Progress as of 6/17

Since putting on our roof in our last blog post, we have done different projects here and there around the house! We have built the support structures for the cabinets and appliances surrounding the kitchen area on both sides of the house. We have been running the electrical wiring throughout the house as well as landing the circuits in the panel (a bunch of boring stuff). The more fun projects we have been working on is our bottom floor bedroom. We stained the beams above the bed with a mixture we made from two colors: Minwax Provincial brown and Classic Grey. The frame of the bed has been placed but not entirely secured yet. We are building the bed frame to have a lot of storage in it for clothes and other things! And last but not least, the floor for my Netflix/study/work loft is up! I am super excited about that!

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Blog Post for Dream Big Live Tiny

Since school has been out for over a month, Sten and I have been busy in the tiny with a bunch of different projects going on at a once which I’ll include some in the next blog post. This company called Dream Big Live Tiny Co. reached out to me and asked me to write up a blog post for their website which I’ll include below! Be on the lookout for an interview of Stennes and I on their upcoming newsletter!

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5 Easy Ways to Declutter and Downsize to a Tiny House

Living in a tiny house you really have no choice but to take into consideration every object you own, as well as where it will be stored. Although we haven’t moved into our Minimalist Mansion just yet, we have been preparing for the big (or tiny) transition from living in a 2,600 sq ft home to 224 sq ft tiny home. Although it is sometimes tedious and requires a lot of planning, it’s a great idea to design your tiny knowing where every object you own will be stored. Decluttering and downsizing our possessions has been easier for us than expected; especially when we started to realize how tied down and overwhelmed our “stuff” makes us feel.

These 5 tips we have included to help you declutter your environment can be used when downsizing to a tiny house as well as decluttering a traditional size home!

1. “HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOUSE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW TO BE USEFUL OR BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL”

This short but powerful quote by William Morris is one that I recite in my head every time I organize and sort through my belongings. There are many different ways to see if objects are actually beneficial and useful to your life or just sitting there wasting space.

One of my favorite ways to determine if something is useful in my daily life is to store it away for a week or two in a place that is out of sight. If I don’t use it or think about it during that time frame, I will definitely consider donating or selling it. If the object serves no purpose and does not elicit a deep emotion when I think about it, then I don’t consider it “to be beautiful”.

2. ELIMINATE MULTIPLES

This tip is pretty straightforward but it is one that will make a big difference while trying to downsize. If you have more than one item that serves the same or almost the same purpose as another, you should consider getting rid of the extras.

A great place to start eliminating multiples is in your kitchen. If you drink coffee before work on the weekdays and do the dishes at least once a week, you really only need 5 different coffee mugs at the most.

Start with objects that are easy to part with that don’t have much sentimental value to you. Once you are accustomed to eliminating the things you aren’t particularly attached to, it will be easier for you to make rational decisions when you sort through the more sentimental objects later on.

3. CONSIDER YOUR WANTS VS. NEEDS

By learning how to differentiate your wants and your needs, it will be easier for you to distinguish the things you need to live a comfortable life and the things you want that do not serve a purpose besides temporary gratification.

I’m sure you have said to yourself while shopping, “do I really need this?”. This question can be used while you are starting the process of downsizing and de-cluttering. “Do I really need this old stack of magazines?” “Do I really need that bigger and better flat-screen TV when my slightly smaller one works just as well?” By asking yourself this question, you will realize that your house is becoming less cluttered and you will also be saving money from saying “no” to things you realize you are buying just because it gives you temporary happiness.

4. START A CAPSULE WARDROBE

From my own research, I have found that a capsule wardrobe can be defined as owning around 30-40 basic items of clothing that are versatile and can be easily mixed and matched with one another. If you are worried about getting bored with the same outfits, you can take away and add new pieces once every few months to keep your wardrobe new and exciting!

I have found that in doing this, you will be saving space as well as saving money. There are many different types of capsule wardrobes to try so I recommend researching for yourself and finding a system that works for you!

