9.28.2016

Slowly moving along

So there have been a few things that have been holding us back from completing the tiny house on time.
We are realizing we know less about plumbing than we thought. There have also been a lot of endless nights of researching. Things online aren't so clear for the DIY'er, especially for plans that have never been forged before (like ours)
What makes our system so complicated is that we are using rainwater collection, and we are on wheels. These two aspects make everything about the plumbing, at least in my head, very very confusing.
We have had luck in finding someone who is willing to help us install, and discuss our rainwater purification system which is AMAZING. I am so happy we found the guys over at Rainwater management solutions, they have been SO helpful. We are also excited that he is going to make the trip from VA to WI to help us install the system.
What is also causing me some distress is finding the right person to help us with the basic plumbing. We've gotten quotes all over the board, as well as professionals who just flat out aren't comfortable working with something that is on wheels. There have been a lot of dead ends in the past couple weeks and it is very frustrating! There really are no codes for our project, so people have been pretty uncomfortable with working with us.
We are turning to hire a general contractor to help us continue to design our plumbing system and hopefully complete it for us in the very near future. We have a few meetings lined up this week to get quotes from contractors.

On another note, there has been a lot of woodworking things we have accomplished at the house including:
FINALLY FINISHED PAINTING SHINGLES OMG
Finishing our cedar bevel siding prep
Re-doing our shingled corners so they are woven now
Refacing our cabinets to look like pirate whiskey barrels
Insulated the wheel well
Decided on interior wall and ceiling material and purchased
continued to sand our loft flooring
made the box that the rainwater pillow will sit in
Drilled drain holes and began propane piping for propane range
Ordered our solar power from Sol Solutions- we chose the Sol-Man classic.

The solar is actually something I am SUPER excited about. It is an all in one unit that is movable via bicycle wheels! This means it is super portable, user friendly, and able to chase the sun!
Image result for sol man classic

We mainly have been spending our time doing extensive research online, buying things here and there at the green store, and continuing small projects at the build site.
There hasn't really been anything picture or video worthy recently, sorry!
I have also been working a ton, and just left my job at the Hostel on the 11th.
I decided to cut back my hours working even more, which will help me a ton in the month to come.
We are still hoping and praying to be done with the house by November 1st. This is a pretty hard deadline for us, so we are going to hire whomever we can that will help us reach this goal.

Also, if you were ever thinking about possibly volunteering your time to help out, NOW IS THE TIME. Ben and I could seriously use any help we can get, even if its just painting things for a couple hours or grabbing some power tools! We really would appreciate it! We will take you out for lunch and provide drinks!

I am feeling a tad defeated after trying to figure out plumbing on my own and realizing I need a professional. There is just so much out there about plumbing, RV systems and tiny house specifics that I am having SO much trouble sorting through it all.

If anyone has any advice on this subject please let me know! I could definitely use any help or advice from anyone! Also taking suggestions for General contractors in the meantime.

Electrical is also proven to be taking longer than anticipated and we will need help from a contractor in order to get it done in time.

This month has been very frustrating for me and I am trying my best to make it through. There is just so much that I did not prepare for, and cannot find online that is specific for my project.
Wish me luck in the next couple weeks guys, I am gonna need it!


9.09.2016

Whew!

Hi guys!
Man have we been busy as bees.
We had our first filming! That was quite an experience. I can't say much about it because I want it to be a surprise for you all! :)
To answer a few of your questions that many have already asked...
-When will your episode air? - Well, it really depends on when exactly the Nonsense is complete! We are shooting to be done Nov. 1st, but obviously the air date will be far after that due to editing and such!
-Yes I do receive a copy of my episode, and there will be a viewing party of course! Stay tuned in a couple months for that date :) Will be a fiesta!
-What is the filming like? - Well they come on many visits (4-5) to film the progress of our build. We talk, film and work hands on with the main features of the house that truly make ours unique! We definitely have no shortage of these quirks to work on, and are excited to show all of you! The show is also interested in showing a lot of time lapses to catch little projects here and there along the way! So its kind of similar to what I have already been doing for this blog via my you tube videos.
-What are you getting out of this? - Well honestly, we aren't getting paid in the normal sense. I would say the payment is having such an amazing time showcasing our hard work, meeting cool production crews and gaining recognition for being DIY Tiny House builders!
I am happy how things are working out and wouldn't want to change a thing!

