T42 SIPs Prep

Unstrapping Panels with Strapping Lads

Unstrapping Panels with Two Strapping Lads

A week ago yesterday I was Picking Up Our T42 SIPs Kit. Fortunately, we were able to store our SIPs in the covered area at Green Anchors where we’re drying in the tiny house while Isha and I headed out of town for a wedding.

Yesterday we kicked off our T42 Wall Raising Build Blitz by preparing the SIPs for the wall raising. Andy (who helped with the first T42 Build Blitz when we worked on the T42 Undercarriage & Floor Insulation and the T42 Subfloor & Bottom Plates) and Jake (my beloved landmate) came to help out. We started the day by unstrapping the stack of panels and sorting and inventorying the SIPs. We laid them out around the trailer in the orientation they needed to be installed, we checked to make sure the bevels for the roof were all pointed the right direction, and we double-checked that the right side of the SIPs (in our case the outside) was facing up.

Stapling Window Framing

Andy Stapling Window Framing

Then we started installing the window frames that Isha and I had prepped on Build Day #3. We applied the SIPs mastic all around the window opening, put in the framing (first the top and bottom pieces and then the sides), and stapled them in place with 1.5″ long, 14 gauge staples. We got into a rhythm and had all the frames we could install before putting up The Puzzle Wall in place by lunchtime.

Tom Demontrates Air Pressure Testing Equipment

Tom Demontrates Air Pressure Testing Equipment

We snagged some lunch at a local taqueria and then headed out on a field trip to Clackamas to meet with Tom Schneider, who invented the R-Guard liquid applied waterproofing system we’re using for our little house. Tom gave us a tour of the laboratory where they test their products under various conditions and explained the benefits of the liquid applied system.

Andy & Jake Installing R-Guard

Back at the job site, we painted the SIPs with our R-Guard liquid applied barrier. When I installed the My Tiny House Air Barrier on The Lucky Penny the walls were already up and it was tricky getting the thick, sticky R-Guard onto the panels high over our heads. We ended up wearing no small amount of it home on our clothing! So when we did the Cilantro Poncho Build Blitz (which also used a liquid applied air barrier) we tried applying it before raising the walls. It worked beautifully and taking advantage of gravity was even more wonderful with the R-Guard system because it’s much more viscous.

We wrapped up Day 4 of building for T42 with the panels almost ready to be raised. We’re excited about the wall raising today and tomorrow and the roof raising Thursday and Friday. Wish us luck!

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Niche Consulting on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest

Follow Niche on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Follow Niche on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

I’ve been a bit behind the times, but I’ve recently created a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a Pinterest account for Niche Consulting. Now you can stay up to date on tiny house, small home, and sustainable design and lifestyle happenings with Niche through these social media mediums.

On Niche’s Facebook page, you can learn about workshops I’m teaching, events I’m speaking at, and get teasers about my latest blog posts. Please like the Niche page, share with friends, and stay tuned!

Follow Niche on Instagram for the latest in small home living, from vignettes of daily life in our tiny house community to the play-by-play progress of tiny house Build Blitzes.

And, of course, check out Niche on Pinterest to explore fun design ideas for creative small homes, clever tiny houses on wheels, and thoughtful urban design.

Our ‪#‎T42‬ tiny house walls go up this week so it’s a fun time to start following along on Niche!

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Picking Up Our T42 SIPs Kit

This stack of SIPs is going to be our house!

This stack of SIPs is going to be our house!

Yesterday Patrick Sughrue of Artisan Tiny House and I drove up to Puyallup, WA to the Insulfoam factory to pick up the stack of Premier SIPs for T42, the tiny house I’m building with The Guy Next Door. At the Insulfoam loading area we spotted the T42 SIPs package right away because it was the tiniest stack around!

It was also easy to pick our tiny house out from the rest because ours is made with the new graphite polystyrene (GPS) foam insulation that we learned about when we were Ordering Our T42 SIPs Kit. The foam is dark gray in color and it has an R-value of about 5 per inch, compared to the EPS foam we used for The Lucky Penny which has an R-value of about 4 per inch. Premier has dubbed this foam “platinum” and they figure it will become their standard before long.

