August Update

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I know...it's been a long time but we just have been so incredibly busy with the house, we have found it diffiicult updating the Facebook page and the blog, but I want to take a moment and give an update on our progress.  

 

The outside of the tiny house is, for all intents and purpose, finished. We finished staining the trim and installing the metal roof. Thank goodness it's waterproof! It was a huge relief not having to cover every day with tarps. 

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We moved the tiny house to a more permanent location on the same property, away from the garage and with a beautiful view of the fields on both sides. We dug trenches for the electrical and water lines and hooked up to both. We also dug a trench and installed a French Drain for our gray water run off. After jacking the house up off the wheels, we needed a way to get into the house because we were stepping up on the wheels before this point. So we took a day and built a nice little deck and stairway into the front door.  

 

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At this point, we are completely hooked up to electricity and water and thankfully, can use the AC in the hot Florida summer. We started working on the bathroom by closing up the walls and installing the shower. We went with a galvanized metal shower for a few reasons. Tile is known to crack in tiny houses when you move them. Also, the cost of tiling the shower was a bit much considering the metal cost all of about $100. I love the way it turned out. The shower is quite large, 4'x3' and has a rain shower head. Check it out.  

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Then we started working on the ceiling of the bathroom and kitchen. We wanted tin tiles, but again, the cost was too much. We found styrofoam tiles that have the look of tin when painted and are a fraction of the cost. We decided to give them a try. I couldn't be more happy with the look. It took a bit of work since the paint we wanted to use ate through the styrofoam. We did three coats of primer on the tiles, which prevented the hammered silver spray paint from eating the foam. 

 

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Months ago, we found free pallets on Craigslist so David went and snatched them up. We deconstructed them and removed the nails. After a quick brush with a broom, they were ready to go! They went up pretty quickly. Once they go up, we plan on painting them for a lighter brighter look in the small space of the bathroom.  

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Next step is to paint the pallets then put the toilet back in and the sink. Our bathroom sink is an old writing desk, we cut the top off and sanded and restained the desk. We installed a vessel sink and faucet on the top and voila!

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For the kitchen, we already have most of our cabinets bought. They are unfinished from Lowes. We plan on painting them, probably a lighter shade of green and modifying them to install drawers where the toe kicks are.  

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More to come on the kitchen soon! Thanks for following our journey. We can't believe how far we have come since last Summer, after seeing our first tiny house and deciding in a week to go forward with it and build our own. We hope to be done and fully moved in as soon a possible. We love our tiny home!

It's been a while...

 

Hi there everyone!  It's been a while since we made a blog post.  It's just been easier to post a few photos of our progress on our Facebook page, so this will be a recap of those posts. 

The last time we spoke, we had just moved our tiny house to my cousin's house and didn't have the siding completely up yet. So this was our first goal. 

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The majority of the siding went up fairly fast.  We chose to use an oil based translucent stain in a mahogany blaze color to help protect the wood from water damage. The window and door trim will be stained translucent black to match the fascia boards and roof. 

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After hearing of a tiny house being stolen in Texas, we decided to beef up our security a little bit. We already had a hitch ball lock and a lock on the pin as well. We decided to add a boot to one of the tires. All of these can be cut off fairly easily but the added hassle will deter most thieves. 

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After we stained the house, it was time to start on the roof. Before we moved the house, we had already installed rolled tar paper. Seeing how our roof is black, I wanted to keep as much of the heat it would absorb out of the house, so I installed 2 inches of rigid foam on top of the roof deck.  

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Next down was the metal roof and skylight. We went with Union Corrugating's Advantage Lok standing seam metal roof. The cool thing with this roof is all of the fasteners are hidden by the next panel. 

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As you may know, one of the panels in our garage was damaged during shipping. I contacted the company and they made a new one and it just arrived last week.  We got it swapped out with the broken one. My cousin Willie was visiting on vacation and he volunteered to help install it and the track with me. So we now officially have a working garage door in our living room! My tiny house is cooler than yours! Whenever we find a place to permanently put it, we plan on building a deck so we can open it and have an extra living space. 

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Currently we are finishing up the roof trim, staining the window trim and then caulking around all the trim. After all that has been completed, we will officially be done with the outside of the house! 

Moving day!

If you haven't heard, the city where we live told us we could no longer have our tiny house on our property.  They gave us until the 17th to move it. 

I was able to rent a Dodge 2500 from Enterprise Commercial Truck for only $43. So we woke up at 5:30 am to be at the rental office by 7 am. We came back home and loaded all the tools and wood we would need and started out journey. 

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Our first stop was the Pilot Station to get our tiny house weighed. After several attempts, we found out it weighs just under 11,000 lbs. 

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Next we had to stop at Lowes to pick up the metal roof we ordered. We kind of felt like celebrities there. Several employees that have been helping us with our build came out to see it. Many customers stopped to ask us questions and take pictures.

With the roof loaded,  we began our 40 mile move. About a week before we drove the route we wanted to take to make sure we would clear all power lines and trees. The trip went pretty smoothly. I was a little nervous pulling it at first. As the trip went on it just became second nature. 

When we finally arrived at our new build site, it began to lightly rain. We quickly covered it in plastic and got it stapled down.  We attempted to get the tiny house leveled but the pouring rain had other ideas for us. 

 

I want to give a big thanks to my cousins Jerry and Nancy for letting us finish building it on their property.  

Starting to look like a house...

The last time I left you we just started putting walls up with the help of some of our friends. The following day we built the 2 side walls raised them in place. As we were building our final wall, our lovely code enforcement officer stopped by and explained to us that we are not allowed to keep a trailer that long on residential property. He explained that typically they give 2 weeks to correct violations. I asked him if we could have 3 weeks to make it more suitable to move and he agreed. That is why I have not posted any updates. We have been busy! Waking up at 7 am to work on the house, head to work, coming home only to go to bed and then repeat.

