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Archive for the Ryan’s Tiny House Category

Tools To Build A Tiny House

Today I did a quick video of some of the tools I have on hand to build my Tiny House.  These certainly isn’t all of them, but they are the main players. I will do an update after I am done building the house to talk about what I used, what I didn’t use a lot, what tools I needed to get along the way, etc.

I have been buying tools gradually for about 3 years now and paying with cash.  It’s worth noting that I use these tools for my job (community gardening) to do odd jobs around the garden, so I spent a little more than some people might and I decided to go new vs. used on them because I use them often.  All the tools I bought were new, but I shopped around.  I did intentionally splurge on my Drill and Impact Driver Set, but I feel like that was money well spent.    To date I have spent $1,541 on tools

  • Air compressor: $150
  • 2  finish nailers and staple gun: $120
  • Framing nailer: $180
  • Skill Miter Saw: $79
  • Clamps- assorted: $125
  • Porter Cable Circular saw, Drill, Sawzall, flashlight, two batteries (kit): $129
  • DeWalt Drill, Impact Driver, and two batteries- $249
  • Jig Saw: $24
  • Assorted small hand tools: Estimate $300
  • Table Saw: $90
  • Drill Bits (various & specilty): $95

Tiny House Builder Interviews

Recently I have been ravenously reading other Tiny House building blogs as part of my preparation to build my own Tiny House.  Along the way I have been fortunate to talk with a lot of people who have been building or living in Tiny Houses which I was able to learn a good deal from.  So today I wanted to share some of what I learned and give a shout out to some awesome people!

Rowdy Kittens – Tammy Stroble and Logan Smith

I have know Tammy and Logan for a while now and I always gain some great insights from this amazing couple.  One thing that struck me from my conversation with them this time was their comment how larger traditional homes are “made for other people”.  With traditional homes many people are concerned with resale value and having your home generalized to potential buyers.  Tammy and Logan’s pointed this out and said to me this house is for you, so design it that way.

MiniMotives – Macy Miller

I really love the work Macy is doing over at her website, I found it very informative and she has a great links section.  From our conversation I have been able to glean some insights into building codes and where we might take Tiny Houses in the future. We talked about how DIY builders of Tiny Houses are a good thing and at times, not so good.  Another thing that municipalities are very concerned and focused on is sewage.  Tiny Houses often use composting toilets or other alternatives to the standard grid tied flush toilet.  After some reflection I can understand this as a big issue.  Here in most parts of North America we benefit from a lot of attention paid to our water management and sewer management.  This leads to better water quality, huge impacts in terms of health and disease control and  mitigating damage that water causes.  It’s not perfect here by a long shot, but this infrastructure saves countless lives.

Big Lake – Tiny House  – Erin and Pete

These two are building the exact same house I plan to build and I was able to glean some building tips and other considerations from them.  The first was making sure your trailer was properly fitted to your house weight.  From trailer shopping I discovered that you can often get a trailer rated for 10,000 lbs for about $200-$300 more.  The downside to this is that it often means you raise your trailer deck height about 2-3″, but you have a beast of a trailer that can take it, so you sleep better at night.

Tiny R(e)volution – Andrew

I found Andrew’s website  and really liked his philosophy on a lot of things.  As he put’s it, they are building “cash on the barrel” which is something I admire.  Some of the practicality of how Andrew is doing things brings a lot of perspective to this process.  He has a lot of great videos and I have watched each one several times!

120 Square Feet – Laura and Matt

Laura and Matt built a great little house in the mountains of NC, right near where I used to live and have so many fond memories.  I learned a lot of construction specifics and they are good motivators in taking on this endeavor.  What I like about their house is they setup a solar system that powers everything.  I still find it amazing that couples can swing such a small space, but these two not only live in the house together, they work from home together.

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses – Steve and Jay

I was excited when I received my plans from Tumbleweed and these guys have been able to give me a lot of nitty gritty details on the build.  Windows were a tricky thing because the type they recommended just were phased out.  They helped me figure out the alternative and I am excited to get started!

So a big thanks to all those above and many others who helped me along as this journey starts!

 

 

Ordering Windows

This past week I have been busy ordering the windows and the trailer.  The windows will take 4 weeks to be delivered.  It has been a lot more involved than I ever thought possible.  Even with house plans, which meant I know all the dimensions needed, there are a lot of choices to be made when it comes to the trailer, but especially with the windows!

