1) I got some pressure treated wood and "leveled" the top of the trailer(where the house will sit).
2) The brakes I ordered came in and dad put them on for me.
3) We rewired the trailer together.
4) I got the first few pallets and started breaking them down. I even planed down a few pieces of wood to see what they'd look like finished.
5) I found new ways to save money on a couple small projects and now my budget is right back where it should be.
6) I've decided I will NOT be using solar power in my electrical system once I wire the house.
And now here is some more details and pictures:
1) In the picture below you can see that these four cross beams are set slightly below the top of the trailer so they're not flush. This makes building on top of them very difficult, so I got some pressure treated lumber, cut it to fit, and bolted it to the beams. Now everything is flush and it gives me support and something that's much easier to drive screws into than metal. It was a nice little weekend project.
3) Next dad and I rewired the trailer together. All the wires were old and broken so we went to Ace and got some new ones. It was a really easy and quick job. All we did was plan where the marker lights and taillights would go once we got them and ran the wire to those areas, as well as hooking up the brakes. It wasn't much but it's something that desperately needed to get checked off the "to do" list.
4) A couple weeks ago on a Saturday John helped me go to NAPA and pick up some old pallets they had sitting in back so I could start the long process of tearing them apart, planing them down, squaring them up and laying them down as flooring once my house is ready. Long story short I'm VERY excited about this project because the few pieces of sample wood came out better than I ever imagined. I've worked on enough pallets now to kind of have a system about how to tear them apart the most efficiently. At first I was dedicated and told myself I was going to pull out every nail and salvage as much board feet of wood as possible, but after the first pallet, that changed. I now cut certain parts of it so I only have to pull out about 1/3 of the nails I would have to otherwise.
5) Today between classes I came up with two small projects I could do to save money and get my budget back on track. Previously I was about $160 over and now I'm only $4.75 over. To keep it brief I decided to DIY my pocket door(between the kitchen and bathroom) and hardware, saving me $100 and changed my materials for a custom shower rod, saving me about $50. Because these projects won't be happening for another year or so I'll keep them under wraps until I actually do them and save you guys reading about them twice. I also decided to resize one of the windows in the loft. Previously it was 2'x2', because I love light and if anything ever went wrong in the house(fire), I'd have a place to crawl out of safely. When I reexamined that whole set up a couple days ago I realized that window is huge and is really eating into my storage space up there, so I changed it to 16"x16", which is still large enough for me to get out of comfortably(I'm a small lady.) I'm anticipating this will also save me some money, but I don't have a quote for the new window yet.
6) For a long time now I've been secretly stressed out about the electrical system in the house and this week I finally made the decision to NOT to wire the house for an eventual transfer to solar power. From other stories that I've heard, Tinyhousers are only paying $5-$10 a month for their electricity and installing a solar system would cost at least $1,000. This means I'd take me at least 8.3 years to pay off my investment and I honestly don't think I'll be in my house for 8.3 years. Along with the costs for the solar equipment, I'd for sure have to hire an electrician to design the system. If I left the house on the grid, my dad and I could easily manage the wiring and system ourselves without having to hire any outside help. So, on gird living it is.
Next on the list is more pallets, getting new tires for the trailer, getting it registered, ordering a water tank, and then I can finally start on the flashing and framing the floor! As soon as I finish that, I'll have to wait for summer so I can pull it outside and REALLY start building.