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Update

I’ve been living in the house now for almost 9 months and I figure it’s time for an update.

Once the propane was hooked up the winter was fine.  The Rinnai wall heater was plenty of heat for a Vermont winter…the house was always cozy and warm.  I did have one incident of frozen water and discovered that an animal had gotten into my water shed and managed to unplug my heat tape from the outlet…that’s fixed.

Living in the house has been great.  I don’t feel like I lack for space as long as I’m diligent about putting things away.  I have added a number of “organizational/storage” spaces and containers that help a lot.  My daughter and grandson came up for a week and she stayed with me all week.  My grandson spent a lot of time at his grandmother’s house but did spend a night or two in the tiny house.  We did fine living together for the week.

Cleaning the house is so nice…I can devote less than an hour and get the whole place vacuumed and scrubbed clean.

This past weekend I added a deck off of the porch.  I used concrete post supports and bolted it to the porch so that if I decide to move the house the deck will be easily transportable.  I had dinner on the deck last night for the first time.

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I do have a couple of projects for the summer.  First, to get the driveway extended up along the south side of the house and create a small parking/turn around area.  We finished up the site work so close to winter last year that we decided to wait on this project until spring.

Also, I want to put some skirting around the house.  I’ll probably use PT plywood with blue board glued to the inside.

I’m also hoping to get a solar system set-up but I’ll have to see if the money for that magically materializes.

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Heat

It is so warm in my house.  The propane folks arrived today to install a tank and hook up the heater and hot water heater.  The Rinnai heater works great and the house is toasty.  I’ve been using a couple of portable heaters up until now and these past few nights the temperature has been right around zero so the heater is a very welcome addition.

I would have hot water as well, if I had water.  There is an underground valve that is broken and I’m waiting for someone to come fix that.

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Gross Post

This is surely a gross post so most of you might want to skip it. But I know it’s important to folks that are researching composting toilets and trying to decide which one to buy.

I’ve been living in the house now for 14 weeks and finally had to replace the bucket in the Separett toilet.  The FAQ section on the Separrett site states that the capacity for a family of 4 using the toilet on a daily basis is 3-6 weeks between bucket changes.  So, for a single occupant it should be 12-24 weeks.  Mine went 14 weeks.

Emptying was really easy.  I tied up the compostable waste bag, put a lid on the bucket and it slid right out.  Then I just slid the new bucket in place with a new bag in it.

I have been very happy with the Separett…no odor and very low maintenance…pretty much the opposite of the composting toilet I had in a cabin that I used to rent.

 

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Organization

Just a couple of little things to help organize stuff around the house.

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Boxes near the front door to hold mittens, hats, scarves, etc.

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Towel organization in the bathroom.

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Mini boxes on the shelves near the ceiling in the bathroom to organize little stuff.

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Moving the house

The crew finished the site work (at least the work that will be done before spring arrives) and we moved the house into place.

Tomorrow I’ll get the grey water and water line hooked up and get the house leveled again.  Might even get the power hooked up tomorrow but if not tomorrow, for sure later in the week.

After that I need to get the propane folks out to put in a tank and hook up the heat and hot water.

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Site work

Site works is almost done.  The ground has been leveled and a pad created for the house.  Water line has been run and grey water system created.  Sometime this week I expect the house will be moved into place and I can really get settled.

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Reflections on my first three weeks in the house

My first night sleeping in my new house was on September 25th. It’s been about three weeks now and I thought I’d pass on a few thoughts.

I moved in before the house had been moved into position because site work hadn’t started yet. Well, the site work started and while mowing the field the tractor hit something and blew the front seal…so, there has been a delay in the process.

Once started again the current driveway will be extended, an area prepared for the house to be moved to, ditches dug and water and power run to the house. Until then I do have power but no running water. I am also waiting for the house to be in position before having the propane folks come out and hook up the heat and hot water. Also, I’ve only moved very few things into the house, basically what I use day-to-day. This is due to the fact that if I move stuff in now I’ll only have to move it out when the truck hooks up to move the house.