We also decided to change the name of the house from Wave Rider to the SS. Nautical Nonsense! We think that this is a more ship-like name and we think it fits us very well! :D

Now back to building progress!
We only have one more actual window to install. We installed the front door, cat windows, started on siding, trimmed up windows, prepped our flooring material, began plumbing and electrical install, picked out interior paint colors and wall material, and were ALMOST done with painting siding! ***FYI if I knew that this siding idea was so much work, I don't think I would have ever thought it was a good idea! I am hoping the payout is worth it!! I am really looking forward to seeing it done***
We are working as much as we possibly can on the house right now. Ben and I both have to keep our jobs to be able to afford to work through this processes so it has been a balancing act to get things done while also staying sane, getting enough sleep, and ensuring we get enough research in before we take on a new task that we have never done before (Basically for me, I have never done any of these things before). I am actually leaving one of my two positions so that this balancing act isn't so difficult!

I also finally edited some videos that Ben and I took when we were prepping the two loft windows for installation. Notice how in both videos I make a sawzaw noise. This wasn't planned, I am just that weird! Hahah!


Here are some pictures of the last few weeks since my last update!
Thanks for reading!


Yes the tyveck on the top layer is at an angle, and yes it drives me nuts that it didn't go on straight. an OCD person's nightmare. We will have to use another small piece to patch up the top right side where it mis-aligned. 

A picture of a wall of rain headed towards the house

Our two kitty cat windows and front door! 

the beginning of our siding, starting to look great!-Thank you Chloe for your hard work!! <3 

Being corny as we sand and prep our loft flooring :)




8.25.2016

small update




Just a small update this time around. We got four more windows installed and are finishing up the house wrap. We insulated the utility shed, around the windows, added hurricane clips to the rafters, stained more shingles, got our flooring figured out, have our off-grid propane stove set up to install, and many other little things!
We have mostly been preparing some exciting things to film :)

As always more can be done with your help! If you want to come by just to check it out that is fine to.
Here are some pictures from the last few days.



working on hurricane clips


This was the end of what we got done on the 23rd

Insulating the windows

Holes that were cut out of the chill loft


Sealed up the utility closet, this was pretty tricky!

End of the 24th

8.19.2016

We have a roof!

Wow it's been a crazy week!
I had surgery, some of my family came out to visit the house, and my mom was here to visit.
Some great progress has also been made on the house. We had Jacob come back for a visit to help us and man the time flew!
He was here on Tuesday and that day we were able to cut all of the rafters, hang them, and install the roof. I unfortunately could not get a very good angle for the time lapse of the roof, but you can see in the angle I did get that he moves fast!
I definitely don't know how to put together a roof and with me two stories up trying to install it would have been tough! You can see in the pictures below that I never actually went up on the roof, I was too nervous! That is why having Jacob here was so important, he has installed many roofs and was able to complete ours really efficiently. Ben has some experience being on top of roofs, but not actually installing them.
So I stayed on the ground and cut rafters, made runs to the hardware store, and made sure everything ran smoothly. I was in the background these last few days because I actually had to get my gall bladder removed.
Even though I was resting, we still got a ton done on the house this week!
Jacob also helped us plan our our electrical wiring. He walked us through each room and asked us what light switches we wanted where, how many lights, how many outlets etc. He actually just drew on the inside of the walls with a sharpie! It was really helpful though and makes it much easier for us to start working on the daunting task of electrical!
While working on our windows we had a pretty big hiccup. Because we price matched our windows from the green store to the orange store, the measurements for the rough opening of the window got lost in translation. The windows that we had were the wrong size for the rough opening we had planned for them to go. So, after I had a heart attack of course, we had to take the 2x4 sills and one of the window cripplers out from each of our windows and replace them with a 1x4 so that our windows would fit. It wasn't a huge deal, but it did waste time definitely.

