Category Archives: Alternative housing

Renovation Day 6

This weekend we were on hold for a very cool reason!  SketchUp came to do a video shoot!  James and I have been BIG fans of SketchUp for years and years so this was a very cool opportunity for us!  I do admit we were thinking it was going to be a bit less of a production than it was but it was totally awesome to get to hang out with the crew for the weekend!  Mark and Josh came from SketchUp and they had a three person video crew for the actual video production, Tim, Cole and Rex, all of them were a total blast and we were left with a new appreciation for videographers!

The first day was spent doing the interview, Hazel was a champ mostly because of her new best friend, Josh.  She played for a couple hours with him (he did amazing at entertaining her for so long!)  Of all the interviews I’ve done I think it was about the most comprehensive, they had some great questions and of course wanted to chat about Denver :).   From there we went to the tiny house (the interviews were done at their rental) to get a game plan.  They had about the most graceful way of saying ‘can we pay to make your house not look like crap’, I don’t even know how it was said but I do not blame them!  It has been a total construction zone with the addition… our projects are slow going, we were both just glad it was this year instead of last, it was a real mess then!!

In any case, we made a game plan to repaint the trim boards, which were a little weathered after a few years, spray everything down and make the landscape look pretty.  I have to admit, I’ve never been bought so many flowers :).  A trip to home depot while part of the crew went around town to get some b-roll and we were on our way.  Early Sunday morning we woke up and I went for a bike ride with the camera people; James, Tim and Mark stayed back and made the house pretty, painting landscaping and such.  Took some close ups of Hazel and Denver and then we made some fajitas for dinner.  The crew was coming off a long stretch of filming so we made it a late morning on Monday.  James made some SketchUp magic happen and then we went to the dog park followed by some quick interior shots and called it a wrap.

I was completely amazed at the entire process, there is A LOT of tedious set up time for a couple minutes of filming.  Rex and Cole are definitely top notch perfectionists, I can’t wait to see the vision realized.  I was impressed with how seamless all five worked together, they all took turns asking their questions and contributing.  James and I drew a lot of parallels between our trade (architecture) and theirs and we learned a lot!  I am super grateful for that opportunity even if I am wiped out from it all! :)  It is cool when such a big deal like SketchUp is interested in the tiny house movement.  I asked why they were interested (because it is a free software for most of what tiny housers use it for, I can’t say that I see them being in it for the profit…) they said they were interested because it’s such a dynamic set of people who look at life in the same way as they look at running their company, it’s the community feel and ‘doing something different’.  After this experience I must say I am MORE impressed with SketchUp and not just because they bought me a bunch of flowers :).

I DID get to work a bit on the reno just before they got here, Hazel’s room is small enough that I was able to pretty much insulate the whole thing during her naptime.  I used levi insulation.  It is fairly safe to have around a munchkin, you don’t need a bunch of safety gear to put it up, and it’s readily available in small quantities, so I didn’t have to buy a bunch of extra insulation.  This means the addition is slightly less insulated than the rest of the house (R-13 compared to R-21) but I think it will be sufficient.  I did still seal up all the cracks in the sheathing, where two pieces butted up to one and other and all of the corners where the walls, the roof and the floors met.  Hopefully this will help make it warmer in the winter.  Aside from that I worked a little on the electrical.  This weekend, with luck we will be dry walling.  I just have to finish up the electrical but Hazelnut has been feeling under the weather so we’ve been focusing on holding her mostly.  I think she got a little too much heat this weekend, it was quite a bit hotter than we have been used to.  Because of that I went ahead and installed my a/c unit for the summer, a little early, it will hopefully help to get her more comfy and back into routine!

Here are some pictures, I hope you all have had a great week!!

 

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Tiny House Conference 2015

What a great event!  We just got back from the Tiny House Conference last night, we took a few days after to do a small vacation to the coast, Hazel learned what ‘the ocean’ is, when you ask her where the ocean was she would point to it, not that it isn’t around if you ask her she just looks and looks for it!

So the conference, there were just over 400 people that came, at least 6 tiny houses at various stages and of various styles, lots of builders, bloggers and awesome attendees!  It was broken into a couple tracks so there were two presentations going at a time, you picked which ones you wanted and went to those.  James spoke on how to use Sketchup on the first day using our plans as an example, I spoke on advanced building techniques (which are really basic building techniques for a tiny house) on the second day.  I feel like my session was well attended and there were several people from the Tiny House People group in there, that made me feel LOTS less nervous, thanks for that! :)

The main questions seem to be Q: ‘where can I see the sessions if i didn’t go?’, A: currently it is an in-person event only. Q: ‘Why can’t there be things like this on the east coast?’ A: It was last year and it will be again next year, prepare yourself!  There were people who traveled from Australia and Iceland though so if it’s worth it it’s worth it!  My number one question that I asked attendees is Q: ‘Was it worth the cost?’ Nearly every single person asked had a very enthusiastic ‘YES!’ to that question, so there is that.  I am not actually involved in the event at all other than being lucky enough to be asked to speak so hopefully o one feels obligated to tell me it’s worth it :).  I know I had a blast!

For those of you who missed out, I bet there is not a speaker there that doesn’t go over the information they covered at length on their own website, if you look you can find all of that information for free, you just miss the interactive component and getting to ask direct questions and get direct answers :).  James and I plan to ‘redo’ our sessions in a YouTube video so there are at least two sessions you’ll be able to catch soon!

As for the rest of the trip it was great, we weren’t sure how Hazel would do on the drive, James had to sit in back with her for a bit of it but she did pretty great overall and slept a lot of the 9 hours.  When we got to town we of course hit Ikea first thing and filled up my car! ha!  I got some cool new lights for the kids’ room, and some clothes hangers, I think I saved a lot of space if they will work and may actually not have to put in a dresser, we will see.  Since I got all that I officially have everything I need to build the addon!  Which is underway, I have removed the deck already!

From Ikea we settled in for the conference and I got to meet so many idols of mine.  My favorite part was having a gal (an attendee) ask Steve Weissmann (the owner of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company) to take her picture with me.  He was a very good sport about it.  I loved it because he has been such a big influence, it’s like having someone ask your idol to take your picture with you… it made me laugh :).

When everything died down a bit James and I drove to the coast to show Hazel the other ocean.  We stayed on the beach a couple days and the weather was gorgeous.  We had one of those ‘off’ days the first day where we couldn’t get in sync with one and other so it was a bit tense but we found our rhythm by the evening and it got to be the relaxing vacation it should have been!  We both need our own time which is hard to do in a small car!  The tiny house is easy to find our own space in!  Once we reset all was well though and Hazel had an absolute blast playing on the beach.  She is at the point where she is trying out different laughs.  She would intentionally face plant right in he sand and get up laughing SO hard only to do it again!  It was hilarious!  She got to take a bath in a full sized bathtub which was pretty stinking cool in her opinion!  She couldn’t wait to do it again the next night! On the last day we drove to Bend, OR and she got to go swimming for the first time in the hotel pool.  She was leery at first but then would just throw herself at us!  She’s not a great swimmer but she sure has fun :)

We are very grateful to have had so much fun, thanks Ryan for all the hard work you put into such a great event!  Next year it’s back on the east side of the country, how many of you are planning on making it??