Name Reveal

Take a look at The Lilac:

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Every cottage and small home that is well loved has a name, and so I’ve named my tiny house The Lilac. The home I grew up in had a lilac bush in the yard, and my mum would sometimes bring in the flowers for the dining room table. The scent of lilacs remind me of home. ❀ They’re purple too!

To finish up the exterior, I built a front step:

I finally got around to scraping off all the window stickers:

And I added a couple little blocks of trim around the porch floor:

Also, my boots have taken a beating…

Now I’m onto electrical! Wish me luck!

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A Week in the Life

Last year I did a post like this, called A Day in the Life, but so much has changed, and I’ve been busy getting my siding up almost every day. πŸ™‚ I’ve been working hard!

Friday

I get up, eat some cereal and yogurt, then tie up my boots and head out to the tiny house.

I cut pieces to length, with the angles for the joints.

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I’m getting good at these cuts!

I stain edges, and get my sister to help me put up a few rows. My mum also helps for a bit. I get 4 rows done.

Then I go get ready for work. I work for 4 hours, until 9pm.

My sister and I go to the drive-in and see Wonder Woman and Everything, Everything. πŸ™‚

We get home and I go to sleep at 2am.

Saturday

I get up, eat cereal and yogurt, then go outside.

Some friends of friends happen to drive by, and see me in the yard. They pull in and ask for a tour, which I’m happy to give. We talk for a bit about systems and parking.

Then I cut boards.

I stain the cut edges. I don’t have help today.

I get ready for work, and work for 5 hours. It was crazy busy.

I go out for burgers with my best friend after work.

Sunday

I get up and eat more cereal and yogurt. I’m addicted at this point. πŸ˜›

I go outside and get ladders, sawhorses, and boards set up.

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I cut, stain, and put up some small boards on the front of the house.

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Nails set in a piece for the front wall.

I cut some boards for the back.

Steph helps for a bit, but then she has to work. I have Sundays off. πŸ™‚

Mum helps me get the rest of the boards up on the side walls! She also helps me get a few rows up on the back wall. 13 rows up!

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I think I hit a nail… πŸ˜›

I finish up around 9pm, then go inside to enjoy my well-deserved supper and Netflix. πŸ™‚

Monday

I wake up early and take my car in to get all-season tires put on (finally).

I start working on the house, and get some cutting and staining done since I don’t have help today. I get some little pieces up around the front window.

A woman who walks past every day calls out, “You’re doing a good job!” as she goes by.

I make myself some food, get ready for work, and work for a few hours.

I spend my evening with friends and we get take-out quesadillas after work. πŸ™‚

Tuesday

I sleep in a little bit after staying up late, then get out to do some more cutting and staining.

I don’t have help today, but I try to get all the pieces I’ll need ready for tomorrow, when I have a friend coming to help.

A friend texts to ask if he can bring his dad to show him the house, and I tell them to come on over.

I give a little tour, and receive compliments on a job well done. πŸ™‚ “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

I go get ready for work, and work for a few hours.

I spend the evening with friends again, and we get Subway.

Wednesday

I wake up early, eat, and get out to the house earlier than usual. I get the last few boards for the back wall cut, and I’m staining the ends when my friend shows up to help.

The first two pieces are a pain, and one splits after it’s already nailed down. 😦 We move on to the back wall, and get 17 rows up before he has to leave to get ready for work.

I get my mum to help for a half hour, and we get 4 more rows up.

Then I get ready for work, and I work for a few hours.

I come straight home, change my clothes, and go out to the house. I measure and cut two angled boards for the end walls in the last hour of daylight.

Then I go in and enjoy my food and Netflix before bed.

Thursday

I sleep in a little bit then have my cereal and yogurt (it keeps me full while I build!)

I get in a few hours of work on the house.

I don’t have help today, but I’m working on the front wall around the octagon.

I cut and test-fit and stain, and since the pieces are short, I’m able to nail them up by myself. I get 3 rows up.

I get ready for work, then I work for a few hours.

I come straight home again and ask for Mum’s help.

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We get 2 more rows up on the back before it gets completely dark.

I go out to put gas in my car, pick up some groceries, go to the bank, and I get a burger while I’m out.

