tumbleweed barn raiser

The time has come....

TinyHouse43 is 4Sale. $55,000.00, serious inquires only, please e-mail is at tinyhouse43@gmail.com for showings.

We built our tiny house to become financially independent, and we still will be… as soon as we sell it. As much as we utterly ADORE our home, we’ve reached a point where owning it is actually holding us back instead of paving the way forward. So, here she is… ready for her new owners to derive as much pleasure from her as we have!

Everything you need to know about our house is on this blog, and make sure you check the WordPress Building Blog link as well for further details. We’re happy to answer basic questions if you can’t find the answer on the blogs, but please remember this is a VERY emotional decision for us… we’d appreciate avoiding the Spanish Inquisition if possible (after all… no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!). We are still doing some finish touch work on the inside (you can see some of that documented on instagram), but the house is completely liveable and has been since 2015. It’s strictly cosmetics at this point.

We no longer have our dually to tow this to you, so you would be responsible for moving it yourself once the deal is complete and money has changed hands/cleared the bank. The house weighs approximately 12,000lbs with belongings included, so please plan accordingly. It requires a Class V hitch, and we recommend at 3500/350 type full size truck.

Recap: $55,000.00 – you’re saving over $20k from the actual build cost, including the $16,000.00 Tumbleweed Barn Raiser she started as! Many thanks for following us all these years, and we look forward to hearing from you!! PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED!!

💜🏡💙 – Meg, Brand, and R.A.D

#tinyhouse #tumbleweed #tumbleweedtinyhouse #tumbleweedbarnraiser #barnraiser #tinyhouseonwheels #thow #tinyhome #microhome #tinyhouserv #tinyhousetogo #diytinyhouse #tinyhousebuild #tinyhousefamily #tinyhousekids #tinyhouseforsale #tinyhouse4sale #tinyhouses4sale #tinyhousesforsale

Tiny: It Isn't For Everyone Or Even Necessarily Forever

I feel like I've done a rather thorough job of being very forthcoming about why we built our tiny house, what we intend to use it for, why we aren't currently living in it full-time, and when we do plan to be living tiny in it yet again. I also know I've mentioned many times that our tiny house on wheels has never been planned as our last home forever and ever til death do us part. 😜 One of the reasons I had no trouble convincing Brand to join me on the crazy adventure of building our own house with our own hands (beyond the fact that he'd always wanted to do just that) was the fact I promised him it didn't have to be forever. He knew I have always wanted to roadtrip across the country, so it wasn't a difficult sell to combine both dreams into one little tiny house on wheels.

 

Even though we did build our house and are looking forward to being back in it full-time sooner rather than later, we have always said we want a permanent house on some acreage in Washington state. That dream has never changed, and we still have every intention of moving there by the summer of 2018 before the kiddo starts first grade. We knew as soon as our son was born that we no longer wanted to own a massive 3200sqft house, especially since we were really only using about half the space. When we moved into my dad's place we condensed further into just 2 large bedrooms with shared kitchen and living room use. Only once did our tiny house ever feel too small during our 6 months in Colorado, and it was because we had just arrived, were still setting up, and simply got overwhelmed at all we had done and still needed to do to settle into our new tiny life in a new state with a new job. Just lots of new stuff in a very short time to be sure! That feeling passed quickly, and then everything people have said about how freeing having less stuff and less space to care for kicked into high gear for us, making the whole experience in the house itself pretty darn close to magical. Well, except for the frequently overflowing pee jug, but that's a story from another blog post all together. 😫

 

