Tiny House Downsizing: The Bookcase

Purge:  to physically remove (something) completely.

As with everything tiny house related, this has been and still is a process for me.  Last week I started going through my bookcase.  Usually when I’m getting ready to donate stuff, I ask myself, “What should I get rid of?”  But THIS time around, I’m asking, “What do I want to keep?”

There is a slight difference.


So as I took my books out of the bookcase, I left only those that I knew I wanted…and some I can’t seem to let go….like the antique, hardback Carmen score that a shopkeeper gave me in Sacramento when I was on tour with my college ensemble.  I….just….can’t.   Yet.


The other part of the bookcase had the CDs.  Oh the CDs.  I found a whole other box in the garage that I forgot about.  What you see in this picture is maybe 25%.  I’m in the process of burning them all to my iTunes so I can get rid of the actual CD and case.  When I left this morning there were CDs everywhere.  Everywhere. 

The good news is that I’m almost done…I think I have less than 10 left to copy.  The plan is to load them all in a box and donate them.

Oh yes, donating.  That’s what I’ve decided to do with all the stuff I’m getting rid of.  Furniture and all.   Saturday I loaded up my car with random art work, picture frames, 3 boxes of books (not even all of the ones you see above), a weird half chair thing I’ve had since I don’t remember when,  iron candle holders, glass votives, a microwave, sheets, and probably other stuff I don’t remember at the moment.

The local charity is called Lodi House…an organization that benefits homeless women and children.   I hope they will be as blessed by this stuff as I was!

Time for Roof Installation! Just kidding…I ordered the wrong thing.

Last weekend I had my “to-do list” all mapped out:  pick up siding and trim from lumber yard, go get roof from Home Depot, install roof underlayment and radiant barrier, install drip edge on roof, start staining the siding and trim.

Funny how things rarely go as I plan them… what’s the saying?  Something about the best laid plans?


I left the house bright and early (7am) to go get the truck and then off to Uhaul for the trailer.  Every weekend I have something to do on the house I get so excited I can’t sleep…kind of like the day before I leave for a trip or the night before Christmas.  I don’t even set an alarm; I wake up at 5:30 and then because it’s Saturday I stay in bed until 6 on matter of principle.

DSC00668By 8:30 I was ready to unload!  The trim is 1×4 rough cut Western Red Cedar.  That’s the kind that grows in the Pacific NW and smells really cedar-y.  The siding is 1×6 smooth cut Incense Cedar…that grows in California.  You learn all kinds of useful things when you ask lots of questions at a lumber yard.

DSC00671This is the unloaded version:  covered in case it rains.  Or in case one of the dogs decides to pee on it.  The dogs have already peed on my Peppermint Hot Chocolate and took my pumpkin muffin…that was in a plastic ziploc inside a box…when my back was turned.  We’re not super good friends right now.

Next on the list was the roof underlayment.  I had planned on the sticky version of the Grace Ice and Water Shield.  You peel the back off, lay it in place (carefully…don’t want it sticking to anyplace painful), and press it down.  Easy, right?  You can imagine my disappointment when I opened the neatly packaged UPS delivery to find the underlayment was NOT sticky on one side.


So instead of waterproofing the roof before it rained, I had to pack it up the non-sticky underlayment and take it back to Home Depot.  *sigh*

Welp, time to bust out the wood stain!  NOW we’re getting to the part of the construction process I love…the creative part!

DSC00672Seriously, I couldn’t stop smiling as I sprayed down the trim with Espresso, semi-transparent wood stain and sealer.

DSC00680Trim drying…

DSC00684I wanted the exterior to be like something I’ve never seen before.  So I picked out 4 semi-transparent stains that are very close shades.  I wanted semi-transparent so you get a hint of color and you can also see the wood grain.  The effect will be that the siding looks weathered and cool.

DSC00674DSC00679From the top stick:  Polar Blue, Black Oak, Espresso, Cinder

The Cinder color is actually a dark blue-grey…almost black.  Think charred wood.  But it doesn’t look like that in the can!  I almost had a heart attack when I opened the lid and found a color that looked Navy.

The Polar Blue is more muted than the stick.  The plan is to mix a handful of the blue boards in to the siding for a little added interest 🙂  I think it will go well with the blue roof and red door…

DSC00685Process:  spray board, quickly wipe off excess, and make sure all grooves get stained…

DSC00687DSC00681From left to right:  Espresso, Black Oak, Polar Blue (more muted in real life), Cinder, and another EspressoDSC00682No two boards are the same; some are smooth with knots, others missed the smoothing process and came out with rough spots.  Other boards have a lot of red cedar streaks while some are almost white.  The rough boards take more stain, so they’re more color-saturated.  It’s gonna look amazing when it’s done!

