The Finale

Well here we are…

 

Starting with the Bathroom, the best dollar we have ever spent was on our bathtub. We had originally planned to install a shower because we only had 1500mm in length to work with, and it is difficult to find tubs of that size. However, after browsing on Trademe (a New Zealand trading site like Craigslist/Ebay) for a shower, we came across the perfect sized tub and placed a bid for $1. I guess the tub was a little small for most, so lucky for us we ended up winning the auction. 😀 The tub is in absolute perfect condition, and frugal Jess could not be any happier.

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Bath/shower liners are ridiculously expensive here, so we knew we needed to come up with a more feasible option. Ness had previously lined a shower with corrugated iron, so we set out on a mission to find some. We visited the recycling center and scored several sheets of corrugated iron for a fraction of the cost of a plastic liner = awesomeness! After fitting the corrugated steel, Ness trimmed it in nicely with left over pallet wood.

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We acquired the bathroom vanity in a garage sale. It was extremely dirty and overall looked crappy, but we saw the potential and it was very cheap! Taps/faucets are also extremely expensive here (well I’m not sure what isn’t ;)) and amazingly inside the vanity contained a kitchen tap and bathroom tap yayyyyyy! We took off the really gross cabinet doors and built some out of recycled pallet wood and left over weatherboard from the neighbours. Thanks again Mark and Tina!

 

Ahh the ladder project. We wanted to make a library ladder; however, the components were too costly and we could not source some of things we needed second hand. However, we did obtain some gross looking, blue painted galvanized piping, where there was a terrarium growing out of each end of the pipes!! After Jess sanded down the pipes and cut them to size, we were able to create an awesome rail system. This permits moving the ladder across the width of the house to be able to climb up at any point.

The Terrarium, and before and after sanding:

After:

 

And the final exterior pictures:

And the final interior pictures:

 

We all know that the end of one project is never the end of ALL projects….

El Baño

Aka ‘Da Throne!’

 

Who doesn’t like a composting toilet?!?!

 

A composting toilet just makes sense for a tiny house. It means you have no black water waste, you are not wasting an average of 3.6 gallons (13.6 liters) of water per flush, and you can use the compost to fertilize any flowering/plant/tree that is a non-consumption item.

 

A lot of people of people are really freaked out about the fact that it is a human litter box, but with the correct balance of peat moss there really is no smell at all.

 

We simply built a box, which stores a rather lovely rubbish bin 😉 There is also a separate container for the pete moss so it is all contained. We finished it off with a lovely ‘soft close’ toilet seat!

 

A special thanks goes out to Mark and Tina our next door neighbours for the Christmas present of a Mitre 10 giftcard which allowed us to purchase the needed items for our homemade composting toilet… aka rubbish in a box.

Of course the throne has a light, look at her glow:

Pallet Couches

The pallet couches were Ness’s project.

Thanks to Jess’s Dad for mistakenly taking her vegetarian lunch for “smoko” (kiwi slang for break-time at work!), we happened to come across some very awesome pallets when we were bringing him his correct lunch as requested lol. We spotted these pallets in his work yard and asked him if they were rubbish. It turns out they were, and we scored a couple of awesome pallets and collapsible boxes. These collapsible boxes as it happens are what Ness has always dreamed of making a couch out of! Perfect!! Ness also cleverly built storage within the couches to utilize every ounce of space. This is an important concept for a tiny house as you can imagine 😉

The pallets and Ness building a frame:

Pallet couches:

“Suzy Homemaker” also made some homemade cushions from our left over insulation:

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The Scabby Dressers

This was Jess’s project, although Ness definitely helped with the kitchen countertop part 😉

It literally took Jess an entire day to sand the nastiness and 20+ years of paint off of these dressers. They were disgusting! However, we knew the ‘bones’ were great, and that it would eventually be a very rewarding outcome. After Jess sanded them down, we mixed our own left over white paint with a tester pot paint of black to get the desired grey color we wanted. We used a broken coat hanger and the drill to mix the paint. We learned this handy trick on You Tube, and it worked great! The plan was to use 1 dresser for the living space, and 1 for the kitchen.

We went through so many ideas on how to create a kitchen counter top, such as, a concrete counter top, a countertop of copper pennies (except the “pennies” in New Zealand are actually worth 10 cents!), an old door, a butcher-block, and then finally the most feasible idea with the resources we had available was a double ply base with a sheet of stainless steel on top. This was the exact industrial look we were trying to achieve, and we believe it looks fab! Once this was done, we cut the hole for the sink, and mounted it to finish the kitchen countertop. We also had to increase the height to countertop height by building a frame to the bottom of the dresser.

Bedfore:

Here goes nothing:

After:

1 step, 2 step, 3 step, floor

This was definitely one of the easier parts yayyyyy! For flooring we decided on vinyl click and lock. This allowed us to lay continuous flooring throughout the entire house. Vinyl flooring offers many benefits, such as, high durability, waterproofing, sound dampening, it’s free-floating, and there is no need for underlayment. The installation was simple, and the flooring is very easy to clean.

 

Vinyl flooring was an easy choice for us, and we are so happy with how it has turned out 🙂 It was extremely easy to cut which made us super happy; you just score ‘n’ snap and you are away!

And with the final touch below, baseboard 🙂 We could finally use a nail gun and finish nails for the trim, which made things a lot easier!

