Our tiny house on wheels was in place. The next step was to take away its wobble.
Because there it was, standing only on its wheels, and if you moved around in it, you’d feel a movement not unlike an earthquake.
So it needed to be steadied with jacks at key points. This we did with the help of Bill and Wendy of the family building company that created the Mustard Yellow House, Three Mile Bush Building Co.
Actually, Bill did all the work and we watched, listening to his explanations and taking photos to record which order things were done in.
He placed the jacks — I think there were four of them — symmetrically, wound them up a bit and used spirit levels to make sure the house floor would be flat.
Then he set up the support frame for the popout and, with my help, pulled that heavy popout into place and fixed it there. The popout hugely increases our living space indoors so is a real plus.
Here’s how the house then looked:
I hear you ask, “Does it still wobble at all?” The answer is a cautious, defensive “yes” — when we’re both in the house and one of us steps down from the kitchen or off the ladder or thumps into the bathroom, the other feels it.
It’s like one of those intensity-3 earthquakes that Wellington has all the time: nothing will spill, or fall off a shelf. I suppose this movement is inevitable, given that this house isn’t concreted to the ground while weighing a thousand tons, like your average terrestrial house.
We Start To Move In
On Saturday we rented a small removal truck and transferred a heap of boxes and clothing bags from our storage lockup to the house. We’ve spent hours unpacking and have the kitchen and bathroom pretty well set up, still with a bit of storage space available.
To my joy, my beloved sturdy wooden chair fits well and doesn’t get in the way of anything. I’ve treasured this chair for years and it is the ONLY piece of furniture, aside from the bed frame and a storage box, that we’re importing from our previous lives in preposterously roomy land-based houses.
Here’s my chair, and the dining table-cum-desk.
Another big step was the making up of our king-sized futon bed. Tom managed it in the tight space of the loft.
No continuous power yet, and no fridge, but actually we could move in now and live there.
Some other milestones:
- We have used the woodburner. It works great. The firewood has to be no more than about 25cm long.
- Water is connected. The Makahuri owners have extended their local water system to us by way of a long hose.
- Gas bottles are in place waiting to be hooked up to give us hot water and the oven.
- Tom and I ate our first meal in the house — deli food heated in the Sunflair oven that Tom bought. We plan to use this oven as much as possible — I’ve already experimented successfully with hard-boiled eggs and less successfully with cauliflower cheese. Practice needed.
- Tom found us a little solar battery/recharger with a panel about as big as a book (you can see it on the dining table in the picture above). It charged my iPhone in almost the same time it takes via the mains. We can also run little LED lights.
Next time: A Key Question I’ve Been Putting Off Answering: Why On Earth Are We Doing This?