The Little Fish House

"Make big plans; aim high in hope and work." — Daniel Hudson Burnham

Friday, November 22, 2019

On and On...

It's been way too long since I've written. But isn't that typical of most blogs? People get busy... I initially started compiling things here to document my build. I've done that, but I've also wanted to keep it going... for posterity? Maybe.

At any rate, "life" has been going on. I got to do an awesome road trip to St. Simons with Lauren, I got to meet Bobby Flay (squee!), Emma-Rae started kindergarten, Jessie turned one, Tyler moved into the Big House, I went to the State Fair, Tyler went on his first international trip, Lauren and I opened a new "horse" chapter and we got to carve pumpkins again! So great!

I'm still in the Big House, which—at present—is somewhat of a money pit. It's not as negative as all that, but I had to spend money on the HVAC this summer, only to have to replace the furnace this winter. I have gotten fill dirt, finally, but the gutters need cleaning, the backyard needs a lot of work, the fencing... oh, but this isn't about the Big House.

It's about the Tiny House.

The wall got fixed! The air conditioner issue hadn't gotten into the wall—the damage was all superficial, thank goodness. The mini-split still leaks, though, y'all. So, I kept the window unit and will keep it until I move the house again.

In the meantime, The Little Fish House got its nice, new fresh coat of paint and recaulking this summer! Can you believe it's been (now over) three years since I moved in?!?! So, being out in the Texas sun accelerated the need for that but, oh, does the house look great! :-)

I've spent most of the past year going out on weekends, mostly to check in, sometimes staying overnight. It's pretty much been my weekend home. LOL

I've missed actually living it so... but, I'm getting ready to move it again. I'll have just enough time to finish out the skirting and build my new doors and I'll be settling into a new place.

At least that's the current plan!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What the feck, air conditioners?

It's taken almost a week for me to get the courage to write this. I'm heartbroken, but hopeful things will be okay. First, Part I.

Part I

This latest chapter has had me staying in my big house—a 20-minute commute is better than an hour and a half. Part of that stay has been dealing with a leaking AC coil. Apparently, the 10-year-old copper coil sprung a pin-hole leak and it was time to finally get a new one. Here's the old beauty all frozen up.
While the new one was on order, the outside temps stayed below 90 degrees, luckily. However, after a couple of days of sunshine and temps in the upper 80s, I had to get a window unit. I'm planning to build a shed in the backyard which will be conditioned with this baby, so it was an investment I'd planned to make—just not this soon. Anyway, I've named her Burr. She sure kept me cozy so I could get some sleep. Yes, that is 64 degrees you see on there. My heaven.
The coil was replaced, the system was all charged up and cleaned and now the AC is running like a charm and keeping me cool. The new coil is a good one and hopefully it'll last 10-20 years! All is well with the big house.

Part II

With that out of the way, I wanted to spend some time with The Little Fish House. I've been busy "in town" with my stained glass class, working on my online store... had a business trip in early May... it all kept me from visiting my home for quite a while. And I missed my home so much!

I packed up the dogs and my bags for a long weekend and walked in to see this:
I'm so sad that this happened to my house and that I wasn't there to catch it. I cried.

Oh, and I missed these guys when I first went in the door. Like, WTF?!?!

I dealt with them, called Mark who talked me off the ledge and I got down to business.

I cleaned up the wall, aired the house out and got everything to a point where I could stay over the weekend. It was hot and muggy—temp gauge said 86 degrees and 60% humidity in the house so I went back to town (two-hour round trip) to get Burr so I'd have some AC.

I set her up in the ol' window unit post (bathroom) and positioned all of my fans to move the cold air up to my loft. It worked out pretty well! Katy really dug the coldest spot in the house. She didn't move from there for at least a couple of hours.
I kept watching the gauge and it started looking better very quickly! Temp and humidity were heading down within thirty minutes.

So, now what?

Well, I'll have to rip out the affected siding and insulation and scrub down any areas that may be moldy. I've got to reset the mini-split's drain line after I figure out why the heck it backed up into the wall in the first place. Then, re-rip the new plywood into siding planks, pickle them, put in the new insulation, attach the new planks and seal the wall all back up.

