300 Hours of Construction

Marc Bilodeau/ Building, Planning, Smart Sensors, Tiny House

300 hours of construction! With that, another 100 hour milestone in the books. This time it took 4 months to reach it, unlike 3 months for the 100 hours and 200 hours milestones. Regardless, progress continues and more TO-DOs are being crossed off the list.

The majority of the last 100 hours have been during the cold months of Maine. With the exception of one inlet, all work happened inside the tiny house. I’m finding that inside projects take more time. They involve precision cuts and greater planning for things like drawers, trim, and borders.

It seems more was completed in the first two-thirds of the 300 hours. In reality, during the last 100 hours a lot of progress has transformed the inside of the tiny house.

A Neurio Sensor, the First IoT Device

The cold does have it’s advantages. It increases the amount of electricity one may use. For that reason, the first project tackled was to measure electrical usage. Personally, I was excited to finally add my first smart device in the tiny house.

Enter Neurio! This device measures in real-time the amount of watts in use. These measurements are important since they help calculates watt-hours. That calculation is a major factor when sizing a home solar system properly.

Installing a Neurio Sensor in my Tiny House
Installing a Neurio Sensor in my tiny house

Since installing the Neurio, I’ve seen electrical use as low as 6 watts and as high as 2000 watts with power tools and a space heater running. Needless to say, power tools won’t be running on a regular basis. However, it’s interesting to track usage while working on the tiny house. The Neurio is a great sensor and I’m very happy with it. More …

The Loft Closet and Storage Shelves

With the loft walls already done, the first construction project was the tiny house closet and shelves. The closet must be spacious, hold enough hangers of clothing, and have plenty of shelves to store other necessities.

Tiny House Closet and Shelves in the loft

Overall, the closest came together better than expected, and there is plenty of room for clothing and other personal items for two to three people. The shelves also have enough room to use containers to store anything on them. This helps keep items in place while the tiny house is moving. More …

Closing the Interior Walls

The tiny house looks like a home now that the walls and ceiling are (mostly) up. At the moment, only the kitchen and bathroom areas are still open. This is largely due to the inlets, plumbing, and propane lines that are still TO-DOs. Regardless, the sleeping loft and storage loft are complete for the time being with the exception of some finish trim and painting (or staining).

Tiny House Tongue and Groove Walls ans Ceiling
This tiny house uses Tongue and Groove for the walls and ceiling

The biggest challenges were cutting the ceiling lights, raising the walls in the sleeping loft, and cutting out the power outlets. It simply took more time and some trial and error. Some brave boards have been lost in those battles.

The size of the tiny house allowed every board of Tongue and Groove to span from one wall to the other. As a result, there are no ugly seams in the middle of any wall. Now, it’s much easier to control the temperature, and it’s more comfortable while working inside. However, we must be careful not to scratch or bump the walls. More …

A Tiny House Webcam, the Second IoT Device

Home Automation and smart devices are some of the non-traditional things I want to do with the tiny house. A webcam allows me to see what’s happening in the tiny house when no one is around. It detects motion and can notify me. Overall, it’s part of the security system and something fun.

Tiny House Webcam with Night Vision
The webcam overlooks the Great Room

Instead of buying a webcam, I put one together with the Raspberry Pi. The goal is to integrate all IoT devices into a single system. Therefore, I require each gadget to have certain features.

Thankfully, I was able to find all the parts and software to meet my requirements. Now, the webcam is proudly watching over the great room day and night.

Tiny House Webcam
Tiny House Webcam Day vs. Night

There will be more gadgets and sensors that will perform other tasks in this smart home. Those sensors will be added as other areas of the tiny house are complete. More …

Refrigerator and Storage Drawer

The Refrigerator is a 7.3 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Apartment Refrigerator. It’s energy star rating is 343 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity a year. I chose to enclose it. Although, some people may argue that by doing so makes replacing it more difficult. That is a great point. However, the enclosure helps secure the refrigerator in place when the tiny house is moving.

If I do need to replace the refrigerator at some point, there are adjustments I can do to fit slightly wider and taller refrigerators. The top is also a cover which is removable.

Tiny House Refrigerator
Tiny House Refrigerator and Storage Drawer

The drawer uses Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer Slides to prevent damage from slamming either by accident or when the tiny house is moving. The intention is that all drawers and cabinet doors will use soft closure hinges and rails.

Crossing the 300 Hours

At the moment, the 300 hours milestone was crossed while constructing the tiny house stairs and storage. This project is currently two-thirds complete. It will include drawers and a pull out pantry. What’s left is the doors, drawers, and nobs.

Tiny House Stairs
Current progress on the tiny house stairs and storage

This project is taking more time than originally thought. Regardless, the progress is going well. There will be an upcoming blog about the stairs and storage when it’s done.

Moving Forward

A lot of has been accomplished during the last 300 hours of work. Spring is here and the weather is warmer. Soon work will resume outside. The rest of the inlets, the utility closet, and the siding will all be upcoming projects.

It’s amazing that after every project the tiny house continues to look and feel more like a home. I can appreciate the beauty and individuality of a home one can have even at this size. 300 hours seems like a lot of time, but it goes by quickly. I can’t wait to see what transformations happen in the next 100 hours.