A New Beginning

After one week and a couple of stressful situations we made it safely to Curlew, WA. We went through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

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Nothing eventful happened the majority of the way, until Washington… First, Google Maps attempted to take us through a single lane, 12’4″ high tunnel which Grant did not see the sign for. Google Maps has an option to avoid bridges, tolls, etc. Use it! I called him as he was just beginning to enter the tunnel. Phew! He ended up backing up and making a U-turn because our house is 13’3″ tall! That would have been horrible! So we continued on our merry way.  Then, about an hour later North of Spokane I spotted a grease cap bouncing down the highway. We pulled over immediately and thankfully, with the spare parts Grant had picked up before we left, repaired the barring on the side of the road and kept on trucking.

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At last, after years of dreaming of our perfect homestead, we have arrived. It was the happiest day of my life. A sudden calmness overtook me and I felt blissful. I am very much enjoying the slow pace, low stress lifestyle of this beautiful town and the people in it. They have been so friendly and welcoming. I think we will fit right in!

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Once we got to our new spot, we leveled the tiny house. We should have probably put down a gravel or concrete pad for the house, but opted out for financial reasons. We may still do it in the future. Instead we just went to the local hardware store and bought about 16 cinder blocks. This is what we used to level the trailer corner by corner. Eventually we got it level, but not without a scare. I’m so happy we made it here and we still have a house to live in.

Now, we are on to new projects!  Grant is building a 8′ x 12′ shed for water collection, solar array, and storage. He is currently working on roofing the shed with corrugated sheet metal

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I ordered 15 assorted Bantam breed straight run day old chicks. Straight run just means the chicks will not be sexed. However, only 12 survived. If at all possible, purchase local chicks instead of online ordering. I was impatient and wasn’t finding baby chicks online readily available to me through Craigslist or Facebook groups. So it took Cackle Hatchery 3 days to get my chicks to me. That is WAY too long! I was miserable waiting for them to arrive. They were supposed to be here Friday and didn’t make it until Saturday. Everyone is happy and healthy now.

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I’ve also started building a chicken tractor. For those who don’t know that is just a coop on wheels essentially so it is mobile. This way the chickens can graze different sections of the property. This is beneficial for you and the birds. They get fresh food and you get your lawn tilled and fertilized. Win-win! I’ll share my building plan in another post in the near future. For now, let the journey continue…

Tiny House Traveling

In tribute to our upcoming move to Washington I’ve decided to post a checklist for getting your tiny house ready for the journey! It is undeniably stressful to move across country with your HOUSE going 60-70 mph down an interstate! Though it is stressful, there is a lot of comfort being able to park and walk into your home again, no matter where you are. That said, it is important to be prepared as much as possible. Below is a step-by-step guide of what we do to prepare for travel.

Tiny House Rest Stop

Play time at a rest stop in North Dakota.

 

  • Oil changes/ fluids check on the truck*

*If you want to take your vehicle(s) into the shop, they can do an in-depth check of the suspension, brakes, alignment, and steering as well as your basic tune-up requirements. It is important that the tow vehicle is in good shape!

  • Grease the trailer wheel bearings
  • Check tire pressure on all tires (trailer and truck)
  • Tighten lug nuts (trailer and truck)
  • Pack a roadside emergency kit for quick fixes**
    • Includes basic tools for changing wheel bearings or other trailer issues, grease, cloth towels/ rags, spare fluids

**We had an incident where we lost the dust cap from a wheel and the castle nut started backing off. It was loose causing the wheel to wobble, but thankfully we caught it before the wheel had come completely off! Eek! We ended up spending the night in a Farm & Fleet parking lot in IL waiting to get it repaired. At least we got to sleep in the comfort of our own home!

  • Drain your water system
    • Includes emptying collection tank most of the way as well as all the pipes in the house, draining and turning off the hot water heater, and turning off the water pump.
  • Pack a spare bag of clothes for the vehicle, (just in case!) along with anything else you’d feel more comfortable taking in the vehicle for safe keeping.
  • Pack fragile items or anything that may cause damage if shifted during travel and set on the floor of the house. We will have about three-five boxes of stuff that will need to be packed. Everything else is fine as is. How easy, right?!
  • Tie/ lock cabinet doors to keep items from falling out.
  • Empty contents of the refrigerator and put remaining items in a cooler.
  • Install equalizer hitch, check your lights are working, check the brake controller, and hit the road!

Once you are on the road, remember to check the temperature of the wheel caps at each stop. If they are too hot, something is likely wrong. Make sure there is enough grease in the bearings. Check that the safety chains and wires are still connected securely at each stop and that nothing is out of the ordinary.

Happy traveling!

Reminder to Self: ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

TH to WI WE MADE IT

  • Grant, Bailey, and Sahara celebrating the safe journey from Bozeman, MT to Madison, WI in July 2015. Greeted by Labradoodle, Ozwald. 

 

 

 

Tiny House Building Supplies

Once we made the decision to build the tiny house we started gathering what we needed to make it happen. If you haven’t read the post about Trailer Hunting, click here. What else do you need?

  1. Lumber (countless 2x4s)
    • Countless was an exaggeration, you can get your count pretty close by counting every stud, top/bottom plates, rafters, floor joist, etc. in your building plan.
  2. Plywood for the floors, walls, roof, and loft floors
  3. Insulation – We used denim insulation in the walls and ceiling. Foam board in the floor, and spray foam for cracks/ gaps/ small spaces.
  4. Screws
  5. Windows
  6. Door(s)
  7. Cabinetry
  8. Trim
  9. Sink(s)
  10. Toilet (?) We went with a bucket and sawdust and have no complaints so far.
  11. Shower
  12. Hot Water Heater
  13. Water collection tank
  14. Flooring
  15. Countertop

There is so much scrap lumber available on Craigslist for free or cheap. It is unreal! Whenever possible we used Craigslist for our tiny house shopping. We went in to glass shops for scrap pieces of glass which we used to build the skylight and a couple of our windows. Did I mention they gave it to us for free?! We also asked co-workers, family, friends if they had anything they were getting rid of. We received windows, doors, a sink, shower fixtures, cabinetry, screws, house wrap, flooring, and soooooo much lumber! It was amazing! People were so kind and loved to hear about our adventure. In doing so, our tiny home only cost $12,000.  We were able to build it with just the money from our day jobs. Please be responsible when building and try to reuse and recycle whenever possible! Something to be conscious of when building is the amount of waste you yourself create and recall there are dangerous chemicals in many building products. I recommend reading the labels and using natural alternatives whenever possible. Also, dispose of these items properly. When you collect recycled materials it provides a much more unique experience, creates a second life for the item, and keeps it out of the landfill. In most cases, we have a story that went along with picking up the materials which is deeply satisfying. Post a comment