Some might be wondering (or not) what it means to deals with cold weather in a home that doesn't have central air or knobs to turn up the thermostat.
Wow! Another one so soon?! Yes, we have made you wait long enough so here it all is in quick succession.
We have been living in the tH for a year now (since July 15, 2017) and we can say proudly that we still and continue to love it! Now the long awaited finished product. This is of the exterior of the house and in the very last post, we will present the interior and final-ish costs. And as always, ask questions in the comment section.
What you see: Well a gorgeous house, of course! This is the driveway view. The front window looks out from our living room. You can see the hitch, gardens, cow pasture and a gorgeous oak tree. Our deck is partially covered.
What you see: Our house faces south. We get the lovely morning sun, shade in the early afternoon, and hot evening sun. We are parked right next to a plum tree as you walk up the stairs. This side of the house holds the on demand hot water tank in the small shed on the back, and behind our house is the septic field, water hookup, and electrical. The window beside the shed is to the bathroom.
What you see: A closer view!
What you see: A deck, perfect for entertaining!
What you see: The bottom window leads into the kitchen, the top two are part of the loft. And we have an outside bar for entertaining.
What you see: The lovely plum tree and more of our yard.
What you see: The covered part of our deck and our entrance. We were going to make french doors but decided to go with one door and one large window for lots of light! Our covered area was built with recycled tin. It sounds nice in the rain! Also, ten points if you spot the poodle!
What you see: Summertime!
What you see: Summertime!
Again, if you have questions about what you see in the pictures, post in the comments!
Tiny House Interview Questions:
So we pulled some questions off of the internet and you can picture us sitting in our living room, drinking coffee, talking about these questions with our dog on our laps. Also, it’s raining outside.
What are your names? Evan and Kelsey Lamb.
How many people are living in your tH? Us plus our ginger Poodle, Rosie.
Where do you live? Abbotsford, BC.
Why did you decide to go tiny? It wasn’t a decision to go tiny as much as a drive to live in a cheaper situation that was comparable to renting rather than owning. The question was, how can we take control of our living situation as much as we could.
What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? Freedom from the basement. Freedom from renting under someone. Windows. It made sense to us, we calculated how much our rent cost a year and it made sense to pay into something that we owned. Yes, we are paying for the spot our house is on, but it’s cheaper and we have autonomy.
How did you first learn about tH? Youtube. Watching, Living Big In A Tiny House, hosted by Bryce from New Zealand. We recommend it.
What was the first item you bought for your house? A yellow sparrow wall hook that we hang our kitchen towel on.
When did you officially start your tH? Bought our trailer in February. Started renovating the trailer in March. Started building in April.
Is your house complete? How long did it take to finish? That’s tricky. Yes, our house is finished but there are random things that we haven’t. Like some light plates, a cupboard door, super random. But to actually to get into living in it, it took six months, spread over 8 months: Built from April - July. We took August and September off and then worked from October - November.
How did you build your house? With our hands. Kelsey’s said that, not Evan, just so he’s clear. So Evan quit his job end of February and started working on the house full time, everyday, while doing furniture on the side. Kelsey came after work every evening to help and we both worked Saturdays all Spring/Summer.
Did you have help? Yes! We had lovely family members chip in here and there and a friend do our electrical but otherwise we did it all.
How did you arrange a place to park? We didn’t want to build it until we had a spot. We invited our shop landlords to have a coffee with us and drew out what we had in mind and plotted it out. They said they would get back to us, and they got really into it! They figured out a spot, they were conscious of parking and utilities already before we even started. We only waited a week for them to get back to us!
Before going tiny, what was life like? We were sad. (Wait as we both finish laughing). No, we were. We were ready for a change and we didn’t know what it would look like but from dream to finish it was a two year process and we were so ready for some kind of transition and this was it. We didn’t know what was next and we loved the freedom of renting but we wanted something more specific and tailored to us.
What were some of the unexpected issues that you ran into when making the transition? We were so excited to move in that we hadn’t finished electrical, water, or even had a toilet. That only lasted less than a week but our expectation was we would be relieved and relaxed moving in but we couldn’t be that right away.
