1-week tiny house build workshop

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Days 3 & 4

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Days 3 & 4

The Green Mountain Panel crew came out en masse to help us get the first wall panel up. We tipped up one of our slanted end walls and then its adjoining panel on the corner. Once we had a corner in place we were able to work our way around the building in both directions. With a crew that big it went pretty quickly. 

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Day 2

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Day 2

Yesterday we kicked off our second build morning by finalizing the detailing of our trailer and floor system so that the two were ready to be joined. Maile sealed the edge between the pressure treated undercarriage and the trailer with a sealant and Kevin and Peter installed lifting plates and put rigid foam around the perimeter of the floor system. Then we were ready for the real excitement to begin... Harold then brought the boom truck around and picked up the floor panel with an aluminum bar and three neverending loops. He hoisted the panel over to the trailer and set it into place.

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Day 1

O'Keefe Build Blitz: Day 1

Yesterday was Day 1 of the tiny house build and despite a few setback (there are always setbacks!) we made good progress. We started out the day by leveling the trailer (so fun to do that with John's awesome laser level!) and checking the trailer for square. (Wright Trailers did a great job on this trailer!) We did some tool orientation and safety so we could ensure that we're all on the same page and ready to roll. Then we measured and cut our pressure treated plywood as the undercarriage...

T42 Build Blitz Kick Off

We're so excited to pick up our Tiny House trailer and get to work on the floor system! I can't believe it's just a week until we begin building another tiny house! Eeeep!

The past couple weeks, I've been working on The Lucky Penny Punch List so that I'm ready to focus my attention on my new tiny house. (See April Showers Bring May Flowers and Finishing an Owner-Built House!)

Later this week my partner Isha and I will pick up the trailer for, T42, the tiny house we're building for ourselves. On May Day, we'll begin setting up our build site at Green Anchors.

On Monday, May 2 we'll be kicking off a series of Build Blitzes for T42 and you're invited to join us! As is typical for a building project, we know that our T42 Build Timeline is subject to change, depending on weather, material sourcing, and progress made, but so far we're on track for the following timeline:

  • Monday, May 2 – Thursday, May 5: Tiny House Foundation & Build Prep
  • Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20: SIPs Wall & Roof Raising
  • Monday, May 30 – Friday, June 3: Rainscreen, Exterior Trim, Siding
  • Monday, June 13 – Friday, June 17: Lofts, Interior Walls & Painting
  • Sunday, June 26 – Thursday, June 30: Cabinets, Built-Ins & Stairs

If you want some hands-on build experience, please join us for a week-long Build Blitz or for the day as a Tiny House Helper!

During this first Build Blitz we'll be working on the floor system for our tiny house, which will involve:

  • installing our undercarriage to protect the house from the ground - whether we're parked on on the road
  • insulating the floor system
  • installing our subfloor
  • making a cut list for our lumber package
  • measuring thrice and cutting once for our window framing, sill plates, and top plates
  • laying out and bolting down our sill plates so that the walls can be raised during our next Build Blitz
  • ensuring that our site and materials are ready for our Wall Raising Build Blitz

We hope some of you will be able to join us for the build if you're so inclined. And either way, please know that your encouragement and moral support are greatly appreciated!

Cilantro Poncho Build Blitz: Day 5


Cilantro Poncho Day 5 Team Photo If you’d like to come see what we accomplished during the Cilantro Poncho Build Blitz, please come visit us for Cilantro Poncho's First Open House at 5:30 pm on Friday, March 11 at 4674 N Kain Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705.*

Yesterday was Day 5 of a week-long build blitz for the Meyerhofer’s tiny house, Cilantro Poncho. Day 1 was a prep day, Day 2 and Day 3 we worked on wall raising, and Day 4 we got our final wall panel up and prepped for the roof. Yesterday we finished up roof prep, applied liquid flashing for the windows, and got the first two roof panels up.

Richard blowing out the candles on his bday cake!

We also had a special lunch and dessert for Richard, who was celebrating his birthday. It’s so cool that he chose to spend his birthday week helping Courtney and Kurt to get their little house started! His help has been invaluable this week and we’re so grateful for him! Richard’s birthday presents from me were enrollment in my upcoming Tiny House Considerations Course and a design consultation, so I’m glad that I’ll get to help him move his tiny house dream forward, too.


