Windows were our biggest expensive of the tiny house. And we got the best. Anderson makes amazing windows and Dan designed our home to have a lot of them! Total we have eight large 8ft windows, three small square windows, and two 6 ft windows! And the best part is: they all open up! The rectangular windows of the house open OUT, and the square windows open UP. That means that even in the rain, we can open up the square windows and get airflow in the house!       



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     The way that Dan planned, the windows had to be installed from the inside. This avoided the need to add flashing on the outside of the house, and keep that solid waterproof skin around the outside. It is a little bit different from the way that windows are normally installed, so Dan came over and gave Paul a little tutorial. Caulk all the way around, place the window in the opening, have someone on the outside to make sure the window is centered, and then screw it in. There was a little bit of adjusting that had to be done to even the spaces around the window, but all in all it was a pretty simple job for Paul to do. Thanks to Pete (in the left hand corner) for coming over and helping Paul make sure the windows were centered.   When Paul put the first window into the opening, I noticed the color difference right away. The very WHITE coating did not match the white of the windows. I was pretty sad because I had spent the past week painting this beast and it didn't match! I know that it isn't that big of a deal. All the time people have windows and paint that isn't quite perfect, but it mattered to me. We had invested a lot of time into this paint, and a lot of money into the windows and I wanted it to look sharp!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Because we were using a unique waterproof paint product, I wasn't sure it would be possible to tint the paint, so I called Dan. He said that there were two types of tints: inorganic, and organic. He said that it was fine to tint the paint but that it had to be done with an inorganic tint. Or maybe it was organic tint. I don't actually remember which one it was at the moment, but I knew what it was at the time. LOL! So....I went on the hunt for a matching tint. I have never been a loyal paint customer even though I painted a LOT at our old house. I painted everything, so I spent a lot of time at different paint stores, and just shopped wherever had the best sales. I ran to a chain hardware store that I frequented and asked about the inorganic vs. organic tint options they had. They didn't even know what I was talking about, and told me I could come back another day when the manager was there to see if they could answer the question. I had the window with me and used their swatches to get the closest match to the window color and purchased a small sample. I brought it back and painted near the window and it was TERRIBLE. I was pretty sad that I had matched the window up as best as possible with all the swatches and the color was SO YELLOW!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I decided that the color difference we had was way better than adding and tint and getting the totally wrong color. But THEN I remember a friend talking to me about Sherwin Williams. Our friends had been redoing a commercial building and used a very special hard plastic on the outside of the building. They needed to paint it black and Sherwin Williams had used special tint to get it black because true black tint will warp plastic in the sun. They had to use non black tints to get to a black color. Dude. Sherwin Williams is smart.!! But I had never been there before. I always thought it was the "expensive paint store" and I was always working on unimportant projects that didn't warrant spending extra money on.  I decided that I should give them a try before I gave up and see if they knew how to help me. I took the window in, explained my problem, and they immediately made it clear to me they knew what they were talking about. They didn't use their swatches to match up the paint. He saw my matching 'sample' and the window and said, "Oh that will look way too yelllow, this window is more in the grey family." They took the window and 1 gallon of our special paint and I came back that afternoon to try it out.      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     The paint matched the window perfectly in the store, but once I got the paint onto the side of the tiny house the color looked a little bit dark. It was better than before, but I was nervous the house would look light grey instead of white. I called Sherwin Williams and asked them what they thought. He helped me realize that even though the paint matched the window, the matte texture of the house would look a bit differently than the shiny window. He talked me through ratios of how to lighten the paint. I was able to do a few trials with a small amount of paint to get the perfect ratio. We had to mix the 1 gallon of paint he had tinted with 4 gallons of un-tinted paint for the perfect color. I took all my paint back to Sherwin Williams and had him mix it all together for me. And they charged me the cost of the tint, which was around $10!!!!! $10 for all the time and energy to match up the colors and talk me through the different ratios.   I might have only paid them $10, but they gained a life-long Sherwin Williams customer! They know everything about paint and their paint is really high quality. Also, I wasn't quite right about them being the "expensive paint store." Their paint is a little more expensive than a regular hardware store, but they often have 30% off sale AND their paint quality is much higher than lots of paint on the market. And my information is stored on their computers, so I can get matching paint colors at Oregon Sherwin Williams if I ever need touch ups done on the house!   If you have not used them before, you are missing out on not only a great expeirice, but a wonderful product as well!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     I spent a lot of time and had some friends come by and make sure they thought the colors matched! I can't believe how perfectly  we were able to get it. We looked at it from all the angles and directions before we decided it was perfect. I can't believe we were able to get it! So thankful for Sherwin Williams and the HUGE help they were!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     We also had to paint the top of the tiny house. We opted for a light grey rooftop deck color. This will help with hiding dirt from our feet, but also with reflection of the sun. I decided I was going to paint it while Paul was at work. I didn't want to be by myself on top of a 13 foot house with no railing. If I fell, I would be dead for a long time before someone found me. So I called my sister out to sit with me while I painted the top.  My sister drove all the way out the airplane hanger, got her homework all ready to work on. I poured the paint and got all prepped. The ladder reached up to about 12 feet, which meant I had to get onto the top step and move myself up onto the roof. I climbed up the ladder and looked down at her and said, "Nope. This is not happening. Paul is just going to have to do this." Sorry Joanna to make you come over here for nothing! Paul, who is much braver than I am, painted that evening while I spilled about 1/2 gallon of paint all over the floor and myself. Lovely right?       



