Friday, June 21, 2013

Trade for work: one way to get quality details

We are frequently asked about some aspect of how we built the tiny house. Recently someone asked about how we found a door that fit our exact dimensions (23 ¼” x 70”), and others have asked questions about how we made our cabinets.

The short answer is that we didn’t find or make the door or cabinets. We did a trade for work deal (and we think got a great bargain for it) with a woodworker friend of ours. We traded a MIG welder and some other tools and in exchange Mike Snyder crafted our door and the cabinets for our tiny house (pictured).

Actually, Mike was instrumental in terms of guidance and assistance for many aspects of building our home. Many people were. We found that once folks realized that, yes, we were serious about building and living in a tiny house, we had many offers to help us in different way. Scott, Rick, Michael and Kerric helped us build the house, Rick towed us from our initial build space to Carol and Mike's, where we finished it, as well as from California to Seattle, WA. Rick also helped install the windows and Johnathan and Dorothy helped us do finishing work on the interior walls. There were many other folks who loaned us tools, gave us suggestions and helped out in other ways too.

Since it was four years ago that we towed the tiny house to Carol and Mike's I decided to email them and find out what Mike has been up to. The clock and table below are examples of his recent work, and you can find more here.

It's gratifying to see him do what he loves doing. Indeed, part of the motivation for us building and living in a tiny house has been to follow our dreams. We couldn't have done that as easily if we'd been locked into house payments or paying to rent an apartment big enough to hold all the stuff we'd been dragging from place to place. 

After living in the tiny house for nearly four years, we feel that having a aesthetically pleasing space to come home to has made living in tiny house a gratifying experience. We see our friends in the cabinets, the windows and the finish work. Our home is our cozy cabin in the Winter, our breezy cottage in the summer and our retreat from the stresses of day to day work.