Last weekend we began Building Phase Two: Insulation & Subfloor. What feels like 14 million hours later, we finally finished. Of course, going into this tiny house project we knew there would be projects that would make us want to pull our hair out. This was that project. As I mentioned in an earlier post about the trailer construction, we needed to fill the 4 inch space in the trailer bed with insulation so we could attach the subfloor directly to the top of the trailer creating our solid foundation. We debated about using spray foam insulation, but decided it was too expensive for this small of an area. Instead we opted for foam insulation boards that we would cut to fit each space in between the trailer’s metal beams. Easy enough. Well, not quite.
To begin the process we needed to grind down some of the welds on the trailer. During manufacturing some of the welds had bubbled up making it impossible for the subfloor to lay perfectly flat on top of the trailer bed. In order to correct that, we ground down those welds to be even with the cross beams on the trailer. Let me tell you, metal work could be my new calling. While I was grinding down the metal, sparks flew…literally.
After the welds were ground down, we then needed to prime and paint the exposed metal. I guess I never realized that all those black trailers were painted black to keep from rusting. I always thought the actual metal was black, but what do I know about trailers? Since the answer to that question is “Not much” Eric informed me that it was very important we repaint those shiny, ground-down welds. First we sprayed a primer and then coated that will a layer of black paint. No rust here!
Up to this point things were a breeze! In fact, I was kind of bummed there wasn’t more metal I could grind down. I loved seeing the different directions of grooves the bit made in the metal, and (since I’m a pyro) I loved seeing sparks fly all over the place
secretly hoping something would catch on fire. Grinding was fun, and more importantly, simple! And, spray painting? Please! Piece of cake! It’d been so easy up to this point, I just knew it was going to be a cinch finishing up this project……….
Our next step was to fill the trailer bed with insulation. We preferred using spray foam insulation, but decided the cost was too expensive for this small of a space. So, we moved on to styrofoam insulation boards. We measured everything out on the trailer and bought 12 boards at 2in x 4ft x 8ft each. (I guess this is the perfect time to mention that construction measurements are the stupidest measurements in the world. A 2×4 piece of lumber isn’t actually 2 inches x 4 inches! Instead, it’s 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches. WHY????? WHY, I say!!!!! Just make it 2×4 and I guarantee the world will be a better place.) Aaaaanyway, knowing that construction measurements make no sense at all, Eric knew that the insulation boards were actually smaller than 2in x 4ft x 8ft. The actual size of the boards was supposed to be 1.875in x 3.937ft x 7.785, which was perfect for us because we needed to fill in the trailer to just under 4 inches by doubling up the boards. We wanted to attach the subfloor directly to the trailer without any issues, therefore the foam boards needed to be juuuust shorter than 4 inches. And that’s perfect because 1.875 + 1.875 = 3.75, which is less than 4 inches! Again, how easy could this get??………….
Part of the foam board installation was helped along by my brother-in-law, Chris, visiting from good ol’ Kentucky. Chris, along with my oldest sister, Anna, and their four kids were traveling west for a vacation, and stopped by to visit on their way. Chris is quite handy and we were glad to have his help. So, while I took Anna and the kids to the Bass Pro Shops headquarters here in Springfield to look at all the fish and animals in the cool air conditioning, Chris and Eric sweated it out in 90 degree weather measuring and cutting the foam boards to fit in the trailer bed.
After spending the entire day almost dying of heat stroke, it was time for the guys to take a pool break with the kiddos. That wrapped up our day, and I’ll finish posting about the rest of the work for the flooring tomorrow.