At the end of the last post I mentioned that construction on the house would have to wait! The condition of the existing truck bed was not acceptable. It was not sturdy enough to bear the weight and take the toll of being the foundation for our Tiny House.
Let me explain the situation a little bit, the truck bed is built in two pieces, and the original plans had us detaching them from each other and moving the top frame back two feet. It sounds kind of insignificant, however, when you’re talking about your entire life fitting into 100-ish sq. ft. of space, 2 feet is HUGE! Mutt removed the frame and realized that the large piece on top was not nearly as strong and sturdy on its own as we had originally assumed. Mutt thought it would take several people to move it and instead, he was able to move it himself, not really a good sign. This raised some red flags and we immediately questioned if it would be strong enough to support the weight of the house. After talking to a few friends and taking a day or two to think about it we decided that we needed to build a new frame. Not only did we desperately need those 2 feet but we had to consider safety and durability. This is our home after all, and its a mobile cabin on wheels, not a typical home. Thoughts of safety and longevity are even more important than they would be typically. We also want for this house to be an investment. To be able to sell it in good conscience at a later time, we have to know we’ve got a strong and safe foundation. Our best option was to use a newly built frame.
The project then became how to get a new steel bed frame built. Sourcing the steel for the frame was one challenge and where to get it done was another. Where to get the frame built became the most challenging part. Since almost the beginning of this project we have been searching for the perfect solution to our welding woes. Along the way we have had many leads (that’s a welding pun!) but none that panned out. Now it was crunch time, the project can’t move on without the frame, we had to find something relativity fast so construction on the house could continue as we saw time on our lease tick by. Hoping for something to come through and staying in the spirit of completing most of the build ourselves out of reused and recycled materials, Mutt reached out to an old friend. This friend has been around since the days of Club Work Shop ( a Denver based tool sharing workshop available to members where Mutt did a lot of his work during 2012-2014 until Club Work Shop unfortunately had to close its doors to the public) and the friend was ready and willing to help! It was the perfect solution as our friend (who I’m not naming to protect his privacy) was not only willing to help but very excited to have Mutt work side by side with him to help the project move along more quickly. An ideal situation as Mutt enjoys every opportunity he gets to learn a new skill. We spent the next few weeks working to save money to pay for materials and labor.
The easier piece of the puzzle was finding a place to source the steel. After doing some research Mutt found the place, BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE VERY FRIENDLY STAFF AT ALTITUDE STEEL!! They really hooked it up and helped us out on sourcing, cutting, and delivering our materials. We are very grateful for your amazing customer service! Thank you, THANK YOU!
So then we were ready! The boys worked very hard for a few days straight and got the frame built. We had help with the heavy lifting from multiple friends (THANKS ADAM!! and our AWESOME NEIGHBOR BOYS!) and a very accommodating tow truck driver, unfortunately the video was lost in a freak phone accident…
The frame is now painted and on the back of our truck. Mutt had the paint sprayer out again and he finished off Bertha’s paint job too!! She is looking better than ever and the construction may begin! It’s hard to think that after everything we have already accomplished, the work has only just begun. Seeing the house come together piece by piece is motivating and exciting. We are ready to keep it rollin’!
FAST FORWARD 2 MONTHS…
Since I started writing this post, 2 months have past! Not too much construction process has happened but a WHOLE LOT OF LIFE sure has! We’ve spent the summer working extremely hard and we couldn’t be more grateful. Mutt’s handy man business has kept him busy, as well as a growing yoga business of my own. Between that and my time at Vine Street Pub; we have managed a few nights out under the stars, seen some amazing music, squeezed in a few weddings, and enjoyed some laughs with family and friends. Its been an amazing whirlwind summer, as they all should be!
With that being said, we saw the end of our lease coming very quickly! Our original plan had us being in the Tiny House by the end our lease. With some of the hick-ups along the way and a crazy packed summer, we knew that wasn’t realistic. Not wanting to resign a year lease, we searched for other temporary housing options. My favorite idea and one we heavily looked into was buying an RV. The thought behind that was that we could live in it for the rest of the summer and fall, and sell it once we were in the Tiny House. However, our landlord was excited to hear we were not yet in the Tiny House and possibly interested in sticking around. He worked with us and let us resign a 6 month lease. This plan won as it made more sense to stay than to have to do another move between our current house and the Tiny House. It also makes storing the house and our materials and building a whole lot easier! Our new deadline is February 1, 2016. I honestly feel good about the extension on the time. I felt rushed before. Timing just didn’t feel right and this is something we both care about and want to do right. We want to have the time and the resources to put into this house and let it be an asset for us, let it be the beautiful home we know it will be. I’m very excited to move on and into our Tiny House, but only when we’re good and ready! Plus, February 1st is my birthday, I think that’s a good sign or something! 😉
Summer has started to slow down and although life surely wont pause for us to finish our house, we are heading into the fall months more motivated than ever. We’ve got a plan and are excited to see it through. This week Mutt, with the help of our good friend Matt, were able to start and nearly finish the frame for the floor. Mutt has been putting in lots of hours after work and the bottom of the frame is now almost complete, metal sheathing and flashing and all! Construction has more than officially started, the house can only go UP from here 😉
Thanks for reading and being interested in the crazy life of Mutt and Mapes’ Tiny House Project!
Until next time, sending much love!