I got up to Monroe late last Thursday night and crashed out, having had a full 9 hour day of school/work. Woke up at 6:30 a.m. as usual (having been a night person/graveyard worker for all of my teens and 20s this rise and shine without an alarm before 7 a.m. thing is SO weird, but welcome) and went out into the main house to visit with Mom before she went to work. As she was leaving she said, with a weird look on her face, “Call me once you’ve gone down and seen the house.” I knew something was up because she has a transparent face, and guessed, “You guys finished the siding didn’t you?” and she tried to look serious and shake her head no but kept smirking and finally admitted that yes, Jerry had assigned two of his carpenters (he’s a painting/general contractor) to finish it up a few days prior. I squealed and almost knocked her down hugging her, and then promptly panicked when I remembered that we hadn’t quite finished drilling the various outlets and fans through the walls and attaching blocks on the outside to hold them. I called Dad to ask what to do and as usual he talked me down and explained how to fix it and then I walked down the hill and saw the house all nice and pretty and dressed up in her cedar outfit and I started shrieking and crying in the middle of the driveway with no one but Honey Bear as witness.
One of my oldest friends and favorite build helpers, Melissa, came over at 9:30 to help for the day. We got to work getting the rest of the rigid foam insulation cut for the walls and ceiling. Sarah came over too, but given that she’s 7 months pregnant we let her sit and observe. I had to cut a square out of the new siding to install the block for the water inlet. This was terrifying because I hate skilsaws, plunge cuts, and sawing sideways, but I pulled it off and it was one of the proudest moments for me of this entire build, BECAUSE it was so many things that freak me out.
I later did the same process for the 30 amp power inlet. Kyle came over and finished wiring the RV inlet to the electrical panel and the ceiling fan box and wiring for the overhead light.
In order to properly vent my ceiling, I attached little pieces of 3/4″ wood to each bay of the ceiling (shout out as usual to Tiny Nest for the venting system). I already have a gap (covered with bug screen) at the top and bottom of the roof sheathing. With these little pieces of wood attached, we were able to push the 1.5″ rigid foam up into the bays without closing out the air gap. The wood was scrap from the loft floors and was the perfect dimension to allow a layer of rigid foam and then 3.5″ batts of Roxul. I was planning on using Reflectix and then 5.5″ Roxul, but had so much rigid foam left over that we went in this direction instead, which also saved me about $120. Love when that happens… since it is usually the opposite direction (thought you’d spend $100 on trim? HAHA how about $600, fool!?).
Saturday we had another family work party and got the rest of the insulation mostly installed. Also some small details like siding the sides of the utility box on the front of the house, screwing down the eave trim along the fascia so it wouldn’t blow away on the highway, picking up nails around the tires, etc. My niece/nephew/cousins Laurel and Lane helped fluff the rest of the wool insulation and get it into the walls. I’m so glad they have been able to be around for the building of the house and can’t wait to come through with the promised sleepover once the house is done. Their mom, my cousin Maddie, and her fiance Matt brought over pizza for lunch and my Mom made cookies and Uncle Jack and Jerry powered through the insulation and before I knew it almost all the walls were done and the house was about ready to move. I ran out of wool insulation and am going to have to grab some more this week to finish. There is one section of the wall that is still waiting on plumbing and the Roxul for the ceiling won’t be here til next week, but the house looks pretty cool with most of the walls closed up and it is significantly warmer inside. Awesome!
I spent the evening organizing and packing all my tools and supplies for the move to Olympia and then slept fitfully while dreaming about highway overpasses and sharp turns. In the morning Dad and his wife Robbie arrived with the big diesel truck to make the move.
One thing I had neglected to do was double check that the house wasn’t over the 14′ road legal height. The back end was 13’9″, just about what I had designed the framing to be, and the front end was about 13′ 11″ or so on the hitch. Yikes. A little too close for comfort but it’ll do and I’ll be glad to have all the extra headroom inside.
Here we go!
I drove behind Dad, biting my nails and watching closely at every turn and overpass. The house looked really stable though, and Dad said it drove great and didn’t feel much heavier than his boat which is about 5,000 pounds. We hit a little rain through Tacoma but otherwise it was an uneventful drive.
We backed her into the RV gate at my rental house in Lacey and badabing, there she was!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I only savored the success for about 10 minutes though, and then started moving onto the next problems, which were
- No more money
- Nowhere to park after December 31
- Huge school project coming due
- Tooth about to rot out of my mouth and kill me
- Roommate drama like whoa.
I think moving the house away from the safety and shelter of family was psychologically difficult too. I had a 48 hour panic attack, one of the worst I’ve had in years, but slowly things started to come together. Mom and Dad are helping me out with money so I was able to order all the stuff I still need for the inside; I put up a CL ad for parking and got 4 awesome responses within 24 hours. I’m going to interview with the most likely candidate on Saturday. The property is about 1/4 mile from school and I could walk to class through the woods. Really, really hoping that works out. Our school project is getting done pretty easily and I found a dentist that would take my state insurance. With patience all things are taken care of, somehow, or something. Hoorah!!
Here is a link to the woodstove I ordered:
Cubic Mini Woodstove (I got the Grizzly)
And finally I have to say that working with the sheep club at school and using sheep wool for my walls has been an unexpected, funny reminder that I am using real materials on this house, not weird chemicals (as little as possible anyway) and drywall and stuff that is made from who knows what, who knows where. Every time those round, warm sheep bellies bump my knees trying to get the grain out of my bucket as I walk to the feeder, I am reminded where the warmth and elemental protection of my house will be coming from and say thank you.