The delivery of the trailer meant we could start moving into the actual building part of this whole crazy tiny house project.
The first couple of steps – installing the flashing and the anchor bolts – are important and tedious.
The flashing has to be done just right, its the foundation of the whole house after all, and we want to make sure that what is outside the house stays outside and that whats inside stays inside. Also, we wanted to be sure that we don’t have water issues in our subfloor.
If we’ve done our work right, we won’t ever really have to deal with this part of the process again. Aside from reapplying tape to the underside of the trailer every five years or so.
If we haven’t done our work right, we’ll have moisture and mold in our subfloor. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
For the flashing, we followed instructions we found over on Her Tiny Home using flashing trays.
Her photos (always beautiful) and her short video with a triumphant “woo-hoo” made it all seem so easy and simple. And, in some ways, it was.
It still took (is taking – we have about 10% of the work remaining) far longer and was far more tedious than I imagined it would be.
36 interior pieces of sheet metal and 28 pieces on the exterior all had to be tin-snipped by hand to fit around the welds. Once in place, each piece needed to be sealed up – we ended up using hvac tape on the interior and professional grade duct tape on the underside. Then we threw some liquid nails in for good measure.
It was probably overkill, all of it, but it was definitely a part of the process that made me pretty damn nervous. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
As we worked on the flashing, we realized that our anchor bolts needed to be placed before we finished installing the trays. Which meant we needed to know where all those anchor bolts were going to go. A couple of the bolts were pretty obvious, there are only two cross beams on each end of the trailer for us to use, so anchor bolts had to go in each of those cross members.
The other bolts, those on the sides of the house, weren’t so straightforward. That meant we needed to finish (mostly) our framing diagrams to see what studs would/could line up with a cross member and, thus, a bolt.
Finalizing framing diagrams meant a lot of long nights around the kitchen table with floor plans, window schedules, construction books, and loads of tiny house blogs loaded on the laptop.
Once we had nearly finished framing diagrams in hand, we were ready to drill into our trailer. We needed 12 x 5/8″ holes to accommodate our bolts. Many people weld their bolts to the trailer frame, we decided to drill them through. There were many reasons we chose to do it this way, most significantly that we don’t know how to weld.
Drilling through a steel trailer is not an easy task. With the first two holes we broke three drill bits that we were using for pilot holes. That big bit dances on the metal and having a pilot hole made it a whole lot easier.
Lucky for us, we only needed 2 of the big bits to complete all 12 anchor holes (and 4 holes elsewhere to move the electrical down and out of the way of our subfloor.
Next steps – Finishing that flashing, all the way. Insulating and installing the subfloor.