This Worksite Has Been Injury-Free for -0- Days

The day started so well.  With all the framing and sheathing done, I was excited to get up early on my day off to start attaching radiant barrier and house wrap.

Monday, 7am:  The roof was first…

DSC00654And no, I didn’t fall off the roof.

DSC00656Beautiful view, but I just wanted to be DONE with this part.

DSC00655 DSC00657I was all excited because I thought I was doing the right thing:  I cut lengths of radiant barrier, laid them all out and stapled them with my handy tacker (this is really just a glorified stapler, but it’s still cool).

Then my contractor showed up and it turns out I was going backwards…water barrier has to go down first, THEN radiant barrier…and he still had to finish nailing down the roof.  So guess who had to take it all apart and gets to climb on to the roof to do it all over again?

Good times.

DSC00658The guys were so thoughtful, they decided to level the trailer for me with a really cool digital thing.  It looked like a surveyor’s scope and standing 25-30 feet away, you could read the tape measure to the 16th of an inch.  Pretty legit.

DSC006598:15am:  Breakfast break.

10:30am:  Back to work.  Radiant barrier was attached to all walls via stapler.

DSC00663 DSC00660 DSC00661 DSC00664 DSC00665It took several hours mostly because I had to wait for the sun to move in some places.  Also, hanging it straight by yourself on a 13 foot ladder isn’t as easy as it looks.

DSC00662Oh yeah, the Z-bar (flashing stuff) I got for the bottom edge of the wall?  Oh, it was the wrong thing.  So I had to take it all off leaving a sticky adhesive residue that I get to scrape off.  Awesome.  It’s all cut to size so I can’t return it to Home Depot, but I’m still keeping it.  Maybe I can find another use for it…?

4:30pm:  Time for house wrap.  Tyvek is like expensive, high-tech wrapping paper.  It lets moisture out, but doesn’t let it in.

DSC00667 DSC00666Thankfully, a friend came over to help with this part.  She held the 9 foot roll of wrap while I climbed the ladder and stapled the higher end.  But this is as far as I got.

Do you see that extension ladder?  The 13-foot one?  Rounding one of the corners of the house, the ladder got caught on something.  I still don’t know what.  Then it started to slide….toward my friend’s head.  My reflex was to grab the ladder and stop it…or at least try to redirect it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the arm strength to do either.  I was able to swing it out of the way of an impending head injury, but the force of the twisting motion jacked up my back instead.

6pm:  Made it home.  Dinner = Chips and Salsa.  Dessert = Aleve.

7pm:  Searing hot bath.  Make pallet on the floor.

7:30pm:  Get up to take sleeping pill.

10:30pm:  Move to bed because cat keeps licking my toes.

Tuesday:  Movies on the floor.  Also more chips and salsa.  And Aleve.

Now my back is wrapped and I’m on a steady diet of anti-inflammatories.  I’ve been forbidden from working on the house until Friday, but I am allowed to do *light* yoga.  Also, I can’t get a massage or adjustment until Friday when the swelling goes down.  At that point, I have to start doing core/back strengthening exercises.

I can move a little better than yesterday, but it still kind of feels like I was in a car accident.

The moral of the story:  Make Good Choices.

Tiny House Framing – The Day My Drawings Came to Life

Lest you think I’ve forgotten about posting, misplaced my camera, or have given up altogether, here is whats been happening with the tiny house…

After the subfloor, I  had the idea that it might be wise to let someone who knows what they’re doing build the bones of the house.  I want a house that is plumb, secure, and isn’t going to crumple in a heap in a good strong wind storm.

So I found a local contractor who was up for the challenge of building a structure that was attached to a moving foundation.  What would have taken me months to finish, he completed in 2 days.  Worth. Every. Penny.  Also his name is Jesse Schenkerberg in case anyone in the central valley is looking for a great contractor!


DSC00646Outside kitchen/master loft end…DSC00650

Outside bathroom/guest loft end…


Inside looking toward the kitchen and master loft…


Inside looking toward the bathroom/guest loft…


YOU GUYS.  It is the coolest thing seeing drawings come to life!  IT ACTUALLY WORKED!  And it’s all symmetrical and everything!