Can a city boy build his dream homestead on a mountain, by himself and with no mortgage?

Who knew… insulation is a bargain and the door is wrong?

insulated floor batts

Wow, I just finished building the insulated floor deck and am ahead on money. The total cost for the extra studs and insulation was only $89 and that included a new framing hammer, chalk line, steel carpenter’s square and a Mocha at Starbucks. So far that brings my total out-of-pocket up to $439, still under budget!

Installing the insulation was a breeze, simply lay it down, cut with a utility knife, staple the edges, repeat. Just make sure you wear long sleeves and gloves to keep the fiberglass off your skin (trust me on that).

The finished double-deck is still solid as a rock, level and square. The extra gravel really helped to keep the foundation from shifting. Although rain and snow don’t usually come til mid-November, the weather has already turned cold (was 34 degrees yesterday morning) so I need to get the walls and roof up quickly.  I’ll be up there all weekend for the big push forward.

finished floor decks

The finished insulated deck, a thing of beauty!

I’m having some doubts about door placement. I noticed, once the deck was done, I kept climbing up on top using the nearest corner on the driveway side. The patio sliders are designed to go on the opposite wall to take advantage of the view but feng shui is subltly dictating that the door should go on the other side.

I’ve decided to listen to my screaming inner voice and put the door on the driveway side.  I’ll move the large sliding window to the view side, replacing the patio slider. I’ll still be able to get a cross breeze AND see the twin oaks to the east. Since the door is now on the side with no view, I can save some cash by not using expensive sliding doors. I’ll get an insulated one-lite glass and steel door (because it’s way cooler than a solid slab) and save $250!

The arbor that was planned for the driveway side will now be useful as a shade cover over the door and will integrate with the deck in front of the wall of glass out front. My SketchUp skills are not “arbor-ready” yet but here’s the new door layout…

front view from trailer2

next… a long weekend getting to know the new framing hammer!

3 responses

  1. dzent1

    Hi, U.R.!
    Looks awesome, and congratulations. I’m in a similar process. although I’ve built myself a small yurt.

    Just a thought, though – is your tiny house anchored in any way to the ground so it doesn’t blow off the gravel pad? I’ll be sinking 2 inch pipe about three feet into the ground around my yurt and using aircraft cable to tie my platform and structure down good and snug, so if high winds blow it won’t go anywhere. And they do, if not anchored.

    Also, especially since you’re probably going to grow some food up there, you might look into using container gardening in a small greenhouse. This is the most inspired (as in cheap, easy and durable) version I’ve found so far:
    http://userpages.bright.net/~fwo/greenhouse/greenhouse.html

    You can make this thing whatever dimensions suits you, because once you see what he did (it’s broken down very well in pictures and simple comments) it’s easy to scale.

    As for the advantages of self-watering container gardens (in my opinion the ONLY way to go!) here’s a couple of links to the best info I’ve found. They’re easy to make, easy to garden, and are more productive in much less space than regular gardening:
    http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/
    http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/earthtainer-video-intro-chapter1.html
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Another-ez-cheap-Earthbox-clone-without-PVC!/

    I have collected a bunch of links over the last couple of years that may be of help and save you In any regard, warm regards from over the hill in Bakersfield, and I wish you health happiness, and a long life of pursuing your dreams!
    Dave

    October 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm

  2. No Dave, it’s not anchored to the ground. It’s a fairly heavy structure built on a skid that sits on 9 flat concrete blocks. The gravel is only completely under one of the blocks. This one corner runs the risk of getting muddy and settling, that’s why I put all the gravel around. It’s very locked in place now. Unless there’s a 8.0 quake or 200 mph winds, it ain’t movin’!

    If I bolt it down it becomes less of a storage shed and more of an unpermitted building. Until I get the main “permitted” house built I need to stay within the letter of the law just in case the inspector pays a visit.

    Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out
    E.M.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

  3. Ed

    For tying down a building I wonder if setting bolts in the ground then attaching the building with ratchet straps would be strong enough but also suitably temporary – whilst being replaceable on a nice calm day.

    October 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

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