Category Archives: Materials

The White Tape

So, the customer service at ecodistributing ( is amazing when looking for information on solar panels.  Everyone else whom I’ve spoken with about solar setups have been dense and uninformative, but the help I received at ecodistributing was patient and amazingly helpful.  Wasn’t frustrated by my novice or nonexistent knowledge of these types of systems.  I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend them.  It made the difference between me calling, getting information, and then going to eBay to me buying directly from them this time and into the future.

Lots of photos this time.  And a little view into how I’m currently living, between real house and tiny house.


This is the housewrap arrangement.  I used a 9 or 10 foot roll that was excess from another project, which covered almost all the house.  Bauer, Boone, and Rusty helped me out, and Bauer was definitely the MVW.  Rusty and Boone need to brush up on their housewrapping but whatever, it worked.  Above is the south wall.  Wrapped the bottom first and used those nails with the plastic washers instead of staples.  We only used about 300 of them, even though I bought 1000 of them.  Time to return for some capital.  Also, we only used about 400-450 square feet of housewrap.  After this was all nailed in Rusty taped all the seams to make it a tighter air barrier.

The east wall/front door.

South wall/small window

South wall, all windows

East wall.  I know youre not supposed to put house wrap vertically like that, but in essence, it’s the same as running a wider roll horizontally.  The Tyvek part is where the Celotex stuff barely fell short of making it all the way around.

Dave also came by and helped out with this window setup.

I have these old boat brass hanger things, but I think I’m just going to buy hinges.  Easier, more consistent, and probably cheaper in the end.

Full window “installed.”  Kind of.

Mike and Rusty came out on Sunday night to cook dinner and get out of Burlington.  Mike crashed on the floor of the house, under the loft, where the living area will be.  Thought the light looked cool so I took a picture.

So we cooked dinner in the outdoor kitchen.  Mike was on the onions and chard from the garden.

Chard in the pan.  Such a cool veggie, color wise.

Rusty ripped the rice and beans.

Then Rusty set up camp behind the barn.  He needed to sleep close to the soil and recharge. Ha.

An innovative use for housewrap.  Obviously, he tucked it under the rain fly, but its a super great barrier against the elements from the underside.  Note: it should be used text-side-down.  You can tape them together too with your housewrap tape

The peaches are ripening behind the barn.

As are the pears.

And this is where Wyatt and I sleep.

A glimpse of where I live…  It’s modest, but comfortable in the barn.



Filed under Materials, Tiny House

a cushion convector

Finally got the insulation in, with much help from Chris.   That stuff sucks.  I got two different types because there were only 3 sheets left of the white polystyrene stuff, so I got some blue as well.  It is a pain to cut, especially since none of the bays were 16″ wide (the blue “scoreboard” insulation is pre-scored at 16″ and 24″).  It’s also what I saw most of the other folks using, so I went with it.  I did read yesterday that fiberglass insulation is a haven for mice, so I might want to avoid that in my walls.  I dont need mice.  Spray foam is wicked expensive, and would be a pain, really.

After we got the insulation cut and stuffed in, we sealed the cracks with sprayfoam insulation.  I didnt buy enough though, so I’ll finish that today:

Then, with the rest of the afternoon we got the sucker bolted down.  Note to self: check the diameter of the holes in the trailer before buying your bit.  I bought a bit that was 1/8″ too big, so Chris and I had to mark out two holes, slide the whole foundation, drill em, make sure the bolt fit, then mark the rest, then move, then drill, then bolt, repeat.  This was one of those pieces of working on the house where you dont get a lot done, visibly, but it’s out of the way, thank god.

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Filed under Floor, Framing, Materials, Trailer

why weigh on a sunny day?

Today was sunny, and the warmest day of 2010.  And I think it broke a record for both its ability to be Epcot Center and for the actual temperature.  Tomorrow will challenge these records.  The sunrise was nice this morning, mellow (note Camel’s Hump in the bottom right of the image).

