Canadian Renegade

Renegade: an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior

Month: December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Aimee and I are spending time with our friends and family over the holidays so there might not be anymore new videos until the new year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Tiny House Plumbing: We Sprung a Leak

Well this is what I was dealing with the evening of December 21st. Usually, our posts are composed of material from this passed year, while we were building the tiny house. Today’s video, however, is more current as we’ve been experiencing the ups and downs of tiny house living. I spent a significant amount of time on this repair after work and I was planning to put out some content for you guys anyway, so I figured why not publish this gong show as it’s happening.

 

Alternating Stairs, Shower, Ladder and More! Mega Update part 2

These stairs were built from scratch out of finishing 1×6’s. One of the things we contemplated was how we would attach the stairs so they would be easy to remove if we needed to get under the floor to maintain the battery bank. The solution I can came up with was to use hinges to attach the top of the ladder. This is an inexpensive solution and much more stable then other methods I have seen. This ladder is still holding up well after 9 months.

During the build process we did our best to eliminate toxic materials where possible. One of the things we wanted to eliminate was a toxic mattress, especially since we would be sleeping on it for 7-8 hours every night. We ended up buying a natural latex mattress with an organic cotton cover. It doesn’t look like it but this is a 6″ thick queen size mattress

 

The second part of our tiny house Mega Update. I discuss our hand built ladder,  alternating staircase, shower, bedroom loft, bathroom lighting and mattress.

Skirting the Tiny House

Our original plan was to use spray foam under the trailer to seal up any remaining cracks where our foam insulation wasn’t able to reach. Unfortunately, winter crept up on us and before long we needed an alternate solution. As a temporary solution, we decided to skirt the house with UV protected foam insulation boards. Skirting the house would allow us to retain more heat  under the house by blocking drifting snow and cold air. Our water bladder for the house sits under our center floor, just above the trailer and we wanted to take precautionary measures to ensure the water lines, and the bladder itself, didn’t freeze as the temperatures dropped. We’ve since encountered two back to back weeks of frigid temperatures and can say, with a sign of relief, that our lines have remained open and our water bladder has remained liquid. The extreme cold snap did bring us a few other challenges, but you’ll have to stay tuned to read about those.

 

Paper Bag Flooring Tutorial

Choosing the flooring for the tiny house was another calculated decision. We had to think about sub-flooring, material weight, loss of head space and durability during transport. Luckily, my mom is a rather handy do-it-yourselfer who is always exploring practical and creative home improvement projects. She’d come across an article about paperbag flooring and the various techniques in which it could be applied. She had acquired a large roll of brown packing paper and had cut plank strips, then used a wood textured roller to stain each one. Using this method she was able to make her floor appear as though it was hardwood. We decided this light weight and cost effective method was one to be explored. We discovered a method of ripping and crumpling the paper which gave the floor a beautiful leather appearance and were sold on the idea. My mom did a few test boards for us to help us decide on how dark we wanted the floor, then she came over with her supplies and gave us a tutorial on the process. We spent a day together finishing the kitchen. Aimee’s mom came over another weekend and helped her tackle the removable floors pieces. Finally, Aimee took on the bathroom, stairs and remaining bits of floor. Each time I would come in and seal the floor with polyurethane. Overall we invested 25 – 30 hours into the floor, but we are happy with how it looks and how it’s held up in durability. Tune in to our tutorial for the step by step process.

 

Tiny House Mega Update – Part 1

The first in a series of videos that chronicle the extensive progress and changes made on our Tiny House. This Video is about safety upgrades we made but the other videos cover the interior. Things were really starting to come together at this point and we were getting impatient to move in.

More in this series:

Off Grid Electrical Overview

Our electrical system has both AC and DC circuits and provides the flexibility to run our house on grid or off grid. Right now, we are plugged into the grid but we already run our lights, furnace, and fans on DC power. When we move to our new location, which won’t be connected to utilities, all we have to do is add a few additional components to our electrical system. We are sort of treating this as a trial run so we get used to managing our power supply before we actually have to.

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Our battery and battery charger. When we switch to off grid we will put in a new bank of 3-5 batteries and put this one existing battery to use in a vehicle. The battery charger will still be used to charge the batteries when we run the generator.

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Our volt meter and thermostat. The volt meter is handy for monitoring our battery power. While not an exact science we generally try to keep our battery above 12.4 volts. In this picture the voltmeter is displaying the volts while the battery charger is on. Our AGM battery is fully charged when it reads about 13 volts with the charger off.

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The package from one of the LED bulbs we use in our main overhead lights. We use 4 of these for a total of 10 watts which is still less then 1 Amp. 10 Watts/12 Volts=0.83 Amps.

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Our 12v DC systems fuse block. It basically performs the same function as a breaker box does in an AC system. It uses common automotive fuses. You can see we labeled our circuits on the cover including the size of fuse that should be used.

In the video I discuss our DC system, Amp Hours, appliance selection and electrical panels.

Spray Foam Tips

Most people building tiny homes use a lot of spray foam. While spray foam works very well for sealing any gaps or cracks in your insulation it can be frustrating trying to apply it upside down or to grab a barely used bottle of spray foam just to find the nozzle is plugged shut. I put together a few tips that might help remedy these issues.

The tubing I mention in the video is ¼” outside diameter polyethylene tubing and it can be found at most big box hardware stores.

Homestead Land – Winter Walkthrough

My brother and his fiancé hadn’t seen our property yet so we had them out on the weekend to take a look around. There were a few things I wanted to check while I was out there so we decided to make a little video as well. The property was very beautiful, covered in snow and we saw plenty of evidence of what may have been elk while we were walking through some bush on the far side of the creek. We also saw a muskrat under the ice of the creek which was pretty cool.

 

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I’m very happy we found such a picturesque piece of land.

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The tiny frozen creek. We saw a muskrat under the ice when we were crossing over with the ladder.

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This picture could be used as the backdrop for a horror movie poster. This shack was left on the property. The prior owner must have come to grab his stuff but didn’t have a key so he removed the door.

In the video I look at an area on the other side of the creek I haven’t seen yet and check out the condition of the fence. We also measure a damaged culvert for replacement next year.

Kitchen and Bath

We didn’t have a ton of material on the specifics of our kitchen and bathroom, partly because a few videos I made of the bathroom are missing. We did have quite a few photos though so I was able to rebuild some of the missing content. This video is a slideshow with some added video where I explain different steps of the bathroom and kitchen install as well as some of the storage space we created.

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