The first priority for our first week of building was establishing a temporary support structure. We are building this V House (which we have given the slightly clinical term-of-endearment “V2”) on a wooden subfloor resting on top of some massive tree stumps. Once the building is done and we are ready to move V2 to its new home, we will jack it up, remove the subfloor and lower it onto the trailer. Easy, right? Here's hoping!
The subfloor support structure went up well, and we levelled everything to within a 64th of an inch. If there's any variation from that at this point, we're blaming frost heaves and changes in gravitational force. Once it was prepped, we started on the actual floor of the house.
The floor consists of 2x8 joists infilled with reclaimed rigid foam from a local roofer's stockpile, set on 16” centres and sandwiched between 1/2” plywood on both top and bottom. From our crawlspace underneath the support structure, we were able to nail the plywood on from the bottom without having to build it upside down first and then try to flip it over. We're pretty tough, but for two guys to wrestle a 23' by 10' flooring system 180 degrees would take more energy than we had, so brain over brawn, baby! When we installed the rigid foam, Seth had the brilliant idea to cut all the foam over the floor joists, so that any foam shavings or small chunks would fall into the floor system and not onto the ground where it could get washed away into Nature. It worked well and soon we had the top plywood sandwich fastened and were ready to frame up the walls.
Our V House design has proprietary (not actually) “wings” that extend beyond the roofline. On our smaller houses, this is a beam that runs all the way through, acting as a structural component. On this 23' long house, we wanted the same look but had to fake it a bit, because we didn't have a 28' 4x6. We built up a 20 something foot long 3 ply 2x6 beam and then that connected with a three foot lap joint to the wings. The final product was a super strong and handsome piece of work that crowned the long back and front walls. We framed these two walls on the floor, stood them up and then hoisted those beams onto the top. It took some trickery with leverage and gravity, but worked well and once everything was up and well-braced, it looked very good indeed.
By this point in the week we were rushing to beat the first big snowfall and the temperature was starting to plummet, so we forged ahead and built the roof. We cut the rafters (enough birdsmouths to start your own flock), strapped it all, sheeted it, papered it, peel-and-sticked the vitals and screwed down the corrugated metal. Once that was done, we framed the two side walls in place and starting laying out and framing the interior walls.
We'll post one or two more episodes of the Nelson Tiny Houses building blog, and then we're taking two weeks off to be with family and enjoy the festivities.
Thanks for reading and check back again soon!