Sunday, November 15, 2015

Post 17 (Nov. 15)-The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on FIRE!

That's to say, roof is done and it's lookin' HOT!

This has been a month of tremendous progress, as well as a month that has inspired and humbled us.  The two most exciting accomplishments of the past over a month (wow, a long time with no posts) are--the plumbing is 90% done and the roof is (as you can see) DONE!

Calling experts pays off.  Kacey and I thought that we could do the whole tiny house ourselves with no help from experts or specialists.  Two things contributed to this assumption: 1) we overestimated both our skill and our YouTube instructional videos, and 2) we also underestimated the artistry and expertise of plumbers and roofers.  We elected to have the plumbing done by Letts Plumbing and the roof done by Barth Roofing.  To all you Bay Area-ers out there, if you need a plumber or a roofer, consider this your hands down, two-thumbs-up recommendation for both companies.  We are so lucky to have found great companies whose owners and employees are artists, innovators, and experts.  Their work is much better than ours would have been and we are so glad we called the experts.

So, Kacey is really good at pretty much everything which led us to believe that he could do everything himself, including the plumbing.  We called Letts Plumbing for a consultation and possible prying of ideas, and after talking with Shane for 10 minutes, Kacey knew that working with Letts Plumbing was practically money in the bank.  Here's what I mean: because our tiny house is so, well, tiny, much of conventional plumbing simply wouldn't work; and because it's new construction, it was pretty much a blank canvas.  Shane and his team were so innovative in designing plumbing so that we will have all of the comforts of home, even on the road. Shane thought outside of the box, using some ideas from mobile home plumbing and being creative with locations of pipes and vents that we never would've thought of. He thought a lot about vibration and flexion and took that into consideration with design of the drain in the shower and the pipes outside. Also, since the grey water waste line hangs low, he designed it to be easily removable for travel. 

You're probably not surprised to read that we also thought we'd do the roof ourselves.  Then, we started thinking, "Hmmm, the metal is sharp, the roof is high and steep, and it could be really damaging and detrimental to have a leaky roof." We've also read about a tiny home builder falling off her roof and breaking her back. With that in mind,  we met with a number of companies before finding Barth Roofing.  Barth seemed to have the highest appreciation for the tiny house movement and were very reasonable with the price compared to the others. For months, we had our hearts set on finding a red roof that would exactly match the red of the windows.  We got samples from more than 4 companies and all had slightly different shades of red.  As my heart sank, Kacey said, "What if we got dark bronze to match the hardware on the front door?" I looked at him like he was crazy.  Two nights later, I said, "Kacey, I think the bronze roof actually would look really nice."  He probably knew I'd agree with him all along.  Thank goodness for his patience.  We ordered the dark bronze roof and after a few weeks of being put off by the rain, Barth Roofing's Alameda and his team were at our house.  Within 7 hours, the roof was on, and beautiful! 

We started sleeping in the tiny house months ago, pretty much the night we got the plywood on. Last night was the first night in there with a real (not Ace Hardware tarp) roof on.  The rain on the roof this morning could have been a spa soundtrack--so soothing, and was much warmer. 

Kacey is meeting with the team at Suntrek Solar on Thursday of this coming week to determine the size of the solar system we need, which entails how many batteries and panels we're gonna need to power our little gem.  Once the electrical work is done, the exterior siding can (finally) go on, we can insulate the house (just in time for winter?), and we can put up the interior paneling. There's a few other finishing details such as the counter top, window trim, ladder staircase, finishing the cabinet doors and drawers, as well as moving in.  

Kacey and I have begun the process of de-accessioning.  Already we've gotten rid of 57 pounds of paper and 7 BIG boxes of clothing and miscellaneous crap.  It's pretty cleansing.  

This is the fresh water/city water hookup with a pressure regulator.  

A zoomed out view of the hot water heater and the space where the propane tanks will be.

A look at the plumbing under the hot water heater.

We insulated the pipes. 

A look at the plumbing where the propane tanks will be.  This also shows where the fresh water comes in and is dispersed.  Also, take a look at the easy-to-change water filter (the white thing in the center-ish of the picture).  

We insulated those pipes, too.
The plumbing outside the trailer.  Specifically, it's the hot and cold water feed to the washer/dryer and the kitchen.  The black pipe is the gray water clean-out. 

The plumbing underneath the trailer.  The P-trap shown is from the shower.

The plumbing behind the washer/dryer.

The spigot with the green knob is for any outside water usage like watering plants.

A view of the plumbing behind the fridge.

This is a pop valve that Shane installed for us. He thought this would be the best for us to use so that we didn't have to have any holes or protrusions through the roof.   Kacey put the 2x4s around it so that even after the spray-in insulation goes in, the pop valve can still ventilate.

The knobs in the shower.  One controls temperature and one controls flow.  Shane installed these glorious stainless fixtures he found through his plumbing supplier who, after hearing they'd be installed in a tiny house, gifted them to us. 

A look at the roof! Notice how beautiful it is!

The hard-to-see hardware on the front door was the inspiration for the color we chose for the roof. Thanks to Marika at Ashby Lumber for her suggestion in using this color of hardware. During the conversation of what color hardware to use, I  would have never guessed that we'd be picking the same color for the roofing. 


  1. This is SO awesome! The roof is grand!

  2. Wow. They did a great job. Looks amazing ! Can't wait to see it up close. I have just the thing to keep it from swaying !

  3. Hey Kacey! Hey Katherine!

    Love the roof on your new place! I stumbled down the black hole of internet tiny homes while researching for a piece I'm writing. If you're interested, I'd love to interview you for it. Let me know what you think; my email address is

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  5. Wow! I really love the angles around the dormers in the roof. You have done an amazing job!

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  8. You’re right about getting a certified roofer or a plumber to do the job. We needed a new roof put on our house, and a neighbor who wanted to go out on his own in the construction business, said he would be happy to do the job. Well, he got the job done, but we had to call him back three times to fix leaks in the roof.

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