Friday, October 31, 2008


The Tiny House is completely framed.
Of course we still have a couple of small inside walls to build, but the major construction is done.
I got brave and ran the chop saw today! No fingers lost.
The weather is really cooling off. Most days we wait to start working on the house until after 11a. The leaves everywhere are changing and falling off.

The dogs are (still) having a great time in The Largest Dog Park.

We started putting up sheeting (plywood) on the outside of the house this afternoon.
Tomorrow we'll cut out windows and finish putting on the sheeting. Then wrap it. Then put in insulation. Then we start on the roof. Seriously, I can't wait until we're ready to move in. It's taking so much longer than I thought it would.

Tonight we might make it into town to see a pretty good band, The Guitarded Beardos, at The Syringa. That's if we don't fall asleep first.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One. Two. Three! Walls!

Three walls are up!
It's almost a box > which is nearly a cube > which makes an inhabitable structure.

The panorama software distorts the image, the middle wall is actually at a slight angle, not bowed. Use your imagination.

from the end

from a distance

Seeing it take the shape of a house, instead of this mythical thing that exists only in our heads, makes me more and more anxious to imagine what it will look like finished.

And then I start to daydream about decorating it, making it custom KBAB-style.
And my new favorite design blog is Design Milk.
Today it had a link to an online store called Keep Calm Gallery.
Which is where I found these awesome prints. That I can totally imagine hanging around the Tiny House.

what has changed?

The next wall won't go up until Thursday.
And we better get crackin' on the doors because we'll need those soon!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"The love affair is back on."

That's what Keith said at the end of the day, referring to the Tiny House.
It was touch-and-go most of the day.
We threatened to pack it in and do something else, anything else, several times.

Today's lesson: perseverance pays off, sometimes. (Sometimes it really is better to walk away and come back to it later, though.)

The first long wall we're building will be 8' tall on one end and 9' tall on the other. Because the roof will be sloping 1' over the 20' span to allow for drainage for the green roof. Which means each of the king studs needed to be cut at a 3ยบ angle.

First we had to mark out all of the king and cripple studs for the 3 windows on that wall. That involved a couple of "discussions" and we eventually had to alter the floorplan sketch I had drawn. We did have to use the eraser (sander), though, and remake our marks.

We'd already marked the floor with the correct angle of the roof (because we build the walls on the floor before we stand them, so it helps to mark out the measurements on the floor...), but the math to determine the length of the king studs was just too much for our brains to handle after 4 straight days of number crunching.

We stopped and started and threatened to give up a few times, but we stuck it out and eventually made most of the wall.

Keith cuts. I nail.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work, which puts a serious kink in our building schedule, but that's the way it goes. We have to have 3 headers in that wall and all the cripple studs. Maybe by the time I get home from work that will be done and we can raise that wall. If not, we'll do it the next day.

We discussed how lucky we are that we're good enough friends to be able to do a project like this together and to keep each other reeled in when things get tough. I can imagine that there are a lot of married couples out there who wouldn't choose to do something like this, but it's something we're really excited about accomplishing together.

We're not having a house built for us, we're building it ourselves.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wall 2!

I think you can see where this is going. Daily updates, each day another wall goes up. Well, until all the walls are up. Then we start talking about the roof. Predictable, yes? That's how construction is supposed to go.

Today's post is sponsored by...camo beer?!
I'm pretty sure they only sell this "limited edition" in rural towns. Keith came out of the store last night, cracking up, got in the car and said, "Well, I've seen everything." We live in a town where nothing is too sacred for camo. And also, drinking and hunting go together like... um, what's their message here?

This wall proved much more difficult to construct and stand than the first one. Mostly because it will hold not only a window the size of the one of the opposite end, but also a double-pane 48" x 89.25" window that weighs about 300lbs. So, understandably, we wanted to make sure it was stout. Which it is.

Muy fuerte.

I continue to hone my nail gun skills (no friendly fire injuries yet!) and I am also quite adept with the speed square (see pocket). Mostly for marking the cripples and king studs so Keith can cut them. The circular saw, I don't use.

