Building Smalltopia: Wool Insulation, Windows & A Construction Update

by Tammy Strobel on June 17, 2011

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, I post a Simple Living News Update that includes links to some of my favorite articles of the week. In addition to the update, I answer a reader question via video.

The question . . .

“Have you seen the trailer for the little house yet? If so, do you have photos to share?”

For those of you who can’t watch the video, here’s a summary:

We haven’t seen the trailer for the little house yet. But Katy, our friend and tiny house builder, had a sneak peek of a similar trailer built by the same manufacturer last week during a tiny house building workshop in Olympia.

Katy is going to pick up the trailer next week and write up a building bid price as well. So that means construction won’t start until after the 4th of July. I was hoping construction would start this month, but we’re flexible. Plus, Katy just got back into town and she’s catching up with a few projects.

In the meantime, we’ve been looking at insulation and windows for the little house.

Insulation. Oregon Shepherd, a company located about 40 miles Northwest of Portland, makes wool insulation and we’re thinking of going with this company. Wool insulation is awesome because it’s local, non-toxic, and a wonderful alternative to plastic/fiberglass. For more information read: Using Natural Wool Insulation.

Windows. Other than the trailer, the windows will be the most expensive part of the little house. We’ll have six windows, plus a sky light and french doors. We’ve been searching craigslist for used windows, but we haven’t had any luck yet. Its difficult to find used windows that fit our style choices, don’t have problems, and are still under warranty. So more than likely we’ll purchase new custom Jeld-Wen Windows. The type we’re looking at are double paned, double hung, have a pine paneled interior and an aluminum exterior.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing what you want to put in your home. As Barry Schwartz has shown in his book, The Paradox of Choice, when we’re faced with a plethora of options we tend to get overwhelmed, confused, and become unhappy. So we’re asking for advice from Dee and Katy and going with their recommendations. It’s a whole lot easier to be presented with two or three options instead of twenty.

Have a great weekend peeps! And don’t worry, I’ll post photos of the little house once the building process begins.

Now onto the news . . .

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

“Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports.”

TEDxConcordiaUPortland: Dee Williams – “Dream Big, Live Small”

“How much stuff does a person really need? This is a question Dee Williams has been challenging for years, and after a pivotal trip to Guatemala seven years ago, her conclusion was: not much. Dee sold her home, got rid of most of her belongings, and began limiting herself to about 300 possessions — that was everything from heels and a toothbrush, to a couple of dinner plates and a two-ton jack. She then built a tiny house on wheels, parked it in a friend’s backyard, and commenced re-defining her understanding of the basics: community well-being, gratitude, happiness and the compost toilet.”

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