Other than that hiccup, everything ran very smoothly out at the farm. We had another great time working with Jacob and the house is finally starting to look like a real home.
And as always, thanks to my Mom, Jacob, Dad and Bill for working so hard with me.
Take a look at some of the pictures I took and the time lapse over the big two days of work! :)








 This next one is a picture of our front door opening, loft and roof!







8.08.2016

8.7


We had a great day on Sunday!
We were able to get up more sheathing, lift two more loft walls, and paint a bunch of cedar shingles! Thank you so much to Liesel, Chloe, Danny, my dad and Bill for all your help yesterday!
I love having volunteers out to see the project and be a part of it!
Here is the time lapse from yesterday cued in with a clever song :)





Here is Ben's friend Danny working on cutting pieces of sheathing

More signatures! 

Chloe, it means a lot to me that you came by and were able to sign it!! You've been through it all with me girl and I'm glad your well wishes will be with me for whatever you cannot! <3


I'm sure Ben would have the same to say about Danny! You guys have been friends forever and I know he loved seeing you Sunday!! 


Here are just a few more pictures from that day. 



We are receiving our window delivery tomorrow! So exciting!!

Soon we will have the roof on, and have it all sealed up with windows!

8.04.2016

Progress

Now that it is back to just Ben and I working on the house, the progress has been moving slower, but we are still getting things done!
Since my last post, we finished attaching the Simpsons strong ties to the trailers threaded rods. 
This task was a HUGE pain... For anyone who is reading that is going to be using the HDU4 and HDU5 ties, here are some tips:
Make sure you leave enough space in the framing in order to fit a screwdriver between the nearest stud and the tie. We didn't have enough space so we had to hand crank some of the screws into place. 
Double check that your nuts have PERFECT threads or else they will not go on the rods correctly, and they will shear the thread on the rod. We learned this the hard way and had to cut the rods down in order to get nuts on them. 
Here is my amateur video that I made in order to give some advice!


We also decided on a name for the house! WOOHOO!
It's name is The Wave Rider :)
This following video is of the progress we made on 7/27. Mostly it was finishing off those pesky tie rods! Both Ben and I are messing with them in this video, they pretty much took up most of our day.
I am messing around with video editing for the first time. Its pretty easy and definitely will make my videos a lot better.




This week we also got our front door deliverd! It is a french door that I am IN LOVE WITH! I am so happy Jacob was able to incorporate french doors into our plans. It is going to be so great to have in the house! Here it is arriving at the buildsite in our truck.
Here is me standing in front of the space the door is to be installed. It will be our front door coming in from the porch! 

This passed week we again had issues with rain. We decided that we are just going to ditch the tarp all together because the last time it rained, the tarp really did not help at all. We also think that leaving the tarp on there traps moisture from being able to evaporate out of the floor so we are leaving it open to the elements. This way though, the sun can dry out the wetness quicker. During our construction on this last Tuesday, 8/2, we had a storm! 


Also on 8/2 we got our first wall of sheathing done! We really wanted to be able to use our nail gun for this because we have to place a nail every 4-8" on every stud.. but our nail gun was too powerful. We turned down the PSI of the nail gun, but then the gun was shooting blanks and ripping holes in our plywood because the PSI was not strong enough to break the nail cartridge and actually shoot the nail out. So we have had to hand hammer allllll of the nails on our sheathing so far. My wrist has been hurting from all this hammering! But it needs to be done. 

After this sheathing was put on this wall, Ben cut out the "Window" with a sawzaw. It isn't actually a window, it's the access opening that we have to our utility shed. 
Here is Ben and his dad working to secure the utility shed. You can see Ben standing in the "window". This goes to our bathroom. 



I like to joke and say that our utility shed is the garage of our house. hahahah I am really happy that we are able to have this shed though because it adds some valuable space for things like tools. When it is finished, it will have a door from the outside and from the inside for full access. It will also be insulated.
This part of the build was the most confusing for me because of the angled cuts we had to make. I ended up messing some of them up because the boards weren't positioned the right way, and so we lost a couple hours of work and had to make another run to the store to pick up more treated lumber. But it is done! The floor assembly for this shed is built, but we haven't mounted it yet. That is up next!

