Friday, 25 September 2015

How I made removable eves

One of the biggest problems in designing tiny houses is squeezing as much width possible out of 8 1/2 feet.  If you put your walls at 8 1/2 feet then you have no overhang.  If you put your roof line at 8 1/2 feet you are giving up precious room width, limiting your interior options.  My solution was to have the roof overhang removable and here is how I did it.

This solution requires welding and adds 40 to 60 hours to the house build.  Feel free to use my design for your own personal house, this design may not be used for commercial purposes without my written consent.

Lets begin with how I build the brackets.

The piece on the left (with the clamp attached) is made up of a piece of 1/8" x 2" flat bar steel.  Welded on to that is two threaded rod couplers which have a piece of threaded rod temporarily installed.  This bracket has 4 - 5 holes drilled in it and gets attached to the roof joist.

The bracket on the right has a piece of steel tubing welded to it. This allows the threaded rod to move as it is being placed and tightened with a regular nut.  Drill the same 4-5 holes

In the picture the piece of wood is acting like a jig so that everything lines up when it is installed on the house.  The gap between the two brackets is for the fascia board.  Each pair was numbered to keep them together because it is hard to get the position and angle the same from piece to piece.  That is why there is a number 2 on the rafter in the previous picture where I'm marking the back of the fascia.

Threaded rod comes in 10' lengths and was cut to length.  When cutting it put few nuts on it, when you take the nuts off it will clean the treads up.  They are removable and during transport, you can see
the holes in the fascia board in some of the pictures.  I ended up using bolts for the bottom holes to speed up installation and removal.

The dis-assembly`process involves removing the screws the metal roof on the overhand and loosening the first row of screws on the main roof (metal roofing is very stiff).  Remove the metal roof on the over hang.

The extensions are in 8' lengths so remove the screws from where the plywood overlaps the next rafter extension.  In the picture bellow is during the initial build and the plywood has not been nailed to the rafter extension yet.  Remove the nuts from the top threaded rod and bottom bolts.  Pull off the 8' section of eaves.  That is it, takes around 4 hours, maybe less with the bolts now. You end up with the 8' eaves sections, the metal roof pieces and the nuts and bolts, not too many pieces.

The metal roofing extensions slide 6" to 8" under the main roof.  No leak problems (heavy rain/wind) even if it did the water would still be outside the building envelop.  I used an Ice and water shield on the main roof that goes up a few feet as a secondary layer.  This is protected by a foot of aluminum flashing so it does get damaged when the roof is install/removed.

Send me an email if you have any questions and I'll update this post to clarify.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Interior work

 With so many projects on the go and no exterior storage it the interior was a bit of disaster.  In December I started focusing on getting the space livable. 

The first thing I did was build a storage shelf for all the tools and construction materials which made it a little better.

Next I insulated the south wheel well and a few other spots that I had to finish.  This got rid of the bulky insulation.  I spent some time reorganizing and was rewarded with a clear path.

 In mid January I built a temporary desk and continued to sort and toss.

By mid March I had added some storage under the counter and near the door.  I also managed to sell the bookcases and desk.  I also finished most of the tongue and groove.  The space is really starting to open up!

The kitchen also had work done during this period.  First I bough the biggest toaster oven that I could find. Mmmmmm, solar powered oatmeal raisin cookies!

 The following week I picked up a 10cu ft fridge and had to lift it onto it's shelf all by my self.  The secret was to use a 2x4 as a lever.


Finally the electrical panel was installed and the dishwasher and oven moved up.

The temporary entrance closet.  The kitchen also received 3 20 amp GFI plugs.  No more extension cords!

 The temporary kitchen shelving.

The loft was reorganized and the walls where finished up.  The cedar wall had to pulled down and redone because it wasn't straight

It just needs the ceiling and storage cabinets.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Exterior work

Now that winter is coming to an end the exterior work is starting up.  There is a little bit of siding to finish, painting the trim and installing the removable eaves.

First the eaves had to be primed and painted

Next the second part of the bracket was attached to the house.  The painted rafter extensions where then attached and the plywood decking nailed on.  Finally the roofing was screwed down.

Waiting for the right color screws.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Electrical system upgrade

Since is has been so long since I have done a proper update I'll summarizing the updates to each system.

Back in August I was running a 2500 watt 12v inverter, 2 x 200 watt solar panels and a cheap charge controller.  I was having to run the generator a couple of hours a day to keep the batteries from going dead with minimal use of electricity.

I put in my order for my new solar system in September.  I was excited and nervous, it was awesome.  I've been researching and waiting for over a decade to have a off grid system and it was finally happening.  I was nervous because it was going to be $7,000.

