Painting Woes (And Another Leak)

I like to paint.  It’s easy and fun and colors, whee!  Funnily enough, the walls mostly will be covered by closets and cabinets and stuff, but I like knowing there’s something pretty behind all that.

After trying the pink painted high up on the walls, with a pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls, I discovered I vastly preferred the white over my head. Here’s the before:

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OMG PINK

White reflects light better and looks clean and fresh.  Luckily I still had the Zinsser Oil-based primer to cover the other colors.  It took one coat, plus two coats of Glidden Extreme White Semi-Gloss Exterior Paint to cover everything perfectly.  Yes, I used exterior paint inside.  I also used it on the cedar trim on the exterior, after priming with the Zinnser (which is perfect for cedar), and had a ton left over.  Since I’m not living in the space, and since the oil-based primer is also stinky, I figured, why not?  There’s time for it to off-gas before I move in, and the color is just what I wanted.  I can’t afford to waste paint, or really anything.  This is one of the reasons why the structure is a little odd-ball. 🙂

After I tamed the yellow and pink, I started trying for the look I wanted ~ a blend of pink, yellow and tangerines. I have a favorite skirt that I love that is pink and orange, green and reddish, and I want to try those colors in the interior.  I have a little pot of grass green for…somewhere.  Here’s what I have now:

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The colors!

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A cool blend on the side walls

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The wall under the loft. I like this area the best

I like it.  Luckily, the area I like the best, the wall under the loft (behind the cab of the truck) will show the most.  It’s pretty and not overwhelming.  Other than some touch ups, and maybe adding a little red at some point, and of course the moldings, the walls are finished.

Oh yes, the leak.  It’s not the roof, although yes, there was a small leak which is now gone due to the new roofing.  It might have been present the whole time but hidden by the bigger roof leak.  This new leak is actually through the door/skylight itself…it appears that the panes of glass and the wood joints have loosened with all the cutting and hoisting and general messing around (plus the door wasn’t built to be installed flat, of course).  But I have a solution!  Today I will go out and buy some more razor blades to clean the glass panes, sand off the extra silicone everywhere, and prime and paint the wood portions.  Once it’s dry, I will screw on to the face of the door, this stuff:

Polycarbonate Sheet

Polycarbonate Sheet from Lexan

A glass shop right down the street can provide a thicker product than is available at the big box stores, and will cut it to size, and cost less than buying it and using an expensive saw blade (which I don’t have) to cut it.  Plus, they will do it right, lol.  Yes, I am farming out some of the work.  And glad to do it.  And yes, it’s another expense, but a necessary one.  I’d always known I might have to go this route, so it’s not a surprise, and I’ve had time to figure out exactly what is needed.

I don’t know if I’ve already shown how the exterior looks now, all painted up and finished, so before I get to work on the skylight, here’s a few more pictures:

So you are all up-to-date.  I’m off to buy those razor blades and a saw blade for finish work.  Be well!

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Now That I’ve Fixed The Roof

The rain won’t come to let me test to make sure no water’s coming in.  Not that I see how it could, as the entire roof surface, including up the base of the skylight, is completely covered in rubber….  It took about a week to remove the old roof and finish applying the new one.  This is another picture-heavy post to try and illustrate the steps I took. Here goes!

Day 1: Removed the metal roofing, with an assist from my ever-so-helpful neighbors.  The caulking I’d used to try and waterproof it is so sticky, I couldn’t get the front piece out from under the drip edge to the slanted portion.  I needed more muscle to tear it away.  That damaged the drip edge badly enough so that it needed to be replaced.  The new solution works, but it’s not as cute.  Oh well.

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EPDM caulking is applied and hopefully the roof leak is cured (not true, as it turned out)

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Caulked metal roofing

Days 2:  Painted underlayment plywood with an oil-based primer (I used Zinnser, which is awesome, and very versatile) to allow the liquid rubber roofing a good adhesion.  It took me a while to get used to this stuff, as it doesn’t spread easily, instead needing to be “dragged” by the brush and forced to go where I wanted it.  Each piece took almost an hour to paint. It does dry quickly, so if I hadn’t run out of energy I could have dragged the panels up and started installing them the same day.

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Thin and smooth, the underlayment I used to cover the original roof sheathing should be easy to handle by myself and also make a good base for the new roofing.