Anyway, my rambling point is that I know some folks out there likely think we're just another "casualty" of the tiny house "fad" because we aren't living in the house at this exact moment. While WE know that isn't the case at all and have plans progressing nicely that will put us back into our house much sooner than we had actually hoped for, we do know there are still Negative Nellys out there that likely shake their heads at us and anyone else who might have moved into and out of their tiny house in a hurry no matter what the reasoning may be. We can even admit to being surprised by they number of folks, particularly the ones on TV, that have moved on from their tiny houses, too, but we know first hand that sometimes life just doesn't go as planned and adjustments have to be made on the fly. We experienced some of that with the Colorado sticker shock we felt after thinking we could afford to live tiny AND pay off all our debt there, but the cost of living compared to Texas and the distance I had to travel to work (55mi each way) simply to have a legal place to park our tiny house made that as impractical as living in a mostly empty 3200sqft house with a $2000/mo mortgage. It didn't make financial sense to stay there just to stay in the tiny house, so we made the decision to come back to Texas to get the rest of our finances in order instead. The last thing we want to have happen is us getting out to where we really plan to settle down and struggle financially to stay put. We haven't always made the best financial decisions in our lifetime together or even before that, but we'll be damned if we set a poor example for our son by not shaping up and doing right by him. After all, we chose our target area of Washington specifically to put us near an amazing Waldorf farm school for him, and we want to provide for him something neither of us had growing up: a single house to call home all the way through high school.

 

Any way, the ever-amazing Macy Miller wrote her own blog post about the question on many people's minds when they hear of folks moving into and on from their tiny house life in a seeming hurry. As always her post is poignant and introspective, and it touches on the many sides to the stories of why some folks don't live tiny for long. She is in many ways an exception to what seems to be the "rule" about length of time living in a tiny house, but she's got a great answer to that suggestion as well. Enjoy!

 

http://minimotives.com/2016/09/12/whats-hard-living-tiny-whyd-move/

A GLAMOURous Tiny House Life

I am so pleased to have been included with two of my tiny house heroes in an article about maximizing and customizing a tiny house to suit the needs of a growing family written by Maggie Burch of GLAMOUR magazine's website, GLAMOUR.com! The article is in slide show format and shares beautiful photos from two very inspirational tiny houses owned by Macy Miller (MiniMotives) and Hari Berzins (Tiny House Family) and their respective families. Their photos are beautiful (ours are okay, too, however unfinished the space may still be), and it's so great reading about the different ways we each incorporated our must-haves into our highly personalized tiny spaces.

The author adds in some commentary with each slide that helps bridge the gaps between tiny house design and useful tips for traditionally sized homes as well, and it's refreshing to see such a positive spin on families living tiny. It's not always easy, but it is definitely fun and rewarding. And now I'm more motivated than ever to get back to living in it full-time as soon as possible!

Click the image below to go to the first page of the slideshow, and there's also a direct link below as a backup. Enjoy! <3

-Meg



Here's a screen shot of our first photo in the series, which starts at number 12 of 18 pages. Now you know why I was staging the house a bit the other day! ;)

Here's a screen shot of our first photo in the series, which starts at number 12 of 18 pages. Now you know why I was staging the house a bit the other day! ;)

Mold

We all know it. We all hate it. And if you live in a tiny house, you likely have all seen it lurking somewhere in your home.

 

Mold is a four-letter word that can mean anything from a minor annoyance or a legit illness-maker for those who are sensitive. Thankfully, there are multiple methods of reducing the added moisture in your tiny living space that can help reduce the likelihood mold even forms, and there are some good mold killer products out there that we've recently used with success that we'll discuss below.

 

First, however, please take a minute to read Andrew Morrison's post on mechanical moisture eliminators plus some additional moisture-reducing building tips below. Andrew and his wife, Gabriella, are the originators of the hOMe tiny house that is now being produced by EcoCabins, the primary sponsor of the Tiny House Jamboree. Andrew definitely knows a thing or two about making quality tiny houses and how to deal with excess moisture build up in cold climates in particular, and the suggestions he makes in his post are particularly good if you want to actively remove moisture from your house. The biggest difference between Andrew's post and ours is that he focuses primarily on prevention methods, where as we have actually experienced some pretty nasty mold and cover things to use to get rid of it when it does happen in addition to our dehumidification tools. I've been meaning to update everyone on our issues anyway, and the Morrisons' great post reminded me! ☺️

 

Here's his great post:

HOW TO SAVE YOUR TINY HOUSE FROM MOLD AND MOISTURE ISSUES 

 

For those of you who want to know about some additional methods of moisture reduction, here's a list of what we are currently using based on type (passive, hybrid, or active) and one extra thing we plan to try. You'll see the two electric appliances we picked up listed here, too, because we felt we needed a more immediate and noticeable reduction in humidity than our passive methods provided. We hope once we get the humidity % down we can stop the active dehumidification and rely on fresh air on good weather days and the passive options to reduce our electric pull.