5. MAXIMIZE YOUR SPACE

Tiny dwellers are pretty clever at maximizing their space and knowing how to utilize every inch of their tiny home. If you can figure out where you will store everything you own in a tiny house before you start the build, it will be much easier to plan ahead for how to maximize space.
The key to building a tiny house is building with intention. For example, I have seen storage space in the floor of the loft to hold shoes or extra clothing. In our kitchen, we are building a 3’x2’ seat on wheels that doubles as a comfortable place to sit for guests and can also be moved to the kitchen table for extra seating, all while having storage in the seat.
We are also building our bed frame with drawers underneath for clothes storage. By incorporating clever storage solutions and multi-functional furniture, your tiny home will feel more organized and less cluttered.

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Living a simple life has been one of our goals since the beginning. We found that downsizing our possessions has been a way for us to experience real freedom from being tied down and overwhelmed by the things we own. We hope these 5 tips will bring you a more clutter-free tiny home as well as the feelings of focus, peace, and purpose.

Raising the Roof

After our shower and window ordeal, we finally got our undamaged shower in!


Here is a picture of the inside of the tiny with most of the windows shown on the front end of the house.

And here is a picture of our pretty white trim!


Our most recent project on the house is our roof. It was one of the best quality materials we could get our hands on and we’re pretty excited for it! It is a standing seam roof and it’s the only roof that doesn’t leave any exposed fasteners which prevents leakage. It is galvalum which is half galvanized steel and half aluminum.

Until next time

kendi & sten

Some more progress

So far, this is what our inside looks like. After waiting weeks for our shower to arrive, it finally came in DAMAGED. So was 2 out of the 5 windows. Our door luckily arrived in one piece and we couldn’t wait to put it in. We also went ahead and installed the working windows (two loft windows and the bedroom window).

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FullSizeRender 18.jpgHere, we are test fitting our plumbing! It was difficult trying to find a way to work around the trailer beams.

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Just using a few fly swatters to visualize our light fixtures haha.

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And here is how our flashing is done!

Until next time (when hopefully all our windows are installed),

Kendi & Stennes

Tiny House Festival 2017

We bought our tickets and headed over to Eatonton, Georgia for their second annual Tiny House Festival at Ooh La La Lavender Farm! It was SO much fun and we got so many ideas and inspiration for our own tiny. We met and talked with amazing home owners and builders who all share the same ideas and aspirations we have for tiny living. There were bus and van conversions as well as the traditional tiny house on wheels. We recognized people we follow from Instagram as well as people we’ve seen on TV. It was so exciting and everyone was having a great time. We definitely will be going back for years to come!

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We can’t forget about the lavender ice cream!! It was nothing like I’ve tasted before but so good!!

Until our next adventure,

Kendi & Stennes

We are vertical!

It seems like Sten is building faster than I can blog! Not complaining though, seeing such fast progress on our tiny is so exciting. Stennes has been working on the land every chance he gets and I’m along side him on the weekends for a helping hand and moral support. We have recently started building up and I’m loving everything about it!

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Here, the high wall is formed long with windows. From here, the rafters will go up quickly.FullSizeRender 9.jpg
Details on how we framed the loft windows on each end.

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Put the rafters up! Our inspection with the building inspector went perfect. Next step is plywood sheathing.

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Here are the details on the crows feet for the rafters.

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Plywood sheathing done and done! We exceeded the requirements for  traditionally wood framed house per the AWC wood construction manual.

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The excitement when it finally starts looking like a house!

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This is where we currently are at. The plywood sheathing on the back and roof wrap on top.

IMG_5246.JPGThe whole family stops by occasionally to see our progress and help out.

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This is how the edge sub plate is positioned to let the plywood sheathing come flush to the trailer frame.

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xoxo Kendi

Down goes the floor

It was time to pick up our subfloor and insulation!

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Before anything else, we put Thompson Water Seal on the subfloor so that it will be mold and moisture resistant. Once we finish framing, we will also seal all the walls.                    FullSizeRender-2-1.jpg

Here is our 28 gauge hot galvanized steel! This will go under the trailer as flashing to protect the insulation, plumbing, and electric. We will wait to put it on until the utilities are roughed in.FullSizeRender-10.jpg

Here, we are using a transit to level all four corners of the frame to 1/8th of an inch. This is one of the most accurate ways to level!

