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September Update – with a 30 paintings in 30 days BONUS

Here is where we are at the end of today!IMG_20170903_144000388.jpg

Isn’t that stone foundation just the BOMB?

We’ve added a roof – square cedar columns for the back porch roof & rail, “tar” felt on the bottom exterior sheathing, and started the second row of sheathing using the “Zip system,” (it means we won’t have the extra step of coating the exterior with Tyvek or something similar because it is built into the 4 foot by 8 foot sheets (coated in green).

Some terminology, (because I had to keep asking Mr. Architect / Construction Foreman / Sweet-Patient Hubby).

tiny house august 7.jpgRidge board:  the LEVEL 2×10 board at the peak of the roof that extends from the back to the front.

Rafters: the boards that are angled from the ridge board to the top plate of the walls.

Roof joists:  the horizontal boards going across the house perpendicular to the ridge board that host the rafter tails.tiny house august 8

Bird’s mouth cut:  the special v-shaped (also special angled cut) that allows the rafter to sit on the top plate.  The bird’s mouth cut is mostly covered up by my amazing hurricane clips (300+ nails driven by hand = sore forearm).

 

 

 

The roof rafters were a challenge – second to getting the ridge board straight and level.  The most challenging part, of course, was trying to stand and balance on top of the roof joists while lifting and bracing to make everything “plumb and level.”  (Plumb & Level seems to be really ReAlLy REALLY IMPORTANT!)

We had several rain days this week, (thanks Harvey), but nonetheless, we “topped” out the roof tiny house august 6.jpg

We installed the posts on the back deck for the rail.tiny house august 9c.jpg

And we put on the tar felt and zip-system sheathing (pic at the top).  It’s been a great week – but EVERY week is a great week when Hubby and I are out at the site – working together.

My father-in-law was out today, and he said we worked together like a surgeon and a nurse – I’m pretty sure it was a compliment to both of us.

BONUS TIME
Just to keep this blog interesting – since it is about more than our Tiny House Project, I’ve got a personal side challenge going – 30 paintings in 30 days – my theme is rural Tennessee churches, the first 5 are below, but you can follow me on Instagram to see my daily posts for the rest of the month – click here

Old Trinity Episcopal – Mason, TN1 churches - Old Trinity Episcopal - Mason-Actual Painting-7x9.jpg

Unknown Church – Adams, TN2 churches - Rutledge TN-Actual Painting-9x12.jpg

Cobb’s Chapel – Santa Fe, TN3 churches - Cobbs Chapel Methodist - Santa Fe-Actual Painting 8x8-1

Headricks Chapel -Wears Valley, TN4 churches - Headricks Chapel - Wears Valley - Actual Painting-8x8.jpg

Abandoned Church – Adams, TN5 churches - Adams - Actual Painting-9x12.jpg

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August Update

Well, well, well – it’s been really sunny AND really hot!  But sunny days make awesome work days on the tiny house front.  We’ve made A LOT of progress, (for us) in the last month!  As in, you can see where the walls go, and that there’s going to be a roof!

Tiny House foundation 07-06-2017Here’s where we were a month ago… see that dark sky – that was one of the not so sunny days, where we were spending more time carrying the tools in and out than we were actually building anything, but hey, a day building in nature is a good day.

We were so proud – we had squared a not-so-square foundation and we had leveled a not-so-level foundation.  So we were “good to go!”

 

The most recent “lumber package” as hubby so fondly calls them, came this week.  I think he only orders lumber in “packages” so the cost is at a level he can swallow, and the visual is a level I can fathom.

We built the walls in sections of approximately 9 feet high by 10-12 feet wide.  We used 2 x 6 studs and we placed them 16 inches on center, for all of you building techies.  2017-07-29 framing week 1-3Additionally, each wall section that fell in a corner had a diagonal (literally) inlaid support 1 x 4 mounted to maintain structural support and “square-ness.”  By the way – in the words of Huey Lewis, it is TOTALLY “hip to be square!”  (That’s my Huey doing the hard work.)2017-07-21 wall building.jpg

2017-07-24 framing 1

As of today – we have all of the walls in place, interior and exterior.  We have the temporary supports in place (and level, of course) for the ridge beam (roof).  The stone columns in front are for a covered porch that wraps around to the front door (where the step ladder is on the right).  There is an equally cool set of even taller stone piers on the back side for a similar covered porch and awesome view.

2017-08-09 Roof Images 3

In the meantime, I made PICKLES!  First time growing the cukes & actually canning ANYTHING! 2017 pickles

 

Life is good in Santa Fe (TN) and I couldn’t be a luckier girl than to have this awesome builder/boss for a husband!

Sill plates + rim boards + floor joists, oh my!!!

My vocabulary has certainly changed in the last year!

Last July I would have been talking about bytes, data analysis, Perl code, quality analysis, and TimeTrax (don’t ask); now I’m tool belt pocket deep in galvanized and sinker nails, deck screws, and when to use each.  And I just need to add – I’ve never had more fun, been more challenged, felt what “good tired” means, and actually NEEDED a shower at the end of the day — and one more thing… loved and respected my husband any more.

blackberry vineA week ago the tiny house was where it was a month ago – foundation poured, block foundation up, and “sweet” rock exterior foundation applied.  We still had work to do on the “barn.”  A staircase to erect, a deck to build, hand rails, deck rails, blackberries to harvest… just seeing if you were paying attention.

