The Long Update

A lot has happened since the end of October. I haven’t been blogging because I was more focused on getting as much physical work done as I could before winter.

I, with help from friends, got the last few sheets of the first level of plywood up:

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This is the far side.

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Even though I’m not anywhere near where I’d hoped I would be by now, it’s still amazing to see the progress that I’m making. I imagined this and now I’m making it real! It used to be just a drawing, then it was a custom trailer, then I had it insulated, added a sub-floor, designed and built my own walls, and then added sheets of wood that are bigger than me onto the outside! It might be a tiny house, but it’s a pretty big deal to me.

One of the main reasons I haven’t been blogging or working on the house recently is because I got a second job at the end of October, so I’ve been busy making money.

I did manage to get out a couple of times, to add the plywood in the pictures above, and to work on my rafters some more:

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I only made 4 pairs of rafters to support the ridge board when it first goes up. That way, if I made them a little off, then I can make an improved template to make the rest from, rather than having every single rafter be less than ideal.

I bought a fancy ladder and a sander, both on sale 🙂

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My very own sander 🙂

The revised plan was to sand my beams for the loft, get those in, get some rafters and the ridge board up, get some plywood on the roof, and tarp the house really well for winter. But the temperature was dropping fast, and with me working 6 days a week and having it rain on my only day off, things weren’t looking good…

Then I found a warehouse to store my house for the winter! That took a thousand pounds of stress off my chest. For $75 a month, I’ll have peace of mind knowing that winter won’t be destroying my little house, and I’ll be able to take a much-needed break.

But there was still work to be done. I had my siding delivered:

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Then I finally got an email saying my windows were in, 5 weeks after they had told me it would take 3 or less. I was not impressed, and neither were any of my friends. So Dylan, his brother Dan, his brother’s girlfriend Tasha, and I all went up to the building store with the van and the truck, ready to pick up my windows and maybe do some yelling.

The whole window order has been stressing me out since I found out they weren’t ordered in August like I wanted. It means that despite spending thousands of dollars at their store on lumber and plywood, I wasn’t taken seriously. Altogether I’ve waited 11 weeks for my windows. They wouldn’t have made a contractor wait that long, and they would’ve been much more accommodating. Other tiny house builders, usually couples, talk about how they’ve made friends at the building stores and how everyone knows them there so that’s what I expected. Despite some warning signs on my first few trips to hardware stores, I wasn’t prepared for how I’ve been treated. It’s frustrating and I dread going to the building store. People were telling me to take Dylan or his dad or someone with me, and it makes me angry that I don’t get taken seriously on my own. I’m a paying customer and I should be taken seriously regardless of being young and female. So I won’t be spending my money at that building store anymore.

But I had to get my windows, so we all went in, and found out that my skylights weren’t in. That was part of my window order and I was not happy. Then Dan piped up and asked where the hell our discount was, and the guy totally tried to get out of it. Then I stepped up and reminded him that I waited 6 weeks the first time, which he also tried to get out by saying I never actually confirmed the order, but I know I told him I wanted them ordered and wanted to pay for them. But I waved him off and continued, telling him that then he told me they would be three weeks or less FIVE weeks ago. He was quick to deny that, saying it had only been four, and I told him they were still late and he had messed up my timeline. I couldn’t have siding put up so I was losing out on a deal on that, and I was having to store my project because I didn’t have windows in. He grumbled and gave me a teeny 5% off, saying there’s not much he can do on custom windows, which I can understand. I saved about $100 and I was happy to get anything off. Plus he offered to store the windows, which made things easier for me.

As for the skylights, he had to “check on those”. He mumbled something about a plant closing for two weeks, but I couldn’t care less if a plant closed, my skylights are stock windows, not custom, and they were only supposed to take 3-4 days. He told me they’d be ready in 3-4 days, implying to me that he hadn’t even ordered them at all. I was at a loss for words I was so angry.

Then a different guy, who I ordered my door from, came around the corner and said my door was in. I ordered the door around the same time I re-ordered my windows, but he told me it would take 6 weeks, so I was happily surprised to get it a week early. That’s how you should do business. Don’t tell people it’s going to take 3 weeks when it will take more, ’cause they’ll be mad. Anyways, here are the pictures:

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They look so tiny! But at least they’re proportional.

I’m a little disappointed with my entrance window, because it was supposed to be 6″ taller, but it was my mistake. I framed it wrong and since I had to re-order my windows, I decided to stick with the mistake and changed the window size on the order instead of cutting apart my wall. But I’m sure I’ll like it when I’m done. Maybe I’ll put a cute little shelf over the window where that extra six inches of glass was supposed to be.