We then continued sheathing yesterday and got four panels of plywood up. Again, we had to hand hammer it all! If anyone who is reading this has a suggestion for using a nail gun for this purpose, please let me know haha my wrist would appreciate any advice!

Two panels on this side, and two on the other. The bathroom is finally starting to feel like an actual room with actual walls!
We could really use some help with this sheathing so if you are interested please let me know! There will beer for whoever can come help hammer!
That is all the updates I have for now, thanks for reading! 

7.23.2016

Lifting walls

So a lot has happened over the last week!
First we ordered all of the materials we needed for the shell of the house including lumber, sheathing, siding, wood stains etc. It was in a long list given to us from our architect, Jacob. That list however was from the green store (I am using colors instead of naming the big box). We took this list as well as window quotes for our custom windows, and brought them to the orange store. They price matched it all! We also got a bulk discount at the orange store. We set up the materials to be delivered to the build site.
When I ordered the materials, I had given the date to be delivered but it was mistaken for a week later! I did not double check the delivery date though when I walked out of the store which was a BIG MISTAKE. I did not realize the date was wrong until the night before the delivery when the store was already closed. So I woke up at 5:30 in the morning the Monday it was supposed to be delivered to call the delivery department and let them know about the mistake that was made on both ends.
The sense of urgency in this situation was due to the fact that we were anticipating Jacob to come from Lacrosse to help us with construction on Tuesday and the materials were supposed to be delivered Monday.
They told us the delivery would come at 6:30am on Tuesday.
So that was fine, if the materials were dropped off that early, we could unload even before Jacob arrived at the site.
But 6:30am came along, no truck, 7:00am, no truck.. 7:30am no truck. So we called.
The delivery was not to be out until 2pm that day. So with that being completely not possible, Ben, my Mom and I drove to the store ourselves to pick up some of the materials.
They had also loaded up one of their rental trucks with our materials since the designated delivery semi was not at the store.
Luckily Jacob got caught in some traffic and we did not have to pay him to watch us unload materials!!
After all of the deliveries were taken care of, there was a total of three, we got to work.
We completed the sub floor first thing which included laying sill seal, screwing in the last 2x4 frame pieces, and cutting and screwing in the tongue and groove plywood. Thanks Chaz for your help!!
After that we worked on framing the walls.
I worked mostly on cutting the lumber to the correct specs. I was following the cut-lists that Jacob laid out for us and was cranking out lumber!
Jacob and Ben worked on actually framing up the walls. We used the trailer bed as a level surface to do this but we also had some of the walls laid out on the ground.
Here is the time lapse from that first day for you guys to see what we were able to accomplish! (I soon will have a youtube channel specifically for our house so stay tuned)




And here is from day 2! We switched to have the time lapse take pictures every minute this day because we knew we would be lifting our walls! Enjoy!




The camera split the videos into three because it was such a large file. I will find out soon how to string them together.





In this next video you can see the sunken hallway being framed as well as us squaring up the house.





I love that the horses at the farm are included in my videos :) They don't mind us at all.
So some things that I learned from these two big days:
-Having a runner is so helpful, Thanks mom! We would have been stuck a lot if we did not have someone willing to run down to the store and pick up whatever we needed
-have an assembly line. It worked out great to have me and one other working on cutting lumber and have two others working on framing the walls.
-Always double check delivery dates and confirm them with the store.
-Always take breaks to drink on a hot day and also eat lunch.
-All nuts aren't perfect when they come from the store, and neither are the threaded rods that are connected to the trailer. The simpsons strong ties were a struggle to secure because the threads misaligned in many places.
-Have the windows and doors ordered as soon as you can. We have ours ordered but they are being shipped within the next week or so, so we have to wait to continue much further until we get those installed.
-No matter how accurate you think your plans are, there will always be changes!

At the end of Day 2 we tarped up the entire thing.
This however did not withstand the HUGE storm we had here two nights ago and unfortunately everything got wet. I did call a tumbleweed tiny house building expert however and he reassured me that even if it does get wet, it will be fine. There may be some buckling in the floor, and I will need to spray mold killer in case any begins to grow. Thank you Matt for your help!!
I wish I had somewhere to build inside, but the farm is doing just fine!