With windows you have to decide on the style, the way the open (if they open), metal/vinyl/wood/mixed, what kind of hand crank, what color is the crank, choose from one of the 10 options for screens, but then match the screen to the screen frame color!

So for those of you who are interested in the details here is the details on the windows. Please note window sizes are approximate:

  • 4 windows: 20″ x 30″ ($321 each)
  • 2 windows: 24″ x 24″ ($279 each)
  • 2 windows: 22″ x 40″ ($460 each)
  • 4 windows: 15″ x 40″ ($177 each)
  • 1 Skylight: 21″ x 27″ ($428)

Grand total for windows and everything (taxes, flashing, etc.):  $3,962.65

That price tag might seem like a lot to many, but anyone who has purchased windows will let you know that it is an expensive proposition.  Many people use stock window sizes or windows found on craig’s list or the Re-store to save money.  While I really like the idea of re-purposing old items, you often cannot find windows that are tempered which is really important if you are building your Tiny House on wheels.  While the house goes down the road, you want it to be able to withstand the bumps in the road.  Here is a video attesting the to strength of tempered glass.

All the windows are made by Jeld-Wen and are Low-e Tempered glass, double pane and filled with Argon.  The windows are all awning style so that you can still have them open when it is raining (to compensate for small eves).  They are natural wood on the inside and metal clad on the outside (mesa red).  I chose the hide away cranks and just went with the standard metal color that they use because it saved about $800 on the whole order.

The sky light made by Velux, which is one of the biggest manufactures of skylights and I got a standard size.  This was a simple choice because they don’t give a lot of options.  You really choose size, deck mount (what I choose) or curb mount, and whether it opens ($428) or is fixed ($189).  I decided to spring for the one that opens with a crank because it is the window that is at the highest point of my house, so I wanted to be able to vent hot air out.

  • Builder’s Tip: Be sure to read up on how to properly flash a window.  Windows and doors are the most vulnerable spots on a house for the water to seep in.

Tiny House Checklist

Today I have added a new menu item to the main bar, it is called “Ryan’s Tiny House”.  I am going to be covering my Tiny House build in two places:  here on the blog as regular old posts, then also will be cataloging it in the mentioned tab.   This tab will outline the details of the house build in a step by step manner and will be designed for those who wish to build their own Tiny House.

The other thing I have added to this menu is (if you hover over the link, a drop down appears) is my Tiny House Checklist.  This is my master plan – if you will- to allow me to keep everything straight in my head and in the building process. After checking it out, let me know if I have missed anything or should change anything.

Your Turn! – Join The Conversation In The Comments
  • What am I missing on this checklist?
  • Is there anything I should change?

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LIST

I’m Building A Tiny House!

Over four years ago I discovered Tiny Houses and fell in love with them.  I have always been fascinated with alternative housing, from the time I was a boy I built countless forts in the woods.  So we have arrived, I will be building my Tiny House starting in just a few short weeks!

I have no idea how long it is going to take me, but it will be a challenge for sure.  To set the bar for you all, the biggest thing I have ever built has been a chicken coop.  I have no finish carpentry experience or house building experience, but I have been researching vigorously, talking to a lot of people, and will have friends help out where they can.

 Many of you might have remembered that not too long ago I thought building my Tiny House was going to be a dream differed for another year or so, but recently I received a sizable bump in income with my other job and things started to fall into place.  It’s kind of crazy how everything just clicked all of a sudden.  Within two weeks my income grew, I had a place to build the house, and the last few details clicked too.  I then found myself sitting here asking myself, “is there anything holding me back from doing this?”  The answer was no, I have arrived at the edge and all I had to do was take the plunge.

So I got plans from Tumbleweed – I am going to do a modified version of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s Fencl – and started shopping for my big items: trailer, windows, water heater, and appliances.

 The land that I will be building on  (on a trailer that is) is 2 acres right on the lake here in Charlotte, NC.  I am currently house sitting for them so I am keeping an eye after it and mow the lawn.

Going forward I will be detailing all the steps of building, have videos, interviews, informational posts and once it is complete I will be opening it up to tours for those of you who are close by.  Once I start doing these posts I will also have a new menu item that will easily categorize the building process for those who are building their own Tiny House.

-Ryan

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