Construction Day 107, 108, & 109: Would You Believe… More Trim?

December 14, 2018

What it looked like with all the intermediate pieces, but no trim:


Measuring twice

December 15, 2018


We keep trying to estimate how many more workdays we need to get all the trim finished so we can secure the ridge cap, and for the last month the estimate has been about 2 solid days.  This trim takes FOR-EV-ER.

It was cold again, so I needed a power-up.  Chocolate: the behind the scenes silent partner that keeps this tiny house project going.20181215_153706
Nate’s silent partner is beer, cheap beer, so he can buy it in a case20181215_153812

… because if it’s whisky, the day ends earlier.20181215_153724
To make the rake edge fold:

Passes inspection
Test fitting
It’s good!
Edge fold detail in place

Getting ready for the peak piece, or is it an upvote?  You decide.20181215_164509

I was at the back of the house, working on more cleats and z-trims.


December 16, 2018

Here I was, talking myself into “We Can Do It”20181216_115900I often reflect that those women in WWII had never run a lathe or used a riveter, but they learned, and they did it!  They did it despite people telling them that they couldn’t, or shouldn’t.  It seems so out of fashion in this modern age to try to do something you have no idea how to do, but it feels pretty good.  I recommend it! Keep in mind that even the experts you see on YouTube were beginners once, learning something new.  In fact, our experience has been that you go looking for experts on YouTube, and you might find instead a someone who clearly has no idea what they’re doing!!  However, I would advise you to try something a little smaller scale than a whole house, at least for your first We Can Do It project.


Measured twice, but actually a bit too short once in place20181216_125824

Trying to force it!


I had an orchestra concert this day, but before I left, I came up and tried to help Nate get the peak piece on.20181216_131432


Merry Christmas, Tiny House!



Construction Day 105 & 106: Still Not the Right Pieces

December 1, 2018

Time to finish up the fascia, now that all the panels and lower trim pieces are on.  In the picture below, Nate was lining up a piece to mark for a cut.20181201_140251It was kind of nice to get the saw out again!20181201_145958

Here I was, applying glue and going for the “Most Awkward” photo award at the same time:


Without fasica:


Fascia screwed in tight and sealed up with the water barrier:


For some reason, this piece of wood had a bunch of dried glue that I had to scrape off.  Sometimes you imagine the things you need to get done on a project, and then you spend a bunch of time doing something you really did not anticipate.


Nate’s saw skillz: l33t

20181201_155513.jpgWell, this piece is going behind another piece, so it won’t show…

This is now Nate’s profile picture in my phone

20181201_163043Right one done, left one not.  Not easy to photograph:20181201_163846


December 2, 2018

Inclement weather, so we started indoors.20181202_100336This is our favorite Canadian roofer, Dave Mackey.  20181202_141010We have watched hours of his how-to videos from American Building Components.  Yeah, I know it has “American” right in the title, but you listen to this guy talk for 3 seconds and you KNOW he’s Canadian.  We were watching the video about how to do rake trim.  We both kind of have a builder’s crush on him.  That’s a thing, right?  When you’re learning to build, and you see someone who makes it look so easy… so you watch every video they make and try to learn everything you can from them. That’s what I call a builder’s crush.

We went outside later, to discover that the trim pieces poor Nate had picked up were wrong AGAIN.  GAH!  20181202_144656.jpgWrong size: about 1/2 too short.  Wrong color, AGAIN. The bottom piece is what we want.

Wrong trim makes Nate a saaaaad pandaaaa

We felt pretty cursed.  Why we can’t get the right pieces? I have no idea.  We just can’t!

After some cursing, maybe a few tears, and some serious pouting on my part, we laid out all the pieces we had and decided to just use the short, wrong colored pieces for the shallow angle roof and use the correct stuff for the steep roof. WRONG PIECES BE DAMNED!

Back to it.

Step one, according to Dave Mackey, is to place the trim with its cleat and mark on the fascia where the cleat needs to go.  Cleat gets attached to the fascia, and the trim piece fits onto the cleat really tightly.  Above, Nate has the cleat in place.  Next, you place and attach the z-trim, attached on top of the roof, which the trim fits onto really tight and which has the rivets.  So the top of the rake trim fits on the z-trim on the top of the roof, and the bottom of the rake trim fits on the cleat on the fascia.  Next, cut and fold the trim, which we kind of had to make up (shown below). Next, put on all the sealant and putty tape to seal everything up and put it all together.  This step involves what Nate calls MAN STRENGTH.  Finally, rivet the top of the trim to the z-trim attached to the top of the roof.  Easy, right?20181208_125233In practice, add in 3 or 4 or 5 more iterations where you place the stuff and mark it, cut or fold it, test fit, and repeat.

