Category Archives: Tiny House

I moved to where they’d hoped I’d be

So we moved the house to a nice new spot in Vermont this weekend.  It is overlooking the Adirondacks as well as some McMansions (you may have thought we dont have those in Vermont.  We do.  And Tiny Houses are put high on the hill to look down upon them).  It is going to serve as a spot for guests and WWOOF workers as well as farm interns for the farm that is starting on the land where the Tiny House now lives.  We finished the inside (WHY DIDNT I BUY A TABLE SAW AND NAIL GUNS A YEAR AND A HALF AGO?!?!) and I think it looks great.  Now all it needs is a matching outhouse and this thing is all set up for living in the lap of luxury.  This is likely my last post on here, but I hope that this blog serves as a resource for folks learning to build/hack their way through a Tiny House build in the future.  I would really like to get the cost all updated on the Running Cost(s) page, and I have all of my receipts… somewhere… so if I could finish that, it’d be a good resource, too, I hope.

So many thanks to family and friends along this experimental, fun, trying, frustrating and ultimately rewarding journey.  In order of appearance: Mike, Rusty, Dad, Larry, Dave P, Bauer, Dave B, Andrew & Brianna, Boone, Chris V, Meghan A, Fred and David S, Meg, Coffee, Beer.

Leaving its former home.  In the driveway making sure it was level:

On the road:

This happened.  We didnt have brake lights on the house at first.  Issue was resolved with no tickets or warnings issued.

Pulling onto the new land spot:

Backing the house down the driveway:

Blackfork Towing, putting the house in place.  I got a tow company to do the job because the house wasn’t registered and it didnt have the brakes hooked up.  It would have been possible to do all of this, but I figured the time and money spent fiddling with those wires and then moving it ourselves would have been much more than the money given to a good, local tow company, who knows what do to (and has brake lights and a hauler whose hitch can move anywhere to raise/lower move left/right with the trailer.)  Totally worth it, and if you live in Northwest Vermont, you should utilize Blackfork for all of your towing needs.  Couldn’t have been a nicer company to work with.

Mike looking west once the house was put in place.

Tiny House juxtaposed to some McMansions.  Tiny House lives higher on the hill, therefore is better.  Ipso facto, it’s your  boss.

The solar gain through this window is actually remarkable.  I would say that the house was 70 degrees inside with the door open all day, and it was probably 40 in the shade.  Happy that we could orient the house directly south to capitalize on the solar bit.


Kitchen/living again:

A shot of the barn board and the stove.

Living space and loft shot:

Kitchen looking into the living space.

The kitchen area with the new homemade windows.  Without the nail gun and table saw this would have been impossible.

Looking to the Southwest as the sun sets.  Tough to see the barn board walls with the light this way, but that’s what they are.

The living area.  Wall is an old sailboat sail secured with strips of lath (?) and nails.  Looks pretty nice when its all polished.  Didnt have a sharp enough blade on hand to trim the bottom, but would take 5 minutes:

The new spot, at sunset:



Filed under Tiny House, Trailer

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

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

That’s why I always leave it laying out on the floor.

With the help of Kristen’s dad, we redesigned the house a bit.  We’ll be putting the sliding door/stationary windows together over the wheel well, and that will be where the kitchen table lives.  We’ll be putting other windows on the left and right of the slider windows and we may or may not put a slider window on the east wall (the right wall in the image).  We may just move the door to the middle and have windows on either side.  It would be nice to move that slider on the right wall out of there so that wood stacking is a possibility in the winter, but the wood may even be too close to the wood stove.  We’ll have to see once the space is actually physically existing.  There will be windows on the north side, too, over the kitchen counter.  The darker brown blocks are where the lofts will be.  The loft for sleeping will be about 8×8 and the storage loft over the wood stove will be something like 8×2 or so.  We thought the door should open out in this design, since, if it opened in, it necessitates that radius of space to open, which could get annoying.  There will likely be more shelving too.  Clothing storage will be a creative activity.

We also decided that a shed style roof (one that slopes from high to low from the south wall down to the north wall) would be better than a gable roof.  The plans I have have those measurements all laid out for a shed roof, and it’s legal for clearance etc. under bridges.  It would also reduce the cuts on the tin roofing that Kristen’s dad is giving us, which apparently is loud, full of shrapnel, and unpleasant.

I want to put a little porch roof over the door, either way (that is, either way that it opens), for snow and rain, and to put things out there to dry, and stuff.  That is a minor detail.  Cross that bridge when we come to it.


Filed under Floor, Tiny House

Floor Framing

This is the framing for the floor. It is created here with true rough cut 2 x 4’s and not milled, planed, dimensional 2×4’s (1.5 x 3.5’s). Anyway, it’s my first real attempt at Google Sketchup, and I think it went pretty well. Still a lot to learn.

The dark lines are where the floor sheathing plywood would hit every 4 feet.    The studs are 16″ OC usually, except the one in the middle is like 21″ or something.  It’s just so that it hits the sheathing, which is a good thing.

1 Comment

Filed under Tiny House, Trailer, Uncategorized