Monday, April 20, 2009

The Floor on the Floor and Back Again

Once we cut all the floor shims, we lifted the floor frame off the trailer and turned it upside down on the floor next to the trailer to work on. We nailed the shims in place on the now upside down floor frame (the underside of the frame so that the top has a more consistent surface area) and then got to work installing the flashing.

The flashing is mainly to protect the underside of the floor frame and insulation from road debris and to prevent rodents from entering the cottage from the bottom. To that end, we used a staple gun to fix the flashing to the frame with staples every 3 or so inches. Note that we don't seal the flashing because if any water did get up in there we'd want it to flow out.

It took three of us to get the flashed floor frame back on the trailer. This took a bit of thinking. It was pretty heavy at this point. Also, our floor frame is made of 3 parts: front, middle and back. At each connection point there is a weak spot. We didn't want the frame to separate as we moved it into place.

Our saw horses are about the same height as the tops of the wheel wells, so we put one in front of the wheel well and one behind - both right next to the trailer. This gave us an even tipping point. Then we stood the frame up on its side, tilted it against this new pivot (so the frame was supported in the back, middle and front by a saw horse, wheel well and saw horse in that order), and slowly lowered it into place onto the trailer.

We used 3 inch lag bolts in the front 2/3 rds to secure the floor framing to the trailer deck. With the flashing in place, we were concerned about knowing where to drill through the deck to make sure we connected with the frame studs. This turned out to be no problem since we had a nice line of staples to follow.

Since the back of the floor frame has shims, we used progressively longer bolts going back, measured so we always had 1 1/2 inch bite into the studs of the frame (so with a shim of 1 inch, and the deck at 1 1/2 inches, our total bolt length at that point was 4 inches). The plans suggest a bolt every 2 or 3 feet, but, being paranoid, we did a bit more than that.

So that pretty much sums our weekend. This week we should be moving forward on insulation and adding a few supports here and there.

If you aren't aware of it, the Tiny House Company is building a Fencl (the name of the tiny house design we bought from them). It is amazing how fast you can put one of these together if you have 2 or 3 full-time dedicated, experienced construction workers on it. The best source of information for the progress on it can be found on the Tiny House Blog. Stop by there and tell 'em Jeff and Arlene sent you!


  1. I'm not a comment person in blogs, but I read yours on a regular basis.
    Keep up with the interesting and good work!!!

  2. Thank you. It's good know the words and pics aren't just floating around on the ether with no audience.


  3. To Anonymous,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    We have had no prior construction experience but we're having fun building this cottage.

    Hoping to point out the difficult spots in the building process to the also-inexperienced, we try to give helpful hints along the way along with a bit of entertainment.

    Take care,


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