Off the Grid - Rainwater Collection - Title

Many people join the Tiny Living Movement because they are interested in saving money and/or the environment. Going off the grid is one way that you can help your pocketbook and the planet at the same time. But how “off the grid” can you really be in a tiny house? One of our biggest needs in everyday life is water. We use is for drinking, washing clothes and dishes, and for showering. Rain water collection in off-grid systems is one way to feed your supply.  It can also allow you to keep your expenses down and even reduce your carbon footprint.

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So Close

Tiny House Exterior Siding Completed

The roof is almost done with just the ridge cap remaining. I was hoping to get that done today since I won’t work on the house again until next week but it didn’t happen.


Once the ridge cap is done I can stop covering the house with a tarp which is pretty exciting. I will still have a few odds and ends to do on the exterior (storage doors, wood under the overhang, etc.), but that will be the last of the truly labor intensive work. I’m not saying the interior doesn’t take effort and time, it’s just in a whole different category than framing, siding, and roofing.

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.

Part of a roof and insulation

Not getting a chance to install the metal roof on the house had been bothering me so I took a day off from vacation last week to drive back to my dad’s and work on it. I also convinced my brother to drive out there as well to give me a hand. I was really hoping to at least get all the panels up (but not all the trim pieces). Unfortunately my metal roof supplier wasn’t done causing me misery and forgot to include the butyl tape used to seal wherever metal meets. So my dad made yet another hour and a half trip out to them to pick up the missing supplies. I also forgot to get Mother Nature’s buy-in on my plan and it started to rain around 2pm. We worked through most of it but when all was said in done we had about 60 percent of the roof complete.

Tiny House Metal Roofing

If you recall from my first build I had some issues installing the roof because of the way I designed it. Before releasing my plans for sale I redesigned the roof after consulting my dad and applying the knowledge I had gained from that first experience. This was the first chance I had to try out my changes and although we haven’t completed it, things are working out much better and I don’t expect any of the issues from before.

On Thursday last week the insulation installers also showed up and sprayed the interior. I was supposed to get 3” on the ceiling and 2” on the walls. My dad said watching them spray it was pretty interesting. He said that it expanded so quickly that it would take someone with considerable skill and experience to control with any precision the thickness of the foam. To my benefit, my install didn’t have that skill. After they were finished the areas between the rafters in the ceiling were completely filled (3-1/2”) and between 2” and 3” of the foam was in the wall cavities. He said the only place that it appeared slightly thin was in the areas where the studs were closer than 5”. There are only a few of these and he will add a little of our own Hilti foam to make up for it.

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Finally, I spoke to my dad yesterday and he said he has the windows mostly installed and has been working on the interior wood. I’ll have some pictures soon.

Tiny House 2 – Day 12/13

Tiny House Wrap

I expected the roof to arrive in Port Orange on Friday morning so while we waited for the call that it was ready to be picked up we didn’t really do that much. Without the windows, roof, or spray foam we had pretty much done as much as we could do. Last time I purchased a roof I was able to deal directly with the manufacturer and we were able to pick it up the next day. This time, we were dealing with a distributor (Bradco) who was getting the roof from the manufacturer (Semco Southeastern Metals). This extra layer made everything slower. By the time I finally got ahold of the salesman, I found out that a mistake had been made and the roof wasn’t on the truck for delivery. This meant that it wouldn’t be delivered until Monday, several days after I will have left. I thought a week would be more than enough time to get a roof but I now realize that I should have placed the order on the first day that I arrived.

Tiny House Shell

On Saturday, I only worked a partial day and wrapped up a few miscellaneous items but nothing very significant.  I left early to go see my family who have driven down for a vacation in Kissimmee, FL with my wife’s parents. I’ll be spending the next week over there before returning to Atlanta. We My dad is going to continue working on the house while I am gone and I plan to continue to post updates as they come in, though I expect not nearly as frequently.

Quick funny story. My brother stopped by and saw the fan we had set up to keep the inside of the hose cool and ask (jokingly) if we were doing wind tunnel testing (maybe you had to be there :).

Wind Tunnel Testing

Tiny House 2 – Day 6

We finally completed the roof today and got the tar paper down. Just in time for a big storm to move in. We also made a trip to home depot during lunch to return some of the supplies that I had delivered. Having two people involved in the build allows you to be a little more efficient with the supplies since you can move around larger pieces of wood.

I will be updating the materials list for my first house with the latest information, including prices, with information that I have learned from this house. I’ll send out an email with a free link to everyone who has already purchased them once that is complete.

Tiny Living Sheathing and Tar Paper

Day 6