After the poop questions, come the water questions. Once I’ve covered the bases on the toilet situation, people want to know how I’m going to get water to my tiny house.
The plan is to connect a hose to my host house (Thanks Casey and Brett) which should work just fine in the summer.
But what about winter, you say?
Yeah, totally -what about winter? Vermont winters are long, cold and brutal. I’m planning to invest in a winter weather hose and heat tape. When water comes into the house it is going to fill up a small water tank in the storage loft. The water will then go through the water heater and eventually to whichever faucet I’m using. Work case scenario, I disconnect the hose and rely on the water from the storage tank.
Even worse than the worst case scenario, I smell like armpits, my hair is greasy (this probably isn’t too far from my normal) and my sink is so full of dirty dishes that my house ends up looking like an episode of extreme hoarders.
Or, I just find another place to shower. Like a gym (ha, I can admit this is pretty unlikely), a friends house or work. And I bring water in for dishes, drinking and cleaning.
I would like to be successful in my efforts to have running water to my tiny house all winter. If you have any advice or experience using hoses in extreme cold, I’d love to hear from you!
I haven’t updated in over a month because I’ve been to busy building, towing, cleaning, packing and moving. Phew.
But we are so close to finished! The tiny house is “show ready” and it looks finished. Seth and I still need to finish up the plumbing and I’ve got to find someone to install my water heater. We towed the tiny house to Vermont where I’m going to live and I’ve moved all my stuff in. I moved out of my apartment which was more difficult and emotional than I thought it would be. Hopefully, I’ll be living in the tiny house full time by next week. EEEEK!
I am so excited to share these photos that I couldn’t wait any longer. But I still want to share all the in between details. Check back often because I’m planning to share more photos and details of the build, towing it over to Vermont and life in a tiny house.
This is a really common question people ask when they first hear about my tiny house. Good thing I’m pretty comfortable talking about poop!
I’m planning on using a composting toilet following the methods outlined in the Humanure Handbook. This eliminates a lot of questions about how I’m going to manage waste water.
Even though I don’t plan to use them, we did install the pipes and drains for a regular flush toilet. This way, if I ever find a place to park that has access to sewer lines I can swap out the composting toilet for a real one. I’m not squeamish about the composting toilet and would probably choose to keep it regardless of where I park. However, composting toilets don’t meet code in most Vermont cities. So if I want to legally park in a city, I would need a flush toilet. Also, if I decide that tiny house living isn’t for me this might make it easier to sell the house.
I found a bunch of pine shiplap at ReSource that I started to stain a beautiful dark brown. The T1-11 is 8′ tall, my house is 11’3″ so anything above 8′ will be sided in pine. The pine with be put up horizontally and I think the vertical T1-11 will be a cool contrast.
We decided to stain the backside of it to speed things up. But not until after CJ sanded a bunch of it. oops. Thanks CJ!
All the trim will be pine stained the same color – Thanks Sarah and Erika for staining a bunch of the trim and siding!
I’m endlessly grateful for all the help from so many amazingly beautiful people!
This was the week that I discovered timelapse on my iphone. Hope ya’ll are ready for a million more nausea inducing videos!
We still need to finish the last details, but the metal roof is on! I was surprised how easy it was to install the roof…
but if I’m being honest, I didn’t even install it. Seth and CJ installed it while
I stood nearby and took a bunch of selfies I worked on other things. I think they were motivated to work quickly so they could get inside and watch football. slackers…
I like the look of T1-11. I also like that it comes in panels and is relatively easy to install. I wasn’t so crazy about the maintenance associated with it. T1-11 is pretty vulnerable to moisture and can require a lot of upkeep. We opted for LP Smart Side -a wood composite siding- for the exterior. It comes in 8’x4′ sheets and it was pretty easy to install. It’s also pre-primed so all we have to do is paint – except it’s been really tough for me to decide on a color!