Then I finally get to sit, relax with some TV, then a bit of reading before bed. ❀

~

The siding is far from perfect. Gaps here, splits there, less than perfect joints, extra nails… it looks great from a distance. But done is better than perfect, and the siding was definitely doing its job as it poured rain today (I finally took a break). I’ve ordered some caulking in a brown that matches my siding, and I still have a few little pieces to put up and some screw holes to fill and paint over. Then I’ll show you my fully dressed beautiful little house. ❀

Because I Can

Back in December, work on the tiny house slowed to a halt – snow came early, I got sick, then it was Christmas and time to give myself a break from the tiny house build for the holidays. As a Christmas present to myself, I bought the queen-sized mattress that will go in the tiny house. I bought the thinnest one I could find, 5″ thick, and it was on sale! πŸ™‚ The thinner the mattress, the more headroom I’ll have in the loft.

In the meantime, instead of putting the mattress on the floor, I decided to build a platform for it, because I can do that sort of thing. πŸ™‚ I wasn’t going to spend several hundred dollars on a particle board bed frame when I won’t even need it in the tiny house. Besides, if I can build a house, a simple platform is an easy project. It only took me an afternoon (plus a lot of trips to different hardware stores to collect materials). It cost about $150 in materials, which is more than a cheap metal frame, but oh well! Plus I bought extra materials for a potential headboard, so the platform alone cost less than that. I’m pretty proud of it!

I’ve been pretty down this month, disappointed in myself for not getting the siding up in time for winter and trying to figure out what to do next. It’s tough, being solely responsible for this massive project, with no one to kick me out of bed to work on it except myself. My bed is so comfy! As much as I enjoy having full control over how I spend my time, I don’t always spend it wisely. Watching TV is more immediately appealing than going out and getting work done on the house. I’m learning to balance everything, to motivate myself, to plan small specific steps, to get out there even if it’s snowing. πŸ˜› By this fall, I intend to be sleeping in the loft of my finished tiny house, so I just have to keep working towards that. ❀

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Up on Ladders

I have the week off work and my dad’s home from Ottawa! With his help, I’ve been working away at my (not-so) tiny to-do list.

Goals for the week:

  • Fix the ridge
  • Finish the house wrap
  • Add the ridge caps (and foam closure strips)
  • And at Dad’s suggestion: install the door!

Sunday:

The collar ties didn’t seem to be doing their job after all, as the walls were spread wider at the top than they should’ve been. The collar ties would theoretically stop us from being able to pull the walls in, so Dad yanked the nails out and took them down.

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My dad, the happy camper

I made new, longer collar ties (and sanded them this time).

I had already bought 10′ 2x4s to jack up the ridge again (having used up all the long lumber I had) and Dad screwed two together in a “T” for strength. We used that and it was much sturdier than the previous time I did this. I shouldn’t have to do this again!

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We jacked the roof up to just slightly higher than where I wanted it, and installed two collar ties, lower this time. This also pulled the walls in to where they were supposed to be. We added some hurricane ties to the four rafters, tying them to the walls. Then we moved the jack to raise the roof in a second spot for the last two collar ties. Those ties are difficult to put into the corners with the roof on, and it was getting dark, so we called it a day.

We brought out a light, a little stove, and had supper together in my little house! We had soup and hot chocolate in my future living room. πŸ™‚

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The lights are on, somebody must be home!

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Monday:

I spent Monday doing a little shopping. I looked at flooring! I’m mostly decided on a dark brown hand-scraped engineered hardwood, but I’m nervous about picking something too dark. I like dark wood stains; I just don’t want a dark colour to make the tiny house seem small. I like the hand-scraped because it looks and feels a little worn in rather than shiny new, and when I inevitably dent or scratch it, it will blend in. I want engineered hardwood because it’s thinner (and lighter) than hardwood, and it expands/shrinks less than hardwood. But I don’t want laminate or anything cheap, because I enjoy walking around barefoot and I want something that feels real underfoot. It’s a small enough space so I can afford to get something that’s more expensive per square foot.

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A sample of stained hickory on top of a popular colour of laminate.

A lighter colour might be the safer choice, but I want a flooring I love.

As for the bathroom, I was thinking of doing cork, because it’s warm and cushy on the feet, it doesn’t absorb water, and it’s a renewable material. But I hadn’t found a style of cork I liked, until…

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White cork!?

The reason I went flooring shopping was to find out how thick of a flooring I’m going to get. I needed to know how much clearance I needed for the swing of my front door. I might not buy the flooring until after I’ve finished building my kitchen though.

Tuesday:

I got a massage as a treat to my poor shoulders, and then proceeded to spend the rest of the day (after a nap) hammering to finish adding the brackets to the rafters. So that might’ve defeated the purpose of the massage. Dad and I also went for a hike and had hot chocolate again, this time by a waterfall! Tiny houses, to me, are partly meant to encourage you to go outside more, and it’s already working! πŸ˜›

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Because the brackets had to go in tight corners, it was such a pain to get the nails in. I’d guess each bracket with its eight nails took about 100 hits, making that 2200 swings of a hammer to get all the brackets in. Oww.

