Tiny House – Beginnings
My introduction to tiny houses came by way of Outdoor Research. A couple of their sponsored athletes built a “tiny ski lodge” that they could live out of while traveling North America in search of the best skiing. Both the skiing and the tiny house appealed to me enough that I decided right then and there to build a tiny house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4U7isvtCHA
After seeing the OR tiny house, I spent about 2+ years letting the idea percolate. Mostly, I knew that building a tiny house would be a large, expensive undertaking. Still, that didn’t stop me from fantasizing about tiny houses. During this period, I filled up a few notebooks with scrawly sketches of what floor plans could look like. I discovered Sketchup, too, and went crazy drawing 3d models of tiny houses.
The Real Beginning
ShopKo bought the mall in Whitefish and proceeded to remodel. The result? A large pile of free lumber and free nails. Unfortunately, the nails were in the lumber. I called on a friend (who also wants to build a tiny house) and we agreed to reclaim all the lumber together and each take half for our respective tiny houses. We each ended up with a tidy pile of usable lumber and a 5-gallon bucket of bent nails.
In the spring of 2015, Dane found a large goose neck trailer on craigslist. It seemed like a pretty good deal, so we went to Deer Lodge, MT to look at it. That night, he and I spent a long time trying to back the gigantic trailer I’d purchased up into a narrow space at the end of our serpentine driveway. Some time later, a friend asked me if I was going to build a tiny house. I very nearly replied, “No, it’s just something I dream about all the time.” And it was then that I realized that I was indeed building a 205 square foot house on six wheels.
But about a month after purchasing the trailer, I acted foolishly and broke my back after skiing off a large kicker jump in Glacier. The date was June 21.
By the end of the summer, my 3 compression fractured vertebrae (T7: 50%, T11: 20%, and L1: 20%, for those of you who are curious) had healed sufficiently to let me begin again.
I quickly discovered that my trailer housed many inconsistencies. It was not square. It was not level. Sealing up the under side of the trailer and getting a square, level building surface took way longer than I expected. Structure existed where I needed it not to exist. Structure was missing where I needed it to exist. Cutting, welding, painting, and a lot of wriggling around in the gravel underneath the trailer eventually yielded results, but by the time the beginning of the house was ready, summer was over.