Tag Archives: tongue-and-groove

New Kitchen Ceiling

Just in case you thought we were finished all of our trailer projects for this year, we have one more to share.

Kat was never fond of how the paneling on the ceiling turned out when we redid the kitchen area in the trailer. We had put up some thin panels and painted them white. It was fine and it worked, but some of the seams were unseemly, as it were.

In any event, after we refinished the bedroom area in the trailer last year with pine tongue and groove boards, there was quite the contrast between the kitchen side and the bedroom side. So we decided to rip out the kitchen ceiling and redo it to match.

Here is the start on the south side, working towards the north.

We worked in sections, stripping off a row of the panels and then putting up the tongue and groove boards as we went. The first section was a bit slow as I was working by myself for that part, but Kat joined in for the other sections so it went much quicker.

Here is the start of the second section, just after we had ripped off the ceiling panels.

We were anxious to get that center section done in one day as that is where all of the lights are mounted. Not that we haven’t spent time with no lights before, but it would be better if we could get passed that all at once.

I was doing all of the cutting outside while Kat was doing most of the nailing inside. We would both help to put the new pieces in place, as they can be a bit unruly, especially the longer ones.

We were successful in completing the center section in only one day, though with the daylight hours dropping as we approach winter it was getting a bit dark in the trailer when we got to the end.

With nothing to do on a rainy day, I took it upon myself to rip out the rest of the ceiling on the north side. There are no power tools involved so you don’t use up any battery power getting that done.

It wasn’t long after that we hunkered down and filled in the rest of it, leaving us with quite the nice new ceiling.

We even put some of the pine around the inset for the vent box.

There are still a few minor details to take care of in terms of putting in the trim pieces, but the major work is now done. The hardest part was ripping out the old ceiling. It was stapled and glued so we made quite a mess pulling it down. Then we had to chisel off the glue and any remnants that remained before we could start putting the new stuff on. Your arms do get tired after you have been holding them over your head for quite a while.

All in all, it wasn’t a necessary change, but it sure does make the place look nicer.


Graf-Levac Earthship Visit number 2

Yes, only three weeks after the first visit, Bob and Marie had a second open house to show off their progress. Luckily for us, we were house sitting in Ottawa already so we didn’t have to make another major road trip for this one. Also, the weather was way nicer this time, as well.

I took some more pictures and I will try to better explain the changes to the framing that their contractor, Dave, has done for them.

First, here is a section drawing of what standard Earthship usually use.


So in that picture you can see the roof beams (logs in this case) sitting on the back wall and the vertical greenhouse wall. Moving towards the right, on the end of the logs there is a nailing plate and then the trusses are attached to that. The trusses are those triangular pieces that look shaped kinda like a bluejay’s head. From there, the window struts for the angled glass run down at 70 degrees to the front tire wall.

Now let’s take a look at what Bob and Marie have at their Earthship.


As you can see, the beams just run straight out. There is no nailing plate or trusses to deal with. The window struts run down from the beams at 70 degrees. They also have a significant overhang over the windows as well, which will reduce their summer sun gain, but not effect the winter solar gain.

This is a closer view of the roof over the east wing wall. You can see the framing around the outside that will contain the insulation that will be put up top. More details on that in a sec.


This is around the back of the east wing wall roof.


If we look up top at the actual roof as it was when we saw it, it has the decking put down along with the tar paper on top of that. Next there will be 8″ (20.3cm) of polyiso rigid insulation. That’s why that framing wall extends up so high above the edge of the beams.


From underneath, you can see the pine tongue-and-groove that they used for their decking. For the exterior sections, which will be covered over, they just used OSB (oriented strand board) as it’s not going to be seen anyway. The sections with the tongue-and-groove decking will not be covered; that will be what it will look like when everything is finished.


This next one shows a shot down the greenhouse hallway. Take notice of the vertical posts of the vertical greenhouse wall and are holding up the big support beam for the roof beams. They go straight down and sit directly on top of the footing.


Now compare that with the framing for this standard Earthship.


In Bob and Marie’s Earhship, there is no second pour of concrete, no elaborate stacks of lumber to create posts, no framing boxes. It’s really nice and simple. Of course, there will be more added in there once they start framing for the glass, but it is quite a bit more simplified.

Here are the stacks of rigid insulation that will be going up top.


This last picture shows the open section at the very back.


That open section will have a bunch of other details added, like eaves troughing that will channel all the roof water to the big cisterns. Before that happens though, they will be putting in all of the stuff to waterproof the section from the edge of the roof back to the cisterns as you don’t want water to get in behind your tire wall. That would be bad.

Great stuff, and we can’t wait to see it when it gets fully enclosed. Looking forward to that.