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     When we painted with sand, the little sand particles flew all over the places and speckled the floor. My mom taught me to  to leave a place better than when you arrived, so that is what I tried to do. It took me a whole day to clean the floor of the hanger up from all the paint spots and spills. It was super tiring, but I enjoyed a good audiobook while I cleaned. We finally got everything finished and Paul towed the tiny house over to our main building spot outside! We still don't have a door, but everything else was dried in and ready for the cold winter/spring weather Indiana is known for! 

Windows + Paint

 

      I have said it before and I will say it again, our  contractor , is amazing! His passion is new designs, and that makes it so that he is always coming up with new things that most people wouldn't think was possible. Our house is a wood frame, but because of the Bondo it how has no seams at all. Now that the Bondo is finished, we will be using a paint/coating and mesh to create a thin waterproof layer over the whole house. The whole coating will only be 1/16th of an inch.   This is super exciting. But also super scary. We don't know if anyone (in the whole world) has ever tried something like this before. I'm not trying to say we are leaders in design or anything here. I'm just saying that we don't have any frame of reference as to how this will work. This is where trust is huge. We know that everything Dan does is done well. He researches and tries new things all the time. We feel assured that what he recommends will be the best, so we are going for it!   We are using a special paint called RoofTechnology Acrylic! Here is a diagram from their website of how it works!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
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     So basically here is how it looks for our house   Paint a layer of red paint  Layer of mesh fabric  Paint 2nd layer of red paint  Let it dry  Paint layer of white paint  Let it dry  Paint 2nd layer of white paint      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The first two layers with the mesh were the most important. That is the portion of the waterproof coating that actually needs to be done perfectly. Dan had his crew do this part and then allowed us to add the two layers of white paint at the end.   Please notice in the photos how they would throw the mesh layer down, and then have someone smooth out all the bubbles before the second coat of red paint went on.   In order to be waterproof, the mesh needed to cover every single surface, which meant that they layers had to overlap  CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO SCROLL TO SEE THEM!!     




 
   
    
      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  
  
      Even though the mesh was extremely thin, the layers built up a little where the seams could be seen. Part of the design look was that the whole house was one solid piece with no seams. We wanted to be able to hide those seems as MUCH as possible. Dan showed us a few ways to do this with the paint. Basically we wanted to build up the paint on either side of the seam so that it would eventually be even.   The tiny house needed two layers of white paint. TWO. That should have taken us about 2 hours total time. BUT those seams killed us. I would paint around the seams, then wait till it dried, paint around the seams again. This may not seem hard, but the tiny house is 13 feet tall and I had to go up and down a ladder with each seam. A ladder that reaches 13 feet is pretty heavy. It just took a really long time.   I worked for days and finally got the layers built up enough to add our final coat! So thankful and exhausted. All of this work was happen in our friend's airplane hanger. Finishing the final layer I opened up the huge garage door to get some fresh air. That natural light from outside hit the tiny house and those layers were just as visible as the first day. I almost cried! It looked like I had done nothing to cover them up.     

  

  	

			 

  			 

  				 
               
  					 

  					 
             

  				 

  			 

        
         
           

            

            
               This is what the seems looked like after one coat.    
            