 

PASSIVE DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • We started using DampRid disposable products to suck up extra moisture without any power needs (popular on boats and RVs and found at Walmart or similar stores), which use calcium chloride in bags you hang or jars you set in open areas. They are inexpensive and require nothing other than airflow (which, incidentally, you should provide regularly to mold-prone areas anyway), and we have hung them in our three trouble spots: the loft, the front nook, and the kitchen. So far the bags are about  1/3rd full with the nook one being a bit closer to half full than the others. We are also going to pick up a jar version to tuck into the furthest corner under our son's room as I discovered mold had formed where a basket of extra linens had become wedged behind the clothes cube and the back corner. I've already killed the mold with a spray we've found to work well (more on that shortly), and in addition to the DampRid we'll be making sure we regularly move the cubes under his bed to promote airflow.
Our DampRid hanging bags are scented, which might bother some folks. These are made to hang in a closet, though, so if you want nice smelling, dry clothes in your tiny house closet, these might be a great fit! They come in 3-packs. 

Our DampRid hanging bags are scented, which might bother some folks. These are made to hang in a closet, though, so if you want nice smelling, dry clothes in your tiny house closet, these might be a great fit! They come in 3-packs. 

  • The this next passive method may or may not work, but it does have some other benefits to it. While I'm not expecting much immediate relief of our current humidity levels, I won't deny I think this would make a great, natural addition to our long-term moisture control methods: air plants. Granted I've read some conflicting info on just how much additional watering air plants need beyond what they suck out of their environment, but since they're low maintenance and don't need to take up counter space, I'm thinking I'll create a little installation of them in a couple different areas of the house. Besides, who doesn't love a little live greenery in their tiny house?! ☺️

HYBRID DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • The first dehumidifier product I picked up is the EvaDry silica gel hybrid dehumidifier that can be placed anywhere you want, but when they're full (the gel changes from blue to pink when capacity is reached) you take them outside and plug them in to release the moisture into a well ventilated area. I bought two of these on Amazon for $20 each, and they can be laid flat or hung with the included hook. The ones we have say they can absorb up to 6oz of liquid, and so far ours are still deep blue. One is hanging by the front nook window, which has continued to be a bit of a problem child, and the other is wedged at the head of our bed near the tongue-end window. I'll update this post once they are finally full so we have an idea of how long it takes to fill them up.
Since the big blue window in our front nook has been a particular problem, it has both a DampRid and this EvaDry model hanging nearby to catch as much moisture as possible. 

Since the big blue window in our front nook has been a particular problem, it has both a DampRid and this EvaDry model hanging nearby to catch as much moisture as possible. 

  •  I want to mention here that our Kimberly gasifier wood stove by Unforgettable Fire LLC is another hybrid method of dehumidification. No, it doesn't require electricity, but you do have to burn fuel (wood) in order to heat up and dry out the air. As much as we adore our Kimberly, it has simply been too warm to use her daily and reap the reduction in humidity benefit that comes with use. 

 

ACTIVE DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • We also broke down and bought a small EvaDry mini electric dehumidifier that, unfortunately, has to run all. the. time. and is definitely louder than I'd like. That said, it has sucked several cups of water out of the air already (I've emptied it once just before the "full" light would have been triggered), and we keep it on the edge of the loft directly above the kitchen to catch any extra moisture that doesn't escape out the window when we cook. This is also from Amazon and cost $54
The white storage cube is roughly 15x15", so you can see the EvaDry is pretty small. I emptied the container 2 days ago, and it's already about 1/4 full again. Sucker works! Literally! 😉 

