Thankless but Necessary Work

First of all, I will state up front that I forgot my camera on this trip to the Tiny House. There would not have been any time to take photos this weekend, however. This weekend, Matt and I decided to divide and conquer some of the more tedious jobs that were left. There are a lot of exciting and glamorous things when it comes to building a house. Then there are a lot of other things that are simply necessary.

My job this weekend was to cut the final pieces of interior insulation. We've been using expanded foam primarily for practical purposes. It is less likely to attract bugs who nest or feed on the foam and since the house is on a mountain, that was very important to us. I used a Ryobi skill saw to cut out 16 panels of 2 inch foam and 16 additional panels of one inch foam to insulate the ceiling. This process took me all afternoon on Saturday (we didn't actually start working until about 2pm that day). The cutting was not done yet. On Sunday, I spent all morning cutting other sized panels to install in the gable ends as well as couple of additional spots that had not yet been insulated in the main living area. These all had to be cut to exact measurements with variable sizes and labeled. I had wanted to get at least some of it installed, but after I took all the panels up to the house from the barn in 6 separate trips, there was no time left to start another project. The photograph here is actually from a prior day of insulation cutting.

While I was doing all of this, Matt was up at the house filling the soffits. Soffits, in case you have never built a tiny house before, are the open space that happens after you attach the rafters to the house beneath the overhang. In the tiny house, there were 16 total soffits along both sides of the house that needed to be sealed up so that bats could no longer use our tiny house for their very large bat mansion. We didn't really know the best solution to this problem and when we sought advice it was suggested we just plug some scrap wood up there. Matt, being somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to the work he does, did not find this a suitable suggestion and devised a method. With 1x4 lumber he ran it through the table saw to give the edge an angle to match the angle of the roof. Then, through a long day of trial and error, he would stick the pieces up in the soffit holes, devise a method of wedging scrap of 2x4 to hold it in place while he would then go back into the house and toenail the soffit filler in with screws. While I did not witness any of this process, I can imagine what it was like to do this for 16 soffits while going up and down a ladder outside, moving it over and doing it again alternating with going in the house, up and down a ladder and screwing them in. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

It was a long weekend of largely thankless work. There is just another round of these necessary jobs - installing the insulation and filling the gaps with expanding foam. Then the house is fully insulated. Matt is considering going up a couple of days early on our next trip to knock out that part so when I come up on the weekend we can go get the material to start the remaining interior walls. Once those are done we can start the kitchen cabinets and that makes me feel really accomplished. I am glad it is nearly spring and we can get back to regular building trips. Even though this weekend was tedious, it felt really good to be out and working at the mountain.


  1. They feed on the foam? That's scarry. What do the termites feed on :)

    I can say that having done what Matt did with the soffets on my shed, I don't envy him. That is a tough job to do.


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