 

Today, the tiny house has sill plates, rim boards, AND floor joists!  (Notice those dark clouds in the sky – we’ve been dodging them ALL week – take tools out – Tiny House foundation 07-06-2017-2.0work 30 minutes – take tools in – ask each other, is it over… take  tools out – eventually learn to work in the rain, as I sit here now, it is still pouring outside, but dark, so I’m not wimping out on a rainstorm.What took us so long, you ask?  The well-placed foundation wasn’t square.  You can watch YOUTUBE all day on how to frame a house/building that is square, but try finding how to re-square a foundation that isn’t.  It’s pretty damn hard, and takes A LOT of patience – just sayin,’ but grateful, we both have a lot of time, and my husband has a lot of patience.

So, for the record, we are officially square.  (I’m kinda like the Huey Lewis, “It’s Hip to be Square,” and he’s more like the “wait Robyn, if we don’t get this square, the whole house will be wrong.)  While I love me some Huey Lewis music, hubby is right – the house MUST be square, or all kinda things north of the floor joists go south… you know, like especially when you get to the roof.

But in the meantime, I played the “Chef Robyn” card and made some blackberry jam.Blackberries and jam.jpg

I also cooked Mr. Wonderful a birthday dinner, complete with a big bone-in piece of prime rib!  prime rib.jpg

Now we are BOTH happy and tired!

Until next time…

The Next Chapter…

I lost my job.  Not sure whether to follow that with a happy or sad face emoji… so I just won’t put either.

My husband, the architect/woodworker, retired about 2 years ago.  We sold the only house we’ve ever owned together and moved to “the country.”  In full disclosure, we’d been planning this move for a while, but with the loss of my job, we decided to go full tilt and start building the next house on our 10 acres of land.

A little history… about 18 months ago we started “the barn.”  It’s really hub’s woodworking shop, but it was an experiment — well, many experiments.  Can we really work together on a job site (aka can I take direction)?  Do we really like it out here?  How fluid are we on the plans?  Are two “retired” people able to co-exist after living in the corporate world for so long?  I’m happy to say, all of the answers have been a resounding “YES”!!!  Here’s “the barn” as it is today – still needs shutters, siding on the back, deck on the far wall… and more, but basically, it’s a go… AND WE DID IT ALL OURSELVES!  (except for the roof).

barn Apr 2017.jpg

As these posts evolve, I’ll include the barn raising story, but for today, the excitement is all about breaking ground on the TINY house.

breaking ground

Our 600 square foot house will be close living quarters, but I think the most challenging part will be a single bathroom!

Our inspiration…

houseplans.com tiny house photo.jpg

What’s the goal?  Well, given our record of a pretty slow pace, it’s “this year.”  Given, we are renting, “it’s 4-5 months” until occupancy and giving up our rental.  Maybe putting that goal out into the world will give us a greater goal, and we’ll “make it,” otherwise, we’re still renting!

The great part in building a tiny house when you haven’t built a “big” house, is that it’s practice:

  • building walls (check on the barn, done that)
  • building decks (check on the barn, done that)
  • picking out cabinets
  • picking out lighting
  • picking/installing flooring
  • downsizing… do you really need 45 t-shirts when there’s only 7 days in the week?

Oh yeah, we also upgraded to a Toro 60″ deck, zero turn mower… I’ve always loved mowing (thanks dad)… but I hated my first time mowing and accidentally taking this “big” guy out… I never saw him (thank goodness), else I’d been doing a wheelie back to the barn on the mower…

snake.jpeg

Next up… I’m trying a hay bale garden

 

 

One of the Coolest Cabins ever…

We recently rented this very cool cabin on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge GA for our anniversary.

Toccoa River Cabin

Toccoa River Cabin

While a cabin that sleeps 14 would be considered a bit excessive for a party of 2,  the cool factor was just too much to resist for my architect husband and me.  There were walls of window facing the river… a two story windowed garage door that opened up the dining area to an outside deck… an indoor / outdoor fireplace… a hot tub… and a beautiful kitchen with concrete countertops.

We spent the first afternoon lounging down by the river soaking up some rays, relaxing and reading.  It was some much needed down time for us both and the comfort communing with nature brings doesn’t come often enough.

River reading chair

River reading chair

anniv

Vintage cookware

We spent the next day taking a scenic train ride into the Copperhill/McCaysville TN/GA area and explored the old mining towns.  While there we enjoyed a burger and onion rings at one of the local establishments, “Roger & Carol’s,” picked up a souvenir train themed necklace for my granddaughter and rummaged through the numerous antique shops, where my amazing hubby threw down some cold hard cash for this beautiful set of vintage enameled cast iron cookware from the 60’s. It was a perfect turquoise color that I just so happen to be using as an accent color throughout the house and it cooks like a dream!  (He conveniently had not already bought me an anniversary present, so this just worked out perfect for everyone!)

The day was finished off with an evening around the fire-pit, eating a delicious homemade pizza from “town,” smoking a cigar (well hubby did, not me) and enjoying a nice bottle of wine.  We completed our long weekend adventure with a two hour rafting trip down the river in a funyak… (basically a kayak shaped blow up inner-tube with room for two).  We started upstream in the Toccoa River and finished 6 miles down, just across the Tennessee state border in the Ocoee River.

The weekend definitely made it an anniversary to remember.

Next up… white rafting down the Colorado River!

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