A year of progress

It was a year ago this weekend that our tiny house adventure officially began with the arrival of our trailer. We had hoped to be finished and moved in by now, but we have pushed back our estimated move-in date so many times we decided to stop making one.

We’ve been working on the interior walls off and on since the beginning of January. We finished putting up the 1/4 inch tongue-and-groove pine board wall material and began priming it today. As I mentioned in this post, we had to finish filling the space in the walls with loose fiberglass insulation and we ended up using 5 bales worth. Thus the tedious 4 month project!

As the walls went up and I saw how cozy and pretty it was inside, I began to question our previous decision to paint the walls white. We didn’t want the cabin-feel that wood walls with knot holes tends to create, so in the end, we decided that we’d better stick to our original decision, and began priming this weekend.

Not too many projects left! Here’s to hoping move-in day is before this time next year! 🙂



Raise the Roof

After the 2-3 inches of rain we’ve had in the last few weeks, we are pretty anxious to get the roof on and dried in to keep all the unnecessary water off our floor. This weekend, good friends Luke and Emily visited to help work on the house.

Ridge beam: The plans we purchased called for a micrallam ridge beam, which is an engineered beam that would be long, straight and in one piece. After shopping around at a few lumber yards with no success of finding a beam 6 inches tall, Kyle decided to make his own. Micrallam beams are intended to carry weight, so a 28 foot long beam like we are needing would be built at 10+ inches tall to carry the load of the roof that would normally have to free span that entire length.  Kyle’s best estimate was that the micrallam was called for in the plans because it needed to be straight but wouldn’t carry much weight. So what he ended up doing was used 3 2x6x18 engineered timberstrand studs, which are typically used in tall buildings where long studs are necessary. He cut one of these studs in half and spliced them together to make a 28′ beam that he needed, yielding a straight 28′ 3×6 ridge beam.

Dog-house dormers: We decided make the dog house dormers in our second loft a little bit wider than we initially planned, which in the end created a more spacious loft and will allow easier entrance to the loft via stairs.

Roof: The roofline would have been simple if we would have just stuck with the nice A-frame, 12-12 pitch roof. But of course we had to make it more complicated! This is a great example of one of the many times in tiny house building where you run across something you hadn’t planned out specifically.  Our major goal for the weekend was framing the dormers and setting all the rafters. This started by visualizing what we wanted the roofline to look like, creating a plan of how to get there, and then finding the beginning point – like which piece to put in first. Luke and Kyle spent a good two hours on this process and by lunch time, they had one side framed out. The rest went much quicker with less thinking and more doing. I must say, I am pretty impressed with how it turned out! By the end of the weekend, we have all the rafters in place, loft number 1 fully sheathed, and half of the middle section of the roof sheathed. Almost dry!

This week I am thankful for good friends to share life with – friends who we’ve grown with in the past, live separate lives now, but who are still invested in our lives and care enough to spend a weekend helping us on our house. We love these guys and are thankful we can pick up our relationship from when we last saw one another.

I’m also thankful for front porch swings, chirping birds, coffee, and cool summer mornings. There’s just something about that combination that makes me fall in love with Jesus and his creation. I am most looking forward to when we add our front porch on our tiny house. It might not be until we move it to where we plan to live, but I can picture myself enjoying many mornings with Jesus there (or in front of the big picture window in the great room).

Finally, I’m thankful for creativity. It amazed me this weekend to see Luke and Kyle figure out how to shape the roof line around the dog house dormers. God has gifted them with creative, practical minds that are making a beautiful home. The Creator of the universe has gifted his children with so much creativity – he made us in him image after all. I hope that as we use that creativity to build a house, that it points people towards Jesus.

Until next time,


Lofty Thinking

Wow it’s June already! It’s hard to believe that it’s only been four weeks since we picked up the trailer from Tumbleweed in Colorado Springs. Here’s a few weekly progression pictures.

In the three short weekends since we began, Kyle and crew have gotten the floor insulated, walls built, raised, and mostly sheathed. Here’s some details on the work since the last blog.

Front wall: We used these engineered beams in the front wall in order to provide strength and stability to the wall. This will help prevent racking as the house drives down the road.


Sheathing: We decided to use Zip System for our wall sheathing. This is an engineered particle wood with a built in barrier that keeps out moisture and air, eliminating the need for house wrap. Kyle made a template to use when cutting around the wheel wells. My friend, Emily and I stapled the sheathing to the studs and taped the seams. (There are no pictures to prove it, so you’ll just have to believe me!)

Miscellaneous: Nine bolts are welded to the Tumbleweed trailer frame, and stick up through the walls. Brandon is screwing on the bracket that anchors the house frame to the trailer. I am sealing the cracks between the trailer and the floor and frame to prevent any water from sneaking in to the house. Zac made 9 loft beams by fastening two 2x4s together with a spacer in the middle to make the beam 4×4. Then they framed around them to secure them in place.

Loft Walls: This weekend, Kyle and Zac got busy on the walls of the lofts. We have purchased engineered floor plans from Tumbleweed – the 24′ Cypress model, and modified the floor plan to fit our needs and desires. The plans didn’t include plans for a dormered loft, so Kyle spent quite a bit of time thinking and experimenting on the best roof angle, and how to make it sturdy. After a few hours of brain work, and a few more hours of physical work, we started to see the shape of the front of our house.

That’s it for now folks! Up next is the roof!