Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tiny House: Exterior Siding

Hello everyone!

We started installing our exterior siding…

If you read our last post you are aware that galvanized metal flashing is extremely sharp…  Shane cut his knuckle and what appeared to be a [deep] 3/4″ long cut turned out to be a  “lacerated extensor tendon”.  Dangit.  So, we’ll have to slow it down a bit.  Which will be a huge challenge.  For Shane.  haha!  It really makes all the health insurance talks going on right now in Congress very pertinent, as we don’t have health insurance, and who knows the cost of hand surgery!  I tried to get the ER doc to just sew up the tendon last night, but he really wanted to defer to a specialist.  Pshaw.  Could I borrow your needle and thread and some more lidocaine??  Maybe some of those gloves…

Anyway, exterior siding.  We were going to use plywood, stained a natural finish, with galvanized trim between, but after more research of the [very few] projects that have used plywood for exterior siding, it sounded like it could be a nightmare, with the plys delaminating, etc.  Exterior grade plywood has some nasty glues in it too.  So, we went with an off-the-shelf composite compressed cedar chip siding.  We went out on a limb and chose a ballsy orangish color – sort of terracotta – in lieu of the standard fall-back conservative gray.  I was having major painter’s remorse at first, but now I feel like it will be quite beautiful.

Here’s one more photo of the start of the siding install:

Our roofing has arrived so we have that to install – “burnished slate” color pro-panel metal roofing.  And we got a quote on spray foam insulation which was way too high – $2.30 / SF so we’re looking at hard foamboard options now.

Okay, hope all is well in everyone’s world…  take care.

– Carrie

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Tiny cut: Big Hand Splint

Yesterday I was starting the siding at the bottom for the plumber so we can install the water bib. I installed the bottom Z bar and was putting on the siding next to the wheel wells for a nice tight fit when my knuckle hit the Z bar. Then it cut so deep that I was able to see the knuckle bone. I was going to do my own stitches but thought  better and called Carrie for a rescue to take me into the ER. After the Dr. took a look he noticed the I also lacerated the extensor tendon. I also had to get x-rays to see if I hit the bone, which I did not but very close.

So now I have to go to a hand surgeon to get it repaired (Friday). So this is going to slow down things but we shall keep moving forward.

– Shane

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Tiny House Windows: flashing video, installing trim, painting

We’re plugging away on construction of our Tiny House.  We’ve had the plumber out installing propane and water lines.  Our mechanic is fixing up the trailer.  And we’ve installed windows, flashing, window trim and started painting the exterior trim.

Shane did a video of how to properly install window flashing:

Here are some photos of installing window trim and painting the exterior trim:

Here’s our plumber and mechanic working on the Tiny House:

It’s surprising how even though the house is super small, it still takes a lot of time to get everything installed.  Building on a trailer platform adds some complexities.

Shane built a box for the water heater.  It’s located outside the kitchen, right between the kitchen sink and the shower, our two hot water needs.

It comes into the kitchen on the interior but we’ll build cabinetry around it.

We’re using a Rheem on-demand gas/propane exterior water heater:

Our propane tanks are on the front tongue of the gooseneck / trailer hitch.  The piping runs back to the water heater and propane heater via an exterior channel we built under the floor platform.  This channel will be closed in once we get piping / plumbing installed.

Okay, off to the shop to do more painting!  We should be getting our metal roofing in this week, as well as scheduling the spray foam insulation for the exterior walls and roof.  We’ll keep you posted!

have a great day!


Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

Simple Sunday

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” 

      ~John Burroughs

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Tiny House: Interior Design Ideas

Folding table that doubles as wall art: click here for website

that table idea is SO awesome, and looks quite easy to make.  we won’t have room for it in this Tiny House because our wall heater is where a table would need to fold up, but a really great idea.  (is it just me, or does it look like the girl in the photo above has a giant picture of herself for wall art?!  funny.)

I love this wood and white look:

and here’s a plywood interior:  (a little more plywood than we could handle, but these wall and ceiling finishes would work in a tiny, mobile house because of their inherent flexibility)

here’s more Plywood! this time plywood walls AND floors:

It looks like a metal ceiling, like a shipping container, but corrugated metal roofing panels could be used for a modern tiny house ceiling finish.  the acoustics might be bad, but that could be accommodated with textiles in curtains or seating, or with cork flooring.

we’ve been obsessed with trying to use plywood in our design, but it’s actually quite expensive.  (AC grade or sanded plywood is $45 to $50 a sheet for a decent thickness.)

this is an open shelving design that looks pretty stunning with the green accent wall:

would love to see a tiny house with color in it!  but my tendency is definitely toward white…  I feel like it must be white and light and bright with almost NO texture in order to feel bigger…  the good thing with a tiny house is that you can paint and re-paint and re-paint again with very little paint and money spent!

would love to hear about any tiny house interior design ideas you all might have…

take care,


Categories: Tiny House Design | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Tiny House Progress: Electrical Wiring

Yesterday we got the house wired for electrical.  Went pretty smoothly, nothing to report.  The panel selection was a process, but we ended up going with a standard 120v panel for a regular house, rather than an RV panel that has low voltage circuits in the panel.  When we go solar down the road we’ll have to have an inverter anyway, so that will step our power from 12v to 120v.

