Tag Archives: cargo

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.

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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

Framing

Our friends joined us again on Saturday to help us get ahead on the house. Marlow was a contractor for a long time, and the ever-awesome Kat is always game for helping.

I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago, and it was throbbing pretty badly, so I got to sit (sort of–I was all excited and kept hopping up to look at things) and photo-document. I can’t thank our friends enough for all their help. Guys, you know when you’re ready to build, we are there!

Initially, we were wondering if there wasn’t a way to get away with not framing every wall, but the reality is, it’s good building practice because it works. Framing gives you something to run electric on, adds little cubbies for the insulation, and gives you a way to attach whatever finish (drywall, paneling, etc) you want. Plus, you need studs to have something easy to hang pictures from!

Note: We didn’t finish the bathroom or the kitchen. Hubs is finishing those as I type. Pictures to come.

We did not do studs the standard 18 inches apart. The reason for this is that our containers are providing all of the structural integrity of the house. The studs in our case are, again, for ease of insulation installation and running electric. We did them every four feet, except in the kitchen–we’re doing those standard so the cabinets will be secure.

In all fairness, it may be hard to tell from these photos–but when you are standing in it, the space feels very large. There are no hallways or wasted space, which helps.

Framing the first wall. Moo Moo is helping.

Framing the first wall. Moo Moo is helping.

A view from the dining area.

A view from the dining area. Those posts in the middle are temporary supports. They will be removed when the support beam is welded in place on the roof.

More of framing the first wall.

More of framing the first wall.

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The door into the bedroom, before it was finished...

The door into the bedroom, before it was finished…

Kat and Marlow cutting some wood.

Kat and Marlow cutting some wood.

Bathroom door to the left, bedroom to the right. The bathroom is framed for a two-foot pocket door, which means you have to allow a four-foot space initially.  The bedroom is a standard door width (32inches, I think). It will have a barn door.

Bathroom door to the left, bedroom to the right. The bathroom is framed for a two-foot pocket door, which means you have to allow a four-foot space initially. The bedroom is a standard door width (32 inches, I think). It will have a barn door.

I now know that framing standard walls is pretty easy–it’s framing for doors that takes a little more time.

There will also be a door from the bathroom to the bedroom. When you walk into the bedroom from the living area, you’ll be looking straight at the closet, so you’ll turn right to go farther into the room.

After getting the walls up, I actually felt like, “Oh, hey, there’s even more room than I thought. There’s even space for a little office zone for me.”

All in all, coming from the person who did no work, this was pretty cool. It was neat seeing how framing is really done. It’s also not super complicated. It seemed kind of like sewing–measure twice, cut once. And keep your body parts out of the nail gun’s way…

The following are just because I can:

Kitty approved.

Kitty approved. 

She got tired.

She got tired.

 

Walls are cut out!

It’s been awhile since I updated you, but don’t worry–you haven’t missed much.

Hubs has been chipping away at cutting out the walls, but between buying a new-to-us truck, prepping to sell our two extra vehicles, Scott needing to work some at his job-job, and some health issues, things have been a little slower than we might prefer.

But, drumroll please:

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The walls are finally all cut out!! You can see at the very end of the first container that there’s still a little wall. That’s the dividing wall between the bathroom and bedroom. The wood beams you see are temporary supports until the cross support beam is welded onto the roof.

We walked around today measuring and planning the electrical. Early this week we’re going to buy the doors/windows so those holes can get cut. Once the doors and windows are input and the single wall framed out, the electric will go in. Next step will be insulation. We’re considering hiring someone for that part to move us forward a bit more.

NEW STUFF

We still have our king-size frame and box springs, but our mattress was ready to be retired when we sold our house. Last week at the auction, Scott-husband purchased this lovely item:

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A brand-new fancy-schmancy gel mattress. Mmm-hmm. I can’t wait to sleep on that thing.

The week before that, he wondered if I would like this:

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When I spazzed out in excitement, he told me he’d already bought it. It’s a lovely crackled-blue and copper that will be great as the bathroom focal point. We weren’t going to put in a tub–and it will decrease our space (though we’ll still have plenty)–but come on. Look at it. We have no choice.

***

In other news, I’ve reached a new peace about our timeline. We would have preferred to be finished the the 15th (which is a week from tomorrow). Obviously, that’s not realistic. Don’t get me wrong–I am SO READY for this lovely project to be finished and to be living in the house. However, I’ve decided it’s not worth getting stressed about some self-imposed timeline. We’ll be in by summer. I can live with that. It’ll probably even be significantly before real-summer, and that’s just not so bad.

