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Tiny House: Part Three

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Things I used for this project:

There was actually two months time in between my first visit (when the first two videos were made) and this second visit when we made this video above. In that time, Anne completely cleared out the site by removing the old shed she knocked over prior to us starting on this one. She also leveled out the land and caulked and primed most of the tiny house. 

Bonus for this part of the build: George Vondriska came to help as well!

This week we started off with the electrical. First using a chalk line to mark the heights of the electrical boxes. Actually I held one end of the line but then while George started nailing on boxes, I started screwing down the floor. Anne and I used nails when we were putting it together, but adding screws will prevent squeaking over time. 

While we were keeping busy there, Anne was going around the studs drilling holes in order to run the Romex. Anne figured out where she would be placing her panel then we started routing the wire. She actually plans to do solar in the future but while figuring out that process, we stuck with the traditional method of power. The tiny house will have a few boxes along the lower walls, a few light scones above the windows, then 6 outlets in the ceiling for lights or maybe fans. 

Working as a team, George would work ahead and drill the holes needed, while I followed him running the wire. I’m not sure if you can see or not but Anne placed the level across both our ladders to hang the Romex wiring from so she could feed it to me as needed. This is a great solution if you don’t have a spool caddy. 

After getting all the wall outlets and switches wired in, we ran the wiring to the ceiling lights then started on insulation. We went with pre cut and faced batts and started on the ceiling as it’s the worst. What we found to work quickest is George and I would be on the ladders with Anne passing us the batts. I would feed in my end and staple it down. Then pass it to George where he would repeat on his end of the batt. All the while Anne would be cutting another batt to size to fit the wall cavity my ladder was currently positioned in front of. By the time I split the batt down the center and fed it behind the wiring in the cavity, George was done with his securing and would pass the stapler back to me. 

All three of us got a kick out of trying to perfect our timing on this. : )

When it came to the walls, it seemed to go even quicker as most of the bays were as easy as taking a batt out then stuffing it in the cavity. However, we were working with just a single stapler so we ended up with one person stuffing (making sure to split the batt and place half behind the wiring), one person stapling, then the third person measuring the odd ball size cavities and making those cuts needed. This kept all three of us busy and knocked the job out quickly. 

Alright, up next was drywall! Which I was stoked about as I’ve never done drywall before. With the ceiling going to be the most difficult, we started there. Also you want to start on the ceiling so your wall boards butt right up to it. 

We first made a helper in the shape of a T. This will be used to hold up the drywall sheet while we have time to secure it.

Now folks, I know this to be called a dead man, and George knows it to be an old lady……which are quite different. Either way, you can see how it works here. George and I are able to lift the sheet into place, then when we were happy with it’s position Anne could kick in the dead man which allowed us to rest our shoulders and start attaching. 

Before attaching the panel though, George would first cut out around the electrical boxes with a router and a bit called a roto zip. It works similar to a flush trim bit except it’s much smaller and is designed for this specific application.

Then using a collated gun, which is a drill that feeds screws off a magazine clip, I would start attaching my side to the studs. Since there was only one collated gun, George would use a regular drill to drive in screws on his side. At least enough of them to hold up the panel so he could hop down and start lining out the next sheet and I could finish up the attaching. 

A few other things I learned that are helpful on this step is to mark all your studs and rafters on the panels before setting them into place. This way you can very quickly go through and attach it. Stagger your seams just like with any other sheet application. When you start on a second row use a full panel and start in the center of the room then work your way out. Oh, and if you use a regular drill for drywall, look into a special bit for drywall screws that will prevent you from overdriving the screw.

You’ll notice that the drywall we are using is green, that’s because this is moisture and mold resistant. Anne noticed it was only going to cost $60 more to use this kind of drywall over the traditional kind and with it being in the forest and in Washington she decided it would be worth it. 

After getting the ceiling knocked out, we unloaded the rest of the drywall from the truck and into the tiny house so it would all be on hand to quickly throw up. The sheets come in a pack of two and just a tip, as you unload and stack them, peal off the paper ends and flip the outside panel so it faces the same direction as it’s partner. This way the entire stack is all facing the same way in the end and you won’t have to do a bunch of flipping around when you’re rockin.

