Today I received a VERY promising comment here, at my blog, that I think is very important and worth sharing.

It is posted below, and I would invite you all to share your thoughts.   ((( PLEASE NOTE: I have edited to protect the identity of the writer.)  Hopefully we can all work on this together to make another aspect of tiny house living easier for ourselves and those who come after us.  (UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE!!!  NONE OF US SHOULD DO THIS SOLO!  IF AN APPLICATION IS DENIED BY THE MINISTRY, NO ONE CAN PUT IN ANOTHER SUBMISSION ON THIS TOPIC FOR FIVE YEARS!!!!)

A place to go!

A place to go!

Thank you for this information. I am passionate about clean water and finding ways to produce less black water. I feel that composting toilets need to be the way of the future. However it is obvious that lawmakers still have no understanding of the potential of composting toilets for improvements in water quality given that there is still a requirement for all dwellings to hook up to sewage infrastructure. However, there is a law in Ontario called the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), overseen by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)  *****************, which gives residents greater access to environmental decision-making. One of the tools in the EBR is an Application for Review with which it is possible to ask for a review of a current law or to request a new one. It is quite a powerful tool and one that could be used in many ways. One of the options that potentially exists for tiny-housers would be to file an Application for Review asking the government for a Policy or Regulation on composting toilets. This could be a very important undertaking for a variety of reasons including the fact that currently the Province does not have adequate ways to deal with the ‘septage’ pumped out of septic tanks and which essentially in the case of these garden suites, people are being asked to use. If someone else was passionate about this issue and of removing barriers to tiny living, accessing the information about Rights under the EBR on the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s website and perhaps reading what the ECO has said about septage in the past.

Signed *********


Here is the link to rights

Has anyone found andy info on the sites about septage???

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 13 Comments

Video Tour 2015

THO with the risers to support the stone patio.

THO with the risers to support the stone patio.

Finally at long last I have made a video tour of Tiny House Ontario.  I did this on my cell phone so it is wiggly and may give you a little motion sickness… but none the less it will give you a much clearer picture of how the house is laid out than photos have.

I did this on August 10th in the oppressive heat and humidity.  You will notice a couple of things that I did not explain so well.  One is that I have left the tarp up on the south east side of the cloth porch.  This is because it keeps the kitchen dry so I can work there easily even when it is raining.

You will see that the stone risers are now completed so that the East part of the stone patio will no longer slide.

You will also see why I should really have a shed there.  My motorcycle, ladder, wheelbarrow extra lumber and propane cylinders would make me happier if I could tuck them away when not in use.  You will notice that near the motorcycle on the east side of the house there is a tarped area.  This is covering lumber which is for a small shed.

You will also be introduced to the dogs <3

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

Mushrooms, cloth porch and wood stove

In eight days I am heading to THO again.  I am hoping that the heat that we are now experiencing will have subsided somewhat.  The time has come to get the mushroom spores inserted into the logs that are the correct point of curing.  I will write a full blog post about the mushrooms soon!

Waiting for the spores

Waiting for the spores

It is hard to see here, but I also have to replace the front panel on the cloth porch.  It has several tears in it so sitting in the porch makes you a perfect mosquito buffet.  The porch feels more open now because I re-homed the big metal chairs after I plucked these two tiny chairs from a dumpster.  Sadly the wicker chair broke through – but I had picked that up from the side of the road about ten years ago, so it did not owe me a thing.  Now the plastic footstool from inside has taken the place of that, so we have three seating spots still.  Even though these changes will be happening, or have happened… I think, it is time to do some work on the cloth porch.  So it is likely that there will be more changes there this year as well.

I really have to get the wood stove in!  Not just so that visiting there in the cold weather is more comfortable either!  I am sick of it being in my porch!!!  I don’t want to start this job during a heat wave though… not just because working in the heat is miserable but because it is not ideal for drying mortar when it is so hot… Late August or early September, maybe???

Cloth porch

The ever so humble, and practical cloth porch. It needs some work!

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Birds – The Cost of Power – An Update

Birds built their nest on top of the solar heater.  I was unable to get a good photo because I did not get close; too, they left the day I arrived.   I never saw their parents so I am not sure what kind of babies they are.  Anyone recognize them?

Rub a dub dub

Rub a dub dub

On the topic of solar, you know, In 2012 I splurged for on the items that I wanted to have a working 12 volt solar system in Tiny House Ontario.  It cost me roughly $1200 dollars (for the battery, inverter, wire, lights, switches, outlet, boxes, charge controller, panels and stand and any other little things that popped up).

You can see more about that install here.

I am very happy with the system even though it is not a 100% ideal match for my needs.