The first thing to arrive was the charge controller which would allow me to run the panels at over 100 volts and the battery bank at 48 volts.  Shortly after receiving the charge controller I sold the inverter for a nice profit but I had to make do for a few weeks with a cheap inverter.

While waiting for the parts to come in I make another trip to the states for batteries.  It was funny watching the suspension when they dropped the 16 golf cart batteries in the truck bed.

More power!

The wrong panel for the inverter came in so I had to wait a another week for it to come in but that gave me time to order cables for the new panels.  Once the cables and proper electrical panel arrived I got to work installing them.  The new inverter gives me 4400 watts at 240 volts, more than I'll need.  The electrical panel handles the DC breakers and main AC breakers, including inverter bypass.

The batteries will be tucked under the cabinetry so I needed a way to pull them out for maintenance.  I made two skate boards for them to sit on

6 of the 9 panels @ 250 watts each.  I've been using the solar setup most of the winter.  My generator has not been used since the fall.  On cloudy days I make 1 to 2 KWh and over 10KWh on sunny days.  I've stopped using propane to heat my water because I produce so much electricity.

Just recently I installed and wired the AC breaker box.  I'm pretty happy with the job I did.  I just have a few more circuits to add and it needs to be permanently installed once the cabinetry is done.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Time for a new post

I've been ignoring this blog for a few reasons and I'll let you pick the best one from the list

  • I accidentally found a job
  • I was physically unable to work on the house for a few months
  • I was busy working on the house
  • I was fixing issues with the house
  • I was visiting family over the holidays
  • I was attacked by a ROUS
  • There wasn't a whole lot of traffic to the blog

One of the reason that I started this blog was to document the progress of the build.  This helped me during those times that it felt like it was taking forever to progress.  I would read my posts from the previous month and be surprised on the progress I had forgot about.  Recently I've felt that I haven't needed it as much because even though the progress has slowed, the progress has become more visible.

In the next few weeks I'll be posting updates what has been done on all the major system, problem I've encountered and how I fixed them.  Starting in March I'll be refocusing on the house so you can expect regular updates.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

First Month Living in the Tiny House

I have to say that after living in a not-quite-finished tiny house for a month I love it.  It may be cluttered but the size feels right.

The last 3 weeks where incredibly busy with work and trying to get the house livable. For most of time I was using a pop bottle to shower, it was only on the 2nd last day that I had a working shower (it was awesome!).  I'm taking a 6 week break from the house and I won't be able to do very much when I get back so the pressure is on.

I'm going try to take pictures when I get back into the house of all these projects

Stained and installed almost all of the siding

Plumbed all the gas lines using black iron and copper lines

Installed the stove, furnace and hot water tank

Installed the kitchen sink

Installed most fresh water lines

Plumbed the shower

Built a rough outline of the cabinetry

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Moving Days!

Moving a tiny house for the first time is a stressful experience, and to top it off I was starting a job as soon as I arrived.
When I attached the tiny house to my truck the truck's rear wheels looked ready to pop.  The trailer tires didn't look much better.  It was pretty late so i decided to sleep on the problem.  The next morning I called around and came up with a new plan.
Trip 1
Truck loaded with the washing machine and batteries would pull a trailer loaded with my second vehicle which would also be filled with stuff.
Trip 2 Calgary -> Okanagan
Rented 1 ton pickup would bring the rented trailer back to Kelowna
Trip 3 Okanagan -> Calgary
Rented 1 ton would pull the tiny house to Calgary

Feeling a lot more confident about the move I departed on the first trip.  I checked my axle weights and found out I was carrying too much weight on the trucks rear axle.  This was solved by moving the batteries into the trunk of my second vehicle.  The rest of the trip went well except for my headlights being a little high.
I slept in the truck at a visitors center and made it into to the property around noon.  With unloading the car and getting the rental sorted I was 5 hours behind my schedule.  I was able to make up a little bit of time returning to the Okanagan with the empty trailer.  I finally made it to bed around 2 am.
I was up early the next morning to finish cleaning the place that I was leaving. I still had to get the rear bumper and lights done.  I pulled the house into the main parking area to weld the bumper and I was already impressed with how well the rental truck handled the weight.

By 3pm I was on the road back to Calgary, the Tiny house handled really well.  I did keep my speed around 80 to 90 km/h (50 to 55mph).  I averaged 25L/100kms (9.5mpg)for the trip, that's 1 liter of diesel every 4 kms!  The truck handled the weight no problem including going up and down the steep mountain passes.  The only problem was the trailer axles where loaded with 9500lbs, far heavier than I expected.
I arrived at the site at 2:00am and proceeded to position the house and unload the rental.  By the time I returned the truck and crawled into bed it was 5:00am giving me a whole hour of sleep before starting my new job.