Friday, August 28, 2009

New Apartment

Hey Everyone... just another update on the housing situation.

We won't be moving into a hotel... I found a decent deal on a furnished studio apartment in one of those new complexes. It's a little expensive, but it's only for a month... and we get to use the pool, exercise room, free 5 mile courtesy bus rides, air conditioning, etc... so that will actually be a nice luxurious stop-off before we move into the new place. And I think we can always ask for one more month if we need it, though I don't hope to need it!

This will give my uncle an extra month, which is two weeks longer than he quoted me for getting it to waterproof... so maybe those extra two weeks can be enough time to get the interior finished up.

Cross ye fingers!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fear not!

We shall not live in a hotel. I have found much better deals for private sublets and temporary apartment rentals. We will simply rent another place for a month or two. :)

Under a Red Roof

It seems like our little house progress is a little behind schedule. I knew when we began that we were cutting it really close, but I'm still remaining confident that things will all be okay. I've never been without some kind of roof over my head, and I don't plan on starting now.

I first opted to ask our landlord, who has been notorious for being a pretty big ass, if he'd let us stay an additional month. Not to my surprise, he was very unflexible, and wanted nothing to do with helping us out in any way.

So it seems that come August 31st James, our 2 kitties and I will be moving our stuff into storage, and our selves into a hotel until the little house is finished. In a way, I'm a little relieved about this solution. While, it will be a nuisance to have to put everything into storage and live VERY simply for however long... I'm comforted to know that as soon as the house is ready, we can move in. We won't have any deadlines looming over our head — no particular days when we have to move – no rushing to move stuff from someplace into another. We can work slowly around our own schedules, at our own pace.

It'll be a little bit of a challenge adjusting to living in a hotel, but it's only temporary, and better than nothing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Searching for a home

Well, the search continues for a small piece of land to rent, on which we can park our new house. If you know anyone in the NE Mass area who has a little extra space in their back yard and wants to make some extra money, please let me know.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Little House Photos

Last weekend, James and I went up to see how Bub was doing on our little house. He told us he had done the flooring and got 1 wall up. The flooring took the longest, because it was entirely new territory for him. The one wall only took him 17 minutes to build and install.

Bub took some photos of how he attached the flooring to the trailer, and the floor insulation.

He had a friend of his cut out six ¾" steel plates, and after lots of bolt research he bolted the metal pieces to the framing, and through the metal of the trailer.

There are 3 of these on each side.

This is the view from beneath the trailer, at the bolt.

To protect the flooring from the elements, Bub put ice & water shield between the trailer and the flooring. I searched online, and it's something like this. Then he put sheathing over any other part of the flooring that protruded from the bed of the trailer.

Like so.

As we pulled into the driveway last Saturday, this is what we saw.

The wedge added to securely build over the beaver tail.

The gas line, where it will connect to the tank.

The other end of the gas line, close to where it will connect to the heater.

The height of the bedroom loft, above our offices; the loft above the bathroom will be higher to accommodate the shower.

The view at our one wall from the other side.

The view of the whole little house, with its one wall.

James got a call from Lowe's—the window's have arrived! I'm sure we'll talk with Bub again soon to see where he's at. He said he'll need us to go up there while the electrician is doing his thing. I'm hoping that's sooner rather than later. There are only 9 days left until we'll be moving out of our apartment!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Organic Volunteers

I am going to sign up for this site and start emailing local farmers about arranging a workshare in exchange for a place to keep our tiny house.

I wish I had pictures of the finished house to show first, though.

Oh well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Placin' Orders... Buildin' a House.

Hello All-

Time for another update here.

Today, I placed the order for a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller, as well as a Avanti CF62 2.2 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer. I will be using the thermostat in line between the wall and the freezer to cause the freezer to idle around refrigerator temperatures, as is described here. This will save a massive amount of energy consumption.

The only catch is, we have to have a chest freezer in a tiny house with limited counter space. While this may be a little bit of a hassle, I do think it will be worth it to save as electricity as we will with this setup.