What benefits are you experiencing now? We have a life outside. As in, we have a garden, we live on a farm where we get eggs and get mooed at by cows. We live by a creek and have big oak and willow trees to shade us. We have plum and pear and apple trees. We have wild daffodils growing right now. We see wild foxes and rabbits. We have a train that runs past. We both work full time together at Woodland Collections so our home and our job are in one place. We have the benefit of no commute and working from home. We get to be with our puppy and we get to entertain on our deck with fires and BBQS. We have windows which means light floods our home, we see each season and weather change as it happens and we look out at stars and the moon from our sky lights. We got to design our home completely, and what a great experience to flex our creative muscles. We are always cosy. Our home is pocket sized but it’s everything we need. We made it beautiful for us and we are enjoying it everyday. Every corner is unique and we are proud of what we created. So, we are experiencing no benefits at all. (Big smiles over here).
Now living in your house, is there anything you’d change? There’s nothing. A bigger deck? But actually we are happy with everything we have sooo…..
What are some challenges? Our roof started leaking in the winter and we were fearful that we really screwed up and that we didn’t escape from novice builder problems. But it turned out the insulation we put up there was trapping moisture, freezing and then leaking into our house. So we changed the insulation to rigid foam instead of pink fluffy stuff and it was solved!
Keeping it clean is a big one. Clean up takes no time at all but tidying is an almost everyday thing.
We have more than enough storage in our actual house, but we have relied on the workshop to store things like camping, Christmas, etc. so we didn’t have to. Some might say we aren’t true tHouser’s but we don't care. Does this mean, living in a tH isn’t possible? No. We just happen to have random stuff we only pull out a couple times a year and they aren’t pertinent to our daily living in our actual house. Again, moving into our house wasn’t about minimalism but about changing our life and minimalism became a lovely part of that change. So if you have and outside place to store extra things, do it and be happy.
What tH advice do you have for others? We are so happy to show people how we live cause it is achievable and worth it if you're willing to go for it and be creative and we are proud of what we created.
Do it. Change your circumstance, be open to possibilities, and dive into the dream.
The tiny house builder, Jay Shafer says, “Deep philosophical questions come up. Why can’t I get rid of my art, my books, my wine cellar? It’s looking at those elements we have the hardest time giving up that will reveal the most to us. A lot of it comes down to idolatry… the worship of the idea of something over the appreciation of what that idea represents.”
Life is fluid and if you are willing to go with each change and move and shift with time, items become meaningless and you can replace stuff with people and experiences. Minimizing can be emotionally draining but it can be emotionally and psychologically freeing and unburdening. Life is hard enough, why not feel unburdened by what you can change? If I didn’t loosen my (Kelsey) grip on my library (being an English Major and all) I wouldn’t be able to move around in my house, we would trip and break our legs and die. That’s extreme but I realized I needed to look at the big picture. I could be happy with less and have a different experience than I thought I was having before with all of my books, and which I was going to fully embrace. There are different seasons of life and we want to be fully present in each season.
This quote by Shafer rings so true. And we think about it all the time. We didn’t move into a tH for the value of minimalism. But we changed our lifestyle to fit into our home. It felt counterintuitive as a young married couple who should be growing in their life together not minimizing it. We don’t want to worship all of the things we could have had. We want to appreciate that living in a tH means less. We want a life that has better values than stuff. Also the process of minimizing isn’t all or nothing. We have been organizing still since day 1 and we go to the thrift store at least once a month. If life is ever changing, then we are along for the ride.
You'll be happy to know that Evan and Kelsey have finished their coffees and will now be going back to work. Rosie is going on her 4th nap of the day. It has stopped raining.
Stay tuned next time for a photography expose and our final tallied price. You don't want to miss it!
One might say, wow, it's over. The house is done. You're in. What a happy ending!
Of course we were thrilled but there was alot happening in our personal lives around that time, and we rushed to move in and in our excitement, we pushed ourselves! We wanted summer in our new house at all costs. We had been packing for months, not sure of any specific date until the beginning of July when we decided July 15! All of our landlords were very flexible which was truly a gift.
So this is how we moved in:
It was Friday night, we had family help us. We cleaned the house better than we moved in (good karma), and said goodbye as we locked the door. This is what we got on the way to our new home!
