Sunday, September 25, 2022

Tiny House Building: The framework Part 1

My trailer made it to Gotland on the 5th of March.

I got my first delivery of wood on the 15th and started building on the 16th.

By "started building" I mean one of the capenters I shared the space I rented with showed me how to use the miter saw I borrowed. I got emotional support from a friend on the 21st when I put the first screw in. Looking back now I smile when I think about how nervous I was, how I measured everything twice before doing anything.

Fast-forward 6 months and I'm a lot less nervous about a few millimeters here or there. One carpenter told me that "builders don't measure in millimeters".

I recommend you to remember that ;)

The result is that nothing in my Tiny House ended up being perfectly aligned. One wall is a little longer than the other, the rafters aren't perfect copies of one another either.

But the house is standing. And isn't that what counts?

The floor frame done & attached to the trailer.
 One wall ready.

Deciding on how high my little bathroom window should sit. 
Probably not the way professionals do this.

left: testing how/if the loft window fits.
right: my drawing of what I call the front of the house where you see both roofs. Will probably frame it one day. 

A lot of people tried to convince me not to try and connect two different roofs, and stick to one.
I found a gambrel roof calculator online & the right person to give me a pep-talk & eventually found the confidence to go for it.

Left: Your best friends. Buy extra pencils early on to save you a lot of time searching. Those clamps come in handy literally every step of the way. 
Right: Google everything. I had to google how to use my newly purchased circular saw because the only advice the guy at the store gave me was "watch your fingers!"

(good advice though. Do watch your fingers.)

Which brings me to: Safety first folks!
I recommend you to get a few extra safety ear muffs for friendly helpers. 

The trailer with all the walls and extra parts strapped in & all ready to be moved out of the garage & to the farm! (16th of May 2022 - 2 months into the build)

Dimensions of the wood used for the walls: 95x45.
for the rafters: 120x45
I have a 120x45 running along the entire length of the two long sides to carry the weight of the rafters & protect the windows below. 
I'll have 95mm of wood fiber insulation in the walls + an extra 25mm as part of the cladding in the form of Hunton Windproof panels - a super exciting product that I wouldn't have known existed were it not for my amazing building consultants at Österby Brädgård.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Gotland Greens

Ramslök - Bear's garlic - Wild garlic - Ramsons.

As the Swedes say. A loved child has many names. 

Meet the first harvestable greens of the season!

Perfect in soups, omelets, in stir fries, risotto, quiches, and of course, PESTO.

Here's the adjust-as-you-go recipe I used to make mine:

  • 200g wild garlic*
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 1-1,5dl olive oil (depending on the consistency you choose)
  • salt & pepper
Start by shredding the leaves in a blender/food processor and adding small amounts of sunflower seeds until you have a smooth enough mixture. Add in most of the oil and some salt and pepper and blend some more. 
Taste, add more of whatever you find is missing until your pesto hits the spot. 

Spoon everything into a clean jar, making sure you don't trap any air in while doing so. Top with a generous splash of olive oil to seal, put a lid on it, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Use it in pasta, drizzled onto salads, or as a spread on bread! 

As ramson is high in vitamin C and lots of different minerals, you've just made yourself a fragrant spring tonic to boost the immune system, in pesto form!

Pro tip: any leftover wild garlic can be turned into the most delicious herb butter. 

*can be made with basil too, just add in some garlic in that case. 

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Tiny House Planning: Trailer Considerations


The start. March 16th 2022.

A tired but proud face of a Tiny House builder.

The start of the Sub-floor frame. 

Essentials for any project.

To all Tiny House Dreamers and Planners:
This is a blogpost I wish I'd read before I ordered my trailer.
I'm happy to report I found solutions for all the problems I came across, and they came with a boost of self-esteem and trust in my problem solving abilities, but I figured that doesn't mean I shouldn't try save you some headaches. :)

A good house needs a solid foundation.
That's why I decided not to skimp on the trailer of my house. Or so I thought.

Based on the recommendations of another Tiny House builder I contacted a Swedish company called Tuna Trailer and ordered a custom made trailer: 8,4m long & 2,6m wide.

I was planning on building the frame for the floor with planks that are 120x45.

