Category Archives: Loft

The futon from heaven and the ladder that leads to it…

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So the wool and cotton futon I ordered a little while back (from Small Wonders) is WONDERFUL. I was so excited when it came, that I couldn’t wait for help and hauled the thing down the driveway, through the 21 3/4″ door and up the loft by myself (probably a lot easier for the burlier-than-I folk out there). I’ve been sleeping on it every night in Little Yellow since the day of its arrival and it’s like being on a queen sized, non toxic cloud.

It did take about 2 hours to fall asleep the first night and I woke up every 30 minutes or so to marvel at that I was actually sleeping in my house, but I chilled out and it’s been perfect from that day. This may seem like a strange thing to be happy about, but this futon smells amazing. Sort of like…I don’t know. But really nice 🙂 My previous beef with futons was the weird foamy smell that’s usually present, so I’m very glad there’s nothing like this on mine. I guess it’s because of better ingredients.

It leaves me with about 10″ or so of storage space on each side and at 6″ thick, I think it’s the perfect loft size. It’s also got those got those sewn down pocket things to hold the fibres in place, more like a mattress than a futon, so it feels really normal to sleep on. I absolutely love it! Quite an exciting thing to go to sleep these days 😀

And I have a shiny new ladder to get up there now! A very generous carpenter in town, and an acquaintance of Flemming and my dad, gave up his time and trouble (and an 8′ white oak board) to make one that is so beautiful and well done it’s crazy. More on that later!

 

A ceiling, door trim and a found porch post…

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My ceiling is done! I feel like shouting it, and perhaps I will. My neighbors get that I’m weird. Seriously though, it’s such a thing to look at. The last pieces went up without much of a hitch, and Little Yellow just seems so much more…done. I know she’s not at all, but I feel there’s a lot less to do now. I have a ceiling!

The last run of paneling required the table saw to make them 3″ with the grove-side down. They left a gap at the ridge that ranged from almost nothing to nearly 1/2″ and I was worried that the final pieces wouldn’t cover everything, but I worried needlessly. With 45 degree angles on each side, they worked perfectly and hid all the unevenness.

Goodness I’m glad the overhead insulating is done, it really gets everywhere. Pieces kept falling out as I tried to cover it up yesterday and I came into the big house afterward blinking it out of my eyelashes and looking like a graying, be-chesthaired fellow with a full face 5:00 shadow.

I also finally got some trim around my wee yellow door. Since I’m set on cedar, I tried to use part of the fence boards I put around the bump out windows but they happen to be just a little too short. I left the idea for a while and I’m glad I did because I got the perfect wood for it at the local hardware store. The lovely lumber chaps dug up some old but nice 6″ cedar tongue and groove boards that must have been sitting there for a heck of a time. After a run through the table they were ready to go, and my door is simply and beautifully trimmed.

I took a trampling, sliding trek down a hill with a friend the other day and found a treasure trove of cut up manzanita trees. I don’t know why someone decided to go crackerjacks with a chainsaw on an unoccupied mountainside, but they did. I’m also pretty sure it’s illegal to cut down manzanita…Plies and piles of it, a bit sad really. Buried in a particularly high stack was the only branch of any length and we dug it out, by george.

They’re usually shortish bushy type trees that don’t grow up-the-way with much substance, so this one, being big and tall enough for porch post purposes, is quite the holy grail of branches. I made the drive home feeling rather pleased with the day and a wild, twiggy branch sticking a few good feet out my passenger window. I do love the mountains…

Little things, some plywood and a ridge pole…

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A lot of good things got done today, all of which necessary and most of which visually unimpressive. Some tongue and groove planks to route,  support beams to screw in between the two lofts and a few more 2×4’s to complete the triangle framing all had to go in before the top layer plywood and ultimately, the roof. We succeeded in getting only one sheet of the ply on and boy is it harder than the the bottom was.

