Insulation And Roofing

Besides feverishly rewatching Heroes, I’ve gotten back into working on Oliver’s Nest with a vengeance.  The last three days I got all the wool insulation into the walls (minus the missing wall behind the truck cab). It was dusty and my eyes aren’t happy, but it’s all in.  Although easy to work with, by using the provided netting, I still recommend having another pair of hands to move things along faster.  It took me about 8 to 10 hours total, and with help, I think it would take less than half that.  Here’s some pictures showing the progress (wordpress wants them in this order, no matter what I try):

I had to cut and frame the back fuel intake door before putting in the insulation, so that’s another task off the list.

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Back fuel intake door finally cut and framed.

It’s been mostly sunny so I tackled the roof, too.  I laid on plastic, flashed the skylight over that, and then placed the metal roofing panels.  As I still need to insert flashing around the sides, I didn’t screw the panels down.  I’ll be putting in the flashing tomorrow.  The rest of the roof will be harder to cover as I’ll need to cut down the panels.  I envision lots of cuts in my hands come then!  Here’s what I did with the roof today:

Finally, I cut down the door, which was super easy and didn’t take much time at all.  The doorknob holes that were partially cut away obviously needed to be filled so I cut round plugs from the cut-off sections and puttied them in.  I’m sure it will take a few days for them to dry, and will take a few layers to fill completely.  I think this was a good solution to the problem, even though a little messy  .I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it into a dutch door now, as the only place large enough for the new doorknob is where the split would have been.  I’m disappointed but happy I didn’t ruin the door when I cut it, so it’s all right. 🙂

I have a strong feeling of time running out.  All I can do is take the anxiety meds I’m supposed to, and work, and try to think as positively as possible.  And, do my best not to think of all the months wasted by being depressed and hiding in bed.  I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: Major Depressive Disorder sucks!  At least I’m okay for now, which is all one can hope for.  I’m even happy…I’m enjoying being busy and working on my project again!

Do yourself a favor and try something scary/exciting sometime.  It’s a great feeling and I think it’s good for the soul. 🙂

A Helping Hand

My son came over yesterday and we moved the back tank’s fuel filler line!  It takes more muscle than I posses to force the pieces together, so he donated his strength to the cause.  It is so nice to have a little help sometimes, even though I wish I could do it ALL myself.  It’s an internal fight I tend to have over many things, but this one is too important for me to be too proud.  There are times when accepting or even asking for help is the smart thing to do.  We didn’t do the front one as it turned out I didn’t have enough hose clamps.  They will be arriving tomorrow so this should finally be completed by end of day tomorrow or Wednesday.  I so love Amazon Prime!

Needs a couple more clamps here....

Needs a couple more clamps here….

There was no way to move these things in such a way as to keep them out of the living area.

There was no way to move these things in such a way as to keep them out of the living area.

Looks professional!

Looks professional!

Before my boy got here, I spent several hours filing in the cabover sleeping area with the sheep wool insulation, and getting part of it covered with the sub floor.  I was afraid it would be difficult to handle the heavy plywood up there, but it went quickly and easily.  I was pleased to see that everything was square.  I have to use the truck and metal bracing itself as the “level”, and thankfully the ground is pretty level so it hasn’t been hard to handle that.  Otherwise, I’d have to keep everything equally unbalanced, if that makes sense.

As for the insulation, I discovered something interesting.  I pulled both some pink fiberglass and a box of sheep wool out, and found an ugly and disgusting RAT NEST, complete with a freaking large rat (which scared me and yes, I squawked!) in the pink stuff.  The wool, while a little musty around the edges, was otherwise perfect.  The box was super disintegrated from moisture, but no rats, mice, bugs, etc.  I’m once again glad I went with the expensive but environmentally-conscious wool.  No matter how I try, everything here molds, melts or rusts!

So gross!  Big ol' rat jumped out while I was moving the bag, yuck!

