Autumn update 2015

Well, September is just flying by. We’ve been running around and working hard on various things, I thought it was about time I did another post to tell you all where we’re at.

Remember the composting toilet room I was working on? The last update I had on that I had just put the door in. It looked something like this.


That picture above was taken in May. We now have the composting toilet fully up and running, we’ve had a propane heater installed in it to keep it going during the winter and we also had some large capacity propane tanks installed to feed the heater and the trailer. It now looks like this:


Snazzy, eh? Kat did the painting and chose a funky blue colour. She didn’t stop there either. The interior has been painted as well. In fact, the above picture is out of date, because I just put the metal roof on it today. My how things get done around here.

Next, I decided we needed a picnic table. So I built one. I would have had it done in one day, but I had to stop for a thunder storm. I finished it in two days instead. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.


I made it from some rough cut 2×6 I had lying around and with the use of the planer, made it look real pretty. I must mention that it is quite a bit heavier than your normal picnic table. It certainly won’t blow away in the wind, that’s for sure. Kat has since put some wood sealer on it too.

Okay, on to the big stuff. At my last update on the roof, we had just put on the rafters. That post was in July, but the pictures of the roof were taken back at the beginning of May. As you know, if you’ve been following along, Kat and I took off to Colorado for a large portion of the summer to work on and Earthship build so we obviously weren’t here to work on the roof. Well, we’ve been hitting hard since our return.

This first picture is many steps after the rafters were put on. I built a box around the chimney, installed all of the rafter ties and put on all of the perlins. Perlins are the rough cut wood cross pieces that the sheet metal roofing will be screwed to. I also added some permanent bracing via plywood placed between the center posts. You can see all that in this picture.


After that, it was time to start putting the metal on the roof. I did the first two panels on the front leading up to the chimney and then I had to stop because the flashing I had bought for the chimney previously wasn’t the correct size. So I had to go back to the store and get a new one that would fit.


Here you can see a shot from underneath the first two panels I put up. It’s starting to really look like a roof. Feels kinda weird.


Not wanting to head right out to the store for the flashing, I decided to work on the back instead. It took me about two and half days to get the whole back done. It was tricky because the slope is greater than on the front side. Here is a picture of all of the metal on the back side.


If you look at it from under it, the whole roofyness feeling to it has drastically increased.


Anyway, I eventually made it out to the store and got some new flashing for the chimney, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. They had this newfangled silicone rubber cone looking thing and the guys at the store said this was the thing to get now. It looks like this, except the one I got was orange.


It was a bit bizarre to work with at first as you feel like you should be putting something metal around the chimney, but overall the process was really easy. The fun part is, the flashing has a metal band at the bottom around the outside and you just bend it to go with the flow of the roof. So those ribs in the sheet metal are no longer an issue. Once you have it positioned properly and bent to conform to your roof contours, you caulk the seam under the metal band and then screw it down. I added more caulking around the seam and at the top around the chimney pipe. I couldn’t put a storm collar on it afterwards as the height of the flashing wasn’t enough to lift the storm collar off the roof itself. So it is what it is.

I also cleaned the chimney while I was doing all of this and added another 3′ (91cm) chimney extension so it will be higher than the roof peak by at least 30″ (76cm). All that futzing with the chimney took a good half day so I didn’t get too many more metal sheets on that day. However, a few more days and it looked like this:


Yes, we now have all of the metal on the roof. (That picture was taken today). I still have the ridge cap to install at the top and some more bracing to put up, but we now have much more roof than we did a short time ago.

I also, as mentioned above, installed the metal roof over the toilet room too so we’re all set there as well.

But that’s not all. We are also working on having our trailer insulated with spray foam so we’ve been working on stripping out the interior. For that, we called the experts.

Our friends Ian and Heather came up last weekend (Sept 19/20) and all we did was feed them and look at what happened to the place.


Signs of destruction everywhere. Kinda like having some rabid Tasmanian devils in the trailer, I’m tellin’ ya, but in this case, that was a good thing as it accomplished what we set out to do.


I have to tell you, stripping out the interior of a trailer is not easy. The paneling is glued and stapled to aluminum metal framing so there is quite the effort involved in removing it. You certainly won’t be saving any of it to be put back in, that’s for sure.

We haven’t finished doing the tear down yet, as the roof was a higher priority, but the weather is getting cooler so we want to have this done soon as well. Once we have it foamed, we then need to put it all back together. Isn’t that fun?

Here are some other random bits that came up over the last month.

This was a funky spiderweb in the sunshine I caught one morning


Kat managed to get an awesome picture of some really funky looking clouds. They look just like grey cotton candy.


As you have probably noticed, my blog posts have certainly dropped off in frequency. After getting back from Colorado, we’ve been focusing on all of the things we need to get done before winter arrives so blogging has taken a back seat, as it were. None the less, I will do my best to keep everyone informed as to what we’re doing and how things are progressing, it just won’t be every day.


2 thoughts on “Autumn update 2015”

  1. Good job!
    Don’t slip off the roof!
    Great spider web, very nice design….someone took a great deal of time to make that web just so…..
    And the funky blue non-porta-potty….very spiffy, but wow, BLUE in the wilderness! Forest green would’ve blended, but it needs butterflies attached to the sides for decor (available at any good craft/hobby store.)
    Roof is looking awesome. (Very thoughtful of you both to put so much time into my future digs).) ; )
    Keep up the good work….oh, and truly spiffy picnic table. Heavy duty…like they say, ‘built to last’. Good job all around. Both of you’ins.
    Mums in AZ

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