Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I am amazed at the pressure relief of having the metal roof on. I still need to finish the porch roof, but the inside of the house will stay dry. Whew! I decided to take a hiking break and head down to Zion National Park over the weekend, thus no progress on the house until yesterday. After a weekend of hiking, eating, and relaxing I'm ready to get back at it.  The weather was so beautiful the last two days that I figured I would do a little outside work, so the door finally made the top of the list.  I've never built a door before and I looked at a lot of videos and how to's before deciding on my door.  I'm working with 1/4" plywood and 1x6 tongue and groove here. I started by cutting my door to the approximate size of the opening.  I know I'll have to do some sizing on the door, because the door opening hasn't been trimmed out yet. But step one...cutting out the dog door opening and the speakeasy opening in the plywood.

Next I cut the 1x6 to length

Here's the side that will be facing out, with only half the speakeasy hole cut. 

Finished the hole for the speakeasy and it started to get dark, so I cleaned up for the day with half of the door finished.  Here is the door where it is going to live eventually.

Unseasonally warm and very sunny day #2...the inside side of the door.  Here I'm just fitting some of the pieces to see how far I might get today.  I started attaching the 1x6's at the bottom and got almost to the speakeasy.  I then ran out of two essential items...1x6's and nails.  Mom didn't feel up to a trip to the store, and I was ready for dinner, so I'll stop at the store tomorrow after my walk with Nellie and pick up one more board and more nails.

Before I gave up for the day, I decided to paint the first coat on the outside of the door.  So the outside will be white, but the inside will have a clear coat on it.  Supposed to rain tomorrow, but I can finish up the last few pieces inside.  The dog door, latch, and hinges should be here next week.  So I guess I'd better get to framing the doorway!  I might be having a sleep-out here pretty soon!  Anybody want to join me?  BYOSB (bring your own sleeping bag)

PS. Puncture wounds are no fun! My finger caught a nail point that was sticking out and it hurt more than a cardboard paper cut with lemon juice! And boy did it bleed! Felt like I was back in high school science doing the blood typing thing...only it bled more.  Now, a few hours later, can hardly tell at all! It is the little things in life like pain-free mostly-healed puncture wounds that make me grateful. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A bit of overwhelm

I was a little bit overwhelmed today as I finished up on the roof.  I got a little emotional putting up the first panel yesterday.  I had been waiting so long to do this part of the house, and I didn't think I'd be doing it now, so I was taken by surprise by the rebellious tarp on Sunday.  The roof seems to be the finishing piece of the outside of the house. There is still trim to be done and two windows to be installed, but the structural pieces are all in place now. My house is really a house.  I realized that I will live there sometime soon and I look forward to the day I can move in.  There is a lot of work to be done still, but I'm so pleased with how much has been accomplished.  I got a little overwhelmed the other day while working on the electrical and I had a thought, "who am I to think that I could build a house...what am I doing?" But then I remembered back to a bare trailer sitting in my backyard, and realized just how far I've come and all the things I've learned.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to build this house.  My tiny Ticklebelly Bungalow.   

More planned roofing

Lovely day for roofing today -  a bit overcast, but fairly warm.  I even took my hat off. So here is the progress.

First panel on!!

Second panel on...

Third, fourth, and fifth panels on...

All the panels are on!!! 

I had already put the vent on the ridge cap so it was all ready to go. The dilemma was how to get onto the roof to secure it.  I had taken off the cleat that I was using before and didn't want to put any extra holes in the metal. I tried a couple of different ways to get up on the roof and finally resorted to putting the cleat back on so I felt comfortable getting up there.  I had decided a long time ago that if I wasn't comfortable about being on the roof, then I wouldn't get up there.  I'll put a couple of screws in the extra holes and I won't worry about it.

Now for the ridge cap...

The only selfie you'll ever see of me and the house. :)
One more note about sitting on the ridge... the ridge cap is about 3 million times more comfortable on the bum than sitting on the ridge made of plywood and a 2x6.  My inner thighs sure got a good workout! 

Mostly finished! Still have to trim the ends of the ridge cap and I have a row of screws left to put in, but I need a different ladder.  The holes are too high for my 8 foot ladder, but just low enough that I can't reach them from the ridge. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Planned roofing

The roofing begins!! Starting with finishing up cutting the edge that I started last night, I got right to work this morning.  Painting the cut edges and pre-drilling the holes for the screws came next, so I got out the rebellious tarp and stacked all six panels that I would be using on the port side. I drilled through all the panels so the screws would line up nicely...and I only had to drill the 23 holes once, although I do get to do it again tomorrow with the panels for the starboard side.  I put up the strip on the eave that keeps weather/birds/bugs out from under the ribs of the panel.  Then the real adventure began...squaring the first panel with the roof!! 

Can't remember what this little strip is called, but it was the easiest part of my work today.

After a couple of attempts at squaring the panel by measuring the overhang I realized that wasn't the best way to accomplish the task.  I knew the roof was square, so I finally measured from the bottom of the panel to the top of the roof deck and made sure that measurement was the same on both edges. First panel up!!!! 

Second panel up!!!!

Third, fourth, and fifth panels up!!!!!

All six panels up!!!!!!

I was quite pleased to measure the last panel and have less than a half inch difference between the ridge and eave. Almost square, and finished the first time. No redo-ing. So glad for that.

