Two Months Later…

I told myself I would not be THAT blogger who takes forever to update, but at least I haven’t given up completely, right?  So obviously a lot has happened in these past couple months.  Austin and I are currently in Colorado doing internships with Dry Bones, but I’ll write about that separately.  First an update on the house!  Last I left off we had framed the walls and put up most of the siding.  Here’s a couple more pictures of siding work just for fun:

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After getting all the siding up, we framed the roof!  There’s not much to say about framing the roof, it was pretty much just screwing in boards at the right angle, but I have lots of pictures so I’ll let those tell the details!

Image    Image   Image   Image   Image   Image   Image (Austin and Zach spent a lot of time cutting these stinkers!)  Here’s the finished product:

ImageNext came a layer of OSB (sheathing) over the framing and then the installment of the metal roof!  This is around the time Austin and I had to leave for CO, and the installment was more difficult than expected, so we had someone hired to put the roof on.

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It’s really looking like a house, eh?  Only one other thing has happened during our time here thus far, which is the stain on the outside.  We were hoping for it to be a dark brown, but it ended up coming out a little more black.  I know that we can make it work, though!  Throughout this whole process we have definitely learned to roll with the punches, and this is a very minor one.  Before we return for August we are hoping to have the house completely sealed–windows, doors, and all.  Here’s the house in its current state!

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Progress

Well, things are coming along!  Austin has been going every time he has enough help to accomplish anything.  The first step after we finished all the sub-flooring from the last post was building all the wall frames.  It took quite a while to measure, cut, lay out, and screw all the wood into place.  Thankfully once we got into the groove we went pretty quickly!  Until we ran into a few hitches because the plans that we bought having completely wrong measurements in some places, and in others no measurements at all (we have yet to find anything in the plans about the loft space so that will be an adventure in the future).  I think in total it took us about two days worth of work to frame all the walls, spread out over a couple weekends.  It was only after we had them all framed that we actually attached them to the trailer!  We had a great crew of family and friends who came to help.

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The next part was putting up the house wrap around the walls, which mainly acts as protection from wind and prepares the house for the siding!  Before we got too far into the siding, Austin and his family decided to put the decking on the porch so that we could stand on it without fear of falling through the cracks–or rather giant gaping holes.  This is the part where it feels like we’re actually walking through our front door! 2014041995102704 20140418_190355Today we got a couple more pieces of siding up, which is pretty impressive considering it was just the two of us and Austin’s mom (Thanks Michele!).  For the amount of construction experience between the three of us, it’s kind of a miracle.  Sadly I forgot to upload more pictures that Michele took so I don’t have a whole lot of the siding right now, but I will include more pics in the next post!  I’ll try not to wait as long to post next time.  We are making great progress and are right on track!  The next step after siding is putting on the roof, so this week will involve purchasing all those materials and figuring out how to make the roof a couple inches shorter than it is in the plans so that the house won’t be such a pain to tow around.  There are so many little details that come up that I wish I had time to explain, but for now you’ll just have to take my word for it that this process has been pretty complicated so far!  But, just as we suspected, it has worked out in every way so far.  I almost forgot to mention!  The siding and the decking are light right now but eventually they will be stained a much darker color.  It should look similar to the sample picture I posted on the first blog entry!  That’s all for now, but you’ll hear from me again soon for more pictures if nothing else.

 

Provision

There is so much to catch up on!  I’ll start with everything that happened over spring break, which was a couple weeks ago.  Austin stayed on campus to work on the house while I stayed home to work on wedding plans.  Over the week Austin had a ton of help, mostly from his parents and a friend named Kyle (thanks Kyle!).  So, here’s a day-to-day walk through for those of you who are interested in that kind of thing:

Saturday:  Bolted 2×6’s to the metal frame of the trailer in order to catch the rest of the flooring for the foundation of the house.  Put down aluminum flashing (sheet metal) to protect against rodents and debris from the road.

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Monday:  Austin sprained his ankle because he somehow managed to drop 4 beams of 20′ pressure treated lumber on his leg.  While Austin went to Patient First, Kyle put down the sheet of coroplast.  For those of you who are like me, coroplast is the stuff signs are made out of…corrugated plastic.

Between Monday and Tuesday: Framed the perimeter of the trailer and then half of the inner framing.  Cut the rest of the pieces to finish the inner framing.

Wednesday: Rainy and poopy (Austin’s words).  Eric was there to help (Thanks Eric)!  Attempted to build a tent to work under, and that failed miserably, so instead worked under the tarp and ended the day as hunchbacks.  Finished the inner framing, even though it looked like zig-zag lines instead of straight ones (thankfully it doesn’t matter).

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Thursday to Saturday: Put the styrofoam insulation in the floor.  Put the OSB on, which is an equivalent to plywood.  The subflooring is finished!ImageImage

 

BIG shout out to 84 Lumber in Dillsburg, PA who has been such a huge help, especially Nate.  On top of having cheaper lumber, it’s also better quality and they give us free deliveries, AND they deliver faster than the major companies.  

