Yes, yes, we’re still building our tiny house! We’ve been on an unintentional break for a while now, due to increased life activities such traveling, kittens, friends visiting, kittens, work and the beginnings of the school year, a wilderness trip, oh, and kittens. But, in those times where opportunity has presented itself, we have managed to work on the tiny house bit by bit.
In case you hadn’t noticed, we now have kittens! Their names are Shoelace and Ukulele (Ukee), and we greatly enjoy them. They are very distracting with all of their cuteness and playful antics. We’re are excited and curious to see what it will be like to live in a tiny house with two very active kitties!
Since we last updated in June, we’ve come a good way and learned a lot. Once the roof rafters were up, we sheathed and tar papered the roof so it would be protected against any rain or moisture. Unfortunately, we had to tar paper twice, due to the strength of the storms we had this summer, and the lack of strength of the tiny staples to hold the tar paper down- but we learned our lesson, and we used roofing tacks to hold the tar paper down the second time. It hasn’t gone anywhere since! Next, we worked on closing up the gable ends of the house, as well as the dormer ends, as we hadn’t gotten the chance to do that before we left for the States. We finished up with house-wrapping and sealing all parts of the house (lots of tuck tape!) and began on a new and exciting part: windows!
Installing the windows was much easier than we anticipated. It’s a pretty straight-forward process, and we had all of the windows in within a day, if I remember correctly. Window flashing is pretty darn sticky stuff, but thankfully some of the not-so-smooth flashing will be covered up. Putting the windows in made our tiny house actually begin to feel like a house- there was light! After being completely house-wrapped for a few weeks, it was wonderful to be able to cut slits in the window openings and allow fresh air into that tiny space. We particularly enjoy our one large window in the living room area- I envision growing some plants or herbs in the window, and the kitties enjoying a window ledge to sit on and look at the world outside.
After installing the windows, we decided to tackle the exterior window trim and siding. It took a while to figure out the colors and look we wanted for the exterior, but we’re super happy with our choice- natural cedar trim and semi-solid green stain for the beveled cedar siding. We think it looks gorgeous! I really enjoy painting/staining, so I worked on getting all of the trim stained with Broda (a more natural stain produced out of Vancouver, BC) and then Kyle put them up. The cedar trim was a bit wider than we were hoping for, but we don’t even notice anymore and we love the look! For the semi-solid stain, we chose Behr, even though there’s not much about them that’s “natural” or even “local/made in Canada”. Being up in Canada, and comparing to many others who have built tiny houses in the US, we find it difficult to access the variety of items that Americans tiny house builders can. It either takes a couple of weeks to order it in (even in Calgary), or we need to order it specialty online, or we make do with other items. It hasn’t been a huge issue, but something we’ve noticed. Overall, we’re loving the look of the green and cedar, and we’re looking forward to when all of the siding is done and up!
Another exterior project that needed to be completed was the shed, located on the tongue of the trailer. The purpose of the shed will be storage for our camping gear and possibly the fuse box (depending if that can be outside in the cold or not)- and any other necessary items. Kelly Toots, Kyle’s best friend from Summerland, BC, arrived just in time to work on the shed with Kyle and complete the whole thing within the day. Thanks Kelly!
We’ve also been working on our roof. Despite a couple of setbacks with an ordering miscommunication, our charcoal grey metal roof finally arrived. Roofing is a challenge. A good portion of our roof (other than the dormer area) is a pretty steep incline, and makes it a challenge to safely install the roof without fearing for your life. Despite this, and our fear of heights, we’ve gotten half of the roof on now (we continually procrastinate on this!), and hope to finish it this weekend. Kyle, the brave one, is the one at the top of the ladder installing the roof, while I hold the ladder and (honestly) get kind of bored. And since the weather in Alberta this summer can’t make up it’s mind… I either freeze or fry. (or there’s freak hail storms like this one in July…) I’ll be thrilled when the roof is on and secured!
We’ve also installed two 2×2′ fixed skylights- and we’re really glad we did! One is located over the living room to further brighten the area, and the second is located up in the loft so we can look out at the stars at night and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine during the day. Initially we planned on only having one skylight… but then we thought about seeing the stars at night from our loft, and couldn’t resist. It’s also nice having one in the loft, as it gives us an additional 10″ or so to sit up in that particular space.
Our heat source for the tiny house also arrived a few weeks ago- a Mini-Franklin Soapstone Stove from the Woodstock Soapstone Stove company. It’s tiny and gorgeous! This is a great company to work with, and even when the UPS managed to crack a side of the soapstone stove upon delivery (they’re careful like airport luggage transfer people are careful) they sent us a replacement side right away without hesitation. For more information about this great company, check them out at: http://www.woodstove.com/.
Along the way, there’s been other small things we’ve done, but these are the main (and exciting) projects. Just a few days ago we picked up the materials for our door, which we’re going to build ourselves (why not?). Since it’s a tiny house, a normal 32″ door would just seem… huge. So we’re going to build a 24″ door out of pine T & G. It’s going to be great! So that’s another weekend project.
Although it’s still a ways until we can move in, we’re getting closer and closer. We’re really enjoying this process of building and learning, even if at times it’s overwhelming and we just want to start working on the interior. Our newest hope and goal is to move in by the end of September. Cross our fingers, and back to work!