Days 3 and 4:  Glued and screwed down the wood, and covered each hole and crack with butyl tape and polyester cloth.  Working with the butyl was fun, like being in an art class at camp.  It’s like a sticky clay..sort of.  It’s often used on boats, as it’s unbeatably weatherproof, and even holds up if underwater.  It’s also recommended for use with EPDM.  You CANNOT use anything with silicone or that asphalt-impregnated stuff with EPDM.   The polyester cloth wasn’t necessary for the flat surfaces of the roof, but does give the liquid rubber something to grab hold of.  I bought it primarily for the vertical surfaces of the skylight base, which is where the pesky leak was.  I thought it might also be useful for the edges of the new roof, to allow me to cover them and yet keep the stuff from dripping down the new flashing.  It mostly worked.  I did have to wipe off (with mineral spirits) a very few drips.  I also think I’m going to reinforce the edges with uncured EPDM tape, as I want as much protection from low-hanging branches as possible.   This is seriously sticky stuff.  You’ll want to keep it in the fridge before using it on a hot day, trust me.  It cures in the sun over time, just like the liquid EPDM does.

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Primered underlayment is secured to the original roof sheathing, and now I’m using the butyl tape and polyester cloth to cover any and all holes, cracks, gaps, and around the edges and up the base of the skylight. The roller is necessary to smooth down the butyl.

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Filling in the cracks between sheets of underlayment

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I took a piece of butyl and rolled it in my hands to make a “snake”, then used the polyester over the top and rolled it smooth

Day 5:  This is really where I needed to take deep breaths, as it was time to open the cans of liquid rubber, and start applying it.  No turning back once the catalyst is added!  I need to warn you, this is potentially very messy.  Especially if you tend towards clumsiness as I do.  I ended up tossing out all the clothing I was wearing that day, including my shoes!  See, you have to use a special mixer on your drill, because liquid rubber is thick and gooey, and it takes a lot of mixing to get the catalyst fully blended in.  What happened to me was, I was standing over the can, mixing away, when suddenly the can itself started twirling on the ground, creating a good-sized geyser of rubber.  That’s how thick it is.  So, wear old clothes, and make sure the can is on a non-slippery surface.  Little insider tip.

Applying it was pretty easy, as it turned out.  You have up to four hours working time. First, dip a brush into the mixed EPDM and cut-in around anything necessary. Then, pour the stuff onto the area you want to cover straight from the can.  Take a squeegee (which you will have to toss afterwards) and spread it as best you can, and then use a good-sized paintbrush and smooth it level.  You will have to toss the brush afterwards, too.  Then, repeat the steps in the next area.  Each gallon covers between 40 and 46 square feet, so it’s recommended you pencil in lines on the working area so you know how far to spread it.  I found that helpful.  You want a finished depth of about 20mm.  I wasn’t working on completely level ground, but it still went OK for me.

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EPDM is on and drying. Don’t walk on it for at least 12 hours!  The seams show but are just as strong as the rest of the roof.

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Dried EPDM now needs hot sun to fully cure. This takes weeks, and depends on the weather conditions. It will continue curing whenever the conditions are right.

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Rubber-coated skylight base.

So there you have it!  If I could have done this earlier, I would have.  You do need warm, dry conditions, and fully dry materials.  If your area (like mine) offers that rarely, then try to find a workshop or garage to do this in.  It’s worth it, being that it’s relatively inexpensive, easy for a DIY-er, and should last years.  Any rips or tears are extremely easy to fix with either EPDM caulk or uncured EPDM tape.   Oh, and it comes in white and gray, too.  Plus the company will special-order colors for you if that’s your thing.  Good stuff. 🙂

I’m off now to hopefully finish painting the interior.  More on that later. o/

Still Here, Just REALLY Busy

Things on the house are changing nearly daily, so I keep putting off posting anything.  Which is silly, because now I have a huge backlog of things to put up!  I’m trying to document what I’m doing with the build both for myself and for anyone out there who is crazy enough to attempt to do what I’m doing (only hopefully in a less janky manner..).

I *plan* on posting each project up separately, but here’s a quick and not-at-all complete update on where things are at:

  • Windows installed (and don’t leak!)
  • Metal roof caulked and then removed completely when I realized I have a leak….
  • Wet ceiling portion and insulation have been taken down, dried out, and are  re-installed.  I once again have to say that going to the extra work and expense of using wool insulation is totally worth it.  That stuff is pretty much indestructible
  • Leak has been located, exposed, and the area is almost completely dry
  • New roof sheathing is primed and ready to be installed, tomorrow I hope.  It will go on top of the original, absolutely fine except for lots of screw holes from the metal panels.  This will make it even stronger for when I can afford some solar
  • A second gallon of liquid rubber roofing is on it’s way.  I didn’t realize I didn’t have enough :p
  • The interior walls are all up, primed, and starting to get paint on them finally
  • The ceiling is almost finished with it’s multiple coats of paint as I bought a cheap brand.  I’m cool with that since a gallon is a lot for such a small space
  • The exterior of the house is nearly finished, and I think it will look pretty cool 😀
  • The interior design in sorted out and I’m looking forward to putting it together!