Not only do you have to stand on rickety ladders and hoist the bugger up there, but you then have to remain on the rickety ladders to clamp it and nail it on. I don’t think this was helped by the general act of hoisting being inconveniently hindered without the full use of one hand…

We did stick the ridge pole up there for some instant gratification at the end of the day but it will need to be properly set before it goes in for keeps. My dad also routed off the top of the plywood and the window hole but I forgot to get a picture at the very end. As an unrelated note, I lit my splint on fire while I was making dinner this evening. Good thing the orthopedic doctor doesn’t know what I’ve been up to as I ‘rest’ the ole’ finger 🙂

Another loft and the full start of a roof…

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Well this is more like it! With the second triangle stationed at the door end and the storage loft in place, things are looking decidedly more symmetrical and rather exciting. My step dad took a well deserved break yesterday so tiny house progress took a hike until this afternoon when we got our act together enough to put a move on. I suppose it’s unsurprising that we miscalculated on something yet again (this time on the pricey 3/4″ tongue and groove pine) so we picked some up in the old truck before starting.

In my lack of faith regarding our local hardware store’s lumber selection, I had almost mentally prepared myself for another unpleasant trip to Lowes when I discovered that they not only had such a thing, but that it was far less wobbly and in much better shape than what we used before. This regrettably means that my storage loft is shining with the joys of perfect wood while my sleeping loft looks a might shifty, but hopefully with a bed covering it this wont be quite so very evident.

Ah yes, I also broke and twisted up a finger jumping my horse over a tree in the woods last Wednesday. I’m stuck in a splint for the next 3 weeks after a delightful drive to the ER where the nice doctor broke the crap out of my finger all over again to get it straight and am feeling the general annoyance of temporary life with impaired dexterity.

Our delay in starting (and my compromised hand) left us just enough time to finish putting in the nice pine, make the other triangle and screw it on up there before dark, but it looks like my dad might have another day off this Tuesday so the possibility for further development hovers.

A loft and half the start of a roof…

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It would be nicer if this title accounted for two lofts and the full start of a roof, but not every day can be a carpentry dream boat and you gotta take what you can get. I’m pretty pleased with today’s accomplishments anyway, and we also picked up the 3/8″ plywood this evening so we can power through the top layer wall sheathing when we next get the chance.

In my bumbling, fumbling but semi perfectionistic way, I managed to get the sleeping loft all set up with the beautiful (expensive) tongue and groove pine just as the sun was going down. I’ve been considering making a list of all the cuss words I mutter to myself and at various tools and pieces of wood.  I have a feeling it would be quite substantial by the end of my house building.

I’m slow of course, but the larger setback on our progress were the triangular window framings at either end of the house. Or should I say triangular window frame (1) because the first one used up our available brain power for the day. I’m not sure if we interpreted wrong or perhaps missed something in the plan’s layout but whatever the reason, there ended up being 3 1/2″ of empty space between the window and the bottom plate where said window would supposedly land. The ridge beam is also meant to sit on top of this frame and we had to alter its positioning to keep things the correct dimensions after moving the window around. Nevermind, it looks fine now 🙂 

Collar joists up for the lofts…

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After conquering the wheel well sheathing yesterday, working with square walls has been almost relaxing in comparison. Also since the plywood was longer on the side sections and the remaining areas were considerably shorter, we practically skipped our way through the bottom layer of sheathing today with the good humour of folk who don’t have to break their heads measuring and cutting patterns of unequally curving wheel wells.

The collar joists and loft floors get tied into the whole thing by the upper layer of sheathing so they need to go in before we can progress plywood wise. This has turned out well because we’ve somehow ended up with 5 of our 13, 3/8″  plywood for the walls being not 3/8″ but 1/2″ so we couldn’t continue with it even if we wanted to without a trip to the hardware store.

The last time we went to Lowes there was some confusion around their stacks of wood and I guess someone put a few sheets back in the wrong place. Of course we probably should have noticed the size difference in the store but I hate large places like that so much that my only objective is to find what is imminently needed and run for the hills. Apparently it is worth finding what is imminently needed, looking at it first and then running for the hills.

My dad wanted to test out his router to cut the window holes in the plywood and it worked so well he made it around the house in a matter of minutes. Ah, the miraculous wonder of power tools 🙂 Our neighbors are becoming increasingly interested in our project since it has sprouted walls and looks more like a house and less like a mutant trailer so we had a record number of visitors to show off to this afternoon.

We normally decide to finish around 5:30 or so but today we plowed onwards and got the collar joists for the lofts in at both ends. I’m excited to be working on something that will be inside of the house and actually visible, and now the door end storage loft joists are in, the structure is really starting to take shape. My dad has tomorrow off as well this week so hopefully we’ll move on to the roof. Holy cows! Because sometimes, one cow just isn’t enough…