The clock is ticking

There is less than 25 days before the unveiling of our prototype at the Backyard and Cottage Show to be held from the 10th to 12th of April at the EY Centre of Ottawa. Considering that 2,300 square foot houses, including excavation and foundation, usually take about 90 days to build, we are confident that we will reach our goal. Beyond the workload, preparation and planning are important for achieving successful construction. In addition, while the trailer was being built, we ordered material with long lead time, such as the windows, door and exterior siding.

Monday we made ​​an inventory of the material received in the last two weeks. We also changed our pine siding to give it a more modern look. The return of some warm weather allowed us to move the siding outside for two coats of stain.


Upper left corner, the channel lock siding before we modify it. Bottom, the siding stained and installed.

We also changed the general organization of our workshop to create space while still allowing for normal operations to be maintained. Tuesday morning, we completed the last changes in the workshop. Finally, around noon, after over a month of waiting, the trailer was delivered to the shop. A moment of excitement quickly followed by our return to reality. Now the ball is in our court to deliver. No more excuses!



The actual construction started on Wednesday. With two carpenters, our goal was to complete the floor. Consisting of two rows of rigid expanded insulation, our floor is set into the trailer structure. The addition of a steel plate under the trailer structure allows for 3’’ thick insulation. We have covered this insulation with 1/2″ plywood. To minimize thermal bridging, we stuck a neoprene strip between the beams and plywood. In some places, an additional plate was necessary to strengthen the trailer. These plates created tight spaces impossible to insulate with rigid insulation, so we opted for urethane at these locations instead.


The first row of rigid expanded insulation is installed and urethane is being added in hard to reach


The addition of neoprene strips fills the thermal bridge between the structure and the covering materials. Steel is an excellent conductor while the neoprene is not, thus improving the overall energy performance.

After the installation of our 5/8’’ plywood, we cut all the top and bottom plates for our walls. It is here that our methods are different from the typical construction of a tiny house. Most micro-builders build the frame on the trailer or on the ground nearby. They then install the frame on the floor, cover it with plywood, install the air barrier and then cover this face. This requires working at heights using ladders and scaffolds. In our case, when a wall is mounted on the trailer, 90% of the work is completed. This requires seamless coordination and knowledge of assembly techniques. This is where more than 35 years of experience are taken into account.

L'installation du pare-vapeur

The vapor barrier being installed.  We made sure to extend it long enough to be able to seal it properly with our walls. 

The first wall was long to complete. It required a lot of planning for clearances of windows and moldings. The walls at the front of the trailer were much easier to complete, though the angles also required much planning. At this point we can say that if we can maintain this pace, we’ll be ready for the backyard and cottage show. Work continues on Monday with the completion of the first floor wall, and framing the walls of the second floor! We will take time to stain outside our windows, our moldings, and possibly our floor. With this said, have a good week and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!


Exterior wall view


The back wall.


1 Comment

  1. Hi there, I am happy to find another person installing insulation directly into the trailer. This is my plan, however, I have been considering using wool? I often see those people building a secondary wooden frame into the trailer, something I don’t want to do. I have a couple concerns with wool in the floor, so thinking that it may be better to use the rigid foam as it will be more airtight.
    Our intention however is to use as many natural products as possible, do you feel wool would work in this scenario, and is there any way around not using plastic vapour barrier on the inside? We want to minimise plastic? Thanks for your help, it’s been very difficult finding much information about building straight into the trailer frame.

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