Monday, November 23, 2015

OPEN HOUSE on November 7 celebrates completion

More than 30 people attending the two hour open house on November 7th, marking the completion of construction.  The Sunflower is for sale, too!  For an impromptu tour, visit (note: this video was filmed, unplanned and unrehearsed.)  Questions can be posted on YouTube or sent to me via email or Facebook.  Personal tours are provided most anytime, just contact me to coordinate a date and time. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Not-So-Tiny To Do List

Lists Lists and More Lists

Last weekend:
  • Painted the kitchen cabinents doors and drawer fronts.
  • Finished the last piece of trim!  Returned all the extras.  Hallelujah!
  • Ordered the knotty pine caulk.  Yes, if you didn't know there are 30-50 different colors you can buy.  The brand is Colorflex. Google it. One tube cost $33 with shipping and was unavailable from Amazon. Perfect color match!
  • Ordered the bath accessories.
  • Stained and installed the kitchen counter backsplash. 
  • Bought and installed the 24W LED lights above the bathroom sink;  Installed the specialty LED bulbs in the ceiling fan.
  • Painted the bath and kitchen cabinets with high gloss white.
  • Rebuilt two drawers to accommodate the drawer face.
  • Removed chop saw, vacuum, remove floor coverings.
 This week...
  • Prime the wardrobe door, paint it with high gloss white, apply cork decorations and full length mirror.
  • Caulk the holes in the installed trim.  
  • Seal the trim with polyurethane.
  • Install Delta faucet on the Moen sink. Attach supply lines.  
  • Install the Rev-a-Shelf double drawer under the sink, install the foil and cling wrap holder, towel hook, and toilet paper holder.  I love the Moen brurshed nickel look!
  • Install the veggy basket and magnetic knife holder.
  • Drill the holes for the spice rack shelves.  
  • Install back splash above the range.
  • Install the drain lines (exterior plumbing)
  • Test fixtures and drain lines (check for leaks)
  • Keep adding up receipts
This coming weekend...
  • Install Kitchen Cabinent doors and drawer fronts.
  • Install the handles and knobs on the kitchen cabinents.
  • Build and install towel shelf above toilet.  Trim out inverter, if possible.
  • Install the fold-up dining room table.  
  • Wash windows, inside and out.  Consider installing screens.
  • Stock refrigerator with Fat Tire.
  • Figure out what I forgot to put on any of the lists.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Two days of cutting and installing trim and still have a FEW left to install.  Trim is transformative!  Here is a picture of the loft, after the floor (paneling) was installed. It still needs the base board, but what view!

We did a picture frame style trim around all windows and doors.  Dormer presented it usual angle challenges, but Jack came through with intuitive math. I'm keeping the trim natural, and protecting them with the same satin polyurethane used on the walls.

One surprise that should be called out to would be builders.  You buy trim BY THE FOOT.  $1-$3 is typical.  I probably have about $500 in trim alone. Again, I needed it with the Pine T&G, but trim helps build a case for for paneling or 'large piece' wall covering (except Sheetrock which I abhor).

The OPEN HOUSE is scheduled for October 24th. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Propane was installed

Bahr Plumbing -- Professionals at Work
I left the explosives to the professionals.  They ran copper to the RV range and the water heater.  The Range works great. Parts, tubing and labor for $201.

I need to finish running 18" of electrical wire to the water heater before it can be tested.  How complicated can that be since Chris already installed the cut-off.  I took the cover off and set the temperature today. 

And one of guys asked "you must watch Tiny House Nation?" and made reference to 'you people.'  Am I one of those people?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cabinent progress continues

Wardrobe Closet with Four Drawers Installed
Yesterday, many of the cabinets were primed and painted. Additionally, four drawers for the wardrobe closet were finished and INSTALLED.  I used full extension, automatic close slides, and love them.  I also like the semi-gloss white paint as it contrasts with the natural wood and should be easy to wipe clean. Fortunately, I had a expert painter so the finished product looks terrific. I remind readers of this blog that you need sand between all coats of primer or paint in order to get a smooth surface. My six inch circular sander and the triangular sanding pad on my Dremel were both useful and made this job easy.
The last of the drawers -- all built
I have eight more drawers left to paint and install next weekend, requiring another 8-10 hours of sanding and painting. My kitchen is larger than in most tiny houses, so there will be an unusual lots of space for foodies like me.