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Once we got all our 3/4 t-g plywood down, we put in self-tapping, self-countersinking screws every 6″ around the edge, and every 8″ across the members. Best screws ever made!!FullSizeRender-4.jpg

The whole trailer is water sealed and ready to go! That means next WE GO VERTICAL!

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Until next time,

Kendi & Stennes

Let’s get to welding!

After talking with the building inspector, 5/8″ bolts (rather than 1/2″ bolts) are required for our 90 mph wind zone. If you put them in yourself, buy the 10″ anchor bolts for concrete and just cut them to length. They come with the square washer and nut, and are about $2 a piece rather than $6-8 for a regular 5/8″ bolt. We welded the bolts every 32″ around the trailer frame. They come up at 3 1/2″ to go through the 3/4 plywood and 2×4 floor plate.

We decided to put 2×4 3/16 tubing over the fender wells. This is to support the wall better than wood framing could do over the long 8.5 ft. span that 3 axles takes up. It should be sturdy!

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I also got a crash course on how to weld. It’s definitely not the easiest…

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Until next time!!

Kendi

It’s really happening!

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After about a month of waiting, we finally got the go ahead to pick up the trailer base for our house! We talked with many different trailer companies and decided to go with a manufacturer in Rockmart, Georgia. He worked very well with us to customize the trailer how we wanted it. We went with:

•96″x28′ trailer

•3, 7k lb. axles

•Cross members flush on the top

•Metal flashing by itself for later installation.

We wanted to go with a third axle for more weight grading. We also went with flush cross members so we can lay our subfloor on top of the trailer which allows for more support on the floor. We are waiting to install the metal flashing until we are done running the electrical and plumbing.

Why are you building it on wheels?

A tiny house on wheels doesn’t fall under the building code. One reason for building it on wheels is that most places you can’t build foundation houses less than 1,000 sq/ft. The other reason we went with building a house on wheels is mobility. We have the option of transporting our home if we want to.

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Our vision

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We want to go with a shed style roof to give us maximum living area, especially in the lofts.

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As for the interior, it will consist of white shiplap, large windows,  subway tiles, grey/brown hardwood floors and an open as possible concept with some unique features like a sliding barn door.

Until next time,

Kendi & Stennes

Why are you going tiny?

After talking to different companies and businesses, Stennes and I noticed that some people have never seen or heard of a tiny house before. We describe it to them as an actual house with all the normal amenities, but it’s just extremely downsized and on wheels.

Reasons for us to go tiny

  • Life Simplification: Today, bigger is better, more is better in this consumer driven world. Why does “stuff” consume so much of our time, energy, money, and passions? By downsizing our possessions, we hope to experience real freedom from being tied down and overwhelmed by “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about having a lot of stuff! But when that stuff holds you back from personal growth and improvement, you might be putting too much of yourself into physical things. There’s many different ways of simplifying your life besides living tiny, but Sten and I decided that this is how we want to achieve life simplification!
  • Environmental Consciousness: Tiny houses can in-fact help the environment! On average, a normal sized home emits 28,000 pounds of CO2 per year while a tiny home emits an average of 2,000 pounds. Per year, tiny houses can save 26,000 pounds of CO2 from going into the atmosphere.
  • Owning: We have always wanted to build our own house a few years down the road, but right now that is not feasible for us. Instead, we can put our own design and touches into a little place of our own; make it exactly how we want it! Instead of spending the same amount of money in renting an apartment for a few years, we figured it would more affordable to build.
  • More Adventures and Experiences: Because we will be saving a lot of money by not paying rent or a monthly mortgage payment, we will have the extra money to do things that we enjoy. If either one of our jobs require us to move, then we don’t have to worry about selling a house or ending a lease because we can pack up and move in a day. Not to mention, I’m very excited to own a few chickens and start a vegetable garden, both of which are not very feasible while living in an apartment 😉
Until next time,
Kendi