The white storage cube is roughly 15x15", so you can see the EvaDry is pretty small. I emptied the container 2 days ago, and it's already about 1/4 full again. Sucker works! Literally! 😉 

  • We didn't install a kitchen vent like the Morrison's have mostly because we have a much smaller kitchen with a double hung window smack dab in the center of the wall above the countertop. We have been opening the top window sash in the kitchen and a bottom sash on the other side of the house to create a cross breeze that forces the steam out while cooking, but it wasn't always working as well as we'd like. Instead of boring out a giant hole above the window for a permanent vent, we opted to pick up a small, portable O2Cool 8" square fan that can be run on either batteries or AC power, and we instead pull the top window sash down enough to wedge the fan in (facing out, not in of course) and cover the remaining open space with a piece of cardboard while opening an opposite-side window just a little bit. It's not pretty, but it's portable, storable, functional, and cost effective. Can't beat that!
It's not pretty, but it works!! 

It's not pretty, but it works!! 

  •  We also have a Vetus Marine 12V vent fan to install in the wet shower side that was a recommendation of Art Cormier, a Tumbleweed workshop presenter and dweller of the Tiny SIP House. That's something we bought early on in the build but just never got installed, and thankfully not having hasn't been an issue since we've almost exclusively been showering at the bathhouse, gym, or Rec Center depending on what we've got going on at the time. Once we start using our full-time, however, we will definitely need to use that vent. It's low voltage - as is all the wiring in both our wet and dry bath sides - to prevent shock, and as the name suggests, they were designed for the boating industry. Art has a great demo video with all the part numbers on his YouTube channel that's worth checking out.

 

DEALING WITH EXISTING MOLD

This stuff rocks, and it's non-toxic to boot! 

This stuff rocks, and it's non-toxic to boot! 

Now, if you DO develop mold despite your best efforts, there's a spray we can recommend after using it on 7 different wood windows where we've had problems. Bear in mind that we actually performed a series of steps to actually remove the existing mold in addition to mitigating its return (more on that below), but so far we've been quite pleased with the Concrobium Mold Control spray we spent $9 on at either Lowe's or Home Depot - can't recall which. This stuff is recommended by Mike Holmes, the HGTV star of Holmes Inspection and a few other building-related titles, though that's not why we bought it. This one gets sprayed directly onto the mold, and as it dries it actually kills it. It's non-toxic and had no noticeable smell I could detect,  which is helpful in such a small space. So far, none of the windows we treated with this stuff have had regrowth, though let me provide you the actual steps I used to removed the mold:

  • Scrubbed the mold with undiluted bleach and an old toothbrush. Let soak for 30min with all 5 loft windows open. 
  • Took a heat gun to the remaining wet areas very carefully to make sure the wood was truly dry.
  • Sprayed Concrobium liberally over all the exposed wood that had had mold on it plus a few spots I thought might be prone to it later. Let soak until dry, which was around 5hrs in this case.
  • Dried remaining moisture with heat gun again. 
  • Applied Rustoleum oil-based stain to one window, but the other 4 haven't been stained yet and are STILL mold-free despite repeated exposure to wetness/ice/inside moisture buildup. 

The smell is pretty harsh, so be sure you ventilate the area well! 

The smell is pretty harsh, so be sure you ventilate the area well! 

I didn't have as much luck with the Concrobium on the big nook window I painted with milk paint, but I also just realized I never tried the straight bleach technique. Whoops! Needless to say, not remembering that fact, I decided to try to other mold spray, Mold Armor, to see if it would kill the stuff. It's actually marketed more to remove mold stains than kill the mold itself, and I found out the hard way you MUST ventilate the area you're using it in. I dumbly thought it was like the virtually odor-free Concrobium and sprayed it liberally on the window, but even though I didn't actually notice the smell initially, Brand walked in from outside and had his eyes start watering immediately. Whoops!! Open went the windows post haste, and I haven't used it again. Now, that said, it worked!! We haven't had any new mold growth on the big blue milk paint window since then, and I did nothing else to it at all. No scrubbing, drying, or bleach. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to remove all the milk paint and start from scratch to make it look pretty again, but that's a small price to pay to not have mold again. 

