Tiny House: Interior Flooring

THE FLOOR IS IN!

It’s taken me a total of 3.5 hours to measure, cut, snap, and stick. The trickiest parts were getting around those dumb corners. But for all the bobbles there is trim, right?

It’s a vinyl sticky, floating floor and I LOVE the grey/driftwood color… Yes, I know it’s vinyl that’s not *exactly* environmentally friendly and lets off all kinds of fumes and whatever. Oh well. It’s waterproof, lightweight, and looks like weathered wood, so it stays.

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Looking toward the bathroom…

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And looking in to the bathroom…

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Tiny House – #bubbleinthemiddle

On the docket for today: the tiny house deck. As with all things in this project, the goal is to be perfectly level…gotta make sure that bubble is in the middle!

The deck itself went together pretty fast…as decks go. I designed it to be a floating deck; built on deck blocks (as opposed to pier blocks), not that high off the ground, and not attached to the tiny house.

The wood is also in a pre-cut size that I can find at Lowes. Meaning, I don’t have to custom cut any lengths. Just lay it out and GO!

All the materials just laid out…somehow I thought there would be more…
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Since I bought unfinished wood (it’s cheaper than treated wood or redwood decking), I had to seal it myself. I found this stuff online….it’s chemical free, water based and turns the wood a cool weathered color. Oh yeah, and it waterproofs the wood too…

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Before the stain…

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…..and after!

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Since this is chemical free, I’m also staining the tops of what will be my countertop…here’s a comparison of the color…

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Lining up the deck blocks…the deck is 8’x12′

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Checking for level…and it wasn’t quite there yet. I had to do some rigging to make sure side-to-side and front-to-back were all set. There is probably a scientific or otherwise “proper” way to lay out a deck. But I don’t know what that is and didn’t feel like spending a few hours on the Youtube. So I figured it out my dang self.

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The long support beams are 2x8x12…the top of the deck is made of 2x6x8

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Finally can start screwing down the deck boards…

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But 5 boards in, I ran out of screws. As a side note, if you’re planning on building a deck, get the bigger box of screws.They are sold by the pound and I thought “oh, 1 pound sounds good.” No. I ended up making a total of 3 trips to Lowes…one trip was just to get a 5 pound box of screws.

Also, there is actually a difference in brands of screws. The brand in the 1 pound that I bought first…horse pucky. I mean, yes, the screws went in to the boards…eventually. I had to lean my full weight on them and they kept clutching out my screwdriver. I could feel the screwdriver overheating and drained out 1 full battery in only 4 boards. When I switched back to the Grabber brand (I used that brand on the interior), problem solved! Maybe the size made a difference, I don’t know, but I had the same problem with the Fas-N-Tite in other places. I guess it’s just a trial and error thing. They both look the same, but you can feel the threads on the Grabbers are sharper. But enough of that…

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And DONE!

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***UPDATE***

Lest you think I whipped this thing out in just a few hours, it took a total of 12. Also, I stopped in the middle to take a nap.  This morning I was so sore and tired I stayed in bed until 8:30 watching reruns of Blue Bloods and eating Peanut Butter M&Ms for breakfast.

Tiny House – the ceiling, the trim, the floor, the bench, the door, the wheel covers and a partridge in a pear tree.

Over the past few weekends I’ve gotten SO many things checked off the list.

So. Many. Things.

I love checking things off my “list” so much that sometimes I’ll put something on the list that I’ve already done just so I can check it off.

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I’m learning with this phase of building that precision REALLY matters. Because there is only so much you can cover up with caulking. I’ve tried. Therefore, going slow is the key.

This is not an easy process for me. Right now I just want to live in my cool house! But furniture (for example) looks a lot better and is way more functional if there aren’t any gaps in the sides, if it’s level, and square. Kind of like when you’re baking cookies….they taste better if you measure all the ingredients right at the beginning.

But ANYWAY.

So here’s what I’ve been measuring and mixing the past few weeks…

Ceiling – I changed the original plan (shiplap) to make it look more like a Victorian tray ceiling. The hole at the top of the picture will be the light fixture that will be made with a cool tin ceiling tile I got on the Electronic Bay 🙂

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Prepping the loft floors – I decided to use super thin plywood (almost a veneer). They come in 4×8 sheets and make the entire process super fast.

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Stained with the same color as the window trim…

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Bathroom door – I used leftover siding and I’m pretty sure it will be awesome! Although it is a little crooked, so I’ll need to true that up a bit before I hang it…

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The wheel covers – The fenders are super NOT insulated and look pretty tacky, so I covered them with scraps of 2x4s, 2x2s and plywood…

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The Bench – This will be the couch/storage/other sleeping place in the main living area. It’s 2×6 and 16″ deep and will have a 3″ cushion on top when it’s all done.