Mike Karnes gave me a quick tour of the Insulfoam factory. (He and his daughter are building a tiny house this spring – using SIPs, of course – so he was a great tour guide!) I got to see how the master panels are created by placing an 8’x24′ piece of OSB down on a set of rollers, covering it with adhesive, placing a giant piece of foam on top, adding more glue, lining up a second OSB skin on top, and rolling the giant sandwich into the press to make the super strong, relatively light SIP. These panels are then fabricated into wall and roof panels for houses like mine.

I love seeing how things are made so it was especially fun to see the details of how they do things like cut electrical chases inside the foam panels with a hot wire and a stencil. They have a router station where they can cut out all the window openings, but I was amazed at how much of the cutting is actually done by super talented cutters wielding chain saws! They do the bevel cuts for the tops of walls and recess the foam in areas where splines or blocking need to be inserted. At the cutting station I asked Mike about the recycled content and recyclability of the SIPs and he said that they don’t have recycled content because they need to use virgin foam to get the structural properties of the product. However, there are other foam products that aren’t structural so they’re able to use recycled foam. Mike estimates that about 95% of the scrap cut away when the panels are manufactured at Premier ends up getting recycled. Pretty cool!

By the time we got back outside, Samuel and Rich had the panels all loaded up on Our T42 Trailer. They were appreciative we’d already installed our T42 Undercarriage & Floor Insulation as well as our T42 Subfloor & Bottom Plates. This made it easier to stack the panels on the trailer and get them strapped down so they’d be road-worthy.

I was grateful to Patrick for doing the driving on this trip and even more grateful for his company. Patrick helped me pull together the tiny house SIPs kit for The Lucky Penny and we’ve worked together on a couple other projects, too, so it was nice to have the long drive to talk about big ideas for tiny houses. Patrick and I stopped for lunch at the Yelm food co-op and then hit the road again. A few hours later we situated the trailer in the covered area at Green Anchors where we’ll be doing our T42 Wall Raising next week. If you’re interested in joining us, please sign up for the T42 Build Blitz! We’re got a great crew of Tiny House Sidekicks and Tiny House Helpers, but we love a few extra hands if you’re interested and able!

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T42 Materials Palette

T42 Materials Palette Exploration

T42 Materials Palette Exploration

Over the past couple of months Isha and I have slowly developed a materials palette for our tiny house, T42. The past couple days we made great progress when build blitzer Sonja (who is, thankfully, also a sustainable materials geek) joined me to scout for finish materials. We headed out with our trusty color palette mug in hand. Let me explain…

I really enjoyed developing The Lucky Penny’s Materials Palette, and Isha likes my little house, too, so he’s trusted me to come up with a scheme for the new house. It’s been fun finding the intersection of our preferences. I tend to be drawn to jewel tones and I love rich, complex pastels. I’m particularly fond of the purple and green combination. Meanwhile, Isha loves blue – ALL the blue – which I’ve never been particularly wild about. He’s especially fond of cobalt. Luckily, we landed on an awesome scheme when I remembered a set of mugs I had when I lived in Walla Walla. I’d picked them up from Clay in Motion, a family-owned pottery studio in Milton-Freewater, OR and I’d loved them to pieces (literally!) over the years. So the last time Isha and I went to Walla Walla I took him to Clay in Motion and we picked up a set of mugs in their Mossy Creek scheme. It’s a lovely minty green base with a vibrant lilac secondary and a cobalt accent. There are also thin ribbons of a lighter blue and a darker green. It ties our favorite colors together beautifully!

Mossy Creek Mugs from Clay in Motion

Mossy Creek Mugs from Clay in Motion

On Wednesday it was drizzly so Sonja and I hung out at a coffee shop, researching materials and making phone calls regarding sourcing, lead times, and availability. After I’d shown Sonja our SketchUp model and some of the items we’re considering, we chose some items to investigate. Sonja found a few great visual examples of the materials scheme we’re exploring for the exterior of the house. The cedar siding with cedar window frames against the black of our fiberglass windows should look really sharp with our zincalume roof!

We also explored interior wall coatings and discovered the clay plaster paint I was excited about won’t work on our OSB substrate. I’ll plan to use that for another house one of these days… Meanwhile, the milk paint Sonja introduced me to is very cool but cost-prohibitive for the amount of wall space we need to cover. So we landed back on Colorhouse Paints, which I used for The Lucky Penny. Colorhouse Paints are eco-friendly, solvent and VOC-free, and the company is local and woman-owned! We narrowed down the colors on Wednesday just looking at the colors online, which prepared us for our scouting trip on Thursday.

