Pushing Through

My medicine is kicking my butt today.  I’m in the little house, trying to install laminate flooring ~ laying 4 boxes of the stuff out for easy access, reading the instructions (I’ve also watched many, many videos), and generally just trying to get this done… and then I get really dizzy and have to immediately lay down, right there, on the overcrowded floor.  This happens over and over.  It’s intermittently incapacitating.  I mean, it’s not like I’m not used to my medicine causing me problems sometimes, but this is not a good time for that.

About two hours later, two rows are in. I fought hard for those two rows. It took me over an hour to get those two rows properly laid.  I’m already taking a break, trying to wait out the side effects of the meds. and trying to give myself a pep talk.  Then I start thinking about all the blogs from other Tiny Home builders. Why don’t I see in their blogs all of the trouble that seemingly small things give me?  All I see are talks about the planning, maybe some shots of the work in progress , then some pictures of things completed, and nothing, nothing about any difficulties . Is it that they had none?  Is it the fact that usually there were generally at least two people working on the project?   Maybe they have some friends who know what the heck they’re doing?  I don’t know.  It’s discouraging.

Well, it’s a few hours later now, about 5 o’clock.  I took a break shortly after struggling with the first three rows.  I don’t know what happened during that break, but when I went back to the flooring, it clicked (pun intended).  I was able to finally get as much done in five or 10 minutes as I did in the first hour . It went slick, it went smooth, it was easy.

I paid about $17.50 for each carton of the flooring and each carton covers about 20 ft.². The stuff isn’t made anymore as far as I can tell, but when I compare it to what is available now it ranks with the high-quality stuff in it’s thickness and layers and whatnot.  I don’t know if I got a good deal, but I know I got good stuff.  I bought it years ago along with a kit to install this type of flooring.  That’s what made it possible for me to have it in my home ~ buying it from a ReStore when I could afford it and holding onto it, storing it, having it be in the way;  but eventually being able to put it to use.  So much of what I’d gotten was intended for the bigger Tiny House, and doesn’t work in this space.  I’m glad I was able to use the flooring, at least.

I put in the loft flooring a couple days ago.  For that space I used linoleum ~ the real stuff, made with natural ingredients like linseed oil, pine rosin, ground cork dust and wood flour.  It’s thick and flexible and I like the way it looks.  Aside from giving myself a couple deep cuts from the carpet knife I used, it went down pretty easily.  There was a good amount of Reflectix left over from the roofing I did on the other house, and so I laid it down on the subfloor to help with air leaks and to add another layer of insulation.  The wool layer up there is much thinner than in the main floor.  Over that I put down some green stuff…I don’t have a clue what it’s for, but it’s soft and flexible, and seemed like a nice base to lay the linoleum on.  If someone reading this recognizes what it is from the pictures, would you be so kind as to fill me in?

So, pictures. 🙂

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Linoleum unrolled and resting upside down. Recommended it’s left like that for at least 24 hours to acclimate to the room.

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It’s quite thick, but fairly easy to work with.

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Reflectix laid down on the loft floor

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Covering the Reflectix with the mystery green stuff

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The mystery green material has a frog (?!) printed on it

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laying down the linoleum, preparing to trim it to size.  I failed to take a picture of the finished floor :p

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Somewhat uneven subfloor in the main room

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Underlayment glued and screwed down. Nice and level now!

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Moisture barrier for under the laminate flooring. Got this huge amount for $5 from a ReStore

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piecing the moisture barrier together with tape

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First few rows are in

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going down quickly now…

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…and done

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some things didn’t go so smoothly but will be held in place by the molding.  It doesn’t overlap like it seems, it’s just sort of sticking up

So all in all it took one day to install the linoleum in the loft, and one day to install the laminate in the main room.  Not too bad, really. 🙂  Certainly easier than other things have been!

Now I have to figure out what’s next.  I’ll post once I’ve gotten that sorted out.  Till then, enjoy your summer!

Plywood Plank Walls

Here’s the thing.  Originally I was going to use the old barn wood somewhere in one of my builds, but after years of being stacked out in the weather it is all too far gone.  Plywood cut into planks (like you see on floors sometimes) seemed like a reasonable substitute, cheap, and easy to use.  Turns out this is all true.  It also turns out that if you use really really low-end plywood, the end result is not the sleek look I was expecting.  Instead, I’ve ended up with a rustic, cottage-y looking effect, which actually looks interesting.  So instead of this look found on http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2012/09/painted-plank-walls-finally/:

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Smooth and lovely plywood plank walls

we have this:

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Interior walls up. The corners will have molding to hide the spaces!

It might be difficult to discern in the picture, but the walls are far from smooth.  Instead, each of the planks show what I like to call “personality”…bowing, sticking out a bit, and different textures.  Visitors and curious bystanders tell me it looks fine, so we’ll go with that.