The video showing how to install slides the easy way was useful information.  Getting the drawers to properly close, you need to be sure both sides of the drawer is equal distance from the cabinet frame when attaching the slide to the drawer itself.  Otherwise, when closed, the drawer may not be flush with the face frame on both sides.  Fortunately, my wardrobe closet was square and level so we ran into no trouble when your fine carpentry is not perfect. 

Toilet Flange Installed in Bathroom (if you have to flush)

Two small other tasks were finished.  The trim around the shower tile board is now finished, and the toilet flange for 'conventional poop removal' is now installed.  The toilet flange is installed on top of the T&G finish flooring...ready for use by anyone who loves flushing with water.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Custom Kitchen Cabinent Constructed

The front frame of the kitchen cabinet was built in one piece, then attached to the kick plate which is simply a 2x4.  I'm very happy the look and even happier that I am getting exactly what I envisioned.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets with 22" RV Propane Range installed
It took one day to build the cabinets and two drawers.  As mentioned, I am using 1x4s and 1x6s white pine for the drawers and 1x2s and 1x4s select pine for the face frame. The slots for the bottom were cut with a table saw, running each piece through the saw about three times to create a 1/4" wide x 3/8" deep groove.  The router table is worthless and is now for sale.  Anyone?

One advantage of building your own drawers is that commercial cabinet drawers never go to the wall, so you loose valuable space. However, leave an extra inch for adjustments!  Two drawers had to be reconstructed since they ended up 1/4" too deep!  As a perfectionist, that simply won't work. Measure twice, cut once. 

All of my drawers will have full extension, soft close slides (side mounted).  You simply make the width of your drawers 8/16-9/16" smaller than the opening.  This should explain why you must build your face frame first.  I would also suggest making the drawer 5/8" shorter than the height of the opening.  The drawer faces and cabinet doors will overlap the opening by 1/2" on all sides, so you will never see those gaps. 

I have also decided to paint the cabinets with a semi-gloss white to brighten the kitchen and provide some contrast with the floor and walls.The picture above is the unfinished wood. It sure is beautiful which makes me reluctant to paint them.

T&G Flooring Installed

Given that part of the floor had to be installed before the wardrobe cabinet was being built, I bought the remaining three boxes of flooring.  I was given 1.25 boxes of  Ponderosa Hickory Hand Scraped Engineered Hardwood flooring by my friends, Mac and Martha -- surplus from their flooring project. Beautiful stuff at $3/sq ft.  I bought three more but only need two....and still have quiet a few extra pieces left.  The link above send you to the Floor and Decor website for a more detailed description. Installing the floor took two people one full day to install as the video shows (thanks to Jack's GoPro). DIYers will need a rubber mallet and wood glue!


Wardrobe Closet, Pantry and Beverage Bar

In one day, the wardrobe closet was built.  Thanks to a GoPro, you can see the construction.  The first few pieces of flooring had to be installed since I wanted the wardrobe to have an open bottom so I can kick off my shoes.  The wardrobe has four 6” deep drawers and space for hanging clothes.  A full length door will cover the entire closet, so the drawers have hand cut outs. (pic)     I made the drawers out of plywood; but on future drawers, I will use 1x dimensional lumber after discovering how heavy plywood can be.  Each drawer took 1 hour to build on July 3rd. 

