One Man’s Trash Is Another Mans Treasure

It’s an oldie but a goody, one mans trash is another mans treasure, and it could not be more true with this project.  Mutt has a

This is a sculpture that, at first glance, Mutt wanted to know if it was for sale, he just can't help himself!

This is a sculpture that, at first glance, Mutt wanted to know if it was for sale, he just can’t help himself!

serious talent for finding good deals, and I don’t just mean spotting the sale rack from a mile away.  (Not that that isn’t also an amazing talent that I’m proud to posses, “Spend to save!” right Mom and Aunt Rita?!) When I say this, I actually mean, he has an eye for value.

Rescuing some beautiful  Redwood, in a snow storm!

Rescuing some beautiful Redwood, in a snow storm!

What one person sees as Trash, Mutt see as a potential Treasure. This is true about most things in life and especially when it comes to this Tiny House build.  He can see the beauty and value in things that seem to get lost on a lot of people.  This point has been proven over and over again by the free section on Craigslist.  Every day during his routine “shredding of the list” Mutt is able to track down some very valuable resources for us.  There are tons of people who have extra building materials, cabinets, windows, etc, at their homes. A lot of times they are materials left over from a remodel at their homes that they are giving away for free.  Sometimes its because its such a small amount of material they don’t think its worth selling, perfect for our 100 sq ft home! Or, its because they just can’t be bothered by it, in which case, again, one man’s trash becomes another mans treasure!  In this way we have found materials such as tile, hardwood flooring, wood stove venting, tar paper for roofing, windows, shutters, slate tile, and trim.  Some of the trim came from an 1800’s house in Gettysburg, PA!! We picked it up from a person’s barn about 45 minutes north of where we are.  We’ve even collected building materials as well, framing and plywood, silicone, electrical wiring and voltage converters, even some tools, paint and stain.

One of the hardest parts is not taking too much.  A major practice of this project is to live within our means, only taking what we need and not leaving anything behind.  Our plans are fluid and constantly changing because every day the treasures are different.  If something comes along that we are confident is better than our existing solution, we’ll pay the old one forward and keep the new one.  We are constantly taking inventory and either re-posting things to Craigslist, giving them to friends, or passing them along to second hand construction material stores like our good friends at Uncle Benny’s!! Our garage is turning into quite the work shop.  Its pretty amazing to see our project growing in front of our eyes.

Mutt's van, from a camper to a work truck! Thank you for your help!!

Mutt’s van, from a camper to a work truck! Thank you for your help!!

My car PACKED from one of our adventures, so grateful!

My car PACKED from one of our adventures, so grateful!

Some of the people we meet are completely random, they have an ad up on Craigslist, we need what they have, we go pick it up, many thanks are given and we go on our merry ways.  Some reach out to us because of our Craigslist post and are eager to help us.  One man named Tom, who lives further south of us past Denver, loves our idea so much that he is collecting materials from his own projects and projects around the neighborhood.  He starts a pile and when its enough to fill his truck, he touches base with us and brings it up to Denver so we can meet half way.  In another adventure, James found a man in Boulder who was giving away Knotty Pine tongue and groove to be hung on the walls.  He was getting rid of it in his house and we knew it would go perfectly with our wood themed truck bed cabin! When Mutt saw the ad he noticed that the man was going to have to take it down before be could give it away.  He promptly sent the man an email wondering if the hard wood was still available and offered to travel to Boulder to help him take it down.  The man replied that the Knotty Pine was still available and that he would love if Mutt could help him take it down.  After the job was complete, James learned that hundreds of people had replied to the ad on Craigslist and it was the offer to help him take the Knotty Pine down that allowed us to secure it! Thank goodness for all of Mutt’s hard work and willingness to extend his skills and help. These people are going out of their way to help us live our dream and we truly couldn’t be more grateful!

Our friend Michael and Mutt working on the RV!

Our friend Michael and Mutt working on the RV!

We’ve also built some lasting relationships through synchronicity with others working on their own projects.  People who are willing to trade skills for help on their own projects like our friend Michael! Micheal is an amazing human.  We first met him a few weeks ago when he reached out to Mutt because of our Craigslist ad.  He bought a 40ft long RV and needed some help gutting it.  He was wiling to trade us the shower stall and refrigerator for Mutt’s help now and in the future with this project.  He is planning to turn his RV into a Road Trip Warrior for his wife, young son, and himself to travel in.  It didn’t take long for us to become fast friends with Micheal.  He has been to our house for the boys to do some work removing the shower and fridge.  A second meeting happened after Mutt, knowing what Micheal was looking for for his remodel, found a set of seats for Michael.  The boys were able to work out a trade, the seats for Micheal’s futon that he no longer needed in his RV.  This Futon will be our main seating area and guest bed! We can’t wait for Tiny House Visitors!!! Mutt is also excited to be working on sewing some new curtains for Micheal!  This is a beautiful working relationship and part of the project that I really enjoy.

Michael's RV, in our front yard!

Michael’s RV, in our front yard!

It does become repetitive on “The List”,  so finding some of the specific materials is proving more difficult.  It is unavoidable that we will have to purchase some in commercial building supply stores. These places tend to charge top dollar for all of their supplies because they can.  That is why it is so important for us to off set some of the costs ourselves.  Creating a network for ourselves via Craigslist, Reused material stores, estate sales, and the people we have met within the community, allows us to continue to receive and give help along the way.

I swear Bertha is under there somewhere!

I swear Bertha is under there somewhere!

The collecting continues, though we are eager to start building we were reminded just at the end of February, why we have to wait! Waiting until the snow is gone for good, we will start building soon. Until then, I’ll keep filling you in on our amazing finds and people along the way! Sending lots of love



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