Wrapping up Tiny 2

So much has happened since the last post about siding and spray foam.  I’ve been pretty busy, but Tiny 2 is finally complete.  A quick breakdown of what’s taken place:

Interior tongue and groove
Similar to Tiny 1, I used tongue and groove pine on the ceilings and walls, but for the finish, the clients wanted a white-washed look, which turned out great.

Front door
Another custom-built door, this one is a “dutch door” style, which is split in half, so the top half can be opened independently.  The bright red colour really sets off the siding.

Kitchen cabinets and countertop
In such a small space, cabinets and countertop are always a huge part of the interior finishing look. The solid wood cabinets are complemented beautifully by 2 inch-thick butcher block countertops that are made locally with larch wood from the Margaree Valley (Larch Wood Enterprises).

The clients picked some distinctive concrete tiles for backsplash that fit nicely with the white washed walls and the countertop. I installed these with a one-piece backer board to ensure the grout wouldn’t crack during travel.

Larchwood flooring
Like the countertop, the flooring is from local Larch Wood Enterprises. Its rich grain and light colour look great.

Interior woodwork
Once the flooring was done, I finished some of the interior woodwork. The stairs are always tricky because they need to be easy to climb, functional as efficient storage, and the are central to the interior look of the Tiny house.

The ladder and the couch were similar to my first Tiny. The ladder rolls neatly behind the entrance coat rack, and the couch has four large storage units housed beneath it that can be used as chairs. (In the photos, the upholstery had not yet been added, but once it was in, it really added warmth to the room.)

The table was pretty much the last thing I did, knowing that I would have to build it to fit within the small space between the couch and the counter. After considering many design options, I settled on a simple double-leaf table made entirely out of maple.

The clients went all out on the bathroom – they wanted more than just function. I installed a tile floor with infloor heat, a full tile shower with frameless glass doors, full washer/dryer, and marble counter-top vanity. To ensure longevity and a trouble-free future for the shower, I used a Kerdi shower system – it provides a 100% waterproof layer before the tile goes on.

I used the same propane stove as my first Tiny home because I loved it so much. It looks nice in the small space, is easy to use, and has a great thermostat-remote control unit.

The kitchen stove is beautiful unit made by Five Star. It’s also propane, and has four burners and full oven.

The washer/dryer is a ventless LG unit which washes and dries in a single machine.

For this Tiny, instead of using propane, we opted for an electric on-demand water heater. Electric was only an option because this Tiny will be fully connected to a 100 amp power supply.

To ensure a constant supply of fresh air, I used an HRV unit from Lunos, which is extremely compact and quiet.

Finishing touches
As always, the finishing touches take more time than expected. Every inch of a Tiny home is important and custom built, from the upholstery to the railings to the storage units.

This Tiny had a 500 km drive to its home. January being what it is in Nova Scotia, we had to choose the delivery date between snow storms. Even weighing in at 15,000 lbs, the Tiny pulled smoothly and easily behind a pickup truck.

The site had been set up by the clients with a nice concrete pad, which made it easy to block up and skirt.  It looked great on the property overlooking the water.

If you’d like more information on this particular build, send me an email: howlingdogconstruction@gmail.com

And then there was siding

Wow! What a great colour. The siding is almost complete and it looks great.

The combination of the grey roof, white trim and blue siding gives it a real ‘Nova Scotia Sea side’ look.

While I was working on the outside there were things going on inside too. Once the electrical was all roughed-in the Guys From Eco home insulation got in there and sprayed the walls and ceiling with 2lb, closed cell, foam insulation. This gives me an R value of around 21, plenty to keep the Tiny House cozy and warm in the middle of winter.

On the first Tiny house I did all the plumbing myself, but this time I have enlisted the help of Marc from EZ Flow plumbing in order to keep things moving along. They got the drains and vents in today and will be back tomorrow to finish the rough-in for the water lines.

