Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Read All About It!

Here is an article about me and my tiny house. The photographer got some really good shots. Can't express enough how much I appreciate everyone's support throughout this whole process. I will be starting other projects and will keep posting about how to live a BIG LIFE right here! So check back once and awhile!


Friday, July 26, 2013

So Close!!

The house is very close to being finished. I am getting down to the fine detail point and also waiting for some things to come in the mail. My roll of wallpaper finally came in today! Turns out my neighbors had it. I had to special order that wallpaper. I had bought one roll a few years ago and completed one wall with it. Turns out this particular wallpaper has been discontinued and one Lowes in Dallas had 5 rolls left! I got really lucky. So when I get that up the house will really be looking complete. But here are a bunch of random projects I have been working on for a few months. Enjoy!

I am mostly finished with the back but still have some trim pieces I have to have custom made. Got the windows to the power closet painted but still need to stamp fluer de lis on the to window panes.

The couch/ottomans/bed/storage.

This bench/temporary tv stand use to be a tall night stand that I turned on its side and made this funky little thing.

Upholstered couch/ottomans/bed. Underneath the cushions some panels flip out at the feet and at the head to lengthen for sleeping. Or you can split it in two and put a table in between for dining.

Shot from front door.

This is the top step of the stairs that doubles as a chair for the floating desk/office. I finally upholstered it from a pillow.

Stairs and chair. The pole supports the floating desk.

Closet space. Dirty clothes hamper.

New doors for closet open.

Closet doors closed. Made from whitewood and straw beach matts.

Hamper closed.

Made wire baskets out of  chicken wire to hold my fruits and veggies for juicing. Unfortunately I dropped my juicer and broke it :(


New cabinet door made out of whitewood and straw beach matts.

Bookcases and shelf over the door. Uncompleted left wall now ready for that wallpaper. It's going to look just like the right wall. Got the idea from gypsy wagon's interior walls and ceilings.

The widest shot I could get from the porch at night.

My new toilet! Thetford portable toilet. It uses a biodegradable liquid to break down solids into liquid form. I then built a solar evaporative septic system. So the liquids just evaporate and never get into the ground. Works great no smell! Also has a battery powered flushing system. No more sawdust bucket toilet! Hallelujah!!

Miss Rebecca Posey hemmed my curtains for me! It looks so much nicer and feels more secure and private at night. Thanks Rebecca!

Trimmed up more around the sink and added this little display shelf. I'm thinking candles or something.

Added some oak underneath the sink and an open shelf on the left between the sink and the file cabinet. More to be done with all that.

All lights off except the rear light at the end of the hall.

Sammy found yet another spot to sleep. The bathroom sink. Awe :)

Sammy looking like the cool dude he is!
More to come! I will finally be done soon but there are many more projects after the house is finished to get started with. Outdoor deck, firepit, some fencing, outdoor bathtub, cob oven, methane digester, clearing land, tilling and planting the farm for fall, new chickens, greenhouse made from old boat for seed starting, generator and battery backup system, and much much more. And it will all be documented right here!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Things I Have Learned From my Father

The title should be what hasn't my father taught me!  I have learned so much from him that I didn't even realize the amount and wealth of information and know how I have accumulated from him. That is until this past year of building my house.  Every cut I make, every time I measure something, every time I do something wrong and think about not redoing it…I can hear him say, ‘Make sure you account for the thickness of the blade before you cut’ or ‘Nope, we didn't do it right we have to rip it out and do it again.’ And I would always be thinking in my head, ‘Oh come on dad it looks fine.’ But when he spoke those words to me many years ago I didn't have my head in the game. I just wanted to do something else. Probably play my guitar or watch TV or something. Not realizing at the time that he was trying to give me this knowledge. Though I was listening and helping him with his projects I wasn't appreciating the fact that he was trying to pass down the knowledge and experience he had learned from his father, in essence, his DNA. But somehow that DNA got stuck in me and laid dormant in me all these years until I realized I needed it more than ever.

The biggest thing I have learned from my father is work ethic. How to work efficiently by anticipating the next move or three moves of the project or what tools would be needed to see a project through from start to finish. How to be a good helper and know what wrench or screwdriver he would need next. I knew I had done well working with him that day if he said I was a good helper. And it did make me feel good when he said that. It made the whole day of working NONstop seem worth it somehow. :)

All those times I can remember him saying come watch me or help me change these brakes or change the oil, or build these cabinets, pressure wash the deck, put in this toilet, or whatever. HE taught me how to build this house. As tiny as it may be, I assure you, it is a monumental task. Every cut made, hole drilled, and chalk line popped, I assure you, my father had his hand in creating this home. It is only through my father’s eyes that I am able to see. Through his vision I have grown into a capable man with the ability to dream, plan, design, and execute that dream into a reality. And for that I am eternally grateful and in your debt. So I say to you, on this day, I love you and happy father’s day!

Your son

P.S.- Contrary to what many may believe you can’t learn everything from YouTube! J

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tiny house update Video

Here is a video of what I have completed so far on the interior of the house. This is the first video uploaded for my house. I am about 85% complete and am taking my time, letting the ides flow, and trying to build a unique tiny house that looks like no one else's. I admire anyone that builds a tiny house but when everyone starts using the same plans from a respectable tiny house company, everyone's houses start looking the same. I don't want the cookie cutter tiny house...I want one that is unique and my own. Enjoy the video!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Painting My Canvas!

It has been a busy two months since my last post. I got a lot done and am nearing completion. Since I did not use plans to build my house I sometimes just sit back and look at what I have accomplished so far and contemplate the next move. At those moments I always am given a new perspective or creative idea. Probably the biggest epiphany was having three different levels in the house. I was in a cafe/gas station the other day eating a sandwich and I noticed that they had these cool tables built with 1x2's. They were about bar level but the 1x2's trailed up the wall. You'll get the idea when you see the desk I built in the pics below. The middle level of the house which sits at the top of the stairs and just under the loft, is the 'office.' I kind of think of it as a floating desk halfway from the floor and the ceiling. The top step of the stairs I made a little bigger to act as the office chair and in fact I am sitting there right now typing this. It is very comfortable and just a perfect place to sit and do what I do. It also acts as the brain of the house or the spot where the technology is delivered throughout the house. So from my computer in the office I can send video either to the TV in the loft or to the TV in the great room downstairs. It is just the perfect solution to get a work space that is not cluttering the great room downstairs. If you are familiar with cube tiny houses then you will have an idea of having the different levels. But enjoy the new pics!

I got the fridge boxed in at the bottom of the stairs. It will also fit snug when I build the couch on the other side of it.

This is the a/c vent in the loft. There is a pipe coming from the window unit downstairs to help cool the loft faster.

Got the TV in the loft and boxed in. Very comfy up there at night watching a movie! I think the TV only uses about 45 watts so it will work good with solar.

I was given a bunch of pieces of metal and I made a headboard out of it!

The window is actually an escape hatch for an RV. I need a way to escape if there is a fire. The walls in the loft are covered with straw beach mats. It makes the loft very inviting and cozy :)

This wall was finally completed with the wainscoting and textured wallpaper and pine trim with fluer de lis crown moulding. It is going to eventually be painted.

This is the desk at the top of the stairs.

Kitchen counter tops made from reclaimed oak flooring and an antique coffee table. I made multiple levels because the table pulls out so three people can sit and have dinner!

I had this wood cutout of my last name. I think my grandfather probably made it because it was always on my grandmothers organ.  I thought it be a nice final detail for the counter.
This spot is actually above the shower. It is basically my nightstand and house fan. I have a remote for the fan so it makes it easy to turn on and off. On the other side of the fan I encased with the 1x2's to act as a vent so you don't see an ugly tower fan from downstairs. The top of the nightstand is just pieces of vinyl flooring that someone gave me and the wall is straw beach mat.

This pic was taken with a new app from Android called Photaf. It is a panoramic picture app and is free! So this is two pics sandwiched together. This IS as comfy as it looks! As you can see the cat (Sammy) is enjoying his nap up there! In the back right corner of the pic you can notice the reading light I installed. There is also one on the other side of the bed. And the board on the left next to the escape hatch with the circle in it is actually the light switch cover. I don't like ugly plastic light or plug covers. So I made my own!

This is a good shot of the desk and vent for the fan and loft. The white shelves to the right are not finished. I still haven't decided how I want to trim it in. And keep in mind all of this is going to be painted or stained in some way.

Here is the kitchen counter again but with the table slid out. Basically, I just bought some drawer hardware and attached it to the bottom of the table and the top of the filing cabinet. The wall behind the kitchen is not finished. The backsplash that will be behind the counter will also be made from reclaimed oak.

See how the desk tapers up the wall and gradually the 1x2's get a little further apart.

Trails all the way to the top of the ceiling. I think it turned out well. I think I am going to put a nice dark stain on it.

I am getting real close to finishing but I want to take my time and do it right. If I had gone with the plans I had originally drawn up I would probably be done by now. But I keep having these little new ideas that I am really enjoying imagining and creating as I go. To me it's more like I am a painter and my canvas gets filled up by sitting back and observing, imagining, and eventually creating the picture I see in my head. Except the canvas is my house and I create what I dream up. It has been a real pleasure and a real world education for me. Please keep reading for more updates in the future!