So that’s a bit of what’s been happening here.  Thanks for sticking with me through the long silences.  Not many of you comment (which you should, if you have any questions or thoughts on this whole thing) but I know you look at the posts.

A thank you! for my gaming buddy who donated to help me get new roof sheathing when he heard about the leak.  You’ve been great support, and I appreciate it very much.

Tired, going to play a game, listen to some Leonard Cohen, and pass out. Take care! o/

Wall Experiment

I mentioned the other day ripping plywood into boards for the walls, and I thought I’d show some examples of what other people have accomplished using this idea.  The links will take you to their actual website to give proper credit.  Check em out, as there are some great-looking floors!

At Centsational Girl

A darker version at AllQuietOntheMidwesternFront

From DataCouch

And TruthsofaBlessedLife

Finally, DIYDork with a complete how-to

I’m once again using the cheapest plywood I can find.  The shop calls it “Utility” grade and it has a lot of flaws, which I think adds to the visual interest and a rustic feeling which echoes the exterior. The cost is less than $13 a sheet.  I’m starting with the kitchen wall section in order to hang the upper cabinet there right away. I’ll need to paint it before hanging the cabinet, but even with unfinished roughness going on, I like how it’s progressing.  Here’s what’s up so far:

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Slits in the insulation netting let me push the sagging wool up while attaching the planks.

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This section on the left is from old plywood I’ve had laying around all winter, which resulted in a darker color. Too dark for my taste, so it’ll get a pickled treatment or a full-on paint job. You can also see the scratch coat of white paint on the ceiling.

Even though the skylight window is really dirty and still needs the sealant trimmed back, I thought I’d post a couple pictures of how it’s ending up.  Here goes:

 

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The skylight well is looking much more finished, and seems to be waterproof. I admit to holding my breath and wanting to knock on wood while typing this

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Looking closely you can see the dripping nature of using EPDM on a vertical surface (not recommended by manufacturer)

The weather stripping applied to the skylight base and the door itself do seem to be keeping the weather out as it should, especially with the addition of the hasps when pulled tight and locked down.  There still hasn’t been a true rainstorm yet to test it, but it will come.  Hold good thoughts for me, ok folks?

Due to an unexpected and much-appreciated donation from a follower here, I was able to go out yesterday and buy close to enough plywood to finish the interior.  I’m about to go out and tackle that project today.

This house is taking shape.  The boost to my morale and feelings of preparedness is amazing!  The fear of being kicked out of my “safe place” is waning the more that gets done.  Leo is continuing to keep me company while I work, even through noisy sawing, drilling, and the occasional curse.  His latest hangout is on the bags of wool.  You can’t tell from the picture, but he starting purring when he noticed me snapping pics. 🙂

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Soft wool bed is the coziest place for a snooze.

One more thing.  Knowing that people are cheering me on from all over the world is an amazing thing.  It’s uplifting.  I appreciate you all, and encourage you to also tackle something new and intimidating.  It’s super empowering.

Be well o/

 

Taking a break

My knee kneeds (hee) some time to heal, so now that the roof is mostly on, I’m going to stop working for a little while.  My doctor had told me to stay off of it for a couple months and knit or something, but I just couldn’t til now.  Weather and building a house trumps comfort sometimes.  It’s apparent in the photos how the edges are still loose ~ I have a fascia idea I want to try still before it all gets affixed.

EPDM sealed down except at the edges.

EPDM sealed down except at the edges.

A LOT of my rabbits got free from a hidden burrow of their pen.  They like to come down and hang out with me.  Please ignore the drying laundry, LOL. Seriously, this is long-term camping these days, complete with wee beasties at my door.

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What’s up?

 

I got the underlayment cut out on half the interior and made some interesting observations.  First off, it definitely looks like a more recent water incursion (thank goodness).  I’m sure that it got wet this past spring after I took off the tarp ~ I should have waited for drier weather.  It’s hard to know in these parts when that’ll happen, though.  The tarp I had over the floor didn’t cut it, and leaked around the edges (I’m guessing).

