Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Archive for the ‘Insulation’ Category

Sealing the front door.

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011:

Took a moment after work this afternoon to check a small “To-Do” off the list: Placing the weather stripping in the door jamb. This will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out in the coming winters by creating a seal around the edge of the front door.

As summer camp approaches and time to work on the project gets more and more sparse every little step counts!


Bathroom complete, Power ON!

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011:

Finished the last two bathroom walls, completed the electrical work, and put the sleeping loft walls up.

The aromatic Red Cedar from the bathroom is filling the tiny house with the most pleasant smell, and the lights are filling it with the most pleasant glow! Today, the electrical work is officially a wrap. We’ve learned such a great deal throughout this phase of the project and, until now, had no idea how extremely satisfying it is to flip a switch and see that somewhere a light goes on -because you wired it to do just that! My, what we’ve taken for granted before learning what it actually takes to make things work…

Officially broke ground on the next large project: The sleeping loft. The end walls are up, and we’re ready to begin building the ‘upstairs’ closets and storage areas.

Bathroom Walls.

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011:

Began putting up and insulating the bathroom walls. We are using aromatic Eastern Red Cedar for the bathroom, for the beauty and for the pleasant smell! The material is actually closet lining, but we’re adapting it for wall paneling. It has a very rough and rustic look to it, as it is not near as ‘finished’ as the knotty pine that we’ve used on the other interior walls. It looks really great!

Another Kitchen Wall!

Saturday, January 15th, 2011:

Put the wall behind the stove countertop up in the tiny kitchen.

We actually ran a bit short on wool insulation, so had to order a little more. Now that the wool has arrived, we can wrap up the last of the walls!

Getting ready for the shower.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010:

In preparation for the arrival of our stainless steel shower stall, we needed to create a moisture friendly/mildew resistant backing surface. Used 1/2″ Mold Tough Sheetrock for the job. Not too thrilled about the weight it will add, and wonder what fun chemicals they put in it to allow it to resist mold and mildew, but this seems to be the best option available after asking around for a couple of weeks.

Installing the sheets of drywall made putting in the wool insulation the way we have been doing it a bit challenging. The insulation was meant to be blown in after a plastic mesh was tacked up over the wall studs. We have gone to great lengths to avoid plastic in this project, so we’ve just been placing the insulation by hand behind the knotty pine boards as they go up. This wasn’t going to be an option behind the drywall, but putting up a plastic mesh really wasn’t something we were interested in, either.

Gabby and Larry Davis solved this problem by putting up a thin sheet of cotton over the wall studs where the drywall would be installed, essentially serving the same function as the plastic mesh… It worked. Sheets went up, insulation went in, and drywall was installed. We’re ready for the stainless steel!

Gas line!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010:

The tiny house will have two propane appliances, a small two-burner stove for cooking and a small boat furnace to provide heat during the colder parts of the year.

To service these appliances, we installed flexible copper gas line, 1/2″ copper that will run from two medium sized outdoor BBQ style propane tanks into the house, and 3/8″ copper that then feeds each of the appliances.

We utilized a specialized low-pressure regulator coming off of the tanks to provide the correct gas pressure to the appliances. If a normal BBQ grill regulator is used, the appliances will get too much gas pressure and will be problematic. A shut-off valve was installed inside the kitchen as a precautionary measure.

We got a lot of help planning out how to get the propane from the tanks to the copper line in the house and wrapping our heads around the proper regulator needed in an RV application from Marvin at Kamper’s Supply in Carterville, IL. These folks have been fantastic in filling in the gaps in our knowledge on the RV side of the tiny house construction needs. They’ve been instrumental in getting us the proper supplies for gas and electrical service, and gray water discharge and collection. Can’t recommend them highly enough!

As we knew this was a very particular part of the construction process with very real consequences if done improperly, we needed someone with specialized knowledge and experience with gas lines to help with the installation. Every brass fitting needed to be placed exactly, and every bend in the line done with care. Many, MANY thanks to Bob Coulson for the days of planning leading up to this project, and for working 9 hours straight getting this line in safely for us. We are so very grateful!

More thanks go out to Eric Brennan for helping figure out how to install the boat furnace and to Hunter Coulson for putting in a long day helping stuff wool insulation, putting pipes together, nailing up knotty pine, and taking great photos of the work…

One more wall…

Friday, December 24th, 2010: Christmas Eve

Presents are wrapped, the big house is cleaned up for guests tomorrow, and another knotty pine wall is up before Santa makes his rounds of Ozark…

Deck Railing.

Sunday, December 12th, 2010:

Made great progress toward completing the front deck today. We ripped some 8′ Cedar 2×4’s down on the table saw to make 2×2’s for uprights along the deck railing. Did some quick math to ensure their exact and evenly spaced placement, then secured them to the deck framing with 2 1/2″ coated deck screws.

The weather is getting more and more challenging for outside work as we dip into the winter months in Southern Illinois. First snow storm of the season made working cold -but pretty. The high was 25 degrees, and the wind was biting and relentless. A few gusts were so strong they blew the box of screws over (more than once), scattering them into the snow! We put up a tarp shelter to block some of the wind and to keep snow off the saw which worked fairly well, though at times we thought it might rip to shreds the wind was so fierce!

The deck will be one of the last few outside projects as we work more and more on the interior details. Great timing!

Deck Railing Framed

Saturday December 4th, 2010:

Began framing the deck railing… Using cedar 2×4’s secured with 3″ coated deck screws.

Weather turning colder and colder and the wind just absolutely hammered us today. Made for slower progress than anticipated but did encourage lots of coffee breaks!

Continued work on the knotty pine in the front storage loft when our hands and cheeks got too numb.

Finishing the Front of the Tiny House!

Sunday, November 28th, 2010:

Finished up the last bit of trim on the front and got the last of the cedar siding put up! It is extremely rewarding to step back and see the Tiny House completely sided. Looks sharp!

Made some progress inside as well: got the other gable wall covered with knotty pine and began laying out the plans for installing the Propane gas line.

Thanks go out to Bob and Hunter Coulson for their help and company today!

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