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Day at a Time

It has been since the end of September since my last post and wanted to update my blog but things just get in the way does procrastination. On those days of procrastinating I try to remember this: "I will do one thing today! What will that one 'thing' be?" Could be putting in one board or it could be an entire project that takes all day. I just try to make a list and hopefully I will complete that task for the day. It makes finishing the house more manageable. But here is a list of what I have done in the past few months: Flash and batt insulation in the ceiling, metal ceiling, oak vaults, wall underlayment, wall insulation, some kitchen installations, wood trimming for loft, shelves for mason jars, closet and sock drawer, ceiling/loft shelf for the shower, last step on the loft stairs, bathroom/under loft door, stove pedestal, porch screen doors, rain gutter, acquired some reclaimed aluminum scraps, and I continue to dwindle down my belongings into trash, goodwill/give to friends, or keep.

Inch of rigid foam. "Flash"

R13 insulation. "Batt"

Add caption

Ceiling underlayment. 5mm ply.


R13 wall insulation. Don't buy the pink stuff, it stinks! It took a week or two till the smell went away. Buy the white.

Bathroom floor. Reclaimed oak.

Mostly done ceiling underlayment.

Oak on the vaults.

Corrugated ceiling going up.

Front view

Front metal ceiling

Both vaults in and foam in the front wall installed.

Wall underlayment

View at night.

Reclaimed material on front wall.

And trimmed.

Vaults trimmed with the reclaimed metal.

Reclaimed metal from the storage facility I was using.

Everything is trimmed up! Looking pretty slick!

Add caption

Picked up this little potbelly stove for $75 at a local antique shop. Just needs the rust to be taken off and need to  buy stove pipes.


under loft/ bathroom door made out of two reclaimed windows. The door has double duty, it  can close off just the bathroom or it can completely close off the entire space under the loft to expand the bathroom to have more room to move around with complete privacy. Eventually I will put mirrors in the window panes to reflect light to give the idea of more space and for privacy.

Between the windows is a shelf on the inside of the door.

I wire brushed it and got the stove pretty clean but it still needs to be sandblasted.

The pointy ends of the oak vaults are trimmed with metal. I still haven't finished trimming it up completely.

Pedestal built for the outdoor stove/oven/grill. Now I don't have to bend down anymore to cook!

Two kitchen cabinets installed on back of the shower. Also my dad gave me this vintage metal file cabinet.  perfect for utensils and miscellaneous items. Either going to put a butcher block counter top or stainless steel. The little basket hanging down is going to be the sink light.

My clothes have somewhere to hang!

The all important acoustic guitar amp installed under the stairs.

Final step on stairs.

Closet-clothes hanging, drawer, and dirty clothes basket. Don't worry it's not done yet.

Shelves for mason jars. Reclaimed cypress.

Trimmed up loft. Reclaimed wood from an art cargo box. Got it free from an art gallery. There was about $100 of good wood on those things. Art galleries are great places to find unwanted cargo boxes.

"Chair" at the top of the stairs! I made the last step of the stairs bigger than the rest so it could also be a chair. There will be a fold down desk and a drawer under the chair to hold supplies and a cup holder. This is going to be my 'office'. 

Top of the shower is also a shelf to put things on in the loft.

Top of shower from the inside.

Reclaimed wood to trim up the top of the shelves. I think I am going to paint all of this brown.

The top of the shower and shelf is also a perfect spot to put a fan to help circulate the air. When the heat is on it rises and doesn't circulate well throughout the house fast enough. The fan takes that hot air from the loft and gets it to me very quickly.

I tried to get the best interior shot I could of most of the inside but I need to get a wide angle lens for my camera. Sorry some pics are sideways but I cannot find an edit feature on this blog to rotate the pics.

Metal pieces in the center of the shelves came out of the filing cabinet.

Finally got my galvalume gutter custom made. It made a tremendous difference. The  rain was hitting the edge of my porch and splashing back towards the door. The porch was constantly wet. And when the rain didn't stop for three weeks straight I had to go get this gutter. Turned out nice! I still need the downspout.

Add caption

First screen door up. This will be an additional defense on the rain.

Two doors open.

Two doors closed.

I will fill in the gap above the doors with screen.

Screen doors from the inside.

Nice shot of the house before the sun went down/

Turnbuckle and wire on an angle to help support the door.

My neighbors dog Jack. He likes to hang around.

The other end of the wire.

I didn't go into incredible detail about every single process this time. There was just too much. So if anyone has a question feel free to ask away! I hope that I can get a lot of work done in the next few months. I would love to be done by March. Fingers crossed!

Wish me luck!!