The fact is, I can’t knock it!  I am in the fourth calendar year of use and so far, every time I turn on the lights they work.  I have never once lost electricity even when I accidentally left the lights on for a few days and left town.  In these last years, I have had two troubles with the system.  The first being my own error.  I have zero skills and knowledge about electricity, and only after I had everything installed did I find out that that the inverter is no good for charging the batteries for my power tools.  It is too small and because of this, when you try to make it work the fuse in the inverter blows.  The second trouble I had was with a broken solar panel last winter.  I still have NO idea how this happened, because I had many 20-30 pound rocks holding it to the ground and they simply vanished.  Because of this, the system fell and one panel got cracked – but still, it seems to be working.

Despite these troubles, I have never put any money into it.  And the fact is that adding a new year to the mix means that the cost for electricity just dropped to $300 a year (That is $25 a month including power and fixtures).

Though I can’t knock it, I have been considering a couple of small additions.  I would like to add an additional light and outlet, so I will need to purchase the wire and the light to make this happen (I already have the second outlet that I just never got around to installing.  The outlet would go in upstairs so that I can plug in my vacuum and cell phone there.  The light, I would like to have at the bottom of the stairs and work from switches at the bottom and top of the stairs, so that I could turn it on to go up and down.  I would also like to get something together so that I could charge my cordless tools – but I really can’t figure out how to do this with my current system.  I wondered if this little set would work?

Because, Makita.  $200 set with 12 volt charger

Because, Makita. $200 set with 12 volt charger

Well the charger anyway.   Most importantly, is it compatible with mine?  I learned a while back that these sets are not all equal and they are not all compatible either.  I wish I could find the card of the Makita rep for Ontario.  I would call him and ask about it.

Anyway, the light, switches and wire together will be less than $50, I am guessing.  So if I decide to install this, it will bump up my overall electric costs, but I think it will make the house a tiny bit safer.

Until then, The lights are still working!

Not too much light pollution - until I turn on the yard light to bring the dogs out.  I need this out there to keep them safe from wildlife.

Not too much light pollution – until I turn on the yard light to bring the dogs out. I need this out there to keep them safe from wildlife.

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 8 Comments

THO Interior: Finally Getting Some Love!

Over the last two winters I have had a HUGE mouse problem at THO.  They got into the whole house in the winter of 2013-14 and in 2014-15 they got into the in-house.  So, I gutted the bathroom.  I layer down two layers of aluminium flashing then 1 inch thick plywood and covered this with plastic laminate.  I removed the running (rain) water, too, for now and put in a plastic waste bucket like this.   I have to say that this is a terrible system.  The plastic is of the cheapest quality and it absorbs smell… so I will have to do something better soon.

This is the shits - literally

This is the shits – literally

I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom in construction and also as it is now, but (in my defence) it is basically an empty room with one of these ugly and terrible toilets in it, so it is not much to look at. I also finally decided on a subfloor system, so I removed everything from the house.  I levelled up the concrete with some floor levelling cement let this dry for a week and then I put in a layer of thick builders plastic and installed an Amdry Insulated Subfloor on top of the poured concrete and plastic.  Here is a video about the subfloor system that I chose. https://youtu.be/WvpmsTVYR2I Due to the fact that I have not yet decided on a flooring, I simply put the 6×8 bamboo carpet back down. Since the furniture all went out, I decided that this was the ideal time to purge the furniture that I had pulled off the curb about 10 years ago and build the sectional system that I have been planning on.  This system is one that I put an awful lot of thought into.  I wanted a very comfortable sofa, a place to eat, storage, fabric that would wear well and also not take stains or allow dog hair to stick to it and I also wanted to have a very comfortable place to sleep on the main level because of the dogs. What you are about to see took several years of planning.  I hope you like the design.

This sofa has a full sized seat which goes on behind the removable back to make extra room to sleep on.

This sofa has a full sized seat which goes on behind the removable back to make extra room to sleep on.

The sectional with one of the pieces across the room.

The sectional with one of the pieces across the room.

Footstools become a comfy sofa bench for three

Footstools become a comfy sofa bench for three

A booth style table

A booth style table – the cost for building this sofa was roughly $500.  

Now I can have overnight guests

Now I can have overnight guests

The full sectional

Here is the storage space inside the footstool.

Here is the storage space inside the footstool.

As you can see it is a nice cozy place to curl up! SPECIAL THANKS going out to the five beautiful models who showed the comfort of the sofa to those who read!  <3

Minnie always does this gopher thing.  Cute isn't she?

Minnie always does this gopher thing. Cute isn’t she?

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 17 Comments

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