Bust out the champagne, we’re done!

I’m excited to say the tiny house is done!





It has been a great and satisfying project that I couldn’t have done without everyone who supported me: my family, especially Brooke and Larry for their construction help; Pat and Meredith Sullivan; my Cabrillo College instructors Chuck Mornard, Stan Wrzeski and Ben Valentine; Habitat For Humanity; “Shorty” Herrera at San Lorenzo Lumber; the return counter associates of Soquel Home Depot; Tumbleweed Tiny Homes; and all the neighbors and passers-by who said “hi” and checked out the latest progress.

Put a cork in it…

…as the cork floors are now finished. Laying the parts around and under the steps was a b#@%* but I think I did a pretty good job. All in all, I’d recommend this cork flooring product and would use it again.


All that’s left is the bathroom floor (all 15 sq. feet of it!) and some trim work and I’m basically done with construction. I’m starting to look for a place to locate my tiny home, so if you have any leads in Marin, Sonoma or Monterey counties, please send them my way.

Here’s a flyer I’d appreciate your sharing with any friends and family with land. I’ll pay a finder’s fee if I end up locating in a place you refer:

Temporary site wanted for tiny vacation house on wheels

Tour de Floor

I spent the better part of today on my hands and knees working on the floor. I started off by unrolling, cuttting and taping the seams of the QuietWalk underlayment, which evens out the floor, provides a moisture barrier, and deadens sound. It comes in a 3′ x 33′ roll, just enough for the first floor minus the bathroom. It looks like Smurf carpet:


Next came the fun part – the cork floor tiles. The first row was easy enough, but because the sections interlock on both dimensions and I had to deal with the kitchen counter supports, it became a tricky puzzle. I worked patiently and with precision in mind and managed to get two (of five) boxes laid today. Here’s what it looked like by mid-afternoon:


Time to start procrastinating on the floors

Today I started off with enthusiasm spreading out some of the cork floor sections to determine the best layout for my floating floor. I was soon confronted by the obstacles I created for myself with the stairway and kitchen counter legs. I think I have a plan that will deal with them, but I see a lot of quality time in front of the table saw in my immediate future.

To procrastinate, I decided to put in a tile entrance way. In wet weather, this will help keep any water that gets past the door away from the cork laminate flooring. Cork itself loves water, but the MDF it’s bonded to certainly doesn’t.


I bought three 16 x 16 inch ceramic tiles and installed them using caulk – more flexible than regular grout. Also, if any of the tiles crack, it should be easier to pry them out and replace them. I finished the tile with some plastic edging that the cork flooring will butt up to. I like these big tiles, maybe I’ll also do the bathroom floor with them.

Tomorrow I’m going hiking, so the cork floor will have to wait…

Steel is real

My daughter is having a slumber party in the tiny house this weekend, so my better half suggested I get to installing some railings in the lofts. As in do it now.

I’ve had an awkwardly long piece of EMT (electrical metal tubing) conduit sitting in my garage for years, inevitably blocking the thing I wanted to reach. Light bulb: use it for railing and clean out the garage at the same time! I framed out the EMT with 2 x 2 inch pine reinforced with some Simpson brackets. Under construction:


I finished each up with a 1 x 2 inch pine rail on top. Each loft railing is 54″ long and about 14″ high.




I decided I didn’t like the look of the vertical beaded paneling on the loft walls, so I changed them to the same cedar tongue-and-groove siding I used on the “first floor” of the interior. The whole effect is much more unified and I’m happy with how it turned out.



I added some pine trim finished with amber shellac at the ceiling line, and I plan on doing the same for baseboard trim once I complete the cork flooring. My next step is adding some low bannister/railings to the lofts to keep sleepwalkers from plunging to their deaths.


Sorry I’ve been overdue in posting. We took a mini-spring break vacation to SLO last week and this week I’ve been working on other paying building projects, so my THOW has been on the back burner.

I finally ordered my flooring, going with an engineered cork product from Eco Cork. The  marmol-large1

pattern is called Marmol, and reminds me of the cork floors in the Eichler home I grew up in. It’s a floating floor system – yea, no glue! I should pick it up next week, so will post pictures of my install progress then.


Upstairs, downstairs

I wanted to echo the contrasting design I used on the outside of the tiny house (horizontal siding on the bottom, vertical ply on the top) for interior. So I’m juxtaposing the horizontal cedar siding  downstairs with a vertical beaded pattern for the upstairs.


I’m using a 11/32″ plywood called Arauco. It’s a very low-formaldehyde paneling product (.02 PPM compared to the OSHA standard of .75ppm) that has no glue smell and a pleasing, neat beaded design – I think it’s usually used for wainscoting.


I made some modest progress today, getting most of one side of the loft done. Interior work is fussy work, not to mention time consuming. I was hoping to get a clean, gap free meeting of the paneling at the ceiling, but will likely add some trim at the top to hide the misery. Oh well, will keep plugging away!