house update.


The door is painted (and more so now than in the photo above; the sidelights are also painted green). I still need a few more coats, actually. But that’s the general idea. Chartreuse! Not everyone’s cup of tea, but they can suck it.

You can also see that I’m painting the inside exactly the same. Another exciting element to this photo below is the insulation! I took over this job from Casey and managed to use up the whole pallet that we purchased. Thirty sheets. We’ve also used up four rolls of Reflectix at this point; about half of one more roll and we will be completely radiant-barrier-ed.


It seems like such small, slow, insignificant work, but I tell myself that every minuscule thing I do today is one more minuscule thing that neither one of us has to do later. Even looking at these photos from a few days ago, I like knowing that the house already looks different (Reflectix nearly everywhere).

We ordered the ceiling material (wood of some kind) and will be renting a U-haul this week to pick that up as well as to return the old ceiling material (luan), purchasing the final pallet of insulation (!!!) and some thin drywall for the walls. The electrical plan still needs finishing and then it’s on to that. I think we’re both tired of making decisions. Okay, I know we are both tired of making decisions.

Things I learned:

1) The seemingly innocuous paper on the back of the foam insulation will CUT you terribly.

2) Don’t bother with foam rollers. They suck! Get a nice brush ($5 at Lowe’s) and use that for door painting. We’re using semi-gloss and the color is Citronette from a brand I don’t remember. I also forgot to ask for low-VOC. Oh well.

3) Some work is better than no work. It was two weeks ago that I decided that I could work on the house alone. If I hadn’t cut that first piece of wall insulation, then I’d be a good 15 hours worth of work behind where I am now. Momentum is key; don’t lose it on your build.

4) We are using three layers of 3/4 inch foam insulation which bring us to R-15. The radiant silver barrier behind that adds no R-value but reflects a great bit of heat out of the house (we live in the perfect climate 7 months out of the year; the other 5 is dedicated to the type of weather suited to cooking eggs on the sidewalk).

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9 Responses to house update.

  1. Macy Miller says:

    Guys, it is coming together awesome! I know exactly how you feel! Every little thing adds up slowly but surely. I was forced to take a good solid month off also which I thought would kill me but it actually re-energized me to get back to playing/building. The houses become such a huge part of our ‘down-time activities’ I am actually getting nervous for when it’s done, I won’t know what to do with myself! I am really impressed with how your house is coming together! Keep going… they say it gets better as you get to the finishing parts, be warned, its just MORE decisions, but it is fun still to see it inch closer to the finish… I think at this point others enjoy that more than me… I just want the move in date to get here :)

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Macy, thanks for your comment! We’ve really enjoyed watching your house come together. It really seems like your finishing details are moving along at lightspeed, but that’s easy to say when we’re not the ones grouting/cutting/measuring/ordering/deciding. The only thing that keeps us going is the thought of the move-in date. Everyone keeps asking us “when? when? when?” and I just keep telling them “We’ve never built a house before, so we don’t know.” And then I want to add: “Stop asking!” which is rude because I know people are just interested and not trying to pressure us. The front door is taking me to paint because I have to wait between coats. So instead of one afternoon (which is what I thought it would be) it’s been four days. I did some other stuff, too, but it’s things like this that are so easy to underestimate. Thanks again for your kind words.

      • mizacy says:

        I know EXACTLY what you mean on all accounts! And you guys have so many balls in the air that this isn’t a full time deal… I KEEP getting the when question too and I just keep saying soon, I think after like 8-10 months of saying soon that it starts to become a lie… its hard work though! I do seem to have got a second wind, it definitely does not feel like it is going fast, I just put TONS of hours in out there. It’s funny, I thought it would be so fun to get to the finishing details but just seems like even MORE work, and you can now see all the flaws because I don’t get to cover them up with drywall or anything… all in good time though… for all of us! :) I hear that there is a bathroom sink i need to check out :) I’ll keep a look out!

        • iamchesapeake says:

          I said exactly that the other day about the finish work “now we can’t just say: slap it up there and we’ll put some trim on it.” because now we are nearly to the trim and trim can’t be trimmed. And the whole thing about “I just say soon…lie” abso-freaking-lutely. I just want to say to everyone, stop asking because why would you believe what I’m saying anyway? Hahaha! It’s exhausting, it’s work and I feel like no one online adequately communicates just how much work it is. It’s like “Well, it was work but hey, POOF! we’re finished! Tiny houses are the best!”

          • mizacy says:

            I totally agree! We should both do a post about that! Just to be honest. For what its worth you two are doing an amazing job! :)

          • Okay. I am weighing in. In the spirit of 100% honesty, we STILL aren’t totally done. I have three pieces of shoe molding that are not on (I have never photographed that one particular area because of that). I have not put the platform tread on so that edge is exposed still. And I have not coated our floor even though we have probably walked 15 miles on it already. Oh, and we have changed our AC system because it is hot, hot, hot here in NC. But you know what? Life goes on and it is our house and we love it and at this point….we are done with the “when” question because we realize now it is like any other house of any other size. It will NEVER be done.

          • iamchesapeake says:

            “It will never be done!” Too true. Like painting the Brooklyn Bridge. But I think the fact that you are living in it is a huge milestone. What kind of AC did you have before vs now that is working better?

    • I’m with Macy on this one. Slowly but surely. It took us almost a full year to build. However, we had been planning for two years. Talk about having to exercise patience. It was so hard. We just wanted to work, work, work and get it done. We have to know our limits though and we are so happy we went about it how we did.

      • iamchesapeake says:

        Definitely. I think the hardest thing is that our house in on someone else’s property and we just feel so guilty about it still sitting there, even though we know the owners don’t care. We just feel exactly like Macy said, that she’s told people so many times “just a few more months” and now they’ve stopped believing her. I’ve started to tell people (and maybe I said this already) that at least when you’re having a baby you know that it’s pretty much not going to be more than about nine months before the kid arrives. Having never built a house before, we just don’t have any clue how long things are going to take. But we can tell you how long the things we’ve already done will take!

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