Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Light at the End of the Tunnel

     Seven long months ago we started building this tiny house. Now's is July and we're just about finished, I'm learning that ranching and trying to build a home at the same time may be conflicting interests; hence the reason I've not written anything this year, as of yet.  
In retro-spec this was not a good idea since now I have to catch up on seven months of building. . .  This house has presented us with many problems, but I can gladly say that they have all been overcome. 
     It was the trailer that ultimately dictated our floor plans, so with some creative thinking we redid out layout and made adjustments to compensate for a lower trailer bed.  You're probably wondering why on earth it's taken so long to build such a small house, (don't worry you are not alone I often find myself wondering the same thing).  There are so many factors that have slowed us down, so I'll just start from the beginning. 
   First off we did not have blueprints. This meant that every morning before we started building we'd have some problem solving to do and then James would draw up the plans for the part of the house we would be working on that day. This slowed down our framing process because we had to figure out our stud spacing for each wall. We ended up building a total of eight walls for the house.  All in all it took us about a week to  build the walls when it should've taken a few days.  
       That was out first mistake not having blueprints the second; which, is probably worse; is that we were picking out our materials as we were building. We got set back about a month with our windows and about an other month our interior siding, but those where just the big things that held us up.  While having five people around to bounce ideas off can be nice and tremendously helpful at times, there is point where all that comes of it is a stalemate.  The more work we get done on the house the more I'm convinced that being able to be objective is a true virtue, as well as perhaps a talent. 
       Then of course there was the distance. Since we're building in a rather remote part of the United States we made several trips to hardware stores as well as an Ikea store up to six hours aways; now, that would slow anybody up, right? The last thing that has been slowing us down is the ranch. It's funny how all of a sudden it's spring time and cows are having babies everywhere you look. The next think you know you're having to brand and cut the little doggies and turn everything out to their summer pastures and if that wasn't enough now we have to constantly move the cows from one well to the next.While the house just has to sit there a half forgot and probably feeling forlorn.

This is what I've come to take away from this experience: If you are planing on coming up with your own design the more detailed they are the better. I would recommend having blue prints drawn up, if not I would encourage you to take the time needed to draw up all the parts of the house; from the framing, electrical (if you're going to have any) to the plumbing, I mean everything.  This will making everything go smoother. Oh! and it's a great, great idea to have a material list written out.
       After your plans are pretty much settled I'd go ahead and start ordering all the major part of the home; such as, the lumber for framing your home, windows, siding, (whether for the exterior or interior), the stain you will be using. An easier way to say this is, order everything that taking weeks to arrive before you start building. This way even if something happens and your order is delayed, it won't set you back.  
       I don't know what I can say about deadlines other than if you set one try your hardest make it happen. Once you get held back it's so hard to make up time especially if you are only building part time. This has been such a serious post and kind of a downer, sometimes that's just how it is, but  don't let all the work involved scare you off. I know it doesn't sound like it, but I've had so much fun helping to build and design this house! You run the house not the other way around, make it yours!

                                    Here are a few photos to show you our progress. Enjoy!



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