The Subfloor Chronicles…Part 2

Welp, it turns out the flashing was off my original markings…by 6 inches.


*Sigh* At least I only cut my thumb once twice.

Thankfully, I had left over flashing (I bought the 50’ roll, remember?) so I marched myself over to the Lowe’s power tool section (where they keep all sorts of useful things) and bought myself some big ‘ole tin snips. And snap chalk. I saw a friend as I was walking in the store and he warned me that I would come out of the section with multiple things. I thought, “No way. I know exactly what I’m getting.” But he was right! In my defense, the snap chalk was a really good deal and I will need it eventually.

I forgot my camera for the cutting of the last piece (or pieces) of flashing. Just imagine kindergarten art time with more heavy-duty scissors. I had to cut two strips: one 4”x10’ and one 6”x10’ to cover the entire length of the floor. Why the two widths, you ask? Well…because I stare at spreadsheets all day.  I’m not exactly a professional flashing-layer. I’ve decided to “be ok” with the fact that the flashing on the underside of the trailer isn’t perfectly symmetrical and just be happy that it’s water tight.


The process of “water-tightness” is an interesting one. I watched a Bob Villa Youtube video about installing windows (because that’s what I do in my spare time now) and he said to “think like water.” Huh. So as I contemplate sealing the floor, I’m now interested in every seam, every crack, every tiny space where water *might* get in.

One of my solutions is to caulk adhesive along the seams in between the beams. This acts as another attachment point for the flashing in addition to the screws as well as a water barrier.

To add to that, I taped all the seams under the trailer with foil ducting tape. This isn’t regular duct tape…it’s a metal tape that has a paper backing and it’s a little awkward to get the hang of.


You peel the paper off as you lay the tape on the seam. It tears super easy…as in I-wonder-if-this-will-hold easy. But once I got it all stuck down, it wasn’t going anywhere.  Saturday I taped the inside seams as well.


I also cut insulation.


I started out with the “box-cutter” method.  It was horse pucky.  Styrofoam was flaking everywhere, the edges were jagged.  What a nightmare.  For the first two hours I spent more time chasing little foam chunks around the work area than cutting .

The little strip you see above is the piece that fit inside the C-channel.  Taking a regular measurement, I was supposed to cut the big boards 14.5″ wide, but they didn’t want to cooperate.  Once I cut them 14″ wide they slid right in (for the most part).  Any gaps or weird spots will be filled in with expanding spray foam before I lay down the OSB.


See the jagged edges?  I had to stand on the board and jump on it so it would fit in the channel.  Probably not the best idea, but I’m happy to report:  I won.


Then THIS happened!  I got the bright idea to cut the foam with my circular saw using a 140 tooth blade (that’s for cutting finishing work…basically *not* 2x4s).  That made the edges SUPER pretty.  As a side note, I had to cut 5 inches off the sawhorse legs so I decided to use this blade as opposed to changing it out for the one that is actually made for cutting 2x4s.  There was smoke.


The insulation started to fit better having cut the edges with the saw.  Although, you can still see the jaggedness in this picture on one edge….


I started to get the hang of the size I needed/cutting with the saw about 10am (I’d been working since 7).  Construction is a process for me, but one I’m learning to embrace.


1pm:  all of the first layer done with the second layer started.  At this point it was well in to the mid-90’s and I couldn’t handle being right above a reflective surface.  So I left to go find some cold water and more food.  I ended up not being able to relax until I finished this section, so I came back at 7pm armed with a Cutco paring knife and a putty knife.

DUDE.  The putty knife is money.  There was a little flaking, but for the most part it slid right through the foam.  And bonus, there wasn’t a fine white dust sticking to me as there was with the saw method.  I finished the rest of the top layer in about an hour and a half.  Some of the reflective top part tore when I cut it with the paring knife, so I patched it with the left over foil tape.


I was trying to get the entire subfloor done Saturday, OSB and all, but it just wasn’t happening.  So next Friday I’ve enlisted some help to set the boards and we should be ready to frame it up!

Don’t let the beautiful sunset fool you…it was 102 degrees.  A cold shower never felt so good…

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