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.
(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)
These are the fabrics I picked up today since a store locally was having a HUGE sale, I saved at least 60% on everything, it was hard not to go overboard, but I don’t have the ideas fleshed out just yet so I restrained myself as much as I could… Yellow was James’s idea, I had way too many options in front of me to be able to choose well, he was the much needed decisive one.
As with most of our stuff the hardware accents will be brushed nickle, it’s clean and sleek, we like it.
Rather than white walls we hope to be able to pull off something clean and natural-ish looking with just finished plywood
Low VOC and sustainable is going to be a big helper in making decisions, we feel like having a good floor product that won’t off gas will be critical in such a little space, we’re looking at cork as an option, there are a lot of styles, I think it will be comfy for denver to lay his delicate elbows on and will work hard to hide dirt! Always a plus.
Right now we are debating between wheat board millwork like this
or Kirie board like this, both are made from reclaimed agricultural waste.
both can be pretty beautiful IMO.
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:
I’m building a propane fire pit, out of wood… it will be ok guys, really 🙂
The deck is coming together
We even started staining it!
and making random furniture out of the scraps… because why not
And we got a new BBQ, I have been budget cooking on it
This meal cost under $10, for all three plates… I have this weird thing where I try to compete with myself to make the most healthy/delicious meal for as cheap as possible… I win a lot of the time… 🙂
Hazel got to go swimming at the Y
They bond over matching sippies
This little nugget is growing up!
This one discoverd that she likes ring pops… blue ones if you couldn’t tell
My friend Carissa graduated from High School!
Some step in deck work
The story of our lives
Denver figured out how to use the new couch
These two are pretty decent friends
A night shot, complete with blinky lights!
And this. This is a cute human. He likes driving! (we weren’t really driving, just playing while Hazel napped…)
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:
(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
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.
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!)
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.
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!
Look at Dennys handsome new collar, I thought he needed to get a little more dressed up for TV. This was a gift from Stacey at Just a Smidgeon Tiny house from her business Upcycle Attire, which I think is SO damn creative!
Its still just a bit big for him but it works, he never tries to squirm much anyway.
And if you’ll notice, he’s got a new custom bed. I made this for him Friday. It’s just a left over comforter that I basically made a custom sized pillowcase for so it will just fit right in my home. He digs it.
And this is where his bed goes.
You’ll notice in the previous photo I changed the location of the desk. This allows me to do the dog dish like I wanted to but also, more important, If I want to have a nice candle lit dinner with my awesome partner in crime I have a two sided table to do that on! As a third benefit… now when I sit there to work I can still watch TV… which makes me uber productive… luckily I mostly just have a TV for sound… I don’t actually ‘watch’ most of the shows that are on… they are just background noise 🙂
look at how cozy this is. I don’t think I have mentioned nearly enough either how stinking AWESOME radiant heat floors are… It keeps his bed warm and toasty and is seriously the most comfortable heat I have ever experienced. I am SO glad I forked out the money for the system. Honestly I have always hated tile floors because they are so cold and harsh… I freaking LOVE my floor.. except the color… that should have been different 🙂
The neighbor stopped by and offered to take Denny on a walk with her dog Tucker, Tucker and Denny are BFFs he came back just wiped out, that was SO nice of her. Thanks Michelle!
Just another paw comparison… I think Denny may be beating me now… He’s 26″ tall and 73 pounds, he’s got another 10 inches or so to grow and almost another hundred pounds… crazy! He’s the best dog ever, seriously recommend Danes, they are big sweeties… if you can stand the drool… 🙂 the only down side.
I also went through and fixed all of my drawers. They had settled a little and the spacing wasn’t equal anymore, it was driving me nuts… while I was at it I glued the face of the drawers to the box, before they were just held on with the hardware, it’s much more sturdy now. One of those corners I had cut… should have just done it right the first time 🙂
And, since we were using muriatic acid to clean the shower the fumes started oxidizing all the steel in the house… It went from bright and shiny metal color to pure rust… which I don’t mind but I don’t want rubbing off. I decided to get some steel wool and WD-40 to scrub it back to shiny before sealing it with some rust sealer… which also should have been done from the get-go… but everything in this house has been done the hard way, this is no different.
