Monday, January 19, 2015

(Jan 18) Drywall Going Up Nicely

We really struggled with the decision on how to do the drywall. Should we hire a contractor or try to complete ourselves? I really want the walls to be smooth and clean since that will set the tone for the rest of the room/house. (Funny how they're the same now! :) In the end, we agreed we would tackle this like everything else we had done, once piece at a time and on our own. Best decision we made was buying a RotoZip saw ($69 at HD). Basically a mini hand-held router. You put the sheet up on the wall (tack it securely) . Don't worry about window or door openings. Plunge the router into a clear area inside the opening. Move to the edge and follow it around the opening. Within seconds you have a very smooth cutout of your opening and you're ready to finish fastening and start trimming. This was much smoother and faster than the hand saw we had been using. It also makes quick work of the openings for wall outlets and switch boxes we had marked up. It takes a pretty firm hand as it wants to wander but once you get it moving along a path it follows your lead. Just keep a firm pressure against the edge of the opening you're cutting and keep pushing along. I did break a couple of bits as they bound up in some of the joins of the steel framing. I had anticipated this and purchased extras ahead of time. They were pretty inexpensive. All-in-all, it really saved us a lot of time and effort.

RotoZip saw

Thanks to our new friend (Cory Hagen) that we met through the DFW Tiny House Enthusiasts, we were able to get 3 walls completed this weekend. His enthusiastic help was greatly appreciated as were the donuts he brought! He has some really nice design work that he's done on his own Tiny House plans and we wish him lots of luck on his venture to design for others. We'll be reciprocating the favor and offering him a hand as he starts his build.

Cory Hagen setting screws in drywall. Me, measuring and cutting the openings. He did great for his 1st time. We made a pretty good team!

 It's so exciting to see the progress. This weekend's effort finished off 3 walls and part of the 4th. The remaining space should take 6 sheets to complete and hopefully we can do that next weekend. The weather was amazing (mid 60s) both Saturday and Sunday and made the work very comfortable. Cory and I were busy on the South wall when Kim broke away to cook some supper for us all. Chicken Caccatori sans the pasta. Our gas camp stove had developed a leak in a hose (Kim calmly reached down and turned off the gas tank as it was spewing fire out the side of the stove!) so we got the benefit of supper cooked over an open fire. Guess you could dub it an Italian Chicken Stew! Really good, honey!

It had cooled off a lot outside as the sun had been down for a couple of hours and a hot dinner was very welcome. We turned off the generator and lit the tiki torches to enjoy our dinner in peace. After a great dinner and great conversation with Cory we moved our chairs to sit in front of the chiminea where there was still a nice fire going from Kim cooking supper. Crystal clear night and the stars were out in force. Right on queue, the coyotes kicked in with their contribution to the night's atmosphere at about 8:30. They didn't sing long but it doesn't seem like the day is complete without hearing them anymore.

Cory must have brought us good luck for as we were giving him the nickel tour of the property that afternoon, we saw 3 deer (two does and a fawn) scampering along the trail. We had been pointing out the deer tracks as we made our way down the path (as we had done many times over the 2 years out here) but never before had we actually spotted any of our wards. And what luck to actually have a witness to the sighting! We committed to putting out some corn for them from now on. We were lucky enough the next day to spot a buck close to the same area as we were hauling our load of feed to the back of the property. Wow! 2 days in a row. It's official. We've got deer! I know, lots of you are laughing at our enthusiasm for what you probably see all the time. It's just been frustrating to see the tracks daily for nearly 2 years and never spot a single deer. Hopefully, it's a trend that will continue. We decided to feed them at the back of the property as to not encourage them to too much exposure. I would feel really bad if our feeding them lured them out of woods only to get them shot!

Grrrr. As I'm finishing work last night, I realized a major faux pas! We didn't plan for any electrical outlets on the outside of the house. What were we thinking?! We've always used the generator and just flat didn't plan for them. Luckily we haven't' finished the north wall, drywall or outside Hardi board. We'll be able to add 2 outlets to that side of the house without much trouble. I just don't see it happening on the south side without some real work. I could always run some conduit under the structure. Nice thing about the building being so small is that we won't have far to go, even if I just leave it with the outlets on the north. Extension cords I've got and it's only 12' around the corner. :)

I continue with plans for a storage shed. Depending on money, we may break ground on it next weekend. It was no less than a couple of hours to move all of the tools out of the house and put them all back this weekend to make room for the drywall installation. Our limited shelf space is also taken up with things that would really be better served somewhere else - insect spray, motor oil for the go-kart, spare parts and chains for the chainsaw, nearly a dozen saws of every variety, tarps, etc. I truly don't think we could do a mobile tiny house. I'm just not willing to let go of that much stuff. I like having tools and working on projects. I do think it funny that our storage buildings will end up at 3 to 4 times the square footage as our living quarters. But isn't that what a bunch of this is about? Living Large in Small Spaces! Living responsibly within a minimal financial commitment. The more square footage we shift from living quarters to storage, even if it's on our own property, the lower our financial burden will be - lower building costs, lower utilities, lower insurance, lower taxes. And, we still get to keep most of our stuff. We just don't have to build in lots of storage to the main structure. A tiny house for financial freedom, a large storage and workshop area plus 12 acres to work and play on equals a lot of happiness! I wish we could hurry and finish this all so that we could afford to retire! :)

1 comment:

  1. A side note to my husbands post: The bldg will be a workshop and used for some storage. I'm still working on Jay to give away, sell or (gasp) trash more stuff. 😊 love you honey.