Here’s what seems to work well now:

  • Size – there is plenty of room while still being small enough to be easy to keep clean
  • Bathroom – Can’t speak for the shower yet but the size of the bathroom seems very adequate. Room enough to change clothes, etc. Also, the Separett composting toilet is awesome.
  • Fans – there are two fans in the house, a ceiling fan in the living room and an exhaust fan in the bathroom. They do a great job of venting the odors of fresh paint and varnish (I still have some finish work to do).
  • Dining Slab/Table – it’s a great work space. I’ve had a number of meals with friends on the table and there is plenty of space
  • Desk area – I’ve done quite a bit of work at home and find the desk area to be adequate and comfortable.
  • Lights – LED Track lights in the kitchen and living room really light up the space and the living room lights are dimmable. The LED lights in the bathroom and loft are bright and do a great job. LED porch light and motion sensitive LED floods on the porch end are great.
  • Futon – I have a tri-fold futon in the living room. For the first week living in the house I slept on the futon because there was still some electrical work to be done in the loft and I didn’t want to put the mattress and bedding out until we were done dragging dirty boots up there. The futon folds down into a comfortable bed but where it really shines is in its reclined position. It is very comfortable for lounging around.
  • Loft – the memory foam mattress that I purchased is awesome. Incredibly comfortable. I love looking out the skylight at the star studded sky.
  • Loft ladder – storing it horizontally above the closet is great for keeping it out of the way.
  • Closet – the closet seems small but I doubt that I’ll use up half of it.
  • Clothes boxes and drawers – Using the wooden boxes for clothing storage was one of my best ideas and the over-sized drawers in the built-in dresser are great

Concerns:

  • I’ve found that clutter builds up very quickly and that I need to find a permanent home for things and then make sure they go there. For example something as simple as a bathroom scale kept getting in the way. I finally built a small storage rack that I hung on the bathroom wall so that the scale has a home.
  • The storage loft and the storage above the closet are a bit tough to get to. I’m going to need to figure out some sort of high step stool or easy to store ladder to access these places.
  • When I was preparing to build the loft ladder I calculated the angle of the ladder so that while the vertical pieces were angled correctly the treads would be parallel to the ground. However, I failed to take into account a few pieces of trim and the pipe that the ladder slides on. Therefore, my ladder treads are not parallel to the ground but slope down from the back to the front. In the day time it’s not much of a problem but at night I’m concerned that someone could misstep. I’ll live with it until I can build a new ladder sometime during the winter.
  • Loft roof – while the loft is feels spacious sleeping up there alone it isn’t as roomy when there are two people up there. It could be considered “cosy” with two up there but not roomy. After adding the 6” height of the mattress it feels a bit too small with two. So, I think that in the spring I will have a bit of a project and will modify the roof line and build dormers the length of the loft.

I guess those are my thoughts after the first month. No big complaints but I’ll be happy to have running water, hot water and heat!!!

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Curtains

My daughter Keri made me curtains for the house.  (I was also told that I need to give my daughter Becky credit for helping to pick out the fabric.)  They do give the house a more “finished” feel.

Living Room:

Living room curtansi

Living room curtains

Dining area:

Dining area curtains

Dining area curtains

Kitchen:

Kitchen curtains

Kitchen curtains

Bathroom:

Bathroom curtains

Bathroom curtains

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Cabinet shelves

I got the last coat of varnish on the remaining sliding kitchen cabinet shelves and installed them this afternoon.

Sliding kitchen cabinet shelves

Sliding kitchen cabinet shelves

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More small stuff

I’m waiting for plumbing supplies and for my plumber friend, Gary, to have time to come help me with the water supply plumbing.  Also, waiting for my friend Carrie to have time to come help me finish up the drain plumbing.  So, while waiting for those two things to happen I’ve been working on some other small stuff.

I like to have my grandkids visit me but I haven’t owned a TV for decades and I know they’ll get bored.  So I installed a movie screen.  I have a projector that I can put in the storage loft and then we can watch movies on the “big screen”.

Movie Screen

Movie Screen

With the screen down like this we can sit in the living room and enjoy the movies.  When not in use it retracts up and then folds into the wall at the base of the roof.

Movie screen stored

Movie screen stored

I also put in an overhead LED light in the sleeping loft.  Can’t say I’m thrilled with it but I couldn’t find anything I liked and this cost less than $10 so it will do for now.

Sleeping lot light

Sleeping lot light

In order to make my kitchen cabinets more efficient I wanted to put sliding shelves in.  I checked out the kits available at Home Depot but they were all well over $50 per shelf and some of my cabinets I couldn’t find the right size for.  So, instead I purchased the drawer slides for about $7.50 each.  The wood was all scrap wood left over from other parts of the house project and then a little varnish so for under $10 per shelf I’ve built 5 sliding shelves.  I also put in a sliding trash & recycle bin holder.

Sliding trash & recyle bin holder

Sliding trash & recycle bin holder

Sliding shelf under the trash & recycle bin

Sliding shelf under the trash & recycle bin

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