First Guest, Noisy Neighbors, and Steps

I promised my very special little cousin she could sleepover during April vacation, thinking I’d be moved in by then.  Well, I have not moved in yet but that didn’t stop us…



I had hoped my noisy neighbors wouldn’t keep us awake…

They didn’t…


I told dad I wanted very minimalistic steps where the wood set in the frame.  We had some miscommunication in the beginning but he graciously fixed them so they matched what I pictured.  He was going to teach me how to weld so I could make my own steps but we just didn’t have the time.  Maybe he’ll teach me how to fix my rocker panels this summer, instead.


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I plan on running a couple horizontal cables in the spindle area.



I’m not sure what I’m doing here but, golly, doesn’t my ankle look slender!



Stamped right on the top of my handrail.  I’m not sure what to make of this…

I still need to sand down the treads and paint the rail and frame a matching gray.


Dad delivered on the minimalism!


There’s quite a bit of landscaping that still needs to be done, but we have had some growth…




Dad helped me scribe my bathroom floor onto a template and I cut out the vinyl.  I had already cut the lauan subfloor back when we installed the shower base.  Dad laid out a 4-inch grid on the lauan for me to staple it down and we snapped lines on it where the PEX runs, so I’d know where not to staple.  So, what did I do?  I got trigger happy and shot 3 staples on the do-not-staple line!  I already have enough anxiety worrying about leaks!  I shot a test staple through scraps of lauan and plywood to see what damage I might have caused and the points barely broke through.  I feel fairly safe that I didn’t puncture the PEX; however, I didn’t want the pipes to rub on the points as they expanded and contracted, so I pulled those staples out.


When I glued down the subfloor last fall, I had noticed that it wasn’t level.  Dad thinks maybe a joist humped up.  He couldn’t think of an easy fix to this so he sanded down the top of the rise in the plywood and we shimmed the drop.  Luckily it was the second-to-last joist and my bed will be covering the area.


I was excited to start laying the Pergo.  The prep work took the most time, trimming the door jambs and casings, laying the underlayment, and trimming the tongue off the first row of boards, then it was smooth sailing.






Mom has been working on priming and painting the trim and caulking the gaps.  I have been working on the baseboards.


I painted the cabinet and added quarter-round trim.


The vinyl for my bathroom is very plush, almost as thick as my Pergo.  It was a remnant from a local flooring store.  I applied an “X” of double-sided tape to the floor where my washer and dryer will go and around the perimeter of my shower base and at the threshold, and then loose-laid the vinyl.  I installed most of the baseboards but still have a couple more to cut.


Bathroom vinyl installed.


Cabinets and Microwave

Dad had cut the hole for the over-the-range microwave vent a long long long time ago.  Figuring it would be better to build around the microwave than to relocate a hole in the wall, I decided to install my microwave before my cabinets.  Unfortunately, the hole didn’t line up with the vent.  The opening was off by half an inch.  It’s possible we didn’t add in the Sheetrock when planning it out.  I had a mini-meltdown picturing cutting a new hole and patching the one we had.  When I pulled myself together, I inspected the opening in the wall and saw there was enough wiggle room to slide it over, if I cut out some insulation, and the outside duct work would still cover everything sufficiently.


Ninja mode engaged.

Mom braced the microwave and cupboards while I screwed them in.


The plastic adjustable legs that came with my ready-to-assemble cabinets were very flimsy and a couple ended up breaking, so I decided to make a toe-kick box to set the cabinets on.  By screwing the cabinets into the box, it also reinforced the stability of the cabinets, which went together with cams and pegs like Ikea furniture.



After having a couple weeks off while mom and I did painting and trim, I put dad back to work.  He helped make the cabinet that houses the fridge with a bookcase on the backside.  He mitered the plywood corners, something I had wanted to do but I did not trust my sawing skills.  We reinforced the outside end with metal L-brackets.


We added strips of wood to the top of the cabinets to raise the counter so it had more of a lip.


We added a 1×4 for the backsplash.  Putting the sink in is when it finally felt like a real kitchen and I could picture myself living here.  I was slightly giddy.


One of the things that I’m not entirely sure of is the mini-fridge.  The freezer part is definitely big enough but watermelon season is coming up and that concerns me.

At the moment, my brother has my counter in his shop and is making a stainless steel top for it because he’s the best brother ever, obviously.

Painting and Trim

I caught mom’s cold and feel kind of crummy, and thought today would be a great day to sit at the computer!  Things have been moving right along and I haven’t had much downtime to update the blog.  Let me start with March 21st…

Mom and I primed the ceiling and walls.


We rolled 2 coats of ceiling paint.  Then mom started rolling the main wall color, Spanish Sand, while I worked on the bathroom.  She had one long wall and one end wall done before I came out to check on it.  It looks nice in the picture but in reality it was too peachy.  We debated for quite a while over what to do and we both decided it was better to get the perfect shade now than have to paint around everything later on if I changed my mind.


Spanish Sand

Back to Home Depot we went…  I fell in love with Cotton Grey and haven’t looked back since.

I wanted a light blue-grey for the bathroom.  I found the perfect shade at Sherwin Williams (Morning Fog, I believe) and had HD mix the color for me.  I was so happy, painted the bathroom, went back at night to admire it and it looked like a shade of periwinkle.  Ugh, I couldn’t believe it.  It was pretty but I am not a lavender-type person.


Bathroom blue-grey looking alright during the day.

Back to Home Depot we went…  I scoured their paint chips for a ridiculous amount of time.  Having been surprised by two colors already, I was super nervous about applying another color.  The only thing I was sure of was the Cotton Grey, so mom and I talked about it and decided it might make the house seem larger if I continued it into the bathroom.  It is a really nice neutral color that changes from a light tan to a grey, depending on the light.  Mom re-primed the bathroom and gave it 2 coats of the Cotton Grey.  The bathroom has 6 coats of paint in total!  Thank goodness this is a tiny house.


I had put up the exterior trim very easily and was looking forward to doing the interior trim.  There was a lot more to it than the exterior.  I didn’t have to worry about jambs, reveals, sills, and aprons before.  Plus, who knew walls weren’t flat and uniform?!


I’m not going to tell you how many times I had to cut the window side casings.  Pathetic!  And I am a firm believer in measure twice, cut once, sometimes even measuring 4 times…  Mom filled all the nail holes and gaps.  I had to keep reminding her not to exclaim when she came to a larger than normal gap because there was not much I could do about it at that point.20160404_203518


I used premium #1 grade pine 1x4s and 1x5s for the trim.  It is beautiful wood but very soft.  I had to build extra-deep jambs and sill for my bathroom window to accommodate shimming the wall out for the shower plumbing.  I went with 1×3 casing in the bathroom because the window and door are so close to walls that the 1x4s would’t fit.