Today was even ANOTHER way that God has shown His faithfulness throughout this project.  We had to have the trailer moved so that it could be weighed.  Because of the size of the trailer and since it does not have a title or registration yet, we have to pay someone to move it.  When we had it moved before it was welded it was $500, so we were holding our breath for the word on what the next chunk of change would be for moving it today.  Once we got to the coal company that was weighing the trailer for us, they took one look at the trailer and said that it was too big and that if we needed a precise number we’d have to go to a truck stop.  Since their scale was only 18′ long and our trailer is 29′, they went to weigh the front jack/tongue first and then the rest of the trailer.  When we pulled the trailer up just enough to way the tongue, the scale read zero pounds.  We were confused at first, but it turns out that the trailer is perfectly balanced on the axles so the weight that we got from the rest of the trailer was the exact weight.  What a blessing to not have to pay for it to be moved yet again and to have an accurate number!!  Then we led the driver who was towing the truck back to the garage where he dropped it off, and asked how much.  My pen in hand, I was ready to sign over a few hundred dollars to the guy, and he told us our total was $40.  What?!  We still can’t figure out from $500 to $40, but we decided that it’s better not to ask questions.  In any case, THANK YOU GERALD.  And thanks to the Lord, who continues to provide every step of the way!  That’s not to say there aren’t constant stressors, but He always comes through.  Please keep the process in your prayers!  

 

Back Story

The saga has begun!  On Sunday morning our welded, painted trailer was delivered to the garage where we will be building for the next few months!  Here’s a before and after picture so you can see what an amazing job the welder did fixing this sucker up.  The trailer was 60 ft long and rusty brown when Austin first laid eyes on it–on Craig’s List.  For those of you who can’t visualize 60 ft (which is sad considering there’s a picture) it kind of looked like train tracks when you stood at one end of it.  Now it is half the size, sturdy enough to hold a house, and all around beautiful!ImageImage

Big shout out to Dylan from Myers’ Steel Works Inc who welded it for us!!  He was so accommodating and generous and went above and beyond what we expected.  His effort in this project is only one of the plethora of blessings that God has already gifted us even though we’ve barely started!

Before I get to those, a little history of how this all began.  Disclaimer: This post serves the purpose of thanking everyone who has gotten us here, so I’ll be throwing out a lot of names!  I’ll give credit where credit is due– Austin and I wouldn’t even know what a Tiny House is if it weren’t for Zach and Maxine!  (For those of you who don’t know, Zach and Max are in charge of the youth group where we are leaders. Austin is an intern under Zach.)  They brought up Tiny Houses in conversation and Austin and I loved the idea from the start.  We started looking into it for fun, dreaming about owning one but really thinking it would remain in the dream realm.  The more we looked and researched, though, the more serious and committed we found ourselves to be.

Well, once we decided that this was something we definitely wanted to happen, Austin started taking initiative and asking around for anyone who would be able to help us.  One of his friends mentioned a family friend who owns a garage and loves building things.  Austin pursued that lead and lo and behold, we not only were provided with a place to build, but Tom offered all his tools, his expertise, as much of his time as he can spare, his connections to other professionals who can help us…. and so much more!  No words can express our gratitude to Tom and his willingness to be so heavily involved even though we were complete strangers just a few months ago.

While we were asking around and scoping out the possibilities, we were also directed to a local church to talk with them about the possibility of living in our house on their property!  Something wonderful about portable Tiny Houses is that you typically don’t own any property (no property taxes! woohoo!) but that means that you have a whole new adventure of finding and using someone else’s property!  It sounds kind of insidious, but really, it’s totally legal…assuming the owner is willing to let you stay there.  I’m not sure what anyone would do if they woke up to a surprise house on wheels in their backyard!

Anyway, Austin and I approached this meeting with the head pastor and youth pastor of this church expecting that they would hear our request, consider it, and get back to us after careful deliberation.  After all, this isn’t a request you get every day!  That meeting could not have been much different than we expected, because Amy and Paul were extremely accommodating!  (Sense a theme here?  Everyone’s so darn generous!)  They kept asking us what works for us, what we would need from them, how they can help, etc. all the while we thought we would be asking them all those questions.  Of course they needed to get a final word from their board, but they had their meeting the next day and it was green lights all the way!  Austin will live in the house for the fall semester, and I will join him once we are married!  So one more thanks for today to Amy and Paul and everyone else at New Beginnings.  What a beautifully ironic name for a church that has contributed so meaningfully to Austin and I and our new beginning together.

The First of Many

Wow, where does one begin on a journey like this?  I haven’t even started and I feel like there is so much to catch up on!   

This blog was inspired by my desire to share the process of building a Tiny House (if you don’t know what that is… google it!).  BUT that is only one of many beginnings in my life right now.  Just to name a few, well…. I’m getting married!  In January 2015.  To a wonderful man named Austin.  Here’s a picture of us in memory of greener days.  I sure am missing those right about now!

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Austin and I also just found out that we are going to be interns in Denver, CO this summer with a ministry called Dry Bones.  For the sake of keeping this from being so long that no one reads it… you can google that too.  So the wedding, the house, and our different endeavors in ministry will all be things I will most likely share via this blog.  I’ll try to keep each post to just one of those topics so that you can skip the ones you’re not interested in!  Is that bad marketing?  Oh well.

For any interested, here’s a picture of what our house will look like when it’s all built.  This image brings me to (internal) screams of excitement…. but I do understand if it doesn’t have quite the same effect on you.  Perhaps it is horrifying to you to imagine living in such small quarters.  OR maybe it will inspire you to want to join us in this crazy lifestyle!  I hope it does the latter.  And the first.  But if the middle applies, I still accept you.  

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(This is the Marmara from http://www.fourlightshouses.com)

Let the journey begin!  We hope to start building either this weekend or the next, so keep your eye out for an update soon!

Hey, thanks for reading this.  The time you spend reading about my life is valuable to me, and I hope it is for you also!