This week we wrapped up the siding, adding panels and battens above the belly band and shingles in the gable ends above the head band. It was fun to work with the cedar shingles. They smell much better than the cement board! There was also an amusing puzzle aspect of making them fit together just so. It reminded me of building a stone or straw bale wall.
There’s something about working with natural materials that’s so aesthetically pleasing. I often wish it were easier to combine natural building methods and tiny houses. There are, of course, many natural materials that can be used for tiny houses, but several natural building traditions such as straw bale and light straw clay don’t work well for tiny houses. (To learn about a wee house built with light straw clay, check out A Tiny Natural House.)
We also got started on the rough-in electrical which involved walking through the house, imagining a day in the life of a tiny house dweller. Where do we need a light switch when arriving home with groceries in the evening? Where do we want an outlet to plug in a desk lamp and computer? How can we ensure that someone can get into the loft with adequate lighting but still manage to flip out the lights to go to sleep? It’s amazing how early on in the building process these decisions need to be made! (On the other hand, for my vardo I don’t plan to run electrical through the walls any more than I have to, so I’ll probably have electrical chases above the kitchen counter and desk and use plug-in lights in most places. I will still need to plan ahead for where all the electrical will go, but I probably won’t actually run the electrical this early in the building process.) I tacked our light switch and outlet boxes and light fixture boxes into place, so Eli can do a second walk-through and make sure it’s all just right.
To bore holes through the studs for all the wiring I also got to use a heavy duty right angle drill with a super long auger bit. I’m told the tool is called a “whole hog” and I felt like it requires the accompanying attitude. When using a tool like that you’ve got to be committed to the placement of that hole! It was great fun. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to earn both my muscles and my sun tan this summer!