This is an abomination!  Why is roofing SO HARD??

This is why we start on the B-side, now.  So we can do the 2nd one better on the A-side.20181208_145058.jpgMarking for A-side:20181208_151320The B side looks alright from the front20181208_151340

I don’t have quite as much patience for the finesse cutting/folding stuff.

Roof gremlins don’t have patience

I can do the cleat & z-trim attachment that doesn’t require much finesse or patience, though…20181208_163805

Here’s an extreme angle view of what I was doing.20181208_164228Here’s Nate with his almost finished piece20181208_164301Can you tell it’s a different color than the main part of the roof?  Just say “no,” so I feel better about it.

Construction Day 103 & 104: Trim, Trimminy! Trim, Trimminy! Trim, Trim, Trim-ee!

November 17, 2018

A roofer’s as lucky, as lucky can be! 

More trim!

Pulling off the annoying plastic covering

Intermediate pieces on:20181117_132853

Trying out some filters on my new phone

A roadrunner visitor!

20181117_140231.jpgHe spent some time walking around the yard and then checked out our progress.  It seemed that he approved.


Me, taking pictures of everything. Me, riveting.

Here’s the progression of riveting:


Step 1: Drill a hole.  Step 2: Put the rivet in the hole – the rivet includes a long metal spike and a flat disk above, and a thicker sort of ball thingy below.   You can see the spike, flat disk, and ball thingy in the picture below:20181117_151715

Step 3: Rivet!  The long metal spike gets pulled up & discarded; the ball below gets squashed.  Post riveting in the picture below:


Dramatic riveting close-up

All done!

20181117_15372820181117_152400Back to the B side…


So much tacky tape.  So much sealant!


November 18, 2018

What work have we got left?

Well, let me see… Oh yes, lovely: trim.  And look!  MORE trim.

I hear the above quote in Frodo and Samwise Gamgee’s voices

Got the B-side long piece of trim actually on:


And then we finished up the end wall trim at the very back of the house!

20181118_16162620181118_162531Next up is the rake trim: the trim that will cover the shiny stuff where Nate is working in the picture above.  We just need to get the correct pieces first…


Construction Day 102: Morale Crash/Morale Boost

November 2, 2018

We headed out to pick up the replacement trim and return the wrong color, FINALLY.

Except, not.  20181102_111301They hadn’t ordered enough material to make all the trim pieces.  GAH!

Piece on top: desired Ocean Blue.  Large piece beneath:  wretched Hawaiian Blue

We were feeling pretty grumpy and demoralized.  It’s hard to put into words how frustrating it has been to even get the right pieces!  However, we did take home some correct pieces, and it was enough to keep building.

AND WE HAD FRIENDS TO HELP! Jason was visiting from Minneapolis, and Tom came down from Santa Fe! 20181102_131622

We didn’t work too hard, but having them here was a huge morale boost!

Tom & I took on the side wall trim, which required a pretty complex cut and bend.

Jason and Nate took on the other end wall, and the million fussy little pieces.20181102_140552

My eternal gratitude that I didn’t have to do all of these!

Then I showed the guys how to rivet.  Tom discovered that riveting does not make a satisfying enough sound (it just sort of goes Pssss quietly). So he provided his own sound effects, yelling KA-BLAM with every rivet.

Jason is not about to rivet his own head, though it may look that way

Basically, a good time was had by all!  Thanks, guys!3611236116

Construction Days 100 & 101: Finicky Trimy Bits

Before I get to day 100, here I am with our new trim replacement pieces20181019_183310.jpg

… that didn’t come in when they were supposed to.  Bummer.

And here is Nate figuring out how to do the ridge cap join using sticky notes20181016_193738.jpg

October 20, 2018

OMG THE ONE HUNDREDTH DAY OF CONSTRUCTION! 20181020_161713Alas, we were working on some fussy trim that goes between the outrigger, pictured above, and the wall above the outrigger.  To attach the fussy trim, we needed what seemed like a million intermediate pieces.  Here is a picture of Nate with the first intermediate piece (a small horizontal line of z-trim at the right edge of the dormer wall):


20181020_170849… and above he was screwing in the second one.  They’re a pain to put in because you have to screw through the piece and the roof, and there’s tacky tape in between, which gets all wound up in the screw.  Also you can’t get a good angle on the screw driver because it’s so high up on the roof and so close to the wall because of how the ladder lies.

Roofing still life

I think if we had known it was the 100th day, we might have done something more climatic.  Oh well!

October 21, 2018

20181021_162112We were still working on the finicky intermediate pieces.

