Saturday, October 31, 2015

Leveling the trailer!

Hello again everyone!

Kiah and I have been working our weekends hard to finally get the trailer of our tiny house leveled, it took a lot of work!

I would say for those of you attempting to build a tiny house yourself, prepare yourself to spend a good 4 days leveling it. With our level of expertise and equipment, it took longer than what many with experience may find.

Anyways, you all know that we are trying to keep the house under $10K so we decided to recycle fallen trees for some additional support. Personally, I'd rather have the support be overkill rather than under. 

We have the landing gear, two tree trunks that I cut with my step dad and placed into 2.5 foot holes, and the axle with the 4 tires. We will also be building a small deck/porch which will add support to the whole thing. The video below isn't too exciting, nonetheless, it shows some of the work involved with leveling a big trailer like this one.

**A side note on equipment, we've been able to borrow most of the equipment that we've used so far from friends and family. We haven't broken any of them (thank god) and plan to return all of the tools once we are done. Kiah and I have a strict policy that if we break any of the tools we will replace them right away with a new one. What we have bought is the 30K jack, which I priced on an earlier post.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

First Design Ideas

Hello Fellow Tiny House Lovers!

Today we're posting something a little bit different than our previous posts.  This post will be about design. The reason being, we're still in the process of leveling the trailer.  I want to share with you guys some ideas of what I want our tiny house to look like, mainly on the inside.  
The first design aspect that Travis and I have agreed on is that for our floor we want a light colored wood and then with dark stained or cherry wood accents. There's a lot of images on Google and this is the best one I found.  

Most of the pictures I've seen there's an equal amount of light colored wood and dark colored wood.  But I prefer to have more of the light colored wood than dark.  The reason being is because I want to keep our space as bright as possible but still be able to add some color or dimension to our house.

Next we also what to do a similar affect to the ceiling.  Here's a picture of what we want exactly.

The picture shown above, is actually the house that I draw a lot of inspiration from.  Here's the link to see the full house.

If you check out this house.  I love the stairs and the placement of the refrigerator.  I also love the wood ceiling in the bathroom and kitchen.  I also love the table/booth and the big window next to it.  We've designed our tiny house to have this table/booth and big window.  Check out our previous post of our "blue print" and you'll see where we placed everything.

Now for our clothes, I first had the idea of having a little side door next to our bed in the loft floor.  I then realized that I didn't want to grab my clothes from the loft and bring them down stairs to change or change in the loft, which would be super cramped.  So I came up with the idea of having a his and her closet right next to the bathroom.  This way we can have our clothes down stairs and be able to get dressed in the bathroom, which we'll have more room than maybe changing up in the loft or carrying our clothes all around our house. I found a picture that gave me the idea for the closet. I do like the compartments in the picture below, but I have a slightly different image in my head.

I really like the drawers on the bottom that come out, for shoes.  But the middle section I want to be able to hang clothes, like dresses or Travis' fancy work clothes. But our closets will have doors on them.  At first I was thinking of curtains but I like the idea of having doors more because it looks more organized and cleaner.  

Second to last I want to mention my crazy love for copper/ rose gold accents.  I want cooper accents threw out the whole house. Especially in the kitchen.  Travis and I decided that we want a copper sink.  Our sink will obviously not be as big as the one in the picture below.  But I love the idea of the cutting board fitting over the sink, because that saves a lot of room and you can use the sink for multiple purposes. (That's why I chose this picture)  We've also decided not to have a bathroom sink.  Our kitchen sink will act as our bathroom sink.  This decision may obviously change when we get closer to assembling the inside of the house.

Lastly, the only vision I have for the kitchen right now is hanging my tea cups from the bottom of the cabinets or a shelf.  I love tea and tea cups and I have an assortment of them and I would love to be able to display them and it also have functionality.  I'm not sure if I want to screw hooks into the bottom of the cabinets or have a long copper rod with hooks.  But I'm sure that this decision/ design will be made when I'm actually ready to hang my tea cups ;)

So for right now,  these are our ideas on what we want.  Obviously these ideas and decisions may change but when I envision what the inside of our house will look like, these are the things that stick out the most to me. 

