Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Utility Closet- FINALLY

We got a taste of the old days this weekend. :)

I'm happy to report that we made some decent headway this weekend. Post worthy headway! The ground is still deciding whether to be muck or frozen solid, but the snow is slowly leaving the yard. At this point, we are wondering if we will be able to move the tiny house before May! It's hard to believe it's almost April, and we are looking to get another few inches of snow here in Rhode Island. But, we are keeping positive and looking at this as some time given back for all the procrastination of the winter- since we can't move, let's get caught up on projects!

If you plan to use pallets for creating something
cool or just as firewood- always look for
the "HT" stamp, meaning heat treated.
Avoid "MB" - noxious poisons. Don't use
and certainly don't burn those ones!

We finally located a steady supply of free pallets, and conveniently, it's about 10 minutes from us! Woohoo! Dan is going to be stopping by and grabbing a load of pallets pretty much every other day or so until we have enough. It's going to take A LOT of pallets to create our siding, but we are excited. 

The only thing about pallets is that they are made to haul things, and as a result, made to withstand serious abuse. Those babies are some well put-together units. They also use special fasteners that are a cross between a nail and a screw. The little barbs make it near impossible to pull apart a pallet and have any usable wood left.  

I was able to learn some pretty nifty tricks for taking apart pallets- thanks to Macy at minimotives. She has been one of my leading and longest standing inspirations and resources for our tiny house adventure. I also had visions of reclaimed siding, and to see her make it happen was great. We plan to use the same methods for disassembling our pallets. 

Typically a pallet has three "spines" if you will, and boards are nailed across them. We plan to cut inside the spine of either end with a circular saw, leaving just the middle set of nails to deal with. For those, simply use a drill bit that will eat right down through the heads of the nails, making it very easy to pop the boards off after. Next we would fill the holes with putty, plane the boards for smooth and consistent thickness, and then run them all through a table saw so they are the same widths as well. 

It's definitely going to take a fair amount of time and effort, but I think it will look great on The Pod, it will be re-claimed, and it will be FREE!

On Sunday we also whipped up the utility closet. We kept it a simple box like the rest of The Pod. We've seen so many people build them to fit the semi-triangular shape of the trailer tungue, but we like to keep it simple. Plus, it will provide ample room for solar power system storage. We plan to keep the batteries, charge control, and inverter in the utility closet. 

Pre-utility closet

We saved scraps of house wrap from all the way back in May. At times, I wanted to just toss them because they were in the way, looking messy- but we stuck it out. We were determined not to buy another 100 ft roll of house wrap just for a dinky box. When Sunday came around, we sure were pleased that we had kept those scraps all this time...and thanks to the mondo-clean-and-organize-garage over haul, it didn't take that long to locate them either!

We used some scrap treated plywood from
our original "foundation" build. We drilled
holes in the steel lip of the trailer, bolting
the base down.

When it came time to cover the "roof" of the utility closet, we pulled out yet another material we had saved. Leftover ice and rain protective barrier. This was the same stuff we used as a kind of flashing for our trailer bed. It worked out nicely for our mini roof cover. We then used door and window tape to seal all the seams and keep water out. 

We plan to get a piece of corrugated steel to give it a more finished look once the siding is on. Even though the weather was still in the mid-thirties, we worked as if it were April of 2013 again. We were excited to be handling rough building materials, familiar ground by now, and seeing substantial progress within just a few hours. 

We finished the utility shed in about 2.5 hours time. It's quite a relief to have that off our backs. Now the only major lingering pieces are the pallet siding, the kitchen drawers, and getting a solar power system in place. Then we are officially ready to move!!

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Ample air flow for the batteries.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nothin' Like A Swift Kick

A shot for the article in Issue 16 of Tiny House Magazine
When it rains it pours!

It seemed like things were slowing down here for a bit- how foolish I was to think it would last! Suddenly it's March and we are still locked in thick ice and snow. We need to be able to build the utility closet and install the siding. Oh, and we need to start the whole assess/design/order a solar power system. We had hoped to move The Pod in early April. It's looking like late April now. 

Despite the slowing of physical progress and ergo lack of things to report- a sudden flush of networking and writing opportunities have come my way. I am over-joyed! Dan and I will be featured as one of the success stories on the new TinyHouseDating website! It will be up soon, check the site out! It's such a perfect service for us tiny folk and our...unusual ways. :)

I was also asked to submit an article for Tiny House Magazine! (Issue 16!) So keep an eye out in the upcoming issue. I did a short piece on passive refrigeration (from my post) and what route we chose for our tiny house. Oh, oh and that's not even the end of it! My good friend, Desirae, is a very experienced, driven, environmentally conscious person that's been around these parts for many years. She even runs a local green festival every year! As a result she has quite a network of like minded people including farmers, farmers market coordinators, ecoNewsletter authors...yep! 

I wrote up a small piece about our adventure and what we are looking for in a place to park. She sent it along to people she knew that might be interested. From that email came a possible farmer that will consider us, and Frank from ecoRI News asked to interview us! We meet with both of them on Sunday. I am ecstatic about the thought of being on a farm- some moments I feel I could just float out of my chair!!

Two down, two to go! Then the back cushions...

I have this new found energy and enthusiasm thanks to these wonderful opportunities! I hope to contribute more to the tiny house world in the future. Not to mention, it brought along a healthy amount of "foot to ass". I am now VERY motivated to complete the cushions for the love seat. I want to have decent seating for the interview! 

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