My heart sinks just thinking about it.

After talking it through with Mark, we're going to tackle the wall and a few other things that have needed to get done, like replacing my exterior doors, and some caulking and painting maintenance this coming weekend. I'm not looking forward to it—we'll be working hard in a short timeframe—but I'm anxious to see what's up with that drain line and get everything back to normal.

Meanwhile, I've been assembling all the necessary parts and materials that I'll need to rebuild what we have to rip out, as well as what I need for the other maintenance, too.

Home ownership is hard—even with the tiny ones.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Nailed it! Almost. 10 of my Top 15 design "must haves."

I revisited my original list, drawn up before I started building, and I was able to make most of them happen. I still might make the other five, but they will take time to finish building out. I also need to put up my fish collection! As is with any house—large or small—there are always projects going on!

Check out my photo gallery to see how some of these turned out.
  1.  A cozy place to lounge. I totally created that in my sweet, little nook in my "living room." After a long day, I lounge in my cozy space, equipped with cushions from Holy Lamb Organics. They are soft and very easy to clean. The rest of the pillows are some I acquired in my travels. I love to curl up there to watch a movie or eat dinner. I still need to build out shelving, a multi-functional table and pull-out bed.
  2. Stairs with storage underneath or in them, as pull-out drawers, or both. This was a fun project to figure out and build. I have a tremendous amount of storage under there, including a place for my fridge. I use the steps as additional surface area/counter space, too. I still need to add the railing. (How many times have I said that?!?!) I've entertained the thought of extending the top step, too, to provide more surface area when coming down out of the loft. I really do love them, though!
  3. Larger loft areas. I have two lofts and each fits at least a queen-sized mattress. I'm using smaller mattresses; the floor space creates a more "roomier" feel and allows for an additional lounging area.
  4. Sleeping options for guests. I have the second loft, which sleeps two. I have plans to build out my nook seating into a pull-out bed, so that will accommodate a couple more. Realistically, I'll probably use that one for myself sometimes, too. I haven't been sick in my house yet, but I wouldn't want to climb up and down the stairs when I'm sick.
  5. Lots of windows. One of my favorite features of my house. I love how much light comes in and especially how the breeze streams through when they are open. With a total of 11 (including my skylight), I think I have lots of windows. :-)
  6. A composting toilet and shower. The Nature's Head toilet I have works out really well. My friend calls it my litter box. LOL I built out the bathroom a bit larger so I have room to move around to get ready and stuff, and I built custom cabinets for more storage. My shower setup is sort of temporary. I have a vision for building it out so that it can be a wet area... I'm picturing a mosaic somewhere...
  7. Farm sink. Absolutely one of my favorite parts of my kitchen. Having the larger, deeper sink to do "kitchen" things in was a must. I bought a rack made for the model I have, which I highly recommend. It keeps stuff off the bottom of the sink, which allows me to have things in it and still run the water without worrying if those things will get wet.
  8. HVAC. I don't know why this was one of my Top 15, I mean, it's AC. But, it was critical for me to have a good one and to have it professionally installed. I'd wondered if the interior part of my mini split would bother me, but it doesn't, surprisingly. It's very quiet and does such a great job heating and cooling the place. Leveling it out is a "thing" and it will leak if you don't get it just right. An improvement would be to reroute the drip line so that doesn't happen. Another one for the project list!
  9. Butcher-block counter tops. I have so little counter space, this was actually kind of hard to find. The one I did find was a lot thicker than I'd hoped to have but it works out nicely. The height of it is even with the stove, which I like.
  10. A large area of wall for hanging family pictures.The spot for this one changed a couple times as I was building but it ended up in the perfect place. That would be the first wall you see when you enter my back door. I haven't hung them yet—another project—but I have the frames, the layout and my favorite pictures ready for framing. 
Next Up
I've been gathering photos of some of the projects I have completed and I'd like to post some "how tos" on those. It's been fun! I'd like to blog on more features in detail, too... hopefully, that happens sooner than next year! Ta!