Little Steps, Little Windows

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Still chugging along trying to finish framing the little loft windows and installing other windows. Almost all of my windows are salvaged/second hand. But the thing about using used windows is they can be a real pain to install. Slowly but surely, we’re moving along.

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I put the tiny bathroom window in upside down. Because I’m pretty clueless and awkward with a hammer (and just generally awkward) it took forever to pull out all the nails, turn the window upside right and nail it back into place. Seth could have done this in about 30 seconds – Thank God he’s helping me otherwise I’d still be building this house 30 years from now

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The windows for my living room I ended up purchasing new after many unsuccessful searches on craigslist and at the salvage yards. Those went in easy peasy. Sometimes it’s easier and faster to use new materials but I think all the effort of using secondhand materials will be worth it in the end.

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I laid out the floor plan in tape so I could start visualizing the layout. I had originally planned to have the refrigerator opposite the kitchen sink but it was too narrow. We made some adjustments to the floor plan and now the fridge will be next to the stove. I’m sure there will be many other changes as we go along.

It’s electric!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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My favorite feature is the plug with usb ports that we installed next to my bed. It feels like a huge luxury to me!

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Thanks Paulie for being so awesome!

a roof over our heads

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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.

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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. 

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Sleeping Loft

Have I mentioned how awesome my parents are?! Seriously. The most awesome. They came up for two days and we made some good progress. We finished framing the roof and framed my sleeping loft.

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Originally, we were going to do a shed roof for the whole house. Once we got the bathroom ceiling framed and the rafters over that section, it was clear that was not going to work! It would have been very tight. We decided to build a dormer over the sleeping loft that extends part way in the the main living space. I have plenty of room to climb up into the loft without worrying about bumping my head and will be able to sit straight up once up there. There’s beautiful tall ceilings in more of the house and it looks pretty awesome! We’re searching for a funky little window to place on the wall where to roof line transitions.

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The sleeping loft is about 7′ long and 6’8″ wide which will give me an extra 56 square feet of space. I can fit a standard queen size bed but it will be tight so I’m considering some other options. My Dad built this for me and then my mom and I helped him put it in. Remember when I said how awesome my parents are?

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My Mom made window pans to prevent moisture from accumulating on the window sills. She also started taking apart my kitchen cabinets so they can be refinished.

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Hurricane ties attach the rafters to the stud wall. This way my roof stays on while driving.

Tyvek Gift Wrap

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We finished framing the majority of the house, then sheathed and wrapped it. We framed to 8′ and then built a 2’5″ knee wall on top of that to ensure plenty of head room in the sleeping loft. The house can be a maximum of 13’6″ from the ground to legally transport so we’re aiming for an inch or two below that.

I was so lucky to have two very good friends, Nick and Matt, visiting from San Fransisco. Nick, Matt and my friends Mike and Ashley all put in a solid days work and we made enormous (by tiny house standards) progress. As always, I left the build site that day feeling incredibly grateful, thankful and happy.

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Four walls!

We finished framing all four walls! We spent 3 partial days working on this part. My Mom and Dad were in town and spent half a day helping out. I am so glad they were able to see it. I have the best parents. Seriously, the best. They are so unbelievably supportive of everything I’ve ever wanted to do.

        

Framing for Little Lou was pretty standard. We used 2×4’s for most of the frame with the exception of the back wall which is 2×6. It required a little creativity to frame around the wheel wells but once we figured that out it was pretty straight forward. Next weekend we will finish up a few details on the walls, start hanging sheathing and maybe start framing the roof if there’s time.