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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Winter Blues

I realized I didn’t publish any posts in February. I’ve been picking away at tasks, barely. I cut all of the exterior trim, and started priming, but my morale has been low. I’ve been having a hard time doing anything on the house. It’s hard, doing this alone. I work six days a week. And there’s always tomorrow… Tomorrow I’ll make time, tomorrow I’ll get up early, tomorrow I’ll feel excited about the build again. But I have hit the low before the final stretch. There’s still so much work to do and not a lot of reward yet.

The weather warmed up a bit, but I got sick with another cold and then a stomach bug. 😦 Last night we got a little snow storm, but it’s back up to positive temps and the snow is melting away again. It’s been a weird, windy winter. Time is ticking away for my exposed house wrap, but it’s looking like I’ll get that covered mid-April. It should be covered by the end of March, but that’s not going to happen and then I’m going away for 10 days.

In January, I finished cutting and put up the soffits. In February, I cut all 50 pieces of trim for the exterior, for the corners and around the windows and wheel wells. I started priming, and after being sick, I’m back to priming. I’ve got a great little filtering mask that really helps with the smell, and I don’t have to worry about the weather thanks to the heated garage. 🙂 Soon I’ll be on to the purple paint, and I plan to have the trim up before I leave for my trip! When I get back I’ll be getting the siding on (finally) and then it’s on to interior work (finally).

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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! 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 😛 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. 🙂

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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! 😛

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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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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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!

One Year Anniversary

It has been an entire year since the day the trailer arrived! I may not be as far along as I had hoped, but it’s been great so far and I look forward to the future!

May 29th, 2015

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May 23rd, 2016

I’ve turned my lovely little dream into reality. I’ve put my money, time, sweat, and tears into this house and I love how it’s turning out.

So much has happened, both with the build and in my life. Today also marks my 1 year & six months with Dylan. ❤ In the past year, I’ve moved, made new friends, and learned how to stand up for myself a little better. My life is a whirlwind of balancing two jobs, the build, my relationship, a social life, my hobbies, and striving to live healthfully, and I think I’m doing okay. 😀

Check back in the next few days for a post about what I got done this weekend, how my shopping ban went, and what I have planned for June! 🙂

 

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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