With the ceiling done, next we repeated the process and knocked out the walls. We very quickly got into the groove of two people holding the panel up, while another attached….this was mostly my job because once I discovered the fun-ness of that collated drill I wasn’t willing to give it up…..When the sheet was attached enough to stay up, George would cut out for the boxes while Anne would measure for the next board and be prepping it with cutting it to length or height, then also laying out the stud lines….or going back with the regular drill and sinking any screws that didn’t properly seat with my gun. It is really important for the next step that you don’t have any scew heads protruding.

Now we were in Washington and dancing around rain the three days we had to work, so with a break in the rain, we decided to attach the roof before taping and mudding. 

You should remember from part two that Anne and I already progressed the roof to sheathing, roofing paper, and drip edge but were waiting on the metal roof to be delivered. So now it was as simple as passing the panels up, laying them down, and attaching them. While these panels are large, they aren’t that heavy so I was able to tilt it up to the roof then George was able to pull it up all the way and create a stack on the roof to use. 

One panel wasn’t long enough to have the overhang Anne was wanting so we started off by cutting a panel up to create a starter strip. Starting at the bottom of the roof we made a few spacers to make sure the overhang was even then another spacer to use as a guide on where to place our screws. This just keeps them in line and makes it look sharp in the end. 

After the starter row was complete we started laying down full panels, over lapping each one by one corrugation and again using a spacer to make sure the overhang was even along the top of the roof. This was my first time laying down a metal roof and I must say I’m a fan. It was easy and it looked very sharp afterwards. Total I don’t even know if the roof took us an hour to complete. 

Still taking advantage of the let up in rain, we continued on with the outside work. Moving over to the soffit. For this we used some plywood that Anne had on hand which happen to be some 3/8” material and cut it to size with a circular saw. And this wasn’t all that bad. Soffit on my shop was horrible and I think scarred me for life! Or at least my shoulders for life, but using boards only 8’ long made it extremely manageable. Tip for this step is to go through and mark all your studs on the siding before throwing up the soffit. If you forget it isn’t a big deal as you can just measure, but it does speed things up if you remember and mark. We attached them to the studs with a framing nailer.

It was in the middle of this step that George had to fly back to WI so we said our goodbyes but got back to work. Since Anne and I were already on ladders we went ahead and cut and threw up the remaining trim work needed. 

But after that, the only thing outside left to do was prime and paint but we decided to leave that and spend my last day in Washington getting further on the inside. 

Now Anne plans to do a nice reclaimed barn wood floor eventually but in the meantime we did a second layer of plywood for the subfloor. We tracked in a ton of mud through building so we made sure to sweep before laying these sheets down and also made sure to stagger the seams from the previous layer of treated plywood. 

That was of course a very simple step. Next we threw up a few sheets of cement board. This is because Anne is including a tiny stove in the tiny house. She will eventually plumb an exhaust line that will vent through the ceiling but for the mean time we just took care of the floor and walls by cutting a few boards then attaching them in place. Later Anne will cover these boards in stone and create an accent section that should look pretty adorable and cozy. 

Even though it’s far from ready to be installed, we at least wanted to unbox the tiny stove to set it in place and see how it would look. Pretty adorable and cozy if you ask me. 

Alrighty, now on to taping and bedding! Again this was a first for me and I will tell you now, that I loved this step. I wish I had more time to dive into it and get really good at it. Anne taught me what she learned from doing her shop build then we took off on it. It took us a second to figure out the best way to work efficiently but we eventually came to Anne going around and taping all the seams then me coming back and mudding. 

We used mesh tape for all of the seams but paper tape in all the corners. Anne was having a heck of a time with the corners, particularly on the ceiling, but a friend suggested wetting the tape before applying it and Anne said this made all the difference in the world. So just a tip if you’re new to drywalling. 

We made it a point to complete the first coat before calling it quits that day so that it could be setting up over night and allow us to apply a second coat before I had to head back home. The next day we started the day off with the second coat hoping it would dry by afternoon time frame so we miiiight be able to get a third coat on, but no such luck. With all the rain Washington was having when I was there, there was too must moisture in the air for it to dry quickly. No problem though. 

This last day was Anne’s actual birthday. We ended up eating two different kinds of birthday cake for breakfast, spent a few hours mudding together on this awesome little house we built together, then spent the rest of the time playing around her farm with her lovable animals. I just want to say that I feel very blessed to have found a friend who thinks this was a perfect day.

Be sure and watch Anne’s YouTube channel to see the rest of the progress of Tiny House and I hope you enjoyed this series.

(If you haven’t seen part one and two in this series, you can check out part one here and part two here)

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