It is always a bit nerve wracking for me to see people like the electricians and plumbers drilling all sorts of holes in the Tiny House I have just built, so I tend to keep a very close eye on them! I have been pleased so far with the level of care and thought that they are putting into their work, that means I can relax a bit and carry on with my jobs.

There are a few extra features in this model that were not in the last one, like a washer/dryer for example. The clients were keen to have this option and with the extra 1 1/2 feet in the bathroom there is room to put a nice 24″ condensating washer/dryer. No venting is required which makes the install quite easy.

Next up was the cedar shingles on the dormer walls. Once they were completed the outside was pretty much done…now begins all the woodwork inside.

Moving right along with Tiny 2

In the last few weeks I have made good progress on Tiny 2.

I was waiting for materials to arrive and of course they all came on the same day, so I got the steel for the roof, the windows and all the siding and trim all at once. That has kept me busy since then.

The windows went in first to help keep the rain (and snow) out. I used Gentek windows this time and was very happy with the quality and look.

I am pretty particular with how I install and flash windows because they are such a critical part of the wall and weather proofing system, so I use a product called Flexwrap by Dupont for the sill flashing, it is great stuff and allows for a seamless one piece bottom flashing.

Next I started on the soffit and fascia which I needed up in order to get the roof trim on.

I am using the Ideal Roofing, Junior HF profile for the roof. It looks great and will last a lifetime. It takes a while to install all the trims and flashings but once they are up the steel sheets go up pretty quickly.

It is always very satisfying to stand back and see the roof once it is  completed, What a difference it makes.

Today I worked on the strapping to get ready for the Cape Cod Trim and Siding. I managed to get a few pieces of Trim up as well which really starts to set the look of the house, and I am very excited to see what the siding colour will look like next to the roof colour. You will see that on the next post!







Final Pictures – Tiny number 1 all done

So my first Tiny House is all completed and the clients are fully moved in and living comfortably in their cozy little house.

Just before it left my driveway for the last (and fist) time, I had friend and great photographer, Nick Honig, take these wonderful pictures for me. Of course it has taken me a few months to get them posted but they are worth the wait.

This was an exciting and very unique project that I had a great experience building, I am looking forward to building more of them in the future, in fact I am starting a new one right now… stay tuned for updates on that!

I would like thank a few of the local trades and companies that helped me with this project, nothing on a Tiny House is ‘standard’ so it required some extra effort and ingenuity on the part of everyone who worked on it.

-B and L Elite Millwork, for their beautiful custom mahogany door.

Eco Home Insulation,  for their great job spay foaming the interior with all its tight spaces.

Kerr Trailers, for building a truly excellent custom trailer on which Tiny could be built.

Flux Electrical , for a great job wiring the house and rising to all the challenges that come with trying to fit everything in such small spaces.

Castle Home Choice building Centre, Thanks to John and Steve for accommodating me with all of the odd ordering requests that I had along the way.



More Media for Tiny

It seems like everyone is interested in Tiny, and where she ended up and what it’s like to live small. Recently, Tiny has been featured in a CTV National News story, and a BuzzFeed Canada story!

The CTV story weaves together clips from two separate interviews conducted by CTV Atlantic about Tiny.

The BuzzFeed Canada article covers living in Tiny, with a particular focus on the doggie elevator for the lovely Corgie, Shanti.

Matt has been fielding phone calls and emails from all across the country about building and living in Tiny Homes, and it is so exciting to see such interest. The Tiny Home movement is here to stay!

Tiny in the Media!

Well, it’s been two weeks since Nicky Duenkel and Judy Pratt moved into Tiny, and they are settling in splendidly. There continues to be much interest in Tiny, and yesterday and today, Tiny was featured on two television segments for CTV Atlantic and CBC TV. It’s exciting to see Tiny in action, and so well loved and used.

Tiny is every bit the dream home that Nicky and Judy imagined, and as is said in the CTV Atlantic interview, they are “living small and loving it!”

Click here for the CTV interview.

Click here for the CBC interview.

