Time Lapse

I’ve been mentally planning for the next tiny house venture and feeling very nostalgic about the first tiny house, so I threw together a quick slide show/time lapse of the exterior build. Miss that wee house!

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TINY: A Story About Living Small

Hello, hello, tiny people!

In the rare case you haven’t seen all the rage about the new tiny house movie, here is your information!  I had the privilege of viewing the movie a bit ago at Radford University and being on a tiny house panel of sorts for an evening.  This movie is awesome!  It is such a great way to see the journey that is building a tiny house.  I cannot recommend this movie enough, truly.  I believe I’ll be getting a hard copy soon and I cannot wait!  Here’s the trailer:

If you’re excited too, you can find it on iTunes (documentaries) and on Netflix.  Here is the website as well, in case you want more information: http://tiny-themovie.com/

 

A Bittersweet Farewell

Well, the time has come for me to stop being in denial and announce that my tiny house has sold!  It left Newport Hardware on March 9th for its new home with some really great ladies up in PA.  I believe eventually it’ll journey up to VT to add to their off-grid set-up.

The selling process was…interesting.  I listed it in mid/late December on tinyhouselistings.com and received TONS of emails about it.  Had a potential buyer early on but that didn’t work out.  I believe it took about 2 months from listing to getting the final sale payment.  After that it sat waiting for someone worthy enough to haul it up to them.  I couldn’t be happier with who purchased it!  I know everyone says that money talks, but I was still worried that I’d end up selling it to some rich folk in northern VA who thought it was “cute” and would just sit in the backyard as a playhouse.  I may have gotten paid but it would defeat my purpose in building it.

For the new owner’s sake, I won’t disclose how much I put into it or how much it was purchased for.  I will say that the final calculations put dad and me making between $4 and $5 and hour.  For an educational venture, that’s not too shabby.  If it was for an MBA, however, that’s a failing grade 😉

I have two new housing ventures on the horizon – the biggest being a “real” house.  I’m in the process of buying a 950 square foot house to live in and renovate.  Some will think that’s still too small, and others will think it’s too big.  I think it’s just right as it’s a combination of the tiny house philosophy and what most of us consider “normal” in society (i.e. enormous).  950 square feet is about average for homes in the 1950s and I think it’s more about space planning and getting rid of your clutter than it is about needing thousands of square feet to yourself.  The second venture is a new website!  Less of a blog and more about getting information out there and highlighting some cool alternative living folks.  It’s nowhere near done, so I’ll hold off on posting the url.  Look out for it soon!

Almost finished! …and what’s up with tiny house prices?

We are getting so close to finishing the house!  Since my last post, we trimmed out the interior doorways, finished the quarter round on the floor, and installed shelves in the closets.   The doorway trim was really the last major use of my pallet pieces…it’s kind of sad actually.  But they look great and I’m very glad to not have purchased new wood for them.  I had some extra stain left so I threw it on the solar panel stand just to pretty it up a bit.   Next I put two coats of polyurethane on the stair treads (and added some tile…I just couldn’t help it!).  Dad and I also finished putting the quarter round down on the floor and then installed shelving in the closets.  The shelves are made from scrap materials we had from previous tiny house tasks.  Even the rod is leftover from another project!  This is exactly why you should think carefully before just getting rid of construction scraps.

On a slightly different note, I’m now nailing down a sales price for the house because we’ll probably finish everything this weekend or a few days into next week.  I’m not at a number yet, but I will let you see why many tiny houses are as pricey as they are…here’s the break down of just the labor involved:

Let’s say I worked on the house an average of 2 hours each day since the beginning (I think it’s more, but for argument’s sake…).  Started in April, so that’s 8 months at 30 days each = 480 hours for me.  Add that for dad as well and we’re at 960 man/woman hours.  The average construction worker’s hourly wage is a little over $15.  So 960 x $15 = $14,400!  Add in the cost of materials which for most folks is $15k – $25k, and you’ll see why these are priced the way they are.  Of course, there are exceptions out there (so don’t jump on me if you’re building a tiny house and don’t fall into this cost range).

