I’ve really appreciated getting emails, messages, and comments from people who have been reading my blog! Keep letting me know that you’re there and reading; I know you can all see me, but I can’t see who is reading!
The building process is going but it’s going slow. I’ve been sick for like four days with no energy, a really sore throat, and super swollen glands all the way down my neck. Yikes! I didn’t go to work for a couple of days and spent a lot of time moping and doing nothing in a chair by the fire. I tried to get out to the trailer a couple days ago and just sort of stared at it. Dad asked said I might need a hammer for something and it took me a moment to remember what a hammer was, let alone whether or not I had one. I went back inside.
Since I wrote last but before and a little after I got sick, I was able to finish insulating the trailer, but I encountered a bunch of problems. First of all, I saw that part of the trailer was broken! There was a gap in one section of the trailer where the flashing was supposed to meet the metal floor joist. It must not have been welded together enough and come undone when stacking insulating on the trailer or stepping around the joists. Here’s a picture of it.. the screw there is sticking through the hole:
That was frustrating, but Dad and I were able to drill holes through the bottom of the flashing and the joist with little pieces of metal flying in our faces, caulk the seam, and bolt the gap in four places so that it was sealed tight.
I wish I could better describe how frustrating working with the insulation was and trying to fit it in between the inconsistent floor joists. I’m glad when I insulate the walls I won’t have to do so much altering. I’ve been researching online the process of insulating the exterior of buildings and it seems like this is mostly done to old buildings that already have interior insulation. Anyway, I’m trying to plan ahead as best I can and figure out how installing windows will work out.
I have been working on changing the corner porch so that it can just be part of the rest of the insulated trailer. That way, I can have a porch coming off the tongue end of the trailer instead. I think I mentioned this before? Anyway, I went to the Ashfield Hardware store and bought some flashing, screws, and brackets to cover the hole where the porch was supposed to go. I marked and cut a piece of plywood to be the right size, then glued strips of flashing to it with Gorilla Glue and let it dry for a while. When I came back to it, Dad and I jammed it into its spot which was tricky but we did it. Talk about air tight! I also just cut a couple of 2x4s and made them the right dimensions to be floor joists in that area.
Bob Markey, a long time family friend, builder, artist, activist, etc., responded to my help and fundraising letter and offered his help and advice. He came over Monday afternoon and gave me some good suggestions about the systems in my house among other things. He advised me to put in those extra floor joists where I’m converting the porch, especially because the shower will be directly over that area and will be heavier than the regular floor, needing more support underneath. He was also just really helpful in confirming that I’m on the right path with my thinking and planning and knowing what I’m doing! That was really good to hear because I’ve been a little uncertain feeling like I’m kinda just winging this and worrying that I might be forgetting something. Thanks Bob Markey!
I’ve been thinking about where I’m gonna put the windows I have and what sizes I still need. So I cut out a bunch and organized them in different ways on the page:
The other thing we discovered was that it turns out the door of our barn is actually about two feet too low to be able to fit the roof. I’m really glad I didn’t try to build the whole thing in the barn and then discover that I couldn’t actually get it out of our barn after all that work! So I guess I’ll be able to build the walls in the barn and then build a temporary building structure in our back yard so I can finish. Unless I can build really really fast and get the whole structure built and insulated and windowed before snowfall… Anyway I got in touch with a company that rents out temporary building structures and they were really nice and enthusiastic about my project (“Oh, like on Tiny House Nation!?”) but unfortunately didn’t have anything small enough and their cheapest rents were generally for $40,000… I appreciated their kindness and support though! It was also nice to hear that they’d been watching the new TV show about tiny houses and living small. If you have any suggestions on this temporary building space issue, please share!
In the meantime I’ve been caulking and cutting the sill seal. I don’t know if I really had to caulk that much because the insulating is stuffed pretty tightly in there. I’d be surprised if there was any air flow.
The sill seal is important though because it will keep the metal floor joists from sucking heat out of the house. That’s called “thermal bridging.” Sill seal is pretty much just real thin insulation that is supposed to block that bridge. You can tell that the metal joists are thermal bridges because when you put your hands on the metal at this time of year, it feels really cold. That means it’s stealing your heat.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!