            

           
         
        

  		 

  	

  


    

  

  	

			 

  			 

  				 
               
  					 

  					 
             

  				 

  			 

        
         
           

            

            
               This is what it looked like after days of layers! Finally finished and ready for the final coat!   
            

            

           
         
        

  		 

  	

  


    

  

  	

			 

  			 

  				 
               
  					 

  					 
             

  				 

  			 

        
         
           

            

            
               This is how it looked with natural light. So sad after all of that work to see how little of a difference it made.    
            

            

           
         
        

  		 

  	

  


    
  
 

    

   
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       We called Dan and he came by and helped us troubleshoot the issue. It was simple. We added playground sand to the mixture and painted it on. We used a 12x12 square of foam insulation to break up the sand lines and give the house an overall stucco look. I of course couldn't wait any longer to see if it would work, so I used a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. Ha! It was amazing how simple the solution was and how much we liked the rough look the sand gave to the exterior!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     After way too many coats of paint, we now are ready for the final coat of paint! Ahh can't wait! 

Waterproof Coating

 

      Bondo. I had never heard of it before, and now It covers my whole house.   So I now understand the process we are doing on the outside of the house a lot better now. We are using a special waterproof paint that will be covering the whole house. The whole waterproof coating later will be about 1/16th of an inch. When the house was framed there are seams where the wood meets all over the space. Because the coating is so thin, all of those seams have to be covered and smoothed. HOW?     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     BONDO!!! It is auto body filler. It is an epoxy and dries really quickly once you mix it up. You normally have about a minute to work it into about a 6 inch space before the product dries. Well that might be simple when you are patching a spot on your car, but our house is 8 feet wide, 13 feet tall, and 28 feet long. That is a lot of area. The plan was to use for Dan's crew to spend 2 days patching up the whole house. It took them all week. They worked late into the night as well. They patched, sanded and smoothed the whole thing.   Think about the small amount of Bondo you can mix up at one time. Now imagine how long it took them to use up 9 gallons of the stuff! YEP! 9 gallons! We are so thankful that we were able to move the tiny house into our friend's indoor space for a few weeks while they worked on this process! It was such a blessing to be in a dry and temperature controlled area.   Now the house is perfectly smooth and ready to be waterproofed. 

Bondo, Baby

 

      We really trust Dan. He is honest, talented with design, and easy to work with. He knows our budget and knows what things cost. He has agreed to let us do some of the work on the tiny house, but there are a few things he has wanted us to hire out. And when he recommends something, we have tried to trust his judgement on it. That is why you should always work with someone you trust and you know to be honest. It makes those decisions easy! One of the thing we could tell he wanted his crew to do was the frame. We are thankful that we spent the money and hired a crew. It would have taken Paul&Friends LLC a LOT longer to get this done. We were able to quickly get the body up and move onto the next stage. And we have no doubt it was done well. They came and knocked it out in 3 days. Well, technically it was 2 full days and 2 half days. As we told you, Indiana weather sort of got in the way.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Getting the trailer was a big step for us. The framing was another big step. I was nervous that once the framing was up, I would walk into the space and feel overwhelmed by how small it was. I'm glad we remembered to grab a quick picture together that morning on the trailer that would become our home!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The crew was amazing and the quality of work is wonderful. All the measurement had to be perfect. A quarter inch off in a tiny house make a big difference! We are installing the windows from the inside instead of the outside, so that portion of the framing was a bit different than normal.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I took a not so amazing time lapse of the framing. It didn't go very well because the battery kept dying whenever something exciting happened. But it was a lot of work, so I thought I should allow you all to see the pathetic video that came of it. :)         </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Our next step will be the outside coating. I don't quite understand what we are doing here. I know three things about it:  1. There will be NO SEAMS on the whole house. How the heck we will do this I do not know.   2. The paint a a special waterproof paint. It has to come in on a truck from Connecticut. It can't freeze so they have to ship it when the weather will be nice for 7 straight days. . .and we have already discussed the weather issues here.  3. It will be white. This is the most important thing, of course. 

