One thing I want to touch on is the quality of the products we have been putting into the house. From the get-go, Zach and I wanted to build the best tiny house we could, which meant using the best products we could. As it is a very small house, we can afford to use high-quality materials that would add up exponentially were we building a conventionally sized house. At 315 square feet, you could easily hand-make every switchplate, had you the desire Imagine the tedium of hand-making switchplates for every room in a 2000 square foot home!
To start the project off right, McElrath Trailers did a bang-up job on our trailer. Being the foundation of our home, a lot is riding on it (har). High-weight axles, a welded flange along the perimeter, and the sound knowledge that nobody has ever mistreated it in the past add up to a certain peace of mind in knowing that our house is sitting on a solid base. I am always a proponent of used goods, but I am very glad we had McE do it up right.
All of our windows are as high-quality as we could find. Window procurement was a months-long process, and after scouring practically every Habitat Re-Store, Builder’s Supply, and Craigslist posting in the tri-state area, we ended up with 12 very nice windows. All are double-paned and argon-filled (save for the stained glass – an indulgence!), making for the highest insulative value possible while providing necessary openness to a small space.
Same goes for this DrainWrap that Z posted about below. In considering our short eaves, Z’s decision to use the DrainWrap (at 1.2 times the price of regular Tyvek housewrap, and if Dupont is to be believed, 5 times the water shedding capacity) was certainly worth it for the small space to be covered. Bonus Tyvek Points: if we were shooting for LEED (can’t, footprint is too small! plus we’re mobile), this could have earned us up to 17 points toward our goal!
I have already started scouting for appliances. Does everyone else consider toilets an appliance? Anyway. The goal is to maintain our high standards of quality while keeping it affordable. I have received literature from Incinolet, and have been scouting architectural salvage spots and RV/boat appliance websites for small-scale, energy-efficient and/or propane powered appliances. I have confidence that whatever we find, it will be great.