Category Archives: Materials

Posts involving material selection

Aloha Material Choices

We committed today on a color scheme! Blue and yellow, modern, sustainable, low VOC.  Our first step was getting the function figured out, we feel like we nailed that.  Next we get to ‘style’ things. I have to say, our Travel Trailer is going to be great! Here is a general idea material board I put together after today’s purchases.

TT Material Board

(More on each item below)

I also started our budget sheet for our trailer, which I will update through the build.  At this point we are at $760.31 which includes the cost of the trailer, fabric and such up to this point.  Our goal is under $3,000 but I will be aiming for and thrilled to be under $2,000.  (Just a heads up there will be a website redesign soon that will make it easier to follow along with this rebuild)

James and I both agreed that we can’t move onto this trailer project fully until we finish our latest project, the deck.  We have been working our tail off trying to get that done so we can stop feeling guilty about working on the trailer anyway :).  My mom just happened to invite me shopping with her to pick up some fabric to make some blankets for her soon to be grand-kid (not mine! :)). It was too much to resist, we saved more than we spend and got pretty much all we need to finish out the camper, cloth wise.  There were too many choices for me to choose alone so I had to bring James down to be decisive, I like what he picked!  These were the possibles.

I think ultimately the trailer will have the feel of being light and airy, it will be great to see it unfold!

And this is what’s been going on in our life outside of this little project:

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Tiny House Reno – Material List


The weather is getting nicer, that means I’ll get o build shortly!  In preparation I’m getting my material list together for the tiny house renovation.  It’s nothing fancy, just some quick drawings to figure out what I need to see more of the design you can look here.  Here is what I have:

DSC_0061 (2)


  • (17) – 10′ 2x4s – New
  • (3) – 8′ 2x4s – New
  • (1) – 10′ 2x6s – New
  • Nails/Screws – New
  • Tyvek (scrap) – Salvaged
  • TPO Roof OR sealant tape (I will have to patch the window opening in the patio, not sure I want a patched hole or to redo the entire section of roof)
  • (7) 2′ x 10′ corrugated metal sheets – Salvaged
  • Flashing – (I think I have enough left over)
  • 30″ door – Salvaged
  • (8) 3/8″ or 1/4″ drywall/mud/tape – New
  • (2) 1×2 poplar trim – New
  • (3) 1×4 poplar trim – New
  • (6) tubed of caulk – New
  • (4)1-1/2″ insulation, 4’x8′ – Salvage/new
  • (8)2″ insulation, 4’x8′ – Salvage/new
  • 90 degree angle for water heater vent (this will need to be relocated) – New
  • (4) Plywood sheathing – I have
  • (1) bedroom Light fixture – Salvage/New
  • (2) Switches and electrical boxes – New
  • (3) Outlets and boxes – New
  • Electrical wire – New
  • Wood flooring throughout – Salvaged
Bunk beds for the kiddos room!

This I don’t have a material list for, I’ll get that together once I get done with the walls and such.  This bunk bed setup will have storage up above and below, along with a couple roll out storage bins/stools to read bedtime stories.   I will be reusing the co-sleeper I made and converting it into a bunk and using the rail as the toddler rail.  In reality the new baby will be co-sleeping with us for a while (and I’m sure Hazel will find herself back in our area at times too… its what kids do).  So in reality the bottom bunk may be the only one used for a while but I want to have both spaces available.


All the ‘Rules’ I Broke

I get so infuriated when I see people telling others in absolute terms what you can and cannot do to accomplish your tiny house dream.  That is complete BS.  Sure, there are suggested ways, and there are ways that are better than others maybe, and there are valid reasons to have opinions any which way but there is nothing absolute about a tiny house.  It is a fairly complicated equation, anyone that says there is one solution has no idea what they are talking about.  Everything is a give and take and there is definitely more than one way to build one!  So, I want to talk about the ‘rules’ that I broke all along my build, let just say for example.  These are just a few, there are plenty others!

#1 – I built on a used trailer!  Oh Noes! ;-).  When I was building there were no ‘tiny house trailers’, now there are.  Is it a good way to go to get a trailer specifically designed FOR a tiny house, sure!  Is it the only way?  NO!  Sometimes ‘deals’ don’t always work out to be deals when looking at a used trailer but sometimes they do!  It could be a good way to save a buck if you are comfortable inspecting the trailer for structural integrity (check welds, check outriggers, check tires ad axle strength).  Parts may need to be upgraded, assess your costs before making a purchase to verify it’s still a good deal in the end, you may be surprised to find some specialty TH trailers don’t seem as expensive after doing the cost comparison but then again you may find a heck of a deal!  It happens!  Do what is right for you.

#2 – I have a very heavy tile floor – that didn’t pop or shift at all!  Sure I had to make design considerations to make that happen, so I did!  I added a third axle to carry the weight and made sure I hired a truck large enough to pull it.  I added extra bracing to make the frame nice and rigid so if it did flex in transport it did so more uniformly.  You can use flexible grout, decide what your decisions will affect and how to make what  you want to work, work.  I did it.  I moved it.  I have not had a single issue with the tile on my floor OR in my shower.   Do what is right for you.

#3 – My walls are drywall – and not even the thick stuff!  OH no!  Ok, I want to consider a worst case scenario here.  You move and you have places in your house where the drywall cracked.  ANY home improvement stores carry patch kits for drywall.  If you can build a house you can patch drywall.  Sure, may not be the best to use if you plan on moving often, may not be the best to use if you’re a builder who has to guarantee work for others, for me, drywall was the solution.  I also wanted to save on weight and labor so I used 3/8″ thick drywall instead of the standard 5/8″.  If you like drywall, use it.  If you like bubble wrap you can find a way to use it!   Do what is right for you.

