Tiny House Work Party (Day 54)

Had a great turnout for our tiny house work party yesterday and got an incredible amount done. Suddenly the house has a wall! Thanks everyone who came for helping make the day such a resounding success! Looking forward to seeing some of y’all back whenever you want to come by again.

In goes the insect mesh.

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Continue reading “Tiny House Work Party (Day 54)”


Reverse Rain Check & Days 34-50

Just got hit by our first rainstorm (in fact, it’s darn near the first rain at all…) so I’ve come in to catch up on the blog. Here’s Whisky and I doing a (oh so flattering) rain dance. Just got the tarp over in time, the storm hit pretty quick! You can also see my new stock tank bath tub on the left sitting on top of two new scaffolds ready for putting the walls up.


This post will be a little different from previous in that I’m not going to run you through day-by-day. This is partly because I haven’t been as good about taking pictures recently and partly because life is just too hectic at the moment for a full blog post, even a photo based one, because:

Pops temporarily out of commission

Friday evening, Pops walks over to the trailer after taking Whisky for a short walk and says “I can’t see out of half of my right eye.” Continue reading “Reverse Rain Check & Days 34-50”

Days 15-33 Update

Day 15

A mock up of the flow-through composter starts to come together.


Day 16

Our trailer had been held up in shipping at this point so I was using the extra time to double and triple check all the details of our SketchUp drawing. This pic shows our interior rigid foam insulation. To the left of the computer you can see the preliminary quote from the local building supply store for all our materials which I’m also triple checking as I go. And what makes better brain food than a giant bowl of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola? Love it.


Day 17 Continue reading “Days 15-33 Update”

Week 2 update

Day 10

Measuring to see if we’ll be able to get my house out once it’s built. Suddenly occurred to us it would be good to check this ahead of time!
The ubiquitous Texas pickup is pretty useful for some stuff. Good thing Pops doesn’t mind his getting a little scuffed.


Plastics trip definitely a success. Someone at the warehouse had messed up and cut a bunch of sheets in half which they were more than happy to get rid of at 75% off. Perfect to protect the underside of our trailer from road debris plus tons left over for other projects like the solar air furnace. Jackpot!

Day 11

Continue reading “Week 2 update”

Week 1 update

We’re busy busy busy and fast approaching 10% done time-wise without being 10% done with the work!… So, blog updates are going to be mostly pictures for a while as that’s faster than typing. More wordy posts if and when I can manage them. For now:

Day 1

Tiny house gets a name, the Carriage House, and a front door sign. Carriage House Antiques was the name of my grandparents’ (Mimi and Papa’s) antiques business, now also the name of our tiny house business.


Whisky isn’t quite sure what to do with scorpions…


Day 2

Continue reading “Week 1 update”

Arrival at the build site and past week update

So, Whisky and I rolled into Austin last night and today we’re officially getting started on the build. Can’t believe we’re finally here (time to start) and definitely glad to be back here (Texas)!

Yes, this is a pic from the front row of a Willie Nelson concert. Turns out growing up in the UK has several benefits, chief among them that no one knows who Willie is so you can get awesome seats when he plays there!
Yes, this is a pic from the front row of a Willie Nelson concert. Turns out growing up in the UK has several benefits, chief among them that no one knows who Willie is so you can get awesome seats when he plays there!

Continue reading “Arrival at the build site and past week update”

On SketchUp and Why Progress is a Slow Thing

So, one week of early mornings in, what have we been using all that time for here at trtn? Designing our own trailer proved a great opportunity to redo our whole design plan from scratch in order to take best advantage of the trailer’s features. 22 hours and 27 minutes worth of SketchUp modelling later, it’s starting to look like a house. That’s an awful lot of time you say. It sure feels like it. But the end product is (or, at least, will be) an exact model of my tiny house down to the thickness of the housewrap.

