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high desert. small house.

Days 89-92: Finishing the door & Prepping for walls

Sunday
Just gotta say this – The floor feels A-MAZING.  It is solid and just so nice to walk on.  The past two weeks (with some evenings off for rain or recovery) was time well spent.  People who do not install a layer of underlayment (because they’re doing carpet or just don’t feel like it) are really missing out.

We shimmed the door.  Getting it exactly how we wanted took awhile but it was worth it.  A door that opens and closes beautifully is easy to take for granted.  Once it was perfecto, we broke off the shims and applied the Pella flashing tape.  Lastly, until we have an overhang in place, we need to take special precautions against storm water infiltration over the door (where the manufacturer literature specified an opening height that was 3 inches too tall).  We added foam closure scraps to the current setup, which is a piece of sloping LP Smartside shimmed down with some 2×6 scraps.

We cleaned up the mess that had accumulated on the floor of the house, organized stuff and began the metal crossbeam trimming project.  We have 5 of 8 left to cut.

Completed pella tape around the door.

Completed pella tape around the door.

Cross beam cutting setup. By the time we took this picture, Brian had completed the remaining beam on the east side and was working on the east side.

Cross beam cutting setup. By the time we took this picture, Brian had completed the remaining beam on the east side and was working on the west side.  Look at our beautiful floor!

Monday
Brian finished cutting the beams and Chelsea, moi, took care of maintenance/house stuff.  Brian came home that night with black speckles all over him.  How does one remove metal shavings from their face?  Using a magnet of course!  It was terrrrribbbbblleeeee.

Brian's protective outfit that he wears to keep metal shaving contact points to a minimum.

Brian’s protective outfit that he started wearing to keep metal shaving contact points to a minimum.  He created this after learned his lesson without anything to protect his forehead.

Tuesday
After work, Brian visited the hardware store to double-check what options they had for furring strips.  It looks like we’ll end up using 16′ 2x4s.  He also looked at the screw selection because we have pretty specific needs for the attachment of the 2x4s to the metal beams.

We removed everything from the house and then vacuumed with extreme precision in order not to miss any metal razor sharp shavings.  Then everything went back into the house and we called it a night.

Cute shoes, right? Wrongo! These Merrell, zero-drop, barefoot athletic shoes were very pretty when I first bought them back in April. I have never had a pair of shoes fall apart so fast! Granted, normal people probably don't do the amount of squat-shuffling we did the past few months, but still. They don't hold up to sheer force very well. Note, however, that the Vibram soles are still in excellent shape.

Cute shoes, right? Wrongo! These Merrell, zero-drop, barefoot athletic shoes were very pretty when I first bought them back in April. That being said, I have never had a pair of shoes fall apart so fast! Normal people probably don’t do the amount of squat-shuffling we did the past few months, but still. They don’t hold up to sheer force very well. Note, however, that the Vibram soles are still in excellent shape.

Wednesday
Brian left work a little early and vacuumed the final corner as well as the insulation and areas around the beams.  The metal shavings made quite the spread of doom. The last thing to do before moving onto finishing the walls was to inspect the areas which would be forever closed off to us once the walls were up.  We found gouges and tears in the insulation where the metal beams had been installed stabbing hard into the insulation.  So we patched those.

There was also a visible gap running the length of the floor between one piece of subfloor and the metal beam base.  So we filled that with some butyl rubber.  We also ran some caulk at the base of the ribs where air leaking was probable.

Patching behind the cross beams where the crew's metal beam installation created penetrations.

Patching behind the cross beams where the crew’s metal beam installation created penetrations.

We bought our first set of 2x4s to be used as furring strips.  We’ll screw the 2x4s into the metal beams, perpendicular to the ribs.  The second layer of insulation will go between the 2×4 and the beam, and thereby be secured in place.  The plywood for the walls will then be attached to the 2x4s.

We vacuumed off a few rolls of the insulation (they were covered in sawdust from having been stored overhead during the sanding project) and began to roll one out.  We know from the crew’s time here that the rolls tend to extend a little beyond the length of the house, so we were aiming to see how far that extension was.  We also brainstormed about which tape to use to connect the roll to the metal beams in a few places so that we don’t have to hold it while driving the screws through the 2x4s.

Upon realizing that is was 7:30 and we still had 2 lbs of beef, 2 lbs of chicken, 1.5 lbs of bacon and 2 bunches of chard to cook (not to mention the plethora of dishes that would follow all that), we called it a night.

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.

4 Comments

  1. How are you going to run your wiring and plumbing, You will need a penetration for plumbing vent, and very hard to get it correctly sealed in your metal skin. Been there and done it.. Pain in the butt..

    • Aerial service entrance at northwest corner, exterior electrical panel. Wiring run through 2×6 endcaps and along the 2×4 furring strips that pin up the second layer of insulation.

      Plumbing comes from below and exists entirely in the 2×6 wall shared by the bathroom and the kitchen counter. Vent won’t be vertical, but run along the arch wall out the south endcap.

      We long ago decided to keep the plumbing simple and keep it in one wall. The vent was a more complicated puzzle but ultimately we decided to avoid creating a roofing penetration even if it required a more complex vent run to get to the endcap.

  2. Wow congrats your floor and door look fab, been following for a while, was worried when you went silent for 10 days, but wow the work you have achieved is amazing, your going to have an excellent home that you can say We did this. Les x

    • Thank you for following and for the support!

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