Supervising the Safety Supervisor

The Safety Supervisor/Grandfather wasn’t feeling well last week and, on Saturday, mom took him to the ER, where they then transported him to CCU in the regional hospital.  He was septic with an infected gallbladder and had to have a drain placed.  He is on the mend now but still needs to be monitored for other complications that seem to come with being 85.  HE doesn’t feel his age but I guess it sneaks up on you eventually…

I spent a couple days with my grandfather and mom has been at the hospital every day, so work took a backseat for a bit.  With all that’s been going on, I’m having a hard time remembering what we accomplished last week.  Bear with me while I try to piece it together.

I built boxes that will go in the concrete pad for the pipes to come up through; at least, I think that’s what they are for.  Dad gave me the specs and I made them.  For all I know, he could’ve been tricking me into making planters for mom…


I cut and drilled mounting plates that dad will weld onto the trailer frame to hang my drain pipe from and I cut up some rebar that will go in the pad.  I lined the headers above windows and door with 1/2″ rigid foam and nailed in most of the electrical boxes.  Dad has been busy helping out with the ground work, covering pipes and such.  We laid out where the interior walls are going and dad drilled holes in the floor for the pipes.  We also built up a 2-inch wall over the bathroom wall, since it’s an exterior wall, so we could run the shower pipes without compromising insulation.


We’ve also had visits from the plumber and electrician that were very enlightening (no pun intended).  We had to adjust the design a bit to make sure plumbing is to code.  I will try to explain the changes in a future post, once pipes are in and I have pics.  I’ve also done away with the pocket door so that we can fit the electrical panel in the bathroom wall, since we were running out of interior walls to use.

This week I have been experimenting with different ways to cut the 3″ rigid foam insulation.  I will write more about this in another post, as well.  It is VERY time consuming and hard on the hands.  I have half of the floor, and the wall behind the shower and toilet, filled and have filled the cracks with spray foam.


Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and we hope to put up the siding or roof.

We are hoping my grandfather will be well enough to go to rehab today or tomorrow and hope to have him home next week.  All of this hasn’t stopped him from working…  The day of his procedure, he was a little loopy and kept asking us who made the cabinet and bed in his hospital room and asking why they didn’t continue with the ceiling tiles all the way to the windows.  And, being true to his title, he told me twice not to work too hard!

10/12/15-10/16/15, Painting and Windows

We got a lot accomplished this week, thanks to a few helpers.  Mom and I picked up the last big order from Home Depot.  When we arrived home, my aunt was waiting for us with treats from Dunkin’ Donuts!  After some sugary sustenance, we unloaded the siding and started in on the painting.  I used the ShopVac to brush down the T1-11, which took many many passes to get the sawdust off.  Then my niece and her mom showed up to give us a hand.  With all the help, we were able to get all 20 backsides sealed.  (Thank you!!)


My aunt and Carri (who will always be my sister, whether in-law or out-law) making the most of the drudgery.

My brother stopped by on his way through and helped unload the 28 sheets of sheetrock.  I had no idea how heavy drywall is.  I can see why most tiny-house people use wood for the interior walls.


The next day, mom and I painted the front of the siding.  My aunt came back the following day and helped finish up the fronts and painted the trim boards with my mom.





While they were painting trim, dad and I started installing the windows.  Silicone… seems innocuous enough, but we would be happy if we never saw another tube of it again.  It is horrible slime!  It made the nails stick to the hammer head and my entire body felt laminated by the end of the day.  I even ended up with a nifty rash on my arm.  Unfortunately, we still have the door to do…



We finished the windows with Grace Vycor flashing the next morning.


Thanks for the pic, mom. Now I remember where I left my hammer!

Our cousin had told us about a deal on insulation at a local discount center, 2×8′ 3-inch R-15 rigid foam for $14.99 a sheet (take that, Menard’s!), and I bought out the rest of their supply.  It has some heat damage on the ends but I plan to cut it to fit in between the studs and can add the leftovers to the bottom of the sheet.


The new septic tank is in and covered.  The space for my house has been staked out and drain pipe is ready and waiting.


This week I plan to finish up the exterior painting and install furring strips on the rafters to keep an even air space.

10/01/15 – 10/08/15, Hurricane Ties and a Functional Roof!

I nailed on the hurricane ties earlier in the week and also added strapping to the tall wall to make it more secure.  This made me appreciate the nail gun.  I, seriously, have a blister on my blister from hammering.


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Most mothers would be concerned that their child was in obvious distress… mine laughed and documented it.  Thankfully, once we got the roof sheathed, I was able to take the X-bracing down.


My grandfather/Safety Supervisor helping strip old outlet boxes.

