Here is how things have come together in the days since the Bungalow in a Box house raising. We are taking our time with the finishes in order to incorporate ideas and inspiration that can't be rushed. Plus, we have to learn as we go. Prior to this project we had no experience building stairs, railings, walls, kitchens, bathrooms or any of the other mini projects required to complete the home.
|A trench from the well to the house for fresh water lines.|
|The septic system is installed and the drain field is seeded with grass. Even for a tiny house there is no such thing as a "tiny septic system." Code requires a system sized for a three bedroom home.|
|We frame out this tiny utility closet which will contain most of the mechanical and plumbing connections for the house.|
|Our local plumbing contractor designs a lot of equipment and piping into a tiny utility closet. The high-efficiency condensing boiler provides unlimited hot water and also provides heat to the house through a hot water baseboard loop.|
|We line up our hickory sink base cabinet. The thing hanging from the ceiling is a Gravity Light (a thoughtful gift from a good friend).|
|The shower and doors are installed. Hard to get a full picture in this tight space.|
|We secure cement board and tape the seams in preparation for tiling. At this point we are not sure if the whole bathroom is getting tile or just the floor.|
|Insulating the kitchen. Our tank mounted propane heater is there in case we need a boost of warmth during the interior buildout. The fire extinguisher is there in case we get anything or anyone too close to the heater. Thinking ahead.|
|We lay out stones for our hearth. These giant flat rocks came from the property. The big one is over three feet wide. It was in the creek several hundred paces from the house. Lots of flipping, rolling and wheelbarrowing got it here in one piece.|
|The hearth stones get secured in a bed of thinset mortar atop cement board to protect the subfloor from heat. We wait for the mortar to dry before grouting between all of the stones.|
|Wiring from the main electrical panel on its way around the home.|
|Rough in for the bathroom ventilation fan in the ceiling. Keeping moisture under control will help all of the wood in our house stay happy.|
|Main electrical panel that will be fed by the solar panels, inverter and battery system. Looks like a traditional panel but it's 100% powered by the sun. The 21st century tiny house has a lot of circuits.|
|Drywall and insulation continue. Spray foam around the windows gets into all the hard to reach places.|
|The grass is growing in nicely atop the drain field. Cleanout hatches for the three compartment septic tank are on the left.|
|When you're off the grid, energy from the sun needs to be stored somewhere. These twelve batteries weigh in at 113 pounds apiece. The batteries store 12+ usable kilowatt hours of energy -- enough to provide for all of our needs even with consecutive cloudy days. In tech speak, that's twelve 370 amp hour 6v sealed flooded lead acid batteries in 3 parallel strings of 4 batteries per string, storing 1,110 amp hours at 24v DC = 26,640 watt hours DC = about 24 kWh of AC power. To maximize the life of the batteries and account for cold weather losses/freeze protection, we ballpark the usable storage at 12 kWh -- half the total capacity.|
|We use leftover insulation scraps to give the Amish-made shed some interior comfort as a workshop in the winter months.|
Drywall in the loft. Why cover up a cool beam? We leave the heavy timber header over the window exposed to add character and show off the interior structure.
Loft railings -- Stocky 4x4 "post and beam" construction with lap joints and mortise & tenon joints to complement the structural timber framing. The balusters are standard 1/2" steel rebar.