Category Archives: tiny house

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Little House on the Prairie Update = More New Windows!

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Does anything update a refresh an old house the way brand new windows do? I couldn’t be more excited about this bit of updating and refreshing. We left the job to the pros because some things are too much for us as do it yourselfers. Last year when we moved in one window was rotted and in terrible shape and needed immediate replacing. The others were in poor shape but we had so many expenses getting into the house that we decided to wait. One thing we are trying not to do is create any debt as we fix up this old house. This year’s new windows were a bear partly due to the need to remove and replace more rotting wood under the sill and do a lot of resealing where old calking dried up, split and fell out, but we still got three more high quality, locally made, window upgrades for under $2000. (That no doubt seems like a lot to folks from the south but we have learned from bitter cold experience not to put southern windows on a northern house!) We paid extra to get really nice windows that are designed to be unhooked and swung in so they can be cleaned from the inside, with high quality easy pop in, pop out, type screens and above all the¬†high insulation value required for our very very cold winters. These windows will be able to handle a ferocious wind blowing in when it’s -40F/-40C without even a cool spot or frosting the even the corner of a pane. We have two windows to go, the front living room and kitchen one but we already had Mr. Terreck do the measurements and that will be next spring’s major expense.

Interior of our New Stick House

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The bedrooms are small, I know. That is our mattress on the floor. We have a bed frame picked out and waiting for us at Ikea.

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This space here is the other room. Eventually it will be workspace. Bookshelves also on order at Ikea. Trusty, being her usual self is quite happy wherever she is as long as she can sleep. Fred is equally unbothered new accommodation.

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One disadvantage is that we don’t really have a dining area. The big room is living room, dining room kitchen combined and ever though it is a big room compared to the other two rooms, it’s tiny overall. So my RV life tricks for making do with less space have come in handy. We raided our cabin for the futon and beds. Eventually we’ll replace them and put them back in the cabin but they work for now. The cat has not adjusted well but cats hate any change so I am ignoring his complaints.

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Oh the joys of taking long showers! RV living means short showers as we had only 6 galloons of hot water. Now my only concern is not over filling the septic tank. We have a septic tank and a septic field behind the house. Water is well water from a community well. The cover to the septic tank is behind the house and an easy reach from the trailer for emptying the black and gray water. In essence, we have out own one trailer, RV park. Still waiting on the RV plug parts.

SAM_5547 SAM_5548The basement to the little house is a full basement, unfinished. We have an oversized 200 amp panel which means I can fix the problem of only one plug per room at relatively low cost. Also plenty of room for the RV plug.

If one defines a “tiny house” as less than 1000 square feet, then ours qualifies. The square footage is 480ft on the main floor and even if you count the basement, it is still under 1000ft. The house is also independent of “the grid” except that we have electricity and internet. We share our well water with six other families. Some people define a tiny house as having wheels and in that sense we are a stick house. In any case we seem to have found the perfect solution to multiple small dilemmas associated with tiny house/RV full time life.