Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Erase and Rewind ('cause I'll be changing my mind)

Ok, yes, I just made a new layout plan for my tiny house. But hey, a girl can change her mind.  It just so happens that I was interested in finding out more about the idea I had of a moss roof, so I googled "tiny house moss roof" and found >>this<< piece of lovelyness. Needless to say, I fell head over heels for the open kitchen area and book shelf wall, so I decided to rethink my layout once again. As I've been avoiding the city for the past few days, hanging out with my mom in the countryside, I haven't had time to do a SketchUp of it yet, but mom - who is also planning to build a house on wheels - drew it up on her computer in Photoshop. So here it is, the new and improved version:
The blue area shows where the loft extends to. Basically, you enter through the double doors and find the kichen stretched along the right short wall. (I'd like a bay window here, to put lots of fresh herbs in, but we didn't draw that in. In fact, since we used mom's drawing for her house as a base, the outline of her porch is still there, but never mind that.)
The wood stove will be on the left side of the entrance and a kitchen table with chairs will be right in front it, next to a big window on the opposite wall. Along that same wall will be the sofa/guest bed which will be right up against the bookshelf wall which leads (through a sliding door) into the bathroom. To the left of the bathroom, hidden behind the bookshelf wall, will be a pull-out wardrobe. 
I'm really happy with this design because it feels more open, spacious, and better proportioned and balanced.

Today we visited a shot blasting company to find out what it will cost to turn our (now quite rusty) trailers into shiny beauty queens. It was more than we hoped, but we managed to get the price down a bit by asking the big boss man to do them both at the same time (and batting our eye lashes a little more than usual.) He certainly enjoyed having two ladies in his office and after showing us most of the pictures on his iPhone (including the house he built and the view from it, his grand children, and some vacation pictures from Spain), as well as his carpenter journeyman diploma (presented to us in a nothern dialect O_รด), and telling us how much taxes he paid last year and about all the other businesses he runs, he offered to also throw in the stuff I need to treat the wood for my house (which I don't want to paint) and show me how to do it properly :)

We also stacked up all of the material we've been given so far (for free!) today. Oh, the pure joy I feel when looking at those planks, boards, panels, studs, and trusses!

(and that's not even all of it!)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

New Design

I spent yesterday drawing up a new design in SketchUp; a program I'm really enjoying more and more. Here  is the result:

 Of course, this is just a general idea. The exact look, materials and window placements will depend on what I find as I go along. But I think the layout is pretty much there.

 I want to make a wine barrel shower, which I think looks great and takes minimum space. Like this:

 I got the idea of making the shelf-ladder from >>this<< very cool house by Colin.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Funky Functionality

A tiny house builder/dweller told me recently that the number one tip she could give me would be to draw, draw, and draw. You get new ideas and a better overview of what your house would actually look like when you put it down on paper - even if it's just basic sketches. I took her word for it and sat down to brainstorm. (Before I had only made some design ideas in Google SketchUp when I first had the idea of building a house on wheels. I think it's a very good start, but with a blank sheet I've actually had some new sparks of genius!)

Let's start with the SketchUp design, so you know the general layout. Don't mind the Swedish - a lot of my ideas have changed since making this, but the entrance, kitchen area, loft, and extra bed/seating area are still in the same place (Inside measurements are 600x250x330 cm):

You know those slim, tall, arched windows from an old castle tower that were given to me? These ones:

Well, I had this idea of building a bay window - something like this:

Then I thought that really, wouldn't it be cool to build a storage bench along the short side, skip the traditional table and chairs, and instead create a more asian style (raised) floor seating with a low table? Something like this:

It would give me plenty of storage, more floor space, and a great dining area that could be turned into a guest bed by simply unstacking the cut-to-size foam cushions and placing them side by side, creating a mattress - like this:

Pretty groovy, no?!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Light My Fire

One of my best childhood memories is arriving late on a rainy night to our summer house on the Swedish west coast; the century-old house damp to its core after a long, cold winter and rainy spring. My parents would light the wood stove in our bedroom and lie for five minutes in each of our beds to warm them up before we crawled in. The sheets would still be a little cool and damp, but we would lie in silence, listening to the crackle of the fire and watching the fluttering beams of light dance on the ceiling, before drifting into sleep.

I intend to have a small wood stove in my tiny house to heat it during the cold months (which are more or less six out of twelve), since it's really the most economically and ecologically friendly option - cozy factor aside. A couple of months ago I made a real bargain on Lauritz (one of  my idle pleasures in life) when having the winning bid on this little jugend gem:

Isn't it just gorgeous? I got it for only 2000 SEK (€230 / £205 / $320). The make is Swedish Husqvarna and it was released on the market in 1905. It is 77 cm high (just over 30 inches), 34 cm in diameter (just over 13 inches), and wonderfully decorated with daisies. I absolutely love it!

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Best Things are Free

Sure, there is laughter and love, but boy how my heart hops when I'm given building materials - totally free of charge! I spent my Sunday off (only two weeks left of service-slavery now!) with my mother, who has been a very busy bee indeed. She is this brilliant force of nature who forces nature to behave how she wants (as a landscape architecht and general green-finger-goddess), who knows too many carpenters, builders, excavators, decorators, plumbers, electricians, farmers, and utility men to count on all my fingers and toes. These fabulous men in overalls (they happen to all be men) are like wells of wisdom when it comes to everything anyone might need to know if deciding to, say, build a tiny house on wheels. Also, these men in overalls often come upon material left-overs such as planks and boards, bricks and tiles, and sometimes even 18th century double doors and arched windows from a castle tower. And when these men in overalls do, since a few months back, they give it to my mom and me! So lo and behold, my tiny house treasures:
Paneled double doors. These will be my front doors, which will have to be reinforced during winter with inner doors that will keep the heat in.

Arched windows There are eight of them, but I'm not sure they're all in good enough shape to use. I will have to mount them in pairs to make double glaze windows (for isolation purposes).

 Lovely door handle which I intend to use for the bathroom sliding door.

 Two of these tyres will go on my trailer. The board pile is growing...

More material...

Perfect size bathroom window!