Today we celebrated the hard work, incredible creativity, and mad building skills of our students as we wrapped up Tiny House Design-Build. As I've noted previously in Less is More Wrap Up and Tiny House Design-Build Wrap Up, Presentation Day feels like Xmas morning to me! Watching the activity of the design studio the night before Presentation Day is a bit like hanging out in Santa's workshop on Xmas Eve. It leaves one with a night of excitedly disrupted sleep, curiosity brewing about what will be revealed the following day.
Over the past two days of Tiny House Design-Build we've been busy on the build site with safety and tool orientation, insulating the wooden floor box of our trailer, and framing our first wall. In the studio we've explored design considerations ranging from siting, climate, and massing to codes, regulations, and what to look for (and ask for) when ordering a tiny house trailer.
This month is jam-packed with tiny house goodness: This weekend I'll be participating in the Tiny House Conference, where I'll be speaking about tiny house Building Basics and leading the Open Source session. I participated in the Tiny House Conference in Charlotte last year and it was a great chance to meet several of the bloggers I'd been following and corresponding with as well as hundreds of other tiny house enthusiasts. I'm thrilled to get to catch up with old friends and make new ones at the Tiny House Conference again! People are already starting to roll into town for the conference. Yesterday I saw Jeremy Beasley who created the film Small is Beautiful, which will be show at the conference. (I'm in it, but I haven't yet seen it, so that will be a fun experience!)
But first, on Friday I'll be participating in the Tiny House UnConference, which is a networking event to support tiny house businesses and innovation. I can't wait to swap ideas and inspiration with other tiny house advocates!
The last weekend of the month I'll be cohosting a Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop with Angela Ramseyer of MightyMicroBuilt. We're working with a fabulous couple with whom I did design consultation, so it's really exciting that we'll be helping move their tiny dream into the next phase with the wall raising using a SIPs Kit from Artisan Tiny House. If you'd like to join us, please register for the workshop.
Hope to see you at some of these events!
Think you might want to build your tiny house with SIPs? Ready for some practical, hands-on building experience? Want to have fun and feel empowered to build your own wee abode? I'm teaming up with Angela Ramseyer of MightyMicroBuilt to lead a 2-day SIPs Wall Raising Workshop the weekend of April 25-26, 2015 in Vancouver, WA (near Portland, OR).
In this two day workshop we will show you how to properly construct the shell of a tiny house using a Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) kit from Artisan Tiny House. You'll learn how to use a variety of hand tools and power tools as we install floor panels, wall panels, and roof panels for a tiny house on wheels.
Space is limited, so claim your spot in the 2-day SIPs Wall Raising Workshop.
The Pedalpalooza ADU and Tiny House Tours on Saturday were great fun. Now I'm working with PAD to gear up for three exciting workshops in the coming weeks: Tiny House Work Parties are small group workshops that provide supervised, hands-on tiny house construction experience before your start building your own house. Experience and enthusiasm are contagious, and as you help put someone else's house together, you'll gain the skills, confidence, and excitement to you need to get moving on your own tiny house dream.
On Friday, July 5th PAD is hosting a work party to build the foundation of an 8-food Don Vardo that Dee Williams will take across the United States during the book tour of her memoir due out in 2014. The foundation is the most unique part of building a tiny house on wheels and helping Dee build a tiny house is a truly unique experience.
On Saturday, July 6th PAD is hosting a work party to construct the walls and roof of a 16 ft tiny house designed by Kate Goodnight, a graduate of PAD's Tiny House Basics Workshop and author of the awesome tiny house blog Naj Haus.
The weekend of July 20-21 PAD will host a Tiny House Basics Workshop, which is an introduction to Tiny House Design & Building. This workshop is comprehensive but entry-level, introducing you to the unique design and building principles that apply to a tiny house on wheels. It will include: how to properly anchor a stick-built structure to a trailer, considerations for utilities, and navigating codes, insurance, and regulations. The workshop includes a tour of a tiny house where the topics we've discussed are brought to life.
On Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 I teamed up with Derin and Andra Williams of Shelterwise, and Dee Williams and Joan Grimm of Portland Alternative Dwellings to put on a 2-day building workshop to construct La Casa Pequena. The workshop was part of La Casa Verde green building festival in McMinnville, OR. (Stay tuned for lots more photos!)
With Derin’s dad DK and seven fantastic workshop participants from as far away as British Columbia, California, and Utah we built the shell of a tiny house on wheels in just 2 days! (Of course, Derin put many more hours into designing this wee abode and prepping the workshop so that everything was ready to go. Derin had the sheet metal pan installed in advance and two of the walls pre-built. Thanks for your meticulous planning, Derin!)
La Casa Pequena has a simple form with a shed roof, symmetrical sidewalls, and the short wall towards the tongue end of the trailer for aerodynamics. However, the wall system is quite sophisticated since Derin is an expert in energy efficiency. He’s a stickler for building excellent wall systems so we included building science lessons along with construction tips. (You don't have to take my word for it! You can read Angela Ramseyer's and Dee Williams' recap of the workshop, too!)
The tiny house was constructed on a 12-foot long trailer custom built by Iron Eagle Trailers. (Read more about Rob and Iron Eagle Trailer in Trailer Lust.) We started out Day 1 by securing the floor box into the trailer frame with ½ inch bolts through the sidewalls of the trailer and insulating the space between the joists.
Next we finished constructing the frame, using one of the sidewalls as a template for the other. The workshop participants had varying levels of familiarity and comfort with speed squares, impact drivers, and saws, so we shared tricks for building in a safe and smart way. By the end of the first day we had raised the four walls and secured them to the trailer and to each other with HTT tension ties and fastener plates.
We raised the roof at the beginning of Day 2 with the help of a few folks from Casa Verde booths. Together we hoisted the roof system up onto the walls and secured it with hurricane ties. Once the roof was in place we wheeled La Casa Pequena into the middle of the Casa Verde celebration. We wrapped the house in drain wrap and stapled it in place with plastic washers. (This house has its sheer panels on the inside so we installed the house wrap directly onto the studs without sheathing it first.) Then Tate from Dupont demonstrated how to install a window, using flexible flashing. (Dupont donated the housewrap and flashing for this build. Thanks Dupont!)
Installing windows is my favorite part of the construction of a tiny house shell because it add so much personality to the structure. All of the sudden the house comes alive. In this case it was also exciting to install the windows because we were able to wrap up the workshop once the last window was installed.
Throughout the summer La Casa Pequena will serve as a demo house for micro workshops on plumbing, electrical, and interior finishes. Stay tuned for more information. Meanwhile, we’re switching gears to prep for our upcoming PAD Tiny House Design Workshop next weekend!
Here is a note from Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD) regarding our upcoming La Casa Pequena construction workshop. I am so excited to participate in this workshop. Please join us if you're able!
We are super excited to let you know about our upcoming (first of the season!) hands-on tiny house construction workshop: La Casa Pequena.
During this 2-day intensive building workshop you will construct the shell of a tiny house, including building the floor frame, installing insulation, framing the walls, sheathing the assembly, wrapping the house, installing windows, and anchoring to the trailer. You will experience the building of many of the major components of a super tight tiny house.
Every workshop participant will receive personal attention and instruction from our tiny house construction experts: Dee Williams of PAD, Derin Williams of Shelter Wise, and Lina Menard of Niche Consulting. Whether you’ve never used a power tool or you’re a seasoned builder looking for tiny house building experience, this weekend workshop will provide you the experience and community you need to take the next step toward tiny.
There are only 15 spots and we expect it to fill fast, so register today!
La Casa Pequena Tiny House Building Workshop will be April 19-20th, 2013, held during Cellar Ridge Construction’s annual La Casa Verde Earth Day Festival in McMinnville, Oregon. To sign up, register on the PAD website. Keep in touch with us about your tiny house journey via email, Facebook, the PAD website, or an old-fashioned phone call.