You can still see the "shadows" of mold on the milk paint window, especially in the corners like this one. Unfortunately, you can also tell the anti-mold treatments have damaged the paint job. Looks like I'll be stripping it off and starting over... Oi! 

You can still see the "shadows" of mold on the milk paint window, especially in the corners like this one. Unfortunately, you can also tell the anti-mold treatments have damaged the paint job. Looks like I'll be stripping it off and starting over... Oi! 

 

Speaking of of keeping the windows from molding up, here's an observation I made during the removal process:

Mold only appeared on the windows either with no stain of any kind OR with water-based stains like the milk paint big window or the metallic acrylic paint used on the two bathroom awning windows.  None of the ones where I used an oil-based Rustoleum stain or white paint developed mold, which included all 5 of the double hung windows on the main level excluded the largest one. 

Now I'm staining the remaining 4 loft windows with oil-based black paint, and I'll seal the acrylic painted ones with polyurethane. I will add, though, that the milk paint window DID get a coat of poly on it, yet the mold kept on chowing down on it. After I strip it off I'm going to seal the wood with poly first before reapplying the milk paint and sealing a final time with poly. Hopefully that'll deal the final blow to any molds trying to eat that pretty blue-green paint!

 

I'll be researching a few of the products the Morrisons mention in their post, because we sure don't want to keep dealing with this fuzzy, nasty stuff! We do have a gauge that tells us what our indoor humidity is, but I'm starting to wonder if it's accurate. Some days it says 37%, and others it says 50%, even if there haven't been big indoor or outdoor temperature changes. Hmm. My understanding is that at anything above about 40% humidity, mold will have the chance to grow. We'll just have to keep chipping away at the overall moisture volume with all three types of dehumidification as best we can until the weather warms up enough to keep the windows open all the time. 

 

💙🏡💜 

Our THOW Interior: January 2016

We are most definitely NOT done with the inside of our tiny house - loads of finish work left to do, including painting a zillion different things - but since we had to do a deep clean for a visitor today who needed to take photos, I took advantage of the time to snap some photos. Granted I didn't drag the DSLR out from under the storage sofa for higher quality shots, but as I keep saying, you'll get the gist. Captions will come later, but I think these are pretty self-explanatory. Without further ado, I give you our still-in-progress TinyHouse43 interior! 💙🏡💜

 

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Through 2016... AND BEYOND!!

And yes,  you're supposed to read that in Buzz Lightyear's voice. :)
 
So, 2015 has come and gone, and man are we POOPED! The year passed like a whirlwind, and the dust is most definitely still settling around us both on the tiny home front and with my work schedule. Even though our routines are normalizing here in Colorado and we're barely 2 days into the new year, we're still looking forward to our tiny house travel in a year or so. I know, I know. Focus on the now. Admittedly I've always been the type who likes to daydream about the future, and while I know I need to rein it back a bit to deal with current affairs, this post is about the "and beyond," too. I'll save the harsh(ish) realities for the end and share the cooler bits now.

Having now been exposed to three different groups of awesome THOW/RV families from Alaska (Tiny Tall House, Tiny House Growing Family, and  The Play Forest) and hearing about their adventures in their home state, we've been discussing changing our tiny house travel plans to include some interesting seasonal jobs - including a possible stint in AK vs. just visiting by cruise ship - rather than just sticking with travel nursing assignments. Also, it'd be great if the workload could be shared by us both and yet still allow plenty of time for Brand to work on school and us to explore as a family. I'd be a liar if I said I enjoy being the sole source of income all the time, but it's a burden I'm 100% willing to bear to put our whole family on the path toward what I think is the best goal anyone can ever set: to create a life you don't need a vacation from!