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Caulking the plywood planked walls

A cool thing happened during this part of the build.  Those metal bars that angle up the walls?  In the way the entire time I’ve worked on this place.  I was more than pleased when the planks slid behind them and into the small space between them and the studs perfectly.  As in, I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d actually tried.  Lucky, lucky.

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Walls going in behind the metal bars.  And yes, that’s Leo photobombing.

I used 3″ screws to attach each board to the studs.  This house will be bouncing and jouncing on rough roads and tracks, and I don’t want anything popping loose.  I did my best to sink the heads and cover them with a silicone/latex caulk to hide them, but I wasn’t always successful.  Likewise with the ceiling.  Normal caulk like you would use in your normal house, didn’t cut it.  There was too much shrinking and cracking.  The caulk I used works better under these circumstances, and is relatively easy to smooth, and to build layers as needed.  It paints well, too.  Overall, I’m happy with the results.

OK!  Here’s the rub:  I wanted to mirror the colors on my favorite skirt, a lovely combination of oranges, pinks, yellows and greens.  It’s very summery and cheerful.  However, translating those colors to this space is not going as I envisioned, and here is the current look:

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OMG PINK

Yeah.  not what I was looking for.  Pepto, anyone?  The lightest pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls just looks like old, yellowed white paint.  Argh!  What to do?

To start with, I’m going to paint over all the yellow with a bright, shiny white.  I realize glossy paints bring up imperfections, but this whole build is one giant imperfection so that really doesn’t matter.  Glossy paint reflects light, and in such a small space, light is very important.  Even that pale, pale yellow has visibly reduced the amount of  light I perceive.  I’ll paint the white down the walls to about 2/3s down, covering much of that pink.  At that point, I’ll start blending in the yellow.  Below that, I’ll blend in the oranges with a touch of red, and blend those down into the pink area.  I’m hoping for a sort of sunrise effect.  We’ll see how that goes!

Feel free to share your painting horror stories if you like in the comments.  We’ll all understand and sympathize.  🙂  I’m off to work some more on the new roof now, so talk at you all later. o/

 

I’m Doing Stuff. Really.

Professional painters of the world, I salute you.  Painting for hours at a time is meditative and relaxing, but your shoulders hate you for days.
I’ve decided to hold off showing the inside progress until after most of the basic interior is finished being painted.  I don’t feel the need to show half-painted boards.  I will post an entry showing the progression, just not individual stages.
Since I’m starting to see an end to this house-building thing (although does an owner-built home ever REALLY get finished?), I’ve decided to list a few of the necessary items I need to purchase.  Most other things I will either build or purchase second-hand at a ReStore.
Thetford SmartTote Portable Waste Holding Tank – 12 Gallon, 2-Wheel.  Some BLM campsites require a 10-gallon minimum septic tank to stay, and this meets that requirement, as well as fitting into my planned bathroom area.  At around $75, it’s also affordable.  It’s not the only brand out there, but it has good reviews and Thetford is a well-known brand.  This tank has a handle and wheels for portability, but the rear fuel port is right next to where it will go, so I’ll be able to run the hose through it’s door to allow easy dumping at stations.  If necessary though, I’ll have the option to remove it and dump it into a toilet, such as at places with no dumping station but with a vault toilet.
Thetford 31651 Aqua-Magic V Toilet, Low / Pedal Flush / Parchment.  At $135, it’s not the cheapest option, but it’s not too expensive, and meets requirements.  There is a tall version too.  I’m going with the low style as the toilet will be placed on a stand that goes over the septic tank.
16 Gallon RV Water Tank.  A good size to fit under my kitchen counter, and a good price at $40.  If this size doesn’t end up fitting, there are several alternatives that will.  I’ve decided at this point to use my current water tank for gray water, and it has it’s own designated spot planned out.  In theory, I can run the inlet/outlet hoses through the same hole in the wall as the septic tank hose.
I want a complete solar setup eventually, but for now will have to do without due to financial constraints.  Instead, I’ll use battery-operated puck lights under the cabinet in the kitchen, closets and bed area, candles, and natural light.  I’ll have to recharge my Kindle and phone at places like coffee shops and libraries, and will only be able to use my very energy-hogging gaming laptop there as well.  That’s going to hurt!  There is also the possible option for running power from one of my truck’s batteries, but I don’t know what all that involves, or how to keep the RV battery I already have from overcharging.  More investigation is needed there.  If it’s doable, it’s a great solution for my computer gaming addiction.  An example of a solar kit that would work is:  Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit for about $200.  This particular kit doesn’t include an inverter, so that would need to be purchased separately.

Since my hurt shoulder is hitting back from the painting, I’m taking a couple days off from doing anything that exacerbates the injury.  May your own days be free from pain. 🙂