It has been an action packed two weeks on all fronts since our last post. I have already received word that I passed my 7th and final Architect Registration Exam, which was the initial reason we were traveling to western Washington in mid-May (the closest exam center is over 2.5 hours away). It feels so great having those exams behind me and the lack of subconscious stress is discernible and should free up some time to work on SHED.
Immediately after the Exam we kept heading west up into the Olympic peninsula of Washington to explore a region we had never been to for a few days. We spent our evenings in a west facing lake front cottage on Sequim Bay and our days exploring the peripheral ridges, peaks and clouds of the Olympic Mountain range amidst a slew of rather curious chipmunks and mountain goats.
Back to the build:
Memorial day weekend turned into a 3 day work fest on SHED as mediocre weather and the inundation of Memorial day crowds threatened the solitude we tend to seek when exploring, and work on SHED we did.
After finishing up left over blocking on horizontal C.I. Panel seams and around the perimeter of the loft we set out to properly protect the exterior bottom edge condition where our bottom plate and subfloor unevenly meet the exterior face of our rigid foam facing. As you may or may not be able to decipher from the sketch below a series of layers were used to make flush, seal up and protect this area. A plywood spacer/cover was glued to the face of the exposed subfloor/bottom plate and then wrapped in a heavy duty 6” wide flashing tape. We then nailed drip edge flashing over top of and into the bottom plate which then became covered and protected by the soon to be installed Tyvek building wrap and tape. While it is highly unlikely that our meager 4” of precipitation per year will be a threat to SHED there is always the chance that SHED will eventually spend more time in a more moisture prone area so we are trying to prepare for all situations. To that point, our first layer of protection against exterior moisture is our reclaimed corrugated metal. Any moisture that makes its way through the few seams our holes will meet the Tyvek house wrap with the expectation that it will drip down the exterior face of the wrap and off our newly install drip edge with the remaining moisture being dried through evaporation as air passes through the vertically oriented corrugations. If moisture makes its way through the building wrap it will meet 1” protective barrier of continuous rigid foam insulation with taped seems.
The next thing we did was cut away 1.5” of foam around each window and glue and screwed a 1×2 wood frame so that the nailing flanges on our windows have a solid surface to be fixed too. These nailing frames are merely a jamb extension directly in line with the existing structural window framing behind the sheathing.
After taping the seams between C.I. panels we applied the building wrap and carefully taped all of the seams. SHED looks better than most of the Christmas presents that I’ve wrapped. Tyvek is expensive wrapping paper. We are fortunate to be building (albeit not much longer) in such a beautiful location, surrounded by ripening cherries and endless hop fields situated against a back drop of brown sage brush foothills and had some really beautiful moments over Labor Day weekend.
Our plan is still to move SHED to a new location once it is weathered in and are planning for this to occur in early to mid-July. We will be moving it to a secure parking lot right outside my office in downtown Yakima so we can cut our drive time to the project from 20+ minutes to 3 minutes and be able to start putting weekday evening hours into the project. With that in mind, you may have noticed from the pictures that SHED looks taller than the bottom of the roof rafters and that is true. When it comes time to roll our house out of the barn we will first try letting air out of the tires to gain the 4+ inches of vertical clearance we need and if that is not enough we may temporarily replace the tires completely with old steel rims to lower it even more. THAT will be an interesting day….
We are heading into the weekend with intentions of starting to install the windows, but the weather in the mountains is starting to look enticing so we will see how far we get.
P.S. For anyone that loves coffee enough to not get bored reading a somewhat in-depth blurb about our new tiny house friendly coffee process, see below:
On a side note Samantha and I have been thinking about daily processes once we live in SHED and have been making conscious decisions to become more efficient and less wasteful while remaining just as capable as we would be in our current large apt (665sf). Things like researching low flow fixtures, purchasing bio-degradable shampoos, dish soaps, etc… and most recently we made a change that will and already has affected our daily morning COFFEE routine. We have been doing electric ground french press coffee for as long as I can remember but I had been annoyed at the messiness and wasted water when cleaning the grounds off the plunge and out of the bottom of the cylinder when done. We also wanted to tag a stab at increasing the quality of our coffee by having a little more control and eliminating the sludge that is often left over on the bottom of a cup of french press. The only other prerequisite was that the process should not require any electricity. After some research we settled on the tried and true Chemex pour over system as it fit our needs, had fantastic feedback/reviews and looked pretty darn cool. The grains are contained in the filter and an ounce or two of water is plenty to give a quick swirl rinse right after use and it’s as good as new for the next time. In addition to the Chemex, we invested in a slick little ceramic bur hand grinder to grind the coffee beans on the spot, just moments before making the coffee. We had initially just planned on using the stove to heat water but discovered that our small pour over kettle fit perfectly on one of our tiny pocket rocket camping stoves which sits right on top of a small fuel canister. Not only does this little stove apply the perfect small flame right to the entire bottom of the kettle surface but it allows us to use up all of the partially used canisters after a backpacking or mountaineering trip (that we can’t/wont take back out on trips due to the fear of running out of fuel (you cannot accurately tell how much is left). It is a win-win, and the system makes a damn good cup of coffee.