Our New Home

The tiny house is now happily parked on a farm outside of town, surrounded by straw bales from a nearby farm. It looks so wonderful! Kyle’s parents came out from BC to help us with the move with their truck, encouragement and huge help- we couldn’t have done it without them! It was wonderful to have family around to worry with, problem solve with and celebrate with. Thanks so much Jerome and Lori! We started the moving day pretty early. The evening before Jerome  shoveled the snow out of our entire yard (and neighbors!) to make sure the truck wouldn’t get stuck, so in the morning the truck was backed right into the back yard with no problems and we worked on taking the house off the jacks, cutting notches in a couple of 2×4’s to hold the low-hanging electrical wire up so the house could pass underneath, getting lots of pictures, disconnecting propane and electricity, moving our mattress into the house, and other odds and ends. Once the house was hitched up to the truck, and Jerome and I were in place holding the electrical wire up, Kyle smoothly moved the house, made the corner and pulled out on the street. It was so exciting! Once it was out on the street, it looked “real” for the first time- it was on its wheels, parked on the street, looking proud. And it looked pretty small! The hardest part was actually getting the cement/clay/sand patio type blocks which support the jacks out of the ground- the ground was frozen solid and the blocks were frozen in it. So that took a good 20-30 minutes of physical labor to free them from the earth!

Once everything was ready to, we took off to the farm. Kyle took it nice and slow, and the tiny house cheerfully rolled along. Since it was a Sunday, the town was super quiet, so there wasn’t much for traffic. It was so neat to see the house on the road (it worked!). The drive was thankfully uneventful, and we pulled up the farm in a short time and parked the house in its new home. The jacks went under, it got leveled and the propane got hooked up again. We did have an issue hooking up electrically- the exterior outlet Kyle installed a couple of weeks ago on the outside of the garage kept tripping the built in breaker in the outlet, so right now we’re just plugging it in inside the garage and Kyle will figure the electrical issue out this week.

After moving the house successfully, we did another trip for large items that would be difficult to transport in our Pontiac Sunfire- leftover wood, bikes, interior paneling, etc. After that, we went to pick up our 24 bales of straw! It was fun, but tiring, to get all of the straw we needed. We’ve been looking around for the best option to insulate under the trailer (it gets COLD here) and since we’re in the middle of the prairies, straw bales is the easiest and cheapest way to go. The one thing we’re concerned about with straw bales is mice, but, since we have 2 cats inside, and there’s lots of barn cats on the farm, we’re thinking it will all work out. (otherwise, we’ll just get rid of the straw I guess!)

All in all, it was an exciting day, and a new part of this whole adventure. Our backyard looks quite empty now and we’re excited to officially move in on Wednesday. We’re very thankful the move went so smooth, and encouraged. Kyle said he didn’t really notice the weight of the house behind the truck, so hopefully that means the house isn’t outrageously heavy. What a relief!

Over the next few days, we’ll be finishing up some odds and ends in the tiny house, packing up this house completely and cleaning. And then life in the tiny house begins!

Flooring, check!

We have a floor! A real floor, not just the plywood sub-floor. It feels more and more like a real house. It’s very exciting. On Wednesday we picked up a nail gun and compressor from Home Depot and resolved to finish the floor on Thursday so we could return it today. And we triumphed! It took us pretty much all day (those end pieces didn’t cooperate well) but it went well, and we were very thankful for the nail gun and compressor which made it much simpler. (if that’s actually what you call it)

I mentioned it in an earlier post, but we got our hardwood flooring off of Kijiji from someone in Calgary- it’s hickory wood, “Amish-hand scraped”, and it’s a beautiful dark brown with lots of knots and character. It’s also extremely heavy. Hopefully just not too heavy! Additionally, under the hardwood, we put an under-layer of cork flooring which we hope provides a bit more insulation and reduces any hardwood squeaks.

