And So It Begins, Renovation Day 1

Macy M16 comments7034 views

It was a big one! [sarcasm]  All I did was remove three deck boards so I can see what sort of tricks I am going to have to do to get some insulation in the floor.  I am building on the dovetail which is a slanted piece of metal, basically a ramp for an equipment to be loaded.  It’s going to be tricky to get good insulation in there for the kiddos.   I am basically just building two walls (and filling in the patio window).  I am not going to align the walls with the existing walls since it would be hard to match.  You miss by an inch you better miss by a mile 🙂 .  I am offsetting the walls about 3 inches so I can get the interior dimensions I want (54″x7’4″).  I will finish them differently than the rest of the place as well.  I am scrolling through craigslist every day to find a 32″ door that swings out.  I am going to be reusing and relocating the window in the bathroom which will leave a nice convenient space for a shelf for all the toiletries that I thought I would live just fine without but that creep into the house anyway… Once I have that door I am set on materials and can go full steam ahead.

James and I have a really busy April but I am slating as many weekends as I can in May and June to finish the renovation (including adding this room and tearing out the floors and updating the cabinets).  Once July rolls around we are booked with weddings and events all over again… I don’t think I will feel like hard manual labor into the 6+ month of pregnancy either so forward we have to go. It will be slow to start but I am hoping to have the floor completed by the end of this month.  It will be the hardest part to figure out… the rest is just labor :).

I REALLY want to get two hours a night of my bed to myself but I have to remember this should be a FUN adventure too… I can’t get too antsy and make it miserable 🙂

Removed three whole boards



  1. Hello Macy,

    I’m so excited for you! Just remember one day at a time and stay safe! No roofs this time?

    I really think you should sell this home to me and build another larger one for yourself.. LOL


  2. Hi Macy you are very courageous to do hard work wile you are pregnant and with a little toddler to. But us woman are very strong, keep up the good job and don’t exhaust yourself now. I am looking forward to see the result I am positive it will be great and keep your house it’s so beautiful and you and your hobby worked very hard to make it to your taste and style. Wish you and your family a Happy Easter.

  3. Hi Macy, my name is Corey Kiyabu and I have contacted you before about building a THOW and possible resources in the Moscow, ID area. Well, I’ve since moved… to Eugene, OR! I am finding it much easier out here as far as potential resources and land/landlords for setting the THOW on. Challenge is that I haven’t built yet.

    I’m planning on a “very big THOW” 28′ trailer with 2′ extensions for lofts which will make upstairs 32′. This is for my family of 6; me plus wife, 13 dd, 10 ds, 2 ds, and 4 mo ds. Am I crazy to think that I can actually pull this off? will have custom built by Trailers Plus (similar design as Eagle trailers PAD series. Self designed/built, I’m hoping to keep this to about $30-35k when all is said and done.

    The reason for the long letter here is that my 13 yo daughter wants to get input from someone who has experienced THOW and what challenges and advantages have arisen from living tiny with a (growing) family.

    If you don’t mind, my daughter (Shawn Kiyabu) would like to send you an email concerning tiny living. Her email is and I will let her know that if its okay with you, she can communicate with you by email.

    I would so much appreciate this opportunity for my daughter to “pick your brain.” If you could cc me for the correspondence, I would be so indebted to you for this honor.

    Thank you,

    Corey Kiyabu
    Aspiring self-build THOWer

  4. Hi Macy, I have so much enjoyed your journey! I wish I had done what your doing many years ago. I am hoping to build a tiny house for retirement. Keep on inspiring ! 🙂

  5. Hi again Macy,

    Hope the Reno is on track! And that you are feeling well.

    I know you did a revised plan with a shorter trailer and Murphy bed, but do you think it’s possible to do a loft with real stairs and dormers on a 24′ trailer? Would it change the look of the home or just make the whole house taller? Would you be able to keep the side door? I must say, again!, I love your home! But the chances of my finding a suitable gooseneck the same length with the same overhang and beaver tail are not very good. So looking for ways to get a similar “downstairs” floor plan on a 24′ trailer. The porch is so sweet and I’d have to give that up on a 24′ 🙁 Compromises, compromises! I should have built one 20 years ago when I first read about Tumbleweed but I can look forward to my retirement in one now.

    Happy Easter to you all!

    1. I think it is totally possible, it will change the feel of the house, I think it makes sense to put a loft above the kitchen/bathroom, you could totally have stairs along the back wall. It will take the high ceilings out of the kitchen but it’s a utility space anyway 🙂 I think in that case it looks a bit like the tumblweed fencl plan with a side door! Hopefully that makes sense! Thank you for your kind words!

  6. Hello Macy

    Drum roll please! You sound like you have your hands full this time around. I know it will be tough but well worth it once its all said and done. Dont forget to post some pictures for us, I certainly look forward to the inspiration. And btw, I cant say it enough; how resourcefull you are I would have been over budget from day one lol my God!



  7. I have a design question for you. I try to reason with myself that professionals must surely know better than me. Though, this logic has failed me with getting bangs a few years back, I still try to trust this basic instinct. I am writing in regards to your floor plan. Considering the confines of the building parameters, did you decide on the parallel galley kitchen and bathroom out of personal preference? Did you deem it the most efficient use of space? I tend to over think things and efficiency in all aspects of my design are crucial for my own tetris-y brain. Currently, my thought is that a 4×8 bathroom could include a short bathtub, full size closet, washer (I never use a dryer anyway) as well as a compost toilet. The idea of hanging my clothes in the loft just seems illogical. Can’t get dressed up there anyway. However, maybe I need to reconsider this for “best practices.” I know that ultimately it’s my choice of what I want to live with, but I don’t want to regret any design decisions.

    1. Hi Jennifer! Here is the thing, designers/professionals have a degree in what looks pretty, we know some tricks about functionality and the human psyche but we most certainly do NOT know better than you how your life functions. A good designer will ask the right questions to be able to get you what you want when working with them but in most cases your bet is as good as anyone’s! 🙂 (the bangs made me laugh!) I decided on the galley kitchen because it seemed functional for how I cook, I’ve never cared for doing pirouettes while cooking but for some it’s nice to stand in the same spot and have everything in reach. It also made sense for me to have all my plumbing at one end so if I lined my bathroom and kitchen together I had to do less plumbing, since that isn’t my best trick that was a plus! That bathroom size and functionality seems more than doable! Sounds luxury to me and you’re right on on the clothes, it never made sense to me either which is why I have my closet in the living area, it’s more comfy for dressing and access! The bathroom is very logical! The other ‘factor’ if you will that I considered is that I used really heavy materials for my tile and have a w/d unit that weighs a lot, i tried to center the bulky items over the axles to help towing but that is a minor consideration in most cases, I just used tile so I had to consider it more. All of the possibilities are possible, they all have their own ramifications, most are pretty minor so design how YOU function, you are better equip for that than a ‘professional’ 🙂

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