Stuff

April 3, 2012 § 9 Comments

The floor is done! Still… no walls.  Lots of decision making behind the scenes though.  decisions being made = progress = Macy is happy.  Failures with a project like this are inevitable, I try to not let my fear of making a poor decision cripple me from making any progress at all.  After all there is only so much to ‘think’ about, eventually, you have to make a move, if it’s the wrong move you fix it and learn from it.

 

I have been researching fixtures and such, I think this is the sink I am going with in the bathroom.

Though this one is definitely in the running, I unfortunately think it will be a tad too big for my tiny bathroom…

I was looking at tiles for the shower this weekend, that is going to be some tough decision making when it gets to that point!  Here are some ideas I have been mulling over.  I am certain I can get a better deal on these than I would at Lowe’s but it’s sure fun to go get ideas :).

        

I have decided to not use the shower pan that I bought earlier (for $15) in order to do a custom assembly.  With where my shower ended up sitting it was going to be difficult to get the plumbing to work right with the shower pan.  There was a steel member from the trailer directly below where the drain was to go, by doing a custom enclosure I get to put the drain wherever I choose and there really is no risk to doing it this way.  There is another benefit to this because my shower will probably end up being 34″ wide rather than the 36″ wide originally planned in order to keep room in the walkway.  When I had originally drawn it I had 2×4 walls (3.5″ actual width) after getting the great deal on the insulation though I will need an actual measurement of 4″ for my walls to fit the right amount of ridged in.  I am taking this extra inch out of the shower and making it longer, my shower will be closer to 34″ x 48″ now, I think it will be comfy :).

While I was at the store I also noticed some killer deals on flooring tile.  I am not a huge fan of tile floors but since i am using the radiant heated floors I need some sort of thermal mass.  I would have LOVED to have done concrete floors but on a trailer that weight adds up far to quickly, tile seemed like a great compromise.  I need to keep my eyes out for something that will fit my style.  These are the two I liked on sale at Lowe’s, again, pretty sure I can get a better deal on my tile at a local shop but it’s fun looking for ideas!

 

I like the wood look but I still may go with something that has a bit more of a ‘concrete’ feel.  I like being true to materials, it seems like a plaster material made to look like wood, while ‘cool’ is a lie… we shall see!

In other news, I have been researching composting and incinerating toilets a lot lately (don’t worry, that’s a totally normal thing to do on a Friday and Saturday night ;-).  At first I was pretty set on having a self enclosed composting toilet but I am leaning a different direction now… still not entirely sure.  I have scratched of incinerating toilets from my list because I think it will be uncomfortable for any guests to have to explain how to use my bathroom.  I like the concept of an incinerating toilet but i believe changes occur gradually, since part of the point of doing this, for me, is to educate and maybe inspire others I feel like a composting toilet is a lot closer to ‘normal’ and is therefore going to be viewed as a more feasible alternate for any guests who are unfortunate enough to get my toilet schpeal.  After a bit of research I am looking more closely at a gravity based remote composting toilet in which the collector tank sits outside and underneath the trailer (my trailer is 2′-8″ off the ground and this seems like a feasible solution).  The issues I am wondering about is:  It seems composers compost better with warmth, I know they generally all come with heaters of some sort but I am trying to find a unit that is capable of being outside in the weather preferably without having to skirt my house… it does get fairly cold here in the winter.  It seems like there are options for this, I just need to find one that will be shallow enough to fit under the trailer (I figure I have about 32″ clear max.) and can also be ok sitting in the elements only being covered on the top… I really like this idea because I wont have to empty any trays from inside the house.  I am also planning on having a collection cistern under the trailer for my grey-water, located under my shower which will be right next to the composting unit.  I will be using the grey water to garden with so I feel like having the water and compost right near each other is a one stop shop for the garden (I still am not sure how comfy I am growing veggies with my own poop but I think flowers would appreciate it :).  If anyone has any suggestions please do let me know!  Here are the units I have been looking at mostly.

Click Picture for link to site

A little smaller

And the self enclosed option

Either way, the toilet is easily going to be my single biggest purchase for this tiny house.  If any of you reading this feel like sponsoring/partial sponsoring or donating to the cause feel free to do so, I know you’re all just dying to buy me a pooper!  It’s for a good cause and I will certainly be updating how it goes, in probably far too much detail ;-).  (notice the new ‘donate’ page to the left, I’m a thinker… (-; )
ALMOST lastly,  I want to do a post in a bit on why I am choosing a tiny house over say, just buying an RV… I have seen several other people write about this lately and their answers aren’t quite the same as mine.  I think it’s a very valid question and I want to add my two sense (it is a question I’ve been asked quite a bit), I just need a little time to tackle it, soon though!