I also have a Pinterest that I've pinned some tiny house ideas that I love so here's the link to my Pinterest if you're interested: 

I'm not sure how or if any of these things will match and flow but like I've said before, I want this house to feel like a home.  And homes are not meant to be perfect.  They're meant to look like someone lives in it.  It gives off personality and character of the people that live in them. 

Side note, that's why I loved going trick or treating.  For a brief moment I got to see inside peoples homes and see a glimpse of their lives and what they may cherish and value the most.  I enjoy that a lot.  

Anyway, I love every idea that Travis and I have come up with so far.  We would love to do all of our ideas, but in the end we have to narrow it down.  

I hope that everyone enjoyed this post and I promise there will be more posts like this, even when we're building and constructing the main structure of the house. This last thought is mainly for myself but I know there will be times that I may get stressed and loose sight of what we're doing, but having posts like these, will help remind me and give me a purpose to see this crazy adventure to the end.  Til next time.....


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The trailer is leveled!!! Just kidding... :(

Hello Everyone!

We have officially hit our first road-block.

While Kiah and I were lifting the trailer with our 30-ton jack (which worked fabulously), we put the cinder blocks underneath the axle and it all worked out fine until we began lifting the landing gear. The weight transferred to the axle and sliced through the cinder blocks like bread.

Now we are in thinking mode.

We need something that will hold the weight of the trailer (20Klbs.+), and the pressure of the 30-ton jack. The concrete blocks we bought were rated for about 2000lbs of psi, we need a lot more than that.

We've looked up material with high PSI and found that certain types of wood can hold much more PSI than the cinder blocks. We'll test that and see. 

So far, we've designed a way to test the material to see if it can hold the weight so it doesn't put either of us in danger.

If any of you have any legit recommendations, please let us know!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blue print finished

Blue Print has been finished

Hey everyone!

We are pleased to inform you all that our blue print has been finished!

We've decided to leave the right side of the trailer unfinished for the most part because we aren't sure what to do with that yet. Seems as though we have more space than we need ;)

Up next; level the dang thang.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tiny House hacks.... good idea!

Hi again :)

I (Travis) was browsing the internet for some cool hacks or tips on how to maximize space in a tiny house and found a sweet website. It's obviously important to maximize space because we have very little of it! This is what I enjoy most about this challenge; how can you maximize the usage and appearance of every little thing in your home to make it the most comfortable. As opposed to; how can we fill a bunch of space we don't need.

Having tiny house hacks and lifestyles is perfect while living in a tiny house. But these can also be useful for people who find they aren't using their space efficiently.

Kiah and I (we) are lucky. Our trailer is much bigger than 'conventional' tiny houses. Nonetheless, it's still tiny and we need to be as efficient as possible. We've come up with some ideas on our own, such as a bed above the kitchen to conserve energy consumption for heat as well as maximizing space. But for other things we need community ideas.

Hello All!
Kiah here.... I think this is a wonderful idea. I would not of researched hacks on tiny house living on my own.  That's why I'm so lucky to be with a guy who thinks of these things :)
Also I wanted to mention, the reason why I haven't been posting much lately is because this whole leveling/foundation and construction part of the tiny house, is more of Travis's thing.  I will be posting more later about home decor/ designing.  When we post our "blue print" for the tiny house, I will definitely talk about my ideas and why I wanted to design everything the way I did.

Anyway, let's get on with the tiny house hacks!

I (Travis) found out about 31 hacks from a cool website;

I'll list some of the ones I thought were worth mentioning here;

1. Keep your window to wall ratio high.
-This is extremely important. Having a high window to wall ratio creates an illusion that you have more space than you actually do. Mirrors have the same effect. We will definitely have a lot of mirrors around our tiny house. I also love the idea of lot's of windows, because 1) to let in as much natural light as possible which adds to the illusion part, 2) to keep the tiny house cool in the summer, we can just open all the windows.  There won't be any reason to have a fan that wastes energy.

