Last night, I sat down with my “crew chief”, Nathan Moreau of Sterling Hardwoods (yes, I'll be re-doing that website for them).  Our goal? To start in on a materials list so I can place an initial order!

I had a pretty good idea about how this would work, but it was nice to hear it from someone who used to be a professional contractor.

Step One: Review Plans

We started by looking over the plans and reviewing our construction ideas. Specific attention was paid to how we would frame and attach the subfloor to the trailer, as this is the step that deviates most from standard house construction.

Step Two: Measure Lengths

Using a scale, we measured various lengths of wood to determine what length lumber we would buy.

Tip: Dimensional lumber usually comes in lengths of 8′,10′,12′, and 16′. The most common lengths are 8′ and 16′.

The goal is to try to order your wood strategically for its use within the project, in order to minimize scrap. For my project, the subfloor is about 7'7″ wide, so 8′ 2×4's make the most sense.

Step Three: Tally Up

We started compiling a lumber list by writing down the type of lumber (eg. 2x4x8 PT would be an 8 foot pressure treated 2×4).  As Nate counted out loud, I made a hash mark on our list. We repeated this process for plywood, subflooring, and sheet metal.

Tip: Don't forget to add fasteners and tools to your list. We decided on 1.5″ decking screws for attaching the plywood and subflooring, and roofing nails (plus a roofing nail gun) for attaching the sheet metal.