Done-ish

Tiny House Construction

From the third week of Oct. until Oct. 29th, it was a big push. We hired Rick and Dylan even more. Rick built a great railing from the left over yellow pine 2″x6″ salvaged wood. It had to be to fire code, so it looked huge. Rick also did the window frame, in of course…pine! We found some excellent low grade boards with few knots, but we like knots anyway. Rick really understood our “cabin” astetic and “done is better than perfect” mentality along with “use used whenever possible,” credo.

We decided to buy at least one new thing for ourselves, a gas stove! This way we could put our used gas stove in the tiny house. We got a good one for $520 with a real broiler and different sized burners. The gas guys came and hooked both up. The Danby Engery Start bottom freezer fridge arrived and Laura and I picked up both the stove and fridge in the Subaru Forester, in two trips. The gas guys came, all in a rush since their company had new owners. But they hooked everything up and it all worked!

I got everyone out three days before the tenant was arriving and with Junio’s help, sanded and put two coats of water-based poly on the floors. I didn’t sand between. But I did vacuum and mop very carefully. Laura and I cleaned until late at night on the 28th. We also touched up the paint, bleached the cabinates, and put a second coat of marine varnish on the shower and kitchen wood.

The tenants moved in just as a VERY unusual snow storm of 14 inches hit us that night. He was only able to make one trip. But he was warm, even if he only has some of his stuff. The week since he’s been in we’ve managed to clean up the hard, build a basic walk way with all remaining scrap 2″x4″s, and have Rick sneak in and build a bathroom door out of , you guessed it, shiplap! We used scrap wood on the crawl space cover, and have very little scrap left. I hooked up an CAT6 Ethernet line in the extra PVC I ran to our modem in the big house and upped our Internet speed so we can share. When I did, I found that the crawl space is already wet on the wood and side walls. I do need to put down a layer of 6mil plastic, but it’s only about $38. Speaking of money, we’re hitting close to 50K on the house. Mostly labor driving us over by continuing to have others work so we can move fast, and by doing things like the fan, washer dryer, etc. with expensive electricians and plumbers.

On Nov. 2nd we had our Efficiency Vermont inspection. Jenn did a blower door test and took all kinds of notes on every appliance and light. She took measurements and then did the blower door test. She said, “188CFM 50 on the ‘C’ ring, I’ve never had to use the ‘C’ ring before!” so it’s TIGHT.

On Nov. 7th our check came from the town for $3000.00. We expect Efficiency Vermont’s check within a month and we’re exploring federal tax breaks.

Done-ish
Done-ish

 

Tiny Dancer Party

Fear and loathing

Tiny House Construction

I’ve not posted mostly due to being too busy! We’re down to the wire. A week ago I couldn’t sleep after I made a list of what was needed and how much time Gabe and Scott had. I had one night of fear and loathing that involved several trips to my laptop after failed attempts at sleeping. I would go over the lists and the budget and the person-hours. It just wasn’t possible to finish. Then Gabe and worked out that he could leave his tools and his carpenter friend, Rick, could take over. Then I found a local guy named Dylan who needed some assistant type-work. Both of their hourly rates were fair and lower then Gabe and Rick due to having less tools and doing it part time.

Dylan and I were able to finish the second coat of paint. Dylan reminded me that you can mix paints if they are all latex. We mixed four different gallons of salvaged paint and some paint from the basement, all white, antique white or similar. It worked like a charm.

Dawn came and later that day I called Gabe and we worked it out. He’d come for 1.5 more days, and work on he all important stair railing to fire code, and kitchen. Monday came and it all worked out! By Tuesday we had a floor and kitchen in enough for me to finish.

So last week I was running around between my day job and the lumber yard picking up shiplap pine. The entire house, framing, studs, joists, floor, interior walls, loft is ALL pine. And it’s on Pine Street even!

Merrill Gas came with heater on Tuesday. It’s a Rinnai 11,000 BTU jobby for about $1000. It’s wonderful! Small, quiet and when it reaches temperature it just slows way down and keeps a trickle of heat coming out, vs turning off. This makes for a very quiet heater!

I used the nail gun Gabe left to put up more shiplap on the bathroom walls so the plumbers could do their final installation.

Then by Friday the plumbers got the little “low boy” water tank in. It was delayed due to the truck that was bringing it here breaking down. Victor the electrician could now wire for it. I had forgotten that sequence of events wa

Shower won't fit

Shower won't fit, W/D appears, metal is cool

General, Tiny House Construction

Sept. 25 2011: Power is on. Things are getting comical, fast and cool.