The day’s tasks included:

  • Beveling perimeter framing for roof panels
  • Leveling the trailer
  • Applying liquid flashing around the exterior of the windows
  • Cutting and attaching “outriggers” to the end roof panels
  • Hoisting the first panel into place
  • Squaring up the panel
  • Attaching the first roof panel to the top plate with SIP screws
  • Installing the first spline into the second panel
  • Installing the second panel

It was hot yesterday so we were mindful of staying hydrated and sunscreened. We also took breaks in the shade whenever we needed them, but we still made good progress. After all the head scratching related to the trailer camber on Day 3, it was exciting to see how nicely the house settled onto the trailer and leveled out once we removed the shims and lowered the stabilizing jacks. Having the top plates attached at the top of the walls really helped and we expect the additional weight of the roof panels will make the house level out completely.

Mark, Richard, and Kurt worked on ripping, beveling, and mitering the remaining framing for the perimeter of the roof panels while Courtney prepped the roof panels for the framing by removing a little excess foam with the 6” foam cutter. Meanwhile, Andrea worked on liquid flashing on the windows. All those years of cake decorating have made her our go-to liquid flasher! She’s good! Courtney and I joined Andrea for window flashing a while later and I enjoyed visiting with Courtney while we passed the sausage gun back and forth. With so many power tools going all week long, it was nice to have a little quiet time to visit!

Getting those first two roof panels up was really exciting and we were tempted to do more, but it had been a long, hot day and Andrea and Mark had a special invitation to have supper with some friends of theirs, so we decided to end on a high note. And by a high note, I mean that Kurt and Courtney climbed up onto their roof to admire the view of the Santa Catalina Mountains!

Tomorrow we’re eager to get the last of the roof panels on, do some touch ups on the water resistant barrier, and install a window so Courtney and Kurt know how that’s done.

If you’d like to come see what we accomplished during the Cilantro Poncho Build Blitz, please come visit us for Cilantro Poncho's First Open House at 5:30 pm on Friday, March 11 at 4674 N Kain Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705.*

*If you’re reading this after Cilantro Poncho's First Open House and you’d like to visit, please be sure to contact Courtney and Kurt to arrange a day and time. They can’t accept unannounced visitors because they’ve got work to do finishing their little house and they need to make sure everyone who visits can do so during a time that’s safe. Thanks!

Tiny House Build Blitz in Tucson


SIPs Wall Raising during a Build Blitz in Spring 2015 Are you considering building a tiny house of your own? Do you want to learn how to build with SIPs (structural insulated panels?) If you are getting serious about building your tiny house this year, one of the very best things you can do is get some hands-on building experience.

I'm going to be leading a week-long Tiny House Build Blitz in Tucson, AZ at the beginning of March to help a fabulous couple build their tiny dream home and we're excited to share this learning opportunity with you, too! If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, this workshop is for you! 

SIPs Walls Going Up

Sign up with a buddy and you both get $100 off when you sign up! Space is limited, so please register for the Build Blitz in Tucson to claim your spot today! 

I built my tiny house with SIPs in 2014 and I've been helping other people do the same ever since. In a week-long build blitz using SIPs we can typically get the floor done, the walls up, the roof on, and the waterproofing on. We'll work together each step of the way! And the best part is you'll get to do this with the encouragement of other people who are embarking on a similar journey. (Hint: the people in the workshop may help you build YOUR house someday!)

The $395 workshop cost includes:

  • Hands-on experience building the shell of a tiny house on wheels using high-quality, energy-efficient building materials including SIPs and a liquid-applied water resistant barrier!
  • Personalized instruction to use basic hand and power tools!
  • Your very own tool belt with basic hand tools to take home with you!
  • The satisfaction of helping an awesome couple start their tiny dream home!
  • Lots of laughs, high fives, and an awesome sense of empowerment!

This six-day workshop will run from 9AM to 5PM each day from Sunday, March 6 through Friday, March 11 in Tucson, AZ. 

Register for the Build Blitz in Tucson to claim your spot today!