Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Hey, it's the weekend and I hope everyone is having a great holiday full of spooky stuff.  We partied last night, in costume, and had a great time.  However, that's the last time that I dress in costume wearing a mask.  Wow!  Was that thing hot.  I took my Batman mask off after about an  house and the inside of it was totally soaked with sweat.  Yuch!

Laura and I hiked out into the back-back field this afternoon to double check the placement of our new cabin so I could get some pictures.  This first one is from our driveway across the field looking at the access to the area.  It's hard to tell, but we will have to carry all of our materials through a gate at the back of the filed shown, just past the horse standing under the tree, and across a ravine.

This next shot shows Laura hiking through the ravine and up the other side.  Before you get to thinking that we're idiots and just making things hard on ourselves, let me say that we plan to use our four-wheeler "Teddy" as much as possible.

This last one is the picture of the spot we have selected for the location of our shed/cabin thingy.  I will be calling the Planning/Zoning department this week to double check that I am allowed to build storage shed in this area of my property.  We are going to proceed with the assumption that if we stay under 120 square feet, that we won't need any permits for our shed.  Also, there will be no "improvements" like water, plumbing, or electricity so we should be OK, but I want to check just to be sure.  Laura's holding her hands out to display the orientation of the 8 X 15 structure and how it will lay out on the land.

I still have a few pallets to strip but I have contracted a bad cold that has really worn me down.  I was going to visit with Silas, my grandson, to share in his first Halloween, but I don't think it's a good place to share my virus with him or his parents so I'll be sitting this one out.  Anyway, this is the spot.  Laura asked if'n we need to mark it with an "X" or something but I'm pretty sure it's not going anywhere.  So, that's the spot.
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you're planning a safe an scary Halloween.  Let's get out there and make it a great day and a scary night!

Friday, October 29, 2010

On Walden Pond

I have been reading Thoreau's book, On Walden Pond, and have found it incredibly interesting.  There are many people who associate with the Tiny House Movement that cite Walden as one of their motivators in creating a "hide-a-way" cabin in the woods.  Tiny House Design has posted a fantastic link to Derek “Deek” Diedricksen's visit to Thoreau's cabin that includes a video tour.  Deek is the author of the book Humble Homes Simple Shacks… and micro house creations like the Boxy Lady. You really gotta check this out if you into Tiny Houses.

I'll be posting more stuff later tonight but I just had to share this link quickly.  I hope you'll come back later.  In any case, thanks for stopping by.  Now, let's get out there and make it a great day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goofing off

Thanks for stopping by.

OK, I'm gonna freely admit that last night when I should have been stripping pallets I was goofing off.  But, this being the end of the month and Laura's job in transportation means that the last week of each month is usually extremely hectic, so when she arrived home on time, I felt justified to take advantage of the situation as it presented itself and we just vegged.  We have been running in opposite directions so it was just a natural thing to do, especially since she suggested that we do something different with our evening.  It was a great idea and we simply enjoyed each other's company.

But, I'll expected to attack those remain pallets this evening.  And, I hope to get the chance to hike out into the back field and get a few shots of potential locations for the cabin.  Stay, let's get out there and make it a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fantastic new Tiny House under construction

in Northern Minnesota.  Y'all should take some time to read about the big dreams of Kyle Hart.  Kyle has started a blog at Big dreams of a Little House that I'm following that will document the progress that he and his dad are making on the construction of his Tiny House.  There are some pretty cool pictures of the work they are doing as well as some pretty well thought out research for materials and heating options.  Keep up the good work Kyle!

Oh ya...

The clouds have cleared and it's gonna be a beautiful day.  I was able to ride my motorbike to work this morning and all is right with the world.  I should be able to finish stripping the last three pallets that I have in stock for disassembly and I'll be looking to my supplier for acquiring some more as soon as possible.

Great news about finding a construction part I was looking for to help with the foundation of the cabin.  I was reading another blog yesterday from Country Plans and found a reference to post & beam foundations that I first discovered at Coyote Cottage.  The part that I have been searching for is called an Elevated Post Base manufactured by Simpson and it allows you to incorporate a post & beam foundation that may include an adjustable leveling feature.  This may not seem like much but it sounds quite functional to me and I am pretty excited about this little idea.  This will allow us to create a solid foundation without the expense and equipment required to dig footers or mix concrete in an area where there is no power or water and we don't want to disturb the natural surroundings for this project.  I found the EPB44T at Lowe's in our area but you can find these things at other suppliers.  I borrowed the image below from the web site County Plans.
Little things like this can make building a deck or Tiny House quite a bit easier by minimizing the labor involved in foundation work.  Pretty cool idea, really.

Ultimately, I hope to use our cabin as a proof of concept build for a mobile Tiny House that we will put on an 18 foot trailer.

Hey, the sun is shinning and it's gonna be a great day.  Let's get out there and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Raining, finally, and I'll try to be happy...

It's raining here, finally.  Most of my neighbors are happy because it seems we have not had any appreciable amount of rain for months.  The weather service reports that we are behind in annual rainfall and I know that this rain is vital for so many reasons, but I find it difficult to be happy about it.  I'll continue to try but I was planning on working outside until these showers hit.