Part of the delay was Scott’s health last week. Because he was unable to work for a few days, our friends weren’t able to come help as they’d intended. On the upside, they’re coming for a day or two next weekend, which will be a huge help. It’s very possible that all the windows will be put in and the wall framed up after their visit. M. was a contractor for a long time, and his wife, K., has some mad skills as well.

Finally, let me say thank you to Mother Nature. I’m not sure what we’ve done to deserve this much beautiful weather in the middle of January, but I’ll take it.

Delivery (November 24, 2014)

tl;dr: Container one has been dropped safely. It was an adventure, but it’s here. I had a beer with dinner to recover. Scroll for pics.

Long version:

Our property has two driveways. The main one is about 80 feet long, a bit twisty, and somewhat steep. At the top of the drive, about twenty feet left, is where we plan to place our containers. To the right, there is a drive around to the other driveway and other side of the property. The space where the containers are going is fairly tight, as we sit against the side of a hill, making our flat space narrow than it may first appear, given we have 2.3 acres.

We used a towing company out of Memphis that came recommended by the folks who sold our containers to us. On the one hand, the delivery dude has been very patient and professional. On the other… well. I should have taken a picture of it coming up the driveway, but instead I’ll show you what I did take.

These photos are the container being dropped.

These are photos of the truck going back down the driveway, empty.

These photos are of my dog, who has decided she is going to be a trucker.

I spoke with dispatch several times before the truck came, hoping to ensure we had as much manuevering room as the truck required. Unforunately, it turns out dispatch doesn’t really have the full picture of information required. They told me, and I quote, “As long as we can get up the driveway, we can put it anywhere you want it.” That may turn out ot be true, but it’s not as simple as all that. The trailer is 60 feet long. Combined with the truck itself, we’re talking around 67 feet of truck we had to get up a driveway and around a fairly sharp turn. It also needs quite a bit of forward drive space to pull out after beginning to drop the trailer.

The driver had to drop the container in a random spot so he can come in from a different direction at a later date, reload it, and drop it where we want it. He’d hoped to make these four deliveries in two days, but delivery one took around three hours, so we’re not convinced that’s possible going forward.

This was clearly not the driver’s first rodeo, thankfully. He’s got three more deliveries to make for us, so he made sure to look around and formulate a plan of action for the upcoming deliveries.

Watching this for three hours was, honestly, incredibly stressful. The driver was very calm and patient through the process, but I was a wreck inside. I’m glad everything turned out as well as it did. Hopefully the next few deliveries will be less exciting.

The lesson here? If you have a strangely oriented space, make sure to talk directly to the driver who will be dropping your containers. If possible, it’s even a good idea to have them come check out your land first. Our containers came from Memphis (about a 2.5 hour drive) so we didn’t have that option. Also, find out what kind of truck they are bringing and how long it is. A normal tilt bed trailer and truck would be about 20 feet shorter than what is delivering ours. It would have been our preference for a lot of reasons., but at this point, we’re going to continue with the company we’ve got.

You live in a what? (Part 2)

Or, why on earth we might decide to live in some old cargo containers.

It wasn’t that we sold our house planning to live in a used cargo container–not at all. We’d planned to build a metal building, half warehouse/half living space. The price was reasonable, and the design was what would work for us.

But then we got to thinking about money. And speed of construction.

Well, mostly we got to thinking of speed. After a year in a camper, desperation starts to kick in.

Me and the hubs had considered cargo container homes before, but dismissed them on the grounds that we needed warehouse space for his business, so we might as well go the metal building route. Plans change though, and we decided to build even his warehouse out of old cargo containers.

After researching seriously, we found that cargo containers are made of thicker metal than metal buildings, are capable of holding over 20,000lbs stacked on top of each one (ie, super tough), and are actually a great size and shape for putting together to make a small home. Ours will be right at 960 square feet, with an open floor plan.

And the cost is very, very low compared to a traditional house. Well, it is if you have a spouse who can do most of the labor, which I do. We will be mortgage-free in 3 years. In these times, that’s a rare and beautiful thing.

So, as of today, we’ve purchased our three containers, and they’re due to be delivered next week.

Join us on the adventure. I’m sure it’ll be a wild ride.