This plan had to be reviewed when the trailer arrived to the island and I discovered that there was no support for the sub-floor frame all across the length of the trailer. Both at the font and the back ot it, the frame has to span just under 2,6m.
I could have contacted a local blacksmith to weld extra support in place but I didn't want to delay my build, so instead I changed my order for 45x120s to 45x145s (class 24) - which to my sadness had to be transported here from the mainland, instead of the original plan to build with 100% gotlandic wood.
It also meant I lost 2 cm of ceiling height and that I had to make the house wider so that the transverse planks are supported by the outer frame and not just “hang by the screws”.
This of course, could have been avoided had I been a little more prepared, (maybe stumbled across a blogpost on the issue?) and had decided on how the trailer had to be for my drawing to work.

I guess I just assumed a Tiny House trailer builder would build a perfect trailer, which of course was a little naive, but part of me still thinks the company in question could have asked a few more questions. After all, this wasn’t the first time they built a tiny house trailer, and they knew I was a first time builder ...

Anyhow, it did teach me a few helpful lessons:

- Do not expect others to take responsibility for your project.
- Do not expect others’ advice to take into account all the variables only you know about.
- This is your project. Don’t leave anything to chance.

So before you order your trailer (or wood, in my case):

1. Check what dimensions the planks need to be in relation to the distance they need to span without support from underneath.

2. Decide how you want to attach your house to the trailer. If you get a custom made trailer, holes can be drilled beforehand and extra mounts can be welded onto it there and then, saving you a whole lot of time (and probably money) later on. 

My trailer is built to be able to carry 7,7 ton.
It’ll be pulled by a tractor at 30km/h according to Swedish traffic regulations.

If you’re planning a tractor trailer as well, do consider that not all tractors have their towbar at the same height, so the height the trailer constructor chooses might not be the right height for you.

My trailer got 6 tires in total which means it stands level when the weight on top is evenly divided.

However, I once came across a Tiny House builder whose trailer started “drooping” at the back end because of the weight of the house. I bought jack stands to prevent this, but I wish I thought to ask for my trailer to come with foldable “legs” of some sort.


My brain is strong but it can't prevent all mistakes or take into account all necessary considerations at all times.
Luckily there are solutions to most issues. 

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have upon reading this blogpost. Just drop me a comment, or find me on Instagram (@ainadventures)



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

How to start Tiny House Planning


Detail at Överjärva Byggnadsvård ABWindows at Överjärva Byggnadsvård AB

Nacka Byggnadsvårdme in the building outfit I'll gift myself when I get started

home made cinnamon buns

Where to start when you want to build a house?

I couldn't tell you. But I swear it helps to have a steady supply of home made cinnamon buns. And to have a cute tiny house building outfit planned out.

Jokes aside, I started by dreaming about it (back in 2014), reading about it, saving money, visiting builders, visiting people who live in their own tiny house, staying the night in one, getting inspiration from houses I like, and then gradually taking steps towards more practical matters:

Drawing & collecting second hand building materials. I wish I could have started with the latter sooner but I had to move back to Sweden first before that was in any way practical.

As reinventing the wheel isn't an effective use of my energy I decided I'd copy many of the measurements of a civil engineer who also built her own tiny house and was so kind to document it all on her blog.

 What will be different in my Tiny is the roof, and the fact that I'll have a loft, so I'll have to figure those bits out on my own (quite possibly by googling more blogs). 

At present my drawings are still incomplete but now that I have found the second hand windows for the bathroom and the living room (and know the measurements of the doors) I will finalise those soon.

For someone like me, deadlines are crucial, so telling everybody that I'd start building on the 1st of March has been very helpful. So has talking about it, to be honest, because it's a great way to hold yourself accountable & stick to your dreams. 

(Here's to hoping your friends can handle all the tiny house talk! 🤞)

My favourite house in my neighbourhoodA tiny house on Gotland

My local hardware storeCat in the snow. On one of our many walks.

An other advantage of talking about your tiny house plans to anyone who will listen is that many people know people who might be able to give you some advice. I would have missed out on so many gold nuggets had I kept my plans to myself.

What is harder is to stop changing your mind on things.

At one point I'll just have to decide on a plan and stick with it.

If you're curious, you can follow my journey on Instagram and Facebook