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high desert. small house.

Days 362-365: Start of Trim and Plumbing

Sunday, 7/10
With the inspector about to retire, we know we need to get the plumbing and electric wrapped up, schedule those inspections and then call in the local guy for our final.  The problem, though, is that some of the finish work (the tasks that could really wait until we were living there) should be completed prior to some of the plumbing and electrical tasks.  For example, the trim near the kitchen counter – it isn’t required for our inspections, but if we don’t do it now, it’ll be made inaccessible once the counter is in place.  Same with the floor trim in the bathroom.

We had gone to the hardware store on Saturday, picked out trim, priced checked it against the neighbor store, went back to store #1, purchased the trim and taken it home.  Once again, because the main hardware store is closed on Sunday, you really have to think ahead on Saturday.

After a nice, long, hot morning hike up our property to do a perimeter check, we got to work.  The paint store wasn’t open until noon, so we spent the morning caulking the joint between the floor and the walls (Brian) and stuffing butyl rubber around the outlet boxes (Chelsea).

Hike on the hill.

Hike on the hill.

View of our fence line.

View of our southeast fence line.  Can you spot Trooper?

Neat rock "growth"

Neat rock crystal growth.

A plant covered in bugs (near our apartment). Each of those red things is a flying bug.

A plant covered in bugs (near our apartment). Each of those reddish things is a flying bug.

We took a break for lunch and to purchase paint.  We are sticking with ‘Heron Plume’, the color we used for the exterior trim.  Next up, I primed the trim while Brian continued with the floor seams.  While it was drying, I moved stuff around in the house, worked on more outlet boxes and fiddle-faddled around in the cholla garden.

We recently learned that coffee grounds can be used for more purposes besides adding to a compost pile.  We generate A LOT of coffee grounds and for the past year we have been dumping them in a mega compost pile up on the hill.  Considering we don’t add anything else to the pile, or turn it around, we are not sure if it’s doing too much.

One of the other uses for coffee grounds is to aid in water retention near plants.  Thus, instead of hauling our recent bags of grounds up the hill, I had them staged near the cholla garden for some use down there.  We decided to dump them around the small trees that could use some help and to eventually use them to build a vegetable garden.  We will need to add carbon rich material in a 1:4 ratio for optimal compost but that has to wait until we are living there.

When my primer timer went off, I went back inside to paint.  With the day being soooooo hot, it was drying quickly and required 100% focus to get it applied nicely before the brush became tacky.  With that done, I went back to fixture boxes.  I think there are two outlet boxes I didn’t get to because they had box extenders in them and I didn’t want to deal with them; as well as one light box.  What a productive Sunday!

Messy work in progress

Messy air-sealing work in progress on the endcap/floor seam.

All done!

Caulking all done on the final arch wall!

Trim painted and drying

Trim painted and drying. (Sydney, once again, photobombed this shot.)

Butyl rubber around a sconce box.

Butyl rubber around a sconce box.

Monday, 7/11
It’s hard to believe it is Monday again.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

While purchasing ice this morning for work, I had to wait behind a gentleman filling up his cooler.  I wasn’t sure if he was done so I asked – he replied with “No English”.  Miraculously, I switched into Spanish, repeated my question, he responded in Spanish, I understood, we wished each other a good day and I went on my merry way.

That was an incredibly exciting moment for me – I don’t really speak Spanish but I guess my fragmented sentences, bad conjugation and somewhat accurate pronunciation was sufficient to communicate.  How empowering!  I purchased our ice with a proud set to my shoulders and a smile on my face, forgetting momentarily that I hadn’t slept well the night before (due to the humid heat and the never-ending supply of Trooper toxic-waste-farts) and had yet to have any coffee.  Two minutes later, back on the road to work, I had to once again work to keep my eyes open and focused.  Oh well, a brief enthusiastic moment is better than none at all.

Brian went on a shopping tour to find some trim screws.  At the house, he fitted and attached the trim in the soon-to-be-made-less-accessible areas.  When I arrived, he was removing it because he had decided to add butyl rubber behind the screw holes for better air sealing.


Bathroom trim fitting.

Kitchen arched wall

Kitchen arched wall trim in place.

Fire in the Gila

Fire in the Gila. Ravens or vultures in the sky.

Tuesday, 7/12
Today was a great day!  The fire, which was supposedly caused by lightning, was contained.  And we made great progress on the house.

When I arrived, Brian was in the midst of settling the toilet base, carefully positioning the wax ring so it would seat properly.  With the base in place, he attached the tank and hooked up the water line.

And after all that, guess what?!?!  The toilet worked!  It flushed perfectly.  In fact, it rushes out like an airplane toilet.  It’s amazing.  We have a toilet!

We positioned the vanity in place and put the faucet into its vanity holes.  We called it a night once we found out our p-trap wasn’t tall enough to reach the Delta tailpiece.  Coming along!

2016-07-12 17.54.32

Wax ring

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We had an empty screw box at the ready in case the water acted unpredictably when Brian opened the valve. No issues though.

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The toilet bowl had collected plenty of sawdust and insulation bits prior to being installed in the bathroom. Here you can see the water coming in – the toilet works!

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This is where we stopped for the night – the toilet basically done and the vanity in place but plumbing still to be finished.

Wednesday, 7/13
Brian made progress with the bathroom sink but we were still missing a component.  He also caulked around the base of the toilet, installed the bathroom toilet seat and attached the cutoff switch in the kitchen for the water heater.

When I arrived, we cleared and cleaned so that the kitchen counter-top was once again accessible.  We took the cabinets out of their boxes, moved them into place and put the counter-top in its approximate destination.

2016-07-13 15.57.59

Tailpiece extension installed.

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Caulk around the base and toilet seat in place.

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Outdoor rated 60 amp cutoff switch for the 48 amp under-sink water heater.  Wrassling the 6AWG copper into the screw clamps was tricky, but not as tricky as it would be with the counter in place.

2016-07-13 19.03.13

Cabinets against the plumbing wall and countertop atop them. We plan to leave the 1 foot overhang on the end so it can provide extra counter space and also house a centrally located garbage. Still to be done – Cut a few holes in the back of the cabinets for access to a water shutoff valve and cut the hole in the countertop for the kitchen sink.  The featured image at the top includes the fridge in its proper orientation.

2016-07-13 19.12.04

View from the entrance. It would indeed look nice and have a more open feeling if there were no fridge. But life without food is no fun….so the fridge stays. And besides, this is a tiny house, so we can step outside for access to open feelings.

One Comment

  1. So close. Nice job guys!

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