As the Dream Grows

Sure, building this house is taking me a while, but I love it. I’ve learned and grown with it. Take a look at what I’ve been up to over the past two years (hours include my work and help from others):

2015

May 29th: Trailer arrives!

June 3rd: Insulation

June 10th-June 30th: Subfloor (82 hours)

~Waiting, consulting with the engineer~

August 14th-15th: First wall

~More back and forth with the engineer~

August 28th-Sept. 7th: Building the walls (50 hours)

Sept. 12th: Wall raising day! (11 hours)

Sept. 23rd-Sept. 25th: Adding blocking (31 hours)

Oct. 8th-Nov. 16th: Wall sheathing & cutting rafters (46.5 hours)

Nov. 19th: Moving the house into storage

~Winter & research~

2016

May 1st-6th: Sanding the loft beams (6 hours)

May 7th: Moving the house out of storage!

May 13th: Sleeping loft beams go up (8.5 hours)

May 15th-May 26th: Rafters & ridge board (21 hours)

May 28th-June 10th: Upper sheathing, storage loft beams, & fascia boards (60 hours)

June 11th-June 17th: Roof sheathing (37.5 hours)

June 26th: Collar ties (13.5 hours)

July 10th-July 23rd: Blocking, drip edge, ice + water shield, & fixing collar ties (22 hours)

August 4th-August 7th: Installed skylights! (4.5 hours)

August 21st-August 28th: Roofing! (23.5 hours)

Sept. 17th: Moving the tiny house

Sept. 25th-Oct. 6th: House wrap (18 hours)

Oct. 2nd: Fixing collar ties again, adding brackets (13 hours)

Oct. 7th-Oct. 15th: Door install! (23 hours)

Oct. 13th: Finishing roofing (6 hours)

Oct. 20th-Nov. 2nd: Windows! (17 hours)

Nov. 7th-Dec. 6th: Staining fascia & siding (59 hours)

Dec. 10th-Dec. 20th: Siding prep. & soffits (12.5 hours)

2017

Jan. 21st-Jan. 29th: Soffits (13 hours)

Feb. 5th-May 18th: Cutting, priming, painting, & putting up all trim (75 hours)

April 23rd-May 8th: Porch (17 hours)

May 12th-May 14th: Siding prep. (9 hours)

May 19th-June ?: Siding! (49 hours so far)

Here’s a peek of the siding:

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Isn’t it cute! I love this little corner. 🙂

Stay tuned for more siding pictures!

 

 

 

 

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A New Season

A lot of the tiny housers I come across online are either single people or serious couples. I started planning my build when I was single, figuring I’d meet someone someday in the far off future. Then, the winter before my trailer arrived, I met Dylan and he became an important part of my life. He loved the tiny house plan, and we pictured the two of us living in it when it was finished. We spent all our time together, worked on the tiny house together, and started living together. But over time, it became clearer to me that he never had any plans of his own. As much as I loved him, I got tired of taking care of someone who hadn’t yet learned to take care of themselves. Independence and self-sufficiency, these are qualities that I value, and after almost two years together, I was still making the plans and paying for everything. I couldn’t continue that way, so I broke it off. Endings are sad, but you have to do what’s right for yourself.

It’s been a month of change, but also of growth. I’ve grown as the tiny house has progressed, and every day I become better: at handling the stress, fixing the problems, getting what I need from hardware store staff, and moving forward. I had my time away on vacation to recharge after working two jobs, building the tiny house, and balancing a draining relationship. I got to visit family and see some old friends who know me well. I came home refreshed and ready to reshape my life, to put myself first again.

~

I didn’t have time to get the ridge and verge caps on before I left for vacation (between work and some hair dyeing madness), but that turned out to be a good thing. The fancy tape kept the interior dry while I was away, and when I got back, I arranged to have the tiny house moved back to my mum’s. I added the verge caps (which may have involved some hammer throwing and tears due to uncooperative nails) before the move. That way, the edges of the roofing couldn’t lift up in the wind, and we put my house, with a roof this time, on the road again!

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The house cleared all the wires, but loosened a rather large branch that fell on my car! Thankfully, it didn’t crack my windshield. But that’s something to be careful of when you’re the follow car!

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Back home.

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Where the tiny house is now, I can see the top of it from the front window of the main house, and the ridge is sinking in the middle again! So I’ve had to hold off putting the ridge caps on until I can push the ridge back into place and secure it better. Originally, I thought we had waited too long to put the collar ties in and the ridge had a chance to sink. But the issue doesn’t seem to be with the collar ties. Since it’s happened again, I believe the connectors I used where the rafters land on the top plate are bending slightly and allowing the rafters to slide. So the plan is to jack up the ridge board again and add different connectors, fingers crossed:

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In the meantime, I leveled the trailer and bought myself an air compressor (on sale 🙂 ). Then I got ready to do the house wrap. I’ve mentioned before that I had custom drip edges made for the wheel wells, so I went out and finally installed those:

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However, in my rush to get them done (in addition to the fact that it’s been almost two months since I ordered the drip edges), I completely forgot that they were meant to be installed so that the metal sloped down. I installed them flat, so a little bit of water will pool. But at least the water will no longer be hitting the top of the wheel wells and splashing onto my sheathing. And there’s no chance of it getting into the house. I caulked the gap between the wheel well and the frame, then nailed the flashing on, and the house wrap will go over top.

