The Building Process
Keep on the Sunny Side
Tiny houses can come in a variety of sizes, and with a multitude of custom designs. Depending on the intricacy of the floor plan and custom elements, the building process can take anywhere from 1 to 5 months. During that time, all of the materials are ordered and collected, the trailer is built, and the house is put together. We estimate that most designs can be completed in three months.
Our house was built on a custom-built 8’6″x24′ trailer with two 7,000 pound axles. Fully loaded, the house weighs around 12,000 pounds. It took about a month and a half for the trailer to be ordered and built, during that time materials were collected from around the southeast. Then, kicking off with a 4th of July building party, the house was completed in one month! We had a lot of friends and family volunteer to help out (since it was our first build), and many curious visitors along the way. Building was a blast!
Here are some neat features to look for:
- Model: Each tiny house will come with a “mini” tiny house model. This models helps us to visualize the building process before it begins, and becomes a fun dollhouse to show to friends!
- Walnut Beams: Our house features walnut and maple beams milled at our sawmill. It was something that added a personal touch to our home as we were building. The timberframe braces on the porch were also added, as Rich’s signature look.
- Windows: Our house has a whopping 11 windows! We love being outdoors, and with this many highly efficient windows (all low E, argon gas filled) we are able to feel like we are outside all the time, without experiencing the weather, temperature, or humidity fluctuations. So far it has been perfect for snowy winter days, and the breeze in the summer is incredible!
- Lights: We have lights in the kitchen, bed loft, bathroom, outside porch, entryway, and a ceiling fan/light combination in the living room. Determining the most convenient placement of your switches is important, even in a tiny house. We designed a switch for both in the bed loft and the kitchen to control the lights in the loft. With this feature, there is no reaching from the ladder to get the lights at night!
Please select individual picture for larger view and full caption
Our first step was to make a model.
Finishing the mini tiny floor.
Complete with mini furniture and figurines, the model helped us visualize the design process and even make some floorplan changes.
A completed mini tiny house. The beer is only for scale of course. 😉
The trailer was custom built with boxed out wheel-wells and two 7,000 pound axles with trailer brakes.
We bought many of the supplies ahead of time, whenever things were on sale.
Some of the wood was milled in our sawmill.
The trailer has a layer of aluminum flashing to protect from animals and road damage, then insulated and covered for a thick sandwich of subfloor.
We framed the house.
The walls went up quickly!
There were many windows to frame.
Soon the house began to take shape.
Beginning the roof
The roof pitch changes over the bed loft to accommodate more headroom without compromising the overall “cute factor” of the tiny cottage!
The tiny house is enclosed.
Planing the walnut beams.
Protection from overnight moisture.
The roof went up next.
Inserting the 11 windows. Granddad helped!
Finishing the window and adding the soffit
The construction process is just like a regular house on a smaller scale.
The door has gone in.
With the house dried in, the bathroom, washer, and sink were roughed-in.
The tiny bathroom is ready to go!
With the toilet.
The first bath.
The tiny house electrical box is wired for 50 amps.
We positioned a light switch on the ground level and the loft so that there is no ladder-climbing in the dark.
Everything is roughed in, and the insulation is going up.
We chose to use tongue-and-groove white pine for the whole house.
We loved the coloring of the walls.
The beams for the lofts are our own milled walnut and maple.
Walls are up on the bathroom and pantry.
Working into the night.
More walls are going up.
Finishing the bed loft
Beginning the ceiling.
The dark bamboo floor is installed.
We used smart-side for the exterior walls.
To give the house a timberframed look we added curved braces to the porch.
Painting the trim.
We tested our paint color.
Tiny house in the night.
After many days of waiting on rain, the house finally gets a coat of sunny yellow paint!
Adding the finishing touches.
One of many TH tours.
Our first road test. Climbed a mountain to the local dump to get weighed.
Preparing for it’s big adventure.
Leaving before dawn.
The tiny house in its new location! Thanks Adam and Erin!