Tomorrow we're building the west wall--the kitchen, bathroom--in 2 pieces. It will have a small window and a big window (like the wall we built today) and the 2-way mirror in the bathroom.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We have a floor!

squinting into the late afternoon sun
standing on our finished floor

First, we had to finish laying in the insulation. I was originally hoping for recycled denim insulation. But we ended up going with formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation because it was nearly 1/3 the cost. Also, contains 20% post-consumer recycled glass. A little itchy, but not as chemical-laden as the pink panther kind...

then glue, then 3/4" plywood...

then marking the plywood with chalk so I know where to nail.

Which brings us to:
Today I learned how to use a nail gun. Invaluable lessons, people.
My skill set increases every day!

We invited Lazlo up onto the finished floor and he though it was an excellent vantage point for squirrel reconnaissance.
Tomorrow we start building walls!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NewWest Featured Photo

The photo editor of an online mag I really dig, NewWest, chose my recent apples photo as the featured image on their front page today. Stored in their gallery for posterity.Thursday I have an article (about a proposed area landfill) on the front page of the paper, as well as some tips on how to reduce waste on the inside (composting, recycling, etc.). I'm the Local Liberal.

Keith the Builder

While I slave away at the newspaper (hardly), Keith's starting the Tiny House. I'm really looking forward to my days off so I can help him.

Tonight after he picked me up from work I took photos while he put 3 more boards in.

that bottom board is not really curved
the panorama distorted it

"This thing's going to be so sturdy
you could drive the 5th wheel on it."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Introduction

My sister brought her boyfriend, also named Keith!, home to meet the family and she thought it'd be fun to hit one of the town bars. He's from a small town, too, so I hope his expectations weren't too high. One of the only open tables was right near the karaoke table (manned by a small with a Super Mullet and a Hawaiian Tropic shirt), which was unfortunate and entertaining at the same time.

A few rounds in, a Native man at the table behind us handed us some smoked fish and demanded that we try it. We hid it in an empty glass, but he was very persistent and eventually he slapped down about a quarter of a smoked fish in front of Amanda's Keith and said, "Welcome to Nez Perce Territory." The Keiths were brave and tried and said it was actually pretty good. Although Amanda and Keith said they guy got body slammed over the fish just before closing time.
After a late breakfast, Saturday consisted of:

In Tiny House News: the lumber, plywood, and windows were delivered Friday morning.
I had a lunch meeting in Grangeville with the owner of the newspaper and by the time I got back the concrete truck was just getting ready to leave.

I'd never done anything with concrete before, and I hope I never have to again. It was hard work! (See a developing pattern: hard work? then me complaining about hard work?)

We'll let the concrete set up over the weekend and Keith will start building on Monday. It's going to be VERY HARD to go to work for 3 days knowing Keith is starting without me. I am really looking forward to us building the house together, even though it will be...hard work.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We are now officially underway

Concrete was scheduled to come today.
The rain this morning put a kink in our plans and we had to reschedule it for tomorrow.
It all worked out for the best, though, because we would have been really pressed for time to get everything done by 1:00pm.

So I didn't take many photos of the actual work we did today because I was...working! And it was good, honest, hard work. Post hole digging is the best form of aerobics out there, I tell ya. And Keith and dad had already drilled the holes yesterday, with a rented auger. I was just pulling some loose dirt out of the bottoms of the holes. I would NOT make it in the olden days. Or being Amish.

Keith, dad, and neighbor Frank
on a break

We placed all of the posts in the holes and made them plumb and square with each other at the right measurements. Much harder than it sounds.

9 posts in about 4 hours

Concrete truck will be here tomorrow at 1pm. After the concrete sets we'll cut the posts down to the right height and we'll be able to start building from there.

Also, we're going to finish getting the fire pit ready tomorrow.
We're going to make an inner form so there will be a doughnut shape around the fire pit. Too bad it won't be ready for my sister's visit tomorrow. She's the infamous pyromaniac in our family.

The weather was great for being and working outdoors today (after the rain stopped), so I tried to capture some of it.

we have apples, too
and we're doing nothing with them
the color is dependent on the pH of the soil
(and some other things)
the birch tree is losing its leaves
pano at the bridge
over the Clearwater River
going into town