Taking some measurements for preparing insulation. The trailer is 24', 14,000-lb capacity, 98" wide. We had the bottom flashed for protection from moisture and bugs. We also order it with the cross members placed flush with the top of the frame to save inches in the height. 1/2" threaded robs placed every 4' inside of outer-frame, approx. 10" from each corner. Now to cut and add insulation.
Trailer with built-in support rods
1/2" threaded rods were built in to the trailer. Taking measurements to drill the holes in the subfloor at appropriate locations.
Insulated cross members below subfloor.
We used two layers of 2" foam board insulation down the middle of the trailer. Around the perimeter, three layers of 2" foam board. Then, we added STYROFOAM Unfaced Polystyrene Roll Insulation on the cross members to reduce air infiltration and provide resistance to water and water vapor.
We used 3/4" tongue and groove plywood for the subfloor and taped the seams.
Simpson tension ties
Although the trailer came with the 1/2" threaded rods built in to the cross members, we added Simpson strong-ties on each wall onto the king studs for added strength. We bolted these from the top, so that the homeowner could access the bolts from underneath the home, if ever needed for tightening. The bolts are 5/8" galvanized hex bolts, 12" long, with lock washer and nut. We filled in around the holes we drilled with Flexseal liquid rubber to create a complete seal. We used 16" htt5 Simpson tension ties.
All four walls installed and braced.jpg
Walls are up, headers are in, additional bracing is complete. Ready for strapping, then rafters.
The walls are in place and strapping complete, double top plates in place. Ready to begin rafter installation.
When we installed the walls, we added bracing in each corner for added support. Here, the rafters are up, including hurricane ties and rafter ties.
Wall sheathing going up.
Prior to installing the housewrap, we applied liquid flashing over the sheathing from the bottom up approximately 18-24"
House wrap is in place.
House wrap and ready for mortairvent rain screen and bug screen.
Roof rafters are installed!
For our exterior corner trim, we used LP smartside 1-piece corner trim, which made for perfect corners!
Ready for roof sheathing
Emily waiting to pull up more plywood sheets to finish roof sheathing installation.
Roof sheathing from inside
We've started the roof sheathing. This is a view from the inside of the house with the middle boards in place.
Emily installing roof sheathing
Windows are installed and Em is finishing the flashing and housewrap installation around those. Also, rainscreen is going up.
Mortairvent rain screen
Rainscreen installation. We also installed bug screen along the top and bottom during this step.
Primer and tape for EPDM Liquid Rubber roof
We have taped the seams of our roof sheathing with the special tape required for use with EPDM liquid rubber, and have started painting on the special primer. The primer will sit overnight, and we'll start putting on the EPDM first thing the following morning. The primer must still be "tacky" when you put the liquid rubber on.
Not a great shot, but this is the roof after we installed the seam tape and painted on the primer.
Measuring for roof installation
We chose to use EPDM liquid rubber for the roof, for several reasons. We only included a 6" slope to save headroom in the lofts, so this is considered a 'flat' roof -- EPDM is the roof of choice in commercial roofs which are flat, or mostly flat. Also, we wanted a black roof, which would blend in with the train theme. But more importantly, EPDM is lightweight and waterproof! Also, the temperature this product can endure ranges from -40 F to over 300 F. Liquid EPDM rubber is good for virtually any surfaces. Liquid EPDM waterproof immediately, It is a one-coat application. It has proven to outlast acrylic, urethane and elastomerics by 4 times. The Liquid Roof coating is specifically designed for RVs and trailers and mobile homes.
starting installation of EPDM
We marked off each section for the liquid rubber, as recommended by the manufacturer. That ensures that the coverage will be the necessary depth for optimum service. This is just a brief clip of the first section going on. We poured on the exact amount required, used a squeegy to spread it, and came back over with a roller to smooth and break up any air bubbles. According to the manufacturer, this coating is environmentally safe which can't be said about many of the other roof coatings on the market. Its powerful resistance to ultra-violet and ozone as well as it chemical bonding properties is its advantage. It is puncture resistant and in addition is completely odorless once cured. We actually have video of the entire installation process, although the files were quite too large to include all of them on this site. It was relatively easy to install, and we're thrilled with the results. We brushed it over the sides of the roof, and covered the fascia. Since it is recommended for horizontal application, not vertical, we did have some running. So asthetically, it is not perfect. But with primer and extra paint on the fascia, we felt this offered a little added protection against the weather elements, and was worth any unsightly drips.
We built the utility box and added foam board insulation on each side and the bottom.
After installing the insulation, we added plywood for a finished interior.
Finished utility box
The walls and bottom are insulated, plywood has been added for a finishing touch, the plumbing has been pulled through, the on-demand water heater installed, the electrical panel is complete and the interior has been painted.
