Okay, I will revise today’s earlier prediction of a 2-year finish back to one year. Apparently, it was just that making those wall supports was a big pain in the ass (i.e. very tedious and detailed), and now I am on to the faster, more gruff, and more satisfying task of floor framing.
Fortunately on a tiny house it’s super fast – the floor doesn’t require any extra bracing besides the joists. And, my dad and I even decided the 16″ OC framing suggested by Michael would be way more than enough with the 2×6 framing, so we’re going to do the rest of the floor with 24″ spacing. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went – even alone! I’m glad I read my framing book and watched some YouTube videos, but as soon as I got going, I realized how completely not rocket science this stuff is.
In the sunshine of the morning, I was standing under the crabapple tree watching my dad masterfully drill pilot holes into the steel frame for the last 4×4 wall support, when I turned to my side and was startled to see my neighbor Joe standing there next to me. We smiled. He’s been fabulously positive about my tiny project (he said he was “in love” with my trailer)… and we all chatted a little. After a few minutes he pulled out some Phillies tickets and a parking pass and gave them to my pops, saying that he couldn’t make it due to his son’s baseball playoff game.
So off my dad and brother-in-law went for a hot dog and beer-filled man-date, leaving me alone for the day to figure everything out by myself. That meant a) avoiding the circular saw at all costs b) feeling super empowered and resourceful, c) eating gluten-free donuts instead of lunch in between saw cuts, and d) getting a lot done! My pops is super thorough, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, and likes to take his time and explain things to me. I love that, but sometimes I’m more of a let’s-charge-full-speed-and-get-this-done kind of person, so working at my own pace was fun today. He got home just in time to show me how to attach all of the framing members: First I used the crappy Harbor Freight pneumatic nail gun to attach the joists to the end pieces, then I drilled small holes, then I used my favorite power tool of all time (an impact driver) to drive 3.5″ screws into the ends for additional fastening. Using an impact driver actually brings me a feeling of joy. I don’t know how DIYers live without them.
The day was punctuated by periods of fertile thunderstorms and delightful sunshine. My only sacrifice in devoting the whole day to construction, was in neglecting to plant all of my hot weather crops (tomatoes, peppers, squashes and melons of all sorts, basil, beans, orach, etc.) in this glorious full moon. Hopefully tomorrow…
Also notable today: I met my day’s goal!!! (I.e. finishing the rear left floor support and building the back section of the floor frame.) Every goal I had set for myself up until this point in the project, was not reached; Far from it. I thought I was going to start building in late April or the first week of May – I didn’t start until the 3rd week. I thought making the wall supports would take a day or two – it took over a week.
Every day I was missing my goals dramatically, which wouldn’t have mattered to me since I’m not much of a goal-setter anyway, but it was in keeping with my overall sense of urgency/gotta-get-this-done-because-I’m-short-on-time nonetheless. (And let’s face it, repeatedly setting unrealistic goals is kind of comical.) As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, time has been accelerating for me…this is a new phase in my life; In the past I avoided this level of busyness at all costs. And now with work, the build, work-trading at our local CSA farm, playing with my sister’s baby, volunteering for VMC, finding time to bike and meditate, and tending the garden, I’ve been feeling a tad stretched. Some people can work 50-hour weeks and still do all of the other things I do working 20. I am not at that level (yet). I’m just lucky to hit daily goals and get enough sleep before leaving my long to-do list perpetually partially completed. Sometimes I think it would be nice if everything were all wrapped up nicely in a bow, done. Yet despite the inevitability of death which we all face, life has an awfully interesting way of feeling like an unending ribbon with no beginning or end.
There is a man I work with whom I adore. There is something very familiar in him and I always feel at home in his presence; He has a quirky and expansive kind of quality. I think he had been reading my blog posts or sensing my frustration when he told me the other day, “Your trailer will be done. You will hitch it to a star.” I loved that. I still do.
But I digress. Paradoxically, the beautiful part about reaching my goal today? A nice little bow: At this rate, I will have a floor by the end of the week!