Building a Modern Tiny House in Connecticut


I (Jon) have been privileged to help Michael in the construction process, and we are both quite excited with each day of progress, small or large.  He has been planning it for a very long time - not only the house itself but of course the trailer also - no small task.  He has planned pretty much everything on his laptop, right down to details of just how the framing members will be placed and fitted together and where to use specific fasteners.  He is flexible enough, however, to adjust some things as we go along, depending on how things appear to be working out.

So far, we are still in what might be called the “foundation” phase.   A layer of “galvalume” sheet metal was the first item to be put in place.  It will keep out weather, vermin, and anything splashed up from below on occasional road trips.  Next has come pressure-treated 2x4 sills and joists to support the plywood subfloor.  Once the subfloor is in place, we will be able to move on to the exciting phase of wall framing - when it will start to look like a house!  We - especially Mikey - are pretty demanding about getting measurements really close at this stage, because it will make sure that later building will go smoothly.  A building supply driver got a look at it this morning when he delivered the doors, and I believe he said the construction looks much better than what you see in a regular house!  Materials are arriving in a coordinated fashion, generally just as much as is needed for the next few days of work, but also some items like doors and door hardware that will be needed later and are already appearing.  I try to remember that we should pray as we begin each day’s work, for safety and for foresight to anticipate issues in advance.  It is clearly a team effort, with  ideas often being the product of give-and-take between the two of us - even ideas about which tools to use for a task and how to use them most effectively.  We are both learning so much. 

I believe Mikey has the (I hope not misplaced) confidence to designate me as the electrician, or perhaps a licensed electrician’s primary assistant.  I really enjoy doing what I can with wiring projects, but both of us will have to bone up on the details of providing an electrical service entrance of the right amperage and circuits capacity.   Thanks to the previous owners of our house, there is an underground cable running from the back of our garage to the Tiny House site.  I set up both a 240- and a 120-volt outlet on a post out there, and we use it for power needs right now.  It is only 20 amps, however, and we may need at least 30 ultimately to supply the house.

For plumbing, he has found a good chap from Tolland, who has been at our house already for a couple of small jobs.  He was a little hard to get hold of (as you well know about GOOD contractors), but persistence - with courtesy (begging?) - paid off, and we liked him a lot.  His charges were quite fair, and his attitude excellent.

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