So gross! Big ol’ rat jumped out while I was moving the bag, yuck!

Completely undamaged sheep wool withstood the weather and local wildlife.

Completely undamaged sheep wool withstood the weather and local wildlife.

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Once again needing cutouts for the metal bracing.

Once again needing cutouts for the metal bracing.

Last thing is I picked up a couple more windows from the local ReStore/Habitat For Humanity for $10 each.  I am not going to be able to use the gorgeous double-paned windows I already have, as they are not advised for campers.  The seal breaks too easily, especially for a house that might go four-wheeling!

36" by 18" Matching Single-Pane Windows.

36″ by 18″ Matching Single-Pane Windows.

Sorry about the picture placement.  WordPress and I having our typical fight.  Peace out 🙂

Floor Framing Finished!

I did come up with a reasonable (but somewhat goofy-looking) way to work around the metal bracing.  I took lots of pictures, including the failure of my first attempt.

I worked all day ~ about 7 hours ~ and although I didn’t have enough insulation on hand to put on the sub-floor, I did get a lot of fiddly things done.  Once again I have to say, it’s amazing how quickly a simple plan can turn difficult.  Making sure the bolt holes stayed lined up properly while hanging the joists..wow…I had to re-align them again and again and again….and It took a couple hours just creating a workable solution for the area around the metal braces.  I also took a break from building and washed the tin roofing panels I’m planning on painting and using on the exterior.  Hot day, cold water, very nice!

To finish the insulation, I now have to start dismantling the original Oliver’s Nest.  I’m at peace with that.  I’m just worried that it will be a complicated and time-consuming process.  Plus, I’ll have to be on a ladder, and I have a trust issue with ladders these days!  Speaking of which, my ankle is healing well, and doesn’t hurt all the time (so thankful!).  My shoulder is also much better, and I have most of my range of motion and strength back.  So good to not feel like an invalid!  But…getting on that ladder again….and working with power tools overhead…honestly, I’m scared and not ashamed to admit it.

Ok, time for pictures!  Hope your day has been full of happiness 🙂

A little rough, but I thought this would work.

A little rough, but I thought this would work.

Trying to get it into place but....

Trying to get it into place but….

It didn't work.

It didn’t work.

Second try was sturdier, and fit, kinda

Second try was sturdier, and fit, kinda. Well enough, anyway.

Double-up 2x6 scrap wood fit well in the odd space.

Double-up 2×6 scrap wood fit well in the odd space on top of the little wood piece shown in the previous picture.

Filled in the gaps on both sides, and finished hanging the joists. :)

Filled in the gaps around the metal braces on both sides, and finished hanging the joists. 🙂

Even without the cab-over portion, it's a roomy space.

Even without the cab-over portion, it’s a roomy space.

This is R-23, so will help with both insulating and as a sound barrier.

This is R-23 Roxul insulation, and will help with both insulating and as a sound barrier.

Framing And Using Reclaimed Insulation

I’ve been collecting building materials for literally years.  Some of it I’ve used already in various projects, some have sat there, collecting dust and waiting.  One of my favorite finds was 2 full sheets of 2″ polyisocyanurate for only $8 each.  That’s incredibly cheap for quality insulation, at approx 13 R-value.  And now it has finally found a use. 🙂

First though, some pictures showing the steps I’ve taken so far.

Equivalent to a home's foundation.

Metal frame is the equivalent to a home’s foundation.

Reclaimed metal roofing panels set onto the truck frame.

Reclaimed metal roofing panels set onto the truck frame.

Had to cut around the metal bracing.  Wood is set on special barrier to protect it from metal condensation.

Had to cut the rim joists around the metal bracing. Wood is set on special barrier to protect it from metal condensation.

Used a 4x6 for the rim joist as I needed the thickness to match up with the bolt holes in the truck frame.

