May Update (and, about a book)

Well, on the upside, not much to report means no problems, so I’m happy to report there are no problems this month (except for a tiny fly issue; see below).

I’m taking a trip for a couple of weeks later this month, so I spent yesterday evening trying to get as much of the rest of the late spring seeds in the ground as possible. That’s two weeks of growing I don’t want to miss out on!

We’ve got a problem with “drain flies” in the bathroom. They’re similar to fruit flies, but smaller, and they, as you might have guessed, take up residence in drains for their procreative activities. There’s nothing like trying to put in contacts and wondering if flies will land in your mouth.

Yum.

Well, in other news, I’ve been thinking about writing a book for awhile, and I think I’ve finally been convinced. While by no means a complete DIY text, the idea is to write something that will give you a clear idea of the reality of building a cargo-based home. Many books have been written on the topic of cargo container building, but they’re, for the  most part, idealistic instead of reality-based. I want to provide something that will give a real taste of what you can expect, how to troubleshoot some issues, and some useful resources to use in your adventure. I’d love to know what you think! If there’s anything specific you’d like to hear about, let me know that, too.

Happy Thursday. Relax; the weekend’s almost here.

 

 

Dehumidifiers

So, in case you weren’t already sure, moisture can be bad.

You may remember our trip to get insulation. We put in up, which went fine. We sprayed the seams between each board as time allowed. When we first moved in, it was hot. The A/C worked as a dehumidifier, plus when the inside it cooler than the outside, there is no condensation inside.

But then…winter hit. And it was warmer inside than outside. And the dripping started.

On the upside, the dripping allowed us to see obvious places the insulation had not been properly sealed, which we were able to address quickly. But in the interest of removing any pre-existing moisture, and keeping excess moisture out in the future, we decided we needed a dehumidifier. We purchased one for cheap on Craigslist, which certainly functioned, but was so loud I just about couldn’t keep it on if I was home. That one has now been moved to the bathroom (since we don’t have a fan in there).

We saved a little dough and bought a quiet dehumidifier…which I love and keep on all the time. The drips totally stopped.

And, for the sake of conservation, we use the water pulled from the air to fill the animals’ water bowl.

We’ve got some thoughts of adding a slanted roof over the house, which should further decrease any potential moisture accumulation.

Life in a house

Yes, yes, shocking how long it’s been, I know. Frankly, if you’re me, or if you’ve been following for a while, it’s probably not that surprising…what can I say, there’s a lot going on in my life.

Anywho, I’ve just had wisdom teeth pulled, and so am laying in bed all weekend. I got to thinking about this space and what I’d like to do with it…

First, I need to actually make that video walk-through I keep promising you all. It’s coming, I hereby promise. (Adding hereby to the promise makes it serious.)

Second, we’re obviously not 100% finished, but we’re finished enough that I’m  not living in frustration, which, frankly, is pretty good. As we complete new projects, I’ll document them and continue sharing. This year, we’re planning to scrape the rust from the outside surfaces and paint the house a normal beige-y color. Later in the year, or maybe next year, we’re going to put a very basic roof on. This has to do with some dripping we’ve experienced, which I’ll post about later this week. I’ll keep you all updated on these new, bigger projects.

Third, I want to evolve this space into an ongoing conversation about what it’s like living in this space–people’s reactions to it, unusual experiences we might not have in a typical house, etc.

If there’s anything specific I can answer, feel free to reach out!

Thanks for reading–

L

Moving in…sort of

I’m so embarrassed at how behind I am on updates. I’ll take a video tour for you in the next few days to update you appropriately. Since our last update, we’ve:

  • Finished all insulation
  • Finished the cedar on the walls
  • Installed all doors
  • Installed rafters on the ceiling
  • Sanded and sealed the floors
  • Installed outlets to complete the electric (more or less–there’s still lights to be put in a few places)
  • Installed the closet
  • Moved in living room and bedroom furniture as of yesterday

As you can tell, things have been a little busy. But the big news is–tonight is our second night to sleep inside! We don’t have the bathroom or kitchen finished, obviously, so we’re still running over to the camper for bathing and cooking needs. It’s right outside the bedroom though, so it’s not particularly inconvenient.

It’s such a pleasure to be in my own bed. We bought a new mattress, and our bed is a king, so the comfort level at this point is a marked improvement from camper sleeping.

A few notes:

Closet: We elected not to build our closet in. Instead, Scott welded brackets to the wall where we wanted the closet zone to be. We hung a clothing rod from those brackets. It sounds a little odd, but it’s working well so far. We might hang a sheer across the front if we decide the clothes being exposed isn’t what we want.

The space: Now that we have furniture in, I’m pretty happy with the dimensions of the space. Our living area is just right for our couch, overstuffed chair, and entertainment stand. There’s also going to be enough room for the wardrobe I’m putting in for winter jackets, umbrellas, and boots, without things seeming crowded.

There’s a nice open space against the wall separating our bedroom from the living space. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still got some clearing out to do as we continue moving in (and moving out of the storage unit), but we’ve never been big clutter-collectors, so I think we can keep the minimalist vibe going.

I feel like I’m in a palace. I can’t begin to tell you how much space I feel like I have.

So Many Good Things…

Oh man, where to begin? I feel like so much has happened since our video tour, but I guess the main thing is that all the windows and sliding glass doors are in! If you’d rather, skip to the photos below.