It was meant to be!
Evan had moved the house earlier that week from where he was building it to literally, across the driveway to its final resting place:
Isn't it cute!? It looks bare without the deck and garden! Everyone helped us unload but because we didn't have electricity or running water, or a toilet, we were celebrating in the dark for like 20 mins and then everyone went home.
The next day was all about getting electricity, finishing the deck, hooking up appliances, and running water.
Here are some moving in pics:
We are not showing photos of how messy we were but the process of transformation! So it may look like nothing but after showing the journey, there will be an expose of our final product, so look forward to that!
You are probably wondering what you're looking at. This was the 80 year old greenhouse heated by wood stove, in our front yard. They had asbestos removed and had it knocked down and the ground leveled a week after we moved in. Evan kept it a surprise which was such a nice surprise indeed!
We were sitting in the dirt for a while before our deck was built which was nice but we realized the days of summer were passing by and after we got the basics in, even before the toilet, we finished the deck.
This was taken the Fall!
And Christmas time! We were having a bonfire on the deck and of course our Christmas tree could only fit outside. Also, it lasted 2 months and when we went to get rid of it, it was still green and no needles had fallen off! Think about that for next Christmas.
What we didn't expect was how tired we were, physically and emotionally. With any big project, it is worth taking the time during to be mindful of how you're feeling. Also, it is important to debrief after the fact and see how far you've come and to also relax and enjoy!
Stay tuned for our tH interview on our initial impressions, what we've learned, and what's happening now!
Now where were we?
We had decided what stain we wanted and spent a whole Saturday also laying the floor. The flooring we got is a good story. I (Kelsey) was painting a new construction home in White Rock. They had finished with the vinyl planking they had and my boss asked what they were going to do with the extra pieces. They said throw them out and I asked if I could take them! But there wasn't enough for 250 sqft. so I asked if it was possible to order more and the contractor said yes, and with his discount. So we now had expensive vinyl planking with a discount. Also he ordered one box too many so he gave that one for free. Doesn't hurt to ask. Evan bought earth friendly flooring glue and it was a long day but by the end (with some mishaps) our house had clothes on.
Looks good right!
We were getting very tired by this point. We were both working very hard at our jobs and on this house. We had originally said we would move out July 1 but we needed more time and since our landlords had found ppl who wouldn't move in until August, they said we could stay until then. But we didn't want to. So we made our deadline July 15. The weekend we had finished the flooring and ceiling was June 19 so it was coming up fast. Also during this time, we were selling our furniture, taking loads to thrift stores, and moving things slowly into Evan's shop. It was alot very fast. And we were thrilled and forgot what our life was like before starting this house. We had already bought all of our appliances (almost all on sale, thanks to Coast Wholesale Appliances) so the next step was fitting them in. Once we had them placed, Evan built the cabinets around them. Yes, Evan built the entire kitchen (shameless plug) countertops and all. We had wall space to build cabinets to the ceiling and painted the kitchen ceiling white. We didn't want white cabinets because it was it was all too white. So we bought Grassland Green from Sherwin - Williams and Evan built beautiful Varathaned dark espresso countertops. We had seen a tiny apartment interview in London and loved the design and colours. Window trim and baseboards went in. White tile backsplash for the kitchen and white and green tile in the shower. Things were taking shape.
Building a house isn't simple or straight forward. It was messy, complicated, and emotionally and physically tiring. But we were finally at a place, not finished, but at a place that we could set the date. We were moving in.
Tune in next time to see our final resting place, deck, what we didn't expect, and a rainbow.
This part, I must admit, was my (Kelsey) favourite part. Though we were half way through and getting quite tired, finally my skills as a painter were relevant and we could start seeing our home take shape. Up until then, the outside was very fun, but inside is where the magic, the personal details, your style and ethos come together. And we were all over it!