I wanted to get the panels all ready for tomorrow so I painted the cut edges, but it got cold and dark again. Amazing how that happens every day!  So the pre-drilling and cutting the width will have to wait until tomorrow.   Found out today that cutting with a jigsaw works the best. I don't end up with pointy places...just not quite completely straight cuts, but the cuts weren't completely straight with the shears either, and the jigsaw is a billion times faster. Just remember the earplugs, wow it is loud. Starboard side and ridge cap are on the menu for tomorrow.  So excited to have the roof finished!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Woman's prerogative, part 2

I think that when a woman changes her mind, it is always for a good reason.  Here is the perfect example.  In my post a few days ago I talked about changing my wiring to accomodate an outside breaker box instead of having a box inside the house.  As I began to remove the wiring from where it was, I found that I had attached one wire to the wrong place.  So instead of my floor being on one circuit by itself and the outlets on a different circuit, I had somehow wired my floor to the outlets down the line from it.  Boy, that would have been a mess to figure out later! I don't plan on having any electricity for a while so I would have been completely stumped when I finally got some power into those lines.  Not to mention the complete mess to put it the way I wanted it.  I suppose I would have just had to live with it.  SO, I'm so glad I changed my mind because I found a very big mistake in the process.  While moving the line from the fan, I decided to take the wire along the ridge beam instead of down through the wall.  In order to make that work, I ended up putting an outlet in the sleeping loft too, which I hadn't planned to do.  But I think it will be good in the end.  

Lesson for the day: listen to your heart, it might just save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

PS. With the snow and ice all melted from the firepit in the backyard, the glow rocks show again.  Can't wait for a fire in the firepit again!

Unplanned roofing...

 I happened to look out the back door this morning to find that the wind had so graciously removed the tarp from Ticklebelly Bungalow.  I hadn't planned on doing much today because it is Sunday-day of rest.  But since it was snowing/raining I figured I'd better at least get the tarp back on. Well, after 45 minutes of trying to get the tarp on with the wind first blowing from the north, then from the west, then from the north again I gave up in tears.  I've never had that much trouble with the tarp! Even when I used two tarps I didn't have that much trouble.  I didn't want my roof deck to be totally soaked and I didn't know how long the snow/rain would last so I decided to put up the roof paper.  I had previously purchased some 30# felt because the other roof paper I purchased was no longer available, so it currently looks pretty funny, but at least my roof deck is protected a little bit.  By the time I had finished both sides it had stopped slushing and there was a beautiful sunset. So I'm feeling a bit forced about the roof.  I was going to wait until I had a week of sunny days, but alas I have two days to finish the roof before it is supposed to snow/rain again on Wednesday.  I folded up the tarp and put it in the shed (insert raspberry aimed at the tarp).

So tonight I'm making a to do list for the roof.  I have all the materials...meaning no last minute trips to the store. I've marked the eave edge of the panels with a 1 inch overhang, and I started cutting one panel to the correct width, but then it was time to come in the house and get Mom to bed.  And now I don't want to go back out into the cold, dark night anymore, so I'll just have to get started first thing in the morning.

There's a big wrinkle on this side that I fixed when I did the other side, but I didn't take another picture.

Port side roof...roof paper complete!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Woman's change her mind

Sometimes I wish I didn't spend so much time looking at tiny house ideas such as what other people have done and what equipment they are using.  I watched a video the other day that had all the electrical equipment on the tongue end with the breaker box outside.  I've also seen breaker boxes on the inside and that was how I was planning to do mine, although I was resigned (as opposed to happy) about having an inside breaker box.  I've never found breaker boxes particularly attractive, even painted ones, and limited inside wall space made my resignation not so easy. Well then I saw the above mentioned video and decided I'd rather have an outside breaker box and all my solar batteries/equipment on the tongue end like the video. So in order to make that happen I need to take out a bunch of the insulation and re-wire a bit. On the up side...I haven't put in any wall coverings yet, so taking out insulation is is the time to make the change if I'm going to...and it is relatively warm outside so I'd better hop to! Tomorrow is Friday, so it is Ticklebelly Bungalow day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wiring, insulation, and an outlet!

I have been working on the house slowly but surely, just not posting much because I feel like I haven't made much progress...until I look at the last post and realize I don't have pics of the wiring that is now finished.  I've put in seven outlet boxes, one thermostat box for my radiant floor, and the fan wiring.  I actually have one more box to put in which is the outside outlet - maybe tomorrow I'll do that.  But I do have pics of the insulation that I've been working on for the last couple of days.  I doesn't really take that long to do insulation, but I haven't been dedicating big chunks of time to the project. So small chunks of time have led to a little over half of the walls with insulation.  I need to get some more insulation now, I'm all out.  I knew when I bought the first round of insulation that I was only buying half of what I needed, but I couldn't fit any more in the Jeep. 

Starboard wall and bathroom end of the house mostly insulatied

Starboard side and porch end of the house

I actually got two outlets done this afternoon, but only took a pic of this one.  Kind of exciting!

Just now I realized that I could put the wall covering on the bathroom end wall!  Well, not really...I still need to finish the inside of the window on that side. Anyway, getting closer every day.  Supposed to rain all weekend and actually be semi warm outside so I guess I'll get more inside work done and maybe begin in earnest on the front door.