Big Green Box – Roof & Wall Sheathing

October 29, 2015

Oh boy, I am really falling behind in blogging duties. When we started sheathing it was still considered summer, but now fall is in the air! I am definitely a cold weather person, so the change in the weather is certainly welcome here. Crisp air, crunchy leaves, bonfires, and hot tea…it’s the best. Along with the cool air has come even more change to the house. With these changes, we also have exciting news of a sponsor for our tiny house: our local Meek’s Lumber & Hardware.

Meek's logo

After researching different sheathing options, Eric learned about ZipSystem sheathing. This sheathing system is far superior to any other product we found. The main feature of the ZipSystem boards is the vapor barrier painted on to the boards, which removes the need to use the plastic house wrap. The boards are self-spacing, so there’s no difficult install and no worries about future swelling or bowing. To seal up the seams between boards, the ZipSystem includes some amazing tape that is some sort of crazy combination of super adhesive glue and thick rubber. The ZipSystem is the easiest and most efficient way to enclose a building, hands down! Nothing could make the ZipSystem better, except for the fact that Meek’s GAVE us all the sheathing and tape for our walls and roof! Meek’s is pretty awesome, and we highly recommend working with them for all your future sheathing projects!

Once we picked up all the sheathing from Meek’s, it was time to get this house closed in. Eric and his dad began working on the driver’s side wall. Each piece of sheathing along the top of the wall was wedged under the rim-joist-fascia-board-hybrid (remember that from the last post?) in order to keep water from seeping into the walls. Because the top of the sheathing is hidden underneath the outer fascia board, water won’t be able to work its way behind the sheathing to cause water damage later.

Hopefully you can see how the sheathing slides up under the fascia board to help keep water out of the walls. (Also, ignore that crazy nail. We took it out and re-nailed the board.)

Hopefully you can see how the sheathing slides up under the fascia board to help keep water out of the walls. (Also, ignore that crazy nail. We took it out and re-nailed the board.)

Wall Sheathing

The first wall is up!!!

Inside the house with the first wall up. It already feels more like a building!

Inside the house with the first wall up. It already feels more like a building!

Once the driver’s side wall was finished up, we moved to the passenger’s side. Because this wall is shorter than the driver’s wall, we ended up turning the boards horizontally to fit the space better. This was simply to have to make less cuts, and use the size of the boards more efficiently. We worked from top to bottom on all the walls piecing the boards together, and attaching them to the 2 foot center studs. This is where it’s important to make sure everything is lining up correctly, because if a board is moved over too far on the stud, then there won’t be enough space to attach the next sheathing board. So, once again, it’s a measuring game.

Wall Sheathing

We roped our brother-in-law, Ben, into helping even though he was supposed to be on vacation. Thanks, Ben!

Wall Sheathing

Thankful for Ben’s help!

Wall Sheathing

Self-spacing boards makes the ZipSystem super easy to install!

Self-spacing boards makes the ZipSystem super easy to install!

Cutting the sheathing to fit the angle of the roof for the front and back walls was a bit tricky, but after a few trial and error cuts, we managed to figure it out. I think the hardest part was holding the sheathing board in place while up on a ladder while trying to nail it in all at the same time. I wouldn’t know, because I stood on the ground and watched, but it looked hard. Thankfully Eric and his dad, David, could handle it, and soon all the wall sheathing was in place! We were then able to use the ZipSystem flashing tape to tape up every seam on the walls. Any place where the boards met each other was taped up with this magnificent gluey rubber tape. This tape is truly magical.

Eric and David figuring out the angle to cut the sheathing for the loft wall in the very back of the house.

Eric and David figuring out the angle to cut the sheathing for the loft wall in the very back of the house.

Using the ZipSysytem tape to seal all the seams of the sheathing. This tape is aaahhhh-mazing! Such an easy way to seal the house up.

Using the ZipSysytem tape to seal all the seams of the sheathing. This tape is aaahhhh-mazing! Such an easy way to seal the house up.

Smoothing out the tape to remove all bubbles or creases to make sure the seal is completely tight.

Smoothing out the tape to remove all bubbles or creases to make sure the seal is completely tight.

As the sheathing went up, the house started to look more and more like a big green box! I’m sure our neighbors are thrilled with the giant green monstrosity sitting in their neighborhood, but it is what it is. Once all the sheathing on the walls was in place, we went back to cut out our windows using a router. During this whole house building project I’ve been keeping a list of my favorite tools: 1) metal grinder {the best, nothing else comes close} 2) the chalk line string thingy {because it’s fun to snap a string and make chalk marks} and now introducing 3) the router. This tool just cuts through the sheathing like it ain’t no big thang. It’s super fun, although very messy and flying bits of sawdust shooting towards your eyes could be a pain. But still, I loved it.

Using the router to cut the sheathing to fit the back over-hang of the loft.

Using the router to cut the sheathing to fit the back over-hang of the loft.

Lots of saw dust flying in the eyes, but the router is still super fun to use.

Lots of saw dust flying in the eyes, but the router is still super fun to use.

Then was time to work on the roof. Now, I’ve always been a little scared of heights, but usually I can suck it up and at least act like I’m not scared. Usually after a few minutes, I’m not even bothered by it anymore. However, I was basically a big baby during this whole process. At the start of working on the roof, I was standing on our loft…except that we hadn’t put down the sturdy plywood floor on the loft because we didn’t want it to be warped by rain before the roof was on. So I was standing on a flimsy piece of wood that bowed in every time I stepped on it, and it was too small to fit the whole loft area, so there were empty spots where one wrong step and I’d fall through. Meanwhile, I’m complaining about where to step so I don’t fall to my death, Eric is carrying a huge piece of roof sheathing up the ladder by himself (and is actually in danger of falling to his death– but it’s all about meeeee, people!)

