Canadian Renegade

Renegade: an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior

Author: Aimee Kozun

Living in a Tiny House: A Year in Review

Without a shadow of a doubt, there are some incredibly innovative and well designed tiny houses being built around the globe. We often find ourselves watching videos of these beautifully crafted and cozy tiny houses from our own humble abode.¬† We also find ourselves pausing from time to time to ponder is that really practical? Sometimes the answer is an obvious no, and other times the answer is it depends on your lifestyle, or how you’re using that tiny home. Some tiny houses appear to completely lack storage solutions, food prep areas, or basic necessities. But all of these choices could make sense if you’re on the move, you enjoy minimalist living, you live in an urban area where food is readily available, or other lifestyle factors. What these decisions really boil down to is what works for the home owner. This is also the most beautiful part of tiny living – the myriad of creative solutions waiting to be discovered!

Even so, when we see a tiny house that doesn’t make sense to us, we itch for that year-in-review episode to see if the design really was effective or if they would make changes. With that in mind, we decided to do our own year in review. We’ve been in our quaint mini mansion for a year now, and we’ve experienced it in all four Canadian seasons. We really wanted to be honest about what worked well and what didn’t. Would we make different decisions if we had to do it all over again? Probably. Do we regret building and living in a tiny house? Not at all! Take a look at what we discovered.

A Complete Review of the Splendide 2100XC – Washer/Dryer Combo
Fixing the Splendide 2100XC – Washer/Dryer Combo

A special thank you to Sustainable Me for granting us access to additional footage of our tiny house. See more about the Sustainable Me project here: http://sustainablemeyeg.ca/

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.

 

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