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:

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It has the popular propane boat heater!

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…but no plumbing.

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Oh, what a nice closet door!

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Oh.

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Hidden electrical. Not sure what’s behind this.

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

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Love the porch.

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It’s just a room though…

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Roof deck!

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

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Bathroom built out over the hitch.

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TWO windows? This bathroom is huge 😛

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Interesting design.

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The kids’ loft.

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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. 🙂

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Oh, and I just passed the 2 year mark on WordPress.com. 🙂

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December Update

The days have been going by so fast! Working two jobs hasn’t left me a lot of time for anything build-related, but I have enjoyed the mental break from the stress. 2 tiny-house-related things have happened:

1 – I paid for my skylights.

The week after I paid for my other windows and my door and moved the house into storage, I got an email saying my skylights were in. I finally found the time to go pay for them last week. Before that though, I stopped at another building store that I’ve dealt with a couple of times and got a quote for the exact same skylights. If Allen’s wasn’t going to be nice about the skylights, then I was going to take my money somewhere else and I wanted to know what price I was looking at. The other store quoted me about $100 more.

So I went in to see the man I ordered my windows from. He didn’t look happy to see me. I think he knew he was going to have to deal with me and that it wasn’t going to be fun for him. I waited patiently while he finished with some other customers. Then he gave me the slip with price on it, and I told him, “With how long I waited, I’m not paying that price.” I elaborated, reminding him of all the facts. “I have an email from you from August that says those skylights will take 3-4 days, but you didn’t pay enough attention to order them!” He started in on a big explanation about how one of the windows had changed style and there had been a lot of back and forth between him and the company, etc. etc. so I asked, “Then why wasn’t I informed of that?” He didn’t have an answer. He told me he could give me 5% off. I asked him why he could only give me 5% on the stock windows when he told me 5% was all he could do on custom windows. I was happy with the 5% but I wanted to see what he’d say, plus I had just seen him give a great discount to a couple of builders. He got all red in the face and started telling me how they don’t make any money on windows, they have to compete with every building store in town, and he was already going to have to explain to his boss why he was giving me a discount at all. To which I thought, not my problem. Yeah, it sucks that you’re not going to be making any money on the TWO windows I ordered 4 months ago, but maybe you should’ve taken me seriously the first or the second time I ordered them! I paid and left feeling pretty proud of myself for not being a pushover for once.

2 – I took a little trip to a tiny house just 15 minutes away.

This past weekend, schedules finally lined up for me to go up and visit another tiny house in progress in my area. Rick is building the house for a woman who’s been saving and planning for about 6 years. It’s based on Vina’s tiny house:

Another little house on wheels!

It’s built on a heavy-duty 20′ trailer. They went with a metal roof and Rick will be putting cedar shingles on the exterior.

The bump-out over the hitch is a feature of Vina's house.

The bump-out over the hitch and triangular windows are features of Vina’s house.

So are the double doors that let in plenty of light.

So are the double doors that let in plenty of light.

The unfinished loft bedroom, waiting for a skylight and two more triangular windows.

The unfinished loft bedroom, waiting for a skylight and two more triangular windows to be installed.

Like me, they have most of their materials collected, it’s just a matter of finding the time to put it all together!

The woman who commissioned the house spent over $5000 on windows, not including the skylights! I don’t have that kind of money! And unfortunately she was overcharged on the skylights, spending about $2500 for two of them (I spent about half that on mine). Windows are expensive! And on top of that, the rough opening measurements Rick was given were way too big. All of the windows have huge gaps that he needs to fix. He added more wood around some of them, but most of them still have at least the width of a 2×4 between the window and the frame, instead of only enough room for a shim. The windows are from the same company and store that I ordered mine, so I should go back in and measure all of my windows. That’s another thing to add to my to-do list. 😦

Rick also told me about the trouble he’s had with the plans the woman bought. Apparently there are no measurements for lengths or distances, so he has no idea if the door is in the right place. He just had to guess based on the pictures. That didn’t work out well for the bump-out. He has to rip out the little sloped roof and the huge window because it’s too low for the desk that’s supposed to go there. Those are the kind of reasons why I don’t trust anyone else to build my house. You move a window in a big house over 3 inches, no problem. You move a window in a tiny house over 3 inches and you just ruined a carefully designed floor plan and storage system that was meant to fit everything perfectly. That said, mistakes do happen. I’m just glad I’m not the only builder making them!

It was really exciting to be able to talk to someone else in person who knows about tiny houses. Usually it’s just me talking my boyfriend’s ear off about some random detail. But when you’re talking to someone who’s going through the same process you are, you get to hear what they did/are planning to do and get some feedback. And you also get respect, which I appreciated. Another tiny house builder knows what you’re going through. Rick complimented my build, commenting that it’s no small feat for a 19 year old female to build her own house. I’ve done my research, I’m putting the work in, and I have valuable things to say, regardless of my age or gender. Rick reminded me of that.

