Tiny House – Finishing all the things

Oh boy… the last few weeks have been crazy, stressful…and I’m at a loss to describe it. I just need a nap for a few days.

Why all the crazy? Because I needed to be moved in to the tiny house by last Saturday. So yes, technically I’m moved in and sleeping in my awesome loft! Unfortunately, the finish plumbing isn’t done, I’m surrounded by piles and piles of boxes, and the solar doesn’t want to work. Basically, I’m camping in a box with windows and candles.

So that’s why I haven’t been updating the blog and the next pictures will be a mishmash of unrelated things.

You’re welcome.






Bathroom door…



Water line…



Cabinets WITH doors…


Shoe storage…


Bathroom vanity….that I decided to paint blue…


Shower rod…and the only fixtures that are in…





Closet Drawers…


And the tiny house move-in process…


So, so crazy.



Make-It-Your-Dang-Self Light Fixtures

Saturday morning I spent 4 hours making light fixtures. This didn’t include all the time spent beforehand researching design blogs, how-to websites, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I came to the conclusion I needed to make these things when I initially priced light fixtures. Goodness. It is possible to buy them for about $7 a piece at Lowes. But they look weird. As in, circa 1982 weird. Those that are marginally cool will run anywhere between $35-$50 and depending on how trendy or elaborate, the sky is the limit.

So. What do I do about my 10 light fixtures? Yes, 10. Eight wall sconces, one main room ceiling light fixture, and one porch light. What can I say, I didn’t want to live in a dungeon.

Seeing as how I was looking at a $500 price tag (at least) for just light fixtures, I decided it was a good idea to look in to alternatives. I found a bevy of blogs on how to make them…there were all kinds of clever ideas using galvanized pipe and found parts.

Since galvanized pipe is a theme in my house, I decided that will definitely make an appearance.

So here is a breakdown of what I needed:

  • twisted wire (vintage look and just cool)
  • sockets
  • strain reliefs (apparently this is a thing)
  • mason jars (12oz Kerr jars…already had these on hand; spray painted the lids bronze)
  • light cages (spray painted with bronze)
  • scrap wood (for the back piece of the homemade sconces)
  • bulbs (edison bulbs, of course. what is the point of seeing the bulbs if they aren’t cool)
  • Main Room ceiling light (I wanted something amazing, so I decided to turn an antique tin ceiling tile into a light fixture…got that on the Electronic Bay for $25!)
  • Wall Lights that were waterproof for Bathroom (not that I’ll be hosing them off, but I needed something that is good for wet environments)
  • Porch Light that was ok if it got rained on

For the Porch Light and Bathroom Lights, I decided to buy them. They absolutely have to be rated for wet environments and I can’t make anything like that, so off to Lowe’s I went. I went with a semi-nautical theme for those (they are also the :


For the other fixtures, I went online to Vintage Wire and Supply for the sockets, strain reliefs, and twisted wire: http://www.vintagewireandsupply.com.

The process of cutting wire, stripping wire, and attaching all the things took a while….


I had to google “How to wire a light socket”….


Strain relief…



Oliver helping…


Cages with pipe…those will be attached to blocks of wood for support.


It’s tough being a supervisor.


Tiny house – building furniture

Last weekend was full of furniture…the desks, the kitchen sink stand, and the bathroom vanity. And I think random cabinet doors and the last of the pipes…

For the desks, I used the plans from Ana White: http://www.ana-white.com/2016/05/free_plans/flip-desks-convert-table-our-tiny-house

She and her husband are carpenters and have all kinds of useful information on their website. Also FREE PLANS! WHAAAAAAAT?!?!?!!!

For the desks, I had to modify her plans a little so I could fit them over the wheel well. But it started by learning how to make pocket holes with a Kreg jig. This nifty tool makes hidden holes so you can screw furniture pieces together. The only thing is, you HAVE to pay attention or you’ll make the hole too deep and it will go all the way through the wood and your screw will slip out the other end. I’m guessing.


Pocket holes in action… Getting the pieces started is squirrley especially if you have glue on one end it wants to slide around. Quite a bit of time was spent correcting crooked pieces.


The carcass of the desk. See that short back leg? That’s the part that will eventually sit on top of the wheel well.