I have been collecting pallets from a local company that offers them for free and I have been spending time in the driveway disassembling them for the oak lumber from which they are made.  Some of the 2" X 3" timbers are over twelve feet long and I am excited to have such good quality materials for constructing our cabin.  I have been pulling these pallets apart and removing most of the nails.  I have been stacking this lumber in our driveway and I plan to move this cache of wood to the barn while I continue to collect more as it becomes available.  It's slow work because these pallets don't want to give up their former life or those spiral cut nails so some of them end up left in the wood.  I was surprised to pull the heads off of many of these reluctant nails but I have still been able to remove most of them.

The weatherman is forecasting severe weather for this afternoon and evening so we will be loosing most if not all of the remaining leaves of the season.  I was hoping to get a picture of the area we have chosen for the cabin, but I may not be able to if the weather comes whuppin' in here like they say it will.  There won't be any outside work done tonight if that happens.

Well, I suppose we do need some rain and I'll jus' have to learn to accept it for the blessing that it is.  It'll give me a chance to practice my patience as a minister in the Church of the Dude.  We just need to chill and take a break from all this tension and take 'er easy for this evening.  Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lucky find last week

One of the women I worked with is remodeling her home and I had a chance to speak with her husband about their project.  Turns out that they are working on a major job at their home much like Laura and I have undertaken and they will have lots of cast-offs that I may find interesting; windows and such.  I inquired about the opportunity to preview those items before they were official consigned to the dumpster and they said, "Yah, sure!"  This is really cool because I already know that they have a 32" exterior door that I can claim and put to good use.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit their place to look around at some of the windows that they will be replacing.  Turns out they haven't even pulled the old windows from their home yet so I have connected and exactly the right time to help with the removal before it becomes a burden to them.  This makes it a win-win for everyone.  I am feelin' pretty excited about this opportunity.

This morning while reading the Tiny House Blog I came across another blog that has been in existence for some time about the Shed of Reality hosted by Kate Johnson.  I am enthralled by Kate's artist's shed and some of the design ideas that she has incorporated into her artist's studio.  As I read her postings it became apparent that I have been designing our "Get-a-way Cabin" including the construction restrictions that are required of a Tiny House on a trailer.  Specifically, the 13'6" height restriction that is required to clear the bridge and freeway overpasses if you intend to tow your Tiny House on the road.  However, since we have decided to plant our cabin in our field without plans to move it, we are free to make it a little taller and implement some of Kate's ideas on utilizing vertical storage space.  I know this seems like a "duh" thing but I have been thinking of being "mobile" for so long that I had developed tunnel vision in my design considerations.  So, we may be reaching a little higher in the height of our cabin.  We will want to remain under the 120 square foot restriction for our county to avoid the building permit requirements.  This will technically be a storage shed without electricity or water so we are able to minimize the related expenses like permitting and stuff like licensed electricians and plumbers.  Not that there is anything wrong with those guys, because everyone has to make a living and stuff.

So, anyway, onward,...and in our case upward, just a little.  Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New beginnings...

This is the first post for our new blog site.  I wanted to begin at the beginning where we are still in the planning stages of our Tiny House to be built on Rebel Ranch in Lincoln County, Kentucky.  I have been researching this project for some time now and have been joined by my wife, Laura, in examining construction methods as well as design ideas for our project.  A few of the places that I have been reading regularly include Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Tiny House Designs, The Tiny Life, and Tiny House Blog.  I would encourage anyone interested in the Tiny House movement to visit these sites.

I am pretty excited and have been having a very hard time containing my enthusiasm to the current remodeling projects that we have undertaken in our home.  We have been working of a significant number of remodeling projects that I have secretly been using at OJT (on-the-job-training) to improve my lack of formal construction knowledge that will be required to build our Tiny House.  It has been a tremendous learning experience and while I have been telling myself that each job is one step closer to the Tiny House project, it has made the act of patience much easier to absorb because I can convince myself that the remodeling is actually bringing me that much closer to beginning the Tiny House.  I know that this is a weird idiosyncrasy that amounts to psychologically tricking myself into completing my "honey-do" list.  But, hey, it works for me.

Another weird thing that we do around Rebel Ranch is name everything.  Yup, everything.  Cars, trucks, dogs, horses, goats, motorcycles.  We name it all.  That way, when we're discussing which field what animal is grazing in, we can be specific.  This naming fascination has been extended to the Tiny House project and I have begun thinking of names for the Tiny House; "Love Shack" or "Get-a-way Cabin" are on the top of the list right now, but it will be a while before we settle on anything.  What we have found is that most of these things have a way of naming themselves, like the goats that were borne early one morning at just about breakfast time.  They became "biscuit" and "gravy" and I was always hungry when we started talking about those two.  Anyway, the Tiny House will most probably name itself somewhere along the way so I'm in no rush to settle on anything specific right now.

The biggest question we have been wrestling with is location.  Where on our small farm do we want to build.  We have discussed this twice and I feel like Laura and I have a general understanding about placing the Tiny House in the "back-back" field.  (I know, that's a crazy name for field, but it works for us.)  That would mean that all materials and supplies would be packed in for construction since we can't drive back there because it's on the opposite side of a semi-deep dry steam bed that is too dangerous to attempt to cross with anything other than an ATV four-wheeler.  We may be forced to press "Teddy" into service for delivering some of the building materials and act as gopher to pick up those things that we usually forget and have to go back to the big house for.

Well, I will get some pictures of the proposed location for our Tiny House and promise to put them up here very soon.  I intend to document as much of the construction process as possible.  Thanks for stopping by our 2 Coyotes blog spot.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!