After the wardrobe closet frame was finished, we framed the cabinet beside the refrigerator.  On a following weekend, we finished that cabinet.  It provides two pantry drawers and an area for cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc.  The idea started out as an open bookshelf, but became a pantry while constructing it.  (pic)   Once complete, a ¾” butcher block counter will be placed over the refrigerator and this pantry cabinet. the counter will be covered in a epoxy creating a 'bar look' -- and will indeed be a beverage bar. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Kitchen Planning, composting toilet and ladder slide

Before starting on the kitchen cabinets, I had purchased a 21” RV range, a refrigerator with separate freezer, the kitchen sink, and the under-the-cabinet garbage/recycling system from Rev-A-Shelf.  I also ordered enough soft-close slides for all of my planned drawers.  (links)  Having those items and being able to make exact measurements facilitated the final cabinet design for the kitchen and my wardrobe closet.  I remind readers that shopping is time consuming!  

While waiting on the appliances to arrive, I painted and installed a pipe for the ladder slide. I learned you cannot paint Galvanized pipe easily and  I ended up exchanging it for the non-galvanized black pipe used for natural gas.   

Additionally, I made the composting toilet box and covered it with white, washable tongue and groove PVC planking.  A garbage can will store the sawdust next to my Privy 501 Urine Diverting Folding Seat. I really believe in waterless toilets.  However, for you conventional thinkers, my composting toilet can be replaced with a traditional water wasting toilet since a toilet flange and water valve are already installed in my tiny house.

Vanity and Cabinet Building

The vanity was a good trail to see if I could build cabinents at all.  If successful, I would build kitchen cabinets, too.  Kreg cabinet tools are fantastic and fun to use.  In May, I purchased ‘select pine’ for the bath vanity and having quality lumber sure makes woodworking pleasurable.  The Kreg tools made the vanity a good learning experience, especially since it is very small.  I'm really happy for deciding to build the vanity as it will cover the water supply lines and drain pipe while providing storage for toilet paper, etc.  I used 1.25" Kreg wood screws and their 3" Premium Face Clamp

I also spent a day designing the kitchen cabinets, based upon my original floor plan.  I used Ikea's cabinet design tool on-line.   Their estimate was $1500 for just 5-6 cabinets.  Lowes and Home Depot were $1600 and $1200 respectively.  Since using off-the-shelf cabinets still require fabricating the cabinet for the RV cooking range, I decided to make the kitchen cabinets to save money, making exactly what I want, and expanding my work working knowledge.

After making the vanity, I widened an old louvered door for the bathroom pocket door.  (pic).  I really like the pocket door and how it turned out.  I painted primed the bathroom vanity and the pocket door and will ultimately pain them with a semi-gloss white.

By the way, the wall hung/glued bathroom sink was very well attached. I should not have worried about it coming off because removing it was quite a challenge even using a crow bar!

The Shower and Bathroom Sink

Later in April, I focused on the shower.  The white tile board was light and easy to install.  The trim covers all the rough edges from using the table saw.  We installed the back wall first since it had corner moldings, then cut and installed the sides.  At the suggestion of some YouTube video, I made circles of super grip glue to provide a suction against the wall.  I think it worked pretty well.  For holding the sides in place, I cut and used slim 3/16 inch strips of wood about ¾” wider than the shower.  Since the flex easily, they pushed the wall panels out against each other until they dried. I used about 15-20 and covered the ends with masking tape as not to dent/scratch the tile board. It was a great idea.  As a reminder to TH DIYers, install the shower drain in the pan before installing the pan and eliminate a headache.

After installing the shower walls, the ceramic sink could be installed. The one I had gotten was small.  Oddly, it only had one single steel plate screwed to the wall where the sink would 'rest'.  The installation instructions said the glue would be sufficient to keep it attached to the wall.  I was suspect that someone might pull on the sink so decided to replace it with a sink that required support -- a vanity.  The side benefit is that I would also have some storage area in the bathroom, so I ordered rectangular replacement sink.    

Once the replacement sink arrived, it was time to build the vanity.   Back to my book on cabinet making and searching YouTube.