|Fresh grade from the top corner of the drive.|
|From the mid point down.|
At that point it was time to get started on some real tasks. The first was to plumb in and build an outdoor shower attached off the back side of the main house. I wanted to make it fit in with the structure and look as I'd spent so much time last year trying to get it just right. I wanted an outdoor shower to take some of the burden off from our septic system and to make it easier to deal with the many, many guests we have throughout the course of the summer. I also wanted to make it easy to drain and inexpensive, similar to the one I'd built previously at our old place in Maine.
|The outdoor shower.|
In terms of the base I went with 12" square patio pavers contained by a 36x48" PT 4x4" border that I leveled with a slight slope outwards away from the camp. I have crushed rock all along the outside of the foundation down to the frostwall and have have drainage to evacuate any water away from the foundation. I used a bed of tiny pebbles under the pavers to help move the water away as quickly as possible and yet still effectively level and bed the pavers. It has worked very well and has gotten a fair amount of use over the course of the summer. It also quickly drained out when I disconnected it before leaving a few days ago.
|Porto enclosure and bunkhouse.|
Then I had the idea that I really needed a screen porch on the bunkhouse. I'm not sure why as we don't even stay in it but I couldn't seem to let the idea go. Nothing huge, just a 4' extension off the front which continued the existing roof line. I'd then frame it up with 4x4" PT and use 2x4" PT connectors. First I had to build the deck on which I went minimal structurally since it was so small. For footings I dug post holed until I hit ledge, which was 12" on one end and almost 3' on the other with the middle footing somewhere in between. I then simply ran 4x4" PT up and lagged the deck into it.
|Framing porch deck and rafters.|
|Completed screen porch.|
This project took about a week to complete and when it was done and you could sit inside, away from the bugs, proved very rewarding. I need to circle back around next year and put in railings to keep people from going through the screen, which a guest did just as we were getting ready to head home this past Sunday. Luckily I used screws everywhere and was able to get it fixed in short order, otherwise it would have still be bugging me. I can't leave projects like that incomplete.
|Fairly large stump.|
|Driveway parking area and extension.|
While I had the tractor I also built a road and a flat spot up into the back meadow. The idea was to give me a permanent place to put the large tiny house trailer and platform I'd acquired from my brother last year. Over the course of a couple of days I got that flattened and then seeded and mulched it to try and get some grass growing. I then had to try and get the 8x17' dual axle trailer up there. The smart person would have done this before building the outhouse enclosure and the porch on the bunkhouse. Yes, but that isn't how things worked out. Luckily I had 8" to spare between the two and the width of the trailer. Given the angle, the lawn and the 90 degree turn needed to get the trailer into the spot I had little hope for success. A couple of attempts later and some direction from Cathy and the trailer was resting in it's new home. I honestly never though that would work, but it did.
|Trailer in place on leveled, seeded and mulched plot.|
With less than one month of the summer left I decided to get rolling on the tiny house build. My plans were vague at best, mostly simple line drawings to try and figure base materials and window sizing based on availability. I kept changing my mind in terms of what I wanted to do for the roof. Ideally I was thinking multiple pitches as it would look better but would also be more work. Same with dormers. Honestly, I didn't need to make that decision yet as the wall framing would be the first step anyhow and I had all the information I needed for that. I'd go a full 8' from the base of the trailer platform to the top of the sill such that an 8' sheet of material would fit. This would give a 7'7". wall height inside before the finish flooring went down.
For tiny houses on trailers that you have any intent of moving on the roadways, the dimensions you need to adhere to in order to avoid an over sized load are 101" wide and roughly 13' high overall. That height depends of course on the particular roadway but 13' is the accepted low norm. I don't necessarily plan to move it on the road but I want to be able to. Who knows, maybe we will buy another chunk of land and plop this on it or maybe I'll decide to sell it. Of course, getting it down from where it now sits will be a challenge and will require me to build a road out of the meadow. I plan to do that next year anyhow.
|Lower framing complete.|
|External finish sheathing installed.|
Within a week the lower framing was done and the sheathing, which was 4x8' sheets of a 7/16" exterior grade, molded v-groove wood look pre-primed hard board with overlapping edges. I've used this material before and it works well, is stable and an inexpensive way to combine sheathing and siding in one. I simply screwed in to the framing studs. The sheets were heavy as sin but I managed to get them up in place using either jigs or with the help of Cathy. By the end of the first week I had a completed box with holes frames for four windows and a door, minus the top.
|Cripple and gable ends framed.|
I framed the ends with a small window in the center of each and then framed the short cripples. For sheathing on the cripple and gable ends I chose cheap and light 7/16" OSB. Poor mans plywood it was going for $7.85 a sheet this summer in Littleton NH at Home Depot. I planned to side over it anyhow with cedar shakes and would also put a layer of house rap on it as well. Then I built the two piece center beam from two 2x6" sandwiching a piece of 7/16" OSB that I glued and screwed.
|Ridge beam and central main carrier detail.|
It all went in well and gave me my center point from which to start dropping in the short, roughly 4' rafters. Part of the reason they are so short if because of the low pitch angle but also because there is almost no overhang and eaves. Though not idea, a mobile tiny house has to conform to the width standards at it's widest point. You either have nice wide water pitching eaves or you have, living space. More concessions.
|Rafters in place.|
|Roof decking installed.|
|Finished roof using recycled tin.|
Next up was building the framing structure to encase the wheel wells. This was a mass of small blocks of of 2x4" screwed to longer lengths of 2x4" with two sides and two ends. Not complicated but lots and lots of pieces and then exterior grade sheathing covering the inside sealing it up to the elements and the wildlife. The whole unit then got attached to the platform and the walls. Having the wheel wells is not ideal as it eats into the living space. The alternative would be to have the deck platform above the tops of the wheels and tires, which would mean significantly less overall height. Some things you just deal with. Concessions.
|As it currently sits with one end completed.|
The most was made of the situation and we did get some work completed with the help of additional friends. We got two coats of the finish paint color on most of the lower portion of the tiny house. Then we got the windows in, centered and installed with weatherproofing. From there we were able to get the rest of the trim boards, which covered up the seam between the bottom level and the top level around the gable ends and along the cripple wall. Over the top I installed metal flashing and then ice and water shield strips to seal it all up tight, hopefully. Those trim pieces also received two coats of outdoor stain sealer before we installed them.
With a morning left to spare I took the opportunity to finish side one gable end with cedar shakes. If you have ever worked with cedar shakes or shingles you know just how time consuming it is, especially when it is a gable end with angled cuts and a window. It took hours to finish up. I used 16" long mid grade shingle material that I had left over from, something, and gave a 5" reveal. Ideally it should have been 4" but I figure the 5" is going to be fine for this application and will overlap all the gaps without issue. As I'd been hoping, the cedar gave just the look that I was hoping it would, giving a contrast and compliment to both the trim and the bright orange tone of the lower portion of the structure. I was very happy with the end product.
|Current state of the project.|
Note; at present the running total cost is just over $1900, which is a bit more than I thought. Given that I have some bigger expenses coming up such as the insulation and interior sheathing, I'll need to monitor the costs closely moving forward.
And that's it. That is what I did on my summer vacation in VT. Making steady progress toward having a usable compound for showing off the best that the area has to offer. Or something.