Framing

 

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We told we you had a hard time finding a location to actually build the tiny house. We finally were able to find a business in town that had a big gated parking lot. It is close to our house and safe to leave the tiny house overnight with tools inside. The downside is that we have to work outside in bad weather, we only have one electrical cord right now, and the weather. Oh ya I forgot something else that sucks: the weather.  We also have to be creative with how we store our materieals. We have just had to find random spots to store the wood and cover things we tarps. And check out our super classy office for some of our design meetings. HA! I mean, you can't get much fancier than this!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The first thing that needed to happen was to lay subfloor. We met with Dan, and he showed Paul how to play the floor. To save money we have been doing some of the supply runs and building. Anytime it is possible, we have been helping out with the work. And by we, I mean Paul. I help with painting, design questions, and make calls on products we are using. The whole building thing is not something I am so good at. I am determined to be a part of it and not kill myself with a power tool by the time this project is finished. Paul had to pick up 20 sheets of  Drymax   which way more than his little truck could handle. He and a friend got the sheets in two runs. They really should have done it in 4 trips because look at this truck, but Paul doesn't like to waste time. He also likes put his piece of crap truck to the test any chance he gets.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The week was not too cold, but then the day to lay subfloor came and it was freezing. I know it wasn't technically snowing, but it was worst. It was snow flurries: which means it is cold enough for snow, it feels like snow blowing all around you, but the snow didn't stick. Snow that sticks is beautiful and Sage love the snow, so when it doesn't stick it is the WORST!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Thankfully Paul had friends come and help with the subfloor. They cut the pieces to size, drilled holes all along the trailer and glued on the floor.      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     And here it is. The subfloor is laid, and the framers are coming next week to put up the walls. It keep feeling like it is taking forever and going way too fast all at the same time. Such a weird feeling to actually be building on of these. I'm worried about getting into the framed house and feeling like it is just way too small. The open trailer doesn't give me a any idea of the space. 

Sub Floor

 

       There are plenty of tiny house companies that sell great trailers.  There are two main types of trailers that we have come across:  1.  DECK OVER:  This is where the wheels are under the trailer deck. This is much simpler to build with because you do not deal with wheel wells while building. BUT it makes the trailer sit higher than the a Standard trailer which means that you loose height on the inside.   2.  STANDARD : I don't actually know what this style is called so I just decided to call it "Standard" because this is my blog so I make the rules.  It just means that wheel wells sit above the deck. It gives you more height to work with, but that big well sticks up into the build of the house.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The way our designs worked, the wheel well was in the way of the front door opening on the trailers options we were finding.  We researched if any companies could redesign the placement of the wheel well, but Dan,  our contractor , found something even better.  He was able to find a local company to design a custom trailer for us. It not had a better placement of the wheel wells, and was heavier than most trailers we had seen being online. Overall weight is an issue to watch out for, but Dan ran all the numbers on our tiny house and it was going to be fairly heavy. Because we had chosen to do a rooftop deck, it added quite a bit of weight in the design. It was nice to find a local builder.  Not only did we get a heftier trailer built for less than we were finding them online, but we didn't have to pay for the shipping fees!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     One thing to caution THOW builders. When budgeting for your trailer remember to factor in the cost of the tax and registration. We totally forgot about paying those fees like you would on your car. So it was a $700 fee we were not expecting to pay.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Dan and Paul had to jump up there to test out the strength of the trailer during one of our design meetings. 

Trailer

      When it came to the design of the house we went to Dan,  our contractor , with only a couple of "Must Haves."   1. Windows- As a natural light photographer I am obsessed with natural light and I have always dreams of lots of windows in any home I live in.  2. Stairs (so Sage could reach the loft. She is sort of the one who runs the house over here)  3. Couch- We had seen some with just reading nooks and we knew we wanted a space to sit down and relax.   4. Full Kitchen- I love to cook and wanted a real stove and refrigerator.   5. Loft Height: I have seen a few lofts that you can barely wiggle into. We wanted enough space to sit up in bed.   If Possible: Washer/Dryer and Rooftop deck. (We were not sure with size or budget)  We didn't really want to give him too many stipulations because we were so impressed with all of his other work. He came back to us with two design choices on house designs. We quickly asked, "Which would you choose if this was your house?" This has been a common question from us throughout this process. And whenever possible, we stick with his recommendation.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We wanted to use the most height we had available, so he decided on a flat roof. This also gives us the option of a rooftop deck. We love all the windows he included. It is probably our favorite part so far. The outside is a white stucco style feel and then we will plan to add on wood slats on parts of the house.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     If you walk in the front door you will see the couch straight across from the front door. Right next to the front door (Across from the couch will be the desk and shoe shelf. To the right will be a hallway that leads to the bathroom, closet, Washer/Dryer unit, and stairs to the loft. The height under the loft will be roughly 6'9". This will be the area of the house that I believe will feel the tightest. The ceiling are lower than the rest of the house, the shower, toilet, and sink are all in a small room. BUT we are living in a freaking tiny house on wheels. . .we are not expecting a walk-in closet! We don't spend a whole lot of time in the bathroom or getting ready, so we don't mind it feeling small. I am a little concerned about my "getting ready" area. I don't really know where there is going to be room for my makeup bag. I don't have a lot of stuff, but I do like to have somewhere to work. Those decisions will come later though!   To the left of the  front door will be the kitchen. We originally were going to use that space as a second loft, but instead decided to keep it open. We will have some open shelves and large cabinets above the fridge for storage. I'm excited about the pull out table that we are going to have that will include some storage as well.  I honestly feel like when I look at the design it is giong to be huge. I know that isn't the case though! LOL! I feel really good about the stroage situaion right now. Ask me in a few months when I am trying to put everything away and I may feel a little differently. :)       