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The color turned out perfect! It’s a midnight blue that I put Plaster of Paris in to make it look more chalk like. I’m SUPER proud of this! It took 10 hours to get it level and square, but it was worth it.

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Fabric for the bench cushion!

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Tiny House: Water Heater…making the outside the inside

One of the many challenges of building a tiny house is trying to fit all the things you need inside.  Either you find a smaller version of said “thing” or you throw it out altogether.

For the water heater, I had to find a little one.  As much as I like the idea of kickin’ it pioneer style, I still want a hot shower now and then.

I chose a gas-powered instant hot water heater by Eccotemp.  BUT it is technically an indoor water heater.

You guys…I tried to get it to fit inside.  It just wouldn’t go.  Either it wouldn’t fit in between the studs (so it could be hidden), or it needed to be vented outside and would make for a weird hole in the wall (so much of this project comes down to aesthetic for me), or it stuck out from the wall in an obnoxious, HERE’S-A-WATERHEATER, kind of way.

So, I put it outside.

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Now the challenge was, how do I make it an “inside” waterheater again?  The only option was to build a case around it that was vented, but protected from the sun.

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Lack of pre-drilling sometimes leads to this…

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Leftover screen (from a screen repair project) made for a perfect  bottom and top cover!

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Also, leftover siding…

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The hinges work and everything! I’ve since stained the wood to blend in a little better 🙂  If you have leftover materials, fight the urge to throw it away until after you’re completely done.  You never know what you could repurpose next!

Thanks to Lucy and Tacy for coming out and helping me finish the doors 🙂

Tiny House: Shower…continued

I love 3-day weekends.  Not only was this July 4th, but I got a LOT of stuff done on the tiny house!  Progress AND fireworks?  Yes, please.

Because what is more American than celebrating freedom by lighting things on fire?  And, you know, building stuff.

We last left off at the shower pan…  I finished the curb with cement board, which was then completely grouted…

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As long as it looks like brownie batter, we’re good…according to the Youtube.

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Then I wanted to make the transition from the wood to the rubber sheet a little smoother (not that it really mattered, but I did anyway).  I used the webbing stuff that is used to patch holes in drywall.  Why?  Because I found it in a box and thought, “Hmm, I bet that’d work.”  Other than that, I have no official word from a real contractor as to the “correct” way to do this…but, my house, my rules.

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More waterproofing…  That’s called Aquaguard (I think)…it’s Lowe’s version of Red Guard.  It paints on turquoise and dries dark green.  I ended up painting it on the loft floor above the shower too…

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Aaaand my favorite!  RIVER ROCK!

I’m glad it turned out pretty because it was a pain in my backside to lay out.   Since the pan isn’t perfectly 2ft wide, I had to cut off sections of rocks.  But because they aren’t uniform in shape, I had to cut off A rock here, and A rock there.

Also, it was 102 degrees.

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I was able to stay ahead of the thinset drying (just barely) in order to get all the rocks stuck down.  Then I grouted it a few days later.

Decent!

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The next part of the shower was figuring out how to keep the metal surround from touching the rocks.  That is a big No-No apparently. The only thing I could think of was weatherstripping used mainly in doors and windows.  As I perused the aisle in Lowe’s, I found a rubber silicone kind that had an adhesive strip on it!  The adhesive isn’t super amazing at sticking, but it was enough to hold it while I caulked the top and bottom of the strip.

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Then we flash the corners.  I was STOKED that I saved the leftover flashing from the underside of the trailer…remember this?  All those strips I had to cut and screw to the bottom of the trailer in the dirt and heat?  Well, the 10 feet that was leftover I never threw away…

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It was PERFECT!

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Flashing up…

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Then first panel up…kind of…

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The shiplap…

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The bathroom is now about 80% done!  I do believe it’s coming along nicely 🙂

Tiny House: Shower Pan Extravaganza

The shower. This is the last big project left to do. It’s not so much that the materials are super heavy or that it covers a big area (the shower is only 2×3), but it’s involved.

You can’t put in the tile before you pour the mortar shower pan, but that has to dry and it has to be waterproofed…which also has to dry.

But first…the frame.

Until last weekend, the bathroom was just a box.  In order to have the shower that I want (ie. the shower that would fit), I had to build a frame for the shower pan. I literally could not find a pre-made plastic shower pan that had the dimensions I needed. That is by far the easiest way to go, but since I couldn’t find it I had to figure it out my dang self.

