I don't even know how to start this. JUMPING AROUND AND SQUEALING LIKE AN EXCITED PENGUIN DOESN'T WORK WELL IN TEXT!
After the Great BarnBoard Disappointment, I vowed not to drive far away for any possible free materials again. And then I learned that (Janet's roommate) Logan latest work assignment was helping gut a business in New Glarus, and that we could save the contracting company hundreds and hundreds of dollars by taking away BRAND NEW 2x4s plus a whole wall of lovely old barn boards. Logan talked with everyone he needed to and got everything 100% okay-ed (I was still so nervous to get excited!)
This past friday, my ever-super-hero dad took the day off of work to drive his NEW fancy SUV (ei: nobody but him is driving it) + the horse trailer to give me and Janet a hand in collecting the materials.
First, we stopped in Mount Horeb so I could pick up a big roll of EPDM rubber roofing that I found on craigslist. The owner had bought it to re-do his back porch roof, but didn't end up needing it after all and didn't get around to returning it. It's more than enough to cover my whole tiny house and was only $100! With rubber roofing, that let's me raise one of my walls//lower the pitch of my roof. I won't have a totally flat roof: the back wall will still be 9' tall and now the front wall will be raised to 8.5'! (I'll make a blog post soon about the retractable ceiling bed and why that's such a big deal).
After Mount Horeb, it was on to New Glarus! Logan had a space for us to park the trailer just outside the front door (Thanks Logan!). Why was I getting a bunch of BRAND NEW 2x4s? The previous business owners had started framing interior walls on the second floor, but went out of business before they could finish. There was no sheathing on the 2x4s, they were just all loosely nailed together. They're not as tall as a standard stud, but I can definitely make them work. BECAUSE I GOT AROUND 50 OF THEM! And they were all destined for the landfill.
I also got around 30 gorgeous tongue (but no groove???) barn boards that will be just PERFECT for the floor <3 We also loaded up a lot of really pretty trim (including gorgeous rounded//super shaped trim to go over the front door and the windows), a perfect-sized kitchen sink (better than the double-welled one I was going to try and cut in half), a front door knob + lock, and some really nice shelving.
By the time we finished loading everything into the horse trailer, we were getting hungry. We were in New Glarus, after all, and wanted to eat somewhere fun! My dad, Janet and I ended up at Kristi's -- it was equal parts adorable, charming and delicious :-D My dad and I both had portabella burgers and Janet got chili in a bread bowl. I spent half my time gawking at all the fun oil pantings hanging everywhere. The bistro must have been a sprawling, decadent house in a previous lifetime. I guess the theme of our day was upcycling ;-) We rolled ourselves out and set back for the long drive back to Platteville.
Logan ended up getting the rest of the afternoon off from work, and met us at my place when we got back to town to help us unload. THANKS LOGAN! I can't say it all enough :-D The four of us got the trailer unloaded in pretty good time, and then my dad was off on other errands and home before Sabbath. Oh yeah! We got my sister an interior cork door too.
Everything is sitting on the floor of my garage right now (the part of it that always stays dry), and on Thursday (that's tomorrow!) Janet will help me put up more shelving brackets so we can get it all off the floor.
I'm going to borrow my dad's sawzall soon so I can break down all the pallets that I are cluttering up the middle of my garage (I want to plane them down so we can use it for interior siding! But that's another post).
I just can't wait to get everything all tucked away where it needs to go. And then I'm going to do a video tour for all of you! Because I'm pretty sure you'd be surprised by all the materials I've gathered so far :-) And tidy workshops just look fantastic.
Good things are happening, and they are happening fast :-) If you would have asked me a couple weeks, ago, though, and I would have had a different story for you.
Remember those old boards I was going to pull off of barn? With weeks to plan: I gathered a crew of friends together, borrowed my folks horse trailer + SUV, then drove an hour through winding Driftless country. A cute, old barn lay nestled in a hillside, and we were allowed to pull off barn boards around back. We pulled off giant doors and worked together to walk them down the hill to set against the trailer. We started yanking out old rusty nails and planning which boards to circular saw in half later to save from water damage. It was exciting!
Until a neighbor walked down the hill and told us to put everything back. I thought he said his name was Bryan, but later I learned it's something else. (I can't remember his name now, so I'll just keep calling him Bryan.) Apparently, the barn and super sweet owner (Tracy) live on community property. Bryan, a community member, let us know that not everyone who lived there had been informed. And more importantly? They might want to sell the whole barn to a contractor someday in the future.
We were disappointed (understatement). I had to keep reminding myself I am not entitled to this barn wood, I am not entitled to this barn wood. So we hauled everything back, and headed home to Platteville after filling the gas tank back up.
When we got home, Tracy texted us and apologized for everything that went down and said she hadn't thought about insurance and liability issues. Apparently, that's what Bryan talked to her about (but didn't know how to bring it up with us). In the end, I don't blame either of them. For years, Tracy had been told that the barn was her dilemma to deal with, and yet community living is a delicate process that requires lots of communication to work. Miscommunication is crazy easy, especially when you are juggling a whole lot of life.
So moral of the story? It's not my barn! It was just a missed opportunity that made me come up with alternative plans for my flooring, exterior & interior siding, and ceiling. If this is the worst thing to happen during our tiny house adventure, I'm so okay with that.
So enough of the aww :-( and more with AWWW!!! :-)
First off, Janet is the best <3 I'm so glad she's on this journey with me! Plus she's just so good lookin' using power tools :-D We used 10x14" shelf brackets to create lumber racks in my garage (inspired by this Ugly Duckling House blog post). Lots of leveling, drilling, and putting in screws. We fastened the couple with nails which was silly because: 1) HOLY LOUD GOOD OUCHIE GARAGE ACOUSTICS, 2) took longer, and 3) wouldn't be as easy to take with me next time I move. Plus power tools are super fun! Getting the shelving brackets up felt wonderful.
My dad drove my trailer full of previously reclaimed lumber (throughout the years!) to my garage. And holy cow, he's got mad trailer skills. I'm so thankful for him and can't wait till I can back up a trailer into equally tricky places!
My roommate Olive plus my friends Nate & Billy helped me unload half of the lumber before I had to jet out for work the next day. But then it rained and some of the water worked it's way past the tarp I put up. Uh oh! If there's anything I've been learning -- BE WARY OF WATER! (I lost some lumber earlier this summer to mold when my garage floor flooded a bit and I didn't have all my first load put away yet.)
What to do with so much damp lumber? Janet helped me lay it all out in the sunshine for about a day and a half, which really helped. We got it all put away on the long wall of storage and IT WAS SO EXCITING!!!! Almost everything now (besides a stack of pine logs I need to learn about milling + a sheet of drywall) is transferred over from my folks barn, ready to be inventoried and dreamt about. Check it out!
So I'm actually going to do this blog update in two posts, cuz it's just so long. And what if you're only interested in the next part? BECAUSE IT IS THE MOST EXCITING!!!!
I believe you become a healthier person
-- mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually --
the moment you start living the way you believe you should,
whatever that may be." - Mark Boyle