Tag Archives: DIY

A Day at the Salvage Yard

by Sarah

We are trying to salvage as many of the materials for our house as we can.  It fits with our environmental goals, and it fits with our budget!  We’ve written about salvaging our windows before, but we thought it’d be fun to take you along with us on a day of salvaging.

We’ve been to most of the main salvage yards in the Bay Area, and we really like  Whole House Building Supply in San Mateo.  We were there with Meg last Saturday, then went back with our truck on Tuesday to really spend some time, pick up Meg’s doors and our own purchases, and to film along the way.  Whole House has a great selection of lumber, as well as the doors, windows, sinks, and other items we’ve seen in other places.  They also have really fair prices, artwork made of salvaged objects, and demolition sales, where you can go to a house they are taking apart and buy things right off of it (we have yet to do that!).

We’ve also visited:

Urban Ore, Berkeley – major “eco-park” with lots of interesting stuff.

Ohmega Salvage, Berkeley – more like an antique store, inspiring but expensive.

The Away Station, Fairfax.

Heritage Salvage, Petaluma – beautiful furniture made from salvaged materials, and a small salvage materials yard we have yet to explore.

Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Santa Rosa – we got many of our windows there, lots of great stuff.

And, of course, our home away from home, Maselli’s, Petaluma, where we bought many of our tools, our strong ties, and countless extremely useful odds and ends.

And still on our list is to check out the Sonoma County Dump and Building Resources in San Francisco.   Any recommendations for more salvage opportunities in the Bay Area?

We got a great haul from Whole House including flooring, interior siding, odd pieces of finish plywood for shelving, a mirror, a couple of tiles, a few sheets of plywood in good condition, and more.

Check out our video to see inside the salvage yard and to see our purchases!

Meet the Cast and Crew of our Group Build

As you may know, Joseph and I are undertaking this tiny house build in good company—we’re doing a group build of three tiny houses with two other couples.   In this post we’re introducing the great people we’re building with.  It was published on the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company newsletter, where we’ll be writing regularly about the group build.

Meet our Group Build crew, and their design plans:

Meg and Dan Stephens will be building Meg’s own design, the Tumbleweed Linden.  Meg is the rockstar, ahem, in-house architect at Tumbleweed.

Meet Joe and Breanna in this sweet Valentine’s Day story about how a love of tiny houses actually brought them together.  They will be building the classic yet modern Cypress 20 with dormers.

And of course, Joseph and I can’t wait to get started building the tiny house of our dreams, a modified Cypress 20.  By the way, did you know were posting tons of build photos to Seeds with Wings Facebook page?

Over the next few months we six will be sharing a work site, some tools and resources, and muscles.  Each couple will be working mainly on their own house, but we’ll help each other out as needed, with practical things like lifting up the walls, and with the intangibles, like advice and learning from each others’ mistakes.   Even as we’re just getting started, it’s also nice to know that there are others in this with us.

We’ve been planning for our builds and buying materials for a couple of months now, but we felt like we were getting started for real when our beautiful new Tumbleweed trailers rolled into town.  As you can see in the photo, the trailers look great (and so do we!)

Joseph and I found out they also roll (and brake!) just as beautifully when we hitched ours to our truck and towed it a few hours into Eastern California to pick up some cedar siding.  We’re already seeing a financial benefit to doing the build as a group as we were able to share the cost of a full pallet of surplus siding at a good price.  A pallet is too much for one tiny house, but should work out just great for three houses.

Since the trailers arrived, we’ve worked together to get the subfloors into the three houses, and we’re about half a day’s work away from finishing that step.  Next step, framing our walls!

Here are a few photos from the first few weekends of group building:

IMG_1161 IMG_1170 IMG_1175For more photos, please do like us on Facebook and check out our build progress album!