Interested in a basic layout of our plans? Check them out. I'm excited to show you how they came to life! 

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Photo: Buslandia.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Our friends bought a bus. Have you heard of these people? They convert old buses to homes and drive around the country. Check them out over at  Buslandia.    And we actually thought about it doing it too. We knew we wanted to move to Portland, but the cost of living is crazy high. We knew our friends were going to build a bus out for under $30,000 and thought it might be a great option for us as well. I had always loved the idea of a tiny house, but was under the impression that they all were $90,000 or more to build. The problem for us with a bus was that it was just another engine to deal with. We already use more vehicles than we want to, so adding another one to the collection seemed like a bad idea. I just didn't think that a tiny house was in our budget. But then I did a little research.   I came across this really beautiful Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) over at  tinyhousebuild.com  and they had plans to build it for $33,000. This was the first time we realized that building an awesome THOW was something you could do with a reasonable amount of money.  Because of some important design features we wanted we decided to work with a contractor, BUT this resource is pretty amazing if you are interested in building a tiny home on your own. I highly recommend checking them out.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Photo from: Tinyhousebuild.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Before you commit to building a tiny house, there is a lot of research that you need to do.   1.    BUDGET:  What will it actually cost to build this house. If you do not buy plans from someone who has built a similar tiny house, then you need to sit out down and run the numbers multiple times. For us, we knew we could not do this without someone who had more experience in the building world. So we hired a contractor.   2.  MORTGAGE:   Where do you plan to get the financing for this home. Unless you are independently wealthy (I mean who isn't these days :), then you need to find your richest friend to give you a private loan. I am kidding, but only a little bit. The only two options I was offered by a bank were: Refinancing my house or a Personal Loan. My bank was offering a Personal Loan with 14% interest. Ummmm....no thanks! We were able to find someone who loaned us a portion of the money with a lot lower interest rate. Like I said before, find your richest friend. :)   3.  LEGAL LIMITS:  Building a THOW means that you can drive it down the road. But you can't just take anything on the road. Research what is allowed! We have found that a pretty standard number for legal road limits is 13'5" feet Tall and 8'5" Wide. We called the BMV and researched for days. You also need to consider overall weight and length of the trailer. This determines what vehicle you have to use to tow it.  I found out to hire a driver to haul it from Indiana to Oregon would  cost us at least $6,000. That is not in our budget. So make sure all the numbers add up.  Tiny House Design  has a GREAT post about this. I found it helpful to read through even the comments for different thoughts.   4.  WHERE TO BUILD:  We are building in the Midwest. We are surrounded by RV companies and farms with tractors. So we thought it would be simple to find a place to build indoors. WE WERE WRONG! We had so many people tell us we could use their space to build it in, but the garage  doors were just not tall enough. If you think about it, you need a garage door that a semi can pull into. 14 FEET TALL! And IF someone has a space with a garage door that large, I promise you it is full with their farm equipment or RV storage. We were only able to find an outdoor gated space to use. They are running an extension cord out for out, and because it is locked we are able to leave things safely day to day. (We were able to use a friend's indoor location for about 3 weeks while we waterproofed the outside because it had to be dry for a few weeks. But this was not for the majority of the build, only for the outside finish and windows.)  5.  ZONING:  What is allowed? Every city has different rules. We knew we would be in Portland, OR so we called city commissioners. We called a few tiny house building companies in Oregon and asked their advice. We called the city commissioner in our Indiana town to make sure we could bring it back to Indiana if we ever wanted to. We got different answers from every single person. Some of the best advice we got was "Don't make your neighbors mad." Tiny Houses are a grey area almost everywhere. Rules have not been written for them and so no one knows what to do with them. Choosing a city like Portland, who like the idea of tiny houses, make it much easier, but if you find a place to park, then don't cause problems there. Also make sure you connect with the owner to make sure you have all the hookups you may need for the tiny house.    Mini Motives  and  The Tiny House  gives some great advice about how to search for places to park.  6.  RV REGISTRATION?   Again, we have seen a lot of conflicting advice on this topic. Half the places tell you to register as an RV at the BMV and for insurance purposes. But technically they are not RVs, so others tell you not to.   7.  BUILDING CODE:  We recommend making sure that you build it to code as much as possible. When the tiny house regulations do catch up with the times, you want to make sure yours will pass inspections. Take pictures of all the building process. Inside the walls, electrical boxes, so that you have records of everything you have done.   8.  TRAILER:  There are lots of companies that sell tiny house trailers. The thing you need to consider if you are designing your own is the total overall weight. You need to add up all the building materials  you plan to have in your tiny house and make sure you get a trailer that gives you the weight you need to carry. There are also two main styles of trailers. Once with wheel wells sticking up and then the deck-over style. Our contractor found a local company that designed one for us because we needed extra weight and we needed the wheel wells to hit at a certain spot. Make sure you consider all these things before purchasing the trailer. This is the foundation of your home and one of the most expensive purchases. Take your time. One thing we forgot to consider in budgeting: the $700 taxes and registration fees we had to spend at the BMV. All those things add up!   The last thing you need to do is to make sure a THOW still makes sense for your finances and lifestyle. There is an element of risk involved with building a THOW. Because of the grey area in rules and road regulations, you honestly have to make your best guess on the 'right' way to do things sometimes.   We weighed all the information, got as many answers as we could, and realized it made sense for us. So now we have finished designs and the exciting parts begin! Let's get building. 

