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Overdue for an Update

I have started moving in!  I have been sleeping in the tiny house since my mattress was delivered at the beginning of the month.  It has been glorious to wake up in my loft, hearing the birds outside and feeling so very much at home!  The bathroom isn’t finished yet, there is no electricity and the propane hasn’t been installed yet, up until yesterday there was nothing to sit on and the floors were covered up with cardboard.

Here’s a recap of the work that has been done in the month since my last update:

The bathtub has been built!  The drain was installed, but leaked, so we had to head back to the drawing board and after some consultation and a new drain basket, fingers crossed, I will have a functional tub at the beginning of June.    Here are the tub progress pics.

The toilet bench has also been built.  The final coat of paint is drying as I type this.  The toilet bench also accommodates the winter grey water tank and the fancy grey water plumbing.  I have to attach the piano hinge for the two lids on the bench (one for the toilet and the other for the grey water compartment).  The sawdust will live in a bin that will rest on the grey water compartment.  The toilet will be ready early next week.

The kitchen counter has been installed!  I am really happy with the counter I chose and with the amount of counter there is in the tiny house.  The kitchen sink and faucet were installed and the freshwater plumbing is almost finished, with the exception of the countertop water inlet connection.  As it’s spring, I am all hooked with a potable water hose and I have running water.  The exterior grey water tank or french drain still has to be worked out, but as I am not living in the house full-time yet, it hasn’t been a problem yet.

The HRV units got their boxes, which we filled with spray foam, and then they were finished.  I am really happy with how the HRV units look and I get a bonus space above them to sneak in a knick-knack if the fancy strikes me.

Left to do (nb: this is not an ordered list)

  • Get a welder to come out and weld on the brackets for the propane tanks.
  • Get propane installed.
  • Install the stove and the furnace.
  • Finish the freshwater plumbing.
  • Install the drain and faucet on the tub.
  • Install the lids on the toilet bench.
  • Install ¼” plywood on the front edges of the rafters for the roofers.
  • Get a new roof.
  • Figure out my clothing storage.
  • Install the last of the trim in the bathroom.
  • Install the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
  • Have a house-warming party!

Interior Siding: Part II

This has been a wonderfully busy week for Tiny Refuge.  The replacement for my door finally arrived and it was installed.  The door they originally sent was 1/4″ too short, leaving enough space for the weather to get in. I have been waiting for the new door for months.  Not only do I have a new door, I have a door handle and a deadbolt.  Much fancier than the scraps of 2×4 that were standing in for a door handle.

I spent quite a few hours this week sanding the ridge beam.  I wasn’t sure if the ridge beam was going to be visible or not, so I didn’t get it sanded at the sawmill.  It had a few dark marks on it and was rough enough that you could get splinters if you rubbed it the wrong way.  I  used a palm sander and got that ridge beam smooth.  I am going to leave it exposed and as we installed some of the ceiling this weekend, it needed to be sanded before hand.

By the time Saturday rolled around, the tiny house was ready for some more siding.  Saturday we finished the dormer fronts and  the ceiling in the dormers.  The dormer fronts were pretty straightforward, with far fewer cutouts than the main floor.  The ceiling on the other hand was a little more challenging.  I am using wider boards on my ceiling and unlike the walls, where I manned the saw and Stefan did the installation, we were both up in the lofts getting the boards in place.  We started the installation at the ridge beam and then worked towards the walls.

Sunday, we started tackling the dormer sides and I was up in the loft installing the siding.  Saturday, I used a nail gun (the brad nailer) for the first time and Sunday I was manning the brad nailer.  The dormer sides are slow going.  The angles are slightly different on each one and the top two pieces of siding require cuts on the table saw and the mitre saw.  The tiny house only has space for the mitre saw, so the top two pieces required quite a few trips outside.  We got 5 ½ dormers done and one of the small sections of 12/12 pitch ceiling done in the small loft.

Next weekend: the dormer sides will get finished, as will the ceiling on the rest of the 12/12 ceiling. The bathroom wall will get built and sided and then we start on trim.

Two Days, Three Walls and a Big Blue Box

This past Saturday and Sunday so very much was accomplished.  I am  really happy.   Stefan, the carpenter who has been hired to help with the build, was here bright and early to start building Saturday morning.  The goal for Saturday was to complete the two long walls of the house and we did.  The pace was quick and steady throughout the day.  We built the first wall on the trailer bed, placed the fancy Simpson strong ties to attach the house to the trailer, squared the wall,  tacked it down to the bed of the trailer so that it wouldn’t move, nailed in the strapping, and sheathed it.  The second wall was built on top of the first wall.  We trimmed off about  1 1/2 inches off the top of each of the bolts that are welded to the frame so that we didn’t have to lift the walls any higher than necessary.

It was a huge relief to be working with someone who builds and renovates homes for a living.  I am more than happy to learn from someone else’s mistakes and not worry about making mistakes that could affect the stability of my home.  Stefan spent some time researching and learning about tiny houses.  I really appreciated that while he was looking over the plans for the house he found out why they are built differently than a traditional home.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of what we did on that first day, I don’t usually take pictures or think to take pictures.    Here is a picture of the start of the day:

Laying out the framing for the wall.
Laying out the framing for the wall.

This is what we had at the end of the day:

Two walls on  the trailer.  The end sections of the walls weren't sheathed so that the sheathing could go over the end walls as well.
Two walls on the trailer. The end sections of the walls weren’t sheathed so that the sheathing could go over the end walls as well. The blue sill gasket was put on Saturday morning.  It prevents air from coming in under the wall framing.

Sunday morning, helpers came to help us raise the walls.  Once again, I was very happy to have Stefan there to lead the wall raising.  Negotiating raising the walls, getting them placed on the bolts and then braced went relatively smoothly and was done in under an hour.   One of our helpers, a good friend who came with his children, stuck around for the rest of the day to help.  Yay!

The front wall (by the trailer hitch) was built,  squared, raised and secured into place.  We sheathed that wall once it was in place we sheathed it and the ends of the long walls closest to it.  With rain in the forecast put the tarp in place and worked with it draped over the top of the house as we finished up the afternoon starting on the back wall of the house.  The day ended a little early and I am very happy with what we got done.

It's a wall!
It’s a wall!
Two walls up and braced.
Two walls up and braced.
Securing the walls in place.
Securing the walls in place.
The other construction site of the day. Scrap pieces of wood and bungees are the best!
The other construction site of the day. Scrap pieces of wood and bungees are the best!
Working on the front wall.
Working on the front wall.

Third wall up
Third wall up and strapped.

With the tarp half up.With the tarp half up.

The big blue box!
The big blue box!