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!


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.


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!


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™‚


The lights are on, somebody must be home!




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.


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…


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.


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˜›


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.



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


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!


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.



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.


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:


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™‚


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…


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.


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™‚


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.


Looking up…


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™‚

Shopping Ban: Month #2

I did pretty well avoiding shopping and convenience stores in June. I did break the rules a few times, but I’m okay with that. The point of all this is to spend less and to pay attention to my spending, not to deprive myself. The disappointing part is that I’m over budget again in almost every category. But I still managed to surpass my tiny house savings and emergency savings goals!

I tracked my spending a little differently this past month. For the first time, I separated money I spend on other people (especially on food) from my own spending. So this month, I spent $95 on Dylan and friends, buying food and treats, mostly for helping me out with the build. But instead of this lowering my own food spending, it just gave me room to spend more, and I ended up being $103 over the high end of my food budget range this month. Avoiding corner stores led to more eating lunch out, I think.

I actually did better this month with personal spending. I bought a few things at a specialty store when Dylan and I were across the province; I wasn’t going to miss out on that and I’m still happy with my purchases. I spent $4 to get a spare key cut for my car, I allowed myself $20 for scratch tickets, and I splurged on my favourite pens and paper (because I ran out/was running low). I also bought one kitchen tool (even though I’m not supposed to buy kitchen stuff until I have my own kitchen – but that’s my own rule) because it was included in a promotion to support Fort Mac, and I’d been actively wanting it while I cooked. And that’s it, adding up to a total of $125! Last month I spent almost double that, so yay improvement, but it’s surprisingly difficult to buy absolutely nothing!

I worked on the house 9 days in June, plus 2 days of research, and multiple trips to hardware stores. I’m definitely getting better at being firm with hardware store staff and getting what I need without being treated like a little girl.

Oh and as for convenience stores, I broke the rule about 3 times (compared to at least 10 trips in May), only when the grocery store was already closed, and not while I was at work.

Maybe I’m a big weirdo for being 20 and keeping detailed track of all this stuff, but guess what? I’m meeting my goals. I have goals. I have savings. I have plans. Besides, how are you supposed to improve when you don’t know where you’re at? I’ve been keeping track of my income and spending since I was 15 and got my first job. Maybe I’m the odd one out at my age, but why should I care? Maybe this is all too much info, but how are we supposed to learn and improve and teach each other if we keep quiet about our spending? We aren’t taught in school how to make and stick to a budget, how to plan out our groceries (which I sucked at this month), how to save, how to do all these things that are relevant to our daily lives, so we have to figure it out on our own.

For July, I’m going to keep avoiding shopping and convenience stores, while working on cutting back on restaurants/take-out/fast food.


A Day in the Life

June 17th

I ignore my 8 and 9 o’clock alarms, and decide I deserve a little more sleep. I drag myself out of my comfy bed around 10:30. I eat some waffles.

I go visit my dad before he leaves for Ontario again, and spend an hour or so chatting.

I get back to Dylan’s and find out he needs to go to the RMV. After he finds all the right papers, we go to the office and there’s no one else there. It only takes about 10 minutes, and then we decide to go out for lunch.

We go to a sit-down restaurant and order, eat, and get brownie sundaes for dessert.

We get home, and I curl up on the couch, wanting a nap after eating so much.

Dylan goes to get T.O. and I go out to the garage.

At 3 o’clock, we start getting everything out to finish the roof sheathing.

I load my nail gun and count the remaining nails.

First, we cut the piece of plywood for the little porch wall:


Still using the fence my mum and I made. (Don’t worry, we moved the sawhorses before cutting)

Then we test-fit it, trim it, then glue and nail it.


Still have to sheath the porch ceiling.

I’ve had some nosy acquaintances poking around in the house when I’m not around, so we wanted to close it up. However, I wasn’t ready to put in my real door, and I don’t want it to get beat up during construction.

So Dylan works on making a temporary door.

While he works on the door, T.O. and I measure for the missing strips on the end of the house, and draw them onto a sheet of plywood.

