Tiny is Featured on CBC

We just found out yesterday that Tiny has been featured on CBC News online, complete with an audio-visual essay containing a clip from the CBC Radio Mainstreet Cape Breton Interview and pictures of the progress, as well as a write-up. There’s also a link to the radio interview where Matt provides an update.

Great to see the interest that Tiny is generating, and to see so many people interested in reducing their ecological footprint and living more simply and gently on this planet.

To check out the article, click here.

Adding the Siding

Well folks, this is the last in a series of five posts to get everyone caught up with where the Tiny Home process is at. Today we are featuring the beautiful Cape Cod siding, sourced and purchased from a Nova Scotia company, Cape Cod Finished Wood Siding.

The clients chose this company because of the local connection, the beautiful high-quality products, and because of the opportunity to order the siding finished in any colour that you choose. The siding is made from lodge pole pine.

This has been a great product to use. It goes on easily, and it comes with custom nails painted to match the colour of your siding, as well as extra paint to touch up ends or any nicks. And, as you can see, the colour is rich and vibrant and really pops next to the white trim, lending to the sense of happiness and celebration that surrounds Tiny.

You can also see in some of the pictures the cedar shakes that will be framing all the dormers. Once the siding is complete, Matt will begin finishing the cedar shakes, and then it’s on to the inside finishings!

While our next updates won’t be on a daily basis, we promise to keep them more up-to-date as the process continues. Stay tuned, stay posted, and check back soon!

Going Live (Almost) & Keeping Warm

We are learning that when you build a Tiny Home, things take longer than expected. Working in a small space means that you have to slow down and take great care with every action and decision.

The electrical work was no different and, as with everything else, took longer than we all expected. One of the main reasons for the extra time was the sheer amount of planning that went into the electrical layout. Matt was lucky enough to work with Brandon Nielsen from Flux Electrical in Cape Breton, who understood the importance of getting it right the first time, and minimizing the number of holes drilled in the structure in order to run the wire.

Overall, the wiring process went very well. It seems like a lot of wire for a Tiny House, but every circuit has its purpose. We also had to run some 12 volt circuits to support the winch for the dog elevator (everyone’s favourite feature), and for the on-demand water heater control.

Next steps with electrical: once the house is finished, the final lights, receptacles, and switches will go in, and then Tiny will be ready to be hooked to a power source!

Once the wiring was done, it was time to insulate the inside. Once again, we used spray foam for its high R Value and air sealing abilities, as well as to provide further structural stability. Before EcoHome Insulation could spray though, all the Douglas Fir had to be covered up to avoid getting foam on it. It was challenging for the installers at times, because there were a lot of small spaces to fill, which are difficult to fill evenly. But the results are great, and all this work should help to keep Tiny nice and cozy.

 

 

Douglas Fir-ing it Up!

Once Tiny was water tight, it was time to start getting to work on the inside details. First up, was the loft framing, which was not only an integral part of the structure, but would ultimately be exposed wood. This meant we needed to find a material that was both strong and would finish beautifully.

Douglas Fir became the obvious choice, because of its strength. Matt was extremely happy with how this turned out, as the Douglas Fir has a subtle red tone that adds richness and depth, and will be a great accent to the overall aesthetics of the finished home.

The post you see in the middle of the house in the pictures below is designed to bring the load down from the roof onto the black steel angle. Being able to transfer the load at a midpoint meant the ridge beam could be reduced in size, allowing more space in the loft. In a Tiny House, every inch counts!

CBC Mainstreet Cape Breton Tiny Home Interview

A finished roof! Just look at that colour!

A finished roof! Just look at that colour!

Yesterday afternoon, Matt joined Tiny Home-owners Nicky Duenkel and Judy Pratt, on CBC Mainstreet Cape Breton to talk Tiny updates and developments.

It was a great interview, full of interesting perspectives and insights from all facets, including planning, designing, and building, to philosophies of Tiny Home living, to making the choice to ‘right size’ and place values and beliefs at the core of one’s life. You can listen to this fun interview here.