2. Create outdoor living space to add the feeling of square footage without the cost.
-This is just like the last piece of advice, create the illusion of space. This is practically the same as having the space... except, of course, in our case, we don't actually have that space.
This is funny because the other day I was telling Travis about my idea for what I would like to do out side the tiny house.  Because when we have people over, or like our house warming party, the outside space is just as important as the inside, because we want people to feel comfortable and not feel like we all have to stay cramped in the tiny house to have a party :)

3. Opt for fewer walls, more multipurpose rooms.
-This is a must. I'm not sure anyone could have a tiny house and not use rooms in more than one way. In our case, we plan on using the living room as both that and the dining room. The kitchen will be right next to the bathroom (but far away from the toilet, we don't like poop in our food).

4. Add a loft over your kitchen.
-As we mentioned before, we'll definitely be doing this. The reason is two fold, but the impact is phenomenal; 1.) Uses up some extra space. The tallest person in this house will be me, and I am an astounding 5'7", watch out Shaq! This means our bottom floor can reach up to 6' comfortably for us both. 2.) Having the loft above the kitchen helps us conserve heat.

The calculation of how much heat you'll need is a slightly complex equation. You have to literally figure out how much heat everything in your space gives off, even if it seems negligible. The reason for this is because if you, for example, need your space to be 60 degrees before you can be comfortable, everything that helps the temperature in the room rise is worth counting.

5. Utilize space under stairs.
-Duh. Just... duh.
Ya gotta use all available space for SOMETHING. Most design features will also be functional. That's a must for a tiny house!
Yes! most definitely! I want to design something where the table and chairs get tucked away and hidden.  Or have the stairs for book shelves, Travis and I have a lot of books :) Or just for design purposes and adding pictures, make it feel like a home.

6. Put a shelf on it.
-Yes yes and yes. For the same reason above. If there's room, use it!!

7. Create the illusion of vertical space by having low sitting furniture.
- I love the idea, not sure I'd like it in practice. Perhaps you would...?
Not sure the lady would like it either ;) You always gotta run it by the lady. If you don't have the lady's approval before doing something, might as well say goodbye now.
Oh you're so sweet! And right, if the lady doesn't like it then, you have to say goodbye. There's no winning if the lady doesn't like it ;) But I'll have to see some pictures and maybe try it out myself. I'll definitely keep this hack in mind for the living room.

8. Utilize retractable pantry drawers for small appliances.
- I think this is genius. The retractable idea is just absolutely creativity. We want to apply this to the dining room table, I think it'd be great to have a table and chairs that fold in and out when needed to add more walking space when we aren't eating. I think this could also apply to the guest bed. Having a multipurpose couch that turns into a twin size bed would be perfect. Or even a bathroom mirror that works as a mirror (obviously), a small bathroom closet, as well as a medicine cabinet. This is the kind of stuff I'm interested in.
Yes the bathroom mirror is a must for doubling as a medicine cabinet! Travis and I have talked about it, and I don't want anything to sit of the counters.  I want things to be tucked away and organized.  This helps for multiple reasons; helps me stay organized, makes it look decluttered= the illusion of more space, and lastly not having things sitting everywhere helps keeping your space that much cleaner! And let me tell you all, I LOVE to have my space clean and organized :)

That's pretty much all the stuff I was interested in. Hopefully you all liked it as well. There's a lot of resources out there, more importantly; a lot of people out there willing to help.

This is one of the bigger reasons we are building this tiny home; to connect and send the world a message. Yes, we want something to live in. But more importantly, we want to show the world that it can be done. We don't need 3,000sq ft. to live in and we most definitely can have a synergetic relationship with the Earth without being hippies. Hear Hear!

I also want to mention... I wanted to add this in an earlier post, but decided to wait til another good blog opportunity came up, but I feel this post is as good as any.  I'm excited for every aspect of this tiny house adventure.  But the number one thing I'm most excited about, is making this feel like a home. Our home. This will be our space and I want to make it feel as comfortable for the both of us, as well as when we have guests. I feel like that's the most important thing to me right now.  I want to make this feel like a home for Travis. Also sometimes I feel some people don't understand why we're doing this.  They may think, "well just go buy a 'regular sized' house, that's a home" but they don't understand.  We're doing this for many reasons and one of them is to show people you can have a small house and make it feel and look just like a home.  Like Travis mentioned above, we don't need 3,000 sq ft to make it feel like a home. Lastly, Travis always tells me, it doesn't matter where the home is; it can be anywhere, what matters is where each others hearts are. That's where home is.