Posts Tagged materials

The Hardest Part So Far…

If you had to guess what the most complicated part of building a tiny house is, what would you say?  Building the walls?  Making sure it’s all square? Putting in the gas and electrical?  Nope….

This one thing has been a lot of fun, but a major pain at the same time!  There are times that I feel like I spend more time on this one thing then I spend building my house.  So what is it?

wpid-life-friendship-wallpaper-quotesFinding all the materials to build my house has been the most difficult and near the top on the rewarding experience so far.

What I have found is that when you tell people about your tiny house, they are often really excited and really interested.  It is here where you can forge some great connections and maybe even friendships, in the end having people as your advocate goes a long way.  At this point when I walk into my local hardware store, everyone there know me.  To some I am the Tiny House guy; To most, we know each other on a first name basis and in part it’s because how much time I spend with them finding the right materials for my house.

There are times that I feel like I spend more time at the store searching the various vendors for the perfect fridge, flooring, flashing, or a million other details, but it is worth it.  The details that go into building a tiny house is mind boggling.

I would argue that I spend more time on the details in my 130 square feet than a person does in a McMansion.  The reason why?  Because when you have such a small space, every little thing matters, you have to consider how things will fit together perfectly because the tolerances in a Tiny House are much smaller.

Another thing to consider is that traditional building materials are of a scale for a larger house; there have been many times where traditional materials won’t work because of the size or the scale would look weird on a house so small.  When you get into the building process you see how substituting one thing for another could have a ripple effect throughout the whole house for various reasons.

One factor that I am constantly grappling with is the timing of ordering all the materials.  While I have a great space to build my house, I don’t have a lot of space to store stuff out of the elements.  This means I have to time things to arrive just when I need them or sweet talk the warehouse manager at the hardware store to hold onto them for me.

jared-spool-quoteTo give you an idea of how much time it takes to do all this, take for example ordering windows.  I literally spend 10 hours reviewing different vendors, choosing various options, matching colors, and so much more.  Today I went in and spent 3 hours ordering all the parts to my roof, but before that, it took 3 weeks of phone calls to get a color sample to make sure it matched my windows.  By the time I had selected my roofing I had considered 10 different metal roof manufacturers, collected 6 different color samples and spent a lot of time on the phone.  The reward was when I opened that last packet to find the perfect shade of red to match my windows.  It is identical, even though its two different companies and it is going to look great when brought together!

So just know going in that finding the perfect materials for your house will be a daunting task, but in the end, it’s worth it!

Future Materials For Building Your Home

With so much innovation happening in the technology industry, green tech etcetera, it is no wonder that we are seeing more and more new innovative products to build homes with.


What about Metal Foam?  Sounds crazy right?  Well its not, it has “a much higher strength-to-density ratio than any metal foam that has ever been reported.  What can this be used for?  Well currently applications are going to be used for earthquake damage protection, but designers are all ready scheme up new ways to use the material.

How about having your next house printed!?!?  In 24 hours!  Behrokh Khoshnevis’ device was originally designed to be a rapid prototyping machine, essentially a 3-D printer, but he has realized its true calling is in building construction.   This technology isn’t anything new, but the use of this cement like substance and its ability to scale to a house size is.  I have seen 3-D printers at work and while impressive(I saw one that could print in titanium), they are slow.  This method here is much faster and can support more applications for residential or disaster relief.


Obsorbo, its glass meets sponge.  But a very selective one, this glass will swell to 8 times its size while capturing volatile compounds a.k.a. chemicals and pollutants.  Once the glass is full, you can actually harvest the harmful parts and reuse it over and over again.  Originally designed for water contamination clean up, it has an interest implication in green homes or greenhouses where you grow your organic foods.



Concrete is used for many reasons, its cost, its strength, it ability to repel fire or water etc. etc.  But  what would happen if you were able to use it in new ways, such as accent walls or in lighting?  This material is technically concrete, but is mixed with optical fibers to allow light to pass through, while retaining strength.

lights person