And soon, this will be mine.
Tiny Green Cabins Standards
|Car Hauler Trailer||Felling Trailer designed for tiny houses|
|Electric Brakes and battery backup|
|Breakaway safety hitch system when in tow|
|2×2 and 2×3 SPF Wall Framing||2×4 cold formed steel, welded wall framing|
|2×6 SPF(wood) floor system bolted to trailer||2×6 cold formed steel floor system welded to trailer|
|2×4 SPF(wood) roof frame||2×4 cold formed steel, welded together|
|3/8″ or 7/16″ OSB wall and roof sheathing||15/32″ OSB and ½” wall and roof sheathing|
|R-11 Fiberglass Insulation||R-15 John Manville foam board insulation|
|R-19 Fiberglass floor and ceiling insulation||R-20 John Manville foam board insulation|
|RV windows and doors||Marvin, Pella, Anderson, Pro Via tempered windows and doors|
|¼” or 3/8″ Interior pine paneling||5/8″ or ¾” oak, white ash, birch, butternut, aspen, basswood and pine paneling|
|Smoke Alarm system|
|Tie Downs for winds|
|LP & CO Detectors|
|Non toxic and Healthy cabin Choices|
|6ml Poly vapor barrier||Dennyfoil vapor barrier|
|Plastic sheathing||Tyvek house wrap|
|Cookie cutter plans||Custom plans designed by you, drawn by us|
The following pictures are from a client that is building a meditation retreat. We asked to provide the plans for this project and we had great fun creating them. It is always nice and feels good to see the project as it is being built. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Tiny Green Cabins frames their tiny houses with steel framing members. There are few builders in the housing market that use steel for framing their homes, and fewer still in the tiny house market. Tiny Green Cabins predominantly use steel framing members for the floor, walls, and roof systems.
Steel framing is a practical, code approved solution to many of the limitations that builders face today when using traditional building materials.
The strength and ductility of structural cold-formed steel (CFS) framing, along with the holding power of CFS connections, make it the ideal material for construction in high wind speed and seismic zones such as the U. S. eastern seaboard, the Gulf Coast states, California and Hawaii. Characteristics such as non-combustibility, termite resistance, and dimensional stability can lower construction and home ownership costs. CFS can provide the framework for a solid sustainable building program. Each piece of CFS shipped to the jobsite contains a minimum of 25% recycled content and is 100% recyclable at the end of its lifespan. And a recent study, conducted by the NAHB Research Center, showed that the zinc coating on steel framing materials can protect against corrosion for hundreds of years.
For these reasons, and many others, the use of steel framing continues to grow every year with more than 40% of commercial structures now using steel framing and with nearly 500,000 homes built over the last 5 years.
Tiny Green Cabins built its 1st model from wood, and moved to steel as its product of choice. The main reason is that one of the homes we built required LOW VOC’s and it was either hardwood or steel framing members. Having been a carpenter for many years, wood was my preference and after investigating costs, it was decided to try steel. Having never worked with steel before, it was a steep learning curve for us, and we decided to add welding to the tiny house, for concern that screws could loosen over time.
Once we had the 1st frame put together and welded we were really impressed with the rigidity and strength of the frame. We could lift, bounce, and nor “rack” the frame. This is a term of being able to move the framework out of square. Over the years, we learned that we could “rack” any wood frame structure with enough force. Not being able to rack the welded frame, without any wall sheathings earned it many “stars” in our book.
Part 2 to be continued;
The steel that we use is cold formed steel and that is sheet steel that is formed into shapes and sizes to what builders are accustomed to in dimensional lumber (2×4, 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, 2×12 and so forth) Steel members are formed in a process called roll forming by passing sheet steel through a series of rollers to form the bends that make the shape. Seamless gutters and seamless siding uses the same process when they install gutters and siding on your home, except the gauges are a lot heavier and a lot stronger for CFS. The 16 and 18 gauge steel we use is easily welded after initial screwing of parts together.
Some of the advantages of steel framing are;
- Consistent quality means that scrap is drastically reduced (2% for steel versus 20% for wood). The left over steel is recyclable!
- Steel framing is easier to handle because steel studs weigh 1/3less than wood studs, and can be installed at 24″ on center.
- Steel framing is a superior framing product for its fundamental characteristics
- Long term maintenance costs are reduced because steel is resistant to rot, mold, termite and insect infestation.
- Good indoor air quality (IAQ) is promoted because steel does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Steel is “Green” because it contains a minimum of 25% recycled steel and is 100% recyclable.
- Steel framing has proven performance in high wind and seismic zones.
- Fire proof
- Termite free
- Not susceptible to fungus and mold
- Lower weight reduces risk of trailer/foundation movement
- The steel framework can be securely welded to the trailer, creating an integral unit
- Stronger connections resist earthquake movements and high winds
- Will not rot or rust
- Less expensive for home owner’s insurance
- Higher re-sale value
- Lighter weight means easier handling and less stress on foundations, cranes and workers
- Consistent dimensions means there’s no need to shim walls and adjust for bows
- Straight walls and square corners mean windows and doors open and close as they should
- Lower Maintenance Costs over the life of the home
- Lower builder’s risk insurance costs
- Slash the size of your punch list with consistent framing and decking
to be continued…part 3
Steel vs Wood Construction Costs