We got a late start on Thursday because mom and I went to Home Depot to place the last big order and pick out paint/stain.  Picking out paint colors should be fun but I am way too indecisive and there are way too many slight variations.  I wanted white for my interior trim, which should’ve been simple, right?  Not so.  There is no “white” white, everything has a hue.  I felt ridiculous telling the woman in the paint department I just wanted white, like the color of the paper I was holding, as if this was a new concept; not arctic ice, polar bear whisper, glacial fields, cotton breeze, nor marshmallow wish. Behr needs to make a hue called Just White.

Back at the house, mom and I marked the plywood and I cut the panels and we passed them up to dad, who tacked them in place.



Six chalk reels and none of them were cooperating that day.



I bought the 2″ GRK multipurpose screws to use on the roof sheathing.  The longer ones worked great on the floor sheathing and dimensional lumber but I struggled with the roof ones.  They wobbled and spun forever before finally biting into the wood.  That put us behind schedule, as well.  It was dusk by the time we started laying the Grace Ice & Water Shield.  That went up fairly easy but we still ended up finishing it in the dark.


Sorry for the blurriness.


The batteries were dead in my headlamp and I was mostly nailing the edge by feel and taking advantage of the rare swings my way from dad’s headlamp.  It rained the next day and the inside was dry, so I guess we did alright!

Mom and I plan to stain the sheets of siding this week.  I’m going with T1-11.  I had originally planned on vinyl siding, which I think is a fine choice, but it just didn’t feel right for this particular design and the house being so small.  I think the wood will give it a little more character.  We plan to put the door and windows in this Thursday or Friday.  It’s gotten really chilly here and I’m starting to feel the pressure of impending winter but things are moving right along and I’m still hoping to be in it before the heavy snow.

09/25/15 and 10/01/15, End Wall Tops, Rafters, and Ode to Menard’s

I apologize for the late post.  I am feeling a lot better and have been busy catching up on all the things I put off when I wasn’t doing so well.

The tops of the end walls (I’m sure there is a proper term for these but I have no idea what it is) were more time-consuming than I thought they’d be.  Each stud had to be cut to fit the angle, so dad would measure and yell down the number, I’d cut the stud, and mom would pass it up to dad and he’d nail it in place.  We make a decent team.



Once sheathing and Tyvek were up, we made the outside rafters.  I do know the technical term for these… barge rafters.  Alas, why they are called that I do not know.




Mom and dad went to the apple orchard (as is the thing to do in Maine) and when they got back, mom said she had a present for me.  I was expecting, maybe, a candy apple…  nope, even better… steps! found on the side of the road, free for the taking, my favorite kind.  No more playing musical ladders, shuffling them in and out.  They aren’t quite the right height but they’ll do for now.


My uncle stopped by just in time to help clean up (and admire the new steps).

The following week, we made a run to Home Depot to pick up a couple of staging planks and lumber, and my metal roofing had just arrived so we picked that up as well.

We had a crew in the backyard assessing the septic system.  My parents have been having problems with roots blocking the drainage and need to have a new tank installed.  We’ve been holding off on preparing the land where I’ll be parking my house because we weren’t sure where the new tank was going to go but now we have a better idea and it looks like I’ll be able to set up near the steps to the pool deck, which ties in nicely with the main house and garage.  I still feel bad about pouring concrete in the middle of my parent’s yard when I might only be living there temporarily, even though they’ve assured me they can use the pad to park their camper on to use as a guest house in the summer if I do end up moving.


Cutting out notches in the rafters.



Screwing down the rafters.

We only had one decent impact driver between the two of us, so mom was on the inside, climbing up and down ladders, to pass it back and forth.  She also cut out the middle of the plates that tie the short and long rafters together.  She claims to have carpal tunnel syndrome now.  I probably should’ve applied for Worker’s Comp. insurance…


Instead of making a typical straight shed roof, dad decided to add a short downward overhang on the front.


It’s neat having the rafters up, feels like a real house inside.


Sweatband weather has turned to sweatshirt weather; however, this is Maine, where nothing is predictable, so I’m not packing the sweatbands away just yet.


Attaching the sub-fascia.

The next step is roof sheathing and ice and water shield.  A couple of the roof trim pieces were ordered in the wrong color and I have to reorder them before we can start installing the metal panels.  I’m having a hard time finding metal fascia.  Menard’s carries it but shipping would be astronomical.  I’ve decided Menard’s must be like Disneyland, a magical faraway place.  Every time I Google something I need, they have it and it’s always way cheaper than anywhere else.  I’m thinking of starting a petition to have them branch out to New England.  Anyway, back to fascia…  If anyone knows where I can find steel fascia trim, please let me know!