We also decided to install the hardwood in the bathroom. Since it’s such a small house, and there will only be a curtain for a door, even the flooring the kitchen/living room area would be exposed to moisture and humidity from the bathroom, so we’ll just be careful with water on the floor in the bathroom (and get a good bathmat) and make sure the tub doesn’t leak. Under the bathroom floor we also put a piece of house wrap… just in case any water ever does get down there, there’s a bit of a barrier before it gets down into the sub-floor. We’ll see how this works out in the long run! Of course, we’ll also rely on our bathroom wall fan to direct much of the moisture outside of the tiny house space.

The photos aren’t too great, but hopefully they give a glimpse of what it looks like, and I’ll try to get more up soon!

Busy Snowy Days

Our tiny house moves to its new home come this Sunday. SUNDAY! And while the photos might show a  chaotic construction zone still, we’re feeling pretty good about our moving date. Our interns spent an evening with us last week helping insulate the walls with sheep’s wool- they loved it so much they wanted to come back to do more! The loft has its coat of tung oil, two of the living room walls and the kitchen walls are up, the bathroom walls that separate it from the rest of the house are done, the closet structure is ready, the kitchen counter frame is set up to receive the counter tops (which are cut already for the sink and stove top), the water and propane lines are in and functioning, our Mini-Franklin stove from Woodstock Stoves is installed and heating the place and our composting toilet is ready. Wow!

One issue we’ve run into is that we ran out of wool insulation- so we’re waiting to receive wool batts from a local business (Custom Woolen Mills in Carstairs, AB), however it won’t be until the first week in November. Thankfully they are in the area and we can get the wool from them pretty fast! So it looks like our house won’t be fully insulated until then, but we’ll be ready for it when it arrives.

All in all, we accomplished quite a bit over the weekend. There’s still much more we’d like to get done before we actually move in come the 31st, so we’ll continue working hard over this next week. Crossing my fingers to get our flooring installed!

Autumn Days

At the beginning of this month, we gave our month’s notice to our managing landlord, which means we’re MOVING into our tiny house at the end of this month! It’s exciting, but since then we’ve begun to realize just how much we still have to do- eek! So it’s been a flurry of activity. We realized we put off for too long the ordering of specialty items we hoped to still find here (3″ thick door knob, for example), so we’re also ordering those last items to complete our new home. The interior details have begun- which light fixtures, what kind of flooring and where to get it, how to find and make a shower tub bottom… and not to mention the essential items of electrical wiring, plumbing, gas lines, sheep’s wool insulation, and interior paneling.

To back up a little, the exterior of the house is {mostly} finished! Minus siding a couple tiny parts, making doors for the storage area, and – finally- getting that darn roof cap on, it’s done! And it looks great. For the door, we decided to tackle that project ourselves- so we ended up with a very, very purple 3 ” thick wood door. It just adds some pizzazz, right? The biggest issue with this, as I mentioned, has been finding a suitable door knob/handle. Apparently very few places stock 3″ thick door handles- and none that we could find (although we did get some amazed looks and lots of questions when we asked around!). So we ended up ordering a knob and deadbolt online, and we’ll be happy to see our door close and lock.

It’s been a good change to begin work on the interior. The bathroom walls are up (although not paneled), the only walls in the house. It begins to give structure to the space. The loft floor is fully installed. Kyle’s done an amazing job with the electrical work, and it’s fully completed. Now we just need the right electrical cord to make sure we have power! The plumbing and gas lines will happen this weekend, after spending hours in Home Depot on Friday to get all of the copper lines and sharkbites connectors and whatever else we got… I’ve been busy tung oiling the interior paneling, and stuffing the loft full of sheep’s wool for insulation. After stuffing the loft ceiling, I looked like a sheep myself! Just tonight we finished up the loft with insulation and paneling, and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to put our mattress in the house and sleep up there! It’s so cozy, and I’m sure it’s going to be my favorite spot in the house (along with a good book, a cup of coffee and snugly kitties). We also picked up our flooring just last night- we found some beautiful hardwood on Kijiji in Calgary, so we decided to get it while we had the chance. It’s incredibly heavy hardwood, so we’ll see what that’s like when we go to move… Since there’s a lot happening the weeks to come, I’ll try to update more regularly. At any rate, you all will hear how things go eventually!

– Jesse