Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Electric Panel Video

Here's a little preview of the electric panel I'm putting in.

I wanted to give you guys an update. We've been trying to focus on getting the electric in so we can start paneling the inside and putting the flooring in. I'm excited and nervous about building my own cabinets but I think I can do it. We're building our couch into the nook and putting the dog bed under it. We've picked out our ceiling finish and our bathroom wall solutions so keep checking for those posts. Next up we'll be talking about my hot water heater the RV-550 from Precision Temp. Great videos coming up and maybe even a post or two about how to live in a half built house without people thinking your a hobo!

We have more videos planned on the electric system so if you have any questions about the electric panel or anything else feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Moving across the country

Quick snapshots from our trip across the country. 
We're busy with the moving and unpacking process but I thought I should post something to keep updated. We moved back to oklahoma from California. We found a spot to put the house and while it might not be our dream location, it's pretty nice. Basically we had a family member with an empty house they needed to fix up and loved the idea of us being there I keep an eye on the place. 

The moving of the house was done by a pro we found on uship. His name is Davy Crocker and it couldn't have been easier. His price was fair and only about 400 bucks more than what it would have cost me in gas and truck rental. Plus he had a half million dollars in insurance and I didn't have to worry about anything. On top of everything he even helped move some branches when we got there. We met up along the way and had open communication at all times. He's moved 4 tiny houses so he knows what they take. If you need to move a tiny house, here's his contact info. Tell him Joe sent you: 
Dave Crocker 
Driver for Foremost Transport

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finishing the outside

Here are some photos of the house as it is now. I had to take a small break from building mid-April to help my ailing grandfather in Oklahoma. This wasn't too bad because I was planning on taking my house to Oklahoma at the beginning of May anyway so this gave me an excuse to drive my car there solo and fly back one way, which allowed me to ride with Breanna and my dog Tater in the car as we followed our house home. More on the moving of the house later.

You can see in the pictures that the main thing I had to finish was the roof. The roofing I used is called Decra Villa Tile. It works much like standing seam, with hidden fastener points and such but it's stamped steel with epoxied rock grains that give it a better look. It doesn't look like metal roofing.  

It was easy enough to work with, I was building along side Meg Stephens and she used standing seem. Mine took a bit more effort but my roof was also intrinsically harder to do compared to her Linden design which has a shallower roof pitch and less angled cuts, which were the hardest parts. 

I was a bit intimidated by the whole roofing process at first but once I got into it I realized it was pretty simple, and as long as you follow the rules and sometimes put a bit of elbow grease on it things fall into place pretty easily.

The trim is a bit tricky but measuring twice or three times and cutting once (sometimes cutting a bit long and seeing how it fits and where to trim) helps. It's not 100% done as you might see from the pictures there are a few little places left but I'm saving them for something special and taking my time to see what inspiration I have for those spots. 

It will always take longer than you think but remember it's not a race and when it's done it's done so enjoy the extra time you have building.

TIP: If you're hot while on the roof, do not take your shirt off.
I did this and it ranks up there in the top five stupidest things I've done. I got sunburned, bad. I know how the sun works, I know that I didn't have sunscreen on, I know that it's hard to find shade on the roof, I know I'm an idiot. Here's an embarrassing photo of me  as my own self punishment. Remember, I had to drive two 12 hour days in the car with this burn.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tiny House Siding is so Ex-Siding!!! (Video Demo)

Siding is the skin of your house

Dark/Light, Rough/Smooth, Speckled/Clear, UV damage/Protectant. 

Just like our skin it's the essence of our character and the foundation for the whole aesthetics of your home. There are so many choices and looks but the basic function is the same, to keep water from getting inside your house. Siding can do other things too, some insulate, some protect against fire, others are sometimes structural!

