Where’s the Planking?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked when someone is building a tiny house and they make it to the interior is “where do I find the interior pine tongue and groove planking (siding)?” I had the same question when I built my first house. I remember wandering the lumber isles of Home Depot clueless. Even describing it to an associate didn’t help as they didn’t know what I was talking about. The problem is that it’s not a hot seller outside the tiny house crowd. There aren’t too many people covering their basement walls with this stuff like there once was. However, it’s great for tiny houses since it’s lightweight, durable against the vibrations encountered in a tiny house on the road, and installs easily.

So anyways, the last time I was in Lowes (I usually shop at Home Depot since they are pretty consistently less expensive) I took a picture of it in its native environment so that you would have a better feel for what you might be looking for.

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It’s wrapped in plastic usually near the individual trim pieces (sometimes hidden on a back end-cap). If you still need to ask an associate, ask for ‘wainscoting’.

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On to the Interior

I finally finished the roof last week as well as three more videos!

Tiny House metal roof

So I celebrated with a beer (or two, or…). I have a way of finding reasons to celebrate the smallest of achievements :)

Celebrating the completion of the roof

I personally like the look of the metal roof, but I know it’s not for everyone. The problem is that there aren’t many alternatives that are as strong (for the high winds that are experienced while moving a house) and as lightweight as metal. The last time I was at my roofing supplier they had a brochure for a shake style metal roof that I thought looked pretty great. It has all the great qualities of a metal roof while also having a more natural appearance. I think I might use it on a house real soon. Below is a random image I found online so that you know what I’m talking about.

Weathered Wood Metal Roof


As I’ve said before, I still have a few miscellaneous items to finish on the exterior, but I think I am going to come back to those later and do some work on the interior now.

I picked up the remainder of the supplies I need to finish the interior. I do most of my shopping at Home Depot because I have found them to be cheaper overall than Lowes (which is actually closer to me). Lately though I have seen that Lowes is offering 5% off when you get one of their “membership rewards” card (like the cards at grocery stores). So when I was at Home Depot I asked the (really helpful) guy at the pro desk if they had something equivalent and low and behold they match the discount when asked. Pretty sweet! It’s like free money (that unfortunately you have to ask for). But now you know :)

Tiny Living Progress Update

Cedar Siding


My brother recently came back out to my dad’s and tried to finish the roof but we ended up being short two pieces of the gable rake and some screws. I put an order in for the last of it so that will only take a few hours to wrap up once it arrives (and my brother makes it back out there).


The windows were delivered and have been installed. They still have some protective wrapping on them which can be seen in some of the pictures if you were wondering.

Front Door

The front door was just ordered so we are waiting on that. We won’t be able to finish any more siding on the back of the trailer (front of the house) until that gets installed.

Cedar Siding above front door

Interior Siding

About half of the interior siding has been installed. The Florida humidity is giving my dad a hard time right now as the wood that the siding is made from is very porous and thus easily grows and shrinks with the weather. Its tongue and groove so if it shrinks after it is installed it’s not that give of a deal (the tongue and groove prevent you from seeing any spaces between the boards when it shrinks), but if it grows after it is installed then it wants to pop off the walls (not good). So he is leaving some of the wood out in the open (in the house) to expand before he puts it up.

Pine Interior Siding

Exterior Siding

Both long sides of the house are practically done. He can’t begin on the short ends until the roof is done (in addition to the front door going in) since the scaffolding is attached to the house there. The siding is stained before it is installed so that you don’t see any unstained strips in the event that the wood contracts after being installed. I have only been able to see the house in pictures but my brother says he loves it and it feels really cozy.

I’m really looking forward to going back down there in a couple months.


I’ve just put the finishing touches on the plans and the wiring diagram for this house. I still need to complete the materials list and the build manual before I release them but I’m optimistically shooting for August 1st. Then I will start updating the first set of plans and materials list. I will also start selling the manual separately for people who want to see what goes into building a tiny house but haven’t quite decided on a set of plans.

Tiny House Visit

My family and I traveled down to Lakeland this past weekend to visit my mom to see how she’s been since moving in to her tiny house a little over a month ago. I also invited Alex from tinyhousetalk.com to come up and see it since he had expressed an interest when he interviewed me a while back (check out his post and video).

Tiny Retirement Exterior

I must say my mom has done an awesome job (with lots of help from various people – especially her neighbor Bob and husband Rick) finishing off her tiny house. If you recall, due to pressure from my neighborhood association I was forced to move the tiny house to Florida a little less finished than I had planned. The exterior was complete with the exception of paint and the interior siding was up but not much else. Since then she has painted the exterior, had cabinets custom built, installed hardwood floors, and turned it into her own personal gallery.

Tiny Retirement Interior

Tiny House Kitchen

Tiny House Kitchen & Bath

Tiny Retirement Kitchen

Tiny House Kitchen with Dormers

Dining area

Family Pictures

Trash and Storage

36 inch shower

Upon entering the house I realized I had forgotten how roomy it felt (it’s been at least a year since the last time I was in it). When I spoke to my mom about us all showing up for the day, I said we could do a tour of the house but then spend the rest of the time outside so that we weren’t all cramped inside.   After all, there would be 6 of us (this is before I knew that Alex was bringing his fiancée Andrea and her dog). Well the heat and the rain spoiled that plan and we all spent the day inside.  Yet not once did the house feel crowded (even with a two year old taking up half the couch napping). My wife Beth even commented on how this experience had changed her thoughts on entertaining in a tiny house.

Party in the Tiny House

We all had a great time and haven’t stopped talking about it since. I want to thank Alex, Andrea, and Louie for making the trip up the see us. I really enjoyed their company and had a great time with everyone.

Group photo in the tiny house

As we left, Beth turned to me and said: “Your mom seems so happy now, I think you gave her a new lease on life”. That was the goal :)

Small house hapiness

One issue that did come up is that my mom said that the water heater always cut out after about a minute of use. She said it was always just as she got her hair all lathered up that the water would become ice cold. After investigating and experimenting I realized that the issue was that the compartment that contains the water heater isn’t ventilated enough and the heater burns through the available oxygen pretty quickly which then extinguishes the flame. The burning of propane produces Carbon Dioxide which is heavier than air so ventilating the bottom of the compartment out of site should fix her problem.

Also on a side note, I have decided to build another tiny house. I am working on the plans now and expect to begin construction in the next couple months. On this build I plan to post as much as I did on the first but also include a lot more video. I’ll provide more details when I know them. Talk to you all soon.

Almost ready to move in

My mom’s neighbor has been generously hard at work and her tiny house is all but complete. The only few tasks remaining before she can move in is the house needs to be leveled and the electrical, water and sewer needs to the hooked up. For these last items she is going to be relying on my brother to drive out and give her a hand (bob would prefer not to mess with the plumbing and electrical).

Here are some images of the finished (not decorated) interior of the house:

Fold Out Couch

Kitchen & Bath

Tiny House Kitchen

Kitchen Sink with Artwork

My mom is taking these with a point-and-shoot so the angle is a little tight and the color is a little off. I’ll post some better images when I get back from visiting her at the end of December. I’m also planning on meeting Alex Pino from tinyhousetalk.com who interviewed me a few months ago while I’m down there. It should be fun!

Also, I am running a 40% off discount on my tiny house plans for the remainder of December. Just use discount code ‘40OFF’. Have a great holiday!

Interior Layout

My mom came up for a visit and revealed her interior layout to me. It’s not what I had imagined but in some ways it is better. She is having a lot of custom cabinets made which I’m afraid may close in the space a little (it is so open now and with the dormer it seems huge inside), but the fact is she needs the storage space. While the house was up here I gave many tours and would explain my vision for the layout. However, in my explanations I forgot one substantial thing: clothes. Both clean and dirty. Since my mom is actually going to live in the house she has spent a lot of time thinking about which of her belongings would be making the move with her, and where each would be stored. She did not forget about her clothes :)

Below is an approximation of what she has planned. The big difference between her vision and mine is that where she has a large wardrobe, I had a wall mounted TV and a table and chairs. For a dining area, she instead opted to add a countertop to the top of the narrow cabinet above the wheel well on the left and will use barstools for seating. Because of the barstools, she also opted for a convertible futon instead of a bed. The cabinet behind the front door will store two medium sized containers; one for trash and the other for laundry. I like the idea of the laundry basket but for trash I think I would still opt for a small trash can that I would empty frequently. No point in storing trash when space is at a premium.

Tiny House Floor Plan

Below is the countertop that will serve as both the dining and painting/crafts area. I suggested that the countertop be able to be lifted up to ease access to the storage below, but she believes that the countertop is high enough to not be an issue (the neighbor may want to reconsider this option after a few early morning calls to get her a can or jar).

Tiny House Custom Cabinets

Below is the cabinet that will contain the trash and laundry baskets. She is reserving the space above it for some art. Shelving can be substituted later if more  space is required.

Tiny House Custom Cabinets

For those wondering, the door was only primed on the outside and they made the mistake of painting it. So it needed to be sanded. Then again, maybe that’s a new style my mom is trying to pull off :)

The Devil is in the Details

I put another 6 days into the tiny house, this time with help from my brother and dad. Unfortunately that wasn’t quite enough to call it a wrap.

Last week my brother relocated the trailer from Lakeland to DeLand where I was able to stay with my dad while I worked. The house was a little too big to fit under all the trees on his property but fortunately he has a nice neighbor who let us park in her yard for the time being.

Tiny Retirement Being Finished

On the first day we worked on finishing the rough electrical and plumbing…

Tiny House Electrical

…including the drain lines that will eventually be connected to the main homes sewer lines.

Tiny House Plumbing

We then moved on to the interior siding and trim. This is detail work and thus requires a lot of time. I also didn’t account for the trim in my mental ‘budget’.I thought I had essentially already laid out all the money I was going to have to to finish this job, image my disappointment when I had to put out another $1000.

In hind site, given the circumstances of this build, I could have and should have been more conservative with many of my selections. I could have easily shaved off a few grand if I had opted to build the economy model.

Tiny House Interior Siding Tiny House Interior Siding Dormer Windows Tiny House Interior Siding Kitchen Window Interior Siding above shower Finishing off trim Scaffolding in tiny house

When I left a small amount of trim and ceiling still needed to be completed, as well as all the flooring. My brother is going to travel back out to my dad’s next week to finish it up before moving it back to my mom’s for staining.

(lc:16, sc:132, lt:109.5, st:414)