Not in the metaphorical sense, in the very literal sense of building a home. I think the prior comes with love, effort, and time in a space. That being said, this place does feel like a home and more so with each passing day.
Way ahead of myself here. Yesterday I posted to Instagram that I was taking a break, maybe for a while, maybe forever. In doing so I realized that the entirety of my life, as seen by the outside world, was based in those little boxes. Not only do I not think that wholly represents all of me, but it also doesn’t capture the nuances. It is just the best photos I think represent a single moment. Taken together, I suppose it paints an image, but I digress. I am trying to create a place where I share my life in a way I own, so when the time comes that Instagram passes the way of MySpace, I don’t lose all the images and stories that existed there.
With that, let me show you what my last 5 months have looked like. A wild adventure into the world of building an entire home, a home which we moved into just a week ago.
It started with a tiny house specific frame and basic sketch on graph paper. The rest as been entirely done by winging it and figuring it out on the fly. After doing such, it has become very clear to me my people start with a very detailed blueprint to follow. Despite the trials and tribulations that building on a hunch comes with, I stand by it. Now if I could only set aside the anxiety that comes with sleeping a something you built, wired, and plumbed with little knowledge in all the the above.
Creating the floor joist system came with a fair amount of drilling, but once done things started taking shape rather quickly. So quickly in fact that it gave a real false sense of confidence in how quickly this would go together. Because the walls and siding went up so fast, giving a shape to this home, I recall thinking it would be done way sooner than anticipated. I was wrong.
Once the walls were up, the tedious task of siding with ship lap became the bane of my existence. A victim of my own OCD, the siding took forever to install. While needlessly time consuming, the finished look was hard to argue with. I think it looks great, just annoying to install the way I chose.
The interior pocket door was created using scraps of the (overpriced) rough faced, no groove, t1-11 we used along with 1×2 rough sawn batten for the exterior. The roof got finished in an almost identical gray metal roofing, not intentionally, but not mad about it. We went with a snap-lock vertical seam product that allowed me to install without any special gadgetry.
The inside was done in 1/4″ birch plywood finished with a Scandinavian style white wash sealant. We wanted the wood look, but didn’t like that all the “clear” stains instilled a noticeable amount of yellowing and/or darkening. The cabinets were all done in 3/4″ sanded ply and sealed with the same white wash product.
I will have to say one of the things I took the greatest pride in were those things I had never done before. Namely, plumbing an entire house and wiring an entire house. I had swapped a p-trap and replaced a receptacle, but running all the romex, plotting the circuits, and ultimately wiring up the entire panel… way outside my wheelhouse. But the switches flipped and the house didn’t burn down. I’ll call that a win. Did I mention installing a propane system to fuel our stove and instant hot water heater? That gem kicks out endless hot water to our rain shower! Wasn’t necessarily done for cool points, the ceiling is 6’4″, so the only way I was going to be able to shower without ducking was to install flush with the ceiling. Bonus!
Still plenty to do inside, namely the finish work and cabinet faces and drawers, but we moved in this last week and man does that feel good. To think we picked up a blank trailer 5 months ago and then moved into a, more or less, finished home this week is insane to me. Did I mention we had a baby about a month ago?
Hope to post more photos in the coming weeks of the interior, once things get dialed and feels tidy in here. Thanks for reading!
Heck yeah man!! Congrats to you and Paisley on moving in, and on the project as a whole. We miss both of you and can’t wait to meet the little new one! Take care.
Hey! Sorry we won’t get to see you guys on our trip south this month, unless we can connect on our trip back north… which is a possibility! I can’t wait to have you guys back up to the property.
Love having more story here, way better than a quick IG post.
Hey Nicole! Thanks! Feels a little more soul nourishing and but less soul sucking to write out a story vs the IG snippet.
Sweet man, the house looks excellent!
Thanks Alex! Been a real joy to build my own home, if even only a tiny one on a trailer. Next go around will be a home on a proper foundation.