Then the bathroom vanity was next. Again, I used Ana’s idea from here: http://www.ana-white.com/2013/09/plans/48-turned-leg-vanity

Her plan calls for a 48″ wide vanity and NO WAY do I have that kind space in the bathroom…so I had to modify the size. I kept the basic design the same and doodled out what I thought I wanted it to look like.


Then I started putting it together.


The end product turned out a little different…I decided to put 1×2’s on the bottom shelf as opposed to a solid shelf.  And as much as I wanted turned legs, I wasn’t about to pay $69 a piece! Forget that. I’ll just use 2×2’s. I did find these finial things at the Lowe’s and they make cool feet (shown further down)!


And lastly, the kitchen sink stand….


This one did NOT want to cooperate. I got the front assembled, but the wood was warped or something dumb so I had to pull the back legs in to “square”. There was some cracking, but I’m pleased to report, nothing broke! At least not yet.


Wash-tub sink…


Then I had to schlep all the things in the house to check the fit. I’m not going to go to all the trouble of finishing the thing if it doesn’t fit!



Everything fit perfectly 🙂 So now it was on to painting… you’ll see below when the two desks are pushed together along the long edge, they almost form a square that will be for the dining table!


Bathroom…you can kind of see the cute little feet here… there is still quite a bit of work to do on this one, but at least the guts are done.


Desks DONE! The top I found at Lowe’s…I think it’s called a craft board? It looks kind of like a butcher block. I asked Lowe’s to cut it for me, then I stained it….


…and attached hinges to the back for some more storage. This space is countertop, office, storage, and dining…


I also finished the railing for the lofts…galvanized pipe painted Oil-Rubbed Bronze…


And the cabinet doors are done, but not attached. Details, details…


The stairs are cabinets… or are the cabinets stairs?

There’s no need to decide!


As with most designing aspects of this project, I started with a blank Excel sheet. You heard me: an Excel sheet. Why? Because I’m in finance and spreadsheets are my JAM!


Once I decided on the WHAT, I had to figure out the HOW… that part started with the color. I may have picked it for the name…


Then I drew the placement of the rise and run on the wall per this guy – https://tinyhousebuild.com/gain-sf-under-stairs/.

He is a professional builder so clearly he knows what he is doing…


I took my newly-cut 3/4″ thick mdf board and stood it in place to check the fit… also, as a side note, I had Lowe’s pre cut the mdf board in to 18″ strips. That made it MUCH easier for me to transport (mdf board is stupid heavy) and made sure the cuts were straight. Which seems to be a challenge for me.



Stuff like this bugs me, but I have to keep repeating:  It’s not perfect, it’s precious…  Thanks to my awesome sister for that reminder!


Once the fit was right, I prepainted all the pieces. It saved a lot of time taping off the edges!


I have to be careful where I set the pieces to dry…not having an enclosed workshop means I have to be mindful of dust, leaves, and bird poop.


I screwed the supports in to the wall and then screwed the risers (tall pieces) to the supports…


Following the marks on the wall, of course. Although you can see where I XX’d out a mistake…thankfully I saved my leftover wall paint, so I went back afterward and fixed that lapse in judgement…




Done…kind of. I still need to put hinges on the cabinet doors for it to be official, but you can walk up to the loft now! WOO!!! I’m noticing the pics are slightly blurry…they were taken on my phone, so maybe that had something to do with it…oh well.


Then I finished out the closets…

That started with a box of pipe. I bought this months ago and then somewhere along the line I threw away the plan. So it took me a while to remember how I had designed it.


The basic idea is that I’d use galvanized pipe as the rods in the closets. But I wanted to paint them oil-rubbed bronze.


Turns out this brand works like a champ…





It’s hard to get a full picture because of the small space, but the right side will be for longer items, the left for short items, and the middle will be a mix of drawers and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.


Kitchen coat closet


Shelves next to the closets and opposite the stove/sink area…


That business took me about 2 days. It’s a pain getting all that pipe and board level, straight, blah, blah, blah. But at least it looks cool 🙂

And to think it all started with a spreadsheet.



Tiny House: Interior Flooring


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.





Looking toward the bathroom…


And looking in to the bathroom…


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…

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…


Before the stain…


…..and after!


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


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

IMG_2430 (1)

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.


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


Finally can start screwing down the deck boards…


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…






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.


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.


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 🙂


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.


Stained with the same color as the window trim…


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…


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



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.



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.


Fabric for the bench cushion!