Interested in going tiny? I go through all those things you need to think through before you take the plunge! 

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Dan has a passion for building smaller homes that he calls "The Nook Haus." They focus on leaving a smaller footprint, being energy efficient, and very well designed. He recently built two amazing homes right down the road from us and is in the process of building a third. I see them EVERY SINGLE time I go on a walk and just dream about living in one of them. So when we asked if he could work with us and he said yes, it sort of sealed the deal for us on the whole tiny house thing. We knew that if he made this home, then it would be incredible and feel much larger than what it actually is.   This is the second home I wanted to feature on the "Why We Chose Dan" tour. This home belongs to my boss and I was able to go to an open house a few years ago and see it. I remember hearing Kyle, the homeowner, talk about how Dan had positioned the windows to give them the most natural light possible. Kyle spoke about how Dan met with them to discuss things that were important to them and then fit the deign of the house around that.  One of my personal favorite touches is the beautiful front door that Dan made for them. I also love their bridge. It feels unique and different, but not at all weird. Every time I drive to my parent's house I pass by a home that was built last year. They have this design in the pitch of the roof that is something I have never seen before. I feel like their designer was trying to do something unique and it just left the house looking awkward. This is something that I love about Dan's homes. I feel as though when you pass by them and notice them. They stick out, but ALWAYS in a good way.   Enjoy the house! And enjoy the pup. 

Blue Cottage

 

      When Paul and I thought about building a tiny house we knew there was only one person we wanted to design it: Dan!  We love Dan and his amazing work at Inglenook Designs. He built my parents' house 10 years ago, and we have been admiring his work ever since. He recently built a few homes right around the corner from our house and we have to pass them all the time, and wish we could live in them! We knew that building a home was way far out in our life plan, and just hoped that one day we could work with him. So when we went to Dan with our idea for a tiny house and he said yes, we knew we HAD to do it!   We wanted to share some images of a few homes that Dan has built so that you can see why we chose to work with him. We have always known that his work as the designer, architect, and builder of such beautiful homes was a unique skill, but after meeting with these past clients we were blown away by his design skills. We know a lot of people that have worked with Dan over the past 10 years, and we have never heard one bad thing said about him. We think a large part of this is that he really cares about making your home fit you! He always asks what a homeowners interests are, and then shapes the home to fill those needs.     



