More Delays and the Irony of it

I was almost dead certain I was going to go to the farm this past weekend for two days of building bliss but my plans fell through last minute and instead I spent it working on my big house. The irony is that the free house project was born from my frustration with how trapped I feel in my big house, and now it’s the big house keeping me from the tiny house.

At first it was the resale value plummeting which is now down about 40%; yep I’ve  lost almost half the value from the peak market price. But the other trapping quality is the time my house takes to maintain. This one, being about 35 years old, has had some deferred maintenance and it seems like every time I turn around I have to fix, prune, mow, or clean something else.

I’m still planning on taking time off from work but June is looking really packed with previous obligations. I think I may take advantage of the good weather and run some garage sales so I can sell the odds and ends I’ve collected. I may also try to tackle some woodworking projects around here like build the tiny house’s front door. Maybe that will help me eliviate some of the frustration I’m feeling and make some real progress too.

A Free House Built By Students

I ran across this on Kent Griswold’s blog this morning and jumped for joy. It’s another tiny free house project being built by three students in Salvo, NC. They are scavenging free materials and building a very nice 96 square foot tiny house. It has a little kitchen, bathroom, and living area. They plan to be done within a month.

I’d love to see a million free houses pop-up around the country. I can’t be the only one this simple idea has occured to… and the more people that do it, the more people will try it and discover that a little ingenuity can replace spending money any day. Read the complete story on Tiny House Blog. You can also visit the students’ project blog at thescraphouse.wordpress.com.

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The Roof is Framed

I took the day off from work today and went up tot he farm and finished framing the roof. After searching all my usual haunts for long pallets with no luck I broke down and bought 18 2x4s for the roof which cost about $28. I figure the money I’ll save in gas is will offset this little investment and it should be easily reclaimed by selling some of the free stuff I’ve collected so far. In fact the weather is just right now for a garage sale to do just that.

Anyway it felt very good to have this milestone complete. It also feels good to have a safe roof over head. I didn’t want to use pallets in the roof because it just seemed like asking for trouble. This roof shouldn’t collapse on my head.

The next step is to close up the roof with roofing felt, tin or shingles. I’ve already got enough scavenged roofing felt but I still need some kind of roofing material. Initially I was hoping to find an old metal shed someone wants hauled away, but I’ve been thinking more about using flattened #10 tin cans. I’ll need to do an experiment before I start collecting the 200 cans. My imagination tells me it will work great but my practical side tells me I’m crazy… but we knew that right?

A finished roof will give me some shade to work in while I finish up the interior wheel well and bathroom wall framing. I’d like to get all the rough framing work done before I start closing it in with pallet boards so it’s easier to work in there under the hot sun.

I’m also still on the lookout for insulation but I’m pretty sure I’ll use styrofoam packing peanuts stuffed in old plastic grocery bags. The bags should hold the peanuts together and keep the whole process of putting peanuts in the walls and ceiling less messy. The interior will be sealed up the same way are the exterior with pallet boards.

Here’s what it looked like after I cleaned up my mess at the end of the day:

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I plan to put bracing in at the peak to keep the roof strong. Instead of framing the roof normally I made simple trusses on the ground and lifted them into place and then added cross bracing between each truss. By adding a little metal or wood plate at the peak it should help keep the roof together for a long time.