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Wednesday:

I spent Wednesday working on the top strips of house wrap, so more hammering and more shin bruises from ladders.

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I’m enjoying just getting out there and getting to work. It’s not often we single task these days. Focusing on one physical task and doing only that thing makes me feel a lot less scattered and stressed. So did the yoga class Dad and I went to in the evening. πŸ™‚ It’s shaped up to be a great week!

Thursday:

I had a lot of little things on my to-do list for Thursday, including several trips to different hardware stores for buying and returning. And I managed to check everything off my list by the end of the day!

I finished the last piece of house wrap, took the support beam out – the collar ties are holding, and did some measuring especially for the door.

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I bought wood to frame the door (the rough opening is a lil bit big), shims, caulking, and a doorknob! I also returned some extra brackets. I brought back half of the plastic capped nails for a refund of $46! I don’t know what happened with numbers there, but I did not need them all!

I’ve been keeping my tiny house Excel document up to date with my spending and time log.

Then I spent my evening with friends. πŸ™‚

I’m taking the build one day at a time and trying to keep some balance.

Friday:

A source of stress (and nightmares) for me has been rain and my subfloor. I know that before the roof was up, water got below my subfloor. Water can be very bad for a house!

I tested the floor by cutting out a small puck of wood to see the underside:

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Dry, with no rot or mold! PHEW.

I will test another spot or two later. There is some water sitting on top of the insulation, unfortunately. Once the house in sealed for the winter, I’ll be able to heavily de-humidify the space. I’m very glad I chose spray foam and not wool or Roxul insulation, and plywood instead of OSB. It’s worth the money to not have your materials disintegrate or turn to mush!

With that little piece of mind, I worked on getting the door opening ready! I also added house wrap to my porch ceiling, which will get covered later by some art hopefully. πŸ™‚

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All taped up. I cut open the entrance window so I’ll be able to hop in and out when we’re installing the door.

I’ve worked after dark a few times, a consequence of sleeping in, but it gets dark earlier and earlier…

Cheers!

P.S. This is my 200th post!

Little Bit of Building

The same weekend I had to order smaller skylights, I had a build day planned, but I had expected to have the skylights installed already. So I switched tracks and decided to get some little things done, then put up the house wrap.Β  That was before I read up on staples versus plastic capped nails though, and any hardware store that would have the latter was closed. It worked out, because all the little things ended up taking hours longer than I had planned, so we didn’t have time to do the house wrap anyway.

My goals for the build day were:
– Trim around the wheel wells (I need a bigger gap so I can seal it with big beads of caulking)
– Add the angled pieces to frame the octagon window
– Put in the collar ties
– Cut a piece of plywood for the porch ceiling
– Cut out the windows

We only got one wheel well trimmed, because the guys were distracted cutting each other’s hair. πŸ˜›
Then I cut some angled pieces for the octagon, test-fitted those, then Dylan hammered some nails in all the corners. On the outside, Dylan used a chalk line around the nails to mark the shape of the window, then tapped the nails out, and drilled holes in each corner.

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Then we used a jigsaw to cut out the rough shape, cleaned up the edges, and test-fitted the window, which did not fit! It was so frustrating! All the other windows are slightly smaller than their rough openings to allow for shimming. With the octagon, I guess they made the smallest one they could, which is exactly 18″, just like the rough opening. We ended up having to hack away at the 2×4’s with a recip. saw (which I don’t like to use) and a jigsaw to give the window enough wiggle room. It took hours to make that window fit and add in the angled pieces. But it looks beautiful. πŸ™‚

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Just test-fitting, don’t get too excited. πŸ˜›

Then I cut the 2×4’s for the collar ties and we got to work on the inside of the house. Getting them at the right height as per the engineer’s instructions was a little difficult and looks weird, but we got them up! They’re a lot higher than we pictured, but it’s because my roof has such a low slope.

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Looking up…

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Putting my feet up after a day of building πŸ™‚

We didn’t get the piece cut for the porch ceiling or cut out the windows, but that’s okay. It’s better to plan a lot and not get it all done than to only have one thing to do, get it done, and then have time but nothing to do. As long as I’m moving forward I’m happy. And we ended the 30Β° day with slushies and a swim in the pool. πŸ™‚

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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