[personal profile] mushu_nest
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...

Wait, this should be easy - Kidlet wants a mobile unit, so that pretty much means...TRAILER!!!

12Ft 16Ft 18Ft BUNCH

For me, the choice is obvious that I'm going with Tiny Home Builders trailers. Their pricepoint and size options appeal to me more. However that being said, Tumbleweed has great trailers too. They cost a bit more, but they have more possible pickup spots so you then don't have to pay for delivery if you're close to one of their five pickup places. (Colorado Springs, CO; Gordonville, PA; Portland, OR; Sonoma, CA; Waterville, KS) But then again, I couldn't find how much the delivery would be if I wanted them to deliver. And yet, their largest trailer is 20ft long.

Tiny Home Builders has a delivery charge of $1.50 per mile, and they reside in Deland, Florida. While I could save about $500 if I went and picked it up (factoring gas, lodging, and food for the trip), the stress and the wear and tear on the towing car isn't worth that bit of saved cash. Also, they have a 24ft long trailer, for about $3450 as of this posting.

The Tumbleweed trailers are just a wee bit fancier than the Tiny Home Builders, cost a bit more, and only have three sizes. 14ft, 18ft and 20ft.

Fancy isn't that necessary, not when we're talking about the foundation trailer here. You want access to the beams and cross posts, so that you can double U-bolt the house to the beams, so they act as floor joists. So, once again, I'll say the 24FT is the one for me.


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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July 2013

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