This part was interesting for Evan because he was trying to fit plumbing, water, electrical, and propane fixtures around the house which really settled the layout. We also had to decide where everything was going to before we could really visualize it. We were afraid the bathroom, specifically shower area would be cramped so we went with a 40' shower basin and made the rest of the bathroom fit along the back side of the trailer. We didn't want any wasted space, like a hallway, to take away from the features of the important things we wanted to have. Maybe this would be a good time to share:
A lot of people have specific values when the build a tH. Some value the expense, some want eco - friendly, off - grid, solar powered, etc. Some people like hallways, different rooms, or they need specific areas for the hobbies or passions in their life. Or it doesn't matter what they have inside, as long as they have an area outside. It is important to people where their run off water goes. Maybe it goes straight into their garden or into septic, for example. That is why each tH is so unique, all of the time.
We were very financially motivated, therefore we saved in a lot of areas and splurged where we we wanted. An example is the sky lights, fireplace, and dishwasher. We could never go back from having a dishwasher for so long. Also, we wanted a functional kitchen because our last kitchen was so big but the cupboards hid everything and we really only used 20% of the area. And we both couldn't be in it together but in our tH kitchen we can, and with our dog too! So it's not just about what you want and if it looks pretty but it needs to function properly, especially in a place where every sqft is being used and we found a lot of tHousers did not think this way. We made our bedroom as big as possible and it's 80 sq ft. The only room that needed a ceiling was the bathroom and that is why we have it at the back. Under the loft, we had the kitchen, so that we could use both sides of the house and a walk way through. Then the rest of the space was living which is almost half and has high ceilings so it's very open and bright. We knew the living area had to be comfortable but we also didn't want to have a cramped kitchen that didn't have any elbow room or functionality for adult sized people. So many tH's had cramped kitchens and large sitting areas. We thought, that's great, but not useful when kitchens have more equipment and when you sit down, you take up less space than an apartment size fridge, which we have. I hope that this background info is helpful and if you have questions about why we went with something or something else, please ask!
We had our electrician friend come wire everything because that was one thing Evan didn't want to learn on the go. We have 2 moisture proof lights, a plug, and a fan in the bathroom. In the kitchen, we had the bathroom switches on the outside, 4 plugs: 1 for fridge, 2 for kitchen counter, and 1 for our office, dishwasher, washer, and 10 LED under cabinet lights that we used as main lighting. In our bedroom, we have two plugs on either side of our bed, and two mounted lights. In the living room, we have our electrical box, under bookshelf lighting, two plugs, and six LED lights. We weren't taking chances on having all the light we wanted. All of the lights in our house are on 4 switches, including the outside, which are all beside the ladder and front door. Easy.
Plumbing involved shower, bathroom sink, toilet, kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washer. All of these things were piped so they could drain together out to the septic field we are using. It involves an ugly black pipe and no one wants to hear about that.
We had been talking about the kind of walls and ceiling we wanted. Most videos we had seen had been shiplap boards, drywall, and OSB boards. We found a great price on cedar shiplap boards but then I knew that I have had some reactions to cedar and I'm still not sure why. Anyways, we decided not to in case Evan became a bachelor in a tH. Then, out of the blue, Evan had made a new shipment of pine coming in and realized we could use that instead! The boards were wide which made it look like a cabin. We painted the wood with a white sealer that keeps wood from yellowing or leaking sap. The above photo is after I freshly sprayed, using a airless compressor with 517 tip. It instantly brightened up the house. We put the walls on first so that I could spray otherwise the ceiling would have been the first thing to go up. From the photo, you can see gaps and the nail holes. If you don't like that, then maybe drywall is for you. We did drywall the bathroom because of potential moisture problems, but we did that after we put the floor in.
We didn't want the whole house to be white and look sterile, so we decided to stain. I love the stains Evan uses on his furniture but my favourite is Golden Oak by Minwax, so we were in agreement.*
*Maybe I should state something important about tH's and couples. If you're moving in by yourself, great! Have fun! If you love your spouse as much as Evan and I do, build a tH. We really thought about how we work together as a couple and we genuinely do and have the same taste in design so that's a win for us. If your other half doesn't want to live in a tH, then it might not work out. If you want to try and win them over, do lots of research and don't push anything. If you know of any tH's you could have a tour in, then do it! It can't hurt. We've had people who said they could never do it and then they saw our house and then they changed their mind. Other people saw it and still said they couldn't. Seeing one helps. We didn't but we didn't care about size or how much it would change our lives because we wanted a challenge, and all of the changes it brings. If you don't want any of those things then, I think you know what I'm going to say. This is the end of the disclaimer.*
Tune in next week for Part 2!
