The subfloor serves as the layer upon which your whole house is built. This step is crucial in creating a level, sturdy surface to the rest of the house to sit on. After configuring which Rvalue of insulation would work good in the tiny house, we waded through the different insulation options from spray foam to blue jean. This determined what size floor joists we would be using (2 x 4 or 2 x 6).
Today the first Nature’s Nest tiny house trailer was delivered from Tiny Home Builders. The arrival of the trailer has made planning much easier. I am looking forward to putting on the first layer of materials. Currently I am between two options for my subfloor sandwich. (If you’re looking for more information view this article.) The two options are as follows:
*Bottom to Top*
- Treated plywood (To hold KFlex sheets in place)
- KFlex Insult-Sheets HVAC Insulation (Will serve an extra R8 underneath the trailer’s subfloor.)
- Aluminum Galvanized Flashing stapled into subfloor framing
- Subfloor Framing: 2×4’s with Owens Corning Insulation (R22).
- Cabinet plywood (will serve as a floor for a while until later).
*Bottom to Top*
- Aluminum Roofing
- Subfloor Framing: 2×6’s with Wool Insulation (R25) or 2×4’s with Owens Corning Insulation (R22)
- Cabinet plywood (will serve as floor until later).
Both options will be fastened to the trailer using a lag bolt. (Just a note, I will also be using Simpson Strong Ties to connect the wall framing to the trailer, in addition to using these lag bolts for the subfloor.) What is holding me up in this decision is deciding what I choose for my aluminum flashing, what to choose for insulation, and if I am going to use a product called KFlex.
I was thinking of using this product called Kflex insulation with the galvanized rolls of flashing (it won’t work with the roof because of the roof’s ridges). KFlex is an insulation used on outdoor heating and cooling systems. After talking to the company, they said that the product would work, I just need to attached it to the aluminum with an adhesive and put a protective coat on the underside, or, put a piece of plywood above the cross members that will allow the Kflex to sit in the bed of the trailer.
I am still unsure about using this product because I want the aluminum to have the capacity to breath in case water gets in there. Also, I would the aluminum to serve as the protective barrier, rather than plywood.
What is holding me up about option 2 is how the roofing will fit in the bed of the trailer with its ridges and what to use for insulation. What I decide to use for insulation will determine what I frame the floor with. I am trying to decide whether or not I should comprise two inches of headroom in the interior space by using a 2×6 for the floor framing which would allow me to gain an extra R8 I need to meet an R30. I am leaning towards using a 2×4 because I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter your Rvalue or what you use, it all depends on how well you insulate it.
Tomorrow I am attending a home show in my local area to have these questions answered. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions for how I should make my subfloor sandwich!
Doing research for several years has served ten-fold in this project. From the endless hours spent watching tiny house videos, to reading tiny house build and design books, to actually getting out there and doing it in workshops, there has been an exponential amount of time spent on this project researching how to build a tiny house. There is a plethora of information on tiny houses; however, below you can find a list of various books, workshops, videos, blogs, websites, courses, and other tiny house resources that have served this project.
The Big Tiny by Dee Williams
“Microshelters” by Deek Diedricksen
Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn (great coffee table book)
Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water by Lloyd Kahn
Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building and Living Well In Less than 400 Square Feet by Ryan Mitchell
Workshops with Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
Silver Bullet Tiny House by Vera Struck
Tumbleweed Tiny Houses
Tiny Home Builders Online Tiny House Workshop Course
Macy Miller’s Tiny Motives eCourse
Small is Beautiful Documentary: A Tiny House Documentary
Tumbleweed Tiny House DVD on Tiny House Construction
Other Useful Resources:
Nature’s Nest Tiny Homes was created on the simple idea that a home should be a place that accommodates an individuals most essential needs to create happiness and bring adventure. To bring this idea into fruition, Melanie Gajewska (founder) has attended various workshops and events over the last three and a half years to continually gain knowledge on the tiny house movement and become involved in its purpose.
The tiny house adventures officially began with the Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico during June of 2014. After getting stuck in a Tornado in Clovis, New Mexico on the way to the workshop, Melanie was introduced to the basic essentials of building a tiny house from what tools to use to what utilities and systems to consider. This workshop was facilitated by Ella from Little Yellow Door.
The second workshop attended by Melanie was more “hands-on.” This workshop was with “Deek” Diedricksen from Relax Shacks in Putnam, CT. At this workshop we learned the basics of framing as we constructed an “Art Cabin” for an Art Gallery. This was the first of many workshops to come with Deek and his gang. Each workshop held by Deek is always a pleasure to attend. He not only brings a plethora of knowledge, but he brings together a good group of people! Other workshops of Deek’s that Melanie has attended include a workshop around the outskirts of Boston, MA in his art studio as well as his infamous tiny house summer camp held in Vermont (this one is highly recommended).
Furthermore, other workshops that were attended by Melanie include a workshop with Vera Struck in her Silver Bullet Tiny House. Vera’s tiny house is particularly known for her sourcing of environmentally-friendly materials and sustainable systems. The Silver Bullet Tiny House has an incredible design that Vera constructed herself. Vera is a reliable, accurate, and useful resource for those who are seriously considering the endeavor of building or owning your own tiny house. This resource, workshop or not, will serve you well.
Another way that Melanie has engaged with the tiny house movement is the Tiny House Jamboree. She attended the first ever Tiny House Jamboree in 2015. Her reflections of the Jamboree are that it was beneficial to experience and compare the various types of tiny houses over a period of a few days. From sitting in the lofts to sitting around a countertop space, it was useful to compare the different types of floor plans live, in action. (Especially with many people standing around you!) In addition to the community of tiny houses at the Tiny House Jamboree, the extensive list of speakers that are the top-dawgs in the tiny house movement also make it worth attending.
The involvement with the movement is never-ending, it is always continuing. As the tiny house industry grows, it will be interesting to see how the tiny house movement grows with it, who knows what other events will arise from the movement!
The stages of designing and planning may appear to be a daunting task, but it has been a fun and enjoyable process with endless opportunities to make the tiny happen. The first step in this process is defining the overall goal creating the house.
The goals in the first Nature’s Nest tiny house is creating a place that allows one to be closer to nature. Hence the name, Nature’s Nest. Here is a list of things that I had to ask myself in order to make progress on my design and plan.
Tiny House Summer Camp with Derek “Deek” Diedricksen was a more than memorable experience. This is the third workshop I have completed with Deek. Each time I enjoy connecting with other attendees, working with his team, and building unique projects! [Read more…]
Tomorrow is the first of two days I will be spending with Deek from Relax Shacks. During this workshop I’ll be learning more building techniques and other skills that involves repurposing material. This will be my second workshop with Deek and his crew. The last workshop we built an “Art Cabin” in Putnam, CT. This was a three day workshop that was very beneficial in networking and also learning how to handle tools. [Read more…]
Today I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Vera Stuck and her Silver Bullet Tiny House North of Boston, MA. This is the third time I have had the opportunity to work with Vera. After she guest spoke at the workshop hosted by Relax Shacks, I signed up for a workshop with Vera to discuss more about the tiny house lifestyle and what to consider when about to embark on this journey. [Read more…]
It was my honor to have had the experience in a workshop with Deek Diedricksen, the infamous man behind Relax Shacks! He’s a notable influencer of the tiny house movement, inspiring individuals in various ways to get creative, thrifty, and dirty. During the three day workshop we built a cabin for the Empty Spaces Project in Putnam, CT. The cabin had a shed roof, reclaimed door, reclaimed slider door as a window, polycarbonate TV window, dismantled bunk bed for seating, and other features of the home that truly made the cabin itself a work of it.