  • Comical #1: The poor fiberglass shower stall. It has sat patiently watching construction from its back yard perch for the last 6 months since we bought it used for $100. The shower stall being one, it was brought through the front door – but wait, it didn’t fit! Gabe and Scott were shocked. Andrew and I tried it that night, upside down even, angled, sideways, and no go. The next day the plumbers tried it. No go. It’s THAT close, but no close enough. We could take the trim down, but it’s all pained, leaded, and in. Labor would cost to take it out and put it back. So we’re going with a new shower, $300.00 and will sell the old one.
Shower won't fit

Shower won't fit

  • Comical #2: I love Renew Salvage, but they can be understaffed and unorganized sometimes due to a very tight operating budget I would guess. However, they actually called Friday after all these months of having our supply lists  and said a stackable 24″ wide washer dryer just came in. I drove over after work. It was a Whirlpool in great shape and the dryer is run on propane! This means the it can hook up to the system for the heater and cook stove, and that means the tenant will pay the bill. It was $400, about $700 cheaper than a new one. So while were not planning on buying one this year and letting the tenant either buy one themselves or use ours, we bought it.
Stackable washer dryer

Stackable washer dryer

  • Fast: The loft and stairs went in very fast. We’re keeping them raw wood, maybe with something like Poly on the loft floor, Tung oil on railings and such and maybe nothing on the stairs for now. The stairs seem like they will double as a closet and storage and are not a big as we thought.
  • Cool: The metal from the roof of the garage looks great all washed up and on the ceiling. We were four sheets short, so we put new metal in the loft by the bed. The tenant came over and likes it.
Loft, stairs, metal ceiling

Loft, stairs, metal ceiling

Sheetrock and Loft done

Sheetrock and Loft in, Recycling Garage Metal Roof for Inside Ceiling.

General, Tiny House Construction

Sept. 16, 2011: Moving fast now. Gabe and Scott jammed this week and got the sheetrock, loft, and some other little stuff done.  Time for us to start mudding. We also did a test of using the old galvanized metal roofing from our garage on the ceiling. It looked cool, but stained. I washed each sheet today with a hose first on both sides. Then with sponges and a hard brush I used Bon Ami powder with pure vinegar, and bleach for the tough spots – all quickly rinsed off. It got rid of the mildew and rust from them sitting out covering our lumber. We’ll need a few more sheets of new metal roofing since we don’t have quiet enough to for the whole ceiling, but we’ll use those in the loft at the back.

Sheetrock and Loft done

Sheetrock and Loft done

 

Got tenant, insulation done, over budget

Tiny House Construction

September 8th, 2011:

  1. We got a tenant! I posted to my work community and someone responded. We met and they are into moving in Oct. 28th and even helping finish little details. They even said they’d by a washer/dryer we could buy off them when they leave. It’s a good fit and we’re excited. I think we might have been able to get more then $775.00/month (tenant pays heat, we pay electric/water), but having a happy tenant is better then a few more dollars right now. Perhaps when it’s all up and running after a year, we’ll reconsider cost.
  2. We’re over budget! No wait, that’s bad. We’re finding that our busy lives, and having a good tenant, means we are more willing to pay to have things done. We intend to mud and paint the sheetrock and put down and finish the pine floors. We’ll see.
  3. Dense pack cellulose is done! Fascinating how they staple up the netting that allows them to pump the cellulose in tight, then they add a second set of huge staples that tightens the netting down even further. The place feels very warm, quiet and smaller.
Cellulose dense pack done

Cellulose dense pack done

 

Framed

Framed!

General, Tiny House Construction

Gabe and Scott are framing away. The 2×6 Advanced Framing Technique seems a very efficient and an elegant use of lumber. The metal bands that take the place of wall sheathing are particularly interesting (see photos on main post). In general, there’s a lot less lumber, less scrap, and the 24″ stud bays make for better insulation. The roof should be on this week and trim and windows/doors next week. Then we’ll tackle the long process of finishing the inside.  Laura and I are foam insulating the floor joists this week. This weekend we’ll install the ridged foam on the walls and gable ends, as well as prime the trim board to be all ready next week for siding.

Framed

Framed

Foundation insulated

General, Tiny House Construction

July 11th, 2011. Foundation is insulated to r20! It basically sucked as a job, but Laura and reminded our selves when we got cranky and fought that we were saving money, and that hard work feels great for many more days then it takes to do.  It was a two day job during brutally muggy 85 degree plus. We impact drilled holes in the concrete to hold the two staggered layers of 2″ XPS foam. We decided against a nail gun because we wanted to make sure to not destroy the foam, and so we could tighten the force of the screws to just the right tension. We used another drill to put in the the concrete screws with large sheet metal washers we hand punched holes in. And we glued the two layers together as well.  One day we were so spacy from the summer heat that we kept forgetting things at the lumber store, like what we needed, our credit cards, etc. The hardware guys laughed at us. Laura became an expert foam cutter (score and punch) and I rediscovered my impact tool grip and old shoulder injuries.  This foam will not be coming off that wall anytime soon. The framers is starting this week, hopefully, so  it had to be done.

Done Insulating Crawl Space To R20
Done Insulating Crawl Space (2 staggered layers of 2″ XPS foam)