Friday, November 26, 2010

Return to tiny thoughts

It has been a long long while, but I'm getting my head back into the tiny house project, now that the weather here is perfect once again.

One major setback: I had purchased Pella custom windows for all the openings, based on excellent reviews on the web and by Consumer Reports, but when they came, the quality was horrible. There were quite a few caulking splotches on the windows inside the sealed gas-filled space between the two panes, there was caulking all over the frames, one of the frames had a huge crack in it, and they were not even trued up properly, so the angles were all off square! Some of it was design: the latch-holes were just holes literally punched into the fiberglass, with no trim or insert to protect the cut fiberglass edges from getting torn up. But most of it was just plain abysmal workmanship. Very very surprising, considering how much research I did prior to purchasing them, and of course, they were not cheap. Unfortunately, Pella's rough opening specs are just slightly smaller than their competitors, at least the one's I have checked so far. That means that my openings were built just a little bit too small for standard sized windows from these companies. Looks like I will have to purchase an electric planer in the coming weeks...

On another note, it is nice to see an icon among tiny house companies, Tumbleweed, validating my exterior design, with a boxy modern look, flat sloped roof, rusted steel sheathing and all!

The Tumbleweed Popomo's roof is much less sloped, and the interior layout is quite different, but otherwise the similarities are, well, uncanny. Tumbleweed is having a $9.99 sale on the plans, so I snatched up a set. I'm hoping they help with details such as the roofing edges, and around the windows.

All summer I have battled to keep my frame protected from the elements. Brutal Sonoran Desert sun, torrential monsoon downpours, and heavy winds have all decimated one tarp after another. I have learned quickly that you have to spend some cash for a decent tarp, but even the best have not lasted more than a few months to date. I'm still a ways off from sheathing, so I have been looking for new ideas for covering the structure. I recently found this:

I have worked with billboard material before, creating bike bags, but hadn't thought they were available in such large sizes. I'm planning to buy a couple. They are actually quite cheap compared to my next best option, even with $80 shipping for two tarps, and much thicker, twice as thick in fact. They are going to be monstrously heavy to work with though, I will probably cut them into smaller panels.

Hopefully more frequent posts will be forthcoming, as the weather and holidays are generally good for tiny house progress. Ciao!