Slowly slowly moves the sloth

Hi homies!

Let me pick up where I left off last time:

It was raining. A lot.

Flash forward to today: It’s still raining. A lot.

But no matter, I figure at this rate I will be finished the house in about two years, and who cares – I’ll have somewhere to live! ūüėČ

Really, though, I have begun actually doing things to the trailer, and today I’ve started on the floor framing and am taking a time-out here while a thunderstorm passes by. I didn’t realize how many little steps were going to be involved before even starting to build up the house: First I had to remove most of the trailer decking, touch up all the screw holes with paint since they were starting to rust, move the trailer, move it again, level the trailer, cut the 4x4s, cut notches in the 4x4s to¬†accommodate¬†the stake pockets (once again, a real bitch), drill holes in the 4x4s and steel frame, glue and bolt the 4x4s, and now I’m ready to starting putting things on top. Drilling steel sucked. I also don’t fancy using the circular saw, that thing is scary. Even the radial arm saw is scary, although much less so to me. Saws, period, make me think all sorts of thoughts about cutting off fingers and flesh. So I stay extra focused and move slowly. Also, as demonstrated by steel drilling, my manhandling skills (a term I’d like to re-name less offensively, as I would the term “get ‘er done”) need some refining, especially at 125 pounds. But if I have to put 3/4 of my weight against a power tool to get the job done, I will do it, damnit!

My neighbor chose one of the wettest days to move the trailer to the backyard (THANK YOU JOE!!!), and I chose the hottest day to start working on the floor supports (90+ degrees, 90+% humidity). Working with the elements without an airplane hanger or something equivalent, makes the whole process go quite a bit more slowly and erratically. I’m working on balancing patience and a sense of urgency.

What else is happening… My dad is such a fantastic teacher, so patient and thorough. I have found myself thinking thoughts like, “why did it take me 30 years to get up and learn this stuff?” It’s kind of¬†embarrassing¬†that culturally there is little to no motivation to be handy and mechanically competent anymore – I mean, how did I get away with not knowing how to make things work? I think woodshop and home ec and all manner of practically-minded classes should be basic requirements for all human beings growing into adulthood. I feel very fortunate to have practical parents who do and know such skills. Thank goodness for the ’50’s?


It’s pretty amazing how fast you can rack up $10,000 in expenses. It kind of happened in the blink of a few days, it was like one day I had spent a few hundred dollars, and a few days later I had a $10,000 debt. When two boxes of screws alone cost $60, this should come as no real surprise. I am resigned to going over budget, which I don’t mind since I know interior stuff is going to be pricey… But I am going to have to be patient and choosy in my interior materials. Although I have most of the materials necessary for my shell, two of the major things hanging over my head are interior and exterior finishes. I’m still scouring Craigslist hoping to find a megadeal on some kind of reclaimed siding, since the cedar was so outrageous. For the interior, I considered using sanded plywood for the walls and a wood plank for the ceiling, but on Craigslist I found a guy about an hour north who has a small lumber business and mills 1/2″ T&G pine for $1.10/square foot which is a great price (cheaper than shoddy 1/4″ pine at Lowe’s). I might go look at his work to check it out, as he works with all sorts of local woods, but he seems great.

The windows will be in on Tuesday, so I’m going to rent a truck for $20 and pick up the roofing (20’ long, should be entertaining), windows, etc. I am searching for the perfect turquoise color to paint the windows… all of these seem too sissy for me, as I’m looking for a true southwestern saturated turquoise like this. TBC.

One other bummer about my trailer that I wish I had known/thought about before ordering it: The height. The deck is at about 2′, which means that I am going to have to lower some stuff. Michael’s been working on my plan revisions and said the loft would just need to come down a bit, so that it’s only 39″ high inside. That’s just tall enough for me to sit up straight without being on a mattress. Hmmm. I’m also committed to using the 2×6 floor framing, as there is nothing worse than a drafty/cold floor. So I’m either going to need to just deal with the loft height, or perhaps shorten my door so that everything can come down slightly. Which would you do?


The sun is back out so I’m off to cut the first section of floor framing!

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