We are back! I know, I know, I can hear all of your complaining from here. We have been poked and prodded to return to this blog and now we have! (Without listening to the poking and prodding and coming on our own time cause we've been resting).
New Year means reflecting on the last one and because the posts stopped, the reflecting is necessary. The posts will happen consecutively and finally with a big reveal at the end. Ta da!
I guess your really wanting to know if we finished it since it's been almost 8 months... and it's a new year... ok I'll tell you...
Yes and no.
Okay, so yes, of course! Have a little faith! But also, living in a home you are building around you takes time so there are like two things left but non - essential, I assure you.
So without further ado, we left off wondering if those cedar shakes would make a presence and they did!
Yay! These cedar shakes were given to us for free by very lovely people and we wanted to pay homage to the coast! They were left overs from another project and we were happy to use the leftovers. We applied a clear coat of Varathane to preserve the colour. Evan also moved the house! Take a look.
Isn't it beautiful!?
So the changes from the first picture to the second picture are these: Evan built doors ( They have inside window blinds and they are my favourite purchase!) Also, he built a hut on the back to house our on - demand hot water tank and propane storage. That's another conversation. You can see an outside light fixture by the door, outside plug, and hood fan vent by the window where the stove will go.
Lastly but not leastly, the sky lights!
Evan had a wonderful helper! We were so excited for two sky lights and the one that doesn't open was cheaper so why not? I can tell you right now it was worth it for both as our house is flooded with light whether we are in winter or summer. We can see trees and stars and birds fly by and the snow falling. One time we had a cat and a duck get up there!
Until the next post, which is starting the interior! Electrics, insulation, painting, ceiling, and floor. Can't wait!
Also, please comment with any queries, now that we have time and aren't in the middle of building, please please contact us!
So after that haul of five days in April, we had quite a break in between. We were both working on other things (like life) and were content to look at our house after work each day and dream.
This photo contains all of the windows put in, blue skinned, with flashing and a frame around the bottom, corners, and each window and the front door. It took Evan about three days. Kelsey came in and prepped and painted all of the frames with A-100 exterior Oxford white paint from Sherwin- Williams.
And tada! You have no idea what I'm talking about but after Evan installed the loft ( so cosy by the way) underneath, where the bathroom is going, was so dark and dingy, we were not satisfied without ventilation and light in the pooper room (too much?). We weren't stressed though, we didn't even make a plan to buy a window, let alone even look into it. It was when Evan was walking through the window aisle at Home Depot to get somewhere else that he found this 18x30 window and said, "I must have this window". He asked a helpful person what the price was because he didn't see one on there. The guy said 74$. Evan thought that as fine, seeing as he budgeted under 100$ for a bathroom window. He went to the till and the lady said, "That will be 104$". Evan said, "No, the guy said 74$". The cashier called for the manager windows or something, and he had a puzzled look on his face. The manager said, "I'll be right back." Meanwhile, a line was forming behind him as long as the Mississipi. But he was patient to see what the manager would say. The manager came back and told Evan that it was the strangest thing but that window had never been ordered into the store, there was no number anywhere in the system for it, and he had no idea how it got there so Evan could have it for 50$. That was one wonderful little window that now rests in our home and we are very happy about it.
I'm in one corner and Evan is in the other. You be the judge if it is too small or not. Walking inside is a whole other experience. Seeing on the outside is breathtaking but walking in just feels like home. We both watched a thousand tH videos and never could imagine what it would be like to walk around and draw plans and see for ourselves what living there could be like. We are very excited!
We didn't have a concrete idea on what we wanted for the exterior but it came together quite nicely. White trim was obvious for some reason. We wanted it to be bright and light feeling, like it will be on the inside.
The paint colour was inspired by a house on our street. One day after work I (Kelsey) went up to the house, hoping they would help us with a sample or a colour name or something, and I was in all of my painting gear, even with white spray on my face, and I knocked on the door. The lady of the house said hello, and as I was telling her what I was there for, she turned around with a, "hold on", and came back with a chunk of her house in her hands! She even took my number to get a quote for the interior someday. So, the moral is, it never hurts to ask.