Pro-tip: always use gloves when working on trim, even when it’s only a few steps

Finally, we got to put the stupid piece in place.  But first, MORE SEALANT!20181021_172601

And more tacky tape, my favorite thing.

Tacky tape backing is dangling off of my foot

Here’s Nate with the actual trim piece covering up the intermediate pieces.  It’s pretty tight!  We still need to rivet it down, though.20181021_174006It was looking pretty good by the end of the day, though!


Construction Day 98 & 99: B Side

Nate spent some time in the evenings during the previous week to put in all the little panels on the outrigger.


October 13, 2018

We were looking at the getting the last big panel on the end.20181013_120517But really, when you’re working on the roof, this is your usual view:


We had some more flashing (and sealant) to contend with…

Alright, last panel!


Then we turned to the other side of the house, which we are calling the B side.  We had to start the process all over with the panels.

We max out the ladder to reach the top screw…


Also those screws require a LOT of force to drive in!

Not bad for a day’s work!


October 14, 2018

It was much colder, and it was raining lightly on and off.  I think our neighbors were pitying us.  We had a bunch of people stop and yell encouragement from their cars.

This is how we bend the flashing: teamwork!  I call my part of the process being a “dynamic counterweight.”  (I’m sitting on it, you guys.)20181014_123756

Tiny house claims another casualty

Good thing we have metal clamps!



Sealant and nails…


Nate was also working on the flashing.  The corners are tricky!20181014_133454It was a bit tricky to nail through so many layers of metal. 20181014_133614

Bending up a panel to meet the dormer wall.

I was singing “Roofing in the rain!  Just roofing in the rain! What a glorious feeling! I’m happy again!” when the following picture was taken.  I don’t think Nate really agreed.20181014_141452

Fits like a glove

Roofing sealant features prominently in our roof installation.  Here I was modeling the brand new rain jacket I bought and then immediately ruined with grey roofing sealant.  I SWEAR: it’s not bird poop!20181014_163557

Working on the panels under the eaves of the upper roof sucks.  It is awkward to reach up there, and it’s cramped.  I think I’m glad we waited to put the wood fascia in, because we have a bit more room to work without it.  But, it still sucks up there.20181014_163819

Resizing the panels creates these long corkscrews of metal trimmings.  AKA, glorious moustaches:


But you guys! This is the LAST PANEL! OF THE WHOLE ROOF!!

20181014_17482220181014_18064620181014_18272120181014_181733Glorious!  Can you hear the angels singing?

Construction Day 96 & 97: Oof.

October 6, 2018

Nate went to the metal roof store to get new pieces, but they were still wrong pieces.  Hawaiian blue is not Ocean blue.  Oof.

I know it’s hard to see, but you could really tell the difference when you hold the trim against the roof panel. Well, we decided to keep working on the roofing panels.

We made some good progress, although it was pretty rough reaching up so high!

Installing the pancake screws requires a lot of force.

We spent a bunch of time just gazing at it!  Isn’t it pretty??20181006_173037

October 7, 2018

Oof. It was cold.20181007_115941Before we could work more on the roof panels, we needed to flash the corner between the wall and the roof.   Flashing in this case is folded aluminum.  You always need to start at the bottom of the house and put those layers down first, so we had to put a long horizontal piece under the dormer wall before we could do the vertical piece between the wall and the roof where the next panel would go.

Nate, modeling our cardboard corner flashing template
The flashiest flashing

Adults using a protractor?!  Who knew!!  Above, we were bending, cutting, and folding it to match the cardboard template.

Quality control

Sealing and then installing the flashing with roofing nails.


Dream flashing! We were pretty proud of this!


Once we got the flashing on, we had to custom cut and bend a crazy shaped roof panel to fit against the flashing and the outrigger.  It may not look that crazy, but it was a lot of work to make it that shape.20181007_144524.jpg

Getting the crazy shaped piece in place
Still hard to see, above Nate is holding the Hawaiin blue trim against the ocean blue panels. I was on the ground, judging

20181007_153330The concealed fastener panels are a bit tricky.  The funny shaped panel had the edge cut off so it could fit against the wall.  Cutting the edge means losing the nailing fin.  So to hold it down, we put the first part of the next layer of trim down: a z-trim piece.  You use this yucky tacky tape in between layers of roofing pieces, then you screw it in.

Z-trim: a lot of work to install!

This was all much more difficult than it seemed like it should have been, and it will be covered by the trim that goes between the wall and the panel (once we get the right color).  Oof.20181007_161534You can see the z-trim from the previous picture as a white line near the dormer wall.  It took us all day to get the silver flashing,  the funny shaped panel, and finally the z-trim installed.  Verdict: trim is a LOT of work. OOF.