Friday, April 27, 2012

Hit the deck!

It's time to start seriously thinking about the deck. I want to design the deck in a way that it can be opened and closed so that when we're not there, the front door will be locked behind.

My neighbor has some really good design ideas, but I want to make sure what we come up with in the end we can build using used and/or repurposed parts. More to come on this.

For now, this basic idea would use cables that run through 1/2 pipe in the ceiling, down the back wall, and hook to a hand winch hidden under the trailer where the cables can be locked.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tiny: A Story About Living Small

We were driving home from Boulder a few weekends ago when to my surprise, I saw the tiny house from the soon to be released documentary Tiny: A Story About Living Small. We stopped for a bit to chat and take a tour. Great people and a great tiny house. Can't wait for the movie.

Love this.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What a difference 20 years can make!

Sayulita, MX 1990

Sayulita, MX 2012
After the Magico Pueblo designation from the Mexican government. They still need to bury the power lines but looks great! Love the addition of the palms.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nothing worse than a leaky roof.

Nothing worse than a roof that leaks, especially when your house will be parked in a tropical climate. When it rains, it rains hard for 3 - 4 months. With that in mind, the roof is one area where I didn't want to skimp. I did some research and decided on standing seam metal roofing.

Benefits of a metal roof are, but not limited to, it's made with 40-50% recycled material, 100% recyclable, highly reflective to help keep things cool, 35 year guarantee, will likely last 75 years, and easy to install.

I made some calls and found a great deal at Metal Mart here in Colorado. Friday after work I picked up 8 8'x3' panels with galvalume coating. $150. 

I previously picked up a 200 sq. ft. of StormGuard leak barrier as well. Craigslist $40.

First install drip rails along the the roof edge. You only need a few screws holding the drip rail for now. Once you install the StormGaurd you'll use additional screws.

The StormGuard is easy to install. Just cut to proper lengths, position the roll, and lay it down, overlapping about 6" at the seam, then trim the excess. It's optional to put in a few screws under the seams. 

Once all StormGuard is in place, go back and screw down edges. this will also secure the drip rail. The screws embed them selves into the StormGaurd so you don't have to worry about leaks. 

Once the StormGuard is fully installed, start to layout the roofing panels. I put panels tight to each edge then laid the middle panel on top. It's optional but I used caulk between each overlap, and screwed the panels together. I used 1 1/2" self tapping screws with rubber washers to hold down the panels. I had read that it's best to screw into the highest part of the panels so that water won't run over the screws but the guys at Metal Mart said that it's more important to screw into the studs. As long as I used screws with rubber washes, they assured me it wouldn't leak.

Lastly I caulked in the edge between the roof and the loft.

I still need to source and install the eave trim flashing that goes around 3 edges. The 4th edge will be where the rain collection gutters go. I'm hoping to find this at ReSource. 

I also need to cover the small roof section in front of the loft.
It rained like crazy last night. The Tiny Casita survived with just a tiny leak, which likely came from one of the edges that will eventually be covered with the flashing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Time for a well-deserved break!

Another busy weekend on the Tiny Casita. I can say without a doubt, this is more work, and especially more time consuming than I expected. Now that the exterior is almost finished, I think it’s time for a break. Time to get back on my bike, and more importantly, time to prepare to be a first time dad.

I found a free sliding door from a guy on Craigslist. I really want french doors so this is likely just a place holder but I think it looks really good, especially for free!

I spent most of my day-off on Friday perfecting the texture and paint color of the “living room” section. After 3 coats of water barrier paint, I mixed together a couple of old cans of exterior paint I had laying around. It took a couple tries but I finally landed on this light gray. Light enough to reflect heat and help keep the Casita cool. 

Two coats of the light gray, and a final coat with the texture added to the paint. The texture gives the appearance of Stucco, which I really like.

Next I worked on getting the wood panels installed on the “bedroom”. These are actually an underlayment intended for use under tile. It’s water resistant as well as resistant to mold and has a great appreance when coated with clear waterproof finish.

I installed the stainless panels on the loft, and installed the window. 

Drip rail along the roof, and started installing the storm guard roofing. Next weekend I'll install the roofing. Still deciding between standing seam metal roofing, corrugate steel, or corrugate panels.

I’ve decided not to finish the backside exterior for now. Most of the mechanicals will be over the axels and I will need to create exterior access doors and vents. 

This is where I ended the weekend. Looks really good, if I do say so myself!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lets get philosophical.

So, why a tiny house? Many people build a tiny house in hopes of a simpler life or to reduce their carbon footprint, to redefine the American Dream. All honorable and noble reasons, and we'll do our best along the way to be socially and environmentally aware, but lets be honest, my reasons are more self-serving...

For a long time I’ve dreamt of a small piece of land near the ocean. Possibly in the jungle. Maybe in a Latin country. I didn’t know how we would do it, I just knew that we would. Got to put it out there. Right?

While property near the beach is mostly reserve for millionaires, we are not. I have the feeling that most people thought we were crazy. We would never pull it off, or maybe to them, it’s simply not worth the stress of trying.

So, what does this tiny house mean to me? At a time when my tiny family is about to expand, I feel secure knowing that, no matter what happens in the world, we’ll have a roof over our heads. I know now I can build a house, even if it’s tiny. It means that, even if times are tough, we’ll have a place to go and bond as a family, to create memories and recharge. Shouldn’t quality vacation time with your family be reason enough to build a tiny house?

When you think about getting back to basics, what could be more basic than family? Change starts at home. The circle grows wider. We’re happier. We enjoy our lives. The connection between each other grows stronger.  The world is a better place, or at the very least, our “tiny" world is a better place.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another beautiful weekend in Colorado = Productive Tiny Casita weekend!

I had hoped to get the exterior finished this weekend but I came up a little short. Still, a super productive weekend.

• Caulked and sealed all gaps, cracks and openings

• Covered all edges with lightweight galvanized "angle iron"

• Painted ¾ of the tiny Casita, including the roof with 3 coats of rubberized water barrier paint. This stuff is great! It’s super thick, but goes on easy like paint. Only down side is that it’s only available in a few color options. 

• Cut, painted and installed the green siding panels. These are Hardie Backer cement board. They're heavy but they'll also last forever. 

• Installed stainless siding, and a window on one side of the loft.

• Cut and installed front window

• Ripped and installed furring strips on front section. I was having second thoughts about using the exterior sheathing as siding so i came up with an idea to use these vertical strips. I hope that this gives it a more finished and intentional look. If not, I might have to think about another siding option.

This is where I ended the weekend. I haven't finished the roof in the loft because I'm still working up there and don't want to be crawling around. I'll save that for very last. Also need to track down a used exterior french or sliding door. All indications are that I'll finish exterior next weekend. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Final illustration to show the color scheme.