Flooring!

This is mostly going to be about the super awesome floor (because, well, it’s super awesome).  In all seriousness, let me backtrack for those not familiar with the master plan.  I originally wanted to use old pallets for practically everything I could think of (cabinets, flooring, trim, siding, etc.).  After a ton of work to use said pallets as interior window trim, the vote was to just use them for trim and flooring.  Pallet use is controversial because many are treated with chemicals…simple solution is to check them for “HT” which means heat treated.  Other stamps usually mean chemicals, but also keep in mind that a ton of pallets are just plain naked and fine to use as well.  Another thing to keep an eye out for is where you get them (i.e. from stores that sell chemical stuff, you’ll probably bet that their used pallets had chemical containers and such on them).  Avoid pallets with dubious stains as well.  I could go on and on about what I learned from this process, but I’ll spare you unless you really want more detail.  Heat treated or naked + planing 1/4 inch + sanding + stain + polyurethane = safe pallets pieces to use inside.

Anywho, the process for turning a pallet into flooring is actually really painful – sort pallets, deconstruct pallet, cut out sections with metal, rip down to same width, plane boards for thickness, sand smooth, apply stain to all sides (to seal it well), glue/nail to floor, apply polyurethane coats.  Dad found some really great eco-friendly glue and water-based polyurethane and both worked quite well.  I actually had to pry up one board that I split when nailing, and the glue was so strong that a layer of subfloor came up with it…whoops. I hope you enjoy the pictures!  Tonight I put the final coat of poly on the floor so tomorrow I should have some final shots I can post.

Late October Update

Got a lot of little stuff done at the end of October!  Most exciting is starting the flooring 🙂

There will be an open house in about a month at Newport Hardware. Details soon!

Early October Progress

We had another trip to prepare for, so in went the stairs/ladder and we finished up the exterior paint (aside from the door and touch-ups).  After getting back from the northern VA adventures, it was time to finish the propane lines!  Finally we could test the water heater, oven/stove, and the Newport P9000.  As much as I wanted a woodstove (and still have the one I bought sitting in storage), this little heater is a good option for tiny houses because of how little clearance it needs around itself.  I ended up buying the woodstove from myself to save for another house down the road 🙂

Besides all these pictures, I have a video treat for you all coming up.  If only I could get it to load…I took today off from work, so I’ll do my best to post the vid today sometime in between my various construction projects.

News!

Dad and I had a blast taking the house up to Manassas and Charles Town!  I got to share it with my friends, coworkers, and random tiny house enjoyers.  On our way up, we stopped at a gas station and ended up giving an impromtu tour!  As for the media coverage, let me say that it got a little hectic but everything worked out and I think it went really well.  I spoke with someone from the Patch, the Washington Post, WJLA, and Jefferson Spirit.  Am I missing anyone?  I hope not!  So here are some links to the main articles:

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/10/va-woman-builds-tiny-house-for-master-s-thesis-80680.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/fairfax-county-woman-builds-livable-tiny-house-as-part-of-sustainability-movement/2012/10/09/77ce89c4-11bc-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_blog.html

…I think the Washington Post article is how most of you fine folk found my blog.  Welcome to you!  If you’re ever down near southwest VA, let me know if you’d like to stop by (before I sell it).  Speaking of selling, lots of interest in that arena, probably due to this news stuff.  So thanks news people!  Here are some pictures from our adventure:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/media/set/?set=a.477555945608187.109868.111238175573301&type=3

So much to catch up on!

Well, I suppose this means the end of “build days” and the beginning of a very belated post of all the progress over the last month.  It’s, well…AWESOME.

Ready. Set. Pictures:

Build Days 38 – 46 (8/8/12 – 8/16/12)

So much work to catch up on…I’m thinking just a picture post today!

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