Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tub? Check. 10,000 Lb Winch? Check.

VoilĂ . La baignoire de clawfoot:

If you haven't noticed, our progress has been slow of late, as we have been a bit more occupied procuring things for the house than working on the house. Last weekend, we drove up to San Francisco to get a clawfoot tub. Though the tub was a little larger than we were expecting (a full five feet), we decided to go ahead. Standing in the garage looking at it in person, it became clear just how small 48" or 55" inches would be. The whole thing came with fixtures, including the screw-on shower pipe. The woman we bought it from said that it had been re-porcelained when she purchased it originally, and knowing from researching recently and a few years ago with my mom what it costs to get new porcelain on a tub, I figured $300 was an excellent price.

I mentioned in the last post that we were trying to get a winch. The plan, which frankly is a little fuzzy to me, is to use the winch to pull the house up the hill. The house, I believe, will be rolled over logs or some type of rounded beam (isn't this how the pyramids were built?). When we went in to get the 10,000-pound winch last week, they were out of stock. So yesterday, we went back and they honored the sale price.

Additionally, we just found a 20-inch propane stove around Berkeley and are on our way up tomorrow to get that. Have a lead on a tankless water heater, so once we get that, we just might have all the main elements needed to get the plumbing done. If only we knew something about plumbing...

The layout continues to be updated. We drove down to Irvine with Tyson's family for his grandmother's 90th birthday on Sunday, then back on Tuesday, so we had a lot of time to look over the plans and decide how we wanted to handle our 60" tub. So, a few changes have been made to the bathroom layout, and we've reduced the depth of part of the right kitchen counter to reclaim some of our lost space. Here's a somewhat cleaner floor plan for you.

Besides our lack of knowledge about plumbing, one of the main issues we're trying to tackle right now is what to do about interim living. We'd like to get the house up the hill as soon as possible, but if we do that, it's not nearly as easy to work on it. But, once we get the house up, we can begin work on the road (and by we in this instance, I mean Tyson and his dad). Without a better road, there's no way to get a 2-wheel drive vehicle up there. And as much as I love my Honda, it just won't cut it, maybe even with a better road. Best not to think of these things, just focus on the tub...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nuts and Bolts

When we last left off, Tyson and I were, as he says, "having an inventure," chasing a tiny house around the area. What you didn't know was that during that time, I was also packing up my tiny apartment to move to Aromas with Tyson. We moved last Sunday and have spent the last week adapting to our new location - a trailer right next to our house. Much like our house, the trailer has no bathroom or kitchen, so we are relying on the generosity of his parents to share their facilities with us for a nominal rental fee while we spend the bulk of our money on the house.

What we have done in that time is almost finish stripping the rafters (see above) and basically pin down our layout. Here is the working floorplan as it stands right now:

We decided a few days ago, just as we were about to set off on a wild goose chase up to Berkeley for a 4 1/2-foot clawfoot tub, that it might just be smarter to refigure our layout and save the hundreds of dollars we would have to spend to get an extra-small tub, and expand the bathroom at the expense of the kitchen to allow for a standard 5-foot tub. Here are the other decisions we've made as they stand right now:

We will have a composting toilet.
We want some kind of pale wood paneling, probably knotty pine.
For flooring, at least in the living area, we're leaning toward a dark hardwood, reclaimed would be great, as would this kind of sustainable bamboo flooring.
Though we had recently changed our minds from gas heater to wood stove in the living area, after researching the cost and necessary space of wood stoves, we have gone back to our original plan of using a wall-mounted propane boat heater.
We're probably going to get a propane-powered tankless water heater, which will likely be one of our first big purchases.
For cooking, though we had toyed with the idea of saving under-counter space by having a cooktop and a portable solar stove, we have since returned to our original plan of a 20" gas stove, (also outfitted for propane) to make up for the counter space we're eliminating by enlarging the bathroom.

Because both Tyson and I are broke, we're approaching the renovation as a multi-draft process. If we can't afford paneling at first, we're going to use burlap or fabric to cover the walls. If it's still going to be a while before we can put in kirei countertops, we'll make do with the one Tyson found at a job site. And, of course, if the clawfoot tub is a bit too steep, we'll start out with a modified stock tank instead.

It's amazing at this stage how often we go into the house to work or get in the car to procure something house-related, and end up spending two hours talking about what to do instead. Tyson found a $400 winch a few days ago which will likely be purchased this week to help get the house up the hill. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo I took of Tyson this morning, dressed up for watering some old and also newly planted trees (note the belted boxers and socks tucked into belt...he's always good for a laugh):