Week 23 was spent frantically tracking down financing for the last $5k of the build and securing a long term parking space somewhere in Olympia. Family came through with loaned and gifted money which is now turning out to STILL not be enough, but it’s enough to get me through to the end of the year and to get the house livable.
Get. The House. Livable. Because I’m going to be living in it soon. And it’s so close I can taste it.
I went to the interview at the Ideal Parking Spot and we came to an agreement. Wild Rose has a semi-permanent home! The spot is just down the road from school… I test walked the trail through the woods and it took 17 minutes from campus to the spot. Rad. My new landlords are sweet and grounded and feel like old friends already. We’re moving the house there next weekend.
With all that stress taken care of, I was able to start buying more supplies, most importantly T&G for the interior walls. I found a man just up the road from my new parking spot with a small lumber yard and bought 576 board feet of 1×6 beetle kill pine, and 480 board feet of 1×6 cedar. I still need another 500 feet of cedar for the ceiling but it wouldn’t fit in the truck. I wanted a varied texture to the walls, rather than one solid pattern of wood, and wanted to use the beetle kill pine but without having too much blonde wood in the house, so decided to do 1/2 of the walls beetle kill pine, and the other half + the ceiling cedar. Cedar costs half as much so this was financially beneficial too.
I also picked up the Roxul insulation for the ceiling and took a quick road trip to Portland to pick up my full sized futon, gifted to me from a friend, and an extra box of Oregon Shepherd insulation. A friend came by one night and we ate dinner sitting on the wheel well frames and then got most of the wool fluffed and installed.
The extra box of wool STILL wasn’t enough, but I think the Roxul will cover it. I wanted batts for the ceiling because the thought of stuffing loose wool at an angle on a ladder was too much for me. The Roxul is itchy but is apparently not as toxic as fiberglass, and is super easy to install.
I took the last few days before Thanksgiving break off of school and house building to go up to Seattle for Fish Expo, which was amazing and full of much loved faces that I only get to see in Alaska. My friend Kris, who was my deck boss on the Carole B last summer, was in town to see family and I swooped him up on the way out of Seattle to spend the weekend with me in Olympia. We were both viciously hungover but took a very long detour across the Edmonds ferry and out the peninsula to Port Townsend to pick up my Origo 3000 alcohol stove. I won’t have the electricity for an electric stove and decided at the beginning against propane, so an alcohol stove seemed the best choice. I really want the Origo 6000 (it has an oven!) but at $1,799 that’s going to have to wait. The Origo 3000 goes for $400 new but someone on CL was selling for $200, so it was worth the trip.
Kris and I spent the first day of our work weekend running over to my new parking space to sign my lease (hoorah!) and then caulking all the seams and window frames and trim on the outside of the house. We used a “cedar brown” caulk. It is brown all right. I am a messy caulker but I thought once I stained over it, it wouldn’t show. Ha, ha. Absolutely not true. But oh well. I have a house.
Then we got the rest of the wool fluffed and the Roxul installed in the ceiling.
The next day we sanded down all 132 pieces of T&G with 80 grit sandpaper blocks, and wiped them all clean with tack cloth. I had some pint cans of sample stains from Daly’s and tested the stain on both cedar and pine. I knew I wanted the cedar to be pretty dark, and wanted the swirly blue effect of the beetle kill pine, but hated how much blonde pine color there is on the boards. I mixed 50% English Oak/Walnut stain and turns out the different shades of blue/blonde in the pine turn out different shades of brown when stained… giving the same swirly calico effect I was looking for, without having so much bright pine color on the walls. Sweet! Monday I drove Kris up to Bellevue for further travels and picked up stain from Daly’s and then came back home. I spent the entire week alone at home working on the tiny house, including Thanksgiving. I got all the cedar and pine sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and stained.
As I was going through the pieces of pine I noticed some were dark enough or swirly enough or just cool enough looking that I knew I wouldn’t mind having them on the wall. Plus, I got really tired of sanding and staining by hand out in the rain under a leaky tarp in the freezing cold, so I ended up with about 2:1 stained/unstained pine. When I started putting it up in the house, I staggered the pieces and it turned out AWESOME.
Installing T&G is so easy. I started on the wall that will be entirely covered eventually by bookshelves and a couch, so I could get the hang of cutting out around the outlet boxes. I used a jigsaw and that was easy too. I got close to half the walls done in about 10 hours of work. Hopefully will get the rest, minus the sections waiting for plumbing, on Friday.
I also stained the entire outside of the house. We had a whole week of sunny, cold weather. I had a blip of panic when I tested the stain on a piece of cedar (Cedar Naturaltone from Lowe’s) because it was so orange. I hate orange. I panicked and considered just using a clear sealant since I liked how the house was looking, but with all that messy brown caulk everywhere that wasn’t really an option. Jerry suggested I mix a darker brown into the orange to even it out, so I tried that with the Russet stain I’d picked out for trim and it looked ok. I dumped the whole quart of Russet into the gallon of Cedar Naturaltone, and then picked out a much darker Walnut stain for the trim. It took me 2 days of work, but I got it all done and it looks not only tolerable but pretty damn great.
The brown really did even out the orange tone. I ended up having to get another whole gallon+quart of stain to finish. That rough cut cedar siding sucks up the stain like nobody’s business. It’s been in the 20s here at night, and although the stain says not to apply if the temperatures will drop below 35 within 24 hours, there seems to have been no harm done. We’ll see how it holds up long term, but for now I have a (almost, sort of, not really) completed exterior!
That takes us up to today, when I spent 6 hours at my new parking spot trying to level it out a bit, cutting back branches and pulling out ferns, moving around pallets and sawing fallen branches with a handsaw to get them out of the way. I found all kinds of weird things buried under dirt or leaves, including what I believe to be a tetherball post, embedded inside a tire with concrete. I can’t wait to come up with an interesting use for that.
The ground is still lumpy but I think I’ll be able to get the house leveled. I don’t know how far back my Dad and his amazing trailer driving skillzzz will be able to get the house, but I measured the whole driveway and it’s definitely wide enough for the house. Moving day a week from today. I was going to come home and put up some more walls, but this week and especially this morning have been grueling, so I’m going to lounge in my pajamas, watch Firefly and start a batch of kombucha. Tiny house work will commence after our final project for school is done on Thursday. Countdown: one month until move in!
Some Fish Expo fun just for the heck of it: