Subfloor

Jeff came down a couple of days and they got the subfloor framed in, insulated, and covered on the main floor (yes our tiny house has a main floor).  I think we used the sheet style insulation in case we want to put under floor storage in at some point.    

Mark is obsessed with Great Stuff so of course every square was edged with it.

The floor in the bathroom area will be insulated after the plumbing is run. 

Of course it’s been super stormy here in OK so this is how the trailer looks a lot of the time 😞


Again… 

Disclaimer: The author of this blog has no construction knowledge whatsoever. She writes what the builder tells her. Being that the builder is the author’s husband, full attention to what is being said may, or may not, be given. Legit construction questions will be answered directly by him. 

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Why…

It’s time to get to the why.  Why in the heck would we want to build and live in a tiny house?  Well, let me take you back to when the idea was conceived…

It was bedtime, early November 2015.  A mother and father were laying in bed, the 3 year old was asleep in her cot at the end of the bed (she had just recently decided she did not want to sleep in her own room) and the baby was in his cosleeper.  The three dogs were probably in the room as well, it was not uncommon for the family to be together in close quarters.

Okay, I’ll get back to first person!  I had quit my job after Mars was born, and Mark was covering the whole state with his job, so I thought this would be the perfect time to get closer to family.  We were three hours away from support that I knew I would need having two young children and a husband who traveled way too much.  Not to mention, Mark was really wanting to get out of his current job, and get back into a classroom.  We started talking about living accommodations.  We had just bought our house in February, had rented for a couple of months before that, and had sold our other house just a year ago.  Moving 4 times (there was a brief month that Mae and I had to live with my parents) in one year was hard on us, I couldn’t imagine how hard it probably was for a little girl.  Mark refused to rent again.  We didn’t know where we really wanted to be (I blame my gypsy blood), and Mark finding another music teaching job would be hard, so buying another house was not an option.  I jokingly said, “you know what we should really do, build a tiny house on wheels so we can just move it wherever.”  Never say something in joke to Mark Monteith, if you say you want it, he will find a way to get it for you.  So the seed was planted, we would put our house on the market by the end of the month, and whenever it sold, we would start this crazy adventure.  So the main reason we started this journey was mobility.

Now, you can’t really talk about living in a tiny house without talking finances, and in our case, the lack there of…  We are down to one income, and that income is commission based, so it may not always be that reliable.  As we talked about how much a tiny house would cost, and the money we would save, we realized all the things we could do.  We could actually DO!  We could pay off all of our debt in a short amount of time, we could start our little homestead, we could actually use the timeshare we bought for way too much (one of the reasons for the debt) and travel.  When I was young, my parents had no money, we never had new cars or name brand clothes, but we went on vacation every year.  My parents wanted to give me experiences, not things, and that’s how Mark and I want to raise our children.  We decided that the Monteith’s want to be a doing family, not a having stuff family.

Along the lines of doing, we want our family to spend time as a family.  Living in a tiny house, we will be forced to live more outdoors.  Living in the country, we may not have access to internet, so no more Netflix binges or hours spent on the iPad.  My husband was raised in the country, and he is not happy unless he is doing something outside.  I am amazed everyday at how much he knows, and what all he can do, because his parents taught him to work, build, and fix all sorts of things.  I love watching him teach our children these life skills.  Maelyn could tell the difference between a phillips head and a flat head at 2 years old!  She wants a pig (thanks a lot Charlotte’s Web) and I want some chickens and mini donkeys!  I can’t wait to see Mae and Mars working on a little farm!

Finally, we want to build and live in this tiny house because we don’t know anyone else who does!  We want to get in on this tiny house movement before it gets mainstream.  Really, we are just weird people!  We love the unconventional, the uncommon, the unorthodox, the weird!  We know that with all the talk, all the ideas, all the pinteresting, that we have to do this or we will regret it.  Now, I’m not saying that we will never have a normal house, because if we find a place that we can see ourselves staying for a while, we would definitely think about putting down some roots.  I want to build all sorts of eccentric housing: a yurt, an earth bag house, and storage container house.  Right now, in this season of our lives, a tiny, mobile, cost effective house on wheels is the perfect dwelling for us!

The build has begun…

Disclaimer: The author of this blog has no construction knowledge whatsoever.  She writes what the builder tells her.  Being that the builder is the author’s husband, full attention to what is being said may, or may not be given.  Legit construction questions will be answered directly by him.

All construction posts will contain the above disclaimer.  There may be jokes that I was an engineering major for a semester in undergrad, but that was chemical, and no mechanical knowledge was absorbed.  That being said, let’s get started on what’s been started!!!!

Around the edge of the trailer, at 16″ intervals, holes were drilled and tapped to use large bolts to attach the frame.  This was done by drilling an initial pilot hole, then a bit just slightly smaller than the tap was drilled, then the hole was manually tapped.  I think in total there are 44 of these holes around the trailer.

Next, flashing was installed on the main deck of the trailer.  The braces under the flashing are probably the cleanest trailer braces of all time! Five rolls of 20 inch flashing was overlapped and attached with caulk adhesive and self tapping screws.

So everyone will know that the braces under the flashing was super duper clean!

A huge thanks is given to our very bestest friends Jeff and Autumn!  They drove over to help us out, and Jeff is willing to make several more trips over to help Mark.  I appreciate it because it kind of lights a fire under Mark to get this thing moving along!

The kids even got in on the work!

What…

Tiny house on wheels.

A tiny house on a 32′ fifth wheel trailer with 8′ on the gooseneck.

We ordered the trailer from Retco Trailer Manufacturing in Sikeston, MO.  Mark did a massive amount of research, and felt like this company would be the best for the tiny house trailer.  It took about 5 weeks to get our custom trailer done and an 18 hour drive to get it to our build site.

We have a trailer!!!! Now, what is the house going to look like…  Mark has redesigned this thing about a million times!  What we know it will have:

  1. Full kitchen – This is going to be a house for four people, a fully functional kitchen is a must!  I’m talking fridge, oven, stove, dishwasher, momma’s gotta have it!
  2. Full(ish) bathroom – With two small children, I really think a bathtub is non-negotiable.  However, I have conceded that it doesn’t have to be a full sized bathtub… We are looking at a 2’x4′ stock tank with a shower.  We aren’t sure about the toilet yet, obviously there will be one, but will it be regular, composting, incinerating, stay tuned to find out!
  3. Bedroom on the gooseneck with a slide out
  4. Kids play loft
  5. Slide out in the living area

I will add the floor plan and all later, I promise!

Coming up… the Why!

 

What, Why, How, Where…

We are building a tiny house on wheels.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Monteith Family of 4, plus three dogs, are designing, building, and living in a tiny house on wheels.  It’s weird, yes, but it’s something we have to try!

That’s the main purpose of this blog, chronicling the build of the tiny house.  How we got to this point, why we decided that this is the journey our family would take, is just as important to record, at least in our opinion!

Follow along as we meander through the what, why, how, and where the Monteiths go tiny!