On Thursday, Sonja and I spent the entire day on a materials scouting field trip to investigate flooring and countertop options. Our day started at Green Depot where we explored interior primer and paint and honed in on some fabulous Colorhouse hues. (We’re inclined towards a pale green for our long walls, a light lilac for our studio, and a silky blue for our bathroom.)

Then Greg walked us through all of these awesome green products:

  • Sealer for our exterior trim: We’re leaning towards OSMO One Coat HS because this European formulated product line covers in one application.
  • Cork, bamboo, and linoleum flooring options: We’re considering recycled glass tile for the bathroom and entry because it’s easy maintenance, there are lots of cool design opportunities, and it’s durable and hard-wearing. We’re also excited about cork for the kitchen, living room, and studio because it’s lightweight, insulating (yay for warm on the feet!), resilient, cost-effective, and looks super cool!
  • Paperstone and butcherblock countertops: Both exciting options! The “slate” colored paperstone is regionally manufactured and would look really sharp with our black window frames! The butcherblock countertops are locally (and minimally) manufactured by Sustainable Northwest Wood and the juniper and fir are particularly lovely!

Greg sent us home with some samples on loan since I’ve found it’s important to touch these materials and hold them next to each other to really get a sense for how it will come together. And, of course, I wanted Isha to be able to decide which ones he likes best, too!

Next we went to Bamboo Revolution where we talked with Ben whom I worked with on the Breathe Building project. He explained that their densified bamboo probably isn’t the best bet for a tiny house floor because it’s so heavy. But I fell in love with the idea of using their 3/4″ bamboo for our countertops and potentially our desks, too. It’s one of our lighter weight options, it comes in a thin enough profile that it will help make the counters more Lina height, and it has a fabulous banding pattern on the exposed edge! At $200 for a 4’x8’x3/4″ piece of bamboo plywood, it’s also a quarter the price of the Paperstone and a third of the price of the local butcher block countertop! Talk about an easy decision!

The materials we've honed in on for T42 (minus the crimson backdrop which is the Lucky Penny color!)

The materials we’ve honed in on for T42 (minus the crimson backdrop which is the Lucky Penny color!)

Our next stop was Rejuvenation where we got inspired by all the beautiful hardware and lighting options. We popped into Sustainable Northwest Wood to get pricing and lead time info from Ryan (whom I also worked with on the Breathe Building project). The wood butcher blocks are not the best option for this tiny house because of the weight, the thickness of the material, and the cost, but ohmygoodness do I ever want to use their juniper and madrone butcher blocks for a kitchen someday! Simply stunning!

Then we were off to EcoFloors where David walked us through cork, linoleum, and HydroCork flooring options as well as an alternative brand for the bamboo countertops. We liked one of the cork flooring options quite a bit and it was less expensive than the other one I’d particularly liked from Green Depot, so we brought home a sample of that, too. We learned that the click Marmoleum products don’t work well in a steamy environment like a bathroom, so that helped nudge me further towards using tile for the bathroom and entryway.

Eventually we headed south to Sherwood where we visited with Micah at Lakeside Lumber to learn about exterior trim and siding options. I have a lot of noodling to do on this one since each decision about our siding makes a big difference for the look and feel of the house. We’re trying to get a contemporary look at a great price and even I am curious about what we’ll decide! Finally we made our way to Building Material Resources where we looked at doors (so many possibilities for our pocket and track doors) and cedar siding (a couple cool options here, too!)

It was fun showing Isha (and Jake and Karin) all of the samples we’d picked up during this epic scouting day and sharing everything we’d learned along the way. Fortunately, Isha likes my favorite, too. It’s fun to be honing in on our interior finishes and getting a better sense of the look and feel of T42!

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T42 Subfloor & Bottom Plates

Day 2. Subfloor & Bottom Plates. Done!

Day 2. Subfloor & Bottom Plates. Done!

Earlier this week we kicked off our first T42 Build Blitz. We made good progress on Monday with the T42 Undercarriage & Floor Insulation. On Tuesday we had another gorgeous day down at Green Anchors and Build Blitzers Andy and Sonja worked with me to install the subfloor and bottom plates. (More photos to come. Having photo upload issues. Grrr!)