Lighting: a challenge in a small house – we don’t want a bunch of lamps sitting around cluttering up the space.  Track lighting is so hideously ugly.  Not many places to hide recessed / indirect lighting.  We decided to make our own sconce and ceiling light fixtures using LED lamps (bulbs) that we can buy off the shelf at the hardware store.  Really low power use, and a white frosted globe.

Also, here’s a photo of the wheel well boxes we built on the inside, as the wheels of the trailer intrude on the interior of the house.  almost all of these boxes will be covered by cabinets or the couch.

Here’s a photo of the propane tanks we installed on the hitch of the trailer (see previous post):

Shane welded steel angle iron to the trailer frame and then welded the tanks’ platform to that.  Tanks aren’t the most gorgeous things, but they’re necessary.  We only need propane for our cooktop and our space heater, so we shouldn’t go through it too fast.

More debate on the finishes….  On the exterior we went back and forth on whether we wanted window trim, or just butt the siding up to the windows with a slim, clean galvanized J-mold.  After deciding to skip the trim we held one of the windows up and realized that we need trim as they project out from the face of wall too far.  So, trim it will be!  We’re trying to do drywall on the interior because it is the cheapest, cleanest wall to cover a wall.  It also has no VOC’s so it’s a fairly healthy product.  Gypsum mining isn’t great for the environment, but we’ll leave a few trees in the forest skipping wood interior wall cladding.

Okay, we need to get to work!  Installing windows today…..

Categories: Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | Tags: , | 13 Comments

Tiny House: Tiny Progress (propane tanks, electrical and plumbing)

Well… we ended up not getting away for our anniversary.  We had about two feet of snow here in Prescott, and the weather and roads were just too bad to be driving.  So instead we had a really nice snow day, which I love, as we don’t get that many of them in Arizona.

The driveway was shoveled (by Shane) but see the snow piled on the car!

Dog included for scale… haha.

The last few days working on the house have been tedious (but important) details.  We decided to get steel fenders instead of building custom wheel wells so we got those installed (welded to the trailer frame) and we built the interior framed boxes over where they project into the interior of the house.  I didn’t get a photo of the boxes, but here is one of the fenders / wheel wells from the outside:

You might be able to observe in those photos that our tires and wheels are in bad shape.  We got the trailer at a pretty good price, but in the future we might want to pay more to have tires that are all the same size, for instance… and tires with some life left in them.

Today we welded a steel shelf onto the front gooseneck hitch for the two 30-gallon propane tanks.  We also met with a plumber and figured out the location of the on-demand hot water heater, as well as the plumbing for the shower and sinks.  We are locating the hot water heater on the exterior directly outside the kitchen, between the kitchen sink and the shower so we won’t have to wait for hot water, nor waste water waiting for the hot.  The plumbing fixtures are all centrally located, thus easier and less expensive to install.

Yesterday we did a lot of shopping!  Bought the propane tanks, rack and regulator, a few light fixtures, all the outlet and switch boxes and the wiring.  This week we’ll be wiring the electrical and installing the plumbing.  Then we can schedule the spray foam insulation and get started on the exterior siding.

It’s really coming along and I’m starting to get so excited to live in a small house of our own.  Especially with how cold it’s been and how big and drafty our current house is – the windows are single-paned so you can actually feel a cold breeze coming across the living room, even though the curtains are drawn.   Brrr….

Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Deep Thoughts Saturday

“If there was a big gardening convention, and you got up and gave a speech in favor of fast-motion gardening, I bet you would get booed right off the stage.  They’re just not ready.”

– Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

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Tiny House progress: angles schmangles

Well, if you’ve been reading our posts you’ll remember a discussion we were having about the back deck roof being angled or just a standard gable.  We got quite a bit of feedback saying the angle would look great, and from a design perspective I liked how it would mimic the tapered roof we have going on over the gooseneck.  So.  Angling the roof added about two days of work (one day discussing it, and one day building it) but I really like the look.

Here’s the construction progression in three stages:

And a close-up of the angles (compound angles too…)

We spent all day today running errands, making phone calls, and attaching steel fenders / wheel wells.  The ones on the used trailer we bought were totally mangled.  Turns out that was a bigger bummer than we thought.  These fenders cost $155 plus a days worth of work welding them onto the trailer.  Here is an overall view of our tiny house on wheels showing the new front porch roof  (the porch will be attached later):

The fenders:

TGIF… and we’re going away for our anniversary (our FIRST anniversary ever!) Sunday thru Tuesday so that’s exciting.  We’re both torn about leaving in the middle of this project.  But it’d probably be good to get away from it all and relax and celebrate for a few days.  All work and no play… you know how that adage goes.

Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tiny House – out for a drive

Shane had to take the house to the welding shop yesterday to get some steel welded onto the trailer.  Check it out:

notice our website tagged on the side of the house in the photo above.  that was my doing…. I tagged it the night before in preparation for Tiny’s trip out and about.

It was so fun to see it outside!  We’re really pleased with the roof design and think it will be pretty decent aerodynamics (for a house!).  We shall see.  We had a friend of Shane’s visiting last night and he had great info on installing a WVO (waste vegetable oil) addition to the truck so we can go on tour and not spend loads on diesel.  As long as we stay out of California, where they apparently won’t give out WVO anymore.  I need to do more research on this – which states are good for getting grease, where you can’t, etc.

Categories: Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | 16 Comments

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