October is a big month for the project because we are officially starting the Build! Starting from the bottom up, of course, which is the coolest thing about building a house, subfloor was the order of business. As of right now, the plan is to have a roof by mid-November (and before the snow flies!).
Before that, a quick note about the layout. In an effort to get a more realistic feel for the space, we bought a bucket of chalk and measured it out on our driveway. Once we were able to actually stand in our drawing, we saw a lot of changes we could make to use the (small) space to its fullest potential, and we ended up changing about three quarters of the main floor layout. (Those blue outlines are the actual sizes of our toilet, sink and shower, oh my!)
Back to the subfloor…Since our trailer was made to order, we didn’t have to mess around building a floor frame or tacking the aluminum belly pan on, but we did have to caulk the belly pan to keep water and critters out. Mr. W guessed we would use 15 280ml bottles of caulking and we came in at 12. We washed the trailer with soapy water first and made sure it was good and dry before we started and then we filled every crack, gap and seal we could see.
Once the caulking was dry, it was time to lay in the insulation. Let me say, this was more exciting than it might sound. To have looked at the empty trailer for weeks without being able to work on it and then to finally be able to fill it up with insulation…finally felt like we were starting to build something. As I discussed in a previous post, we used Roxul insulation, which meant the only equipment we needed was a tape measure, a bread knife, and some gloves. However, while drawing up the plans for the house frame, Mr. W. found that we would need to grind some of the bolts off that had been welded to the frame, so insulation went in once the trailer was 10 bolts lighter. (We touched up the places where the bolts used to be with some Tremclad to keep it from rusting).
For the record, this Roxul wasn’t nearly as itchy as fibreglass insulation. We rinsed our arms and our faces afterwards and that was it.
Once the insulation was in, we put closed cell weather stripping along each surface of the frame to stop any heat from the inside of the house from traveling out where the plywood meets the steel frame .
Next step, vapour barrier. We used regular 6mil plastic and that awful black, non-drying vapour barrier sealant. Whether to use vapour barrier in the subfloor or not was a bit of a tricky decision, since there is no real straight answer in the tiny house research available online. A lot of builds we’ve seen, including professional ones from Tumbleweed, don’t use vapour barrier. But we also didn’t see a ton of builds in a climate like ours, where we get everything from hot and humid to cold and wet (a lot of tiny housers that you find online are building in warmer and/or less dynamic climates). After researching forums for building houses with crawlspaces in an Ontario climate, we decided we would go with it.
Voila! An insulated, weather stripped and vapour proof subfloor! I’ll be back in a week, when the plywood is laid!