I had my friend Ian’s help putting up the house wrap! I love steps that change the entire look of the tiny house:

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Day one: Ian helped get the bulk of it done, and then I treated us to sushi for supper. 🙂

This is one continuous piece of house wrap. Ian unrolled the wrap while I nailed along the top, and then we went back through and added the rest of the nails, smoothing the wrap as we went. The first wall had a very large ripple, so we ended up taking out most of the nails I had put at the top, pulling the wrap tighter, and then re-nailing. It took us about five hours to do this – oh and I also had Ian help me nail up the porch ceiling, the final piece of sheathing (using my new air compressor)! We even worked through some light rain.

This would’ve gone so much faster with a staple gun, but it wouldn’t have been as good of a job. I’m glad I chose to use the nails, and I haven’t run out of the short ones yet! But I did bruise my thumb at least a half dozen times, and we dropped and wrecked plenty of nails. The end of the day involved a game of “Pick Up Nails”.

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Day two: I went around and trimmed the wrap around the wheel wells, taped any nails that weren’t fully sealing around the plastic caps, taped all the edges, and cut out the doorway.

I could’ve gotten more done on the second day had I started earlier – it’s getting dark so early now – but I can only do so much between sleep and work. I never like to work when I’m tired or cranky; it’s not worth the mistakes and potential for injuries. Working on the house for 2-5 hours a day as often as possible is going well so far. I’ve worked on the house 6 days this month, even after being gone for half of it, plus a day for moving the house. This is the first month that I’ve ever worked on the house without Dylan, but it’s been productive. Once I have the radio out there and a task in front of me, I lose track of time and just focus. It’s almost peaceful. 🙂 I’ve also been getting better at hopping out of bed, pulling on my work clothes and boots, and getting out there (after breakfast). This has to be done, and I’m going to do it!

~

I told myself in the beginning that I wasn’t going to be on of those bloggers who let the updates stretch to months apart, but I do realize that the building life is a busy one. With everything else going on in my life, blogging hasn’t been on the top of the list. Plus I like to post updates when I completely finish a step, but sometimes the steps drag out. I only just put that last piece of sheathing on, the roofing isn’t fully finished (I ended up tarping it for a few rainy days), and I still have to add the top foot or two of the house wrap. But I’m making progress! And my dad’s home for a week so I’ll have his help for a few things. 🙂 Trust me, I’m working on it, even if I’m not writing about it!

And It Begins!

I had Thursday off, but of course it was rainy. I moved over some of my tools and materials from my mum’s:

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And then Friday morning before work in the afternoon, I sanded the rest of the beams. This time, I wasn’t letting the rain stop me:

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Protected underneath the roof between the house and the garage.

(By the way, those are some brand new saw horses that I got on a great sale. 🙂 )

I was up bright and early on Saturday to get the house out of storage, and despite taking a back road this time, the move was easy.

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Last time we didn’t have the forklift, and it made getting the tiny house out of the corner so much simpler.

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It’s kind of lucky that I didn’t have the ridge beam up for this doorway.

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And she’s out, easy peasy!

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We didn’t hit any wires!

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The legal road height limit is 4.15m, so 4.9m gives us plenty of room, especially without a roof! However, there’s another sign behind the tiny house that says the bridge is only 3.9m at the sides.

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No problem!

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The only part that was nerve-wracking this time was forgetting the foam pieces for the roof in the trailer. Last time, we took them in the car and then put them in the trailer for storage. This time around I forgot that there was anything to take out before moving the house. At the end of the drive – which only took about 10 minutes – going 70-80km/hr, the foam pieces started blowing around inside, but we didn’t lose any. 🙂

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In the new spot 🙂

On the drive, I was also admiring how straight everything looks! I think I’ve done pretty well so far, and now I get to see my lovely little house-in-progress every day again!

I moved the majority of the materials into the garage while it was sunny. The floor and piles of plywood are tarped again before the rain, but hopefully this week I’ll have the beginnings of a roof up! Then I’ll be able to tarp it over the top and rain will be able to run off it instead of pooling inside and stressing me out. 😛

Fingers crossed that putting up the ridge board will be a breeze!

Home Safe

The tiny house has been moved to its new location! It went very smoothly. 🙂

I’ll post a longer update soon, but for now you can check out the new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lovelylittledream/

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🙂

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.

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