It was awesome to see another tiny house in the flesh. It feels spacious inside, and as I think is true for all tiny houses – it’ll look great when it’s done! 🙂

That’s all for now, until next year!

Tiny House Visit!

As I said in my last post, there is a tiny house just down the road from my grandparents’ house in Quebec.

We stopped by to check it out, and the builder’s dad, George, was kind enough to let us take a look inside!

The house is still in progress, but you can see that it’s made from Tumbleweed plans.

George told us that his son had never built anything before starting the tiny house.

Isn’t that gorgeous?

Oh, and sorry for how dark some of the photos are. I didn’t realize my flash was off until I looked at them later.

So that’s the front door. They made a little nook with a desk and storage. I’m not sure what that pole up in the loft is doing. See how complicated it looks up there, just to get a cute facade? I’m going to keep the same roof line from front to back so I don’t have to worry about figuring that out, and I’ll also have more storage up in the little loft.

So much light!

So much light!

There’s the sleeping loft with a skylight.

        

Okay, I know the pictures are dark, but this shower is so cool! I love the inset shelf, but sadly I probably won’t have one in my house because I’m not doing tile. The builder plans to make this a wet bath, with a composting toilet. The floor is widely spaced wood for draining, like a sauna, so no wet feet when you’re just using the toilet.

Who says you can’t have a big double sink in a tiny house?! I wish I’d gotten a better shot of the kitchen because it’s difficult to describe. The bathroom’s to the right in this picture. It’s kind of a galley kitchen, but there’s an extra piece of counter that folds up for more space, turning it into a U and separating the kitchen from the main room.

Bamboo floors! George said his son’s wife wanted bamboo, so I guess the house is built for two! It’s 24′ long and does seem spacious (but that’s from my tiny-house-loving perspective).

The thing I forgot to get when I visited Tiny Refuge: a picture of me in a tiny house! There’s some great built in storage that blends in nicely.

My grandpa 🙂 Looks a little short for him, but he’s got plenty of clearance above his head underneath the sleeping loft inside. And see the cute front part of the roof? That look isn’t worth the work for me.

Skylight!

Skylight!

Lots of windows!

Lots of windows!

So that was a very cool visit! 🙂

Back!

So, we’re all home safe and sound from a lovely trip to Ontario and back. I read all my chick lit books but have not yet cracked the tiny house ones, gasp! I was in a bit of a reading slump for too long and wasn’t reading anything, so I’m just happy to be zipping through books again.

Anyways, I had an absolutely awesome time, and I even have some tiny house things to share.

It’s funny, my family has told more people about my tiny house plans than I have. A couple of weeks ago, I went to talk to my dad while his friend was over and his friend asked me when I was getting my trailer. Then at the family barbeque I had relatives asking me questions, which was fun but very surprising at first because I’m not the one who told them. My mum told my grandparents who told more relatives…

There was my skeptical uncle asking why tiny houses are different than travel trailers (they’re built like proper houses, instead of chemical-infused plastic boxes meant for summer only). Then I was showing my great aunt a bunch of pictures of all sorts of tiny houses. I talked to my great uncle about trailers. He’s thinking I could find a welding place to make what I need for less money, rather than going with a trailer company that prefers to make assembly line trailers. I’m a little hesitant to go with a place that doesn’t specialize in trailers, but we’ll see. As long as they’ve made trailers before it should be fine. One of my friends gave me a number for a local welder that I have yet to contact, so I should get around to that.

Then later that weekend, my grandparents mentioned that there’s a tiny house about 10km down the road from their house! My grandfather and I went to check it out, and sure enough, there was a Tumbleweed cypress model sitting on somebody’s lawn. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to knock on the door of the main house and ask to see it. A man answered and told us that his son (who wasn’t home) was the one building the house and that it wasn’t finished, but he said he could certainly show it to us. It was super awesome; I’ll post pictures tomorrow! It’s great to find tiny houses in Canada because almost all of the blogs I read are from the States.

On Tuesday, we headed to Ontario to camp for the week. One day, my dad had been on his laptop (and HE’s the one that likes roughing it instead of the glamping that we do) and came across Tiny Refuge on the news! That could be me in a couple years, being interviewed about my awesome tiny house! Here’s the link to the article/video: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/take-a-tour-of-a-teeny-tiny-home-1.2722535

Vacation!

We’re leaving for our annual trip today, with our new trailer 🙂 First, family BBQ in Quebec, then camping at a festival in Ontario.

I won’t be posting for the next couple of weeks. Instead, I’ll be reading my pile of books. I have a few books I’ve been meaning to read, plus a stack of tiny house related books. Ta ta for now!

Keep dreaming.

 

 

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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

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