The three of us wistfully talk about things we could be doing on such a nice sunny day, like hanging out in my hammock, swimming in T.O.’s pool, BBQing, drinking beer and frozen lemonades, and going for a bike/long board ride.

We install the door (and I get trapped on the inside while they put it up).


Oh, and Dylan’s dad gave us some temporary front steps!


It has a lock and everything. πŸ™‚

With those two things out of the way, we turn our attention to the roof.


Last bit of sunshine before we close it up!

I test-fit the strips of plywood, which are a little too wide.


Roof selfie while I wait for the guys. I like it up there!

The guys trim the strips of plywood while I get the glue ready and hammer in some temporary spacer nails.

They pass the strips up, I test-fit them, then pass one back down. They trace it onto the other 4 strips. They pass it back up.

I start gluing. They trim the next two strips while I carefully place and nail the first two strips. Easy peasy.

They pass up the next two, I test-fit them, send one down for a trim, then glue and nail them while they cut the last two, then repeat.

But I mess up and put the trimmed one in the wrong spot. I don’t realize this until after I nail them both a couple times. Frustrated, I start yanking them off, yelling at the guys, who aren’t listening. Alone on the roof, I start to get mad at this one piece that won’t come off, getting more and more glue on my hands and hammer. I finally get it off, put them in the right places, and angrily add a few extra nails.

I yell at the guys, who finally hear me, and tell them to cut the last two strips that they had forgotten about.

I sit on the roof in the sunshine and calm down, because it’s so pretty and my house is getting done.

They pass up the last two strips, I test-fit them, mark one for a trim and pass it back down. They cut it and pass it back, and I glue and nail the last two pieces on the back overhang, using the last nail in the gun.

Then we take pictures. πŸ™‚





I don’t need a ridge vent because I will have spray foam insulation. I will need an air ventilation system though.



All that’s left of 2500 nails for the sheathing.


I have to think about blocking now…



My view when I walk down the front path every day. ❀

We put everything back in the garage and lock up at quarter to nine.

We decide to bike/long board to town to get treats.

I happily speed down the road, feeling like a little kid with a big grin on my face.

I buy Skittles. πŸ™‚

We ride back, I eat my Skittles and get ready for bed.

I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.


Tiny House Open House

On Sunday, Dylan and I got up, made some bacon and toast, and headed off to Mahone Bay (which is about an hour and a half away) to visit Full Moon Tiny Shelters’ open house! After getting a little lost, we found it, and got to look around the 3 tiny houses.

The hunting cabin:




It has the popular propane boat heater!


…but no plumbing.


Oh, what a nice closet door!






Hidden electrical. Not sure what’s behind this.

“Space,” built to be an example of their work (still needing some finishing touches):


Love the porch.


It’s just a room though…


Roof deck!



And 28′ big blue one, built for a family with young kids to use as a cabin:



Bathroom built out over the hitch.


TWO windows? This bathroom is huge πŸ˜›


Interesting design.


The kids’ loft.


The parents’ loft. That’s a decent sized window! Neat whitewashed ceiling.


I didn’t get any pictures of the downstairs main area in the blue one because there were people, but it’s empty and the floor is still plywood. They had a floor plan on the wall though with plans for a decent sized kitchen and stairs to the kids’ loft. I was a little disappointed that the family wasn’t going to use it as a full-time house, but I can totally understand, with kids, why they wouldn’t.

We didn’t stay as long as I expected, because I really had no questions for them. I’ve already researched and decided how I want my house, so I didn’t need any answers from them. It was cool to see the houses though. We saw about a dozen people there, and obviously more had been coming and going throughout the day. I had hoped for more of a conversational, everyone-involved type of event, but everyone kept to themselves and the owners of the company were just around to answer questions. Oh well! Dylan and I got to spend a nice day together, and my shift was cancelled that night so we stayed in town, had a late lunch, and explored downtown a bit. πŸ™‚




Oh, and I just passed the 2 year mark on WordPress.com. πŸ™‚

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