And lastly, for real, I get to visit with Jonathan Bellows, who some of you may know from his awesome blog about his tiny house build, as he makes his way to Oregon in the coming weeks.  I expect to be suckering him into helping me work a bit on my place, picking his brain on good things to do (and not to do) and of course befriending his bestie, Barney :).  I hope to write up a killer post on that when the time comes, so excited!! (Hear that Jonathan? You can’t back out now 😉

Have an awesome day!

Macy

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§ 9 Responses to Stuff

  • Carrie says:

    hi Macy! love seeing your ideas! I like those sinks that you found. we saw one at Ikea the other day that was small and rectangular like the first one that you posted. we went with a porcelain corner sink for our bathroom, which will be tucked out of the way, but not so small to be unusable.
    toilets – we went with an incinerating toilet, because we are not sure where we will be living with our tiny house – hopefully on our own land in a year or so – but until then, we thought it might be inhibiting to need a humanure pile on a landlord’s property. But I do like the lower electricity useage of the composting toilets. good luck finding one you like!
    love following your progress….
    – Carrie
    http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com

  • Michael says:

    I also researched toilets and I am also unsure. I am leaning toward a urine diverting toilet of some kind but may change my mind in the future. I don’t know how much you looked so far but while looking around I found enough horror stories about Biolet to make me quickly put them out of the running. As for skirting the trailer, it is a good idea not just from an aesthetics point of view but also from an energy point of view. The skirting stops the wind from blowing across the bottom of the trailer. This means only 5 sides (instead of all 6) get cooled by the wind.

    • Macy M says:

      Thanks for the response Michael! I’m curious, can you share some of the reviews on Biolet, I think that would be helpful for me. You have very good points about skirting, I still would like to avoid it if possible, I have extra insulation in the floor, hopefully allowing me not to notice a whole bunch, if I need to I will skirt however :). Thanks a lot again for your input!

      • Michael says:

        I just did a google search for Biolet reviews and found:
        http://www.greenoptions.com/t/1076/biolet-review
        http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/biolet.aspx

        The big flaw I see in the Biolet design is the continuously running fan. Normally one would think having a fan running all the time will remove any odors, which it will BUT it also removes moisture 24hrs / 7 days a week. If too much moisture is removed this will cause the feces to dry out and harden like brown concrete. Isn’t the point of using a composting toilet to make compost and not concrete?

        Also when I saw the prices of their “accessories”, I really began questioning whether Biolet is truly a ripoff or not.

        ***12V DC Auxiliary Fan – $49

        This is a 80x80x25mm 12v dual ball (2 ball) case fan made by Jamicon and the fan is rated about 38cfm. I was able to read the model # off of the larger picture of the fan. This is a fan you would normally find in a computer case. I went to Newegg.com and the highest price fan (similar specs and MUCH better quality) was only $16. The lowest priced case fan still able to do 38cfm was $8 (and it is still better quality than the fan they offer).

        ***Ventilation Pipe – $29

        $29 for 2ft. of pvc pipe?? Forgive me but what are they smoking?? 2 feet of 2″(approximately) pvc pipe doesn’t cost that much!

        ***Outside Pipe Kit – $79

        “…Because the ventilation system is a chimney system, ventilation pipe outside your home needs to be insulated to keep the air flow within the BioLet composting system flowing.”

        Ok.. What’s the continuously on fan for if it isn’t exhausting the toilet outside?

        ***Compost Starter Mix – $30

        “A specialized compost mix of peat and other natural organic materials help keep your BioLet composting toilet at its peak efficiency…”

        ” 8 gallon bag”

        An 8 gallon bag is only 1 cubic foot. 3 cubic feet of peat moss is about $12 at Home Depot.
        On Biolet’s site ( http://www.biolet.com/support/articles/biolet-30-ne-owners-manual/6.php ) they give a recipe for a “homemade mulch” and I don’t see the ingredients costing anywhere near the $30.

        I don’t even want to get started on the price of the motors…

        From reading the reviews and seeing their prices, Biolet stinks to high heaven in my book. (Pun intended).

        In the end I think I will give a humanure type toilet a try when I build my tiny house (no idea when). I haven’t heard any horror stories about them and they are a DIY toilet. I figure at worst if I don’t like it I’ll be out the price of some wood, a 5 gallon bucket and a toilet seat and some cover material (used to cover deposits). I figure it is a small price to pay to try one out. Jonathan Bellows made a video of his at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKCR3nakgSw

  • hans76 says:

    Hi Macy!
    Great stuff so far, question, where did you find the small plumbing fixtures?

    Hans

    • Macy M says:

      Thanks Hans, I’m not sure how I came across the small fixtures honestly but here is the link I have for the one, here. I think the other one was sent to my work in a flyer, here is a quick search for it though, here. Thanks so much for following me!

  • hans76 says:

    Hi Macy!
    Great stuff!
    Question, where are you finding the small plumbing fixtures?

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