After we put all the plywood sheathing on and wrapped the house in house wrap, we decided to use help from my dad and install our first window. It's a 8'x4' window we picked up from the Orlando Habitat for Humanity Rehome store for $190. It was the first thing we purchased for our house.  We also purchased two more windows from a Rehome Store for $90 total. 

Did I mention this window was huge? I mean look at it next to Athena's Smartcar. Not sure how much it weighed, but it it felt like it weighed 300 pounds!

We installed the two windows in the loft following our the installation of living room window. Our next challenge was to tackle the rafters. We decided to use 2x4's instead of 2x6's for our rafters. Living in Florida, we don't have to worry about a snow load on the roof, so I felt very comfortable using 2x4's. We bird's mouthed both ends of rafters and nailed in the rafter ties and then started laying down the roof deck.

With the roof deck installed, we rolled out and nailed down felt paper while we waited on our metal roof to arrive. We nailed furring strips over the house wrap. We have received a lot of questions about them in particular. The way we are installing our siding is called a rain screen. You nail the siding to the furring strips to create an airspace between the siding and the house wrap. The theory is that if any water gets behind the siding, it will be able to dry instead of creating mildew, mold or rotting. Some studies have found that as little as a 1/4" airspace is effective enough to facilitate drying.

Our friend Dan came over and began to ruff in the electrical. Electricity is one that I know nothing about, so I owe all the credit to Dan for helping me out with that!

Across from our living room window, we installed a glass garage door. While unboxing the panels, we discovered one of the panes was damaged during shipping. I decided to continue installing the garage door. I sent an email off to ETO Doors who we ordered it from about getting it repaired. It's still being determined how it's going to be repaired, whether they can replace the individual pane or if the whole section has to be replaced.

Today, we started installing the siding. We chose to use Select Tight Knot Western Red Cedar for our siding. We chose cedar mainly for the look, but we recently discovered that it is significantly lighter than pine. With the size of our trailer, we need to find weight savings where we can. Once the cedar is all up we plan on staining it a mahogany blaze color to achieve the classic bright red color of cedar.

I also wanted to thank my Mom and Dad for coming out every day I've worked on it since we've been told we had to move it.

That pretty much catches you up to date on  our progress. Next time you see me it will probably be about our move.

We got walls! Well, 1 wall...

Hey everyone! It's been a while since our last blog post, sorry about that. If you're not from Florida, we have had several weeks of daily rain. It finally stopped raining long enough last week to get the second half of our first wall framed out. I decided to frame our longest walls in two halves so it would easier and lighter when we went to raise it into place.  For the first section of the wall I secured the sheathing in place and stapled the house wrap to it. I planned on doing the same with the second section but we were having trouble getting the wall square when it was laying down.

I got a few friends to come over with the promises of pizza and beer to help lift the walls. I made some brackets and secured them to the foundation to stop the wall from sliding off the trailer as we lifted it.  We lifted the wall as high as we could and placed some 2x4's to brace the wall as we repositioned ourselves to lift it all the way into place. With the wall in place and leveled, I secured the wall with braces to the floor.  We raised the second half of the wall much the same way as the first and secured it with braces. With the help of my friends, we secured the plywood to the framing. It's starting to look like a house!

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Our plans...

Hey 'ittle people! Today I wanted to share with you our plans.  We looked at several different plans such as the Minim House or the H0me and fell in love with different elements in both designs. Not being able to reach a decision on which to build, I decided to design my own tiny house. I download Google Sketchup and watched some tutorial videos and began sketching our dream home.

We plan on having lots of windows, letting in natural light. I tried to follow the design rule of having windows across from each other to make a space seem larger. The outside of the house will be sided in redwood cedar planks. We plan on having a false chimney on the tongue side of the trailer that will be sided in corrugated metal. The chimney will be used to house the hot water heater and solar batteries. We've used the image below as inspiration.

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On the backside of the house, I was originally wanting a glass store front window, similar to the one in the first episode of Tiny House Nation. Trying to stick to our budget, we decided to put  a glass garage door in instead. Next to the door we will have a door. Both the door and garage door will open up to a deck. Here's a photo of a glass garage door we plan on installing into our living room.

Since we are planning on building as wide as possible, and not wanting to have wheel wells visible inside the home, we plan on raising the floor to the same height as the wheel wells.  With the raised floor, we plan on having sections cut and hinged to use as storage compartments. Against the wall not visible will be an Ikea Pax system. We will store some items as well as some hanging clothes. On top of the Pax system will be mounted a projection screen that will serve as our tv!

In the kitchen we will have a full size fridge, a 3 burner propane stove, a convection microwave, kegerator and a normal size sink.  We plan on painting unfinished stock cabinets from Lowe's covered with a DIY concrete countertop. We will have roughly  11 feet of counter space.

Above the kitchen will be our loft. Unlike many tiny house owners that have to downsize their mattress, we will be upgrading ours to a king sized bed! We will have shelving and sconces on both sides of the head of the bed to place our phones and other bedside items. Next to the bed will be a washer dryer combo unit and more clothing storage.

Below the loft at the end of the trailer be our bathroom. We plan on using a composting toilet called the Separrett. It is a urine diverting toilet, meaning the urine is separated from stool. There is a fan that exhaust the gasses from the stool and also dries it out. The urine flows through the plumbing and exits the house.

The floor in the bathroom will be tiled in penny's and the shower pan will be tiled in nickels. Then we can really say our house was built with money!

That is pretty much it for the virtual tour of our house. If you have have any questions, feel free to comment below! Thanks!

 

-David