Tiny House Update – Interior Finishing – Painting

There may be 50 shades of gray, but there are 100+ shades of white.  Crappy joke, I know, but it is ridiculous how many different kinds of “White” there are.

I went to Home Depot with my mom to pick out a paint for the interior of the tiny house and immediately picked a paint called Antique White.  My mom, being the thorough person she is, suggested I take a handful of color cards to be sure of my choice.  I grabbed some color cards, but am stubborn and stayed with my first choice of white despite all the other options available.  Again, I was out of town, so I didn’t have to do any of the actual work when it came to painting.

Mom painting the house

Mom painting the house

My mom has been the official photographer, and painter of this tiny house project.  Here, you can see her fulfilling her role as the painter.  You can see an access hatch we made to the drain line clean out as well.

Painted loft with LED's on

Painted loft with LED’s on

Painted Loft

Painted Loft

Painted Loft

Painted Loft

Painted Loft

Painted Loft

Painted house looking toward the loft

Painted house looking toward the loft

Painted Hallway & Kitchen

Painted Hallway & Kitchen

The trim around the hallway is made from oak golf club display racks which were being thrown out.  We used these on the outside of the house as well at the roof.

Painted Front Wall

Painted Front Wall

Painted Front Wall

Painted Front Wall

Hidden Electrical Panel Painted

Hidden Electrical Panel Painted

We have painted pine planks mounted to a small frame with magnets on the back to hold it in place in front of the electrical panel.  Unless you know it is there, the electrical panel is completely hidden.

Close up of the Media Wall Painted

Close up of the Media Wall Painted

The TV will go on this wall upon completion.

Painted "Great Room" of the Tiny House

Painted “Great Room” of the Tiny House

Painted "Great Room" of the Tiny House

Painted “Great Room” of the Tiny House

The fan was given to us by one of my dad’s friends.  He has a construction company and someone was throwing it out when they remodeled.  It works great and really cools the house down when you have the windows open with it running.

My dad’s friend has been a huge help on the project as well.  He let us borrow his floor nailer and gave us the fan and a couch which will fit below the front window.

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Tiny House Update – Interior Finishing – Hole Patching

This post has been a few years in the making, but I am happy to say that much of the interior of the tiny house is completed.  This post is to illustrate the hours spent filling the nail holes in both the loft and the main level.

After the holes were patched, they needed to be sanded to be flush with the wood and to be made ready for paint.  My mom and dad did all this work as I am no longer living near home.

Hole patching on the main floor

Hole patching on the main floor

Hole patching on the main floor

Hole patching on the main floor

Hole patching in the loft

Hole patching in the loft

One other item of note is the planks used for the interior.  I bought all the pine planking at a demolition sale for $75.  They were in a mold-infested basement with no electricity run to it.  Initially we needed to demo these from the basement ourselves.  Both my dad and I were dreading this task.  Then, we showed up to remove the hardwood flooring we bought from the same house and noticed that all the pine planking had been removed and stacked and wrapped according to size.

This easily saved us a couple of days of curse-filled work.  Terry at demo-pro has been a huge help in this project.

Also, it just so happened that we had enough planking of each size to make continuous runs throughout the whole lower level of the house.  This was just dumb-luck, but the house looks much better with all the seams matching.

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Tiny House Update – Insulation

At this point, all of the insulation for the tiny house is installed.  The first level and the ceiling received R-13 fiberglass insulation.  Some tiny house builders are more environmentally friendly and use sheep’s wool or a blown in insulation such as recycled newspaper.  I stayed away from these for a few reasons.

  1. They are harder to source.  I rarely make it home to work on the project and like to spend my time working on it, rather than looking for materials.
  2. They are unproven.  Very little research has been done that speaks to how they stand up over time
  3. Fiberglass was cheaper.  For blown in, the subcontractor needs to come out with their truck and equipment.  You can’t do the work yourself due to the specialized equipment.
  4. Fiberglass is easy to work with.  Literally just roll to the length you need and cut.

Normally I hate using fiberglass because it itches and will stay in your skin for days.  I was talking to a sales rep from Dow Corning though and he said they got rid of the “itch” about 5 years ago from their insulation.  I’m glad to report that he was telling the truth.  I handled some of it without gloves (not recommended) and I did not end up with a rash or any other unpleasant side effects.

In the loft I used rigid insulation.  There was so much electrical work going through the walls of the loft and staples holding the tyvek on that it was easier to rigid as opposed to fiberglass.  Fiberglass would have caught on the staples, torn, and been a pain to install around the conduits.  We were able to slide a layer of the rigid insulation behind the conduit and flush the another board with the conduit in front.  It took some wiggling, but it all fit.TIny house insulation 004

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Tiny House Interior Update – Electrical

Let me preface that many of these pictures just look like conduit.  The amount of work that went into running the conduit should not be overlooked though.  We had to drill 1″ holes through the studs, run the conduit through, run a snake back through the conduit, attach the wires to the snake, then pull the wires through.  It took a lot of work, but all the electrical in the house now works and we no longer need to run extension cords from the main house in order to work on the tiny house.

