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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.

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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!