Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Post 13 (July 28)-Build a tiny house, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

Our tiny house--with decorative lights from my friend Stephanie!  
Seems the posts are further and further apart--shame on me!

First, and most importantly, this project is totally overwhelming!  Kacey and I were joking the other day that we could teach one of the Do-It-Yourself classes about building tiny houses, and we would kick it off it, "Raise your hand if you want to have the most stressful year of your life!" "Make some noise if you want to watch money disappear!" "High-five the person next to if you, in the next year, want to contemplate throwing in the towel and living in the street!"  "For those of you who did not raise your hands to all three questions, please stand up and exit the building.  Tiny house construction is not for you."

In the past month, we've contemplated picking up side jobs as auctioneers (totally do-able, ask me if you're interested), math tutors, nannies, petroleum transfer engineers, novelists, automotive technician coaches, and even semi-professional dog walkers.  All to fuel our unfortunate habit of wanting to build a nice house with quality materials.

Before this project, I was sure about a couple of things:
  1. My style is more "modern" than "rustic."
  2. I would never want to own my own business.
  3. I value having three full weeks of different outfits.
  4. Construction work can't be that hard.
  5. With Kacey's experience in remodeling his house in Denver, his knowledge of power tools, our teamwork, and my people skills, we can definitely build this tiny house together, without any help.
Five short months later, I am equally sure of five things:
  1. I have no idea what my style is.  A fact that, bless his heart, is confusing and frustrating for Kacey.
  2. I would definitely consider owning my own business.
  3. I could pretty happily have one week's worth of outfits (provided that I wouldn't be judged too harshly by others).
  4. Construction work is insanely complicated.  Now, I look around at cities and I think that it is a veritable miracle that we have any cities at all, let alone towering skyscrapers, mass transit, and beautiful architecture.  There are, indeed, many things to wonder at in this world.
  5. We can't do this project ourselves.  It is totally overwhelming.
We have enlisted the help of many to get us to where we are now and to help us move forward.  Recently, we've leaned on Pat at Ashby Lumber, Zoran (an electrician referred to us by Kacey's friend Charlie), my Grandma Dee for financial advice and safety considerations, and most recently Kristen Gablenz of Chic Interiors.  Instead of spending countless hours obsessing over what type of shower unit we should install, we thought, "Why not enlist the help of someone who actually knows something?"

This is the most overwhelming project either one of us has ever undertaken.  I really didn't think it would be that hard.  I was sorely mistaken.  Don't mistake my recent realization for regret or trepidation.  I am thrilled to be tackling a project that is so far outside of my comfort zone.  I am proud of our relationship and now our partnership.  I am so much more knowledgeable about and respectful of the Herculean effort that goes in to modern-day structure construction.  We are so lucky.

This past month has not been without its progress, however.  We have appliances!  We have cedar trim on the outside!  We have purchased a composting toilet!  We are solidifying layout and floor plan and will soon start putting on the exterior siding.  

We joke that once the exterior is done, and we've taken pictures for the blog, we'll have no incentive to continue building.  I can just write a blog post every now and then and put a picture from Pinterest in.  You'd never know... :)  But seriously, knowing that you're out there, applying gentle pressure to keep us on task is wonderful.  Thank you.
It may not look all that different, but do you see the trim around the outrigger and the windows?  You're looking at 20 hours of work.  

Notice how the trim runs straight along the side of the house.  You're looking at 3 hours of work.  No biggie ;)
Look at how beautifully the trim on the side outrigger lines up with the trim on the back of the house!  Only 3 hours of work, no biggie ;)
Look at how pretty the trim is!  Only 2 hours of work.  No biggie ;)  Originally we wanted clear cedar, meaning that is has no knots.  It was prohibitively expensive, so we went with the cedar you see in the picture--so glad we did.  We love the richness of the knots in the wood.
Our stove and oven!
Gus admiring our new appliance.  Before we had the appliances in the tiny house, Gus did not like being in the tiny house.  Now that the appliances are in there, he can't get enough!  He's a strange dog.
Washer/dryer combo machine--so cool!
Our (almost) full-size fridge.  Because some of us are tall and eat a lot of food (*cough* Kacey), we wanted a fridge that could hold a week's worth of food :) 
Our french door and gothic window.  Do you look at the window and think, "Hmmm, that's crooked!" You're not alone.  We are getting it replaced :) 


  1. Apparently even Gus likes a kennel better when it has a few amenities!

  2. Such trend setters... blazing the path for others. I'm proud you guys!!