Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Move.

It's true, we moved!  Wanting to be closer to Steve's current job, we mustered up the courage and prepared to make it happen.  The house had a few last projects that needed tweaking, the biggest of which was cleaning and (re)staining the cedar.  It was a chore made more monotonous by the pollen that spewed everywhere.


The roof is supposed to be red.


The wheel well is not supposed to be green.

And more pollen.
The stain was supposed to last 2-4 years, but alas, it was already graying in some areas.  Cedar is like a woman in that being lovely and high-maintenance seem to go hand in hand.  So after a year it was already time to scrub her down again with the TSP powder.  

The roof was restored, red once more.  Steve almost fell off the ladder while cleaning it, but fortunately I was there to... take pictures. 

One scrub and two coats later and the house was looking new again.

  Steve was tempted to hire someone else to tow the house.  I swear he was haunted by the memory of our tires, they looked fit to burst the one time we took the house off its jacks.  What he forgot (and only remembered much later) was that he let the air out of the tires some months before because it extends their life.  So filling up the tires helped relieve some of our fear that the house was too heavy.  We (mostly me) found a few truck rentals capable of towing our house if, if, it weighed under 10,000 lbs.  So that was the real question.  And we weren't sure how to answer it because we needed to move the house to weigh it, and we wanted to weigh the house before we moved it.  It was that old chicken and the egg dilemma.  We (mostly Steve) found a trick that solved our problems.  You can measure the tongue weight, the weight that presses down on the hitch, by using a scale, some piping and a few boards.  Knowing that our house was by far its heaviest over the tongue (thanks to the tile bathroom) we knew that if the tongue weight fell between 9-15% of 10,000 lbs, that our house didn't weigh too much.  And it doesn't, though it's very close.  

Despite being under the 10,000 lbs. mark, we still carried out everything we could, piling our furniture up to be moved separately.  This guy waited patiently as we hooked up the hitch, it took longer than we expected.  Hours longer. 

This guy.
Actually moving the house was easy, but getting it out of the driveway and back into a lot was quite difficult.  We almost tipped it into a pond at one point... no joke.  

Aside from the weight problem, my only other fear was snagging a low hanging wire on our way to the highway.  Our house is within the height requirements, but I was still paranoid.  I'm glad to say I worried for nothing.  We might have bumped a branch or two, but nothing serious. 

The last few pictures at my sister's house.  Goodbye Stone Mountain! 

Hello, LaGrange!

We're staying at an RV park, a very woodsy place.  I like it, a lot, but have one complaint.  The bugs! 
We had to shave our dog down to find all the ticks... I'm not sure who hated it more, us or him.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter Update: Crisis Averted

I would like to write the equivalent of a pat-on-the-back blog, where I describe how happy we are, living in tiny house bliss, basically underlining the correctness of our decision and endeavors with the fencl.  Unfortunately, I have chosen to forgo the ego-stroke and tell the truth, giving you an overview of what I like to call the winter crisis of 2012. 
It started with the discovery of mold or mildew (still not sure of the difference) that grew just inside the windows, gray and fuzzy.  Then I noticed it along the walls, and it felt, for a very short time, like we were drowning in it.
A gross picture for your viewing pleasure.
After taking apart sections of the wall, Steve and I were relieved to find very little mold growing behind the removed panels.  It was only over the wheel wells, where the cold metal was creating condensation, which left the boards damp.  This was actually good news, because for a while we were worried that rain was somehow getting through the walls, but no, nothing so serious.   

Behind the wall panels.
Condensation Galore
To remedy the problem we simply used spray foam insulation on the inside of the wheel wells, creating a barrier of sorts.  It looks a little funny, a massive pile of bright yellow, visible behind the tires, but I don't care.  It works.  Any metal that comes in direct contact with our wall boards is no longer exposed to cold air.  An obvious problem with an obvious solution, but in all my reading preparation I never heard the heads-up.  So there it is.
As for the windows, I sprayed them with bleach and let them marinade in it.  Then I rinsed them off, removing all traces of mold, before rubbling them down with tung oil.  I leave them cracked now, the cool air sweeping in just enough to dry out the panes.  The bay window is the worst though, with no opening, it wants to be one giant mold fest.  But I've got things figured out now.  Small houses are more likely to grow mold, Steve warned me of this having lived in a camper, but it doesn't have to be a losing battle.  I am happy to say our house is mold free.