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.

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Tiny 2 Well on the way.

My latest Tiny house project is off to a great start. The experience I gained from building the first one has proven to be invaluable, with everything coming together a bit quicker, a lot smoother and with way less time spent staring off in deep thought!

The design for this house is very similar to the last one with a few minor changes. For a start it is three feet longer, so 28′ in total. This means a slightly bigger living room and bathroom.

The layout of the door and windows has moved around a bit in order to take full advantage of the anticipated view that it will have at its new home. So the door switched sides and in its place is a very large viewing window.

Of course moving anything in a tiny house means moving everything! So there will still have to be some new crafty construction details that will make this version unique.

Next week is a busy one, with the windows, siding and roof all arriving within three days. Stay tuned to see the new colour scheme.

 

 

 

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 #3: The Stairs

Next up on Matt’s Favourite Features of Tiny: the stairs!

The stairs are a central part of the overall design of Tiny and, like everything else, have to incorporate maximum storage, functionality, and aesthetics. These stairs took a lot of planning and consideration, and were one of the first things designed in the planning process because of their importance, their centrality in the home, and the space they take up.

The treads are made from maple, and the base is made from high-grade plywood. The handrails and trim pieces are reclaimed and repurposed wood, salvaged from various places and sources. The stairs have been finished with oil, followed by two coats of varathane for a smooth and durable finish.

Since the stairs go up to the sleeping loft, which, due to the height, requires you to be on your hands and knees to enter, the last tread before the loft is extra deep. This allows for a comfortable transition from the stairs to the sleeping area.

Favourite Feature #1: Integrated Couch, Desk & Table

As promised, here is the first installment of Matthew’s favourite features of Tiny. First up, the integrated couch, desk, and table set that was designed specifically for the needs of the owners and for the space.

This unit is a big part of the central house design, and is not only a main decorative feature, but is also a critical piece of the living space. This unit incorporates multiple storage spaces, a shelving unit, a permanent desk and foldaway table, and a comfy couch.

The whole design was a challenge, given the space requirements and the multiple uses and functions the unit had to perform. A lot of thought and prototypes went into this design, and we are so pleased with the results.

The shelf unit functions not only as a needed storage unit, but also as a way to hide the sliding ladder leading up to one of the lofts, and cover the sliding door to the bathroom.

It was important to maximize the storage capacity of the couch unit, by building in storage units under the sitting space. These units also add a great accent of colour and can also function as extra seats when guests are over.

One of the hardest parts was the design of the desk and table unit. The challenge: the desk needed to be a permanent fixture, but the table needed to be able to be stowed when not in use, freeing up the couch space. This design enables the table to be pulled out, while the desk is in use. Matt went through multiple designs and prototypes of the leaf system, finally settling on the one you see in the pictures, both for strength, durability, and ease of motion and use.

The custom-made upholstery adds the final finishing touch to this unit, and creates a very comfy couch and extra bed. It also adds a bright pop of colour to the unit, creating a warm and welcoming space. Overall, this has become one of the most eye-catching and innovative parts of Tiny!

One Big “Tiny” Update!

Well we are back with another Tiny House update, and we must apologize for the rather lengthy delay in getting more pictures up. Matt has been burning the midnight oil, so to speak, trying to get Tiny done and ready to head off to its new landing site in a few weeks’ time. It’s been a busy time here at Howling Dog Construction, but the effort is paying off, and the results are looking amazing.

This post will bring you up from our last update a few months ago, to what Tiny looks like now, today, on this fine Thanksgiving weekend.

Tiny Updates!

Since the last post, all the interior walls and ceilings have been completed with tongue-and-groove pine, and it’s beautiful. The ceilings have been left natural, but with a clear-coat for protection and to bring out their natural richness. The walls have been painted to add colour and vibrancy, and create an overall atmosphere of warmth and comfort.

The next step was to complete the plumbing, running all the pipes and waterlines along the inside to protect from freezing. Because of the small size of Tiny, there were a few challenges when trying to keep everything compact and minimize the exposed plumbing throughout the home. For example, the main water supply and filter has been contained within the bathroom vanity to keep it hidden. In order to get water to the shower and on to the kitchen, Matt needed to run pipes along the interior walls. To keep them hidden, he designed the couch and baseboards to cover them up. The result? No pipes are visible throughout Tiny!

Once the plumbing was done, it was time to move to flooring. One of the first things the owners purchased for Tiny was Ash hardwood flooring from a local company that was shutting down. Honduras pine was used for the loft flooring, which looks amazing from both above and below, which was important, because it is exposed on both sides, and is the kitchen ceiling. The Honduras pine was finished with a natural oil for protection, and it has become one of the favourite features of Tiny.

Once the flooring was complete, it was time to move to the interior features, such as the stairs and custom couch. Although the stairs were pre-designed when conceptualizing Tiny, each stair was custom-designed for the space to maximize space and storage capacity. The bottom three steps are removable, so that there’s room to get the fridge and other appliances into the kitchen. They are also storage containers themselves, with opening stair treads. The couch area is actually an integrated unit, containing the couch, a folding table and desk, storage units, and a shelf. It was custom built in the garage, and then installed in Tiny.

The kitchen cabinet boxes and drawers were an exciting feature to add into Tiny, as it really gave a sense of the kitchen, and defined the area. These were all custom-built to take advantage of every bit of usable space and to ensure that all of the clients’ kitchen implements would fit.

Once the cabinet bases were complete, it was time to install and finish the solid maple countertop. This is a gorgeous feature of Tiny, and was finished with BioShield Oil, which gives it a beautiful golden glow and a silky smooth feel. Everyone loves the countertop!

And then it was time for hook-ups, including propane for the appliances and heating and electrical. It was exciting to get Tiny all wired up and ready to go, and we are really happy with how the lighting levels have turned out. Kudos to Flux Electrical from Middle River here in Cape Breton for making this happen, and all the hard work it took to wire up Tiny — no easy feat!

Finally, Matt has been working hard on all the finishings, including storage shelves and racks in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, ensuring maximum storage space, even when living small. These are looking great, and it’s amazing how much storage can be designed into a tiny space.

Tiny Open House

On October 17th, 2015, we are having an Open House and Goodbye Tiny gathering at our house. Matt is busy doing finishing off the house, with this week bringing the cabinet faces installed and the completion of the much-anticipated doggie elevator!

Leading up to that exciting day, we will be releasing a new post a day, highlighting some of Matt’s favourite custom-made and custom-designed features in Tiny. Each day will bring a new insight into how to design “Tiny”, so keep checking back!