Eric carrying up the roof sheathing, and thankfully didn't fall and die. That would have really put a damper on this whole thing.

Eric carrying up the roof sheathing, and thankfully didn’t fall and die. That would have really put a damper on this whole thing.

Don't mind me- just trying not to slide off the roof to my death.

Don’t mind me- just trying not to slide off the roof to my death.

Clinging to the roof, being a big baby.

Clinging to the roof, being a big baby.

Once Eric made it up the ladder, I helped hold the sheathing from sliding off the roof and crashing into our in-laws’ house, while Eric put liquid nails on the rafters. Once liquid nails was down, we put the sheathing in place to be nailed down with the nail gun. Oh, I forgot to mention that when we got the first board on the roof, we realized that the rafter spacing was off quite a bit. For some reason, on the tall side of the roof the rafter were off by about a half inch, meaning the edges of the sheathing wouldn’t line up on the centers. So, we did have to spend a bit of time working on straightening out those rafters.

Fixing the rafters

Fixing the rafters

Holding the roof sheathing while Eric gets the liquid nails and nail gun ready.

Holding the roof sheathing while Eric gets the liquid nails and nail gun ready.

Once the rafters were corrected, we got the first roof board up and nailed into place. After the first sheathing board was attached to the roof, we carefully worked our way across the roof attaching sheathing one piece after another. I basically clung to the rafters (literally, my legs were wrapped around the rafters and my hands clung to the edge of the roof) and Eric managed to do most of the work by himself. We also made sure to use metal roof clips in between the sheathing edges to help distribute the weight of the roof and make the seams more secure. Once the roof was on and nailed down with no chance of sliding off and slamming into the ground, I climbed up to help Eric roll out the ZipSystem flashing tape. Again, each seam was taped up, so there is no chance water can work it’s way in and mold up our lovely house later on.

Eric nailing down the sheathing!

Eric nailing down the sheathing!

Building code mandatory roof clips to hold the roof sheathing together to give the roof extra support.

Building code mandatory roof clips to hold the roof sheathing together to give the roof extra support and helps distribute weight.

The roof is all taped up.

The roof is all taped up.

Finally, it was time for windows. As the sheathing was going up, we slowly saw the inside of our house become smaller and smaller feeling as the boards blocked out more and more light. Once we cut out the window holes we could finally see how much natural light we would get inside, and I breathed a big sigh of relief when it didn’t feel like a coffin inside anymore. Windows make the house feel so much roomier! Before we could put in the windows we had to tape up the bottom of the window sill. The bottom of the opening was taped up, and then we could slide the windows into place. Once the windows were centered and level, Eric would screw them into place while I held them steady. Then, we would tape up all the edges of the window on the outside to finish the waterproof seal. The tape would go over the window fin that was screwed down, so there is no possible way for water to get in. Before too long we had all the windows in, and our big green box was starting to look like a big green home!

Starting to cut out the rough openings for the windows. Finally, some light inside here.

Starting to cut out the rough openings for the windows. Finally, some light inside here, and still more windows to go.

We had a combination of off the shelf and custom made windows for the house.

We had a combination of off the shelf and custom made windows for the house.

We had a little visitor on the work site.

We had a little visitor on the work site.

Eric offered to relocate little Toady to a new home.

Eric offered to relocate little Toady to a new home.

Eric finishes screwing the window into place. The bottom of the window opening is taped up, then the window is set in, then the entire window is taped up to create the waterproof seal.

Eric finishes screwing the window into place. The bottom of the window opening is taped up, then the window is set in, then the entire window is taped up to create the waterproof seal.

Eric finishes screwing the window into place. The bottom of the window opening is taped up, then the window is set in, then the entire window is taped up to create the waterproof seal.

Here it’s easy to see how the bottom of the rough opening is taped up. On the outside of the window, the rest of the window will be taped to finish the seal.

On the outside of the window, the whole window is taped up, over the fin that is screwed down to the wall. This way the seal completely covers any areas that could get wet and makes it impossible for water to get inside.

On the outside of the window, the whole window is taped up, over the fin that is screwed down to the wall. This way the seal completely covers any areas that could get wet and makes it impossible for water to get inside.

Hopefully in the next weeks we will begin to put on the siding and metal roof, so the house can be completely safe during the upcoming fall and winter weather. Once the outside is complete we can work on the inside no matter what the weather is like. Before I close this out, I want to say one more HUGE thank you to Meek’s Lumber & Hardware and Kyle Zurliene for giving us the ZipSystem sheathing and really helping us out! This sheathing system really did make our lives a bajillion times easier. Thanks so much! To everyone else, thanks for reading and I’m sorry these updates haven’t been quicker. I’ll try to do better, I promise. Hopefully, I’ll have some new stuff to blog about in the next few weeks. Thanks!

One last shot of the miracle tape from Meek's ZipSystem sheathing.

One last shot of the miracle tape from Meek’s ZipSystem sheathing.

1 Comment

  • Reply Brian April 24, 2016 at 4:56 AM

    Hi we are looking at doing a tiny house in Australia like yours any chance of a copy of your plan layout please to see if we can do similar here
    Cheers
    Brian

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