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A custom tiny door!

I was worried about the door, because I wanted a window but I also wanted the paneling. This is what they made and I’m happy with it 🙂 It’s a really short door to fit under the loft, but it’s a standard width.

Then we had to get ready to get the house on the road. I’d already arranged for a friend of a friend who’s a professional at towing trailers to move the house on my one day off. Dylan and I moved all of my materials into the house for storage to free up the garage for the winter:

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Then the guy tried to back out at the last minute saying he was busy, despite the fact that I’m paying him, but we put pressure on him and he showed up.

I had the ridge board and rafters ready to go, but left them off. They would’ve added more height and it wouldn’t have been that strong without all of the rafters in.

Getting the trailer onto the hitch was a little upsetting to watch, especially since there was water pouring out the end of the trailer somehow (the sub-floor plus rain is a whole ‘nother story):

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Tiny house on the move!

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Tiny house on the road!

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I didn’t plan on moving the house until it was done, but here it is!

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Tiny house in a warehouse 🙂

The professional driver – who I paid $100 to move the house safely – pinched the wire on the light harness while jack-knifing into the warehouse, so I’m not very happy about that. The lights still work though.

It’s a good thing the ridge board wasn’t up, because it might not have made it through the warehouse door! Thankfully everything worked out.

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All tucked in for winter.

So after six months of stress and learning, I’m going to snuggle in and enjoy my winter. I’ll still be doing some research, working on my steps list, and posting on here occasionally, but I’ll also be taking the time to get back to my little personal projects and hobbies that got pushed aside this summer.

Oh, and we got the tiny house stored just in time. We had a rainstorm and over 50mm of rainfall the weekend after moving the house, then right after that, it snowed and the ground stayed white for a little while. The temperature went up again, but winter is coming…

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Here are some pictures of the emptiness the house left behind:

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Ta ta for now.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JessandTim
    Nov 28, 2015 @ 18:47:39

    Way to go for getting all your ducks in a row! Glad you’re not taking any bull from the hardware store. Even though I’m building a tiny house with my boyfriend, I don’t get taken seriously sometimes either. I’ll ask a question, and they’ll answer to my boyfriend. So frustrating.

    Also had similar woes with our windows – we ordered ours well in advance, hoping to have them before we started framing. They told us 3 weeks. it took 3 months! Couldn’t believe it. So it isn’t just you, or that particular store. Seems that custom windows, at least in Atlantic Canada, are a huge hassle. Enjoy your winter, can’t wait to see what the spring brings! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Nov 28, 2015 @ 19:52:08

      Thanks 🙂 Yeah, I remember going in with my boyfriend to get my roofing that I’d ordered, and even though I stepped up to the counter and Dylan hung back, the guy still turned to Dylan and asked him what he could help him with.
      I was talking to a couple other women who ordered from the same store and they had even more trouble than I did. Sigh.
      Yes, I’ll be able to be excited in the spring instead of just stressed 😛 I’m just impatient for the interior stuff.

      Reply

  2. Genevieve
    Dec 17, 2015 @ 01:15:28

    Young and female, old and female, we all get the same treatment when in male-dominated shops. I’ve been disregarded, disrespected and ignored when in building supplies stores and lumber yards. But then another woman building a Tiny House told me a trick she had when she walked in one for the first time. She stuck out her hand to shake the hand of the first guy she met who worked there, introduced herself, got his name and then said, “Hi I’m building a house in the area. Can you help me?” By doing this she introduced her wallet first, before they got a whiff of her gender and could dismiss her. She didn’t say Tiny, but sometimes she even called herself a Contractor. I tried this in the next few places I went and it made a HUGE difference for me. I’ve also found that the younger guys in the stores tend to be more able to address me and my needs as a legitimate builder. Introduce your wallet first, helps a bunch.

    I’m sorry you are having to deal with that kind of issue. It’s maddening and frustrating, and makes me so angry I want to kick tires. Good luck with your build. And thank you for writing about it. Plus the pictures!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Dec 17, 2015 @ 16:20:39

      I had someone suggest I change the way I dress when I go in, always wear something covered in dirt or paint and wear my work boots.
      For a while I refused to act differently than any other paying customer. I shouldn’t have to do anything different. They should treat me the same if they want me to spend my money there. Now, I’m learning better how to hold my ground when they don’t treat me right.
      Thanks for leaving a comment! It’s always good to know that people are reading. 🙂

      Reply

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Quotes

"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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