Tag Archives: interior design

Building Update

We sent out a blank post earlier today!  Oops.  Here’s the real thing!

by Joseph

Hello All. We’ve been cooking along on our tiny house, and have received so much encouragement and physical, emotional and cyber-ical help from y’all. Thanks! We figured it was time for an update on the nuts and bolts of the build.

Our second wall is UP!  Building this wall went SO much faster than building our first wall, which is about a third as big.  Meg and Bre, two of our group build compatriots, helped us measure, nail, and everything else to make this wall happen.  We’ve discovered building goes much faster with three or four people than with just us two.  Once we had the wall built, we got even more help.  Five generous, charming, and strong Tumbleweed staffers joined us to lift the wall’s thousand pound mass up and over the welded-on trailer bolts, and then tilt it carefully into place.

Our new wall is a little out of square, but after letting it sit for a few days  it went from one-and-a-half inches out down to three quarters of an inch out… and we think (hope!) once we start strapping and bolting things down it’ll get even more level/plumb.

Here are some pictures of our progress.

Base Plates in place and pre-drilled
base plates in place and pre-drilled
a header for the window
a header for the window
Sarah measuring and placing things for a dry run.
Sarah measuring and placing things for a dry run.
Meg Measuring
Meg measuring
Measuring X 2
Measuring X 2
tissues = KEY! ;-)
tissues = KEY!
Joseph and Bre hammering the coil strap
Joseph and Bre hammering the coil strap
mas coil strap
more coil strap
The Tumbleweed staff took a break from the office to lift the wall into place
The Tumbleweed staff took a break from the office to lift the wall into place
I have no idea how we would have done it without them!
I have no idea how we would have done it without them!
plywood overhand
plywood overhang to connect the walls

Team Purple (Bre and Joe) are working on their shou-sugi-ban siding while they wait for their SIPS to be delivered; it is beautiful! Shou-sugi-ban is a traditional Japanese wood treatment.  They torch the wood, then sand/wipe it, then treat it. We’ve included some pics here and we’ll definitely share more as they progress.

wpid-20130908_121656.jpg wpid-20130908_121649.jpg wpid-20130908_121527.jpg

Meg is making a beautiful butcher block for her interior counter tops using multi-colored strips of hardwood. Here’s a video we took while deciding on butcher block design (also more of this to come).

We also met with Meg to hammer out a new vision for the interior of our house.  This made the whole thing feel very real all of a sudden.  This actually took a few hours, as we walked around on our two-walled trailer platform and visualized various things, drew in our sink and oven and thought thoroughly about who we are and what’s important to us in a space. We asked questions like: How do you enter a space?  What’s the first thing you do? the second?  How do we want to use the space? Cooking, computer work, yoga, dinner parties, getting dressed, bathing, watching movies, reading, day-dreaming, cuddling (Sarah wrote that last one, I swear).

Also, we’ve been thinking about who each of us are and what we each need. Por ejemplo: Sarah needs private place to write. Joseph wants be able to be an introvert, even within a shared small space.  And, we like sitting around the table together. All of this process was really helpful to start thinking about. Sarah and I were just so focused on how to frame a house, that we started letting the inner details fade. Here’s a picture of the sketch Meg made for our interior, though we feel this will be it’s own post when we get a bit closer.

Interior first floor design
Interior first floor design

String Theory: Our Scale Model

No, not subatomic particles…ACTUAL STRING!  After reading about how helpful it would be to have a scale model, we went out and bought some poster board and box cutters at the local hobby shop with lofty ideas of gluing small pieces of foam together to make, essentially, a tiny-doll-house in the exact proportion of the Tumbleweed framing plans.  Didn’t happen.

Instead what we ended up doing, which may or may not have been more work, was framing the house in string.  Scale? 1:1.  So now we can actually step through the front door opening and feel the space around us.   I used two walls of a room and triangulated the points from the ceiling and floor using a level and a tape measure.  It’s a little bit off here and there (by no more than 4”) due to the string bending when crossed with other string, but all around pretty functional!IMG_1357 IMG_1355 IMG_1361

Making the String Model helped us with the following :

~Is the space big enough for the two sleeping lofts? Yes.

~Are the lofts big enough to sleep and sit in?  Really? We’ve modified the work loft (our second loft) with some dormers.

~Where the heck should we put our salvaged windows?

~Kitchen orientation + sizing

~Actually feeling like “We’re going to do this!”

~Easier to show friends what exactly it is that we’re doing

~Placement, orientation, and design of the bathroom, kitchen, shelves, window seat

~Appliance sizing (stove, sinks, heating, etc.) Now, every time we have a question are wondering if something will fit in the Tiny House, we step into the first floor String Model, or climb into the loft floor String Model.  Super helpful!

We are lucky to have enough indoor space in our current home to map out our entire tiny house with string, and to leave it up.  If you don’t have that much space maybe you could do it in a backyard with rope or duct tape attached to trees, buildings, or a ladder.  You could also put up a String Model for a day inside, sort out the questions you’ve been wondering about, and take it down again.

Check out our video here to see how to make your walls straight and your ceiling flat and everything else for your String Model.