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Tiny House – March Update

Wow!  We had ONLY 10 days in February without rain.  Given, we work 7 days a week, that wasn’t even two weeks of work on the tiny house!  UGH!  Let me repeat… UGH!  Luckily for me, I was doing the 30-in-30 painting challenge, and I got 27 barn paintings completed, but that’s basically another month of rent we are going to be paying because of the loss of time.  (See end of post for update on barn paintings.)March update 1

The GooD NewS my friends, is that we are “dried in,” well – all-but — the interior work can soon begin – just after a few “small details”

  • cut down the wall on the breakfast nook, (where the missing window is),
  • install the front porch roof, and
  • install that last window

We did accomplish a lot, given we had around a dozen days, working in and around the rain.

Checklist:

  • Finish installing roof sheathing over front gable end
  • Obtain, stain and install cedar shakes on front gable end #1
  • Router, cut, paint and install trim boards on front gable end #1
  • Manufacture, paint and install finial on gable end #1
  • Paint and install cement board on front gable end #2
  • Paint and install cedar battens on front gable end #2
  • Router, cut, paint and install trim boards on front gable end #2
  • Manufacture, paint and install finial on gable end #2
  • Begin installation of front side porch roof joists
  • Prime and paint right side roof joist tails
  • Begin installing cedar shake cover on right side soffits
  • Router, prime and paint one third of the front porch roof boards

Hub did an amazing job on the gable end trim!  March update 2

There are a lot of pieces going into making those triangles on the gables work PERFECTLY!  He is amazing at his craft, and even more amazing at being patient with me.  Just with the questions, and teaching, and LETTING me do the work instead of just doing it himself.  Some days, he struggles trying to keep me busy, but then, he lets go, and lets me do a task he might much rather be doing himself, like jointing wood…

 

jointerSome of the fun I got to have this month was learning to use the jointer.  I’m jointing some of the leftover cedar shakes to use on the soffit.  (I secretly think dear hubby has really started “training” me  on the power tools because we are getting closer to being able to actually start making mandolins and banjos in the workshop.)

“We,” (really hubby), took time out, (a lot of time actually) to build two new raised beds for our second year garden.  They are right in front of the house, so I can look out of the kitchen window and see how things are growing.  He decided a dedicated watermelon bed is a good idea, and then I can plant whatever I want in the second bed, as long as it is not tomatoes.  The two beds from last year are dedicated to blueberries and blackberries.March update 4

Of course some days, there are tasks I don’t really want to do, but I do like to continue to invest in the “we did this” account.  The tasks like shoveling dirt into the really awesome raised beds, or painting the ends of the roof joists, or painting the cedar battens, or painting the blocking on the back porch roof, or painting the front porch roof boards.  Get it… he must think I am really good at painting, or he really hates it!

Final note… the 30-in-30 painting challenge.  I painted 27 in 30, which is an improvement  over the 23 in 30 I painted last September.  September’s topic was Tennessee Churches, February’s topic was Tennessee Barns.  PicMonkey Collage 2018 Barn Series - grid.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tiny House – February Update + 30-in-30 Part 2

Here is where we are at the start of the eighth month.porch beams 02-2018

The front porch posts and beams have been installed.  We used Western Red Cedar and stained it a natural color.  The triangle above the porch, (gable end), will be finished out with handmade cedar shakes that we are waiting on from the Amish shake-maker to tie it all together.  We wanted something special for the metal t-brackets that connect the posts to the beams, so I trusted my best friend Google to help me find just the thing.  t-bar 2018

We decided it would be nice to try to tie in the location to the design theme.  Our property is located on what is called Chestnut Ridge, so I sketched a couple of chestnut leaves and sent it to Cutting Edge Metals.  They forged these pretty awesome t-brackets (and square head screws) to “beautify” our structure support system for the front porch.  And like everything else we seem to lift into the air, they are hefty – about 20 pounds each… and that 20 foot beam going across the top is also one solid piece of lumber, weighing in at around 100+ pounds.

 

porch roof joists 02-2018

The weather is still refusing to cooperate more days than not right now, so we have been working inside the workshop on painting chores – like the roof joists for the porch – 2 coats of primer – 2 coats of paint – 6 edges – it keeps a girl busy for a few days.  Hubby routed out a special trim edge on the bottom sides to make the painting more interesting (time-consuming) for me.

raised beds 02-2018Hub doesn’t seem to mind the weather as much as I do, so he has been keeping busy building some new raised planting beds for the spring.  They are conveniently located right between the house and the workshop.  I cannot wait to get some watermelons, peppers, herbs and more started in these beauties!

Standing guard over the fruits of our labor will be a bluebird family we hope finds its way to their new home that hub crafted and installed.  Note that no bluebird house is complete without a little engraving…

 

Another cold and rainy day project he completed with our oldest grand-daughter.

As for me, I joined the second 30 paintings in 30 days online challenge sponsored by artist Leslie Saeta.   The last one in September, I chose to paint rural Tennessee churches.  This time around, the subject matter is barns.  Here are a few of the completions so far.

 

 

You can see all of the churches and follow along on the barns on my Instagram page.