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     Of all the homes I have seen, this home was the best example to me of his gift of vision and design. I think that was partly due to the size of this home. Even at this size, every room, corner, and hallways felt thought out and purposeful. Take a look at this beautiful home and read a bit more about some of the amazing spaces that were created here!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     In speaking with Terry (the homeowner), she talked with me about a few of the themes that they chose to use in the home. Lines, a special metal design, and a feeling of 'floating' walls/pieces. I had heard about the 'floating' drywall from a friend who had been in this home, and could not envisioned it. It sounded so weird because I had never seen anything like it before. But it wasn't weird it at all, it was incredible. It gave a look as though the walls were floating and inset the windows in such a cool way. Also, can you imaging how precise you have to be as a builder to not have to use baseboards to hide drywall edges? You can also see the beautiful pillar in the center of the room that helps divide the space, but also ties in the design from the outside. On top of the pillar you will notice the metal design that you will see throughout the house.   Something else I loved about this space was how large it was, but how small it felt. The dining room felt very cozy with just the one table, but Terry mentioned that when they have their large family in town, they often set up 3-4 more tables to fit everyone. How cool to have a space that feels comfortable for two and also comfortable for 30!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     The kitchen cabinets is where I first saw the 'floating line' theme that tied together with the drywall. I love the look that it gives to this kitchen. The glass counter top just adds another visual feel of something floating.     



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     Can we talk about that plant shelf for a moment? It really breaks up the space and I love all the plants that Terry chose! I definitely need to have some of those long swirly ones in my tiny house!  The cutout of the ceiling above the couch in incredible. It ties in so well with the floating drywall. And it feels like it is it's own piece of art.   The fireplace and the tv hutch were designed to have the floating lines in them as well. Like I said, everything was thought out and purposeful! And I love that piece of artwork that Terry placed in the hallways. She had amazing taste and I wanted all of her artwork!!!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     The railing for the stairs hold that same metal design, yet it feels different and could stand alone. Dan also runs a company that has created these metal rails and I am hoping they show up in the tiny house! These stairs led to my favorite room in the house. Probably because this little lookout had SO MANY WINDOWS! It was so beautiful and peaceful.       



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     The basement felt like a first floor with all the light that came in. I love seeing how cool those doors look inset into the drywall like that? And of course check out all of Terry's beautiful art choices!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Probably my favorite element of the house were the doors. We happened to have a meeting with Dan the day before I went to this house and he was trying to explain these doors to me. Because of how he designed them, he contacted a custom cabinet company to build them. He could not find a cabinet company that would agree to build them for him because they said that doors could not open the way he was envisioning them. So he built a small model of what he wanted and figured out a way! And they were able to make it happen. They are so beautiful and so unique. I love that he is able to take something so standard as a door and put a spin on it! I tried to add in some detail shots of the doors so you could seem them up close.  I love the contrast of the paint and the wood, and of course the metal line diving it. And check out the HUGE sliding doors that tie in the metal elements we saw before! I NEED one of these doors!      



  

  


 
   
    
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
        
           
            
                  
            
           
        

        

        
          
        
      
    
   

  

 





     I have decided that after our tiny house I'm moving into this house! LOL! I loved every aspect of the house AND Terry was so much fun to hang out with! I'm hoping Sage and I can pop over to run around their farm before I leave town so I can hang out with her again! 

Our designer is incredible. I'll share with you WHY we chose to work with him through the tour of my favorite home he built. 

