Subfloor v2.0

In my last post, I detailed a few problems we were having with our subfloor…

The tarp-tent was a total fail, and we took it down after a few days… the wind kept blowing down our cement bucket poles, and small holes meant that water was still getting in (side note: never buy a 30’x50′ tarp, it’s completely unmanageable)… the wood couldn’t dry when the rain stopped, because the tarp trapped it in. The last straw was the termite family we saw munching the veneer in one of the corners. We decided to try our luck with the open elements, but the waterseal didn’t really stop the delamination which occured from being rained on everyday, and eventually it got so bad that we realized we just couldn’t salvage this floor:

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This time, we’ve used some of the plywood we had designated for our sheathing. It’s rated Exposure 1, which theoretically means it can weather being rained on quite a bit… but we’re now paranoid, and we know that if this second subfloor fails, we might really just give up.

So, we decided to go a bit farther, painting it with Olympia Rescue It! wood & concrete resurfacer. It’s pretty thick stuff with a nice gritty texture. It can even fill holes up to 1/4″, which was nice since some of the plywood had some big knots. Although we’ll eventually be covering it with something else, it requires a tint to mix properly… so we chose an exciting color that should make us feel energized to look at. Can you believe they call it Muted Mesa?


After getting all the screws out of the old subfloor, we had to pull it up. This was initially a bit of a challenge, since we conveniently glued it to the framing. To cut between the layers, first we tried the jigsaw…

Yeah… no. We keep trying to use the jigsaw, but we haven’t found it’s magic application yet.

Our old friend the circular saw came to the rescue!

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And then it electrocuted me…


Just a little bit. There was a worn part of the sheathing on the cord, and it zapped me in the lower leg. I felt a bit tingly for a few minutes, but I’m alive…

Luckily, beyond the first board, we didn’t have to do much cutting. Usually if we cut the glue on  one side, we could pry up the rest of the board. The glue was apparently working well on some parts, but (luckily) not so well on others.


Everything looked pretty decent underneath, although there was some water sitting on the insulation in a few places — all near the breaks in the subfloor, where warping had allowed water to flow in. Bad… but not that bad. We let it dry for a few hours in the sun.

Finally, we got the new boards on! They are only 15/32″, instead of the 3/4″ we had before. There is a noticeable difference in sturdiness & flexibility, but since we’d used 16 OC joists, it’s still workable.

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We also learned that we’re supposed to leave a 1/8″ gap between the sheets to allow for a little bit of expansion & contraction (we didn’t do this on subfloor #1)… but again, we’re paranoid, so we also filled in that gap with Rainseal caulk. And then we filled in every other gap and screw head everywhere with it as well. That will hopefully stop water from getting into the framing & insulation at all.


We’ve been very hard at work on framing the walls, from the comfort and safety of the garage (yay ceilings). We’ve got those mostly ready to put up, but they are a bit much to manage with only 2 people. So, we’re hosting a house raising BBQ next weekend! We don’t have any nearby friends yet, but we’ve managed to recruit about 15 people from our friendly, local subreddit, r/321! I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone next week and getting our house to the point where it actually looks house-like!




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