My name is Maxime Chénier and I am from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. I am 26 years old and I work as a forest firefighter for the province.
I fell in love with Jay Shafer’s houses about 5 years ago and since then I have been planning mine. I move a lot with my job, and I hate paying for rent. So a tiny house was a perfect fit.
It all started about a year ago, in October 2012, when I bought a used flatbed trailer. I wanted to put the structure up before the first snow storm, so I went out to buy everything.
The floor is 3 different section of 2 x 6′s, and a section of treated ones for my deck, insulated and covered with a 3/4 inch plywood.
Walls and roof are sections of 2 x 4′s, all insulated. On the exterior, there is 1/2 prestwood, and tar paper. I had a good deal on a door and windows so I put them in right away with the loft roof skylight. Put a big tarp on in and that was it for the winter.
Then my fire season started so the project was put on hold until September 2013. As soon as I was back, I put the half log outside finish, the black metal roof and made the roof over the deck.
Then, I jumped inside to finish the insulation, which next time I will do after the wiring and not before.
Running the wires was fast, but still a big planning. I went big with a 100 amps electrical panel, 12x15A breakers. A 30A wire goes from my panel to outside with a 30A-15A adapter. I have 6 halogen lamps, a bathroom fan, small fridge, microwave, TV, computer, cell phone, toaster/oven.
Then this week, I finished the insulation, put a plastic membrane and the beautiful pine V-joint finish. I ordered my kitchen counter, my kitchen table is on the way, the framing for my cabinets is done, my couch is done, except the cushions.
The 30×32 shower, toilet and sink are in place just not installed. I will run everything with 1/2” pex. I will have a tankless propane water heater. But no water until the spring because it is already between -5 and-12 here so I’ll wait.
A Tiny House Workshop Like No Other
Four Lights has taken Tiny House Workshops to a whole new level. Join seasoned tiny house builder and designer, Jay Shafer and construction expert, Daniel Bell in this ALL NEW tiny house workshop series.
A couple of Sundays ago, I had the chance to stop by and visit Jay Shafer’s first workshop with his new company called Four Lights Tiny House Company.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the full workshop, but the half day I did get to spend with them gave me a good idea of what the overall workshop was like.
The first thing I noticed was that Jay no longer conducts the full presentation himself. He has brought in some professional help to explain construction techniques such as Daniel Bell, a contractor and instructor who explained the details of building a tiny home. While I was there I listened to the plumbing and electrical discussion and watched the demo. The day before my visit covered constructing walls, roof, etc. Continue Reading »
Last Tuesday I had the privilege of visiting the local Healdsburg High School. Ray Holley had invited me down to see a Tumbleweed Epu being built by sixteen high school students.
A few years ago the industrial arts program at the high school was being shut down because of lack of funds. A group of business people including Ray Holley decided to step forward and not let this happen as these skills are really needed by the young people and allow them to get jobs after graduating. These business people raised enough money to continue the program and called the organziation CASA (Construction and Sustainability Academy).
The class building the Epu is the Advanced construction class of sixteen students. Their instructor Glen Schaeziein has an interesting challenge as he only has the students for five hours a week which is divided into three one hour sessions and one two hour session. They have made great progress as the construction has only been going on since early October. The plan is to have the house completed by this Spring.
Jay Shafer donated the Tumbleweed Epu plans and the class is modifying them a bit to take on the look of local structures. The class involves bringing in professional people like electricians, plumbers, and even a chef to help in the design of the kitchen. The business people advise the students and then the students go on and do the actual work. Continue Reading »
Jay Shafer contacted me recently about his new website and new houses he is introducing today. He sent me the following press release to share with you.
Jay Shafer will be unveiling what he calls his, “best tiny houses yet”, at fourlightshouses.com this Tuesday, December 11 at 9:00 am EST. Jay has resigned from his position at Tumbleweed Tiny Houses to form Four Lights Tiny House Company.
When asked why he split with the business he founded in 1999, Jay says, “For some of the same reasons I started designing, building and living in small houses in the first place – for more freedom and more manageability. The message and design philosophy I’d built my original company on had become harder and harder to maintain as the business grew from a one-man operation into what it is today.” Continue Reading »