Help me continue my tiny house project?

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TopHatFox
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Location: FL; 25

Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:36 am

Maybe I posted this at some point, but I can't remember.

Description of structure: 15*15 metal tool shed about 30 feet away from parent's house, along a long and narrow backyard. The shed has hard wood floor boards, thin metal walls traced by wooden studs, and a thin metal roof traced by wooden studs. The wooden studs are about half a foot deep. Two windows total, at opposite sides for cross-ventilation. Here's the plan, but I don't know what I'm doing that well and could use a sanity check:

1. Raise the wooden floor off the dirt ground by around 1-2 feet using nice-looking cinder-blocks. This will reduce the number of crawly-bugs that can enter the shed and potential flooding during hurricanes.
2. Patch up a hole in the wooden floor currently installed. Then place some nice wooden vinyl floor boards over the wooden floor.
3. Run a PVC pipe from the main house to the shed for a sink. Run a second PVC pipe from the main house with one or two extension cables inside for power, and an Ethernet cable for internet.
4. Fasten a mechanical ventilation unit? I am honestly still unclear on air-sealing v. insulation. Kind of scared of sealing the shed and then running out of air if the MV unit stops working. x:
5. Seal the holes in the metal walls and roof-wall with a compound, then sand the compound down. Replace a few of the studs that are partially eaten/damaged.
6. Fasten metal lattices between the vertical wall studs and the roof studs. Blow-in dense cellulose into the lattices. Or just cut some insulation and screw tight insulation. Fasten sheet rock over the metal lattices. Place a nice baseboard at base of sheet-rock and paint.
7. Re-paint the exterior of the shed a nice color, that also reflects sunlight.
8. Create a nice solar shower surrounded by wooden panels outside, or use a bucket inside if it's cold. Pee in the bushes, anddddd go to the restroom inside the main house. Install a pretty mini-fence to increase privacy. : )
9. Connect a hotplate or two, a mini-fridge, and shelving pantry for cooking using the extension cord? Propane sounds scary (and explosive).
10. Tend some raised-bed gardens around the shed. Maybe some more fruit trees further away from it.

Do you have any suggestions for this project?

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C40
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by C40 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:23 pm

Other websites and forums around the web that are specifically about this subject will be more useful to learn from.

coding/permits - this is a big deal. Do your research on this. If you're going to do it without permits, you'd better understand the risks you're taking (of course - first, in the safety of the home, but also legally and financially.). The IBC (international building code) is has just gotten updated for 2019 to allow homes of very small sizes and if the city you live in adheres to IBC, this could be wonderful timing for you. It can take a lot of time to read through the codes, go talk to the permit people, etc.

relating to #4 - no, you most likely don't need to worry at all about sealing the place up so well that you run out of oxygen and suffocate. You will probably still want some active ventilation, especially if you will cook in there and for when it gets warmer inside than outside.

fell-like-rain
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by fell-like-rain » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:31 pm

Floor/foundation: How is the floor constructed? Is there any structure to it, or is it literally just floorboards on the ground? If the latter, you’d probably need to add joists to distribute the loads to the cinderblocks, or the floor could end up sagging. There’s also insulation to consider. Have you thought about pouring a slab instead?

Power: You haven’t mentioned anything about lighting or temperature control, both of which (I presume) you might want. It seems like you’re going to end up with a ton of appliances to run off an extension cord- hot plate, fridge, lamps, laptop, maybe AC… why not just install mains power? You’ve got access to the studs right now, so it shouldn’t be too much work.

Sewerage: You’ll need another water pipe returning to the main house for your greywater, unless you have an alternate disposal plan. Peeing in the bushes could become an smell issue if this isn’t a large yard

EdithKeeler
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:23 pm

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Last edited by EdithKeeler on Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

George the original one
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by George the original one » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:59 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:36 am
10. Tend some raised-bed gardens around the shed. Maybe some more fruit trees further away from it.
Garden, no problem. Fruit trees? Problem:

1) If you're going to leave in 7 years or less, then no point in planting them unless your parents want them and are willing to maintain them.

2) Have you really got enough space? Even if you espalier the trees (or make a hedge) and prune them back sufficiently, you'll need at least a 6' wide space for each tree and another 6' deep to allow access around the row. Thus a minimal 3 trees will consume over 100 sq ft.

3) Okay, so you still want fruit trees. What kind? Apple and pear trees aren't going to work in Miami and points south because there aren't enough "cold hours", hours under 40F, for the trees to figure out when spring arrives. Better plan on more tropical fruit trees, citrus & banana & mango. Best visit an independent garden nursery to get an idea of what works that far south and they can provide other advice.

Cheepnis
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by Cheepnis » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:13 pm

I would second running domestic power (installing a sub panel) if you're looking to make this a livable space.

Are you on sewer or septic? Where do you plan on pulling the water from? If there's a hose bib on the main house close by that means you have a 3/4 line available there to tee off of in the wall which could then run to the shed.

ffj
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by ffj » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:22 am

What do you do with the ton of information people give you on the multitude of questions you ask? I never see any feedback or followthrough.

Just curious, no judgement. You do seem scattershot though.

Your project has a ton of issues. You can't run an extension cord safely for the kind of loads you are talking about. Building codes probably aren't going to allow occupancy so you would have to be quite stealthy to pull it off. The first time one of your neighbors sees you peeing in the yard than the gig is up. It sounds like a really cheap building suitable for storage and trying to convert it for COMFORTABLE living is probably not worth it. Pictures?

TopHatFox
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Location: FL; 25

Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:39 am

@ffj, read my journal :D

Some of the questions are thought experiments, others I'll take actionable steps on. For example, after the fb thread I deleted all social media, and after the weekend travel thread, I decided to travel to a few places to check them out. I think there are just so many things to set in motion to be in a good spot by early 30's. Like, advanced education, housing, sizeable portfolio, a partner, languages, travel, etc etc. It will be good to slow down later from all the hard work now.

How do I add pictures to this forum? Honestly, the shed is pretty sturdy and the fences to the neighbors are pretty high. I think I'm mostly doing this project so I can get an understanding of home construction should I choose to build my own 500 sq foot cabin later. I haven't even thought about actually asking for building codes or generally asking for permission because I'd probably get laughed at at the governor's office. :lol:

prognastat
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by prognastat » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:04 pm

Pictures would need to be hosted on a different online service/server and then you can add them by URL using the image option in the post editor.

ffj
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by ffj » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:09 pm

FlickR. Works well for me.

Post some pictures and we'll talk.

Campitor
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Re: Help me continue my tiny house project?

Post by Campitor » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:10 pm

In regards to the electrical, there are formulas that govern how thick (gauge) a cable must be when running power certain distances. You just can’t run a 12 or 14 gauge cord/cable 30 feet and expect the same voltage out at the end of the run. The wire gauge and fuse must be appropriate to the load and distance. I would bury the cable in pvc conduit but this isn’t really a DIY job for someone unfamiliar with electrical work. The extra load on the main panel could exceed its tolerances - blown fuses and or hot main cables might occur.

https://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html

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