Back in the Saddle!

Over the last few months, many folks have been asking about the progress of the Tiny House. Well, I’m happy to report that things are now rapidly moving again, thanks in large part to a long visit from my dear Mom and Dad, and the help of some good friends.

Here’s what’s been happening lately!

Mom and Dad made the trek from Wisconsin and stayed with us from July 1-10. During that time we managed to get all (11!) windows installed, the metal roofing in place and the centerpiece of the house… a beautiful custom-made front door designed and built from scratch! I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

But first, this is what the house looked like when I last updated the blog last winter:

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$1 Kitchen Sink!

First things first, when Mom and Dad arrived we jammed our two cars full of 11 windows and various other needed supplies from Home Depot.

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8 of our 11 Jeld-Wen windows, stacked and begging to be installed!

We decided to begin by tackling the largest window in the Tiny House… the 35″ square front window. But first there was much discussion and pondering over the window installation instructions.

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At first it was all Greek to us but after 11 windows we were pros!

We had to start by considering the right height for the front windows. This area will become the primary dining and lounging area, so I wanted to make sure that I’d be able to see out the window while seated.

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We started by marking the area for the rough opening, measuring twice, and cutting back the house wrap from the outside of the house.

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Now we were ready to start cutting through the walls! We used a circular saw to make the vertical and horizontal cuts for the window rough openings where possible, and used a Sawzall to cut the rest.

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Mom and Dad proudly peer from the first window hole!

Next came what we would find out was the real time-consuming part of window installation… adding supports to frame out the rough opening. Because none of the windows fit conveniently between existing studs, we had to cut through them and then add in headers and supports to appropriately hold the weight of the building. Once everything was framed out and solid, we tested the window for fit and added a strip of flashing (the same tar paper water sealing stuff we used on the roof) to the bottom sill. Drum roll, please… it was time for the first window to be caulked around the edges and positioned!

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Once the window was in place, Dad and Josh added shims to provide support around each side of the window and make sure it was sitting level. Meanwhile, Mom and I kept securing the window from the outside by pre-drilling small holes and driving in nails around the edges.

After 11 windows I bet Dad will be happy to never see a shim again… they seemed to be always breaking in the wrong place or being just the wrong size or wrong shape. Nevertheless, we persevered and I dare you to say this isn’t the most gorgeous window EVER:

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It’s a thing of beauty!

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Exhausted physically and mentally after hauling supplies and getting the first window under our belts, we called it a day to go enjoy some lovely fireworks over Otsego Lake.

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Day 2 and back at it. Mom thought we could finish the other 10 windows in one day, bless her heart and optimistic spirit! I was thrilled that we got three more installed on the second day, four more the day after that, and the final three the following day. It really did take a long time to prepare the openings and add in headers, support studs and shims. Dad was the master of the Sawzall and Mom was the perfect tool gopher, house wrap cutter, work station cleaner and cheerleader! Here are some photos of the rest of the windows going in:

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Mom was worried, nervous, and trying not to freak out while I worked on the ladder 🙂
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Awning-style windows in the loft open out and up so they can still be open when it rains.
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The very last window!
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We were a finely oiled machine with great teamwork by the end of the windows. Here’s Josh pre-drilling…
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…and our friend Adam following with nails around the edges.
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I was amazed with how much light came in the new windows!

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11 windows all in and none broken in the process. Hooray!

WHEW! Windows were a lot of work. Mom and Dad were amazing to work with and really kicked butt to make it happen. Big thanks to Josh and Adam for their help! We were all a great team.

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Our next task was movin’ on up to the top of the Tiny House with metal roofing!

How to get the materials was the first dilemma. The large 3′ x 10-12′ metal panels we needed were not going to fit in either car by any stretch of the imagination. Luckily, it was Home Depot to the rescue again with their wonderful rental truck service! For the low, low price of $19.95, our very helpful customer service guy Steve hooked us up with the wheels we needed to deliver the roofing to our build site.

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For the metal roof, we first needed to add strips of flashing (just bent aluminum strips) in the valleys where the peaked roof met the dormers. This way when water runs along that crease it won’t leak into the wall at the joint where the roofline changes.

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Mom installing flashing with her stylish green gloves 🙂

That step done, Mom and Dad took on the dirty work of cutting the metal roofing panels in half to be the right length for each side of the roof. The saw shrieked through the metal, the shrapnel flew, and both of them sustained some metal shards embedded in their skin (sorry and thank you, Mom and Dad!!!!!!).

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They then carefully passed the cut sheets up to me and Adam on the roof, where we checked to make sure they were straight and square before screwing them to the plywood.

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Thanks so much for all your help, Adam! 🙂

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The green metal looked so pretty atop the house. We finished installing all the metal panels, leaving only the ridge cap and trim undone before calling it a day.

The next morning called for another trip to Home Depot, because Mom and Dad announced they’d be buying the supplies needed to fabricate a beautiful, custom-designed front door for the house-so exciting! If you’ve ever met my dad you’ll know that he’s a woodworking genius who’s created some incredibly beautiful cabinetry, furniture and other cool projects. We picked up all the nice boards and door hardware he’d need for the project.

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When we got out to the build site, Dad got started cutting boards, gluing and assembling them using his favorite tool- the biscuit joiner! Mom helped him and also kept us all safe by picking up all metal bits and dropped screws with a magnet tool.

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Safety first! Mom cleans up the sharp stuff.
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Dad gets started on the door!

Meanwhile, Adam helped out again (thank you, thank you!) so we could get the ridge cap, a finishing peak piece, installed on top of the roof.

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Here are some photos of the door coming together:

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Dad adding decorative routing to the door pockets.
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Sanding and planing the edges of the door to make them smooth and flat.
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Teamwork! Mom and Dad get ready to install the hinges.
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Routing detail… so pretty!

As the door came along, the Roofing Crew was hard at work as well with the addition of our friend Dylan:

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We were adding more screws to hold down the roofing panels.
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Thanks, Dylan, for coming out to help!! You rock 🙂

Mom and Dad worked to hang the door in the doorway, while Josh took on the installation of the storage loft floor. Thanks Josh-it looks awesome and really makes the entryway look finished!

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With the door in place and everyone exhausted from a long week of building, we hung up our hats and cleaned up. Mom and Dad sadly had to head back home, but I’ll always treasure and appreciate all the time and love they invested in this project. I seriously could not be happier with all the progress on the Tiny House, and it warms my heart to have such wonderful people in my life supporting me and helping make this crazy idea a reality!

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Best Parents Ever!

Next steps… soffit, plumbing and electric! Inspired by all this action, I say “Bring it ON!”

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