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!