Tiny House Progress: Electrical Wiring

Yesterday we got the house wired for electrical.  Went pretty smoothly, nothing to report.  The panel selection was a process, but we ended up going with a standard 120v panel for a regular house, rather than an RV panel that has low voltage circuits in the panel.  When we go solar down the road we’ll have to have an inverter anyway, so that will step our power from 12v to 120v.

Lighting: a challenge in a small house – we don’t want a bunch of lamps sitting around cluttering up the space.  Track lighting is so hideously ugly.  Not many places to hide recessed / indirect lighting.  We decided to make our own sconce and ceiling light fixtures using LED lamps (bulbs) that we can buy off the shelf at the hardware store.  Really low power use, and a white frosted globe.

Also, here’s a photo of the wheel well boxes we built on the inside, as the wheels of the trailer intrude on the interior of the house.  almost all of these boxes will be covered by cabinets or the couch.

Here’s a photo of the propane tanks we installed on the hitch of the trailer (see previous post):

Shane welded steel angle iron to the trailer frame and then welded the tanks’ platform to that.  Tanks aren’t the most gorgeous things, but they’re necessary.  We only need propane for our cooktop and our space heater, so we shouldn’t go through it too fast.

More debate on the finishes….  On the exterior we went back and forth on whether we wanted window trim, or just butt the siding up to the windows with a slim, clean galvanized J-mold.  After deciding to skip the trim we held one of the windows up and realized that we need trim as they project out from the face of wall too far.  So, trim it will be!  We’re trying to do drywall on the interior because it is the cheapest, cleanest wall to cover a wall.  It also has no VOC’s so it’s a fairly healthy product.  Gypsum mining isn’t great for the environment, but we’ll leave a few trees in the forest skipping wood interior wall cladding.

Okay, we need to get to work!  Installing windows today…..

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Categories: Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | Tags: , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Tiny House Progress: Electrical Wiring

  1. NIce job! I am a big fan of following your build! I am interested to see how the gyp works out, I am also considering it, I like the clean look a lot. I have heard things about it cracking easily with the movement of the trailer, and also that its heavy compared to other options. Excited to see what direction you go!

  2. drewodom

    Really anxious to see the sconces you are talking about. We are going LED as well but are a little repulsed by the fixture options on the market.

    And for what it is worth we are not going with sheetrock or gyp as we felt like the mobility of the house would cause undue cracking. We aren’t doing pine either. We have decided to build out our studs 1/2″ (to flush up with the windows) and use a panel board; primed and painted afterthefact.

    • Hey Drew, thanks for the comments! will be interested to see the wall paneling you end up going with. We’ve just got to try out the gyp. board. It is a bit of a risk, but it’s worth it.

      • drewodom

        I am all about risk taking. We are using the LP SmartSide for our exterior which is a bit of a risk in itself. But in this tiny house community of ours we all have to forge a path for ourselves, you know? As Tim Gunn would say, “Carry on. Carry on.”

      • that LP SmartSide looks like a good product! HardiePanel (the fiber cement panel) is so nasty to cut. Shane did a historic restoration this past summer in Flagstaff and used that product. Can’t wait to see how the SmartSide looks installed!

      • Totally agree, I’m taking the risk too, so if you come up with any ‘would have done differently’ things let me know :)

  3. You guys are rocking the progress, I was just talking to Drew about you guys and what I have learned is that I need to date a builder ;-). Seriously, you guys are going so fast and it looks great!

    • drewodom

      And I agreed with Macy. HAHAHAH

    • Hahaha! Yeah, pretty much. Shane is incredibly fast. A very experienced and skilled builder with all the tools. If I was trying to build this myself we’d still be framing. ;) And I’d be hammering all the nails by hand… But he’s actually a custom home builder. Which comes in handy when building… custom homes!

      • drewodom

        I agreed that Macy needs that b’friend. HAHAHAHA. Too funny. I guess my comment did sound a bit odd. HAHAHHAH

  4. Dave M

    I’d be really concerned with the gypsum drywall choice. I was a building contractor in a previous career. It is soooooo heavy, and yes, it cracks. I’d be afraid of hitting a good bump with the trailer, and destroying a lot of good work. Perhaps, not in the general panel itself, but the joints, and nail (screw) pops will be a nightmare. I’ve seen the inside of a lot of RVs, and *nobody* uses drywall. I’d think some sort of paneling (yes, I know, glue) or perhaps a thin tongue and groove wall covering would be a better bet. It has a better ability to flex during road travel, and expand/contract as a small house is more likely to do more of than a large one. This is to say nothing of gyp board being typically 1/2″ thick, and other wall coverings being thinner. I know a fraction of an inch doesn’t sound like much, but with a space this small, it really is a game of inches (or eigths).

    • Hi Dave!
      thanks for your input. since beginning the design of our tiny house we thought we couldn’t use drywall due to cracking. but… we kept coming back to it because it is SO inexpensive, odorless (good IAQ), and easy to install. so, we’ve found some design and install workarounds to avoid taped seams… and with the lightweight gyp. bd. available anymore the weight isn’t a concern. we’ll keep you posted on how it works out!

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