The only thing left to install in this area of construction is the front door. We were going to use another sliding glass door, but we had a door with nearly all glass sitting around. We’re using it instead–it’s easier to install because less metal must be cut and less difficult framing is required, since it only has to be really seriously framed on the side where the hinges are. Annnnd…it’s also free. Which is good.

What we’ve bought recently:

2 sliding glass doors from Lowe’s: They’re Reliabuilt brand, vinyl framed, $295 each. They look good, function well, and were as easy to install as anything else. They’re not like, the high end of what you can buy, but they’ll do just fine–and we didn’t want to spend $1000 on each door, which was pretty much the next option.

1 window: Also Reliabuilt. $95 (about). Vinyl framed. 35 inches x 35 inches. This is a side-to-side slider, rather than an up and down slide. We prefer those.

1 gallon of paint: $30-ish.

Free Stuff:

You may recall the lady who sold us our cabinets gave us a window for free. It’s also 35×35, and a side slider. It’s the one we put in the back-facing wall.

Front door: (Pics when it’s installed–probably this weekend) My husband got this somewhere so long ago he doesn’t even remember. It’s a nice door, almost all glass, high quality. We knew we’d need it sometime. We decided to cut nearly $300 out of the budget by using this instead of another sliding glass door. And, as I said, it’s going to be easier to install and require we remove less metal. But I still get my glass for the light/view, so it’s all good.

The bedroom is at the opposite end of the containers. The center container (with the sliding glass door) is part of the living space. The living room area will be just on the other side of this window, but more in the container to the right than in the center one.

The bedroom is at the opposite end of the containers. The center container (with the sliding glass door) is part of the living space. The living room area will be just on the other side of this window, but more in the container to the right than in the center one.

Kitchen Window, Uninstalled

Kitchen window, uninstalled.

Kitchen Window, Installed

Kitchen window, installed.

View from Kitchen Window

View from kitchen window. Next year I might do something radical like cut that privet hedge you can see to the left. Then we’ll be able to see the neighbor’s pasture across the road a bit more. It’s lovely–they’ve got horses and sometimes cattle.

View from the window that faces that hill behind us. From this window you can see the laundry/utility room and a nice view of the woods. I'm hoping we see some deer! Can you see the air conditioner peeking from behind that sheet of metal?

View from the window that faces that hill behind us. From this window you can see the laundry/utility room (if you peek around) and a nice view of the woods–deer included.
Can you see the air conditioner peeking from behind that sheet of metal?

As a note of orientation, the window above is directly across from the kitchen window–they’re just on opposite sides of the structure.

Immediately after installation. You can see its accompanying piece of metal just outside.

Immediately after installation. You can see its accompanying piece of metal just outside. In the bedroom.

That's the metal Hubs just cut out. And that's our little camper behind it...

A little earlier in the day–That’s the metal Hubs just cut out. And that’s our wee camper behind it… Share the vision: Next year there will be an 8×10 deck with a sun garden just past that. Mmmm. 

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Of course, that's also the only room we're actually painting...

The bedroom is the only room we’re painting…except maybe one wall of the bathroom.

We'll trim the top and bottom with cedar.

We’ll trim the top and bottom with cedar. Also, the paint isn’t as minty as it may appear…

Okay; you have been updated. Feel free to ask questions!

Status Update

Things are moving right along. Scott started (and got a long way) with putting up walls. We’re hoping to be finished with that by maybe Friday or Saturday. Then we’ll put in the windows and doors, sand the floors, add some plumbing, and move right in!

*And we just bought the sliding glass doors. Sweet sauce.

Okay it will still probably be like a month, but that’s so close!

I know what you’re really interested, and I do live to serve, so here’s a little video tour. This is from Sunday-ish, so it’s pretty current. We’ve finished the bedroom walls at this point, so that’s the only thing significant that’s changed.

In other news, I got chickens! I picked them up two weeks ago tomorrow, I believe, so they’ve been cooped to learn where home is, but tonight, they’re going for an evening walk. I’m sure I’ll take video. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, you can check out our home blog HERE at twoacrehill.wordpress.com. I thought about adding it all to this site, but I’m aware some of you may not be into that, so I’ll try to keep those posts more or less separate.

Insulation

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Close-up of insulation on walls.

Scott’s been working pretty steadily the last couple of weeks (thanks to a few relatively quiet days) on the insulation.

He’s using construction adhesive to attach the insulation to the walls. On the walls, this has been working great. He just leans a beam or 2x against the panel to hold it in place while it sets, and they set pretty quickly.


Unfortunately, the panels on the ceiling are taking a little longer to set. To hold those in place, he built several Ts. It’s still working well, just taking a little longer.

The large pieces went in quickly. It’s all the small spaces left that have to be measured and custom that are a little slower going, but I’m told it’s not too big of a deal.

If we were doing this again, and could know in advance, one could put up studs spaced exactly to fit one panel of insulation between each, eliminating cuts except for around electrical outlets.

A note on the outlets: You may notice they’re close to the floor. 18 inches up is code, but you can have them lower if you install GFCI outlets. (I’m no code expert, check your local regulations, yada yada yada.)

Plans for the next week include: finishing the insulation, cutting a hole for the HVAC unit/installing it, and starting on plumbing installation.

A few more pics. Click for a larger image.

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Bedroom ceiling. The small hole is for the dedicated bedroom air conditioner.

The intersection between the kitchen area, bathroom, and bedroom.

The intersection between the kitchen area, bathroom, and bedroom.

We’re covering the walls with cedar board, which I’m going to whitewash. It’s going to be gorgeous! Here’s a link to what I’m thinking: Whitewashing Plank Walls