#4 – I live with a great dane AND a baby – and it’s officially been 6 months and everyone still smiles every single day (dog included, it’s a good trick!)

Denver does this when he first sees his family, I have yet to get a picture so you're just going to have to imagine this on a goofy great dane!
Denver does this when he first sees his family, I have yet to get a picture so you’re just going to have to imagine this on a goofy grey dane!

Yeah, I heard CONSTANTLY that it will never work, I won’t make it to 7 months pregnant, then I won’t make it through the summer, then the winter… its all horse crap.  I’m here and not a single thing has even been a tough adjustment.  This is just my house.  We play, we wrestle, we sleep, we cook, we eat and we pee here and it all works.  Just. like. other. houses.  Only cheaper!  And easier to keep clean!  Do what is right for you and find your helpers to support you and keep the naysayers at bay! 

Furthermore, I have been both criticized for being ‘ripped off’ for paying ‘that much’ for my house as well as called a liar and been told that ‘there is no way I bought this for that cheap’.  There is no pleasing some people.  What I want to express with this post is that there will always be naysayers, information hoarders, information spouters and pessimists to distract and overcomplicate your path.  Be a doer!  Follow your dreams.  Take those people and their comments as ‘concerned parties’.  If you can hear their ‘concern”, think about it and can provide a logical rebuttal that maintains your path then you’re good, if not adjust your path until you are comfortable with the ramifications.  Thats part of the learning.  There is no need to actually express that rebuttal, just be confident and move forward knowing that not everyone has the tenacity to explore what you are looking at exploring.  Not all of the naysayers deserve any of your attention either. Find your supporters and please do know that there are lots of us out here who want to be good helpers!

There is a great video shared by my friend Sheliah over on the Tiny House People Facebook page, it is worth linking here.

Tiny House Update 9.29.13

I worked my little tail off this weekend in preparation for the photographer coming Monday (because of rain we had to reschedule to Tuesday), my place is looking great!  Hopefully it pictures well for Marc, my photographer friend who has quite a knack for making the mundane look amazing :).  I took some images at the end, not nearly as cool as Marc’s will be but at least there is proof of my workings (I thought I had transferred these over but they didn’t make it into this post, I will post them ASAP)!   So this entry is just about the work we did this weekend and I didn’t get pictures of all of it.  James helped me put the trim around the exterior lights, I cleaned and ironed all the curtains (even though it’s a tiny house there are A LOT of curtains, this was no small undertaking!) and lots of other things that I have no proof of yet but that I will show you all very soon :).

Special thanks to mom and dad for babysitting Denny between now and when Marc comes so that all the cleaning is not in vain and the photos can come out nice and pretty (he is a tornado of mud and slobber!).  Wednesday I am giving a presentation on my house to the National Organization of Women In Construction, this upcoming weekend Extreme Homes UK will be here to film the house as well as James will be turning 34.  Then, next weekend we have an open house on the 12th (all are invited).  After that I officially call this project done and can move on to other projects!  I will update here occasionally about things involving tiny houses, mine in particular, benefits, drawbacks, baby meets tiny house etc.  I also have a couple more smaller projects on my radar to do with it but nothing near as huge as the whole undertaking has been but I will certainly be around.  I also want to put together an e-book of my specific trials and tribulations, what I did for all of my systems and why as well as what I would do differently if I had to do it over again and why.  I also get a lot of requests for my specific floor plan, I’d like to put that together for people to be able to use.  So even though the tiny is wrapping up I will not be disappearing… and of course I will continue to be an active supporter behind the scenes in order to try to make tiny houses more ‘acceptable’ in the main stream.   I appreciate everyone who has supported me through this whole thing and I am SO happy to be so close to the finish line!  Thank you everyone!

Tiny House Update 9.23.13

I have actually been pretty busy working on fixing all of the things on my ‘to-do’ list before the photos are taken in exactly 1 week and certainly before the TV crew gets here in just under two weeks from London.   There has been a lot accomplished and even though its stressful to have this deadline it’s actually great because it means I am actually going to finish all this crap, not just let it sit on my to-do list for months to come!  I am getting very excited to be done, there is one major project that will wait until after the crew has gone, that is winterizing my grey-water set-up but that is OK.  The rest will be done.  The great big awesome accomplishment from this weekend is that I have heat!  I finished hooking up my radiant floor heat and boy, it’s awesome!  The tiles were getting really chilly to walk across in the morning but now I actually get excited to get up and walk across the house :).  Of course if you ask James the big accomplishment is that the shower is cleaned!  He had to step up and finish that because I can’t be playing with the acid if I intend to make a baby with ten fingers and ten toes… he did a great job, that was a pretty big deal to get that cleaned and it probably took him a good 10 hours of scrubbing and spraying…. moral of the story, do a better job than me at grouting, I am pretty sure I am never allowed to grout again.  Last weekend I also got the weeds pulled from the yard and with the help of my brother, who gave me manual labor for my birthday this year, what I guy, right, the lawn was rototiller and planted, I even have little sprouts poking up.  Mom says that fall grass is the best grass, I am hoping so, my spring grass was all burned off with out unusually hot summer!  Maybe this can get in and get started and get strong before summer hits again.   Those are the three big ones, here are some pictures of the other parts, like my electrical closet doors, my trim, cleaning up the paint parts and fixing the dog food drawer that was just a tad too big to work well.  In not particular order here are some pictures: