TinyHouse43's Building Blog

From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

:/Panic Mode: Initiated…. Commence Freakout in 3…2…1…


Photo of a 24′ Cypress Amish Barn Raiser with dormers courtesy of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company website. Sorry for the poorly blown-up quality, but this is so far the closest image I’ve found to what we have had Tumbleweed build for us, though our door will be on the opposite side. -Meg

Okay, so I know we’ve been planning this whole tiny house adventure for a while now, but I have to admit…

I’m freaking out, man!

Now, who here immediately heard Rabbit from Super Troopers reply, “You ARE freaking out….. Man…..” when they read that…??? Raise your hand, don’t be shy. hehe If you haven’t had the goofball pleasure of enjoying one of the silliest and funniest movies of all time, go to YouTube Super Troopers Intro @ 5:22 to see what I mean. I’d say about 98% SFW just FYI simply because of a few naughty words.

Anyway, I’m now reaching out to the various companies I’ve been exploring for the past several months to get more detailed info on windows, doors, siding, roofing, etc, and I’m realizing we’re not nearly as prepared as I thought we were. I mean, I have LOADS of ideas for the house, but narrowing them down is going to be a bigger process than I could have ever imagined. Board & batten siding or clapboard? A blend of the two, or something else entirely? All DaVinci Bellaforte Shake shingles (more on that later) with copper accents or mostly metal roofing with DaVinci accents? Beetle kill pine siding or just on the interior? Skylight or no? Jeld-Wen windows or Andersen or Pella? Garden window or no? Etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum. Talk about having “Excessive Option Anxiety.” Yeesh!

Anyway, once we actually go pick up our Barn Raiser I’ll be sure to get loads of high quality photos, but for now I posted the (poorly) enlarged photo of essentially what Tumbleweed has built for us. I haven’t been able to re-locate that image on their site to get a better shot of it, but I happened to capture it on my cellphone one day and have been ogling it ever since. Ours won’t have the window or door openings cut out when we pick it up in order to keep is sealed up for travel, but you get the general idea.

Speaking of travel, I got confirmation that the house is already 13’4″ WITHOUT the roofing materials installed, so now I’m starting to rethink our original plan to have DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Shake shingles (photos of the samples and color chips they sent us can be found on our Facebook page here) for our primary roofing material simply because they have a 3-d quality to them that may be an issue once the roof ridge cap is placed since we plan to have a vented ridge. The last thing we need is our beautiful roof being scraped off by the underside of a bridge somewhere in the country while we’re traveling. I had already had the idea of using metal roofing as accents over the dormers, the hipped roof accent, and the new porch cover we plan to add on since we’ll be enclosing the existing corner porch. Depending on how high the ridge cap pieces would make the total height of the house I may consider doing a flip-flop and have the lowest profile metal roof available installed to keep the accompanying ridge cap below the maximum 13’6″ and then use the DaVinci shingles as the accents instead. We’ve been eyeballing them for about 5 years now for the traditional house we planned to build in Washington state in a few years, and we likely will still use them there. We just love the idea of using them on the tiny house, too, but there are definitely some unique restrictions that may alter that plan just a bit. I’ll keep you posted as the decision process continues on that.

Now I have to figure out how to get the Barn Raiser home. We contemplated borrowing my dad’s V8 Tundra, but having lived through the time the old Aerostar’s transmission crapped out on us while pulling the pop-up trailer we had when I was a tween and my dad still being traumatized by that I completely understand his hesitance to try that with the tiny house even in its unfinished state. Tumbleweed has had loads of people use UHaul with great success for this purpose, and that looks like to be the likely method. What I really need to decide now, though, is whether or not we will drive my 18-24mpg Flex to CO or rent a 50-60mpg Prius for about $250 for a week as the follow car instead. Yes, there’s the upfront fee for the rental, but the gas mileage is more than double what my car gets, and with the added cost of paying for the UHaul that will likely get about 10mpg or less I think it will be worth the upfront cost for a boatload of savings on the trip home. We’ll be bringing Mr. Sir with us (one of R.A.D’s many nicknames), so he’s also got to have a safe and comfy ride. I may try talking my dad into coming with us, too, and that alone would likely change the vehicle we drive, too, since I don’t know how comfy a Prius would be for 3 adults (one of whom is 6’5″) and a toddler for 12+ hrs each way.

I’ve also been doing some research on the various Department of Transportation/DMV sites of CO, KA, OK, and TX since we will likely passing through all four of them on our way back to find the bridge heights we will need to navigate under or around on the trek home. Incidentally, Kansas has a GREAT map of their entire state with the bridge heights clearly marked with heights and color coded (green = tall, yellow = average, red = 14′ or shorter), and because of that map I think the plan to take I-70 to 1-35 is out because there are a couple of bridges that are dangerously close to the 13’6″ mark and potentially 1 or 2 that are lower than that. The other route home takes us down Hwy 287, a very familiar drive for me having grown up just outside of Amarillo and also having taken that route to hit I-40 when I lived in Las Vegas and traveled back and forth for visits. The only problem area I saw listed on Texas’ DoT site is around Wichita Falls, but without the kick ass map of the bridges that Kansas has I’m left to either guess which intersections are the problems based on the sanskrit locations listed or by attempting to use the Google maps little yellow dude to zoom in on bridges along that route. A total pain the the ass for sure, but with Wichita Falls only a 2hr-ish drive from here I might just make the trip up there to go see these things for myself since other than that area there doesn’t seem to be any other bridges we’ll have to worry about coming home.

We’re going to take the scenic route up through the Raton Pass at the border of New Mexico and Colorado simply because we were both kids the last time either of us were in CO, and that route is gorgeous and mountainy and completely not a good idea for hauling a tiny house on. We’re also considering making a quick trip into Denver and maybe up to Boulder for the day just to check out the area and see where my company is building the first of four or five mini hospitals. There are also a couple lumber companies we’d like to see about the beetle kill wood we’re in love with, and having never been to Boulder we’d like to view the area and see why everyone who knows us tells us that Boulder is where we will want to live while we’re in CO. We live just outside a college town now and spend the vast majority of our leisure time, however limited it might be, somewhere in town. I also lived there twice while in college and have mostly fond memories of it (the not-so-fond ones were specific people related, not town related), and from what I’ve heard from others in the know Boulder has a similar and in some ways even better vibe than our little town does. I guess we’ll find out!

Anyway, back to research and trying very, very hard not to start biting my nails like I sometimes subconsciously do when I’m nervous. Ack!

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