We started out Build Day #2 by marking the center line of our trailer. To do this we measured the trailer width in five points across the trailer, marked that center point, and drew a line the length of the trailer. Then we laid out our bottom plates, making sure that they will accommodate our SIPs layout. We cut our bottom plates to length and then held the tape measure to the center point and adjusted our bottom plates side to side so that the outside of the plates were 49 1/2″ from the center in each direction and clamped them in place. The trailer is 100″ wide and the house is 100″ and the SIPs have a 1/2″ outer skin, so laying out the bottom plates this way gave us 99″ from edge to edge which should accommodate our SIPs just right. We did the same front to back and we ended up a schosh bigger in this direction, but it’s only 1/8″ and in my experience tiny houses often grow a smidge from the plans, so we think it will work okay.

Then Andy drilled through the bottom plates from below using the existing holes. Our trailer had the holes pre-drilled in the flanges, which saved us heaps of time! (Though we did have to drill two more because of the way our SIPs lay out. Andy did that using a set of bits that stepped up 1/8″ each time. Thanks, Andy!) Then we inserted our 4″ long 1/2″ diameter galvanized bolts, using a flat washer then a plate washer on top of the bottom plate and a flat washer, lock washer, and nut below the trailer flange. Unfortunately, the plate washers I’d picked up at the hardware store (which are actually 3″ bearing plates from the Simpson fastener section) hung over the edge of the bottom plate, so at lunchtime I swapped these out for 1 1/2″ plate washers.

Once the bottom plates were in place we double-checked the span for our subfloor. Our subfloor is 3/4″ tongue and groove Edge Gold which sits on top of the polyiso foam and the sill seam on top of the trailer. We cut the subfloor with enough of a gap all the way around that the SIPs will be able to sit down nicely onto the sill seam. We tacked these subfloor pieces down with self-tapping screws along the perimeter of the metal trailer frame. Then Sonja sealed the seams between panels with another bead of sealant. Once the SIPs walls are up we’ll be able to close the joint between the walls and the floor by adding a bead of spray foam if necessary and then a sealant joint. This isolates our wall system from our floor system. We never have the subfloor in contact with the elements outside, transferring cold to our feet. (I did it this way for The Lucky Penny Floor Box, too.)

We got the floor system nearly finished by the time we took a late lunch. After lunch we installed the new plate washers, double-checked our measurements, and cinched down the bolts (but not too tight!) Sonja also plugged the extra holes in our trailer using black 3/4″ PEX plugs and more of that handy sealant. (The “extra holes” were pre-drilled through the sides of the trailer for that wooden floor system we didn’t use – see my note in T42 Undercarriage & Floor Insulation for more on that!)

With the bottom plates bolted down and the subfloor in place, the trailer is now totally ready for its trip up to Premier SIPs in Puyallup. Patrick of Artisan Tiny House will be making the drive with me to pick up the SIPs early next week. (and I get to go on a field trip of the SIPs factory!) I’m so excited!

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T42 Undercarriage & Floor Insulation

Great progress before lunchtime!

Great progress before lunchtime!

Our tiny house build has begun! On Sunday Isha and I moved our tools down to our build site at Green Anchors. It was May Day and seemed an auspicious day to start a project like this! Yesterday we kicked off our first Build Blitz and with the assistance of two great Tiny House Helpers, we made great progress on our floor system.

We started out Build Day #1 yesterday with intros, safety, and a site orientation. Then we started cutting our 1/2″ pressure treated plywood to fit inside the trailer frame, spanning the cross ribs, which are dropped to the bottom so that we have the full 6″ cavity to work with. We used one full sheet of ply and ripped four of them to about 47″ and one to 42″ wide to get them to land properly on the trailer ribs. Once they’d been dry fitted we put a bead of sealant down underneath them and sealed the plywood in place with a bead of sealant from the top, too. (If I’m feeling super ambitious I may also crawl around under the trailer and seal up the seams from the bottom, too. Then again, I may decide this is good enough…)

Andy cutting foam board insulation

Andy cutting foam board insulation

Next we crosscut our 2 1/2″ polyisocyanurate insulation to length so that it would fit into the trailer frame. We ripped the first sheet in half so that the insulation seams would be staggered from the sealed seams of the PT ply. Then we crosscut our 3″ polyiso insulation to length, inserting them with the seams staggered from the first layer. We ripped our last piece to fit in, just so. Our 79 1/2″ measurement fit really nicely without us having to shoehorn the insulation into place. I’ve often spray foamed the gaps, too, but we didn’t have gaps big enough to spray foam so we skipped the foam! Since we’re well air sealed, we should be in pretty good shape here.