Wiping off the coats of rust.
ALSO! There is greenery back in the wine bottles I made with Ms. Carissa. It isn’t herbs, I killed all those off in the move by getting distracted with other things, this is my namesake, Artimisia, which will just have to do until next spring when they start selling herbs again. (I was named after a great aunt Artimisia who, for some reason was called Macy for short… I’ve always wished my name was Artimisia!)
The trim is all up in the shower too, I didn’t have tape to hold it in place but I did have band-aids 🙂
They worked like a charm!
It’s hard to see but if you look close it just finishes off that rough edge that I really should have used some schluter edging on… but I missed that opportunity!
And, the barn door got fixed, one side was always a little low. it worked, it just needed to be raised on the one side.
Now the hooks fit just right, before there was about a 1/2″ gap here which made it wobble a lot more, not a deal breaker but annoying…
I’m not sure I ever showed that I got my microwave up either, I had to buy an extension cord for it because it was about 3″ too short to reach the outlet!
And the final piece of the media center got marked off the list too… I ended up going with magnetic holds on the computer door (I have better pictures I will post ASAP of this). I had to epoxy on the pieces of metal because I used such thin boards, I would definitely go a little thicker on my millwork doors next time…
The magnetic backers to hold the door on.
I took Denny to my folks’ place while I cleaned up the whole house (thank you mom and dad, you’re a lifesaver, this place would not be clean if you didn’t snag him in all this rain, that just equals a muddy house). I was able to get on my hands and knees and scrub all the grout that I never sealed before… another shortcut that I now have to go back and fix… I got it nice and clean though and sealed! Looks like a new place!
And this isn’t the best picture but this is my new recliner. I imagine when baby comes I will be sitting here a bit so I am glad it’s comfy… it was a wild card I ordered off of Amazon. I took lots of better pictures with my real camera that I thoguht I transfered over but they didn’t come through, I will post another post with all of those photos of the final shots after the space is all cleaned up. I love it it looks so damn good in there.
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:
Denny man is getting big, he’s probably just a little over 70 pounds now, he’s too big for me to actually pick up an weigh anymore so it’s just a guess. His go-to nap spot was the couch but with the warm floors he likes laying down there now!
Nater doing the dirty work of wrestling the rototiller
Day one of cleaning the grout of the tiles, he finished the big nasty bad wall and made a big dent on the cubbies that were horrible
The floor has a ways to go, there is a lot of grout built up that shouldn’t be. The drain should actually be square 🙂
I kept trying to get a picture of the steam that would come off after he put the muriatic acid on
You can kind of see it here, I took a video of it but just like me I am sort of dopey when it comes to being able to attach those sorts of things.
Nater also got me a fruit basket for my birthday, it has all sorts of things I’ve never had that are delicious! That watermelon is yellow inside and SO good!
And also, who has a stove, this girl!
It took me a little while to figure out how to light it but now it goes like a dream, this is the pilot light that was on but not lit that I think I can blame for the previous gas smells.
Thought I would try it out and make some cookies, not from scratch 🙂
It worked, there were a coupel technical difficulties that made the cookies not turn out super well, first they were frozen then I was trying to regulate the temperature but it turns out the stove actually does do that, i thought it wouldn’t be that advanced because it’s older but I should have just left it alone.
Denver dog has his moms grace and coordination… and now he’ll have a big ole scare on his head…
James took him for a walk to the ponds by our house and he got distracted by a pile of glass then excited to run so he just took off full speed without looking where and ran straight into a log that was laying on the ground… I guess it was a pretty loud conk but no yelp… he got himself pretty good though.
