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Posts Tagged building!

Sneak Peek!

The Gramaticas, and their builder Paul, have great attention to detail. They wanted everything enough in advance that they could build the tiny house, take it apart and have it ready for TOMORROW’S BUILD with no surprises. I thought that might be overkill, but what the heck, right?

So glad I went with it! The bolts were the wrong size. Ok, 100 more washers from Home Depot. Check. The nuts didn’t fit on the bolts. Ok, frantic email to the supplier in Massachusetts who sent the right ones SAME DAY AIR and refunded most of my initial cost. Check. The aluminum stabilizers over the wheel wells were not as wide as the 2×4’s they were replacing. Ok, added a 1/4″ furring strip. Check. Oh I am so glad they decided to have a dry run!

I went by there today to see if there were any last details (note to self, Paul drinks Mountain Dew) and got a sneak peek of my house! He had about half of it framed up and the rest of the panels cut. Everything fits together. We’re not sure about fitting windows yet, that is probably the only thing we’ll be winging tomorrow. I got the final dimensions from CCS today and Jodi is bringing them down on Saturday. Paul said if I bought him a new saw blade, he would cut them out.

This is really happening! Here’s my sneak peek:

 

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Golden Teacup: a tiny Victorian village

stocking up for the build!

It’s been a very productive 2 weeks getting ready for the build on Friday. The windows are almost complete up at CCS Restoration in Sanford, the Gramaticas gave me a list of lumber needed, and Danny at Machine Works is adding a couple of stabilizers to the trailer.
I spent all day Friday and Saturday spending this period’s paycheck, but I have a lot to show for it. All framing wood from Interbay Lumber, a wholesale place here in Tampa, tyvek and roof membrane acquired from Home Depot. No one locally had the stainless steel bolts needed to bolt the framing to the trailer (haven’t come this far with aluminum to use anything but stainless!), so I found a wholesale place online in Weymouth, Mass (bit of trivia, that’s where my sister Laura was born) who, even with the shipping costs, can get me what I need by Tuesday for about a third of the price from Home Depot. Yay!
The most awesome acquisition though, is my ridge beam. In trying to do as much as I can with recycled and reuse materials, I am regularly visiting architectural salvage yards. In a convoluted twist of who knows who, my favorite local place, Schiller’s, had some heart pine timbers stored up at a millworks in Dade City. So I drove up there and found the perfect timber- 3″ thick, 9″ wide and 18′ long. Heart pine, solid as a rock. As we were loading it, Phil from the millworks mentions that it’s from a 1906 building torn down a few years ago. I hadn’t even thought to ask! It’s from the Parrish Train Depot, a place well known to the Florida Reenacting community! What an awesome piece of history to have included in my house!

As I was poking around the millworks I found what appeared to be some tongue and groove unfinished flooring scraps.  Turns out they are cypress slats used to separate loads of lumber when shipped.  Acquired enough of those to use as porch flooring!

Today’s projects include sanding the beam, treating for any critters, applying some oil preservative and cutting off the nails that are embedded.  Then we mow the backyard in prep for next weekend!  I can’t believe after all this planning and prepping, the build is finally here!!!!

Parrish Train Depot beam

Parrish Train Depot beam


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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Golden Teacup: a tiny Victorian village

Finishing up the pre-build work

Now that I have a firm deadline to have the whole foundation of the house ready (Friday, June 27, 1pm), I have been spending every available non-raining daylight minute working on the infrastructure of the tiny house.

All of the wastewater plumbing is installed, as is the freshwater intake. I started installing the sub-floors, making very slow progress with my tiny, ancient, battery powered drill. I was getting about 2 screws per battery charge in-and each sheet of plywood needs about 10. Not really effective. A friend loaned me an electric drill- it doesn’t go much faster, but it doesn’t die either. So now the only thing stopping me is that it has decided to rain in Tampa every afternoon. For the past two weeks, you can set your clock by it, 6:30 every day it starts and continues until dark. So I have three and a half panels set of the four and a quarter needed; with a little sunshine on Saturday, that will be done too.

wastewater system

A month from tomorrow we’ll be building! So far 18 people have RSVP’d for the build, and there’s a few more not on FB who are coming. I am prepping other projects so if people stay over the weekend there’s things to do. I have all of my inside paneling, but it needs to have nails pulled and be sanded and stripped. Windows are ordered, they will need to be painted and installed. There should be plenty to do for anyone who wants to pick up a brush, hammer or sander!

interior paneling

Once I have the prep work done, and if it ever stops raining, I need to work on the back yard. It’s a jungle out there, we may lose a small child in the weeds…… just makes me more motivated for the day when the road and the National Parks are my backyard!


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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Golden Teacup: a tiny Victorian village

When work and tiny house collide….