We wrapped up the day by gluing our pink seam seal to the trailer frame so that the wooden bottom plates and the OSB subfloor won’t be in direct contact with the metal of the trailer. Then we tarpped the trailer and packed the tools in for the day. A good day’s work!

Mocking up bottom plates, subfloor, and installing seam seal

Mocking up bottom plates, subfloor, and installing seam seal

You might have noticed that our tiny house floor system doesn’t have a wooden joist system inside the trailer frame. That wooden floor system is important if you’re using fiberglass insulation and need supports for your subfloor. However, I’ve never figured out why it would be necessary if you’re using rigid foam insulation since foam board insulation has decent compressive strength. So we’ve basically made a SIP inside the trailer frame because we used a 1/2″ PT ply undercarriage as the bottom skin, 5 1/2″ polyiso foam as the insulation, and then 3/4″ T&G OSB subfloor as the top skin. We didn’t glue the pieces to each other, so they’re not structural the way they would be if they were a true SIP. However, we have gravity working with us here, so it would take a pretty major event to separate them again!

Day 1 Done!

Day 1 Done!

This floor system is how I built the floor system for The Lucky Penny, too. You can read about that in Floor Box Lessons Learned and My Floor Box Continued. Back in 2014, I’d never heard of anyone else doing it this way, but I figured building a SIP inside the trailer frame would save weight, time, materials, and cost over doing a wooden floor system. Additionally, it would reduce thermal bridging and provide more insulation which means better energy efficiency. The only drawback is that since my homemade SIP isn’t structural, without those supports every 16″ to 24″ on center, there is a little more give in the floor. I suppose we could have gone up to a thicker (and therefore more rigid) subfloor, but it would have been heavier, more expensive, and would have taken away just a little more headroom. Fortunately, I found that once I installed my flooring in The Lucky Penny, the give isn’t very noticeable anymore. This floor system worked the first time, so we’re doing it again.

 

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Picking Up Our Tiny House Trailer

Ready to drive off with our tiny house trailer!

Ready to drive off with our tiny house trailer!

Here we go again!

On Friday Isha and I rented a truck from one of our landies at Simply Home Community and drove over to Iron Eagle Trailers to pick up our trailer. For those of you who haven’t yet built a tiny house, this is the equivalent of a groundbreaking. It’s a big deal because getting the trailer to the build site is the very first thing we do to make the build real.

Lina & the new tiny house trailer

Lina & the new tiny house trailer

When we arrived at Iron Eagle we were amazed to see how many tiny house trailers there are in the yard right now! Dozens of folks have ordered their trailers and will be picking them up shortly, so it looks like Isha and I will be in good company with our build this summer! Iron Eagle has gotten so backlogged on tiny house trailer orders the past couple years that this winter they actually built a few extra so they’d have them in stock when tiny house build season began. Right now they have a handful of 20′ trailers, 24′ trailers, and 28′ trailers available, so you could pick up a tiny house trailer tomorrow! (Tell Rob I sent ya to get a discount, too!)

From a 4 Prong to 7 Blade

From a 4 Prong to 7 Blade

We gave our 24′ long, 8’5′ wide PAD series tiny house trailer the once-over and then signed our paperwork with Mary in the office. Rob helped us get the trailer connected to the truck but we then discovered The Hiccup. (See A Tiny Move for My Tiny House for more about discovering The Hiccup): we realized that we had a 4 prog light connection on the truck and a 7 blade RV style connection on the trailer.

Rob Connecting Trailer LightsFortunately, there’s a hardware store just a few blocks away that sells the adapter. Unfortunately, they were sold out of have the adapter we needed. Fortunately, Isha was able to figure out which parts we could use to piece it together and when he handed them to Rob, Rob said “Okay, just give me a moment!” Rob came back less than 5 minutes later with a Frankensteined contraption that worked perfectly to connect the truck lights to the trailer lights.

And we were off! We swung by Winroc SPI (AKA Paragon Pacific) to pick up the insulation for our floor system. It was raining by then (of course! thank you, Murphy!) but we managed to get our insulation strapped down to the trailer (and our eyes peeled for rainbows!)

