Here in North Carolina we are starting to get little tastes of spring, last week we had a few inches of snow and then two days later it was 74 degrees outside! With the warming of the seasons I can’t but help thinking about the beach, so I thought this would be a neat small house to show you all. This is actually a rental that you can go stay at, located in the UK, Bembridge, Isle of Wright.
I am beginning to move into the inside of my tiny house, to insulate and to put up the pine paneling. A little bit ago I put up some of the pine paneling on the interior wall for what will become the back of the closet. I had wanted to get back to the tiny house to keep putting up the walls, but some work pulled me away and then it rained, a lot.
The result was the wood paneling swelled up as it absorbed the moisture in the air. Before anyone ask, yes I did have the wood sitting out in the space to normalize, but with so much rain and the house not being climate controlled yet, the moisture did its damage. This also happened before I could seal the panels, so that didn’t help either.
You can see the wood had swelled so much that it tore itself free from the nails and bowed out majorly.
I guess the value of my mistake is to prevent this from happening to others. I just did a little wall when this happened. Imagine if this were to happen when someone just finished the entire inside! So how do I plan to prevent this from happening again?
- I’m going to make a concerted effort once I start to not stop until I’m mostly done with the main wall panelings.
- I’m going to choose a week where the weather should have a pretty even moisture level in the air
- As soon as I get the wall paneling up, I’m going to start sealing it right away. I’ll be trying Tung Oil
- I built a insulated temporary door which has weather stripping on it
The temporary door I built is pretty overbuilt honestly, but I figured if I was going to have a temporary door, I might as well do it right and honestly it only took me an hour. Now if I was building a tiny house inside or if the weather where I lived was even keeled, then this wouldn’t be an issue. In the past week here in Charlotte it has been dry-ish and 73 degrees and then three days later we had snow where it was 20 degrees. Its a nightmare for this type of stuff.
For the door I made a frame that fit inside my door frame and then attached a cheap piece of OSB board. The 2×4′s were $2.30 each (3) the OSB was $7 (1) Insulation was about $7 worth from a larger pack I’ll be using for the walls. So $20.90 for the door total.
Now many of you might be asking why I don’t just put on my regular door right now. The reason for this temporary door is that I decided to put the floor in near the very end of the build so I don’t scratch it. Since I decided that, I’m still feeling out what the actual final height of floor will be, I don’t know exactly know how low the door must hang. The door is made, but I want to put the floor in, add the threshold, then adjust the door height and hang it.
Here is the temporary door I made:
In the above photo you’ll notice that the OSB actually extends beyond the frame, this was intentional. I push this into the door frame and the extra OSB gives me a lip and something to mount the weather stripping to.
On the bottom of the temporary door I had the OSB go flush so that when I move it around the brunt of the force is on the 2×4′s and not on the OSB. This is because OSB is pretty fragile and it can break down.
Have a tiny house question that you’ve been dying to get answered?
I have setup a new page that lets you do just that, ask your questions!
You’ll need a microphone on your computer, because we are taking the audio of our readers asking their questions and then answering them in a videos to come! It works almost like leaving me a voice-mail, but its through the computer.
You can check it out and ask your questions here: http://thetinylife.com/ask-the-tiny-life
One questions that comes up a fair bit about tiny houses is what about tiny houses in cities? Its a good question because currently over half of the world’s population lives in a city and we only expect that number to grow. For the most part, tiny houses have existed in smaller towns, on the edge of a city or in rural locations. But the truth is there are a lot of city dwellers that want to live tiny.
My go to response to the question about tiny houses in cities is that we can still have tiny houses in the city, but most likely what we will do is take the design principals of tiny houses and then apply the to the design of apartments. Essentially taking tiny houses and stacking them. It is important to make sure that we don’t loose sight of our focus on design, make sure there is a strong connection with the outside, and to develop green spaces and public places for us to enjoy.
I think the biggest challenge of adapting tiny houses to a city is ensuring there is enough natural light. And I don’t mean window that only opens to a light shaft in the center of a building, at worst it would open to a open space within a building that is build around a large courtyard. Having visited NYC several times, I couldn’t imagine living in a place where your only window was a mere few feet from a solid brick wall. Honestly, I feel like humans should live like that; I feel like there should be at least one large window that allows your sight to extend a few thousand feet.
While I do technically live in a city – Charlotte, NC – its a very different kind of city. You can easily pickup an acre lot here, go 20 minutes outside the city and you can get 10 acre lots. There is a lot of woods still here and nature isn’t too far. For me personally I just need to see lots of greens and browns, to have that connection with nature. Something just clicks with me when I’m outside in the woods.
I say all this to point out that however we meet the needs of urban density and however we implement tiny houses in a city, we need to make sure there is good connection with green spaces. It is very important in tiny living because you really do need to extend your living space to the outdoor world, which means we need quality places to go to.
What got me thinking about all of this is an interesting project out of the school of Savannah College of Art and Design. They posed an interesting question: as we transition to more public transportation, walkable cities and biking, what do we do with the vestiges of parking decks?
There response was to create modular units that could create housing out of parking decks. At first it seems odd, but I realized the potential and some of the drawings are pretty neat!