Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Progress on our Tiny Office

 Post by Joe

I'm so excited to say that big progress is being made on the TO!  I have been working every available moment that I have had.  I've been extremely lucky that the daily rain has held off until the afternoon almost every day allowing plenty of time to work.  In the last post I had completed framing on 2 of the walls.  We now have 4 walls framed and sheathed.

At this point you can really start to get a feel for what it is going to be like inside the TO.  Its funny, because it is actually going to be a pretty good sized office, but to imagine living in a space that size is hard to do. 

The corner with the two windows will be where our desk will go (facing the lower one - which is at the proper height to see out when sitting in a desk chair), but in a real tiny house this half of the building would hold the bathroom on the left side and the kitchen on the right. 

After the walls were up I was able to frame up the gables and then put in the main beam that will support the roof. 

I wanted to take a little time now to talk about buying and using reused and salvaged materials because in this past week I experienced both ends of the spectrum.  The goal of this project was to build using 100% reused and salvaged items.  Thus far, I was able to do that.  Unfortunately, that came to end when I was sheathing the walls.  One of the first things I bought for the TO was a bunch of unused, excess plywood off of Craigslist.  Unfortunately, it was not enough.  I needed ten more sheets.  I have spent a lot of time in salvaged building material stores, and I rarely, if ever, see plywood there.  That's because plywood rips apart when you demo buildings.  It is very difficult to salvage in tact, and most of the time it is only being ripped out because it is rotted and unusable.  So I had to make my first trip to Home Depot to buy some new materials, 10 sheets of OSB.  It is important to remember that in a project like this you may not be able to find every single thing that you need used. 

On the other hand, I had one of the biggest wins of the whole project thus far at The Loading Dock earlier this week.  I went to get a bunch of 2x6 lumber for the roof rafters, which I knew they would have, but was also on the lookout for my main beam.  I wanted a single 2x8 that was 18' long.  At any big box store, you will not find any boards over 16'.  I could always special order a board 18' long, but it would be a lot of money, and not salvaged.  When I pulled up to The Loading Dock, sitting right out front was a pile of old salvaged 2x8 beams.  First of all, they were true 2"x8" beams.  Today's 2x8 beams are really 1.5"x7.5".  So these were beefier, which is good for a main beam.  Sitting right on top of that pile was one beam that was longer than the rest.  I measured it, 18'!  It was the perfect length, size, and salvaged.  And it was only $15!  So when shopping for reused and salvaged items,  sometimes you just can't get what you need, and sometimes you'll find something more perfect than you could ever buy at a big box store. 

The next step, the roof!

A note from Bonnie:
This "Tiny" Office is not looking so tiny anymore, huh? I have to admit, I had a bit of a freak out when I saw that the structure would be taller than our house! In all the discussion it never sunk in that we would be building a one story building, plus a loft, on a trailer that is already over two feet off the ground.  Having the structure placed directly next to the house is starting to feel a bit overwhelming, but we will have to wait until it's all done and see how it feels.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Constructing our Tiny Office: Reboot

Post by Joe
For months now it's been so difficult watching the work I did last fall and my pile of materials sit, wait, and rot.  I was beginning to wonder if the T.O. was ever going to happen.  Between work, church, and life in general it turns out I just didn't have the time to work on a project of this scale.  I knew if I couldn't get it done this spring/summer, then it wasn't going to happen.  I would sell the trailer and try again another day.  Then one day while working on our work schedule, Bonnie picked a week and declared it the T.O. week.  This is that week! The Tiny Office has been rebooted.

After finishing up some other projects for work Monday morning, I made it to a few reuse stores to look for more materials, The Loading Dock and Second Chance, Inc.  My hope was to find 2x4 studs so I wouldn't have to take all the time to rip down the 2x10s I currently have.  No luck.  I did however get a great deal on a ton of used insulation. 

I finally finished my work for the day and arrived home just in time for dinner.  Then with no time to waste, I went out started working.  Unfortunately, the first step was to demo all the work I did before.  After getting wet all winter, everything was rotted and falling apart.  At least I was working on it though.  

Tuesday's task was to complete the demo and start rebuilding.  I managed to get everything torn apart and cleaned and a new subfloor installed.  Now I was back to where I started, but not rotted, and ready to continue.

 Wednesday I finally got to start framing!  It felt so good to finally start building the actual structure, and now it was really starting to take shape. 

The goal was to get the main framing done, but then the rain came.  I didn't mind though.  I now knew that this was going to happen.  Nothing will stop me from finishing this Tiny Office!

You can follow my progress as I post photos on Instagram as ChestnutPinesContracting