It’s an exciting time to be us right now – no offense to you. We have been a whirlwind of productivity and taken down a few small villages with us. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far, and what we’re going to accomplish soon.
Our windows: We ordered nine windows and a door for our house, to be delivered today! We went through All Weather Windows and spoke at length with their rep to make sure we got what we needed. Since our house is going to be relying on passive solar, we need our windows to help heat our house on the south side and minimize loss on the north. OK here’s what I know about windows now, there will be a quiz so pay attention. Our windows are triple pane, which means three layers of glass so that we have two pockets of gas between to minimize heat transfer between them. They have a coating on the glass called Sun Stop, which should help in keeping the heat inside the house once it’s there (it raises the R Value of the window) and the space between the windows is filled with Argon gas to the same effect. We chose awning style windows because, surprise, they raise the R value by having a complete seal around the frame. We also got our fancy double glass doors that we have dreamed of since we were little girls. At the end of the day, we have an R value of 8 for our windows and door which is almost three times the R value of a regular window. We are window superstars.
Our trailer: OK, so last we left off with this we had ripped apart the flooring that was laid by tiny house enthusiasts gone by and had a plan in place to weld an addition and fortify the frame. We did it. We went out and bought the extra steel, and Kenton’s brother in law Rob carted 24 foot lengths of steel on the back of his itty bitty Jetta which definitely didn’t alarm anyone. Then, the magnificent Jim MaGill has done all the cutting and has begun the welding as of this week!
Our axles: We have been going back and forth with Timbren, the wonderful people who are making our axles. Basically, the axleless suspension that we were looking at before is not appropriate for our project because the house is really, really, … really heavy. If we went over a bump that hit only one wheel, our house’s weight would be completely on that wheel and we would break the suspension and our hearts. They suggested we switch to their quiet ride system which will provide a lot more stability, less torsion (a force of twisting around as we drive) and the strength the system is going to need for our decidedly weighty house (probably around 14,000lbs). Some more information on them click here!
Our plans (water, solar and drawings): Trevor Locke, solar expert and cat lover, has met with us a few times to blow our minds. He designed us a water system, and drew us up some floorplans and a 3D rendering of our house in Google Sketchup. I know I shouldn’t post these because he hasn’t completed them yet but I’m going to do it anyway because I’m excitable. Sorry, Trevor. He has managed to make our house into a transformer and fit our solar panels and solar hot water collector on the front of our house (south side). Check this out:
Our build: Now comes some more very exciting news. We are beginning the build Dec. 5th. The trailer should be completely ready by then. Just to confuse us as much as possible, our contractor is also named Trevor. Apparently all you need to build a tiny house is to know a lot of people named Trevor. Anyway, our contractor (also Trevor) has set the date! The unreasonably cold date. Luckily, we will have an indoor space to build in – a storage garage for combines. We are going to try and get the entire outer shell done in that weekend – walls up, windows in, roof on, siding on. It’s insane, it’s probably not possible, but here we go!