Then Isha and I parted ways for a couple hours. I dashed off to do an on-site consultation for a family exploring the possibility of putting an ADU on their property. Despite the rain, we had a great time talking through their options.

Tiny Houses under construction at Green Anchors

Tiny Houses under construction at Green Anchors

Meanwhile, Isha drove our tiny house trailer down to our build site, Green Anchors, where Matt helped him get oriented to the tiny house cluster. There are 7 tiny houses under construction at Green Anchors right now and one other bare trailer besides ours. Matt says there are at least five more coming. It’s so cool to see this exponential growth! The year before I built The Lucky Penny at Green Anchors, there was one tiny house (Nicholette and Mitchell’s tiny). The next summer my build buddy Laura Klement and I built our tiny homes side-by-side. Last summer there were a handful of tinies constructed at Green Anchors. And this year there will likely be a couple dozen. Woohoo!

Lina & Isha's Trailer DeliveryFriday evening Isha and I reconnected at Green Anchors to tarp our trailer and get me oriented to site. We celebrated our trailer delivery – and date night – with dinner at Proper Eats. Today we’ll be getting ourselves set up on site in preparation for tomorrow’s T42 Build Blitz.

And so it begins! (If you’d like to help out with our build, please let us know when you can join us!)

Posted in building, picking up our trailer, planning, T42, tiny house, tiny house trailer, trailer delivery | 2 Comments

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Tiny Tub & Copper Paneling

Tiny Tub & Copper Paneling

When they say “April showers bring May flowers,” they’re talking about spring rains, but with my new Garden Beds & Graywater set up, the showers I take in April really will contribute to the success of my flowers this May. Let me explain…

Over the past year and a half that I’ve been living in my tiny house, The Lucky Penny, I’ve never gotten around to finalizing my shower because it’s easy enough to shower in The Big House at Simply Home Community, which is just a few dozen feet away. However, it’s always been my intention to have the shower set up so that it can be used when The Lucky Penny is located in a place where there isn’t such easy access to a shower.

Entry Curtain Over Shower

Entry Curtain Over Shower

I’ve now made three pushes to get my shower set up. The first time was more than a year ago when I got everything almost ready, minus installing and caulking the corner trim. Then something I did under the house broke something inside the system, which meant that I had to tear everything out again and basically start over. It took me a while to muster the energy to tackle it again. In late February this year Isha helped me get my shower mostly set up by dismantling and then reinstalling my shower. We also took the opportunity to raise the floor in the entryway by 2″ so that it matches the floor in the rest of the house. The height difference had always annoyed me, so it’s splendid to have this little quirk fixed! As soon as this was done, I tried out my shower by sitting in my tub, but without a shower curtain or trim I couldn’t really see what it was like.

Entry Curtain Over Door

Entry Curtain Over Door

This past week, I finally got my shower operable. I picked up a couple pieces of 1″ fir quarter round trim at Woodcrafters, stained and sealed it with a layer of Watco Danish Oil, and then added 8 layers of the wood topcoat that I used for my countertops and trim. (In fact, while I was at it, I sanded and refinished my countertop, too!) I glued the trim to the Alupanel using a Titebond Greenseal construction adhesive and used my air compressor and nailer to secure it in place. I then sealed the trim with a generous application of clear silicone caulk.

Entry Curtain Over Shower & Door

Entry Curtain Over Shower & Door

Next I installed my shower curtain rod, which is they type they use for hospital curtains. This particular one is pretty cool because you can bend it to the shape you need. I bent mine into an L-shape for my entryway and installed the shower curtain on it and a PVC-free liner on the shower side. Now the curtain can be used to cover the shower, the front door, the shower AND the front door, OR be tucked away behind the dressers, depending on whatever I’m doing in My Quintuple-Duty Mud Room! How’s that for adding multi-functionality!?

The sunflowers are doing well and a couple days ago I scattered more flower seeds in the raised bed on the south side of The Lucky Penny. Here’s to April showers bringing May flowers!


 

 

 

Posted in building, The Lucky Penny, tiny house, vardo | 1 Comment

Installing My Woder Filter

The water heater and Woder filter under my copper sink and faucet

The water heater and Woder filter under my copper sink and faucet

The past couple weeks, as I’ve been getting ready for the T42 Build Blitz Kick Off, I’ve also been working on Lucky Penny Finishes. Once I start the new house my energy will be devoted to it, so I’m using the start date of T42 as a goal to complete as many of these niggly lingering tasks from The Lucky Penny Punch List as I can!

