Tiny House update – kitchen – bathroom – I’m finished!!

My tiny house project was hibernating for a while. But when I decided to put a deadline on finishing it, the motivation came back and rebooted everything! The big parts that were missing were the kitchen and the bathroom.

The kitchen

For the kitchen I wanted to have at least a small area where I could cut or otherwise temporarily place ingredients, etc. I had a few different ideas of accomplishing it, most of them needing a lot of building material and time and energy, because I would build most of the rack myself. While thinking about how to get the wood for building it and how this could actually be created, I had an idea that was so much easier. I didn’t have to build anything, just put an existing cupboard, an IKEA rack and some small trays together, and voilà. That’s how it looks now:

kitchen

My electric stove + oven I put on a rolling cupboard, so that normally when I only use one burner, I can use it as is, and if I need the second burner or the oven, I can slide out the cupboard and use the full range of the appliance.

For my sink-system I’m still looking for a nice glass container with a tap to put the water in, but sadly it’s not that easy to come by in Austria. Also I want to have a curtain or something to hide the mess below the sink. But since that’s all just in the category of “pretty”, it wasn’t that important to me for now.

The bathroom

The last part that was missing for my understanding of the house being finished was the bathroom. The composting toilet was already finished a long time ago, but since I don’t have curtains I always felt a little exposed when using it. Also I wanted to try out having a shower as well (even though this wasn’t a must). So first I built a wall on the side that the shower should be:

bathroom without wall bathroom wall

I wanted an additional wall and not a curtain, because then I would have more vertical space to maybe hang something (pictures, mirror, etc.). Sadly I don’t have a final picture of the shower, but the way I implemented it was with a storage box (60×80 cm) – because I couldn’t find a shower tray that size – and another solar shower bag that was on a lifting block so that I can let it down when I have to add water to the bag and lift it up to get the slope for the water to poor down. All of that is securely wrapped with a shower curtain. So if I take a shower, I only have as much water as is in the solar shower bag and it all has to fit in the makeshift showertray that I have to empty at the end of the shower. Luckily the tray at least has tiny wheels on the bottom ;-). To give you an idea of where I put the shower, here is a picture of the first step:

makeshift shower tray

To finish the bathroom, I put up a curtain for the “door”, and I already have a small mirror! Voilà:

bathroom curtain-door

That’s it! Finished!! I haven’t gotten around taking a good picture of the whole finished interior, but that will come soon 😉

Shit

After sleeping in my new little house for two nights in a row, it became apparent pretty soon that the next thing before really moving in had to be the composting toilet. There is a house right next to my new home where I can use the toilet, but it’s winter, and I do want to have some luxury…

I found some leftover wood in the attic so I started to build my wooden box for the toilet. The separating toilet seat I had already ordered and received months ago from Separett .

So I started to build the box for the toilet. I’m sure that any carpenter would be horrified by the way I did it, but being pretty or doing it the “correct” way was not high on my list of priorities. I just wanted it to be stable and do the job. First, I built the frame.

toilet frame step 1 toilet frame finished

After that, I just screwed on the leftover wooden plates on all sides but the top. I thought about building one side to be like a door, but then decided against it (out of laziness probably) and try it with just the hole on top.

composting toilet box

The tricky part was the hole for the ventilation shaft and the hole for the toilet seat. I didn’t want the seat to be moving around on top, but couldn’t make the hole too small because – since I didn’t build a door on the side – the bucket needed to fit through there. So it’s not especially pretty, but it should do the job.

composting toilet box

And that’s how it looked in the end:

composting toilet in a box composting toilet in a box

I’ll let you know how it’s working out in a while…

I’m putting up a wall…

As I already wrote about in my previous post, the next step of re-doing my container is to put up a clay wall. Since pictures sometimes tell more than a thousand words, this one is going to be (mostly) a foto-story:

bags of clay

I had already bought the dry mixture for the clay. My decision in the bying process was random, because I can’t really tell the difference at the moment anyway. So first, I had to fix the soft fibre boards to the wall. The woman that had sold me the clay recommended I “stick” the boards on with clay. So I started mixing the sand-mixture with water – having no idea about the needed consistency, and started putting it on the soft fibre board (lying on the floor).

clay

I started up with using little water, which led to a rather thick sheet of clay and also it was quite hard work to evenly put it on the board. Then I fixed it onto the existing wall with additional screws. With the soft fibre boards it is very important to be careful of how deep you drill it in, otherwise the screw drives through the board and does not fix anything. Also I wasn’t really sure about the jute mesh and if I also needed it for the “sticking on the wall” part. So I tried about half with the mesh, and half without.

jute mesh

When I was finished, it looked like that:

soft fibre board wall

The clay between the soft fibre boards and the existing wall is not visible, but it’s about 2-4 mm thick. Next I tried to stuff the gaps between the boards with some rest of the wood fibre that was left over from cutting.

soft fibre board 20141003 211157-small

Then the first sheet of clay was applied directly onto the wall. There I was already using more water to have a more liquid consistency of the clay. Otherwise it would have been almost impossible to apply it onto the wall.

20141004 120034-small

While the clay was still wet, I applied the jute mesh over it with a stapler gun

clay + jute mesh soft fibre wall with clay and jute mesh

The next step was already to apply the outer layer of clay onto the jute mesh. This was much easier than the previous coat of clay, because it was held up by the mesh.

clay wall on jute mesh clay on jute mesh

When I was finished with applying that outer layer of clay to the whole wall, it was still rather rough with a lot of lines from the tools (sorry for my finger).

rough clay wall

With additional water, I tried to flatten the wall to give it a more homogenous surface.

clay wall

Then it was time for the wall to dry out. Having the windows open for air circulation, it took about a week for the wall to be dry. Then I put some special stabilizing liquid onto the wall with a brush (that was also recommended by the people where I got the clay from). I’m not completely sure if this is actually necessary, so since the amount of liquid I bought was only good for a little more than half, this is yet another experiment ;-). I’ll observe, if the part of the wall that was left without it somehow starts crumbling and let you know after some time…

What else is still to be done?

  • parquett floor
  • cork wall/wallpaper for the other walls
  • composting toilet
  • walls for the “bathroom”
  • frame for the sink
  • kitchen
  • loft bed
  • ???

What will be my next step? I haven’t finalized my decision, so it’ll be a surprise for all of us ;-).