Category Archives: Trailer

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

stick it to the floor and watch me roll

Below is the vapor barrier of 4 mil plastic that will act as the vapor barrier between the floor and the floor framing.  I just rolled it out and stapled it from front corner to back corner, being careful to pull the plastic taut at each bay.  It was kind of a pain, but just time wise.  Pretty easy, all things considered.  Also I added another 1″ of expanded polystyrene and used a hacksaw to cut this time.  Made things infinitely easier.  You sacrifice a bit of R value with the polystyrene but it has a plastic/foil layer to deflect moisture, and its way easier to push into corners as it is a bit softer and doesn’t snap if it bends.  It’s all a matter of how nice and square your framing is (mine wasn’t since I used some reused boards and some new) and how good you are at cutting straight lines 8 feet long with a hacksaw/utility knife.

Before I put the vapor barrier on, I bolted more bolts through the framing into the trailer.  This is the way to do it.  Even though the trailer had 10 or so 3/8″ diameter holes around the outside and some down the middle, these 1/2″ galvanized bolts are way beefier and better.  If I were to do this again, I’d just go ahead and skip using the holes as they are (3/8″), I’d buy a 12″ long 1/2″ diameter drill bit that can handle drilling through steel, and just make those holes a bit bigger and sink these bigger, badder-ass bolts through.  I feel OK though, I have about 20 bolts in all, around the outside, about 2 feet in on each side and then up the middle.  Be sure to measure and account for everything involved.  As you can see below, I didnt give myself much of a thread to work with, so I sunk the bolts into the wood a bit.  Once you get the ratchet on there, though, you can just crank em in.

I spent about 2.5 days straight doing the flooring.  Things I learned: use plywood no matter what, first.  Make sure if you use rough cut wood that you make your first laid board is your best 100% straight board and work everything to meet it.  Errors compound.  Use little slices of wood to fill out long cracks, and it can look OK.  Things I gained more skill in: using a circular saw to cut 1/2″ wide 12 foot long pieces of hemlock!!!!!!!

So the floor is on.  It’s rough cut hemlock, and it looks like the floor of a barn (I hope).  There are some pretty obvious “patches” where I had to fill in between cracks with slices of wood and I learned from it (and hopefully someone else out there will, too).  This is the first carpenter/lumber part that I did 100% solo.  It can get pretty frustrating.

Walls next, perhaps this weekend?


Filed under Floor, Framing, Trailer

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

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.

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Filed under Tiny House, Trailer, Uncategorized