Let's talk about my siding choices and how I made them. I think in bullet points so in no particular order here are things that come to mind:
  • I got my siding from an overage type lumber yard. My siding was left over extra from a large build. The bundle I bought had enough siding for three tiny houses (actually probable more like 5-6 now that we're almost done) so we split it between two of our other friends also building at the same time. Meg & Dan Stephens and Sara and Joseph over at
  • We went with tongue and groove, I think it was just the first nice bundle we found but I'm glad we did. I like the extra structure the siding has over lap siding where the bottom really isn't held down as well.
  • Tongue and groove also has a smoother overall look as there isn't the stepped lap of boards over each other and in a small way my compulsive side likes that smoothness.
  • All three couples made different choices to finish the wood which I love. Meg painted her's, Sara and Joseph are staining their's, and we burned ours. 
Let's get to the fun video of my first pieces of siding going up.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shou Sugi Ban Siding going UP!

Shou Sugi Ban Pictures

I'm really happy with the way things are looking and I think you guy will be too. The siding takes a lot of prep but once you get it put up your house looks a lot more like a house and the character starts to pop. 

Here's a few tips I've found the hard way while working with my siding.
  • Go through your siding and pick out the bad boards AND the good boards. In my case I have plenty of siding and so I can be picky and use only the best. Make a few stacks, best long boards, crappy boards you'll never use any of, and boards with bad spots that can be cut down and used for shorter lengths. 
  • Keep your scraps organized by length, that way when you pull a measurement of 23 inches you don't have to cut a long board or go digging through your whole pile of wood, just go to the appropriate stack and find one.
  • This is a time to work with a partner. Long boards are too crazy to try and get up by yourself.
  • Go ahead and use some glue along your lath, never hurts to have a back up.
  • I've found when staining the wood, rags work better for me than brushes....maybe a preference thing.
  • Cut before you stain if you want to save on materials.
  • When cutting along the gables you can pull the bottom board and base all the others on that one. Saves ten trips up the ladder.
  • Install tricky pieces together sometimes works better than working yourself into a corner trying to get a tiny sliver up there.
  • Enough blah blah, here are the pictures.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Window trim? Yea, I can do that.

Weather and life get in the way of your perfectly planned build and the question everybody asks begins to eat away at you. "When are you gonna be finished?"  My usual responses are: 
Just as soon as I can find the rest of the parts at the city dump. 
When the house is done she'll let me know. 
A house is never finished, the builder just runs out of money and puts speckle over the gaps. 
About 6 months. 

In the mean time I've got some sweet window trim to show you guys. 

Before I put them together:

Before the trim:

After the trim:

Obligatory tiny house selfie:

Fun little piece above my top window:

Window trim tips:
Use a krieg jig or other pocket hole type thing for your trim. Basically you'll be making a picture frame that fits perfect around your window. Then you'll be attaching the whole thing to the window as a solid piece. 

I cut a notch on the backside of my trim so that my siding can fit behind and hide the edges. I think that's pretty cool. 

When you cut your trim, cut as many of the pieces from one or two boards to keep the wood looking the same, unless you're painting it. Then it doesn't matter. 
Here's mine laid out so you can see it. 

The front windows are a bit tricky because some of them are opening and others are fixed. I think that deserves its own post. For now enjoy my guard dog Potato:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to build your own door for your tiny house- Video Tutorial

I'm no professional but I just wish Bob Villa could have seen this door, I think he would approve.

Update: A quick google search confirms that Bob Villa is indeed alive and well but no word on his opinion concerning the door. ;-)

I had a great time building this door. I got the idea from this website:

It was really helpful to have a very nice table saw and orbital sander. It made my door as smooth as a baby's butt. Seriously if you were blindfolded in a room you might put a diaper on it!

I was lucky and hit my door hanging on the first try. Some people will hang the door in the jam before they put in the jam or some will do it after. I did it after and while that usually mean a bit more fussing over it I got lucky...or was so probably lucky.

Big props to Matt Nelson who helped me BIG TIME with this door. He's over at

Enjoy the video and leave comments!