Friday was, as many co-workers (and I) call, the most wonderful workday of the year. It was simultaneously pay day (monthly at my company) and bonus day! AND as of Friday, The Pod is officially paid in full! We don't owe a penny anywhere for our home!
Granted- we still need to put siding on the thing, but that is another expense I can tackle as it comes. If we find we can use whatever we like for the siding, then we are going to recycle pallets. That means FREE siding...with a little work of course. One of the blogs I've been following from the start, Mini Motives, used pallets and I was amazed at how great it came out. Here is a picture of her tiny house exterior.
It's a pretty amazing feeling to know you own your home out right within three months of living there. I aim to be very transparent about our costs because I want others to know what is possible. We just broke $10,000 with the last purchase of materials we made, which was a few weeks ago. I see so many tiny houses out there being made on a conveyer belt practically and being sold for $25,000 and up. It is truly rewarding to be able to stand here and say it can be done for much less. With enough planning ahead, searching for deals, being very organized and aware, and constantly monitoring costs- you'd be amazed what you can save. I finally feel like I'm headed in the direction I want to be going, and it's a surreal feeling. All the hard work and the diligence paid off. I believe a few key parts to our success were:
A) We started planning and purchasing materials 6 months leading up to the build start date. Meaning we could take on smaller expenses over time before dealing with the raw building material cost at the same time.
B) We planned around our supplies. I first bought the windows, door, and trailer before making the blue prints. By doing this, I was able to search for the best deal without any particular characteristics to fill. Once we knew our window and door dimensions, we designed around it.
C) I forced myself to keep a spread sheet of all costs including what I got for a deal on craigslist versus what I would have paid at the box store. We saved over $7000 by searching for recycled, reused, reclaimed materials. Watching those numbers grow gave me more motivation to keep sniffing out the deals. (It can wear you out quickly!)
D) We bought supplies as we needed them. Some say we could have saved by buying in bulk, but to be honest, I don't even think we would hit the bulk minimum quota for the amount we needed. By getting the material in small lots and doing things so incrementally- we were able to keep a close eye on waste, and let me tell you- there wasn't much of that going on! For three of the four walls, we bought dead on the amount of 2x4s we needed. Being so attentive to small details can really pay off.
We celebrated in our modest tiny ways with some g-free pizza and a 6 pack of Strongbows. It was one of the most satisfying meals of my life. :)
Of course there are still more expenses to come, the solar power system, rain water system, the land or renting of a space, garden expenses, etc. But we are enjoying this particular moment...as we should. :)
On Saturday we also started the ball slowly rolling again by putting in two different shelves. It was the first time we felt decent and the weather was decent enough at the same time. We cut and sanded the pieces for the shelves then put them in place in less than an hour. It felt good to get something done, and in such a short time frame.
Still riding Saturday's success, we finally got around to putting the new counter pieces in place for the stair storage. The paint washed boards got 3 coats of water based poly and now look fabulous as the counter surfaces. It looks so much better than the stain highlighting pine counter. The contrast in color looks great and will definitely cut down on the number of visible scuffs and stains.
All in all, a great weekend! Plus there are a ton of new pics up on the facebook page! I posted all of July and August activity. PLENTY to peruse. So enjoy if you have some free time!
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