a local Restore.  I did some comparisons of what I paid vs. costs at local big box stores, and found I often paid only about 10% of retail.  I checked out the two Restores close to me at least once a week, and usually more often than that.  The gas used was more than offset by the great finds.


I couldn’t afford metal sheathing, plus I have a lot of thin plywood on hand. So, I made this non-load-bearing wood layer to protect the floor insulation.

The underside of this plywood is completely painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior paint to repel water.  I have 4 gallons from the “oops paint” section of local big box stores that cost $5 each.  I’m not overly worried about not using metal sheathing, as although it makes a superior insect/critter barrier, it is very prone to condensation – and water getting in is my worst nightmare.


Chickens and turkeys are fascinated by the activity, and would often come by to check it out.

It’s never lonely, even when I am alone.  Too bad they can’t give me a hand….


There are requirements for building in the Pacific Northwest, which include a canopy and coffee to fend off weather effects.

My new 10′ by 20′ canopy made it possible to work on the trailer and flooring even in late winter/early spring.  Cost a lot, but I’ll use it for other things after all this is complete.  The 2×6 planks stacked up on the sheathing are for wall framing, and are just sitting there after being unloaded from my little hauling trailer.


Foil-faced rigid foam covers the wood sheathing.

After finishing the screw & glue of the wood sheathing, I filled in the spaces between the 2x’s with 1/4″ rigid foam I had purchased a couple years ago for $6 a bundle.  2 layers worked well, with staggered seams and flexible foam sealant ensuring good protection from water coming up from below.  I want to keep my floor “box” as dry as possible.


Flexible foam fills in spaces inside the box, and silicone-based flexible sealants fill gaps on the weather-exposed sides.

You can’t be too careful with sealing when fighting against water intrusion.  I did a lot of research on the best products to use in each step, paying close attention to chemical interactions.  It’s important to use compatible materials, or your seals will fail.


Wool insulation between joists

So, the order from bottom up is: painted plywood, rigid foam boards gapped with flexible foam, wool insulation, roofing felt (to repel water from above), and another layer of rigid foam, this time taped up with waterproof tape.  So far, so good….


My wool insulation personally delivered by the owner of Oregon Shepherd. See how it all fits into the back of a pickup?

Lovely, lovely stuff, wool.  Go to http://www.oregonshepherd.com/ for facts about this product.  I choose it for obvious reasons:  incredibly effective insulator that only works better over time as it always tries to keep expanding, natural and reasonably local, light-weight, long-lasting, and not as expensive as you’d think.   I can’t recommend Oregon Shepard enough.  Here’s a picture of the owner dropping off my order FOR FREE (free shipping was included in the purchase price, and as she was driving up my direction anyway, she dropped it off personally.  Nice woman.).  Another Tiny Home builder used it too: http://littleyellowdoor.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/more-siding-more-wall-paneling-more-insulation/  Funnily enough, I bought my insulation before knowing other Tiny Homers were using it.  I thought I was the only one!


Next up is the plywood under floor.

I decided to put a layer of rosin paper between the rigid foam and the 3/4″ painted plywood.  It should keep things from squeaking.  No pictures taken, sorry.

Next post will cover some of my wall framing experiences (traumas and triumphs).

Taking the old floor off.

After staring at the heap ‘o junk for several weeks, the next step was getting all the torn down bits off and to the dump, burn pile or re-purpose pile.  NEVER trust a friend’s teenage son to “help” with deconstruction unsupervised, or you too might face this.  I though he was old enough to be responsible….

I had help with the cleaning u, as the mess was simply too cumbersome for me to handle.  What I ended up with was this:


Now to get the old flooring and subfloor off.


Looking much larger without the junk on it.

Nasty, eh?  That’s what happens to old RVs, campers, travel trailers and whatnot after living in the Pacific NW all their lives.  Rot, rust and mold.   Back when I embarked on this project, I determined that my housing would need to be well-insulated for my property on the mountain, and leak-free for while living here.  I knew I’d have to do better than a pre-built home.

Getting the old floor and flashing off:


There was much less rot than I expected – and the wood was much thicker, too!


Now to get that torn up flashing off!

Oh, notice that old barn is now torn down?