The underlayment underside, showing how the water got in at the edges.

The underlayment underside, showing how the water got in at the edges.

The house appears to have settle slightly to one end and more slightly to one side.  The great part about that is the water settled there, too.  Well, mostly.  The puddle was there, but higher parts were damp to quite wet.  I cut down through the layers to the insulation, and removed some sections of it to dry and to allow the structure to dry.  I just stir the wool up every couple days to help it.  The wood is all ok, even the parts that were somewhat underwater.  It’s drying out well.

Because of an oddity to my joist design, most of them weren’t even wet.  I used a sort of box idea to hold the wool and built it 6 inches deep.  To allow a thermal break, I only hung 2x4s for the joists, leaving a space between the bottom of them and the floor of the box.  This worked well except in the middle of the house, where I didn’t get them fastened in tightly and securely enough (springy floor!).  I haven’t decided whether to wait until everything is dry to fix that or if I should just go ahead and pull that part out now and redo it.  It will hasten the drying if I do it now, perhaps.

The rigid insulation is holding up well, even wet.  It’s drying too.

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Rigid foam board under the wool revealed to allow it to dry.

Plywood underlayment cut and pulled off to expose the wet wool.

Plywood underlayment cut and pulled off to expose the wet wool.

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Wool is wet and still fluffy! The space below the floor joist is visible in this picture, too.

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The brown is just sawdust from cutting the plywood. On the left is a joist and rigid foam boards underneath.

 

The wool is the most interesting part.  One of the many reasons I choose to use it was due to it’s high insulating value even when wet.  It is still fluffy and thick and has no mold or weird smell.  It’s wet as a sponge in parts though, and I might need rent a commercial size dehumidifier to completely get it all dry, after the house is closed up.  I think I’ll do that even if it all “looks dry”….just to be safe.

So the floor is all torn up, but is fixable.  I admit to being scared to cut into it, afraid of what I’d find.  It’ll just take time and a bit of work, and nothing terribly complicated.  It’ll be nice to have a solid floor everywhere. 🙂

While that all is drying, I’ll finish hanging the wall sheathing, and then hang the rigid foam insulation on the outside of that.  It’s super light, so that part should go quickly.  I have some rigid foam glue that I’ll use at the corners of the building, and I’ll nail it up all over with these special nails with plastic washer-things I got at the ReStore.  I do not intend to use building paper as originally planned, as I want the entire wall assembly to be able to breathe to the outside.  Instead, I’ll just have the plywood sheathing, then the rigid foam boards, then some blocking for a rain screen effect, then the siding.  To allow wetness out at the bottom of the wall assembly there will be a small gap around the entire house, which I’m thinking to cover with a wire mesh.  The last thing I want is mice or other critters to get up in there!  I found a big roll of wire mesh at the ReStore the other day, enough for the whole house and only $10.  I’ll have to figure out a way to securely attach it to both the inner, foam and plywood section and the outer, sheathing section without it showing.

After all that, I guess the next part is weather-sealing the door and window openings, then installing them.  After that the house will be officially “dried in” and that’s when I’ll rent the dehumidifier to finish the floor.  The weather should hold reasonably well through the end of September (fingers crossed), which gives me a little time….I just want to get my knee to a less pained state and hopefully get it healed enough.  Living alone on a mountain will be challenging enough without being lame, LOL.

OK, off to play some Civ 5 or something!

Halfway There!

After working on this roof, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really not that hard to work with EPDM.  You have to use the proper materials and pay attention to detail, and preferably work with another person (I’ll say why in a minute) to get to a good result.  If you want a low-slope roof and fear water intrusion, it’s a good choice.  It is very tolerant of temperature extremes.  It’s flexible and of course that’s a great quality in a moving home.  It should last for years – up to 50 in some installations!  That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find it in commercial buildings – they don’t want to be replacing the roof every few years.  It’s easy to repair if it gets a tear for some reason (generally due to improper installation, from what I’ve read).  It works for green roofs, walkable decks, ballast (gravel) applications and fully adhered – like mine is, and on any slope, even super steep ones.

