We’ve had a lot of trials and triumphs this second month of living in the tiny home!

Some of the highlights:

  • We’ve Purchased a Powermover! 

In order to get our house into a more desirable location in the yard, it’s going to take a special piece of equipment called a powermover. It’s small enough to make sweeping turns in a tighter space than a truck could. A couple of our friends in the tiny house network in Portland have used one before and had great success. We’re hoping it’ll work out for us too but we have to wait for the ground to dry out enough so we can try it! We also plan on renting it out to other tiny home owners in need in the area. Here’s a video of our friends Tammy and Logan of RowdyKittens using one for their house:

  • What’s That Smell? Part II 

On the evening we brought the powermover home we noticed a pungent smell outside the tiny house. We smelled inside the house and it was just as strong if not stronger. At first, we worried that it might be the composting toilet, but decided no, it smells like gas. A sulfur smelling additive in propane tanks makes it so the otherwise invisible gas smells can be detected if there’s a leak. To test this, we turned off the gas at the tank itself, and sure enough within a little bit the smell was gone. We had a gas leak. Probably one of my top 3 tiny house fears. I notified the builder and thankfully, they responded quickly and came out to fix it. They mentioned the gas lines were put together during the summer when it was hot and now that the temperatures were cooler, the lines had compressed and caused the leak. They found the leak using a solution that bubbles at the trouble spot. Once they re-sealed the bad joint the leak was fixed and so far we haven’t had any other problems with the gas line. Whew!

  • Water Holding Tank 

Sigh. The water holding tank is still leaking. A fix has been attempted twice, to no avail. When the tank has more water inside, the water puts pressure on a certain joint and causes a leak. When the tank is drained the weight is relieved and there’s no leak. We’re looking into putting up a network of joists to support the tank to keep things supported better. Hopefully we can get that problem figured out soon.

  • Composting Toilet-eek!

In two months we’ve emptied the poo bin a total of three times. Well, to be honest Tomas has emptied it twice, I was only brave enough to try to learn how this last time. What a mess! This was by far the messiest “flush” and it prompted Tomas to take out the mixing bar inside (since we aren’t actually composting waste yet) and line the toilet with a plastic bag. We’re going to give that a go and see if it isn’t more pleasant next time we clean it. We still need to try out some other types of mixers, like peat moss. Still, we haven’t had any “outhouse smells” and are pretty impressed by that.

On average, we’ve emptied the urine bucket about every three days, but we noticed while we were home more over the holidays we had to empty it almost daily. That’s a lot of fertilizer for the yard! Also, adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the urine tank has done wonders for curbing the ammonia smell. Chemistry is cool.

  • Cooking and Cleaning

There have been many unexpected costs to the new home-ownership and one way we’ve started to keep the budget in check is to cook more meals in the tiny house. Last night we made chicken quesadillas…mmm…Tomas and I work really well together sharing house tasks, and cooking is no different. If one of us does most of the cooking, the other will help out with the cleaning. We have a similar ‘standard of cleaning’ which is great because we both feel more comfortable when our home is neat and tidy.

  • Water Heater is Working!

This is probably my favorite triumph so far. On Christmas day (a Christmas miracle!), Tomas took off the water pressure regulator to look at the connection. He hasn’t tested his theory yet, but there was either a piece of foam in the line preventing full water flow or the regulator itself was restricting too much pressure. Whatever it was, without the regulator on,  when we now turn on the hot water in the shower or the sink – it comes on! Like an instant hot water system should work! Before this fix, we had to turn on both the shower and the sink at full water pressure to get the system to turn on. Not convenient for showering or dish-washing. We’re both super stoked that the hot water is now working.

  • Benjito Stairs and Shelf

We still haven’t constructed a finalized outdoor cat ramp with treated wood, etc. but we’ve put up a better temporary system that Benjamin took to like a champ! He’s now going in and out on his own, using the cat door. Since it’s been so cold and rainy here in Oregon, he’s spent most of his time burrowed in the blankets on our bed, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy more time outside once the weather clears. I’m still impressed at how well my 14-year old kitty has acclimated to tiny house living. He’s super playful at the ladder and loves to explore new “cat-caves” in the closet and under the reading nook.

  • Speaking of Weather

We’ve had really bad storms this past month, tons of rain and wind, and so far the house has stood up really well. There were some wind gusts that shook the house a little, but there’s been nothing too serious. Still no snow!

  • Nesting

We’ve added a few more homey decorations, mostly in the kitchen. A spice rack, a sink drain I love (can you say that about a sink drain?), and a fruit hanging basket to name a few things. And we’ve returned a large set of tools we’d been borrowing from a friend that cleared out a bunch of room in our loft storage area. We don’t plan on filling that space any time soon. I’m really surprised how well we’ve adapted to the amount of space we have. Since it’s limited we’re very aware of what we store. We’ve been moving things around and even had an entire empty drawer in the kitchen! (We’ve since put some dry food goods in there for cooking)


  • Where Did the Bathroom Go? 

One other interesting thing we’ve noticed is that since we only have one sink, not only do we use it for kitchen duties, but we also use it as a bathroom sink. The space for bathroom “rituals”- brushing teeth, shaving, brushing hair, etc. is shared with the kitchen area and this has been an interesting realization and transition.

Cheers to all for a great new year! 

– Audrey & Tomas & Mr B