Now don't get me wrong - I love my career - but I'd much rather do something fun while we explore this great continent of ours. There'll be plenty more time for me to work in the clinical setting, and Brand has a long career ahead in a similar setting once he finishes school, too. Why not take advantage of the unique opportunities full-time THOW/RV traveling has to offer while we have the chance? After all, part of what has made our tiny house adventure possible is this brief window of time between both Brand and R.A.D being in school full-time. If ever there was an appropriate time for us to carpe this diem, that time is NOW!

So, here are a few seasonal and travel-friendly ideas I have for us:

Remote tele-transcription while on the East Coast visiting family? Done!
Sugar beet harvesting in Montana in the fall? Why not?!
Greenhorning on an Alaskan salmon boat in the spring or berry picking in the late summer? Heck yes!

The timing for adventures like those would have to align with our primary travel plans, but I can't deny the cool factor of telling people, "We fished on a salmon boat in Alaska," sure does have a lot of sway! Still, as fun as it is to plan for the future, no matter how close that future may really be, we do still have to focus on the here and now. Boring! But necessary, alas.

Of the many reasons we chose to spend a year or so in Colorado before hitting the road - still just a long day's drive from our Texas family; me being able to stay with my same employer; because Colorado, duh! - having the chance to pay off at least the vast majority of our debt (not counting the truck) while in a stable parking location and with stable employment was the numero uno "Pro" on our list. Unfortunately, the higher cost of living in the area, along with some unforeseen and expensive variables, has required me to take up a 2nd job again if we want to make any real headway toward becoming debt-free. It's not what I wanted for myself - I'd much rather be home with my boys or out exploring the beauty of this state - but the ends most definitely justify the means. I'm fortunate to have a career that allows me to work 12-hr days, which means I have 4 days off per week anyway. I'm more than willing to sacrifice an extra one to get the ball rolling on what is the most important piece of our traveling lifestyle puzzle!

We've been through the broke-cycle before, but this time is different because our priorities are different. Before we just wanted to pay cards down so we could buy more stuff. Now we want to pay cards OFF so we can close the accounts completely and really start building up savings. I know, I know. Closing cards will adversely affect our credit ratings, but we obtained most of those cards when we were young and broke (read: sky high interest rates and big annual fees). Unless we can talk the companies out of charging us annually for cards we won't use, we'd rather just keep the best few cards and take the debt-to-income ratio hit that sucks your credit score into the crapper. Yes, that may hurt us a bit when we do go to buy land in Washington - and who knows, maybe we'll suck it up and wait until after we do that - but I'd rather eliminate the temptation all together.

Anyway, no matter how we get from A to B, the end game is still the same: end 2016 without any (or at least very, VERY little) credit card debt remaining, save a yet-to-be-determined amount in our savings account plus an extra buffer amount strictly for travel expenses, and prepare to head out on our travels in early 2017. We've also got to squeeze in the time and squeeze out the funds to finish the remaining work on the tiny house itself. Can't forget that! If we've achieved our financial goals by the departure date, I see no reason we can't travel a bit more leisurely and take more adventurous jobs along the way to continue funding the journey.

We'd of course love it if we had enough saved to not HAVE to work along the way, but I'm a realist and know we'd need more than a year to achieve that unless I worked even more than I plan to now. I consider our time in Colorado to be a working vacation, and I'm not willing to completely sacrifice the vacation portion of the equation! Instead we have to get on the "Budget Train," something we've only used abstractly in the past, so we can buckle down our finances, prioritize the remaining house projects, and maximize my days off to explore our beautiful temporary home state.

I also want to share a link from Technomadia, who have a great post about working while traveling. That's actually where I found the sugar beet harvesting idea, along with a bunch of other really cool options for alternative income means. I've got another link I'll have to add later that gives even more non-office-based job ideas, which is where I found the info on doing mobile transcription. That one, incidentally, potentially pays pretty well. Definitely worth looking at if you've got the skills to listen to audio tapes and accurately type out what you hear. Maybe my medical background will give me an in to the higher paying medical transcription options. Hmm... :)

That's it from us for now. We hope your holidays were merry and bright, and we wish you all the best for a prosperous, adventurous, and productive 2016... AND BEYOND! 

<3