The panels, yes they are fake panels, plywood on the back with printed wood on the front. Most people use this stuff for sheds or garages. I had a moment of panic that our house was going to look like a garden shed but it there is still more to be done. The colour is a grayish green, very calming we both thought and Evan just finished putting all of them on today (May 5th). I don't have a picture of the front door sadly. We are in the process of getting it moved away from the other barn beside it because we can barely fit a ladder between them, let alone appliances, tools, etc. So until then, you must be satisfied with the more boring side.
It does look beautiful, doesn't it?
Where you still see the tyvek wrap will be going cedar shingles! Left overs from a friend's project. What we've really seen and appreciated is people giving us their leftovers/ tail ends of projects and as we know, a little goes a long way in tH building. So the exterior has costed around 1500 and it couldn't get better then that really.
The windows really pop because of the grey exterior but inside the house, they are white. We have also decided on putting in two skylights! Not just one above our bed, but also one above the entrance to really make the building feel tall and open. This one won't open but the one in the loft will for a fire escape / romantic stargazing.
Big. News. Told our landlords that we are moving out July 1st. Crunch time!
Next will be finishing up the exterior, front door building, and construction finally moving inside!
So much has happened folks! It has been a whirlwind of a time! It was five days of family, pizza, beer, sun, and a tiny house coming to life. We want to send a big shout out to all of those who came by and sweated and worked along side of us, you know who you are! We would not have got this far without you. Without further ado, here are some shots!
April 6: This looks like nothing but it was a whole day effort. We went out the night before and bought materials to start the build (There will be a post on specific materials later). On the outside of the trailer, you can see that we extended the size so the walls would sit on the farthest edge around the whole trailer, in order to give us extra space inside. Evan welded two metal studs close to the tongue of the trailer to add strength under the outside supports.
Drilling into metal is hard! It took all day. Once the outside beams were complete, we moved to the subfloor supports and drilled about 24 holes directly into the trailer, in order to then support the subfloor beams. Both lengths were 23 inches from the outside edge of the trailer.
April 7: We woke up and headed back to our trailer! Next we built three supports - from the trailer end to the wheel well, between the wheel wells and the last one from the wheel well to the trailer tongue. You can see here we used DuroFoam Insulation, a styrofoam insulation, 3 inches thick. We attached metal brackets every two to three rows for support.
At the end of the day, we had this! So in all it took 12 hours to build. We aren't ones to brag but not a lot of people do this part very quickly or with ease. We've watched many a video, wincing at people's designs and materials. Two things we did not include in the floor build is flashing and poly. Many people using flashing as a way to prevent debris from flying up into their trailer as they travel. We aren't travelling with our home unless to move it so we opted out. We also didn't cover the insulation with poly because recent studies have come out showing that poly is the cause of mould and mildew in Fraser Valley homes and contractors are slowly opting out of it being used. We also didn't cover the under side of the insulation because this Durofoam brand styrofoam is maximum water repellent as well as a host of other things and mice won't make a home out of it.
April 8: I (Kelsey) was not there on Friday but I have pictures to prove the progress!
April 9: Saw alot of progress and we got alot of help! All of the walls were finished, windows framed, roof joists and shingles got half way done!
How many family members can you fit on a tiny house roof? More than three!
This is to show the pitch of the roof..s
April 10: Everyone came and pitched in again, so appreciated! The roof was shingled, the walls sheeted and the house was giftwrapped and ready to go! Our goal was to waterproof and that's what we did!
All in all, to have a house shell up in five days was shocking to the system. Here we were, just hoping to get it sheeted and now it's waterproofed and sitting pretty after a year and a half of dreaming. Without the tremendous help from our people, we couldn't have done this without you! Thank you! And now here are some extra photos:
Bonus* Evan got the windows in on April 11! Pictures to come!
So since buying the trailer in January 2016 until now, we have been hunting for deals.
