Posts Tagged With: Tiny Houses in Michigan

Cork Flooring Installed*

*This post is being written several months after the fact as I am a slacker and haven’t kept up with the blog. My memory may be faulty on some accounts.

August 16, 2014 – Getting tired of walking on OSB floors and trying to keep them swept, we installed the cork flooring this weekend. We decided to go with cork floors as opposed to wood because we wanted something a little softer on the feet. Pete and I like to cook and it’s not uncommon for us to spend a whole day in the kitchen. We’ve lived in places that had hardwood floors in the kitchen and it didn’t take long before your feet and legs were sore; we thought cork might have a little more give. We also felt the cork offered a tad more r-value than wood flooring.

We ordered the flooring from Lowe’s and watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to install it. The cork came in 1/4 inch 3 foot by 1 foot sheets. They lock together and were relatively easy to install. We ran the sheets down along the long side of the tiny house to maximize the amount of flooring. Initially I wanted to run it starting on the short side but that would have required a lot more cutting and we probably would have had to order another box or two of flooring. We ended up needing seven boxes of the flooring and we had a couple of sheets left over. Cost wise we spent around five or six hundred. A vapor barrier has to be installed under the cork and we went with a slightly insulating vapor barrier to make the floor is as warm as possible.

Having been walking on the cork flooring for almost three months I can say we are pleased with our choice. The flooring is more gorgeous than we could have imagined. It was relatively easy to install; by our second to last row we had a system in place and we were able to consider ourselves cork flooring installation experts. It is definitely softer under foot and because of that our temporary folding chairs have left their mark. The small dents are only noticeable in certain light when looking down at an angle. Instead of being upset about the wear and tear I’m telling myself that we’re going for the distressed look.

Stay tuned for more outdated blog posts.

Categories: Floor, Flooring | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Moving Day!

May 31, 2014 – The day has finally arrived! We moved the tiny house out to our property! The tiny house is far from finished but our lease is up and we are done paying rent!

We hired Terry and his very nice truck to move the tiny house from Pelkie out to Chatham. It took just over two hours and everything went very smooth. It was rather windy though and Terry mentioned that it would have been better if we had sway bars on the trailer. Since we didn’t, he just took it a little slower.

I was a jumbled ball of nerves when we moved the house last fall to my moms so this time I avoided coffee in the morning and also drove in front of the tiny house while Pete followed behind. I discovered being in front was way less stressful than watching the tiny house from behind. I only had to think about my home rolling down the road at 55 mph whenever I looked in the rear view mirror; which lets face it was every 45 seconds. But still I was much less nauseous this time around. I’m glad we don’t plan on moving the tiny house any time soon, but I think I would eventually get used to it if we traveled with it.

It will be interesting trying to live in the tiny house while we finish building but we’re so happy to finally be out at the property that I think the new excitement will outlast the construction phase…I hope.

Thanks again Terry for safely moving my baby!

Categories: Tiny House Living, Towing the Tiny House, Trailer | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

On the Road Again…Again

November 2, 2013 – Like fish that starts to stink after three days, so too, do friends building a tiny house in your driveway!  Jeff and Cindy have graciously let us occupy their driveway the past two summers and into this fall so we were not at all surprised when Cindy asked if we would mind taking the winter off.  Our plan though, is to be living in the tiny house full-time come spring, and since we haven’t even gotten started on the inside of the tiny house, we really need to keep plugging away throughout the winter.  We started looking into our other options and at first thought we would move the tiny house to our newly acquired property.  However, the property lacks power, we lack a snow plow, and it would have been pretty tough trying to work on the tiny house in the middle of winter.

Our only other option was to bring the tiny house to my mom’s house one and a half hours away.  At first we were not too keen on this option as it will mean a lot of driving most weekends, but the more we thought about it the better it started to sound.  While working at Jeff and Cindy’s, we tried to be very conscientious of their space and tried to stay out of the way as much as possible.  That meant only running inside to use the bathroom when I couldn’t possibly hold it any longer.  At my mom’s house, I’ll feel free to pee when the moment strikes!  Another bonus is that we’ll be able to put in longer days.  Since we’ll be spending nights there it will be easier to get started earlier in the day and work later into the evening, so we should be able to be more productive.  Also, my mom said she’ll cook for us!  This too will allow us to be more productive as we can keep working until dinner is served.  Before you start thinking we’re taking advantage of my mom, this is also a win win for her too!  My mom has gotten to the point where she dreads the Michigan winters.  Last winter she went south for the first time and stayed with my uncle Bill and aunt Karen in Macon, Georgia.  This winter she’ll have constant company and will be able to rely on us for shoveling and grocery shopping.