This is both the biggest pro and con of planning a build in SketchUp. Continue reading “On SketchUp and Why Progress is a Slow Thing”

The Early Bird and All That

It’s 03:30am as I start writing this. Well, more like 03:37, it took me a few minutes to get up and let the dog out… For the next 21 days I’ll be waking up at 03:30 every day in an attempt to get caught back up on everything from this blog, to my tiny house planning, to my medical school studies, all of which have started to slip into the overwhelmingly behind category of my to-do list. The idea is drawn from this TED talk and an unshakeable belief that I can somehow add hours to the day. It has everything a goal needs: it’s specific, achievable, and time limited so I’ll eventually be able to say “I did it!”. We talk a lot about goal theory in medicine. After all, if our job is keeping people healthy that includes helping our patients quit smoking and resist that second doughnut. Unfortunately, we’re not always so good at applying this to our own lives, so here goes! While my dog stares at me in confusion wondering why he’s awake this long before his breakfast, here’s my first to-do list check off item: an update on what’s been happening lately with my tiny house build.

First up, on the topic of dogs, meet Whisky – future tiny house co-habitant, trtn mascot, and (wo)man’s best friend. He was born the summer I left for college and has been living with my folks since then. Over the past few months however, with them staring down the barrel of retirement and (they hope) a fair bit of travel, they’d been looking for a new home for him. In my typical act-first-think-later manner, I volunteered. Several complications and a canine transatlantic flight later, he’s all moved in. Taking on a dog in the middle of medical school may seem a little crazy but, to be honest, I think it’s one of the best choices I’ve made in a long time. Today marks four full weeks together and he’s taking as much care of me as I am of him: stopping me from hitting the snooze button each morning with the knowledge that he needs fed and let out, persuading me to start running again and do at least one long walk each weekend, and just generally keeping me company as I trawl through the seemingly endless quantity of information I need to know to become a doctor. So now all things tiny house are being designed with a 60lb dog in mind!

Whisky demonstrating one of his favorite (very comfortable, I'm sure) positions to curl up next to me at my desk.
Whisky demonstrating one of his favorite (very comfortable, I’m sure) positions to curl up next to me at my desk.

On the topic of the tiny house, there’s a lot to update. Continue reading “The Early Bird and All That”

My “tiny house lifestyle” (aka. 150 free bagels)

I just got back from Safeway with a full freezer worth of free, day-old, “compost” bagels. I’m guessing that’s legalese for “don’t sue us if these make you sick” though they don’t look in the least bit sickening.

As I walked home with that slightly precarious load tied onto my grocery trailer, I got to thinking about the kind of life I want to live and how my tiny house will play into that. Intercepting a year’s supply of bagels on their way to the landfill is certainly consistent with my goal of making smaller environmental footprints, but what other tenets are important to me?

Google “tiny house lifestyle” and you’ll get over 20,000 hits, but is there really such a thing? Some talk about living in a tiny house for the mental health benefits of limiting one’s possessions, others for the improved ecological sustainability, the financial savings, the career freedom, or the geographic mobility. I care about all of those factors, but some are more important to me than others and they all mean something slightly different to me than they would to someone else. More to the point, discovering what my personal tenets are has been the most important step in my tiny house design process. After all, form follows function.

Amid the usual jalapeño-cheese and sesame were 3 slightly suspicious looking fluorescent pink ones that I think are maraschino cherry. Interesting...
Amid the usual jalapeño-cheese and sesame were 3 slightly suspicious looking fluorescent pink ones that I think are maraschino cherry. Interesting…

Continue reading “My “tiny house lifestyle” (aka. 150 free bagels)”

My awesome door and the wonders of craigslist trawling

A month ago I made my first actual purchase towards my tiny house, a door. And not just any door, a Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Oak Accugrain Fiberglass Full-Lite Double Glazed door. Okay, that’s not particularly exciting… But I got it for $50 off craigslist (would be >$1000 new) and it’s perfect for my house so I’m excited!

Not quite this grand but certainly better insulated... (2002)
Not quite this grand but certainly better insulated… (2002)

Continue reading “My awesome door and the wonders of craigslist trawling”