Having my water turned off for my shower project (see April Showers Bring May Flowers for more on that!) made it very easy to install my new water filter when it arrived in the mail. We’ve had some trouble with rust and we’re still troubleshooting it, but meanwhile, Isha researched a bunch of different filter options and we landed on the Woder 10 K Gen II filter.

I decided that, while I was at it, I might as well refinish my countertop with a few new coats of the water-based topcoat. So I disconnected all the plumbing under my sink and pulled out the faucet and sink and added three layers of topcoat, sanding between each layer.

Polishing my copper sink

Polishing my copper sink

Then I polished my copper sink with salt and vinegar. After trying several different copper cleaners, a guest on one of our Tiny House Community Tours suggested this old-fashioned method. I’ve found it to be by far the best one! Then I reconnected the sink’s strainer and added a bead of silicone caulk around the ring both top and bottom.

Once I was ready to put everything back together again, I reinstalled my copper faucet (I’d taken it out to try out a couple escutcheon options, but none of them worked, so I guess I won’t have one after all!) I installed the Woder filter on the side wall of my base cabinet and then connected all of my supply lines. Cold water comes in from under the house and goes either to my water heater or to the Woder filter and then to the sink. Water from the water heater goes either to my sink or to my shower.

My copper sink all polished up!

My copper sink all polished up!

I’d removed the aerator for the sink so I could flush the system and apparently that piece is critical because when I first turned on the water again water came pouring out of the center of the faucet – from below! The internet told me I need to have the aerator in place when testing the water supply lines so I mopped up the water, put the aerator back in place, and connected everything again. Hooray! No leaks!

So I put some plumber’s putty around the sink flange, popped the sink back into its hole, did a little happy dance on top of it to make sure it was well-seated, then scrapped away the excess putty, and caulked it into place. Finally, I reconnected the “waste” lines which redirect my water to my raised planter bed via my Garden Beds & Graywater strategy.

My counters are now nice and slick, my sink is shiny, and my drinking water is now filtered. But I’ve gotta say, the most wonderful part is that I am still extremely grateful every time I have have running water again! Now for a glass of cold water! Cheers!

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T42 Build Blitz Kick Off

We're so excited to pick up our Tiny House trailer and get to work on the floor system!

We’re so excited to pick up our Tiny House trailer and get to work on the floor system!

I can’t believe it’s just a week until we begin building another tiny house! Eeeep!

The past couple weeks, I’ve been working on The Lucky Penny Punch List so that I’m ready to focus my attention on my new tiny house. (See April Showers Bring May Flowers and Finishing an Owner-Built House!)

Later this week my partner Isha and I will pick up the trailer for, T42, the tiny house we’re building for ourselves. On May Day, we’ll begin setting up our build site at Green Anchors.

On Monday, May 2 we’ll be kicking off a series of Build Blitzes for T42 and you’re invited to join us! As is typical for a building project, we know that our T42 Build Timeline is subject to change, depending on weather, material sourcing, and progress made, but so far we’re on track for the following timeline:

  • Monday, May 2 – Thursday, May 5: Tiny House Foundation & Build Prep
  • Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20: SIPs Wall & Roof Raising
  • Monday, May 30 – Friday, June 3: Rainscreen, Exterior Trim, Siding
  • Monday, June 13 – Friday, June 17: Lofts, Interior Walls & Painting
  • Sunday, June 26 – Thursday, June 30: Cabinets, Built-Ins & Stairs

If you want some hands-on build experience, please join us for a week-long Build Blitz or for the day as a Tiny House Helper!

During this first Build Blitz we’ll be working on the floor system for our tiny house, which will involve:

  • installing our undercarriage to protect the house from the ground – whether we’re parked on on the road
  • insulating the floor system
  • installing our subfloor
  • making a cut list for our lumber package
  • measuring thrice and cutting once for our window framing, sill plates, and top plates
  • laying out and bolting down our sill plates so that the walls can be raised during our next Build Blitz
  • ensuring that our site and materials are ready for our Wall Raising Build Blitz

We hope some of you will be able to join us for the build if you’re so inclined. And either way, please know that your encouragement and moral support are greatly appreciated!

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