Tiny House – December / January Update

Baby steps and bad weather… that sums up the work for the last two months.  No more low hanging fruit… now it is big ticket items, like getting the roof on and windows in.  These are days requiring patience, attention to details, and a safety harness.  We did spend Thanksgiving in Savannah with our son, one of our daughters and one of our granddaughters… and there was a break at Christmas… and rain… and snow… and bitter, bitter cold to slow us down.  However, if all I have to complain about is a cold rainy day that keeps me from climbing on top of the roof to work, I am one lucky girl!

So what has happened in the last couple of months?  Well, a lot in the workshop – we have the wiring done… meanfarmhouse light.jpging outlets and overhead lights installed and inspected, and these beautiful bronze farm lights outside…  Also the insulation and wall-boards are up on the inside (this is what we did to pass the time on the rainy days).2017-11 barn interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

roof 12-4-17-2

 

As for the tiny house, the roof sheathing is FINALLY complete!  What a tedious chore!  Roofing is a career path I am glad to have bypassed.  We thought we had someone else doing the high-wire act up on the roof, but that didn’t pan out as quickly as we thought it would, so we just started doing it ourselves.

2017-12-10 roofing 3

 

Is it fun?  NO.

Is it easy?  NO and NO.

Is it done?  YES!

It all gave a new perspective to James Taylor’s song, “Up on the Roof.”

 

 

 

 

 

Now, it is on to the windows… Fun and easy, Yay!  We are keeping with the craftsman / cottage theme.  These are by Andersen, and they are going in great.  So far we have 5 of the 7 installed, but need to complete the front porch roof before we can install the 2 kitchen windows on the front side of the house.

2018-01-15 windows 2

We spent today, (hopefully the LAST snow day for this season), exploring the Amish community in Ethridge Tennessee looking for cedar shakes to install on the gable roof at the front of the house, cedar battens for the exterior siding, and a cedar front door.  We scored two of the three, which made for a pretty productive trip.  We will return in a couple of weeks to pick them up, so I hope to have an update on those in the next post.  (Still looking for a front door.)

 

All in all, we are still moving forward, and some day in the not too, too distant future, one of our dreams will become a reality… to be living in a house we built with our own hands.  How cool is that?

Until next month…2017-12-10 roofing 1

October update on the Tiny House

Gosh – what a heavy heart I have writing this post after the tragedies we have had within the United States, (not just continental) this last month… hurricanes and shootings, some close to home, some close to friends.  The circle of life and mother nature are not being very friendly this late summer and fall of 2017.

Today – Oct 4 – We are COMPLETELY sheathed in (vertically).tiny house sept a8

We have made progress!  Visible progress!  I fear that once we get inside, hopefully this month, that progress will not be quite so visible.  The next step (roofing) also makes me quite nervous.  We’re still open to possibly hiring that out, I mean, who really wants to strap into a harness if you aren’t doing a zip-line? Not this girl, but I will, (if dear hubby can do it, I can do it).

We had quite a few visitors, some unwanted, this month.  Ms Black Widow Spider, and her sister came to nest in our concrete block pile.tiny house sept a4-spider

“Spot,” the frog, named by one of our granddaughters, took root in the barn, seemingly entranced by this bottle of water on top of a tool box.

 

 

tiny house sept a3-frog

…and there is always “Hank” the neighbor dog who comes by most days for a treat and spray of the hose.  He’s also camera shy, and actually dodges the treats if you toss them to him, but he will sit and high five for a treat.

Now for the guts and glory!

  • House completely sheathed, check
  • Five front deck 6×6 cedar posts installed, check
  • Decks on front and back framed, check
  • Roof deck on back deck framed, check
  • CoPpEr roof gables, ordered, delivered and installed, check (my FAVE this month)

Oh yeah, there were a few watermelon success stories from the garden, this beauty came home with us today.

oct 4 2017 - 9

 

 

 

 

This month we also took a mini time-out for ourselves.  We were headed to South Carolina to a sweet house that backed up to a waterfall, (here – photo from airbnb)westminster sc, airbnb photobut passing thru Chattanooga we got a call that Hurricane Irma had impacted the sweet treehouse, and the power was out at our destination for the duration of our quick trip.  So I got on the phone and we re-routed to Lake Lure, NC and landed in the Patrick Swayze Suite IMG_20170912_195306482at the Lake Lure Spa and Inn who claims Mr Swayze actually stayed in the same room as us while filming the classic movie “Dirty Dancing.”  Luckily, (depends on your perspective), we just missed the 30th anniversary of the filming festival.  But we did get to do some amazing rock climbing and garden viewing… pizza eating… beer drinking… etc

And saw this Devil IMG_20170913_100055035_BURST001

near the top of Chimney Rock, which we climbed… over 900 steps, (there is a staircase to the top, IMG_20170913_093404595i.e. stairway to heaven, then a 2 mile hike to a waterfall, at over 2,000 feet elevationIMG_20170913_094951741_BURST001

where I relaxed, finally!

IMG_20170913_095653665

 

 

 

So it was a nice break from hammering nails, sawing up boards, taping seams, etc… but it’s always amazing to be back “home,” and working on the tiny house.

P.S.  The church painting challenge… I believe I finished 25 paintings in 30 days – and we were traveling 5, or so of the 30 days, so I feel like I made my goal… the fact I was still painting every day after a week is pretty amazing – here are some of the pieces I didn’t post last update.

 

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!

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

 

 

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