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high desert. small house.

Days 22-23 – Painting the Splashy

[Several things to note in the featured image above – the OSB panel against the house has been our makeshift door for the past two weeks since we have had the door off to paint.  We screw it against a chunk of wood at the top and it’s pushed off from the sides of the house using a board on the bottom.  We need the ladder to secure and remove the panel so it is left out and secured with a bike lock to one of the steel i-beams.  Lastly, Trooper is acting as the Vanna White for my beautiful ditch….he’s actually chewing on a dirt clod that he retrieved from the top of our hill.]

Brian left work early so he could finish the north side caulking before I arrived to paint.  As we taped off the higher parts of the south side end cap, dark clouds began rolling in, accompanied by frequent thunder and lightning.  At one point, we tried to determine which direction the storm was moving but the only thing we could discern was that the clouds to the west were moving westward and the clouds to the east were moving eastward.  Bizarre…we were in a cloud gyre.

We taped everything off but decided not to paint in case the rain reached us.  We called it an early night around 8:00pm.  Before going home, we spent some time driving around, checking out the amazing sky.

Double rainbow as seen from Highway 180.

Double rainbow as seen from Highway 180.

Friday was a tough morning this week. The sandman overdid the sleepiness last night which was then topped off by a visit from an extraterrestrial arachnid superfreak.  Seriously, a spider the size of a crab was hanging off our balcony at 5:50am this morning.  I was leaving for work and spotted him.  By the time Brian followed 30 minutes later, he had disappeared.

2015-08-07 06.00.12

Spider with GIANT body and huge web, found outside our balcony door. Identification pending.

We had a successful painting session.  The most challenging part was painting the top.  Brian had to cut in at the very top and slowly paint down the edges until there was enough border work completed for me to start with the roller.  We have a roller extension pole which allowed me to reach 20 feet up.  It works very well but does cause some neck discomfort.  The lower parts of the house were a breeze.

We have had bogus forecasts all week – the weather statement will say no rain in the morning but then a huge storm rolls in at some point in the afternoon.  This is very normal for monsoon season so you’d expect it to be in the forecast.  In the morning, when we’re eating breakfast and discussing our plans for the day, it’s dark and we can’t see the clouds.  The forecast says sunshine and cloudy skies.  It is only when the sun rises at work that we see the dark clouds on the horizon.  They move our way over the course of the day and then release their splendor on us while we are working on the house.  I think we’re 4/5 this week for unpredicted rain storms.

Despite their tendency to destroy painting plans, the clouds are beautiful and awe-inspiring.  The rain smells great and rejuvenates the landscape.  Monsoon season is a real treat and will be greatly enjoyed and appreciated…next year.

The end cap paint is called "splashy" and is a beautiful hue of blue/turquoise.

The end cap paint is called “splashy” and is a beautiful hue of blue/turquoise.  It’s our ocean when we’re away from the ocean.

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.


  1. I have been in contact with the Houston Arched cabin folks off and on. I have a question. Does your location is such that you buy the cabin in kit form and build? does the county or city ask for any drawings or such? plumbing plan, electrical plan? this is one obstacle that keeps me from building. I tried to hire architects, but most are too busy to deal with me.

    • I think every city/county will vary in how they handle the tiny house builds. Before we gave Arched Cabin a down payment, we sent a link to their website to our (city) building inspector and asked if he foresaw any permitting issues with such an ‘alternative’ structure. We chose to have the crew build it but we could also have built it ourselves by just purchasing the kit. Our arched cabin crew said they often build without a permit in remote areas but since we went ahead and obtained one. Requirements for it were fairly standard – we had to submit the application, elevation drawings and a floor plan. We designed the images in Sketchup, a free program you can find online.

      There are inspections along the way – the inspector had to check the foundation setup before concrete was poured and inspectors have to sign off on other things as they come up – plumbing, electrical, etc.

      Depending on where you live, you may not need an architect to help you. We aren’t using one now and I think it would be unusual requirement for a single unit dwelling made with typical materials. The only contractors we have hired have been people with big machinery to handle the excavation tasks (building pad and city plumbing connections).

      In CT, Brian did all the work on our house and he wasn’t required to pass a test for electrical tasks. Here, we must either hire a licensed electrician or he has to pass a homeowner electrician exam. So every area is different. If your area is relaxed, you can do it all yourself – learn how to use a software program, make the drawings, submit the paperwork, do the work, get passed and then have a house.

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