When we first decided to build a tiny house, we read about how other people who owned tiny houses would rent a 1 ton U-Haul truck to move their houses.  This had always been our plan if we didn’t have a truck to use.  While trying to line up a truck, we quickly found out that it’s not as easy as we thought it was going to be.  Apparently finding a rental truck in a large city is not too difficult, but here in the U.P., they don’t exist.  We called several companies and none had a large moving truck in the area.  In fact, U-Haul places that I know exist right down the road, couldn’t even be found while searching the company’s website.  I put in our zip code and was informed that no U-Haul’s were within a 100 mile radius.  We checked with the couple of people we know with 3/4 ton trucks but for one reason or another that wasn’t an option.  I started Googling how to move a tiny house and found a blog post with a few suggestions.  One suggestion was to have a tow truck move it; I called a tow truck company and they said they could not move anything that long or that tall.  I went so far as to email someone on Craigslist who was trying to sell a big truck and see if we could hire him or rent the truck for the day; we even put an ad in Craigslist.  I finally started texting everyone I know asking them if they knew anyone with a large truck.  We were starting to get a little worried and thinking that “this is the U.P., more people should own big trucks!”. But everyone we know, including ourselves, only had 1/2 ton pickups.  Thankfully my co-worker Sharon came though.  A good friend of hers owns a big Dodge dualie and was willing to move the tiny house for us for a reasonable fee.  Her friend Terry owns Marquette Transmission and Auto Repair here in Marquette and I’ve seen his truck at the shop before.  We’ve brought our personal vehicles over there for repair as well as work vehicles.  When we heard Terry pulls a 14,000 pound fifth wheel trailer with his truck, we knew the tiny house would be a piece of cake.  Of course even with a super big truck, I was still nervous on moving day; we’ve invested quite a bit in this little house.  But, I am happy to report that the move went off without a hitch.  We did have to stop one time to re-staple the house wrap that was starting to flap around, but other than that we didn’t have a single issue.  We did get a lot of really strange looks though; that was probably the best part. Thanks for taking half of your Saturday to move our house Terry, we really appreciate it.  And, we’ll be calling you in the spring to do it again!

We also have to thank our friends Paul and Tom for coming over on Sunday to adjust the tiny house location.  Thanks guys!  When Terry pulled into the driveway with the tiny house, we had him park it on the driveway, but just off to the side.  After thinking about it, we realized it would work out better to have it right on the driveway, making it more stable and easier to level.  At first we figured we could just drive our truck out the next weekend to move it, but we really hated to drive the truck all that way just to move the tiny house.  So we called up a good family friend, Paul and he and his brother-in-law Tom were more than happy to come over and lend a hand.

I also had to tell Pete that he was right and I was wrong!  When were having trouble finding a truck to tow the tiny house, I looked online to see how much a half ton Chevy could tow.  All the websites I checked kept saying it could tow over 8,000 pounds.  At this point we figure the tiny house doesn’t weigh more than 5,000 pounds so I was trying to talk Pete into moving the house with our truck.  As I watched Pete lower the tiny house onto the ball of Paul’s truck I realized that our truck could not have moved the tiny house; I thought the back bumper on Paul’s half ton Chevy was going to bottom out.  Moving it around the driveway was one thing, but we definitely needed a bigger truck to haul this thing down the highway.

The tiny house will stay at my mom’s until spring and we’ll keep working on it throughout the winter.  Hopefully it will be move in ready by April, and if it’s not, we’ll be living in it anyway!  A super huge thanks to Jeff and Cindy for letting us get this far on our project in their driveway! We couldn’t have done it without your generosity!

Categories: Tiny House Living, Towing the Tiny House, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

We Bought Property!

Our most frequently asked question since we started building our tiny house has been, “where are you going to park it?” Our response has always been that we’re looking for land, but hopefully we’ll find a backyard that we could put it or if all else fails we could park it at the local RV park. I am extremely happy to report that as of last Thursday, which happened to be our 5 year anniversary, we can now call ourselves land owners!

Pete and I have been looking for land the moment we left college and headed out west. We would be driving down the road in Garden Valley, Idaho and I would say, “look at that land, we should buy that.” Pete’s response was always the same, “is it for sale?”. No, it wasn’t for sale but it didn’t matter because we weren’t in a position to buy anything anyway! We didn’t have permanent jobs and we knew we would be living in a new town in 6 months, but it was still fun to daydream about our future land and the farm that we would start.

To make a long and probably boring story short, the land we purchased (40 acres) had been for sale since we first moved to Marquette and probably for a year or so before that.  We had checked it out when we first moved here but the timing was never quite right for us.  At the beginning of the summer we finally decided to look at it for real and make an offer but it was no longer listed.  At this same time we found another piece of property that we liked but the seller was not yet ready to accept our offer, she was holding out for something better.  Because of her unwillingness to negotiate with us, I started checking the listings again and this time checked Craigslist (which I rarely look at for property).  Low and behold the original property was now being listed on Craigslist, not with the realtor.

Pete was in Montana fighting wildfires and when I told him the land was still for sale he told me to go check it out and make an offer. I thought I should wait for him to come back before looking at the property, but at his insistence my mom and I went and walked the property. I made an offer and waited to hear back from the seller. Then we found out that the seller who was not ready to accept our offer on the other piece of property was now ready to accept. There were pros and cons to both places, but ultimately we liked the 40 acres the best and we were able to settle on a price and proceed with the purchase.

Our goal is to start a small farm. The property is about 20 acres of pasture and 20 acres of woods, with the woods being mostly sugar maple. We hope to make maple syrup, raise laying hens and meat chickens, have a dairy cow and pigs, as well as a large garden. The property comes with its challenges; mainly it is off grid and it would be rather expensive to have power brought in. We also have to have a well drilled.

We are now under more pressure to finish the tiny house so we can move it out to the property when our lease is up on our apartment next spring. We’ll be roughing it for a little while. We’ll have to haul in water until we get the well drilled and we’ll have to rely on solar panels and/or a generator; we’ve been doing a lot of research on off grid living. We’re no strangers to backpacking and roughing it though, so this will just be one more adventure to have fun with.

Categories: Farm Tours, Tiny House Living | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

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