Here are the pictures:

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View of the conduits entering the junction box.

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Loft electricity

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Mess of conduits.

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Lights in the kitchen.

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Loft Electricity

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Outlet in living area.

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Outlet in living area

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Bathroom light works.

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110 volt and 220 volt power in the kitchen.

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Power to the loft.

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Leaving the light switches and going to the kitchen.

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Conduits going to the light switches.

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Conduits going to the loft, switches on the 1st floor, and the fan/light.

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Conduits running to the junction box.

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Conduit run over the windows to the loft.

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Tiny House Exterior Update

Sorry I have been silent for the past year and a half.  I have not been able to make it back to Illinois to work on the tiny house very often.  That is not to say that nothing has been accomplished though.  My dad is awesome and has started working on the house in some of his free time.

This post will cover only what has been done to the exterior of the house.  I will post separately for interior progress.

Let’s start with some pictures!

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As you can see, the exterior of the house is nearly complete.  When I left the rear wall was still just covered in Tyvek.  My dad, the artisan that he is, took it upon himself to put the little sticks of redwood we had, and use them on the rear wall.  He also completed all the trim and siliconing around the wheel wells and the windows.

The loft overhang was completed by him as well.

At this point, the only remaining work on the exterior of the house would be to put new tires on the wheels and put them back on the house.  Interior progress to follow.

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Tiny House as it Sits

Unfortunately, this will be the last post about my tiny house for quite some time.  I moved across the country, but the tiny house is still sitting in my parents’ backyard in Illinois.  The time it took us to re-work the siding took so much time away from other things, such as completing the interior, that it still isn’t livable and it would not have made sense to move it at this time.

As it sits, the exterior is nearly complete, wiring is done for about 1/5 of the interior, and the floor of the loft is sanded and stained.  From the outside, it looks great, but it sits as basically a shell of a house, although we have many of the materials needed to complete it.  We are only lacking the time to work on it.

In sanding and staining the loft, it took many times sanding it and 3 coats to stain it.  we had 4-5 passes at sanding because the boards were uneven, so I had to sand across the grain to make each board level with the one next to it.  Then there were 3 passes with increasingly fine grit to make the floor smooth.  Staining took 3 coats because the wood absorbed so much of the stain.  It also took about 12 hours between each coat because the stain was oil based and it took that long to dry before I could brush on another coat.

The exterior looks great now that it is mostly completed.  The newly stained and sealed siding looks beautiful, and the trim suits the house very well.  Around the windows my dad made frames out of Honey Locust he had at the golf club.  The trim at the top of the house is made out of solid Oak golf club display racks the club was throwing out, and the corner trim are Pine boards which were also to be disposed of.  It’s amazing how much would have been wasted, which I have been able to incorporate into my house.  Even all the English Elm siding I have was going to either be turned into firewood or wood chips, but on the house it is beautiful and great in terms of insect repellant and weather resistant.

Here are some pictures of the loft, and the tiny house as it sits.  It’s been a great time working on it and updating the world through this blog, and I have learned a lot through this process, but for the time being it will sit until I get a chance to get home to work on it.  Unfortunately I do not know when this might be and will be paying rent for an apartment until such a time as I can move my tiny house and live in it, which costs more than a parking spot for the tiny house would.

 

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Mistakes are Bound to Happen

A bit of bad news since the last time I posted.  While the siding looked good when we installed it over Easter, we needed to tear it all down and start from scratch.  A storm came through and thoroughly saturated the exterior of the house.  We had planned on staining and sealing the siding after installation, but I had to leave and we were not able to accomplish that task.  My high school shop & construction drawing teacher recommended staining and sealing the siding before putting it up, but we tried rushing things and it bit us in the ass.

What ended up happening is the siding swelled because it was wood and became warped and disfigured to the point that it was coming off the house in some areas despite having screwed it all on.  For obvious reasons it cannot be left like that.

In order to fix it, we needed to remove each board and start again.  We stained and sealed it so that the wood does not absorb water like it did previously and become warped once again.

Some of the mistakes we made were not leaving room for expansion between the planks and not sealing them before the weather took a turn for the worse.  Even if we had left gaps between the pieces, I still believe we would have needed to take it all down and seal it because some pieces are warped so much that they would have popped out anyways.

Luckily, removing the boards was not too difficult of a task.  We simply needed to get a pry bar and get behind the board enough to leverage it off the wall.  The screws pulled out of the wall as we made our way up the board.  In order to remove the screws we had to hit them from the backside if they were in the board enough for them to come to the surface, then take vice grips and unscrew it from the rest of the board.  Those screws that stayed embedded in the house we used the vice grips and again, unscrewed them from the house.

Many of the board were cupping and warping in all different directions, but they are much better than they were when they first came off the house.

In reinstalling the boards we made sure to leave space in between them for expansion and contraction this time, which is something we failed to do the first time we installed the siding.  It is a bit darker because of the stain, but I think it looks much better than before, and hopefully it will fare better in inclement weather in the future.

Here’s an album showing some of the damage and the work that went in to fixing our mistake.

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