As soon as the steel framing was finished, it was time to punch 1/2” holes through the studs I needed to route plumbing and electrical cabling through.
The tiny hacker house has a total of 8 outlets situated mostly along the left side of the house, and a shower, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and toilet that need water lines. Oh and 10 light receptacles and 4 switch boxes that need electricity as well.
This meant I needed to punch over 50 1/2” holes through 12-gauge steel… not a simple task. It’s these kinds of one-off difficulties that make working with steel studs much more tricky than wood.
I ended up buying a 6-ton hydraulic steel stud punch tool to make the holes. Ironically, however, it needs a 3/8” hole already drilled in the stud in order to function. And it doesn’t work through double studs. For that I used a bi-metal hole saw. It took a whole week to place fixtures, measure, and cut all the holes.
Plastic bushings are required in metal studs so the sharp edges don’t cut the water lines or short your electricity to the frame, turning your tiny house into a giant electrocution device.
After everything was cut, painted with galvanizing spray, and bushings inserted, I could route the piping and cabling. I found it easier to first attach the electrical boxes to a 6” 2x4 backing block and then screw the whole piece into the stud.
For the plumbing I used PEX. It seems to be all the rage these days. It’s pretty simple to work with – if you have a good crimper and do it carefully, you shouldn’t have any leaks for years to come.
After I finished the plumbing rough-in, I plugged all the fixtures and pressure-tested it first with air to 100 PSI, then overnight with a garden hose attached. I guess this first-timer got lucky – no leaks!
Next I’ll be putting up the sheathing and making final preparations for the insulation installation!
Here are all the pics for your viewing pleasure:Read all posts like this:
- I'm Building a Tiny Hacker House
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part I: Overview
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part II: Power
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part III: Bathroom
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part IV: Loft
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part V: Supply Plumbing / Heating
- Tiny Hacker House Design Part VI: Wiring
- Tiny Hacker House Build Part I: Steel Framing
- Tiny Hacker House Build Part II: Plumbing & Electricity
- Tiny Hacker House Build Part III: Sheathing and Insulation