Whilst my Plumbing Plan is far from over I am feeling pretty comfortable with the topic, and so in order to maintain progress across the board, I have decided that today is the day to start looking into power. I originally mentioned that I was not keen about plumbing, but that is nothing to how I feel about electricity and gas. To my surprise, plumbing proved to be far more enjoyable than I anticipated, so here’s hoping these will pan out the same! Again, I made the mistake of diving straight into Tiny-House-relevant material first but I quickly retreated and sought the broader basic facts.
Do remember I am a complete novice, so whilst I have done my best to comprehend these topics, they occupy uncharted territory. If you notice an errors, please don’t hesitate to chime in.
As I hope to strive towards an off-grid lifestyle, I decided early on that I want to harvest rainwater. Fear not, I am not naïve to fact that it’s unlikely that I will be able to collect enough to meet the demands of the house, but at least a little is better than nothing. I admit I am curious as to how much this ‘some’ will be, however as I don’t know where I will be planting my house, I will leave this for a future date.
So whilst the numbers are all unknowns at the moment, I still needed to gain a better understanding of the ‘how’ behind rainwater harvesting. To do so, I read Michael Mobb’s book ‘Sustainable House: Living for Our Future.’ This book breaks down the process Michael went through to convert his Sydney house into an almost self-sufficient home. Though a fair amount of the information isn’t truly applicable to a Tiny Home, it was an excellent read and the chapter on Water was incredibly helpful. I recommend checking out his site- this particular post talks about his water system. If you can get your hands on a copy of the book, it covers this in more detail.
Whilst I will be collecting rainwater, I’d also like to be able to connect the house to the mains. So, my first question is, how do you connect a Tiny House to the water mains?
Essentially, you simply need a hose connection, exterior to your house.
To this you attach a water hose, which runs between the house and the properties utility spigot, giving you water. At either the utility tap or at the connection point of your house, there should be a shut off valve. This will enable you to turn off the entire water system if something goes wrong.
The water from the mains doesn’t need to be run via a pump, as the water will already be under pressure, however you can install a pressure regulator if your water source pressure fluctuates greatly. [Tiny Nest installed a sprinkler pressure regulator as a solution to this. This video also shows them connecting to their house to the mains to test their plumbing]
I admit that the idea of plumbing has never sent me into a spiral of excitement.
To be fair it probably doesn’t send many people into a ‘spiral of excitement’, but it truly has been one of the aspects of the Tiny House that I’ve least been looking forward to.
Little did I know that plumbing, at least Tiny House plumbing, is actually pretty neat, completely straightforward and, dare I say, really, truly exciting. In fact, I’m now that darn keen on plumbing, that I recommenced this blog just so I could talk about it.
Now, I should probably note, the levels of excitement radiating from this post may suggest I actually have hard and fast knowledge to share, I don’t. So if it’s good solid information you seek, I would propose saving yourself some time and maybe skipping this one. However, if you are a plumbing newbie like myself and just seek a small assurance that plumbing is not all bad, you may find some comfort.
So you could say I haven’t been successful at maintaining a blog as I research my Tiny House. Mainly I haven’t set aside the time to do so, but also I have been reading, watching and researching so many scattered things, that I don’t think I could even pool my learnings into any comprehensible posts. I know I have been consuming information, but it is all over the place and only now am I beginning to apply it to my actual house.
Working full time whilst attempting to develop my tiny home ideas into proper building plans has been far more challenging than I anticipated. Finding time, and then using that time efficiently has been inconsistent, with some weeks passing with less than a few hours dedicated to the project. To say the least, it’s tricky to balance.
Or I should say, was tricky, because as of the Tuesday before last, I commenced part-time work.
When condensing your life into a 12 square meter space, it’s inevitable that you will have to make some compromises and question even the ‘essentials.’ As a regular home cook, a proper stove is something I have always considered necessary, but is it? I have seen many tiny home dwellers go without, only using a two or three stovetop burner to prepare their meals. That said, there are limits to what can be prepared stove top style, and baked goods are one of the trickier edibles to adapt.
When researching windows for tiny homes, tempered glass is a term which you will immediately come across. Heat treated, or chemically treated, tempered glass is nicknamed ‘safety glass’ for its ability to fracture into small blunt pieces.
[You are likely familiar with its broken form if you live in an area with sheltered glass bus stops. Or rather, did live in an area with sheltered glass bus stops. Before the footpath sparkled with pretty, fractured chunks of glass.]
What I am finding most difficult is working out what the next step should be. What comes first in the very long list of things to learn & do? I start researching one thing, which then brings up another question, then another and another. Yesterday I sat down to have a closer look into trailers, it made sense to start from the bottom up. Soon enough I was perusing windows and sussing wardrobe solutions, flicking through building standards and investigating water proofing.
For those of you new to the Tiny Home on Wheels concept, I shall give you a very, very brief low down. A ‘Tiny Home On Wheels’ or THOW, is pretty much as it sounds, a ‘tiny’ home built on a trailer, hence the ‘wheels’.
They are therefore transportable, and as a result, are restricted by the road rules of your state /country.
Now, as my own knowledge is little more than a couple of google searches, I am by no means about to dish out information around the laws and legalities of building, moving or living in a tiny home. As time progresses I may be able to share some of my own experiences, but please, never take my word as truth. There are certainly others who do cover such details, so if you are interested, absolutely suss them out.