A little later, we will be bringing a check for 5k up to my uncle to pay for building supplies thus far as well as some upcoming costs for hardwood flooring, etc.

I've also gone ahead and ordered our heater, which will be an Empire 15,000 BTU Direct Vent (DV215). It is a direct-vent wall-mount 15000 btu propane heater with separate wall-mount thermostat. I am HOPING that means we have the option of installing a "smart" thermostat that can set different temperatures at different times, on different days, etc. While I doubt that the one that comes with it will be so intelligent, maybe it will atleast have an actual thermistor and can be set by temperature, unlike the on-unit thermostats which seem to be a simple 1-6 number adjuster with no temperature reading involved.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thank you's and good energies

Windows Galore

I just bought 13 windows! Those things are expensive.

A REAL update!! :D

Hello there! This is the first official-style update I've done in a while. Mostly it has been a chaotic mess of random notes back and forth between us as we attempt to coordinate on everything.

THIS, however... will be FUN ZONE HAPPY TIME SPACE!

Firstly, here are some preliminary blueprints I drew up for the basic layout.

We've altered the front layout since, as you will see if you scroll down a bit. In fact, all of the window locations have been atleast minorly changed since this revision.

Tiny For Two:

On the left, you will see a dividing wall that supports the loft. This also creates an office space for each of us at the back end of the house, allowing us to each pursue our private endeavors in a remarkably small space, overally.

My side will have a flip-out 18x30/30x30 transformer desk, as shown. This will allow me a place to set up my studio monitors and recording equipment. See figure 2 for a vertical view of my planned desk layout. :)

Playing a guitar in this tiny space may be a little conforming, but I expect to be able to use the six foot length to my advantage. Also, the house itself will be wholly utilizable as a recording space in itself, as it is in such close proximity to the equipment. I need only move a microphone six feet to change environments.

There is also the option of loft recording. I feel this might be a good option for a quiet stage-like background for a video feed, for instance.


This third sketch illustrates the general concept of the second floor.

The back wall will have a stretch of 2x2' windows across a shed dormer, opening up the design, and letting quite a bit of light in.

Across the way, there will be a 3' deep storage loft over the bathroom. There will be shelves for storage, and a place to keep a fresh water storage jug for when we are on the road. (It will be positioned over the shower with an on-demand heater for easy gravity-fed bathing whe off-grid.)

Finally, most importantly, I'd like to share this finalized freehand layout I've designed for the windows. I enjoyed making it, and think I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. :)

We decided that it was worth it to distribute two more windows across the front to help balance the weight on the right side. We also opted to make one of the 3x3's on the back wall a 3x4 for emergency exit capability.

I am finally starting to feel pleased with the process that we are making on this project. I can't wait to see some physical progress on the trailer.

Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Windows, take 6

Found these.

More doors

30" x 80" exterior mahogany $289
Any size x 80" exterior mahogany $289
24", 28" or 30" x 96" exterior mahogany $329

Many exterior mahogany, contact for pricing

Heaters Update

So, I have discovered that the Rinnai wall-mount units are not approved for RV use.

So, I'm just biting the bullet and saying we can mount a standard propane RV furnace in a cabinet. Takes up a bit more space length-wise, but it should be effective enough.

Here is a website with a lot of different models.

The prices are good.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Door options

Check this out... 32" dutch door (opens in two sections) WITH screen door: 450.

Then, I found the dutch door store ... I placed a quote request for a 30" split door with no windows. And look at these screens they have!!

Found this on Lowe's website for 72.00. Seems like the best option. It's technically an interior door. Not sure how big an issue that is.

Here's a good bathroom door, anyway.

Heat Options

Okay, I started investigating into propane heaters in place of the propane fireplace.

Some require a 100 lb. tank minimum, which we wouldn't be able to provide.

MANY do not have direct-vent features, which means you have to open a window for oxygen. VERY dangerous. Fuck that.

But... I did find some very decent wall mount units. The prices are lower. They have self-igniters and thermostats, and direct vent options. I don't know if they require a certain size tank.. will have to look into that.