Because of the height of the house, one LP Smartside panel would not be tall enough. This worked to our advantage in the design, since we wanted to create a train look with the mixed red and black. Above the lower panel, we added z flashing - we cut the housewrap and slid the top of the flashing underneath, then taped for a waterproof barrier.
Tongue-side siding begins
Boo oversaw every step of construction.
Siding installation continues
It may not be a big deal for construction, but we had a sign company make these golf stripes to add around the windows to create a more finished train design.
In addition to the gold trim, we added some small bolts to the edges of the transition in panels, plus the lantern-style exterior light and 9 3/4 sign. The steps are a simply temporary boost for us short folks, although we suggest at least one step for the final homeowner since the door sits approximately 14-16" off the ground.
We wanted the exterior to truly look like the Hogwarts Express, so using the play in words (Holiday Inn Express and Hogwarts Express), we had this rather large, but light-weight metal piece created and a local sign company printed and attached our name.
backing for smokestack
To achieve a solid attachment for the name, we cut 2x8 boards and attached them into the studs on the front of the house. The metal sign was created with a 1 1/2" lip around the edges, so it fit perfectly over these boards.
We attached the sign over the boards with similar (but larger) bolts to those used on the side of the house. Then we simply painted on the number. It's one of our favorite touches.
Moving to the inside, we first installed the wiring. We used a 125-amp electrical panel, so we could install an ample number of outlets. The first breaker on the right-hand side in the panel is a 60-amp breaker dedicated to the on-demand water heater. The 2nd breaker is a 15-amp, with 14-gauge wire for the smoke alarm and the outlets in the Gryffindor Common Room and the Ravenclaw Master loft. The 3rd breaker is a 15-amp breaker with 14-gauge wire going up the wall on the utility-side of the house, across through the ceiling, down the tongue-side and services only the outlet on the exterior tongue-side. The 4th breaker on the right side of the panel is a 20-amp breaker with 12-gauge wire, servicing the bathroom fan outlet (for a possible composting toilet), the main bathroom outlet (which is a gfi outlet), the bathroom fan (which is exterior-vented) and the bathroom light and switch. The 5th breaker is a 20-amp with 12-gauge wire, servicing the outlet in the small loft, the outlet for the cupboard under the stairs, the dining bar outlets 3, including one close to the loft ladder), the ERV outlets, and the back-side exterior outlet. The 6th breaker on the right side is another 20-amp with 12-gauge wire, servicing the kitchen gfi outlets, the fridge outlet and the kitchen ceiling outlet. The 7th breaker is a 20-amp breaker with 12-gauge wire, services the microwave outlet.
Some of the overhead wiring
Continuing with the wiring, on the left side of the panel, the 1st breaker is a 15-amp breaker with 14-gauge wire, servicing the small loft light, outlet and switches (a 3-way), the exterior tongue-side scare-light switch and light, the master loft light and switches (3-way), the exterior door light, the kitchen track-light and switch, and the ceiling fan and switch. The 2nd left-side breaker is a 15-amp breaker with 14-gauge wire services the utility box light and outlet.
We knew the tv would be places on the wall in the Gryffindor Common room above the mantle, so before installing the walls, we added some bracing between the studs, and of course, one of our outlets was placed on the wall at a height to sit behind the tv.
We decided on closed-cell insulation to achieve the most r-value for the least space requirement. This was done by an outside company.
Because of a couple of timing issues, the insulation was installed before the plumbing. This was not ideal, but since we have limited plumbing, we were able to work around it ok. The plumbing includes a standard shower, bathroom sink and kitchen sink. Although it may not be necessary, we took the added step of wrapping the pipes. We installed a fan for a composting toilet, but did not do any plumbing for a standard toilet. A homeowner could easily add the plumbing, if they opt for a standard toilet.
Next, we installed the shower, before beginning on the wall boards.
We installed the ceilings next, and painted these for a starry night look, complete with glow-in-the-dark stars.
Wall boards going up
We used 5.5" pine tongue-and-groove wall boards for the interior walls.
Finished wall boards
Interior window trim
Em installs interior window trim, and we're ready to prime and paint.
Priming the walls
We loved the look of the pine boards in their natural state, but for the castle decor, we opted to paint the walls. We used a sprayer for the primer, and brushed the paint.
Small loft over bathroom
First we installed the base at roughly 7'
Small loft floor
Once the supporting boards were in place, we added the loft floor and stained the wood
Next, adding the wall separating the bathroom from the remainder of the house, and installing the wall boards
The bathroom is fully framed now
The right side of the wall will be part of the kitchen, and provide space for the shelving. On the left, stairs will be installed and provide storage, or as we like to call it, The Cupboard Under the Stairs. You can see the 2 small insets we've done on the left. These are just tiny cubbies for a few secret HP items. You can also see that we''ve put down the underlayment for the flooring.
Stain, paint and bathroom flooring in
After getting the lofts in place, we painted and stained, and installed the bathroom floor. No trim is up yet.