The front end, over the hitch, hasn’t been sided yet because we’re going to build a storage locker there. This locker will protect the electrical panel and provide a little extra storage. Under the locker, there will be a little roof to cover the propane canisters. My appliances will run off of bbq propane tanks. I’m not sure yet how often they will need to be swapped out. I’m guessing a least once a month in the winter. It will be more convenient to swap the tanks out if they’re not completely buried in snow.
The siding had to be cut to fit around the wheel wells. Seth sorta eyeballed the first cut – I trust him, he’s good at this stuff- then we traced a template for the rest of the cuts. It wasn’t perfect and it took a couple of tries but we got it. Hopefully, that’s the hardest part. We then filled in the gap between the siding and the wheel well with silicone to prevent moisture inside the house. Thanks Mike for helping with this part!
This GIGANTIC window was only $35 at ReSOURCE! (I told you they were amazing!) The window had an extension jamb – a frame that fills the depth of the wall space* – that had to be removed before installation. If any of the screws holding the jamb in place were stripped, it would have been a nightmare to remove. Once again, we were lucky. The jamb came off easily.
The rough opening for the window was too small when we went to install it. Probably my fault (I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing). But luckily it was a easy fix and after removing a small section of the header, the window slid perfectly into place.
*Further proof that I have no idea what I’m doing: I googled extension jam so I could give a simple definition because I couldn’t think of one myself – even though Seth explained it like 100 times. Found out it’s not spelled jam.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this front door I picked up at ReSOURCE for only $65! Seriously – ReSource has been an amazing resource (see what I did there?) throughout this whole project. Last summer, they had a sign outside their store advertising a tiny house building workshop so I stopped in to chat. I couldn’t participate in the workshop but I was connected with the Youth Build program which was interested in building a tiny house. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to work together but it was through these conversations that I got the ball rolling.
I was so worried that something would go wrong while trying to install it. It was screwed shut – helpful so the door didn’t fly open during transport!- so I didn’t get to make sure the door opened and closed properly before buying it. I figured for $65 it was worth the risk.
Totally worth it – I’m over the moon! We’re still on track to finish before the snow arrives, but I’m a little worried. There’s been some pretty chilly morning and we’ve already seen some flurries. Brr!
Little Lou is electrified! My amazing cousin Paul roughed in all the electric for the house!
I don’t get to see Paulie as often as I’d like and it’s always a treat when we get to spend time together. So we got to hang out all weekend and my house has electricity – double win for me!
It’s all pretty standard wiring, just like a “normal” house (As far as I can tell, clearly I’m not an electrician). We mounted the panel on the outside and will close it in a utility closet to provide protection from the elements. Right now we’re plugging into a standard extension cord from the panel. When Little Lou finds a more permanent home, the house will plug into a 50amp plug.
We initially planned for 8 recessed light fixtures, a fixture over the sink, sconces in both the sleeping loft and the living room and a ceiling fan for the main living space. It didn’t take long to realize that we had over prepared! We ended up wiring for two sconces in the living room, 2 sconces in the sleeping loft, 4 recessed lights, a light fixture over the sink and a ceiling fan/light. We also wired for a fixture over the tub and a vanity light in the bathroom.
My favorite feature is the plug with usb ports that we installed next to my bed. It feels like a huge luxury to me!
Thanks Paulie for being so awesome!
We have a roof! Now we don’t have to worry about messing with a cumbersome tarp. I think this step made the house feel more like a home. I was able to think about some design elements and start visualizing them in the space.
Help from Meaghan and Mike putting in hurricane ties! Thanks friends!
Next up, windows! We tried to install some windows the same day we finished the roof but ran into some trouble. We framed the living room windows too small – oops. We will lower the sill and should be fine.
When we tried to put in the bathroom windows, the sash fell on Mikes face (hilarious). Since I had got them used at a local hardware store, I assumed I made a bad purchase. After a panicked trip to two hardware store, I was informed we were trying to install them upside down (embarrassing). At least the rough opening was the right size!
As soon as we’re weather tight (or close to it) we’ll start wiring the house! My cousin Paul is going to help out with the electrical. I’m a lucky girl to have so many friends and family willing to pitch in. I’m still pinching myself to make sure this is real life.