This weekend felt in many ways like we got heaps done – and also that we got nothing done. One of the difficulties of trying to create a tiny house when both grownups work full time is the limited time we have to actually do the work that needs to be done. Between enjoying slower mornings than week days, getting Indi to karate, various birthday parties and just keeping her from being bored, taking dogs to the park to get their crazies out, and the fact that in winter the daylight is gone by about 5.30 (and it gets COLD) sometimes it doesn’t feel like we get any time out in the bus.
Having said that, this weekend we went and had a look at a shower stall just to measure it in person to make sure it really will fit in the bus, given that the roofline has that distinct curve that all buses have. I really like that curve – it makes it look like a gypsy caravan (at least in my mind) but it does have it’s challenges when trying to built infrastructure or fit in things like shower stalls. I was originally planning to custom make a shower stall, and that’s definitely something that people with any kind of skill with that kind of thing could do, however, we don’t and at least with a fibreglass pre-fab, there is a much reduced risk of leaking from dodgy seals as it’s all in one. So, we did find one that we’re pretty sure will fit, and it has a higher than usual lip to step over to get in, which we think will help with splash getting out in to the bus and also could be a little bath for the girls to sit in. There should be new stock in this week so hopefully we can get it all happening this weekend. Then Luke can come back and make the walls for the bathroom and there’s that done.
I can’t sing the praises of the Sunmar composting toilet enough (yet) in that we don’t have to worry about blackwater plumbing. Not only does it mean we don’t have to have to purchase and install another tank with the associated plumbing, but we also don’t have to worry about finding pumping stations to dispose of it. Gross. All we need to do is connect a vent out from the ceiling or upper wall (we don’t want people walking past to have to smell it) and two power connections, one for the fan for the vent and the other for the heating element that desiccates the waste down to a fine powder, and we’re done! Of course, the whole unit is a lot larger than the usual toilet as it’s all in one, which is definitely a consideration. If we were making something smaller than a bus, it probably wouldn’t be feasible but for us, we think it’s workable. We plan on building storage steps along the side of it to help the small people climb on up there and also, you always need more storage in a tiny house. Plus, although it’s awesome, it’s not the prettiest thing. Brad vetoed my half-baked idea of painting it. Sensible man.
Speaking of painting, I mentioned in the last blog post that I thought that I might really dislike the sponged colour in the bedroom area of the bus at the back. Turns out, I was right! Well, it’s not that I disliked it so much, more that I didn’t love it, and I thought ‘Well, I will have to look at this wall when I first wake up for potentially quite a few years. Do I want to wake up grumpy because it bugs me?’ And I decided that for the longevity of my marriage and happy family life, I didn’t 🙂 So, I changed it. I went out and got some suede effect paint because the brush marks of the previous owners is still quite visible under the paint and I wanted to hide that. So, off I went on another painting frenzy, to the exasperation of Indi who stated ‘You’re aaaaalways painting the bus!’ Quite right too.
So I painted away on Friday night after work and then another coat on Saturday. I went in on Sunday thinking I could potentially do a final coat, touched the wall and it appears thatpaint doesn’t like to dry in Winter. It’s still extremely wet, so much so that my fingers not only made a mark in the paint, they actually slid across the wall smearing it, which you can see in this picture. Great. So, I contented myself with how awesome the chalkboard paint has come up on the bit of wall that we were unhappy with earlier, and it still has another coat to go as well.
Then I went out to the living part of the bus and painted one side of the walls with one kind of green – Blue Emerald – and the other with another kind of green – Medieval Forest – so we could decide which one we liked better. And, as it turns out, we can’t decide. In the picture above, with the toilet, you can see Medieval Forest. I’m leaning towards that, because who doesn’t want to live in a medieval forest? Well, I do anyway
On the way home from children’s birthday parties we stopped into Clarke’s Rubber to get more of the foam that we’re using for the vapour barrier for the roof of the bus and Brad got to work cutting it to size. The roof has a whole metals structure which will be good for attaching the ceiling when we’re ready but does mean that each piece of insulation and barrier needs to be cut to size. And of course, it appears that not many of them are the same size so Brad hasn’t been able to just make a template and cut them all, he has to measure and cut each piece individually. He then uses a spray adhesive (stinky!) to attach it to the roof but we think it will really be an invaluable step to keep the insulation dry. As it is so cold and wet at the moment, nearing night time, we can really see moisture beading up on the inside of the roof that doesn’t have the blue foam. The foam we’re using is just the same stuff that you can buy to put over your spa or pool to retain the warmth and it’s water proof. We’ll be installing little vents along the upper walls as well to try to keep the moisture out as well. I suspect it will be a delicate balance, keeping the inside temperature and moisture levels pleasant, living in a large tin can. Lucky Daddy has such a good little helper. So, next week, hopefully we’ll have a shower to show you as well. So exciting!