So why do you want a helper?  It worried me to see that in every installation instruction I found, two people were shown working together, and I hoped I’d be able to do it well by myself.  Now that I’ve got it half done, I know why!  First off, the stuff is heavy at 2 pounds per square foot.  Due to it being floppy, it feels heavier.  Of course, I have the strength of a baby bird these days….  It’s easier to keep all wrinkles, creases and bubbles out with two people working at either edge, and those are the bane of rubber.  Well, those and inadequate sealing at the edges.  Adhering goes MUCH faster with two people, as you can do half the roof at a time, keeping the total time spent under 3 hours.  Alone, it took me 6 hours to get half the roof done yesterday.  You have to put glue on both the roof decking and on the EPDM, then wait for it to “flash off” (get to a nearly dry state), before carefully stretching the rubber and laying it down perfectly smooth and then smooshing it down very firmly with a push broom.  Flashing off takes up to an hour.  Since I can only handle a small section at a time, you see how it takes lots more time doing it alone.

It’s fun though!  I’m having a blast messing with the glue – for some reason it’s like playing to me :).  I get to work and stop (and read) to wait for the glue to be ready, work and stop, work and stop – and I don’t feel lazy because taking periodic breaks are a required part of the process!

 

EPDM rolled out to relax before gluing it down

EPDM rolled out to relax before gluing it down

Glue applied to the roof deck and back of EPDM, waiting to be dry enough to adhere together

Glue applied to the roof deck and back of EPDM, waiting to be dry enough to adhere together

The glue goes on like thick paint.  Please ignore the photo-bombing hair...!

The glue goes on like thick paint. Please ignore the photo-bombing hair…!

I Buckle And Ask For Help (again).

It’s taken quite a bit longer than anticipated, but my roof is nearly finished!  An old boyfriend came to my aid and helped me haul the super-heavy roll of EPDM up the 14 feet or so to the roof top late Sunday.  I’ve been hassling with that stuff for days, and with help it took less than 10 minutes.  Thank you, Ray, hope you enjoy the wine!
Per instructions, I’d already smoothed out the roof decking and sanded down all the edges.  Before rolling out the rubber, I swept thoroughly and double-checked for sharp slivers.  Thankfully, I was able to keep the wood clean during it’s construction, so I didn’t need to wash it down.  Rolling out the EPDM was easy, and straightening it out was too.  A sprinkle of rain started right after the rubber was laid out, which was great timing, phew!

End of EPDM roll hangs off the end of Oliver's Nest

End of EPDM roll hangs off the hitch end of Oliver’s Nest and over the new sheathing

The rubber needs to sit and relax for at least an hour after positioning it, and it’s had a day now to do so.  The glue-down will be done today.  I got side-tracked yesterday at the local ReStore, and bought a bunch of stuff!  They had a big roll of 12 gauge electrical wire for $30 (woot!), enough in theory for my needs.  They had a huge amount of really pretty pine trim at .25 cents a foot.  I bought about 175 feet, which I hope will be enough…I want to use it throughout Oliver’s Nest for continuity.  There is still enough left at the store for another whole Tiny House!  There was a bunch of other good stuff, too.
While stewing over how to lift the roofing up, I put up more sheathing.  Both ends are done, as well as part of the south side.  I wish I could use full sheets of plywood, but they are just too heavy.  Instead, I’m using smaller pieces and getting it done.  It’s not the best practice, but it’s the one available to me.  I’m good with it.  I’ve decided to bolt the sections of pre-built studs together to make the frame stronger, since the plywood won’t be doing the job.  I still have to put more bolts through to the trailer frame.  I just don’t feel confident in the attachment as it stands – I don’t think it currently is strong enough.

Unfinished pine molding/trim which needs some cleaning up

Unfinished pine molding/trim which needs some cleaning up

Tetris-styled sheathing

Tetris-styled sheathing

Tail-end sheathing with edge of EPDM peaking over the new sheathing

Tail-end sheathing with edge of EPDM peaking over the new sheathing

I’ve also revisited the floor underlayment, which was the first thing I put together.  It got soaked through last spring, unfortunately, plus the middle has always been sort of “springy”.   I know that’s not right!  So to fix the water issue I drilled a ton of holes through to the wool insulation from the top, and a few, smaller holes to the wool from the bottom.  To solve the bouncy floor problem, I’ve started cutting out the plywood to see what I did wrong with the joists.  It’s giving the dampness another avenue out so that’s a good side benefit.  I haven’t finished taking up the plywood yet, so still don’t know why the floor isn’t solid there. It was interesting to note the wool is still fluffy and full, even wet.  Awesome!

1/2 inch holes drilled into the underlayment

1/2 inch holes drilled into the underlayment

Big day today!  The sun just peeked out and I’ll be going up to glue soon…eeeek!  Very excited and nervous!