Tiny Cabin: First Wall

We had three days off before Thanksgiving, and the weather was promising. The flood waters had receded, and our cabin had weathered it all. Schedules cleared, we set our alarms for five thirty each morning and drove an hour to the cabin site. The sun crested the God-forsaken Bradford pears to warm the 36 degree air.

The other days weren’t as cold, but they were breezy and sunless. Warming up wasn’t hard with plenty of gravel to shovel around the foundation. Six more inches of rain would soon be on the way.

Our days began and ended in the dark, a rhythm that my body actually welcomed. We were home by six with just enough energy left to eat, bathe, and fall asleep.

The first order of business was nailing down the sub-floor. If I had it all to do over, I’d buy the more expensive, sturdier boards. However, once the sturdy pallet wood floors are down, we won’t know the difference.

After buying 70+ boards, we began assembling the walls. Luckily, Chuck pays attention to measurements and drawing straight lines. I gave that up a long time ago…

We realized that the 2 ¼” nails weren’t cutting it—nailing one end loosened the other. I’m not sure why we thought they would; the directions were clear: 3 ½” nails. No problems there.

Nailing together the frame took only a matter of minutes. Framing the door and windows, however, required finesse. We had to consider not only the size, but also the placement and height, which meant we needed to know the floor plan. Anticipating this, we had already taped off the size of the cabin in our current living room. That’s right—the tiny cabin is smaller than our current living room!

We spontaneously decided that each door would have a transom window. We built the back wall as well, but we’re waiting to put it up. We covered everything with a 20’ x 30’ tarp and didn’t want it to invite a pond between the two walls.

The hard part now is coordinating time off with good weather. Three consecutive days should be enough to finish the shell, but that depends on forces beyond our control.

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