Tiny Progress: Light Fixtures, finish plumbing

Happy Saturday!  Today is my sister Erin’s birthday.  26 years old.  Happy birthday Enna!

Yesterday we did more clear-coating of the wood (boo, I hate polyurethane.  but it works.)  Shane got some baseboard / trim installed (which I forgot to get pictures of!  dangit)  We installed our incinerating toilet!  So exciting.

Rio in the office.

Vent for the incinerating toilet on the outside.

We are using an Incinolet incinerating toilet so we have no blackwater / sewage.  They retail for around $1,600.  Yeah.  But we found ours locally for only $800.  We’ll see very soon how it works!  Click Here for an old post I wrote on the toilet when we bought it.

Our plumber installed the plumbing in the shower and it looks great.  All exposed piping, with a small nozzle for the sink which we installed in the shower for teeth-brushing / face-washing.

Rio having a bout of photogenia.

Bathroom plumbing

Also, Shane got the light fixtures installed and they work great!  We’re using CFL’s for now, but might switch to LED’s.  Here’s an Ikea-hack sconce I made out of a frosted glass table lamp I had:

Lighting: Wall sconce in the living room.

Wall sconce light fixture lit up.

The kitchen light fixtures are also made out of galvanized plumbing pipe and provide excellent illumination at the kitchen work surfaces, as well as general overall light for the kitchen / living / great room.

Kitchen light fixtures

Close-up of a kitchen light fixture.

I am going through some of my stuff this morning – trying to organize and pare down.  I am a collector and have boxes of scraps of paper and fabric and wallpaper (and boxes of smaller boxes) and packaging and anything else that might be useful.  Shane likes to comment “I am so glad I had that house fire, it made things so  much easier.”  (Shane had a house of his burn down 5-10 years ago).  Well Shane, not all of us are fortunate enough to have all of our stuff burn up in a house fire.  Ha!

Okay, I better get out to the shop now, we’re really going to take it out for a drive today – do a video – and take some photos.  Yesterday we made it over 20,000 hits on this website.  There is definitely some interest in Tiny Houses!  And I can see why.

Hope all is well with everyone!

- Carrie

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Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Tiny Progress: Light Fixtures, finish plumbing

  1. Marsha Cowan

    Absolutely wonderful! I am so happy for you. Where will the photo shoot be viewed? You have some very unique things in your house and have inspired the rest of us to think outside the box. Thanks and good luck with everything!

  2. Victoria

    I’d be interested in seeing more of the bedroom and what you did for storage in there…like…did you build storage under the bed and the bed lifts up on hydraulics? Do you have rubber storage bins in there? What about lighting and mattress size….

    Great looking house, I will be interested to see how the drywall holds up with the moving of the house….

    Love it!

  3. Lisa

    Love your whole house. Just started following your blog a few days ago and have looked at every picture you’ve posted. My husband and I are planning our own tiny house and have liked much of what we have seen on your blog. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  4. DaveM

    I’ve been following the build, and you guys are dong some awesome work! I used to be a builder, and I do have some building questions, and some practicality questions.
    1. You mentioned that since you have an incinerating toilet, you will have no black water. I don’t think this is true. Kitchen sinks are also considered a source of black water. Since the house has no dishwasher (Rio notwithstanding!) food *will* make it down the sink, and may cause a problem if you’re emptying into a gray water system.
    2. The pipes are exposed in the shower, but if I’m reading the pictures right, when they go into the wall, are they on an exterior wall? I’ve never lived in a truly cold climate, but I do live where there is snow, and my experience has told me that water supplies in exterior walls will freeze eventually unless great care is taken.

    My last nitpick is the shower/sink setup. From a practicality standpoint, I’m not sure I would have gone with that. Two people that need to use the facilities at the same time? Could be an issue. There is no mirror by the sink yet, but if you hang one, it’s going to be a spotty mess really quick from soapy shower water. Plus, as a man, I’d have difficulty shaving in a sink that small.
    I’m not sure that aluminum was the best pick for the shower liner. Soap is a fatty acid, and while I’m sure the liner will hold up well, corrosion may be a problem, and keeping it looking good could be tough. Take a look at an older Airstream sometime. Dull, gray finish? Aluminum exposed to water. This can be alleviated by finishing the aluminium the way you want (brushed, polished – hey, *there’s* a mirror!) and then having it clear coated to keep the ugliness at bay.

    I know this isn’t my home, and I don’t have to live in it, but I’m thinking the way a customer might.

    Good luck with the finishing touches, I really love the concept! You guys have put a ton of work into it, and it looks great! This leap of faith I’m sure is not easy.

    (and I hope there aren’t any problems with the drywall in transport!)

    • shanecaverly

      Hello Dave,
      Thanks for looking and having questions. I will answer your questions in the same order.
      1. As to the black/grey water, that is true that a kitchen sink is classified as black water. But extra care can be taken so that it can be grey water, and that is by watching what soaps you use, also having a screen in the sink that can catch every little bit. (I use to teach leave no trace camping techniques). One just has to be a bit more watchful.
      2. Where I have lived most of my life was in the high Rockies of Colorado where it used to get about -40 in the winter. So yes there can be big problems with exterior plumbing. As to ours we have just about 2″ of Pex tubing that is on the outside wall and the on-demand water heater is rated to 30 below. So what I did is fill with spray foam around the pipe and put it as close to the inside.
      3. Well it is a Tiny Home and there are things that as a couple need to be shared. Most tiny homes have no sink in the bathroom and just use the kitchen. But we wanted to have the extra sink to brush your teeth, shave, or what ever else one might want. And as to the Aluminum, yes it will dull out over time. But I’m looking into sealing it so it can stay nice and pretty.

      As to the methods we have come up with for the drywall, we won’t have any issues with cracking – there are no joints that could or would crack. And we took it out on a drive yesterday on some Arizona (cheaply paved) roads… and everything is perfect. Better than anticipated!

      I really do appreciate your concerns and for writing us and letting us know.

      – Shane

  5. DaveM

    Hey, Shane. Sounds like you have it well in hand. I know you have to make a lot of sacrifices to live in a tiny house, and I guess bathroom is one of them. I love the tankless water heaters. I installed a Navien condensing unit in my house (98% efficient). $5 in gas for water heating per month, and that’s even using one of their larger units. Regarding the kitchen sink, we use a combination of letting the dog pre-clean the dirty plates, and composting the rest before dishwashing. It keeps a lot of material out of the septic.
    I’m really curious to see the location you use for the house, and how the gray water is handled. (septic?/sewer?/gray water garden?) I’m also waiting to see how it works out from an energy efficiency and a pure cost of living standpoint.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Just a thought concerning the sink in the bathroom, consider plugging the faucet hole in the back of the sink with a soap dispenser
    Doug

    • yes, or a toothbrush holder… soap dispenser is a good idea though. thanks Doug!
      – Carrie

  7. looks beautiful! And Rio in the pix is hilarious!!

    • I know – I love the one of Rio on the toilet. He totally looks like we interrupted him!

  8. could you comment on power useage for toilet. My design is off grid . Presently create more power than needed ( 150 watt wind and 480 watt PV ) use a dump load and extra power is wasted
    Keith

    • hi Keith!
      the incinolet requires a dedicated 120v 20amp circuit (their website says it uses 15amps). it uses 1.5 kw hours of electricity each cycle. a cycle is when you use it you push the button to start incineration and the fan. this runs for 60 minutes. here’s a link to their website: http://www.incinolet.com/aboutus_2.htm. electrical requirements are down at the bottom of the table.
      does your system create that much extra power?
      thanks for the comment,
      Carrie

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