Tiny House Update
As I write this, I am brushing off bits of tiny house sawdust from my sweatshirt.
The cluster flies have gone back to sleep now that the windows are no longer full of sunshine.
It’s been a busy week here at the farm.
Mother nature has blessed us with some damn fine warm weather.
I think she knew I needed it to get my tiny house buttoned up ahead of the cold.
I think I got more done this week than what would have taken me a month of weekends to complete over the Summer.
The insulation is in and a vapor barrier has been put up to sandwich the walls in between the plywood and house wrap.
Using 1” x 6” rough sawn pine boards, most of the interior wall covering is in place.
I did run out though after using up my last few pieces to trim around the windows.
I must have underestimated the amount I needed, so I got more from the sawmill.
The loft framing is up.
Donated tongue & groove loft floor boards have been cut to size and were nailed into place.
Spacing the rafters in the loft 16″ on center ensured it would be plenty strong for two adults, some storage and bedding.
Right now we have a firm futon mattress up there for sleeping that is working out well.
I dug a trench about 18 inches deep from the house to the garage where the service entrance is.
Running the 12 and 14 gauge through the PVC pipe would have been very difficult for just one person.
My wife was able to hold the wires taught while I pulled them through.
When we had electric service first put in, my electrician put in a load center / meter combination.
This had 8 spaces for circuits that were accessible from the outside of the garage.
Service then runs inside the garage where we have a 40 space box.
The is the first time I’ve run electric to anything and actually wired up a house.
I was extremely happy when I made the circuit live and flicked the switch inside the house: “let there be light!”
Some notes on size
If we include the loft, the total square footage jumps to whopping 140 square feet!
Although it’s small, it’s the largest house I’ve ever built and it’s the only house I’ve ever built.
I did build a chicken coop though.
I get lots of jokes from friends and neighbors about the size of the tiny house.
One friend asked “Do you and your wife get along? Well, I should hope so in a place that small.”
I tell him, “There’s always the garage if one of us needs to escape for a while!”
All kidding aside, there are some big benefits to tiny house building.
Not only is it easy to heat, it’s also easy to light up.
Proper window placement helps too but it doesn’t take much to keep it well-lit.
Even though I added 6 places for various lighting fixtures, we only have a need for maybe 2-3 on at the same time.
On larger home construction sites, you’ll usually see lots of waste.
I was surprised at how little wood and other waste items I have left over from this build.
Obviously, since it is smaller there are less materials over all being used.
This was not something I would have expected.
Definitely a bonus come clean-up time!
Our property is south-facing on a downward slope towards the river, so that already gives us a good chance to maximize solar gain.
So it was a no brainer for me to orient the tiny house to try to capture as much of those rays of sunshine as possible.
Our salvaged 4’ x 6’ foot window is already in-line with the low arc of the Winter Sun.
The West side has two windows, one in the door and one above the door that does well to get that last bit sun before it sets.
Now that it’s fully insulated and airtight, I can already feel the place retaining heat from solar gains during in the daytime.
Last time I wrote about being unemployed and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Now that I look back, I guess my weekly job was getting in the way of all this tiny house progress?!
But like the new dwelling that stands before me, I too am still learning to stand on my own two feet.
We’re trying to do the things necessary to plan for the future and hopefully start making some income on the farm next year.
Our Kiva Zip campaign is live right now and that will provide some much needed funds to start our first operation, building a bread oven.