Thursday, January 1, 2015

(Jan 1) Happy New Year!

We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a wonderful 2015.  Happy New Year everyone!

~ Kim and Jay Merrett

Hi there!  This is Kim.  Thank you for reading our ramblings and taking an interest in our project.  Usually I take the backseat on the blog and quietly add to what Jay writes.  This year I'll write some posts of my own.

Our (my specific) goal for 2015 for the cabin is to get it finished!  That would seem obvious, but it has taken a little over year to get to this point with a "pay as you go" financial plan and working only on weekends.  I'm trying to be patient, but it's not a natural part of my character.  The good news is the building is all paid for which is worth taking the time to pay for materials and build as we can.  Jay and I have chosen to purchase building materials instead of gathering and re-purposing.  This has made the build go faster, but also more expensive.  If you have the time and energy to treasure hunt for re-purposed framing (wood or metal), flooring, doors, windows, fixtures, etc. it may save you lots of money.  I highly recommend it to cut down on the expense of your build.  We will do this with the workshop we are planning for the next build.

We have come a long way, however there is much left to do.  Eventually there will be a deck around most of the house to expand our seating and dining area, but that may have to wait until later in the year.  At the moment we have pallets as a temporary front porch across the front of the house.  This actually works pretty well in keeping most of the dirt etc. out of the house.  Dirt and leaves on our shoes fall between the slats on the pallets and are not brought into the house. During a rain, they keep mud from splashing up onto the siding.  I'm pretty impressed with how they have held up to being exposed outside over the past several months.  It's not a permanent deck, but works fine for during construction.  I've seen videos (check out YouTube) of impressive permanent decks made from recycled pallets.  It's an option if you can find the heavier duty pallets, which have better quality wood.  Lightweight pallets are fairly thin and not meant for more than light use.  Jay's employer gets quite a few pallets.  They actually pay a company to come haul them off when they are finished with them.  Not all are good for re-purposing, but some are.  We haven't taken the time or initiative to haul them out to the property, take them apart, store them etc.  Maybe one day...

The outside Hardie (fiber cement board) siding is only about half done.  This is high on the "to do" list this year as soon as the weather gets better.  There is a water meter along the front of the property but it's a long way from the cabin thru the woods so the expense and effort to dig a trench and lay pipe hasn't been a priority.  The ground has never been disturbed and is very wooded so trenching will be a major job.  A rainwater harvesting system is in the plan, but we haven't focused much on the details so it's lower on the to do list.  Currently we take water out in 5 gallon bottles, which has worked just fine. This simple handy stand and dispensing spigot have worked beautifully.  We use it all the time when needing water for cooking, washing dishes, hand washing etc. I may get a second one so I'll have water easily available both inside and outside.

Click here for details:  WATER DISPENSER

We are almost done with the drywall inside.  The shower is finished; we have shelves installed inside the interior walls of the bathroom and a section in the kitchen.  A small window a/c unit is installed in a wall instead of where it used to be in a window.  Jay has photos posted of these in some of his recent posts. The electrical wiring is in for lighting and power outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, and living area.  We installed some outlets with USB ports for charging our phones.  The off grid/on grid question is still up in the air.  We currently use a generator for power and cook either on our wood burning chiminea for grilling, a outdoor two burner propane camp stove or an electric two burner cook top inside.  All of which work find, but I do occasionally miss having an oven.  I'm not ready to invest in a camp oven, which seems temporary so I'll wait until the kitchen is closer to being finished and decide what to put in then.  Kitchen cabinets and appliances are still in a planning stage at this point.  NOTE: If you plan on spending any time in the kitchen and you like to cook, PLAN THIS FIRST.  Don't just think, "It will work out".  It may work out but it may not be what you want to live with everyday.  We've decided to use tongue and groove planks for the ceiling and I'm anxious to get them installed.  The flooring was purchased on sale and sits in boxes in the cabin.  It won't be installed until we are further along with the drywall and probably the ceiling.

This is what we chose: SMARTCORE
SMARTCORE by Natural Floors Cottage Oak Floating Vinyl Plank (Common: 5-in x 48-in; Actual: 5-in x 48-in)

Our immediate project or challenge is a DIY wall bed/murphy bed plan.  DIY because we think (hope) we can make one for less than we can buy one, Jay has a pretty cool plan for some multipurpose functions for the face of the cabinet, plus the only space we have for a bed is going to be a really a tight fit which requires some creativity.  This is where I want to STRONGLY ENCOURAGE anyone who is planning their tiny home to draw, plan, measure, then draw, plan, and measure again.  When you think you're done... do it again!   Go measure appliances, furniture, doors, windows, fixtures, etc.  You may have to do this several times as your plans change, because they will change - probably many times.  When we started this project, it was only going to be a combination camp/storage building while we built a permanent home.  The farther along we were in the build the more we felt comfortable with the size and the possibility of making this a permanent home.  However, we were far enough along that moving doors and windows after they were installed was NOT (at least in my mind) going to happen.  Jay would have moved them, but I couldn't see all the work being undone then redone.  To live with what we have already built and include a real bed (instead of the current air mattress) a bed will have to be custom.  Jay really wants a queen size bed so his feet don't hang off the end.  LOL   Okay, I see that.  I'm short enough that a full size bed would be fine, but I guess he should be comfy too.

Gotta run… Jay is up and making breakfast.  :)   Poached eggs, bacon, toast, and hot tea.  Yummm.

Have a great day!

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