Archive | November, 2012

We’d rather be building than blogging!!

21 Nov

Seriously, I don’t know if building is just more intuitive to us (or to humans in general) than blogging, but we’ve had more struggles lately in dealing with this blog than actually building a house. And keep in mind, neither me nor Mathew have ever BUILT anything, yet we’ve spent a considerable amount of our lives in front of a computer! Go figure. And maybe it’s because mental tasks are considerably more draining than active tasks (just going out and doing something!).

I’d like to take just a few paragraphs detailing some of our experiences thus far with the build!! While I have been helping Mathew when I can, my time is taken up mostly by the “day job,” so, in reality, I have merely a secondhand view of Mathew’s trials and tribulations with his carpentry adventures. These views, however, are often highly animated, heartfelt, and impressive. I am amazed when I come home, and Mathew says things like, “Well, I sheathed most of the roof today.” And even if you’re not versed with those terms, you should be able to appreciate the feats involved with just working on a roof. And to clarify, “sheathing” requires that Mathew lift giant pieces of plywood (the “sheath” of the house) about 15 ft into the air and properly place them on a 45 degree slanted surface. This is what we Crossfit for.

The sheathing of the roof was preceded by the rafter building, which we can arguably say was the most difficult task thus far. Rafters are the support beams for the roof. They are the connection between the ridge beam and the tops of the walls. (The ridge beam is the highest point of the house that runs lengthwise down the center of the roof.) Building the roof is difficult because all the rafters need to be cut at the same, weird angle and everything has to line up. Also, everything has to be drilled with screws using an impact driver. (Using screws instead of nails make the building more stable and is preferred if the house is to sustain high winds, such as those encountered on the highway when we take it somewhere.) For me, drilling with this damn impact driver requires so much upper body strength (which I do not have!!), that I have to brace myself against something in order to properly “drive” the screw in. If you don’t push hard enough, you just end up stripping the screw head and then well you’re screwed!! Anyway, when you’re on the roof trying to find something to brace against to help you “drive,” all you’ve got is air. So core strength is essential, people. When I was helping to screw in the sheathing for the walls, we’d have to stand on a ladder and often with the force of the “drive,” I would often tilt the ladder (very scary even though it would only be a 15 ft drop at most). So instead, when I could, I would wrap my legs around a stud (the 2X4 that holds the wall up, not Mathew!) and kind of hang my upper body around the front of the plywood to finish screwing it in. Fun stuff!

Mathew probably has a lot more experiences to talk about, and I wanted him to talk about a few in his own words. Recently, he found this post talking about the “making mistakes” aspect of house building, and it made us both hysterically laugh. But in response to me asking him to write a few words about his own mistakes, he responded, “I’m building the house; you write about it.” Whatever you say, baby. I truly admire his commitment to this, so I don’t mind that we establish our respective roles in a) building the house and b) getting the message out to fellow bloggers, tiny house builders and just the plain ol curious. Below are some recent pics and that post from another blog that I was talking about. Thanks Tiny Revolution!

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