We’ve heard a lot about building a wall in our country this year, a giant wall that was to be paid for by the very ones it is intended to keep out. I spent the majority of my summer building four walls, paid for by me and is only intended to keep me in and the weather out. My walls have tested my emotions just as Trump’s wall has pushed this country’s emotional buttons.
All those tiny house vlogs on YouTube I love so much, well I’m thinking there has been A LOT of editing going on as no one films the reality of those days when you want to throw in the hammer and give up. The construction of the floor wasn’t nearly as trying as building walls in pieces that will have to be lifted up and placed on the trailer. A giant jigsaw puzzle built out of 2×4’s.
The base plates were non-negotiable, 5/8″ bolts tie them to the trailer flange and there is zero wiggle room, they either fit or they don’t. By sill plate #4 I was able to drill 5 out of 6 holes on the first try, this felt like an amazing accomplishment…even if those holes come back to haunt me. Wall #1 was easy, not the tallest or the longest and has no windows, but it attaches to a longer wall that spans the wheel well and ties together. The layout was simple but then came the scariest tool yet, the framing gun. Something about 3 1/4″ nails shot at a high velocity made me very cautious, very nervous and slow. When I would share my fear of the framing gun with people they all seemed to have stories about the guy who nailed his hand to the wall or ended up with a nail in some other soft body part. These anecdotes did not ease my fears.
The walls began to stack up. Some we could build on the trailer, others we built in the carport, and finished walls were moved to pallets out in the yard. The tiny house literally was taking over, especially when the 12 windows and front door were delivered. The neighbors on either side have been troopers, this project has actually brought everyone out of their house and yards to wander over and check the progress and get to know each other a little better. We’ve had everything from homebaked goods, hard cider, tools and knowledge shared with us. Neighbor Bob even relocated the trailer and leveled it when we were ready to raise the walls.
I’ve had to keep goals in front of me all summer, and constant reminders that I learn so much through failure. Seasoned builders will chuckle at the amount of time it took us to build four walls, but I’ve taken apart as many boards as I’ve put together and chalked it up to experience earned the hard way. In the end, through all the trials and tribulations I learned valuable lessons, the walls are done and my family is still talking to each other! I was proud of the teamwork exhibited to make this happen and Bill gets a huge kudos for all the time, tools, land, and space he has contributed to this effort, I couldn’t of done it without him.
So on this frosty Saturday in September, good friends showed up and we have the walls raised. They all signed their names and well wishes on various studs, and I will always know their presence is there and be grateful for the help. There is still a considerable amount of work to be done and weather is moving in. With rain/snow in the forecast, the next push is to get the roof on and the structure dried in. Knowing this won’t happen before the first raindrops fall we protected the floor with a solid sheet of plastic that can be cut out when we’re enclosed.
I’ll leave you with a couple photos from our one and only camping/backpacking trip of the summer, but it was a great reminder of the life I love and by living in a simple and small abode I will have greater opportunities for the wide and wonderful world.
Keep on Trekking,