Used a 4×6 for the rim joist as I needed the thickness to match up with the bolt holes in the truck frame.  Once I get them installed it will all become clear.

Didn't have quite enough to cover the whole bed, so used 1/4

Didn’t have quite enough polyisocyanurate to cover the whole bed, so used 1/4″ layers of some rigid insulation to fill the gap.

So it looks like the blue insulation isn’t laying level in the last picture.  That is due to the metal panels having ridges which are pushing the pieces of insulation up.  Once the joists are in, the insulation will be perfectly fine.  This type of insulation is rigid, and doesn’t easily get squashed (which loses R-Value).

I’m a real fan of insulating well. This bottom layer of insulation isn’t the only one for the floor.  I’m using 2×6 joists set at 24″ On Center, as I already have a supply of Roxul that sized for that opening.  Roxul, like polyisocyanurate, handles moisture well and isn’t susceptible to bugs.  So these bats will go between the joists, creating another level of insulation.

In the last picture is one joist that I place there just to admire it 🙂  Nothing is bolted, nailed or screwed down yet, as I need to return the bolts I bought and get longer ones…sigh.  I always end up returning something I’ve sized wrong…at least this is an easy fix.

For the mess of metal bracing behind the cab, I believe I’ve figured out a solution.  I got hot and tired so didn’t do it yesterday, but will today as soon as I get back from the hardware store with the proper bolts.  I will take pictures, although it might look wonky.  You asked for the pictures, and you shall have them!

I’ll also show the bolts installed to show the strength of the framing.  This will be a good, strong little space.

These are the holes that are placed every two feet along the edges of the truck bed.

These are the holes that are placed every two feet along the edges of the truck bed.

Thanks for reading my little blog about my little house Oliver’s Nest.  I appreciate it very much!

Peace to you all.

Still Going Tiny (Picture Heavy)

My new Tiny Home in process.  Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

My new Tiny Home in process. Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cabover frame is 8 by 5 ft.  Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cab-over frame is 8 by 5 ft. Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

I haven’t given up.  I can’t give up.  My mother’s passing left me with nowhere to live while finishing up my Tiny Home, and I need a place to live, right?

Since the Original Oliver’s Nest isn’t even close to being liveable, I turned my attention to the truck I purchased to tow it….he (yeah, I know vehicles are normally a “she” but look at this beast!) is going to be transformed into the new version of Oliver’s Nest. I’ve even named it; meet Buster Poindexter the truck, also known as The Tonka (named by the guys who generously welded on the supports, created huge watertight storage boxes, and fixed the hole in the floor on the driver’s side).

I spent ALL of the money I made selling stuff in the house, plus did some bartering, to get the truck fixed up and welded, and to buy a cool hitch-mounted scooter carrier.  Here’s the link for what I bought: http://www.discountramps.com/tiltingmotorcyclerack/p/ACR-MOTORCYCLE-CARRIER/   I purchased the 410ACR, the 400 pound capacity carrier.  I had to really do my research to make sure I got something that is compatible with a scooter as opposed to a motorcycle.  The engine placement and the width of my Genuine Buddy are different than any motorcycle and some ramps simply won’t work.  This one should make it possible for me to load and unload my scooter by myself on the road.  I decided to go with a hitch-mounted carrier instead of a trailer to make parking easier.  If I owned one of those great, fully enclosed metal toy haulers, I’d have used it for its added storage capacity, but my solution is simple and elegant.  Here’s some pics I pulled from the web showing the ramp:

Saxith (my scooter) will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver's nest on this carrier.

My scooter will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver’s Nest on this carrier.

410ACR tilting rack

It’s lightweight enough for me to handle by myself. Important for a woman living alone on the road.

2008 125cc Genuine Buddy

Saxith, my 125cc Genuine Buddy scooter that frees me to travel without taking my home with me 🙂

ANYWAY!