Tuesday night, Pete and I had dinner at the Bluebird Tavern in Burlington.  We both got the burger, above, which is $10 on Tuesdays–a pleasant surprise.  It’s 5 cuts of local beef, ground together, with bleu cheese, hand cut fries sprinkled with Kosher salt, and homemade aioli and ketchups on the side.  We also had some Gimlets in honor of JSK.  Fresh squeezed lime juice made these drinks dance on the ol’ t-buds (that’s taste buds).  We rearranged the entire floor plan lay out on a placemat at the bar.  I’ll work on that and post it one of these days or nights when it gets rainy and/or cold again, but it’s a great layout, much more appropriate usage of the space.

Tomorrow I will buy a table saw because I haven’t spent enough money on Phish tickets already (thanks Thursday Hartford pavilion pull) and paint and I will sand the hell out of the trailer then paint it up nice.

I stopped by ReBUILD again on my way home and they were basically out of 2 x 4’s.  Which is fine, because it got me talking with an employee and he offered to fill an order.  So, I gave him my cuts and what I need (basically 100 pieces composed of 2x4x8’s 2x4x10’s and 2x4x12’s)  He said he should be able to get most of them done tomorrow, or at least early next week.  Looks like I’ll have all of my lumber (or damn close to it) by next week, which is just exciting.  Real excitement here, folks, all at $0.20/foot, too.

That’s one thing that this project needs and provides, too–conversations.  Talking to people about projects like this is the best.  Lots of support from friends and strangers, and the conversations get you far more than the internet alone could, and it’s downright fun.  Fun is good.  Generally, I think if you’re psyched about it, other people rally behind it too.


Filed under Framing, Materials, Tiny House

…believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free.

I’ve been accumulating bags of fiberglass insulation that has been gently used and removed from building projects, along with anything else I find or know will be of use (like the 25 feet of wiring pictured here too).  Although I dont want to flood Vermont’s craigslist with more hawks than it already has  competing with me for free stuff, I figured I’d share how I’ve been gathering this stuff: Front Porch Forum, Google Reader, and

FPF is an email listserv network type of deal for neighborhoods in Vermont.  I have met some great people and bartered or picked up free really great stuff.  Everything from pretty new skis in exchange for some computer help, to the windows we’ll be using in the house.  I also found a really nice apartment on it, that I lived in and now some friends live in, which was cooler than hunting and slaving over the classifieds. is pretty self-explanatory.  It’s like the craigslist “free” section, but you have to sign up for it, and you can get an email digest of it ever day or two, which is convenient.

Google Reader is by far the coolest tool I’ve used to scan craigslist.  The interface is below (click for a larger image).

Basically how it works is this: it scans whatever subscriptions you enter to aggregate all the changes that occur on the page.  For example, if you add this URL to the Add a Subscription button, it would tell you every time I update or post a new post.  As far as craigslist goes, you can take one of two routes (or both):

Go to a section of craigslist, if you were AJ you’d go to tickets and try to score a miracle.  Copy the URL, go over to your Google Reader, and paste it into the Add a Subscription feature.  In about 3 seconds it will pop up on the left of the Google Reader screen, and you can then change the name of it if youd like, or put it in a folder, or move it, or whatever.

The other option is to search for something in particular, like a trailer, or a shower, or something like that.  You enter your query into the search line and click search.  You then copy the URL and do the same thing as above, except instead of scanning just a section of craigslist, it’ll keep your search query and run it over and over, compiling the hits into your reader.  It’s dope.


Filed under Materials

Timber (Jerry)

Tomorrow my brother and my friend Dave from my grad program and I are heading out to Stowe to check out some of the old lumber at Dave’s parents place.  This is the barn on their property that looks exciting and hopefully treasure-filled:

Picture taken with an iPhone and then put into the ShakeIt polaroid-making app.  That app is enough to make me consider getting one of those phones.

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Filed under Materials