Back to the drawing board-in a great way!
Earlier this week I had a work-related meeting with a couple of awesome guys, the Gramatica brothers. If I were more into sports other than Olympics or Gator football, I would have been starstruck. These guys were amazing athletes in their day, and now they are turning their star power into great opportunities for Wounded Warriors in the Tampa Bay area.

Martin Gramatica had ended his football career with the Saints, stayed in NOLA, and was operating a house manufacturing business when Katrina hit. Gramatica turned his energies to building houses for the hurricane refugees out of … wait for it…. SIPS!!

A few years later, he brought the SIPS business back to Tampa and he and his brothers started Gramatica SIPS International. They manufactured systems for houses and the construction industry, and built a reputation. After the Haiti earthquake, they sent SIP kits for houses to the island. Now thay have teamed up locally with a few non-profits, started the Gramatica Family Foundation, and have started fundraising to build houses for Wounded Warriors. Last year they rented one of our parks to host a fundraising kickball tournament that raised enough to build 2 houses.

Connecting the dots? I love it when my work life collides with my passion.

This kickball tournament was awesome. The cause is so worthy. Hillsborough County Parks and Rec is looking for “Signature Events”. I didn’t know who these guys were or what they did for a living other than they were former pro athletes from Tampa. I just wanted my department in as a sponsor for this event. It soooo fits in with our mission. So I met with them this week to discuss. After the meeting, Bill Gramatica handed me his card and it says SIPS International. The tiny house crazy person in me kicks into gear. I say “SIPS?” Bill says, “oh, that’s what we build these houses with, Structural Insulated Panels.” I say, “do you use wood or aluminum?” and they both just about fall over because I know what SIPS are. So we have a meeting after the meeting to talk about what they do in real life, tiny houses in general and my tiny house in particular. I have all the photos and plans on my tablet, so I am always prepared. They invited me to come tour their factory/warehouse and talk tiny houses.

I went over there today. It’s an impressive space. They make 2 kinds of SIPS, out of either wood fiber or concrete fiber.  A little heavier than what I have been looking at, but way more practical and buildable.

Tiny house for fun out of SIP scraps

Tiny house for fun out of SIP scraps

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Haiti earthquake house. This is built with concrete fiberboard SIPS and is just painted finish. It has been sitting outside in the Tampa rain and humidity for 5 years and has no leaks or mold.

They are really interested in tiny houses. So interested that if I put together a workshop, they will BUILD MY TINY HOUSE AS THE WORKSHOP PROJECT. Yes and supply burgers and beer too. It’s all about marketing for them, they want a piece of the tiny house movement. They are willing to teach us how to assemble the SIPS, frame out doors and windows, frame the roof or use SIPS, so at the end of the workshop I have the shell done for the house! Back to the drawing board to adjust my wall and window spaces for 4′ panels instead of the 3′ I had done.  A tweak here and there, but oh my!  My house!

So as you may imagine, my organizational skills have been working overtime today. I am coordinating dates. It is coming together. We’ll be doing this probably in June. JUNE! So, stay tuned as I set the date and start getting the word out!

Oh, and the kickball tournament date is set for Sept. 27th.  The Gramatica’s are kindred spirits with that work and passion colliding thing!


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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Golden Teacup: a tiny Victorian village

Foundation for the Future

2014-01-11_09-02-56_86Well, it is here, tangible, substantial. The foundation for my tiny house, the trailer, is sitting in my back yard. That may not seem like much, I could have gone out and bought a 20′ trailer from anywhere but this is different, this is big. Not just big in size, but I will get to that, but big in so many other ways.

It is custom, exactly how I drew it. No modifications, welding, blood, sweat and tears necessary. Already been done by the awesome guys at Machine Works in Plant City. They got into this project. I have owned a lot of trailers, this is a quality piece of work. They took me seroiusly when I said I was going to live in this thing and put some miles on it. It tows like a dream. I backed it into my tiny driveway (uphill, one lane, 10′ wide gate, narrow street with no manuvering area) with no problem, first try, 5 minutes. That is huge for me- I really will be able to go anywhere.

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The inspection team

It is massive. That sounds funny for a tiny house, but that is the first word that comes to mind when you see it. The beams are 8″. Huge heavy duty axles and tires. But the floor of the house is only 2′ off the ground. The tanks are in, it’s ready to stub out the plumbing and put down the sub floor.

It’s light. It weighs 1500 pounds. It’s aluminum, all recycled material. Except the tires, brakes and wiring. Even the wiring is awesome, flat LED lights, waterproof and easy to hide.

So it’s here. It’s in my back yard. No more excuses. Time to start construction. Well, I did get the final quote on the SIPs. Gotta sell some more stuff. So that makes it a win-win too!2014-01-11_08-37-20_0


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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Golden Teacup: a tiny Victorian village