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!

Progress!

Finally I have come upon an easy task!

It turns out that sanding, at least with a powered sander, is eeeaaasssyyy. Yay! It’s gratifiying to see changes so quickly, with so little effort. Caulking the screw holes and edges with silicone is easy too. It’s been a nice few days. The roof is now ready for some love with the liquid EPDM. I remembered why I bought it ~ It’s for smoothing over anything that could possibly tear the sheet of rubber roofing. The silicone was fantastic for that too, but I want to make absolutely sure that this roof WORKS. I have a slight fear of the silicone not staying adhered, although that’s probably silly.
Another fun part of this stage in the roof is that I can switch back and forth between different tasks. The fascia is now painted ~ a pretty, soft powdery yellow that was left over from painting my mother’s house. I picked it out for her originally, and just love it…no matter how gloomy it is, the yellow glows with a cheerful light. I don’t want seams to show in the fascia, so cut them at an angle where they will join. According to a contractor I met, angles are hard for the eye to detect…I vaguely remember learning something like that back when I worked at State Farm. So much information is roaming in the depths of my poor, jumbled brain…. He also suggested I sister a painted bit of wood behind the joined edges to make them strong. That was easy ~ I just used the angled cut-off bits. They are already painted, and are exactly the right size. They are sitting now, glued and clamped together, waiting to be hung. Phew!
While waiting for the various caulks, paints, and glues to dry, I managed to hang more sheathing. Handling plywood has been the most difficult part of this whole process. There isn’t anything fun about it at all ~ the stuff is heavy, awkward, and splintery. I hate it. At least there’s immediate gratification to see the house getting enclosed. If I had someone working with me, it would be tremendously easier. Working alone has drawbacks.
Working alone. Yes, there are drawbacks. Tasks take much longer alone than with help. That’s the biggie. It can be dangerous, as no one is around if I get hurt. That should be the biggie for me, but I’m used to being alone so don’t think about it too much. There isn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of when I get stuck. Something that I am a little embarrassed to admit is that it’s a bummer to not have anyone to high-five over achievements….nobody to admire Oliver’s Nest but me. Recording my progress here is helping with that. Being able to go back and re-read how ON was put together by me…well, this way it won’t get lost with so many other memories.
There are benefits to working alone, too. I go at my own pace, without guilt at holding anyone back. I make all the decisions, so my little home will be a reflection of my ideas come to fruition. There’s a deep feeling of accomplishment. Lastly, given my “issues”, it feels safe to not worry about having to rely on others to move forward. Granted, I’ve had a couple hours of people helping heft plywood, but since then I’ve come up with ideas to do it myself. Much less tension and worry. But enough of that!
Getting stuff done! Woowee! Cheers for me and everyone else who is building their own shelter with fun and love! Go, Tiny Housers!

 

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Tall, tall ladder….

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Ladder to the roof from above…SUPER fun to haul things up this!

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I can use any sandpaper with this little sander, which makes it flexible to use. It has a smaller hand-hold, so it’s comfortable.

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All cracks, screw holes, and all other spaces filled with silicone.

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I smoothed silicone over the clips, too.

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Fascia being painted a pretty pale yellow.

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I like the roof dimensions, although it is over-width.

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Using a cut off bit for the sister. I’ll glue them together once they are hung.