There was that one time when Kelsey desired a porcelain double sink from Ikea, but knowing it was too expensive, put the idea to rest. Evan suggested that they go to the Bathroom Event going on, and found the perfect bathroom sink and faucet for a steal! Evan then suggested that they go to the AS IS section, just to see what they could find. Low and behold, the magical porcelain double sink was there! 50% off! With nothing wrong! *Except missing the sink trap, it was perfection*
They asked the cashier if this was for real, and surely it was. They then proceeded to start the car!
There was another time when they were looking for sky lights but realized the cost was monumental and forgot about it for a while. Then Kelsey came upon a 60$ skylight at Surrey New & Used. So now they have a skylight.
Stay tuned for more stories like these!
Evan is stretching his arms to show everyone how long the trailer is! 3 axles!
The trailer bed was made of beautiful aged cedar planks. Stay tuned to see how we use them in the Tiny House...
It looks sad but we couldn't be happier with the transformation!
Summer 2014 - Evan showed Kelsey a video about a couple building a house on wheels. They both got excited over the prospects and the adventure and watched many more videos! They told each other they wanted to build a tiny house as soon as possible!
Almost a year passed with not much progress or talk about any tiny house plan. BUT then -
June 2015 - We went out for a walk and realized this dream hadn't left us. We dreamed of changing our setting, owning our own home, and saving money along the way. And the fact that Evan could build it all himself (because he is an amazing carpenter!) sealed the deal. We drew it out in a parking lot and were convinced even more. We had naysayers in our life but we felt that those people couldn't wrap their minds around the concept, that they didn't have the same goals as us in life, and we stuck to our guns about what was right for the two of us.
A lot of the trouble that faces tiny housers is the fact of where to put the house. We thought that if this tiny house thing was going to happen, we had to have the location first before we invested everything. We had no plans of travelling the world with it and just needed one small corner to plant it in. We love the outdoors and to have a space full of light was our only stipulations for the location. We felt strongly about one location in particular but had only known the family for less than a year. Plus, Evan was renting his shop from them, so technically they were already our landlords. We really didn't feel concerned if it didn't work because it would have only been our first try but also if it didn't work, we were going to be a square zero so we had a coffee meeting all together and...
they said, YES! Of course, after much thought and deliberation.
So now, we had somewhere to go. From nothing to something.
Size: 20x 8: That seemed to be pretty standard and we were not willing to go smaller because of how we were designing our space. Also, any bigger and we were getting into bigger and more expensive trailers and materials etc. For a moment, we thought we could do it without a trailer, but without having our own land, no one would feel comfortable renting to us without having permits, etc.
We decided on a slanted roof (one side of the roof is higher than the other) because that would bring us more light facing South, more head space where we needed it at the stairs, and we didn't want to sleep in, what looks like a pokey attic, in most tiny homes. Sorry, but just being honest.
Budget: We wanted to live tiny but still have life-sized features in our home. I know, bad joke. That meant, we wanted our living room and kitchen to be featured in our home aka as roomy and built with ease as much as possible. So our living room is going to be big and roomy with lots of windows and our kitchen is going to have a full sized fridge (24"), full stove with oven (24") large sink, dishwasher (18", what!!) and a washer (18", we aren't getting a dryer which we will write about later).
So all we can really say about our budget right now is because Evan is building most of it, and almost everyday starting March 1st 2016, we want to build it for under $20,000 in 4 months. We'll let you know how that goes.
Our main goal was to save money with this venture. We were paying 10's of thousands just renting and there is no way we could break into the housing market. We knew we were spending more money up front to build the tiny house but over a year, we were going to pay half of it back and have lowered expenses. It sounds like a sweet deal!
January 2016 - Debates over what kind of trailer should be bought had been going on for a few months. The debate was either buying in the US or Canada and whether we should buy second hand or new. One morning however, changed all of our thoughts. Evan found an older trailer that had come down in price on craigslist. We were wary that it was used but it was a triple axle trailer and could hold 18,000 lbs. We never thought we would have that much weight so we went for it! We decided within the hour and Evan headed out to Kamloops! All of a sudden our dream for so long had become reality.
And so this trailer became a game changer! It was way cheaper than we thought so now we had more in our budget, plus it was 23x9, so now we had more square footage. Bonus.
Check back for more Tiny House news!