 

“A lick of paint”

We could NOT WAIT to get to this stage! At each stage during this project you always fervently look forward to a future stage. You learn that “the stage” you were desperate to get to, is always a bit more of a pain in the ass than you anticipated lol. We have also continuously learned that you cannot predict the preparation time for the task you intend to do, and it is usually the most time consuming part!

 

We had originally hoped that we could get away with going for the industrial look by placing the interior siding screws in a uniform fashion so we did not have to fill a couple of hundred holes! Yeah,… nice try! Plans don’t usually got to plan :X …. and because we have a steel frame we have triangular framing in certain places; therefore, we had lots of screw holes to fill and sanding to do prior to painting! You have got to love the preparation phase 😉

 

Getting the paint on the walls was very rewarding; we were starting to see a house forming! We decided to go with white to provide more light and enhance the perception of the size.

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We decided to break up the white with a feature wall of pallet wood. We absolutely love how the pallet wall has turned out!

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Goodbye Green Stuff!!

After much thought and researching we decided to go for a lightweight plywood rather than jib/drywall. Jib as they call it here, is quite heavy and we thought  perhaps it was not the best option for a “mobile” home. Tongue and groove was an important factor for us, so we decided to go with the smallest thickness in T&G that was available. It turns out the only product that was <12mm in tongue and groove uses that label very loosely, as we could not see the tongue and grooves when they arrived :O! Ahhh well it looks great now anyway 😀

 

In the midst of this, Ness was offered a “seasonal” job in the South Island and started off the siding in the Bathroom before she jetted off for 3 months!! This left Jess to finish the big job of installing the rest of the siding by herself before she joined Ness in a couple of weeks! There were some very minor melt downs 😉 …. Ah you know, tools malfunctioning, product anomalies, having to drill into the steel frame, and the green stuff twisting around the screws, etc… never the person of course 😉

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We started with the ceiling, then Ness got us started off in the bathroom before she buggered off, and to the far right is Jess’s first solo piece.

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Site supervisor ‘Shooter’ laying down on the job as per usual 😉

 

Airing Our Clean Laundry

Jess’s friends Gerry and Jillian were moving back to Ireland and we are sad to see them go. They were getting rid of virtually everything so we snagged a brand new mattress from their moving sale. Getting it from their house to our tiny house was a treat! Although we weren’t quite ready for a mattress yet, the price was right and we couldn’t resist a good deal. We are also excited to say that our tiny house has inspired them to build their own tiny house in Ireland! We can’t wait to see what they come up with.

I’d like to also take a moment to give a little shout out to all of the amazing friends and family that have helped us out and taken part in our build. This has truly been a collaborative effort on so many levels. We have borrowed helping hands, tools, trailers, and vehicles, and have purchased or been given great stuff at a low cost to us. The kindness of the friends and family we have here is truly remarkable! Thank you again.

Here is my laundry list of thank you’s (I’m sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone):

Thank you to Jess’s parents Jamie and Tursha for the many nights and weekends they have donated to helping us, allowing us to stay in their house while we build ours, letting us store our tiny lifetime of stuff in their garage, and letting us build our tiny dream home in their back yard. Thank you to our lovely neighbors Mark and Tina for the helping hands, letting us crash their place and giving us a room to stay in during the holidays, and tolerating all of our noise and inconveniences. Thank you to our neighbor Paul for loaning us tools whenever we need them and for however long we need them. Thank you to Jess’s sister, Kim, for allowing us to recruit her during her around the world vacation. Thank you to my long time friend Jessie for making a trip out over her short Christmas break, and allowing us to put her to work for a little while. Thank you to Ness’s Mama, Teri, for enduring blisters, buying us cold Coronas, and for helping us every single day she could during her amazing three week visit to NZ.

 

Knock knock. Who’s there? Who cares? We have a door!!!

You can actually knock now because we are not relying on a sheet of plastic as a door anymore. For ages, we could not decide what we wanted to do for a door. Ness wanted a really cool old door to set it off, but after months of looking, we just couldn’t find the perfect door. We finally decided to just get something that matched the look of our gorgeous windows. Kurt at Nulook pulled through once again for a quick and painless project for us. He was even kind enough to install it for us! Thanks Kurt, we love it! We are so happy with our decision. It looks amazing!

Our previous "door"
Our previous “door”
I love the frosted glass
I love the frosted glass
It matches the windows and looks so good!
It matches the windows and looks so good!

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“Build-A-Bear”…I mean…”Build-A-Tiny House!”

Ness’s Mama is here to visit and boy do we have work for her to do! Teri, Ness’s Mama, was so happy and excited to lend a hand at one of the most boring and labor intensive phases of the build, insulating the house. We chose to use a polyester insulation called “Greenstuf.” We chose polyester over fiberglass pink batts because Ness is allergic to pink batts, and has asthma, which is not good when it comes to insulation. The Greenstuff is hypoallergenic, and has a better insulation value than traditional pink batts, so for us, it was a win-win. We had no idea that this stuff would be a bit of a nightmare to work with. The one and only obstacle in using the Greenstuff is that because it is polyester, and about 5 inches thick, it was very hard to cut. We tried everything we had to find the best tool to cut it. We went from utility knives, to scissors, to garden sheers, and eventually settled for kitchen knives as the best tool to cut this stuff. Mama’s poor little hands were so swollen from days of cutting, and we all had blisters from using the kitchen knives. But just like the heart in a Build a Bear, we all put our little hearts into this tiny house insulation and we are so thankful that Mama was here to help us. So here it is, the gorgeous Greenstuf.

Every great project starts with a Corona, doesn’t it?

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