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Most of my ideas start on a sticky note.  I work out all the measurements and make sure I have enough wood, then have at it with the saw.  The shower goes in the corner (obviously) and the box-looking thing will be the cabinet for my composting toilet!

Next…the drain.

We needed to connect all the pieces (literally glue with black sticky stuff) and bolt it down.

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Oh, and that white stuff? ^ That’s the spray foam insulation.  I used what was leftover underneath the trailer.  It expanded so well that it sealed the flange to the floor and we had to pry it up.  Be careful with that business.

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Buuuut it turned out when we finished the process, the bottom flange ^ stuck up from the floor about 1/4 inch.

Not to worry!  All that can be fixed with scrap plywood.

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See?  🙂 So much of building is on-the-fly and creative problem solving. Whoever said construction is for those who aren’t smart probably thinks changing a light bulb counts as manual labor.  But I digress.

Then on to the waterproofing.

One major “take away” from this project is WATERPROOF ALL THE THINGS. Whether it’s caulk or spray or thick, intertube-esque sheeting, when in doubt, seal water out.

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Pictures make it look so fast. But Nooooooo.  This was quite a wrastling match.  The sheet is thick like an intertube…the black ones that are used for tires and sometimes floating down the river.  It DOES NOT want to cooperate, especially in the corners. Speaking of which, that bottom right corner is bugging me.

The edges are screwed to the wall – above the curb level which is important – to make sure it stays in place.  I left the size pretty much as it came out of the package. I’ve watched some professional tilers on the Youtube who cut it all pretty with very little excess. But I’m not professional.

There’s grace for that, right?

Now we’re on to the bigger stuff…the mortar bed.

First let me say, concrete is surprisingly heavy. It’s super fine like baking flour or powdered sugar, but HEAVY. Especially once you get it wet. Again the Youtube guys were all “oh just get it a little wet, enough that it will hold together when you squeeze it then smooth it out with a 2×4.”

So that’s how I started mixing in the wheelbarrow.  Just a liiiiittle water.

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But oh my word~! I could NOT get this stuff to move in to place. I struggled through 3 bucket-fulls of mortar before I was over it and dumped some water on top of the “only-a-little-wet” mortar in my soon-to-be shower.

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That worked MUCH better. Actually, it was a lot like pottery class. I ditched the 2×4 and used my left hand (that’s the good one for now…the one without the stupid router bit gouge) to smooth it around.

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And I’m happy to report it is perfectly unlevel….sloping from the right down to the left hand drain 🙂

This is far from done, but I think the major part is over. If you’re wanting to install a shower pan, I learned from watching this guy:

He builds a demo on a smaller scale so you can see what’s happening.  I also used his direction for building the curb and more waterproofing…but that’s for later 🙂

Nobody makes me bleed my own blood…but router bits do.

Today was such a good day!  My friend Steve stopped by to say hi, I learned I’m getting a new niece or nephew in October (YAY Steve and Daisha!), got to eat at my fav food truck, AND I finished painting the interior!

Friend Steve …

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I was SO excited to have finished painting that I went down to the Home Depot and bought a router.  This tool I have to have to cut out the wood I put over the windows (so I could paint).  I was stoked that I even knew what tool to get (due to previous research and scouting)…you can imagine my excitement when I got back home and there was daylight left!

But in the middle of opening up the router-bit clamshell package that is designed to survive Armageddon, something slipped.

I looked down and saw this…

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That was nothing compared to the crime scene that was now on my hand.

Annoyed that I couldn’t finish the windows, I walked over to the spigot to wash off the torrent of red and see how deep this cut really was.  After about a minute of thorough flushing, I still couldn’t tell.

I had to go in to the main house for a second opinion:  Stitches…or No?

When we finally got the bleeding to stop, this is what it looked like…

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Not amused ^

The split…

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Pretty clean, right?

My friend Lisbet and I decided that it could probably go either way with the Urgent Care and the stitches.  I could go wait for hours and pay several hundred dollars for stitches, or I could butterfly it at home.  Also, we have wine at home.

Can you guess which one I chose?  🙂

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The kitchen ER ^

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The butterfly ^

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The “I’m Super Excited About This” face, also the “I Can Feel My Heartbeat in My Finger” face ^

The paint turned out really well though so at least there’s that… I’d explain more but it kind of hurts to type and 3-finger typing is weird.

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Lessons for the day:

  1. Rent paint sprayers.  They are worth the money when you can finish painting in 15 minutes.
  2. Gallons of paint are expensive.  Be prepared.
  3. Routers are cool.
  4. Router bits are rat bastards.
  5. Kitchen ERs are far superior to other ERs .
  6. Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly.

Dang.  I could really use some chocolate.