Raise the Roof… and Cover it in Red Steel

Matt couldn’t wait to start on the steel roof, and see how the bright red colour looked on Tiny. It did not disappoint! The roof has added a beautiful accent to the home, while also being extremely durable and long-lasting. The steel roof comes in 16 inch panels, designed with a hidden fastener system, so that no screws are exposed. This gives a clean finish, and doesn’t disrupt the aesthetics of the roof, while reducing the possibility of leaking through the screw holes. Because of the small size of the overhangs and the roof in general, a lot of the trim was very tricky to do. On a regular-sized roof, things are more spread out, giving more room to lay out the trim, and more space to work with. But, on Tiny, some of the areas were so small, there were four or five overlapping pieces of trim and flashing. This meant that special attention had to be paid to how these pieces overlapped each other to ensure proper water diversion, even on the highway at 100 km/hour! Overall, it took a lot longer than anticipated, but the results were well-worth it!

Raise the Roof!

The Great Roof Raising finished last week, starting with the placement of the ridge beam (2 ply LVL) on the newly-erected frame. The ridge beam runs through the centre of the house, and is designed to carry the load of the roof. We choose this design to allow for the cathedral ceiling, which maximizes interior space.

Once the ridge beam was in place, infilling the roof joists went quickly, giving the full shape of the Tiny House roof line. Since the house is designed to be mobile and on the road, there were a few additional items that had to be added to the roof to ensure it can stand up to the rigours of transportation and conditions on the road. You will see in the photos all the metal hangers and ties, which help hold everything together, nice and tightly, whether in motion or in one place standing up to wind and weather.

Sheeting the roof between snow storms was an exciting moment, as it not only gave the full sense of the height and width of the Tiny House, it brought some much-enjoyed shelter from the storms.

And Then There Were Walls… and a Floor

Things have been a little bit quiet here on Howling Dog Construction website over the last few weeks, as Matt has been focused on building the Tiny House and getting as much done as possible in between the blizzards, storms, and freezing rain that have frequented Nova Scotia this winter.

Despite the unpredictable weather, the Tiny House is really taking shape! Once the spray foam was finished, the subfloor screwed to the frame of the trailer. Once the floor was laid, it was time to stand the walls. But first, they had to be dug out from two feet of snow!

Standing the walls was an exciting moment, as it really gave a sense to the shape and size of the Tiny House. And it was a bit of a relief that everything fit together so well, given that each wall had been pre-built.

Then came the sheeting of the walls, which enclosed the Tiny House and brought further stability to the frame of the house.

Next up: putting in the ridge beam and framing the roof, with pictures coming soon.

And the Building Has Begun!

It’s been a busy week here at Howling Dog Construction, with construction starting on the Tiny Home.

Despite the cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, we were able to successfully spray foam insulate the trailer frame, which will become the floor for the Tiny Home. In order to meet the conditions required for spray foam installation, a temporary structure had to be built around the trailer to keep the weather out, and the heat in (there was a lot of ice on the trailer to melt!).

Matt also got started on the walls, starting construction outside with the long walls, and then moving into the garage due to weather to complete the end and dormer walls. Here are some pictures from this week’s progress:

Up next this week: laying the plywood for the floor and attaching it to the trailer, followed by the standing of the walls! It will be an exciting week of transformations and development, all in our driveway.

Stay tuned for regular updates and pictures as the construction progresses. And if you are interested in learning more about the process of downsizing to a Tiny Home (or the adventures in ‘right-sizing’ as they describe it), please visit the blog kept by the soon-to-be Tiny Home owners.

Tiny Home Building

While I enjoy all sorts of renovation and construction challenges, over the last six months, I have been working on an exciting new project to design and build a Tiny Home for a great couple who are on a quest to downsize, simplify, and live in a more environmentally-sensitive way. This has been a great learning experience, that has stretched my learning and design skills to a new level, and challenged the way I look at houses, housing solutions, and space usage.

We are now moving into the construction phase, which I hope to start by the middle of January, pending the completion of a custom-made trailer that is currently being manufactured by Kerr Trailers in Quebec. Given the size of this Tiny Home (175 square feet, 25 feet long by 7 1/2 feet wide), I’m going to be building it in my driveway here in Coxheath. For more information, check out my Tiny House Project page, where I lay out more details and share some photos.

Stay tuned for pictures and videos as the project continues.