Small progress, more spray foam and the evolution of squirrels…


As I appear to have recently contracted the PLAGUE, (and so has my mother) the last week has involved more couch sitting and tea drinking than house building. Not to be stifled, however, I have sniffed and sneezed my way through a few more projects nonetheless.

I got a start on the off-side cedar siding, put some new spray foam in the interior wheel well cavity and fixed a funky sliding mechanism in one of my windows that did more banging and stuttering than sliding.

For the record, the spray foam stuff I used first did not, and really did not go very well. Though it started promisingly enough, within a few days it proceeded to turn crumbly and disintegrated upon the slightest touch.

Luckily, I had two things on my side. 1, I waited to see how the first wheel well panned out before I sprayed the other, and 2, I didn’t move right on and close up the space before the disintegration occurred. To any who may think a brand called DAP might suffice in such a wheel well filling application, please think again.

Round two, aptly called ‘Great Stuff’ has proved to be much better. It is intended for window and door gaps, so it supposedly stays relatively flexible to accommodate expansion and contraction over time. I also bought and applied some fancy kind of caulk for the outside gap between the metal of the wells and the wood of the siding so any water will have to reckon with that before even getting to the spongy foam business.

For something completely different, the squirrels that frequent our porch rail feeder have evidently tired of the easy target and moved on to the so called ‘squirrel proof’ hanging bird feeder that resides just next to it.  During periods of couch sitting, my mother and I bore witness to their monumental evolutionary achievements and generally laughed our asses off. Squirrel proof? Not on this porch, buddy.


11 responses »

  1. Hi Ella,
    I just found your blog today on and I had to go back and read all of them. I have to tell you I am so impressed with home building skills. I worked for a home improvement contractor a few years ago and went into it with no experience so I understand your frustrations at the “do overs”. You and your dad should be very proud of what you are accomplishing.
    I love the idea of building one of the “bigger” stationary tiny houses for me and my daughter one day.
    Wishing you good weather and good health : )

  2. Ella; I hadn’t received an update in awhile, so I logged on and found your latest. I agree; squirrels can get to food no matter where it is. I like to watch our furry neighbors and their antics here in Texas. I also agree about “Great Stuff”; it does the trick. I have tongue and groove cedar siding on the addition I built on our home, and used the stuff to fill around the exterior light outlet boxes. Works GREAT! (Appropriate name). I’m still tickled reading your blogs, as I can just hear that ‘brogue’ you picked up in Scotland in your writing. Keep up the good work. I’m going to forward your site to my youngest daughter, as she is a do-it-yourself-er just like her dad, and I’m sure she will enjoy watching your progress.

  3. Hello again friend. I thought I may have some knowledge that will be of use to you. If the caulking you used around the wheel wells doesn’t hold up to the rigerous roads, try butyl caulking. I’m pretty sure its made from the devils snot so don’t get it on anything you don’t want it on because it never comes off. It remains very pliable once it’s dry. I use it in roof flashing around chimneys and in gutters. Also. Spray foam will break down if it is exposed to the elements. I don’t know of the type you used previously but I do know some of the less toxic expanding foams are made out of soybean byproduct therefore they break down naturallyp like that one did. I’ve been really happy with great stuff! As always, keep on keepin on girl.

  4. My parents have the exact same “squirrel-proof” bird feeder, and it, too, is regularly assailed by squirrels. I’m having so much fun watching the progression of your tiny house! It’s very inspiring and is reaffirming my own dream of building a tiny house. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your project with the world!

  5. Hi, Ella! I’m new to your blog…you got me with your article on the Tiny House Blog (I’m an avid reader there). I had to go back and start from the beginning of your saga; I’m so impressed with the work you’ve done! I’m about to turn 25, and you’ve so inspired me! I adore your tiny house. I can’t wait to read more as you continue!

  6. Hey Ella – Just wanted to make a comment so I could picture you with a big smile, bouncing around the house!
    Living my dream vicariously through your delightful blog…

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