Next we will be building the loft walls and putting on the sheathing of the house, house wrapping and adding siding!

There will be a staining party at the farm this Wednesday if anyone is interested in staining some cedar!


Thanks to all that helped during these last construction days! I couldn't do this without you all!





7.10.2016

Breaking ground

So there have been some road bumps over the last week.
For our sub floor we are using rigid foam insulation in between the trailer beams. We added the first layer last week in one day, tarped it up and then came back the next day to find that the tarps failed us and rain got on, and under, the insulation. So I spent a lot of time drying out the panels we cut, as well as drying out the trailer. The day it happened it was really hard to keep my cool! I was so frustrated that our tarps failed, and that we are so dependent on the weather since we are building outside.
We also realized that in our composting toilet, the fan we ordered was the wrong one! So dealing with the Richard to return just the fan and replace it with the correct, solar friendly, model was required. He did a great job helping us out and we really appreciate how he worked with us to correct our mistake! We also had some trouble with our time lapse camera because I didn't read the manual :P

There have also been some great ups this week though! We got the trailer leveled, our sink was delivered, and we set dates for the framing of the walls!
After the insulation dried out, I reinstalled it. Bought a bigger tarp that covers the entire trailer (before I had layered two tarps... in hindsight it was a terrible idea). Bought bungee cords to tie down the tarp instead of duct tape (again... was a terrible idea).
Today Ben and I also installed the second layer of insulation, filled in the gaps with spray foam insulation and added the first piece of wood to the trailer! We add 2x6 treated lumber on the outskirts of the trailer so that when we are building the walls, we nail the wall both into the trailer steel and to the wood on the outskirts for double the connection.


It was a big milestone for us! We have been mainly doing the leg work like research, calling people, and ordering things online so it is a great feeling to actually be progressing in the real build. Building it ourselves is also a blessing because we are able to see the entire project progress. It is also a challenge though because there have been a lot of random problems that we've had to solve.
For example, the trailer tail lights were too close to the edge of the trailer for us to be able to fit a 2x6 flush to it. We had to turn the lights upside down and re-screw them in place! Also today it randomly started sprinkling so we had to quickly cover the tarp in the middle of cutting insulation!

We also had a nice visit from Amy Scott Jack and Henry (my uncle aunt and cousins) at the build site today!

I finally figured out my time lapse camera to! It is super awesome, can leave it in one spot and it can take pictures for hours!
Here is the first video from today! In this one we are re-fitting the dried insulation and then laying out the cuts that we made for the second layer
video

And here is the second one from today :) This one we are cutting the panels the right length, filling in gaps with spray foam, finishing second layer and adding the wood skirt on the back of the trailer. You can see that I took a nice break laying on the insulation and staring at the sky today :P
video

The rest of this week we will be finishing up the sub floor by adding sill seal, wood to the rest of the perimeter, and plastic sheeting over it all. We also are going to be ordering the ENTIRE SHELL of the house, including all of the framing materials, roofing etc so that we can start that part of the build next week! Things are moving MUCH faster now, and I am so excited! 

Thanks for reading :) 

7.04.2016

Ordering Materials

This week is the one!! We are going to start ordering our materials to build the framing!

Jacob has given us the preliminary plans, including cut lists and detailed instructions! (example below of the first step of making our tiny home)
The cut list on these diagrams is especially helpful because it gives us the exact measurements for every single cut of wood we will be doing!



We also got a framing nail gun this week, and an energy efficient TV sound system. (Ben has to get rid of his big subs we used in our apartment :( they will be missed)

I also ordered our mini Panda washer/dryer combo. Its an unconventional way to do laundry, but I think it will work out really well for our needs. Check out a video to learn more about how were choosing to do our off-grid laundry!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Ju2x_kyPI

We are having meetings at Home Depot with managers to handle our large lumber order this week, so soon we will be off and running!
I also have been thinking a lot about putting together a team meeting for those of you who wish to volunteer your time and learn how to build a tiny house!
So please please please if you are interested at all in helping construct anything within our house, reach out to me via call/text/email/facebook and let me know! Soon I will be picking a date and time for a meeting, and also starting the build! Our architect Jacob has even offered to help us kick off the build soon!

