Jul. 21st, 2013

Okay, so, last time I figured out what was necessary for The Nest, and since then I've had a few ideas that are pretty big in scope. Actually they're old ideas, but now they may actually bear fruit, but I won't get into that today.

Today, it's pros and cons of frames and foundations!

Trailer vs permanent park foundation...
Read more... )

Okay, so foundation was easy, that was silly, what was I thinking?

Frames though, frames are important.

Frames on a tiny home don't have to be graded quite the same as a regular home, due to size and weight constraints. If you think about it, a small shed can shed snow loads, water, etc, far more easily due to where the walls are placed, than a house that has a big roof. Supporting the weight of a regular sized home's roof is some heavy duty stuff. But tiny homes are small enough that most snow loads can slide right off with a helping hand (or rake, or shovel) or even on their own, long before they become so weighty that you have to worry. But to err on the side of caution, a very strong frame overall is necessary. At least at the corners, the long pieces of the frame, and a center support. This would distribute the weight more easily.

And yet there's the issue of overall weight. Wood, as good as it is, is heavy.

Then there's metal studs that are basically 2x4's. Those are ultra lightweight and super easy to work with - as well as very strong.

Now, it's possible to go with an entirely metal frame, but it does tend to leave things a bit wibblywobbly if you live in windy areas. Or if you're trying to haul it rather fast. And let's face it, Kidlet will be young, impetuous and have a heavy duty truck to haul it. Wibblywobbly = bad.

So, as the taco girl commercial says - why not both?

My current design (for fun and learning) uses a combination of steel and wood.

- 4x4 posts at the four corners are wood
- the long parts of the frame will be standard 2x8's
- the center support length of the roof, will be another 4x4
- roof frame at the ends and in the center will be 4x4
- roof trusses at the ends and outside of the loft, will be 2x2

Studs, floor supports, most roof beams, will be standard steel 2x4's

This maintains stability, strength, and reduces the weight. Steel of course has another drawback, but mitigation of energy loss/entrance of weather will be covered during insulation/siding discussion



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