Tag Archives: tiny home

Our Home Remodel Progress Report: Part I


No turning back now!

We’ve made so much progress on our home and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done. But if I’m being honest, it looks like we haven’t done much. In reality, we’ve done all the unsexy stuff that renovation shows just breeze right over, but has taken us almost six months. Let’s review, shall we?

One of the most laborious things we did was tear out the old dry wall from the entire house. Floors, ceilings, everything. The pictures and video never really captured how bad the old dry wall actually was. It was sagging from the ceiling and it was patched very, very badly. Our home was a rental and unloved for a long time.

Tearing out drywall While the walls were out, we had an electrician rewire the entire home. Our home inspection had picked up on the fact that our wiring was old, none of our outlets were grounded and wouldn’t support modern electronics.

When tearing out the walls in the office, we also discovered carpenter ants. It was biblical. We were tearing out a wall and all of the sudden ants come pouring out like the freakin’ plague. I screamed. George yelled, “Get the bug spray!” I got it and sprayed and smashed those little devils into oblivion. In retrospect it was kind of funny. I wish I had it on video.

The next day I called a great exterminator and had him spray the entire house and re-check for signs of termites and carpenter ants. (We did not have any signs of bug damage during our home inspection.) Luckily, the ants had done very little damage and seemed to be contained to a very small part of the wall in the office. (If you need a good exterminator in Asheville, email me! Seriously, so professional and he even took a look at a very large anthill in our yard, gave us some advice, and sprayed it as well.)

We also tore out (what was left of) the laminate floor in the kitchen and former dining room. (We’ll be changing up the dining room into a home office.) And had to replace and build more subfloor to makeup for the rotting floor and add more area to the kitchen.

The floor in the kitchen after the laminate was torn out

The floor in the kitchen after the laminate was torn out.

We also took out the old wall from the living room to the kitchen. I had mixed feelings about that one. One of the things I loved about the home was the archway from the living room to the kitchen, but we knew that wall wasn’t load-bearing and it was making the house look smaller. So it had to go. Since I was so upset about it, George convinced me he could replicate the arch in the hallway door– which is on a load bearing wall and had to stay.

Taking out the wall from the kitchen to the living room

Taking out the wall from the kitchen to the living room.

When the walls and the old, nasty insulation was finally out, we discovered some fun things. #1 The ceiling was sagging because several of the joists were compromised. The joists were built out of wood with knots and the knots had begun cracking over time creating a sag. We replaced those. (You can see the sagging in the first picture.)

#2 The house had very little insulation. We knew the house didn’t have insulation under the house, but we didn’t know that the insulation behind the walls and in the ceiling would have deteriorated so much. Amateurs, right? So we put insulation back into the walls, under the house AND in the attic. The house is so much warmer now! But we’ve also spent thousands in just insulation. I’m hoping those up-front costs pay off during the summer and winter.

#3 We had an inkling of this, but some of the studs in the bathroom were rotten. We knew the window in the shower wasn’t water-proof and had rotted, but we didn’t know if the water had gotten to the studs. It had. So we also had to replace those.

That’s all for today, I’ll share more of our progress later and I’ll eventually get y’all caught up to real time.

Phew! I’m worn out just thinking about it! As always, talk to me in the comments!

A Video Tour of Our New Small Home

I finally got this video uploaded and posted on YouTube! YouTube coupled with country Internet makes me want to gouge my eyes out. It literally took a full day to upload. Oh well, it’s ready now! I thought it might be nice to have a little walkthrough tour of the “before” version of the house. Sometimes it’s hard to envision layout and spaces in photos.

I hope that I can now move on to our progress shots which are scary, but encouraging. Ya gotta tear it up before you build it back up, ya know what I’m saying?!

As always, let me know what you think in the comments!
– Melanie

Link Love: 81

Before picture of the kitchen

Yet another “before” picture

Thank you all so much for your kind words on my most recent posts. I felt weirdly nervous about sharing our new house journey, but I appreciate your support more than you know. It’s Friday, so that means I’m sharing Link Love. It’s the time of the week where I share what I’m diggin’ online. Here goes!

I guess it’s spring? It’s almost 80 degrees here today which is insane. I don’t know if I’ll have time to plant my garden this year, but these galvanized metal garden beds are pretty tempting.

I wish our new bathroom had more of it’s original fixtures. At least we get to keep the tub! Here’s some beautiful vintage bathrooms with their original, colorful fixtures.

I’m having trouble picking a paint color for the front door. I’m thinking either dark green like this. Or maybe tangerine orange like this (scroll down.) Or maybe I’ll do a pattern?!

Sometimes I like to browse the most expensive homes on Airbnb. We’re going to Nashville in April for a wedding. Anybody want to go halfsies on this gorgeous $3,000 a night home? Kidding. I don’t even have halfsies. (But, if you are truly booking with Airbnb and it’s your 1st time, this link will get you a credit for 40 buck-a-roos.)

Can’t keep up with national politics? Me either. The newsletter, WTF Just Happened Today can help.

Happy weekend! I’m going to get out and enjoy this unseasonably warm weather!

The Most Overlooked Part of a Tiny House

he Most Overlooked Part of a Tiny House | asmalllife.com

Leah is here for another installment in tiny house design.  Leah Nixon is a fellow tiny houser and today she’s talking about something that I myself even overlook in my home. Take it away, Leah! Continue reading

10 Reasons We Built (And Love!) Our Tiny House

10 Reasons We Built (And Love!) Our Tiny House A Small Life is more than just talking about Airstreams. A Small Life is about living a happier, more minimalistic lifestyle. That’s why today I’m branching out a bit with a post from my friend, Leah. Leah is a badass who has built her tiny home from scratch. I love her can-do attitude and her realistic approach to tiny house living– something I don’t often see online or on television. Today Leah is going to share the top 10 reasons she and her boyfriend built, not bought, their tiny house. Take it away, Leah!

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Link Love: 68

Sunrise at the Airstream

Lord, ya’ll. I thought I set this post to publish on Friday, but apparently I did not. It’s been one of those weeks. Oh well, here’s hoping these links lessen the blow of Monday for ya.
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The Small Life: Dre’s Free-Spirited Airstream

The Small Life: Dre's Free-spirited Airstream Hey ya’ll! Today I’m excited to share the Airstream of my friend, Dre. Dre is an incredibly talented artist whose work I have long admired. She lives and works out of her 1975 Airstream Sovereign! Take it away, Dre!

Please introduce yourself (name, occupation, current location, etc.)
Hi!  I’m Dre!  I’m an artist with a day job (the day job is visual merchandising).  I have been actively working towards being a full time artist for about 3 years.  I work with textiles; making quilts, tapestries, embellished re-purposed clothing, and other things!  I currently live in West Virginia.  I grew up in WV, and moved away to Savannah, GA for college when I was 18.  I was there for 4 years then I moved to Los Angeles where I lived for 5 years and I returned to WV about 2 and a half years ago. Continue reading