      We have had a lot of people ask us why we want to live in a tiny house. It seems crazy, I know. But it really isn't. Paul grew up in the Philippines, where much of the country is still developing, and many people live in utter poverty. I grew up in the middle of Africa where most of the people I knew lived in mud brick houses with thatched roofs.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              I'm the grumpy one being held. That is my sister Rachel in that cute dress!   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Lots of people lived in small space, cooked outside, and went to bed when it got dark. Life was often difficult, the only possessions were necessary, but joy was great. We have both found in our many travels that money, status, and possessions do not often bring true joy. We have found many of the poorest people we have interacted with to be the most generous, joyful, and kind people. And it proved to us that have more does not always mean having what is important.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Look at those beautiful beams in our little French apartment! I miss those!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     We were married the summer of 2009 and we lived in a small 800 sq. foot apartment that we filled to the brim with crap. Frames and books and furniture and things. It was literally FULL, and not organized at all! I look back and feel so embarrassed by how it looked, and how we lived. After a year and a half of marriage we moved to France for a year to work with a mission organization. We had to leave all of our things behind, and settled into a small 500 sq. foot attic apartment. We never missed all those things. Not once!   One of the my favorite memories in France was ride our bikes for 3 weeks down to the coast of Spain. We woke up before sunrise, packed our bags, road 40-60 miles, got to a campsite, made up some canned beans for dinner, put the tent up, went to sleep. And the next morning we repeated it. It was wonderful and hard and rewarding. And you know how much stuff we needed? Not much! We only had what was on the back of our bikes. Again, we realized we didn't need much to live day to day. We were happy, tired, and fulfilled.  I have always been a person that stays BUSY, and I often feel the stress of overcommitment. My time in France was the first time that I ever felt relaxed as an adult in my memory. I learned to cook while I was there, read lots of books, and made some of my favorite memories of my whole life. Paul and I have traveled to over 20 different countries and that little French village is still my favorite place. I dream of moving back there one day because life was simple and I felt fulfilled and satisfied with what I had.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Our first date we went on when we moved to France. Most of our dates were outside!   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Cooking at the event center we worked at. I loved learning to cook in France!   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Hitting 1,000 km on our bikes!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Then we moved back to America. There is something about this place that makes me want MORE! I have spent so much time around people that have so little, and in those places I find no desire for more than I need . Yet the moment I step back into my home, I start to get this longing desire for more and for better. WHY? Why can't I hold on to those moments of simplicity and satisfaction?   We have been back in America for 5 years and have lived in a very simple 1,100 sq. foot home. Since we knew we didn't want to live in Indiana forever, we bought something small that we knew would be a great rental property for the future. It is SO FAR FROM PERFECT, but it has been a great home for us. I often pray and thank God for the fact that we have a warm home and a fridge full of food when so many people don't. I have beautiful custom pieces of furniture all over my house that Paul has made for me. I have a great backyard and live next door to my sister, who is one of my best friends. Even with all that good stuff, I find myself wanting more all the time.  More space, better grass, more closets, taller ceiling, fresh paint, a new front door, better flooring. . . I could go on and on about the things I "want" when I already have way more than I need.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Yann and Sage in our little house.   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              The extra bedroom was Yann's for the time he lived with us. Look at that awesome table Paul made for him. One of my favorites!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     At this point in our lives it is just the two of us living in this house with Sage, our dog. And somehow all the space is full. The extra bedroom has been used as storage for CRAP. I mean, honestly, that is what it is. I store that pretty rug I found on sale, and the pretty fabric I may use for new curtains one day, and picture frames I have no place to hang.....And why? Why do I do this? I have a space full of things I do not need, and yet find myself wanting more. I am a fairly messy person and things tend to look untidy very quickly. I feel like so much of my time is spent rearranging all that clutter that I don't need. And I am so tired of cleaning. I am so tired of organizing. I am tired of my house looking messy from things that don't bring me much joy.  So we have decided to change. We decided to FORCE ourselves to live with less. To live simply. We decided to build a tiny house on wheels. We want to move out the the West Coast so that we can experience and enjoy the beautiful world out there.  When we started to look at housing, we realized that we were either going to have to work 90 hours a week to afford a home, or live in a tiny apartment that didn't want our dog (and still pay three times what we pay for our mortgage here in Indiana). Building a tiny house gives us the freedom to have it all.   Living simple doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. In our 300 sq foot tiny house we are building an incredible home that will have everything we actually need to live in. We will have a kitchen, couch, and a place to sleep. We will have a bathroom, washer/dryer, and amazing windows that let natural light in. That is so much more than most people have! And we are going into this experience knowing that this will be for a season of our lives. We want to use this experience to challenge ourselves to think differently about the possessions and space. We want to use this time to save money for land and home, build experiences, and have an adventure.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Basic design of our Tiny House!   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     We are excited about leaving a smaller footprint. We are excited about the challenge of living with WAY less than we are used to. We are excited about having NO room to buy more stuff. We are excited about all the time we will get to spend outdoors because of all the extra time we will have.    We really feel that God has given us so much more than we deserve in our lives. We believe that our lives should be about using those gifts to love and help others. We think this tiny house, in our season of life, will give us the ability to do those things with our time, money, and home.   We are so excited to start this next adventure! 

Curious why we decided to go tiny? I'll share why we decided to take this crazy step.