Moving Day: Tiny Home on the Highway!

Well, we all know that all good things come to an end… but they also get hitched up to a tow truck and move down the highway to their new home! And that’s what happened with Tiny!

The official moving day went swimmingly. The winds were low, which is always a bonus when trying to move a home down the highway. Tiny was hitched up to a tow truck, hired for his experience in towing mobile homes.

The first challenge was getting Tiny out of the driveway, past some trees and under some power lines. But, it ended up clearing everything with no problem. Just a short drive up the road, and onto the highway, and Tiny was flying.

On the highway, we had to make a detour up and over a bridge, because the tow truck driver knew it was one of the lowest bridges in Nova Scotia, and it was likely Tiny would not have fit! Thank goodness for hiring a professional, or the results of that bridge meeting could have been disastrous!

Tiny did wonderfully on the highway. She rode smoothly, with little movement. She even got weighed along the journey. Matt was nervous about how everything would add up, given the trailer was only rated for 18,000 lbs — but, she came in at 14,300, which was a relief to all.

The last hurdle was getting Tiny up a fairly steep driveway and into her new home, but with some skilled manoeuvring, she made it and got settled right away. And as an added bonus, when we opened the doors, everything was still in tact and nothing had bounced around. Whew!

It was sad to have Tiny leave the driveway and the family, but so lovely to see her in her new home.

Favourite Feature #5: The Doggie Elevator!

This may be the only Tiny Home out there right now with a doggie elevator! That’s right — a doggie elevator!

This particular feature arose out of the need to transport the clients’ Corgie from the bottom floor to the top floor, because the stairs are too steep and too hard on his back. With need, comes innovation, and so Matt innovated the idea to have a doggie elevator that moves up and down via a winch system.

As with everything in Tiny, this was completely custom made. One of the main challenges was actually finding the space where this dog-evator could drop down in between the stairs, the cupboard, and counter — all the measurements had to be precise!

The end result is a one-of-a-kind Tiny Home feature, that has the Corgie and his owners happy at the outcome! And as you can see, it has the smallest Howling Dog Construction crew member excited to try it out!


Favourite Feature #4: Crafty Cupboards

Cupboards are essential for any home; but in a Tiny Home, they are even more essential. Matt and the clients wanted to find ways to maximize every available space in the kitchen, creating a kitchen area that is not only spacious, but stores a surprising amount of items.

All the cupboards were handmade and custom built to space, out of plywood with a maple face, and finished with varathane to give a smooth, durable, and natural finish. Some of the interesting features of these cupboards are drawers at the bottom of each cupboard where the toe kick normally is, avoiding 4 inches of wasted space. The drawers feature full extension sliders, to easily access all parts of the storage space. The drawers were also specifically designed to accommodate all their kitchen appliances and pots and pans, ensuring that every item had its place.

The bank of drawers next to the desk function as office supply storage, with the top drawer containing an inner charging station to avoid unnecessary clutter from electronics.

Finally, to allow two people to easily work together in the kitchen, a custom fold-up countertop was designed, maximizing the working and chopping space in the kitchen.

Favourite Feature #2: The Ladder

Our next featured design from Tiny is the Ash ladder leading up to the second loft above the bathroom.

The final ladder design emerged after testing out several different prototypes. In the original plan, the ladder was incorporated into the shelving unit itself. But, as the building progressed, and different designs were tested, it was decided that this was too complicated, and the desire to have a simplified design led to the current version.

As you can see from the pictures, the ladder is designed to slide behind the shelving unit, in a space between the bathroom wall and the shelf. The ladder has wheels on the bottom that are only engaged when it is in the upright position to facilitate sliding back and forth. At the top is a simple hook and eye system, allowing the ladder to be slid out; when pulled into position, the hooks automatically engage, holding the ladder securely in place.

The ladder itself is made out of Ash, from Windhorse Farms‘ sustainable woodlot on the mainland of Nova Scotia. We love how it turned out!