Monthly Archives: December 2014

Building Confidence and a House

Well, folks. I’m sick again. I was so excited to be off antibiotics and did not realize or remember that antibiotics weakened my immune system. I felt healthy and happy for a week, and then WHAM sick again. Now it’s been another week of normal seasonal cold. I lost my voice over thanksgiving and now that I have it back, I’m trying to sleep off the rest of the virus. I’m just happy it isn’t Lyme anymore.

A couple days before I got walloped again, Lliam came over and helped on my house. He, Dad, and I had a great system going for screwing in the plywood. Dad would drill holes through the plywood, Lliam would follow with the countersink, then I followed him to drill through the metal. We’d take turns with all these jobs and rotate the task of screwing it down! That’s four steps for a “self-tapping” screw, but our system worked quite well until we realized a couple of sheets were in the wrong place. I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but I think the metal joists were oddly placed – slightly off from 24″ on center. With a little wiggling around and more hole drilling, we were able to pull it off and get them all screwed into place.





Mom came and helped for a bit which was great. So far, it has mostly been just me and my dad, but it was nice having some more help from other important people in my life. I also felt more confident being in charge and making decisions. I was initially nervous about working with more than one other person and directing them, but it seems like I’m getting more comfortable with that. And I enjoy sharing this project! I’m looking forward to working with more friends as I build my confidence :).


Jasper tried to help too 🙂 :


I got a chance to work out there on my own which also boosted my confidence. Because the trailer is exactly 20′ long, and the metal joists are 24″ on center from 1 1/2″ off the tongue-end of the trailer, the plywood ended up falling 1″ short of the other end with the other 1/2″ spread out through the gaps between the sheets of plywood. Since covering that last bit with plywood scraps was a small-scale task, I was able to do it on my own! It just happened that the scraps from the other sheets fit perfectly on the end of the trailer.




At last we started attaching the 2x6s and 2x4s to the edge of the trailer, supporting the 5″ of plywood hanging off the edge and ultimately supporting the wall frame, insulation, and sheathing. Some of the lumber was a little warped, but we worked through it. At this point, all the sides of the trailer are screwed in. Almost done with the ends.





The next step after this is (finally..) framing the walls! I also made some REALLY rough drafts of how the walls will be framed. Up until then, I’d been really nervous about designing the frames. Once I was certain about most of my windows, I was able to make mathematically accurate sketches showing how the windows would fit and where. The sketches were by no means to scale, but I felt relieved to have pushed past another uncertainty.

One evening while we were working, our good friend Sam showed up with the last of my windows! I bought them from Erich of Deconstruction Works in Brattleboro for a really great price. Sam works in Brattleboro and agreed to pick them up and deliver them for me. This both saved me a trip and got him here for dinner. Sam is another one of my valued resources for this project.


This one I actually got from a big tag sale at Fall Festival. I can’t remember if I posted it yet.

All in all, I only spent $250 on windows which I’m really happy about. 10 windows. A couple were new, but left over from friends’ projects; most were salvaged and cheap or free. $250 would be an excellent price for ONE new window. The four that bought from Erich are in great condition but some need to be propped open, which I’m perfectly happy with. I haven’t gotten skylights yet, but I still have quite a bit of time to find good deals.

A big thanks to my neighbors John and Andrew who lent me impact drivers! Also to others who returned my call, happy to lend out their tools. I feel very lucky to have so many supporters.

Also, it snowed! Melting now, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to pull it out and get the roof on until spring, unless it doesn’t snow again for a while. We’ll see!



Please comment if you have anything to say!! I’ve been getting an overwhelming number of spam comments, and it’s been really wonderful hearing the thoughts of my actual readers. I’m happy to answer questions too!