The local news station featured Little Lou in a segment recently and they did a fantastic job! The story was short and sweet but really touched on all the hard work and love that myself, Seth and all my friends and family poured into this project. Also, the focus on the zero waste philosophy was much appreciated.
If you would like to check out the HGTV episode of Tiny House, Big Living it is available streaming on Amazon.
I’ve used this space to share details of the construction and design of my tiny house. I’m not the greatest at writing on a regular basis, but I’m trying. I like to keep you updated. Some information is missing because I haven’t had the time to share it yet. Some information is missing because I’ve had to keep it a secret!
In February of 2015 I received an email from one of the many tiny house newsletters I subscribe to announcing an open casting call from the HGTV show Tiny House, Big Living. I figured it was worth a shot and sent in an application. I was a little indifferent about being on television but I wanted to help promote the tiny house lifestyle in a bigger way.
I didn’t hear anything for months. I assumed nothing was going to come of it and we got started on construction. Then in August, I received an email from the casting director asking if we were interested in a casting interview. Yup, you bet we were! Seth and I Skyped with the casting director and a few days later got word that our build was selected to be on the show.
In mid-September a crew of 5 showed up and started filming. The crew filmed for a total of 7 days between September and December. It was actually really hard work. We had to get comfortable speaking in front a camera, angling our bodies appropriately etc. It was really frustrating at times because we were already working on a tight timeline. It certainly added another layer of stress to the whole process but I’m very grateful that we had the opportunity to do something like this. Also, I’m much kinder to the cast when I watch House Hunters now.
Mom an Dad filming for Tiny House, Big Living
After a few more months of waiting, we finally got word that the episode will air on Monday April 25th at 9pm on HGTV. I hope you’re able to check it out!
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 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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!