And back to the work this last weekend… We are building out the frame of the electrical closet, there is no wood to nail too so we are building up some supports that will hold the doors.
The top gets fastened to the roof/bedroom floor above
The bottom board of the frame goes in too
The first door needed a couple notches to fit around some fixed trailer parts, the first being in the corner where a little piece of angle iron cut across the opening.
The second is a little notch to fit around a protruding piece on the hydrolic lift.
The notch completed… almost
And the piece it had to go around
Like a glove!
Mounting the hinges
The second panel is a fixed panel that sits behind the trailer lift. The electrical panel sits behind this, if I had better forethought I would have designed this differently as it is it will work… You’ll notice the second smaller panel next to the big one too, that is for my radiant floor. I put it on an entirely different panel so that it will have it’s own plug, right now I am just using a splitter and have a 15 amp power cord running my entire house. If that ever becomes a problem I can use two different circuits and split off my floor heating which is probably the main draw at the end of the day. I am happy to see that I don’t need that right now though.
And all three panels mounted, finally!
Two open to allow access. This is where my extra dog food will be stored until I go off grid and then this is where the solar batteries will be stored. They do better in enclosed/protected spaces I’ve heard so I wanted to allow for this in my initial design even though I don’t plan on having solar for a few years.
And the latch into the structure above that allows me to keep these locked. It’s kind of nice to have a little outdoor storage area in my tiny house for garden tools and things too.
Here are the wires coming through to the cabinet inside where I will have my thermostat mounted, again, better forethought would have had this on the wall near outside but this works too and it’s kind of nice to not have ti clutter up my wall, since it is measuring from the sensor embedded in the floor it is ok that it is enclosed. Usually you’d want it out to measure the air temperature but radiant heat is a little different set up.
Here is that other panel, there is a power in and a 15 amp GFCI breaker in there only for the floor, so far so good 🙂
Hooking it all up, going purely off of what I have learned from reading up on electrical because I lost the install guide 🙂
Who is awesome though?! That’s right, I did actually LEARN this stuff and was able to get it up and going! It works SO GOOD!
And day two/three of grout cleaning, James is stoked to be done in there!
You can start to see the stones again! Wewt!
The drain is actually square again too!
Also went through and notched all those boards in my kitchen shelves that need it.
now all the slats sit flush and purty
I don’t think I ever showed my pot/pan/utensil hanging bar either, like everyone seems to do because it’s such a great space saving idea I hung an ikea bar under the lower shelf to put my pots and pans and things on, works like a dream and I think it looks cool too.
And my new tv, I went with a 32″ to fit in my media center, and I got my books brought over, I think that is all that made the cut. Originally this was just one big book shelf but when I thought about how many books I was really going to have after downsizing I decided to design it as a media center/bookshelf instead, I have a computer tower stored below that is hooked up to the tv as a monitor so i can work here too.
And mom finished the last baby quilt block! its an adorable satin leopard. I think i am missing one from the line-up, either the hippo or the rhino, I’ll have to do an update on that soon. 🙂
Putting some trim up on the shower since I forgot to do the schluter edge… there are lots of ‘lack of forethought’ mistakes in this house, I just find other ways to cover them, otherwise I would have never made forward progress. Even though it isn’t perfect I am happy with all of my mistakes
And the awesome dog food drawer, I am happy to have fixed this, the bag of dog food has been just sitting in the shower… now it has a home, this will hold a 40 # bag of dog food and just sits under the stove. Another person might use something like this for pots and pans, I like big dogs though, so this is his pantry… 🙂
the acid did a number on my steal. this is the barn door side that was exposed to the fumes…
this is the other side that is pretty normal. It rusted the crap out of things! ill have to run through and scrub that off and seal it if I want it to stay silver.
And this is a harvest moon rising at the ponds where we walk Denny just by our house. it looks like a sun rise, the picture is cool but does no justice, it was neato
And at the birthday bbq bash James Nephew and nice were trying out my glasses, Ben looks so mischievous!