Back to my revised Tiny Home plans. While Poindexter the truck was being welded by my awesome new friends Zack and Patrick, I worked on the framing and interior plans.  Here’s what the rough sketches look like:

Everything I need to live.  the bed area isn't shown, but will be 7 1/2' by 5

Everything I need to live. the bed area isn’t shown, but will be 7 1/2′ by 5″, over the cab.

Framing Diagram

Compared to the original Oliver’s Nest, this framing is simple! Going to use lots of metal strapping as this home will be extremely mobile.

It’s hard to see, but basically the shower/toilet area is in the upper left corner, the kitchen in the lower left area, the HUGE closet takes up the upper right, and the pantry, bench storage and steps are located in the lower right.  The entry goes between the pantry and the kitchen (on the passenger side).  a 40 gallon fresh water tank will sit under the kitchen counter, and I haven’t decided yet on the type of toilet I’ll use.

The framing will be done in two parts, a lower, “permanent” truck bed with insulated floor and walls, and an upper “canopy” that will likewise be fully insulated, and where all the windows will be located.  I am making it so the canopy can be removed to sit on jack stands if necessary, but as this will be my house for an extended period of time, removing it isn’t really a concern.

In between selling off stuff to fund my future, sketching plans, and dealing with some severe anxiety about life in general, I’ve had to go through my belongings to pare down even more.  I still have things I will keep in storage for the future, but even those have been reduced.  I probably won’t live on the road forever, and I hope to have a little place to hang some family pictures in some gorgeous old frames, and I have some books I just can’t part with, and would be very difficult to replace.  Craigslist, Half.com and Ebay are my friends in this downsizing.  I found that some of the books I am selling go for several hundred dollars each!  I’m glad I got to read them, and now they can be sold to help me financially and help someone else learn.  That works for me.

This is a long and picture-heavy post, I know, but so much is going on!  I could even continue, but I’ll save it for another day and another post.  I hope my current situation and solution is helpful to someone out there….as an alternative to being homeless or being trapped in a crummy rental place.

Peace, my friends. 🙂

The Drama Is Over ~ The Sheathing Is Up.

The last bit of sheathing on the northern side only took four hours to put on.  I felt so much relief to have it finished!     I think this last bit looks pretty good.  Had to sit down and drink a blueberry beer to celebrate.

 

Sheathing up all around!

Sheathing up all around!

Look at that sad and lonely little window.  It’s the only window on the north side because I’m trying for passive solar, but it is so plain on this side!  I’m worried about making the exterior look good.

The floor is now totally ripped up to allow all the pooled up moisture to evaporate.  I know what mistake I made ~ I shouldn’t have layered the rigid insulation over the wool.  It kept the water that leaked in from the exposed edges from having a way to dry.  I should have known to trust the wool ~ after all, it’s ability to drain and dry and stay great is well known.

So it’s all out now, and there is an immense pile of mostly dry, fluffy wool that has taken over Oliver’s Nest.  It looks like a herd of sheep exploded in there ~ in fact, there is more insulation than floor now.  I think all the fluffing has expanded it greatly.  I wonder if I was supposed to fluff if this much before I put it in?  That would explain why there didn’t seem to be enough wool left for the rest of the house…I just put way too much into the floor.   I’ll have to start stuffing stud spaces where no wiring or plumbing will go to handle the overflow.

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Mid-excavation. The wool hasn’t expanded to it’s full potential yet..

I took the day off today to rest my knee again.  It was really hurting by the end of the day Thursday, I’m not sure why.  It feels better now, here at 1:45 am, so it looks like I’ll be able to get started on hanging the felt paper.  I’ve read how-tos online and watched videos, so hopefully this will go smoothly.  It is recommended that you have two people work on putting up the wrap so it will be tight and secure, but with my house being so small, it might be OK.  We’ll see.

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.

2014-07-16 19.08.09

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.

2014-07-17 15.53.10

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.

2014-07-17 16.50.50

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

2014-07-17 16.51.04

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!