Whew. May 18th already?! Wowza.
I have been absent from my blog duties, once again; I realized I have an obsession with taking on new hobbies, but never working past the beginning stages of excitement, but I’m hoping, needing, to continue with this. If anything, writing and documenting this journey helps ease my worries and fears and self doubts about this whole thing.
It’s a process. Anyways.
Last tiny home blog post, I discussed installing the metal sheeting and windows. Today, we’re covering all of the small adjustments and changes made to the house in March and April; updates that don’t necessarily deserve their own post, but need to be covered regardless.
Let’s start with March.
- We didn’t start working outside until the middle of March, because even with a space heater going, the building was only 12 degrees
- Purchased and installed a door – I went with a left inswing, full lite, pre-primed steel door, which will later be painted to match the windows
- Also learned how to install a door knob – I purchased this one from Menards
- We built a sliding platform (used four 2×6’s and 2 sheets of OSB) in-between the two lofts, which enabled us to place my can lights and finish the carriage bolting on my rafters
- I cut down a sapling tree and stripped the bark off it – plan on using this as the railing on my storage stairs
- We installed the lower level outlet and switch boxes
End of March, I placed an ad on Facebook Marketplace looking for an electrician to come do some work. The tiny home did have power, but the breaker box in the basement was 80 years old, and there was only one working outlet in the building. An entire overhaul was necessary not only for electrical home purposes, but for safety reasons as well.
After hiring a local team of guys, one of whom was the county inspector back in 2005, and getting a quote from them, we realized it needed so much more than a trench and a few underground power lines.
Per the county,
- The internet, gas and electrical lines had to be flagged around the property, which involved contacting, scheduling, and having those technicians out
- We needed to have the three telephone poles bringing power to the property replaced
- Those new telephone poles needed new transmitters and all new cabling
- Then, the electricians had to come in and install 2 new electrical boxes to the main power pole
- Box 1 is responsible for running 200 amps over to the big house, box 2 is running 200 amps over to the tiny house, and eventually, to dad’s workshop
- Step 2 for the electricians involved digging a trench from the power pole to the tiny house, laying new ground wire, and installing the breaker box in the basement of the tiny home
- Finally, the county inspector had to come out and and approve all the work that was done.
So began the process the first week of April, and although I was crazy stressed about the entire thing, I have to give it to my electricians, they were amazing! Not only did they coordinate with the electric, phone and gas technicians, but they were able to schedule the county electric and inspector (because this all had to be done the same day), they even HAND DUG the trench in the rain, as it was too wet to get a digger to the back of the property.
The scheduling process took the first three weeks of April, and the entire property was fully updated and back to functioning by April 26th.
This was the last bit of outdoor work that needed to be completed before work could start on the inside of my house, and I am SO GLAD IT’S OVER.
While I’ve learned so much about home construction, project managing and budgeting, I’ve also gained quite a few gray hairs and became pretty stressed, irritable and quite most of the time. Writing and sharing about my blog, or my tiny home Instagram, or just talking about this journey in general almost became a burden, because while I AM excited and happy about it, I never imagined how much of an emotional strain it would be.
By no means do I know what I am doing. There are no guides or rulebooks, there isn’t a local community of like-minded, DIY tiny home individuals I could meet and share and plan with. Every little aspect of this build, every hour of research, had to be done as I went along, and most of the time I didn’t even know what to google for.
It is for those reasons, and many others, that make me more than ready to begin working on the inside of my home. Insulation I can do. Learning and helping dad hook up outlets and switches and can lights I can do. I can sheetrock and paint and decorate and build confidently. I am excited to “pull my weight” more and not rely so heavily on contractors or my dad to do majority of the work. The gray hairs were worth it, and I’ll wear them with pride, but I’m ready to start working and enjoying the process again.
Speaking of working inside, I decided on a flooring! The tiny home before it was a tiny home, was an old storage shed on my parents property, you’ll remember it used to look like this. The current floor is the original white oak that was harvested and milled on property 80 years ago by the original farm owners, and though it is currently covered in dust and dirt, I was able to patch sand and test an area that will be covered up by my kitchen cabinets.
The left swatch is the original floor using a clear sealant. You can see the old saw marks, and although it is still dirty (you see that floor, don’t come for me), I think the natural wood look is beautiful. Very rustic cabin-esque. That honey gold really brightens and warms up the space.
The swatch on the right is the patch test of a walnut gel stain when I was attempting to color match my future walnut exterior, which didn’t live up to expectations. Note to self, walnut stain on oak wood doesn’t match the old walnut wood. Duh. And while I do like the chocolate brown color of the walnut-stained-white-oak, I’ve decided to go with the left option. I feel better about leaving the nostalgic original, and think it will be a much cheaper option.
Also, I’m back to working full-time in office! This introverted homebody was pulled, almost regretfully, away from working at home, so that’ll be a whole nother set of gray hairs coming in. You know Covid was fun when you question if you remember how to get dressed every morning in something other than leggings and a sweatshirt LOL
Well, that’s all for now. Later this week I’ll be discussing all things insulation and electric wiring – we’re so close to sheetrock and painting, eek!!