Sunday, November 15, 2009

November progress...

There isn't much progress. I've been in town the last couple weeks. I'd hoped to put the roof on, but there were complications. I was sick the first week. Then it has rained, rained, rained. However, yesterday, Dad, my friend Michael, and I worked on the roof for the day. It has three more pieces of sheathing up and some roof extensions. I didn't take any pictures and it is dark. Funny thing about the sun setting early. Also, I began with three skylights and I am down to two. The flashing kit for a skylight is more expensive than the skylight itself... at least for a metal roof. So, I'll only have the one in the loft so that I can still lay in bed and look up at the stars. Of course, it still needs to be installed. It will have to wait until spring. Tomorrow I will be back at camp in Idaho.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sheathing, wrap, and a door

Once again I went to work (at my job) and returned home to progress. My dad, with some help of my mom, finished sheathing the walls and got it all wrapped up. He installed a temporary door from the collection in the barn. I do love this one's handles. And he put up some sturdier, yet also temporary, steps. He seems motivated to get the house built so that I will move away... or maybe he is concerned about it getting weathered in before the rain comes. Thanks to him either way. Actually, I will be off for a couple of months at camp doing some outdoor education work... so things on the blog should be quiet.
Some folks have come by and visited the house already and even signed it. They mostly write encouraging messages on the studs so that I will always be surrounded by well wishes. You should come by and sign the house that is now strategically placed next to the vineyard.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I should be sheathing right now actually. This is just a night shot that makes the house glow. 4 of the 24 sheets of sheathing are currently attached and I hope to get most of the rest on in the next week before I leave.
If you click on the photo, you can browse through other pictures of the project.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It is airy, but it is up!

On my time off I framed the first two walls and put one up. Then I went to work and came home to four walls and a roof framed. My dad and uncle were busy. Then they framed up the loft today. Yay for progress. I just need to frame a couple more windows and then it is ready to be sheathed. Also, kudos to my sister who made me this fashionable work belt.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I will be starting to frame my walls tomorrow. I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off so anyone is welcome to come by and help or watch. You don't need skills... who said I had any? You can expect more pictures and progress in the next week though.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Floor Finished!

The floor is done. Dad added more fasteners to the frame and it feels really solid. I spent a day cutting styrofoam insulation and filling in the cracks with expanding foam. That stuff sure is sticky! After a few other options were brought home, we decided on sanded certified 3/4" plywood for the sub-floor. I put a couple coats of floor paint on it to help keep it nice and protected through the process. The blue foam stapled to the corners is there to keep the trailer from wearing holes in the nice tarp.






The new "current" plan

I liked my old plans, but I wanted more weight on the back of the trailer. Switching the end the loft is on required some general shifting.





Thursday, June 11, 2009

Floor: Part 1

Monday, Dad and I took a crack at the floor. We got as far as framing the floor and bolting it down to the bed of the trailer and even through some of the angle irons. It is all 2x4 24" O.C. and it is exactly 8' x 16'.
First we framed up the longer end, then the shorter end, and finally the middle.
In the process of trying to make the whole thing level, we discovered that the trailer frame itself was high centered near the wheel wells. Both ends needed to be shimmed some so that it would start out closer to level. My dad kept on shaking his head. Shimming, apparently isn't very fun. The picture shown doesn't actually demonstrate how we actually shimmed. Plus there is more shimming to do before adding the insulation and the sub-floor.
I'm now up in Sitka for two weeks so not much will be done for a bit.

Getting Materials

I guess I won't start building until I have some materials. So I went and collected everything needed to build the floor.
2x4's treated and untreated
1/2" bolts, nuts, fender washers, lock washers, and brackets
polystyrene insulation and spray in filler
3/4" t&g plywood
The 4x8 sheet goods fit in the back of my mini-van!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tumbleweed Workshop in Vancouver

My dad and I went up to the Emily Carr Institute on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC for the how to workshop. We just did the first day about building tiny houses, while others stayed for the second day covering design as well. The information was probably more useful for me than for my pops since he has built many things before. It would be a bit difficult to condense into a posting, so I won't. Throughout the entire process I've been sure several times about my floorplan. I keep changing my mind, but I think that the one I have right now will do the trick. The important thing that it bears in mind is that I will be framing 24" on center. So all my windows conveniently fit inside of this framework and I am happy with it. Now I need to draw up my framing plans so that I know what my lumber needs are. Then I'll know what it will cost to get it framed and weathered in. I can't quite imagine doing all this for a much larger project. Oye! At any rate plans should be finalized and wood should be bought before I go to Sitka in June.

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is the proposed front door. No window which is a downside, but It used to be my parent's pantry door. Their house was built around 1910 and the door is an original from the house with the layers of paint to go with it. I have chipped some of the paint off (probably lead based) and I'll take some paint remover to it soon. It is solid wood, but not too thick in some places.Only 22.5" x 75".

Front bumper rail removed

Most car trailers come with a front bumper rail that needs to be removed. While I was gone last weekend, Dad took care of it by cutting it off, sanding it down, and painting over it.

Change of plans

I've decided to switch from an entrance on the tail end of the trailer to one on the side of it. It will look a little different, but I think that it suits my needs best. It is hard to tell from the pictures that the loft will be on the front (left side from view of floor plan). This leaves the rear half of the house to have an open vaulted ceiling.
Current floor plan. Clockwise from the bottom left corner: toilet, closet shelves, closet with door, sink, under the counter fridge, drawers, gas 2 burner cooktop, counter with fold up additional countertop, desk around the corner, 6' long couch, propane heater, bookshelf, entry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The foundation is poured.

I drove down to Olympia and picked this up used from Trailer Town. It was barely used for a year and then the guy traded it it for a 10,000lb beast. This is 7' x 16' with a c-channel frame and four electric brakes. We'll be taking off the front rail pretty shortly so that it won't get in the way of the house and some of the decking will probably be removed. But it is already treated wood so we won't have to change that. It came with pull out ramps that also won't be sticking around forever. It is rated for up to 7,000lbs and it cost me about $2100 after all the taxes, licenses, and such. So I'm good to go. It is time to adjust my floor plan and get this show on the road. I've been thinking about windows a lot lately.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Patiently waiting for the next step.

I'm anxious to get started, but it did snow again today. I've vowed to wait on buying the 7' x 18' trailer until after the workshop in May. The best deal seems to be at Freeway Trailers in Fife. Things I have learned I want to avoid include beavertails and tilt beds. A tilt bed wouldn't be horrible, however I don't want to pay for features I don't need. This is something that one salesman wanted to convince me I wouldn't be able to find. Another important feature to look for is a set of four brakes. Some states are comfortable with only two, but we don't want to be limited. Luckily, all the trailers I've looked at come with this standard. It does seem that salesmen want you to think that their trailer is the only one that special. Good times.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vancouver Workshop

A couple weeks ago I signed us up to go to Jay's Tiny House Building Workshop. For those of you how don't know, he is pretty much the definitive tiny house on wheels guy. So this is pretty exciting. I'm planning on holding off on any large house purchases until after the workshop in May. I wouldn't want to do anything stupid.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Let's Pretend!

My sister helped me put some of my ideas into her Home Design Studio program. This is the rough product that we came up with. These are the screen shots. It has really helped me sort out the rubbish and it all feels a bit more real.

First Floor
Picture 1

Second Floor
Picture 2

View from the front.
Picture 3

The front wall removed.
Picture 4

The house without the front closets.
Picture 6

My favorite view with the three windows.
Picture 7

The kitchen and stove.
Picture 8