Things are off to a great start and I know this month will be filled with a lot of big starts!
Thanks for reading!



6.17.2016

SO CLOSE

So earlier this week Ben and I met with our architect Jacob and we went over the tweaks. There are some windows that need to be moved, and the utility shed on the end of the trailer is going to be raised just tall enough so that two propane tanks can fit snugly underneath.
Here is some screenshots of our model!
Some of the windows in these screenshots aren't cut out out yet, but you can kind of get the gist from these pictures! We are really excited and LOVE our design. We think it will fit our lifestyle really well! We also got a materials list for all of the lumber that we will need, as well as other random building materials. I really like the price for all of the materials it rang up to $3,879. This price is for the entire shell! How great is that?!?! The real price comes in with the fluff to be added inside! 

Another big milestone happened we  purchased our composting toilet today! We are using the seperette model if anyone is curious, check it out! 

We are getting closer and closer each day to building this thing! I cannot wait to get started. We are now waiting for Jacob to fix a couple little things and give us our final construction documents! 

For those volunteering, these documents will be REALLY REALLY helpful for us all. They are going to break down each little section of wall and exactly what cuts need to be made and even what exact type of lumber size is needed! It will basically be like an instruction manual! Jacob actually built a tiny home with his high school carpentry class so I told him to pretend like I was just another student, learning how to build things. 

The big days that we will need as many volunteers as possible will be the days we put up the walls and the roofing/put in windows. This is a lot of big lifting that I will really appreciate help! 

I also wanted to update everyone on our potential TV debut! We had an interview with HGTV's "Tiny House, Big Living" last week! They seemed to really like our unique ideas and I am crossing my fingers we get on the show! They would just act as a "fly on the wall" documenting our progress and doing interviews! I am really really hoping that I will be able to be on the show, so everyone wish us luck! And hey that's just another reason for volunteers to show up right? You'd be on T.V! 

Everything is moving along smoothly here and we are trying to prep as much as we can before we actually build. We are actually looking for any tool rentals from friends or family that they would be willing to lend us. 

We REALLY need framing nail guns! So please ask around!

Thanks everyone so much for your support and I cannot wait to get started!!! We are getting so close! 

5.21.2016

Moving Along

We met with our architect the other day, and he had some great tweaks to our design that we are super excited about!
Construction will wait until he gives us a materials list, and rough plan of action. I am so happy that we found such a nice architect!
Jacob is actually a teacher at Logan High School in La Crosse Wisconsin. He works there as the shop teacher and they just recently built a tiny house with his students! This means that he understands the level of construction know-how that I have and is willing to help me understand everything! I couldn't have asked for a better architect.

He also suggested that Ben and I go to Menards and buy this nail gun set with two nail guns ( a finisher and trimmer) as well as an air compressor for $200! It was a great deal at 60$ off retail value. We are so excited to use them!!

Now that I am done with school, the tiny house is in full swing! I have been doing hours of research every night and bugging Ben to also help with research. There is still so much that we don't know. What stresses me out the much is figuring out the zoning laws in Verona as well as applying for any special building permits... So if anyone is an expert on these things that is reading this, please share!!!

Also I wanted to share that a while back, I applied for the casting call for the HGTV show "Tiny House, Big Living". I received an email literally the same time I was meeting with my architect!! The woman was just asking me more detailed questions about my project and I answered them honestly. So we will see what comes of this! I unfortunately never heard back from "Tiny House Nation" but we will see if this show will have us on!

I am really stoked to get started with this!! I hope everyone else is ready to be called upon as volunteers because I will definitely need help from my community!

5.15.2016

Graduation Debut


Thank you so much to all of my friends and family for signing the trailer! I will now build on top of well-wishes and carry the love and support with me wherever I go. 

I had a great graduation party and was so thankful that Ben was able to get the trailer to the park so that everyone could see that first, I am not kidding about actually building a tiny house and second, that I am that not crazy because it is actually much bigger in person that it sounds! 

I will always cherish these signatures! Thank you everyone for supporting my dreams! Love you all!