Self-Evaluation & Stories: Part 2

Phases 1 and 2 continued:

Phase 2, Step 1: Keeping Track of Your Money –Β  In December 2013, I started keeping track in a notebook anything tiny house related that I bought. I knew I wanted to keep a record.

Phase 2, Step 7: Filling Your Toolbox – For Christmas in 2013, my parents gave me my first tool, a tape measure. I’ve been slowly collecting tools ever since, and for Christmas 2014, my parents gave me almost every tool I’ll need.

Phase 2, Step 3: Reading and Watching – I got my first tiny house video and book the same Christmas I got the tape measure. Since then, I’ve bought all the “must have” tiny house books and videos from the big names in the movement. The only thing I’m missing is a video subscription for Tiny Home Builders, but I’m waiting on that until I get around to watching the Tiny House Build DVDs.

Phase 2, Step 9: Planning – In March 2014, I started a PowerPoint presentation and filled the slides with pictures of tiny houses, lists of tools, and a simple steps list. This year, I’m working on a more detailed list. I should have more of it done, but I’m still learning as I go and filling in the blanks as they appear.

Phase 1, Step 18: Creating a Tentative Budget – I started an all-encompassing budget in March 2014, with many different categories, a column for my estimated cost, and a column for the actual cost. I also made a spreadsheet for my spending. Since creating the Excel document, I’ve separated the budget into 3 phases (unrelated to my steps list). The phases are 0.5 – before the build, 1 – the shell, and 2 – the interior. It makes the totals less intimidating πŸ˜›

Phase 1, Step 12: Visiting a Real Tiny House – I did this one a little late because I wasn’t going to pay to fly down to the U.S. to stay in a tiny house for a weekend. It just wasn’t in the budget. However, on my trip to Toronto in May 2014, I arranged to visit Natalie’s tiny house in Quebec. It was really great to step inside a tiny house, and even my skeptical dad agreed it seemed spacious. Then, when I was visiting my grandparents in Quebec that July, they mentioned a tiny house parked just down the road! My grandfather and I stopped by and got a tour of a Tumbleweed model πŸ™‚

Phase 2, Step 5: Going to a Workshop – My mum found a great deal on Tumbleweed workshop tickets, so I purchased two and went to their Toronto workshop in May/June 2014 with my dad. I was a bit disappointed by the presentation, but I got to meet Guillaume from Tiny House Giant Journey!

Phase 2, Step 4: Blogging – I started this blog shortly after getting home from the workshop. I’d spent money and finally had something more concrete to share than my quiet internet research and tool collecting. I was also overflowing with the things I’d learned. I wanted to share everything I knew to help other tiny housers, and to keep a record for myself.

Phase 2, Step 8: Practicing – My dad and I built a shed together in August 2014 so I could practice building, and in October I started a wood hobby course to learn how to build my own kitchen cabinets and other furniture.

Phase 1, Step 8: Researching the Rules – I should’ve done this step A LOT earlier, but I avoided it because it seemed difficult and day dreaming was more fun. I did a couple of Google searches looking for building codes, but there didn’t seem to be any free information. All I found were expensive, thick books on the subject. I didn’t even know to research zoning codes in my area. One thing I did do was research some road restrictions, and that gave me a maximum size for the house. Finally, in January of this year, I went down to both the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the county zoning office and asked my questions.

Phase 2, Step 10: Collecting – I have been avoiding this step on purpose. Some people find a focus piece they love and build their house around that piece. Some people collect piles of salvaged materials in advance. Others buy things on sale that they know they’ll need later. I didn’t do any of those things. I’ve refrained from buying things for my future house because my money’s limited. I’m taking it one step at a time. If I do buy stuff though, I try to only buy things I can picture in my tiny house. And because of my love of kitchen utensils, glassware, and more, I’ve stopped myself from buying any of that. I need a house first.

Phase 2, Step 11: Deciding – Even with all the research I’ve done, I’m still undecided about a lot of things, even if I’m leaning in one direction. Most of my decisions happen at the last minute, like deciding to get the trailer delivered and choosing spray foam over Roxul. I don’t recommend last minute decisions, but that’s just how things are going for me.

Phase 1, Step 9: Finding Land – This is another step I should’ve done earlier. My parents agreed early on to let me build on their property, but I don’t plan on living here. Finding a spot to put my tiny house is pretty important, but moving the house is the last part of the build so I have time. I used to look at all the empty side yards on my way to work, but zoning prevents me from living in town. New development: I talked to someone I know who lives in an un-zoned area, and they’re open to the idea of having a tiny house on their property! There’s still the question of how sewage, water, and electricity will work out, but finding someone who’s willing to host my little house is amazing πŸ™‚

I’m still planning and deciding as I go, but with the trailer being delivered next week, it’s almost time to start physically building! On to phase 3, the shell!


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"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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