Big Art; Tiny House - Week One

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June 19, 2015 by Miranda

written by Miranda Aisling Hynes

Just like that, we've blasted through the first weekend of building for BIG Art; Tiny House!

Somehow, we managed to squeeze in between a rainstorm Friday night and showers all day on Monday for two beautiful building days. Saturday morning started off with an in depth Home Depot run to get what in my mind is categorized as "all the little things."  Thankfully, my mother is a master at details and came armed with a bulleted list.

Our first step once set up on the lawn, was to move the trailer to a slightly flatter location.  In case you were wondering, it is possible to move an empty 20 ft' trailer several feet with three-four people.  We definitely won't be trying that later in the build.  Once the trailer was in place, our two volunteers, Matt P and Rick B, spent the day insulating the trailer bed with a layer of 2" foam followed by a layer of 1' foam.

Hearth Member Robin Miller also came out, carrying her customary bread, cheese, and kombucha made from scratch, and helped level the trailer.  As amazing as it is to be building on The Umbrella Community Arts Center's front lawn, that place is not level. It took over an hour to cut enough scrap wood and pile it up under the tires so that the trailer could be level without putting all of the strain on the scissor jacks.

We finished off Saturday by cutting and notching 2x4s to go around the rim of the trailer as the fascia, our first serious project with the compound miter saw.  In addition to the building volunteers, Ervan also came out and filmed the entire first day!

Sunday started earlier, my mother and I were out there starting at 9:30.  It took a while to set up the space once again, but after the first hour things started to move much more quickly.  This was mostly thanks to our wealth of volunteers.  Rebekah, Laurie, Jules, Del, Rick, and Hearth Member Nat Bearg made short work of the sill sealer and the plywood to finish of the trailer sub-floor.  Then we went back in and spent quite a while drilling nearly 300 self-tapping screws through the plywood into the trailer joists.

We started the measurements for the back wall of the house and got it mostly framed before realizing that we needed to go back in and double check all of our measurements.  This seemed more like a project for the beginning of next weekend, when our brains are fresh, so we called it a day and wrapped everything up.  (Also, because I had to run to the June Dinner, Art, + Music night where I was about to perform an hour's worth of original folk songs.  Because why do one big project when you can do ALL of them?)

Overall, the weekend was a huge success.  Our goal was to finish the trailer sub-floor and possibly raise the first wall.  I think a half-completed first wall definitely counts towards that goal.  Next weekend, we'll dive into framing full force in hopes that we can get all of the walls up by the end of June.  If you're interested in being one of our volunteers, check out the Community Building Page for available days and send an email to  There will be plenty of chances to get your hands dirty!

Also, check out our awesome timelapse video!  We'll get one of these each weekend and upload them right away.  Then, at the end of the project, we'll cut them together to see the tiny house popping out of the ground.  

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BIG ART; Tiny House: First Building Weekend (unedited)