First Impressions from an “Outsider”

Although I’m not a student of the Tiny Home course, I’m not exactly an outsider either. I have been given the amazing opportunity to “audit” the class – I can be there whenever I want so I can observe and learn even though I won’t be participating in the actual build.

I showed up bright and early on Monday morning for the first day of school so I could meet all the other students and hear what the instructors had planned for the next 4 weeks. Mornings are far from my favorite time of day, and I haven’t had a first day of school in years, but it was well worth the early alarm. The 6 other students who will be building the houses with Raphael are really fun, super eager to learn, and, perhaps most surprising to me, all female! (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised that girls are interested in taking a timber framing course, I’m just surprised that there are no other guys interested.) There are girls from all over the continent – one woman came all the way from North Carolina, one from Wisconsin, and a couple others from Canada – and they have all graciously accepted me as the “8th wheel” to their group, for which I am very grateful.

IMG_3364First day of class – getting the run down from John.

IMG_3363Moving lumber from the delivery truck to the classroom to grade & sort.

On day 2 Raphael got up early to meet one of the instructors to move our trailer from where it had been stored for the past week to where it will get built on for the next 4 weeks. I joined for a couple hours after lunch, and was amazed at the progress that was made so far! Our trailer had the skids all laid out, ready to be drilled and bolted together, and after a lunch break trip to the hardware store for bolts, those holes got drilled and our skids were attached! The other trailer had “risers” built for the skids, and by the time I left the entire floor frame was built and mounted to the skids.

File_001File_000 (3) Moving our trailer to its build spot (l); Both trailers in the zone (r).

File_001 (3).jpeg Trailers with skids laid out, taking final measurements before drilling.

File_009 (2)File_002 (2)


← Getting the floor frame nailed.

Drilling the holes for the bolts. →



File_005 (2).jpegThe other trailer’s floor system getting framed on top of risers.

You may be wondering why the skid to trailer systems are so different between the 2 houses. In a nutshell it’s because the other house has a permanent home after the class – the owner will be bringing it to her property, immediately taking it off the trailer, and it will live in that spot for the rest of it’s life. The risers built for the skids are just to make the house clear the wheels of the trailer. Since we don’t own our own property yet, our house will be on the trailer for the foreseeable future, but we will want to take it off the trailer and put it on the ground when we have a spot for it to spend the rest of its life. We had our trailer built with the 6×6 skids in mind, so we don’t have to use risers to make sure the floor of the house clears the wheels.

File_009.jpegBoth trailers (ours in the foreground) with the floors all framed out!

So far I’m incredibly impressed with the builds – I never thought that the end of day 2 would have the floors mounted to the trailers and framed. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have in store!

File_000 (2)Silas, the unofficial mascot of the build.


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