But check these out:

Around 600:

THREE GRAND HOLY CRAP (but so nice):

Door options

30" x 72" Out-Swing Exterior Door w/ Fan Window $229.95

32" x 72" 9Lite Exterior Door with Panel design $325.00

32" x 72" Similar to the previous one. $244.95

32" x 72" 9Lite Mobile Home Door $226.13

Tempered Glass Windows

36" x 36" Utility Window $89.99

Tilt-wash Double-Hung Anderson Window (no size & price)
Upon looking at the Anderson Window website, it seems that all their windows cost more than we're looking to spend.

E-mailed about Phillips Aluminum Exterior Windows to find out if they are tempered.
Edit: It turns out that ALL of their windows are tempered. Woo!

32" x 15" ThermaStar by Pella Basement window $64.00

From what I'm finding online, I think it would probably be best to go with ordering some tempered glass windows from Home Depot. Perhaps something like these.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bathroom sink idea

I had an idea at one point to install a bathroom sink inside the shower under a tub faucet mounted higher than usual.

I have reconsidered it, as it would crowd the small shower stall a bit more than might be comfortable.

But, it just so happens that I found this on

Monday, August 3, 2009

Window idea

Perhaps we could use these as windows. They are tempered, with argon in between for insulation.

Here is another vendor, which specifies the dimensions.

Anyway. They're just over 21" x 27" ... 1 3/4 x 2 1/4.

I'm not sure if that's big enough or not. We could use something else in the dormer windows.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The trailer has been delivered!

My dad and I fell in love with the trailer we looked at at Rochester Truck, bought it, then delivered it to James' uncle this evening.

Looks like the ball is rolling.

Tiny For Two

After speaking with my Uncle, we've hammered out some layout details. We've decided to move the bathroom to the right of the doorway, taking it out of the main living space and kind of tucking it behind the entrance.

We've also discussed dormers quite a bit more, and I am leaning towards the idea of a full length dormer on the South facing side, simulating the tiny solar house design but with a peaked roof and shed dormer instead.

I am also considering a small dormer over the loft only on the left. We could consider going without windows here, as this is the north wall we're talking about.

The space under the loft will be divided down the middle with a supporting wall for the loft. I'd like to recess this wall by about two or three feet if possible, using a strong framing beam to support the first couple feet. I'm not sure how feasible this is, but it would aid in the next part.


The difficulty of properly laying out a tiny space is markedly increased when one is attempting to account for two people. However, that IS the scenario we are facing and we are doing our best to work out a way to make the space both privatized for each of us and still spacious at the same time.

To alleviate workspace issues and the need for our own work desks; under the loft, on either side of the dividing wall will be a desk for each of us with a window over it. Shelving for speakers and an LCD monitor will be mounted on the wall in my half, as I am attempting to accomodate a desktop computer for the time being. (Switching to laptop later, when we want to hit the road and power usage needs to be more restricted.)

I am also considering some 1/2 foot shelving or cubby holes along the walls either at the end or on the sides of my work space for storage.


We are leaning towards propane for the heat, but I am considering whether or not we might be able to get away with electrical heat if we use the ultra-low-power-usage freezer mod... but I think I would rather worry less about power consumption and just get a propane tank.

If anyone has any input on that, I'm all ears... :)

Trailer Progress

This afternoon my dad and I will be heading to NH to take a look at this trailer.
It's a PJ 620-D.

• 20' long x 83" between the fenders
• Tandem Axle
• 15,400 GVW
• 2' Dovetail
• Hide away heavy duty ramps
• Ez-lube axles
• 16" spoke wheel /radial tires,stake pockets
• 6" channel frame and tongue
• 2" treated pine deck
• power coated finish

On the phone, the salesman said they were $4200, but the link above is a listing for a model 2 years newer and it says that one is only $3995—from the same dealer. So, I'm hoping to be able to use a printout of this listing to get a better price. I don't see why not. It's 2 years older than this one.

Emergency Hotel

Just found an emergency hotel near James' work (near train for me) in case Little House isn't bulit in time. They accept pets :) $68/night