28 January 2010

I'd like to move to Santa Rosa.


I'd like to move to Santa Rosa for the months of February, March, April, and perhaps a bit of May. These months, besides gardening at my parents house and being with them and friends in Healdsburg, everything I'm doing in life is based in Santa Rosa: work, etching, dance, bilingual & collaborative theatre, and starting as a co-mediator. Simply, I could do without the 40min-1hr bus between H and SR.

I'd like to move somewhere in SR so I can resume my bicycle lifestyle. I'd like to move somewhere where there is garden space, if possible...


email me:

26 January 2010

First-Time Homebuyer Credit for This Tiny House?

Dear Readers,

I'm looking into whether this home is eligible for the
First-Time Homebuyer Credit, which was introduced in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act 2008, and has been extended under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It is a refundable tax credit for qualified purchases made in 2009.

The credit is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000 for homes bought in 2009. The credit is claimed on
Form 5405.

Anyone considering this credit should consult a tax-preparer to discuss the particulars of their situation. I am addressing the issue here, nevertheless, because I have not found information on the tax credit in relation to "tiny houses" elsewhere. I'd like to raise the discussion among people building their own small mobile homes.

That said, I have two main points.

1) Because most of my building materials have been from free sources or scavenged, my overall building costs are low. In turn, 10% of the "purchase price of the home" will of course also be low. THIS IS GOOD, though it does mean even if I could get the refund it would be somewhere in the $300 dollar range, as opposed to the $8000 available to people who spend $80,000 for a home. Just want to put things in perspective.

2) When I learned mobile homes and house boats were considered "homes" to the IRS and soon after filled out Form 5405, I thought I'd found out something exciting to share with other people building mobile homes similar to mine.

In my
research today, I found out that the legislative changes that in November 2009 expanded and extended the credit also added documentation requiring that the 2009 tax return must be filed in paper — not electronic — and attach Form 5405, with one of the following:
  • For purchasers of conventional homes, a copy of Form HUD-1, Settlement Statement, or other settlement statement, showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, sales price and date of purchase.
  • For purchasers of mobile homes who are unable to get a settlement statement, a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, purchase price and date of purchase.
  • For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy of the certificate of occupancy showing the owner’s name, property address and date of the certificate.

This being the case, I see I have further research. It seems I can either file a copy of the receipt of my flatbed trailer... which wouldn't include all the other costs of building... or see about obtaining a "certificate of occupancy" ...

More later.

25 January 2010

Raining raining

The house is dry, for the most part. A few panes in the salvaged casement windows have proved to be less than water tight (see photo above). Little fish tanks. Besides a little clipping and measuring here and there, I haven't been working in the house much at all during this rain. Once it stops I'll finish the loft-side roof. Then interior walls, & other things.

18 January 2010

Rain & Wind Blowing

Off the roof! So I leapt up to remedy the situation. In less than a minute a bucket of rain unloaded in the loft. Lucky I was napping in on the floor in time to catch it.

Now it's all strapped down.
I finished (mostly) the floor inside, with old fir flooring from Trulious in San Anselmo (Criagslist find).

17 January 2010

All day in the rain

It was Sunday though, so I didn't use any power tools for the sake of the neighbors. I don't know if anyone reads these postings, so if so, the update is: it's raining for the next week and I'm not moving anywhere. That's the forecast.

Plans to move to Santa Rosa fell through, so I'm still on the lookout for somewhere in Santa Rosa with gardening space available and a place for this trailer house. Until then, it's the family driveway. Between the citrus and the figs, can't complain.

I spent the day completely organizing all the materials I have left and moving everything in the garage so my dad can park his car in the garage again, which he's been wanting. I've been lucky that my parents have let me use their driveway for building, and their garage for storing materials. The space has been invaluable.

The hinging roof above the loft is coming along, so my next main thing to figure is the interior walls. I'm interested in doing some kind of plaster or paper slurry. I've found one lead of a guy using plaster doing airstream remodels, link here. I wrote him an email tonight to see if he had any problems with cracking, or suggestions for application. Once that's in, there's nothing keeping me from moving in, again. I'll be able to install the shelving for food storage, put legs on the chopping block, do interior trim, and set up the sewing, drawing, etching, poster-puppet-making landing.

I don't know what I'll do after tax season.

15 January 2010

Working on the roof...

Thanks to Ken, still teaching me with such cheery calmness, a pleasure to be around. And we got the bolts through and the hindges attached!

14 January 2010

Moving along with the roof...

Many ideas of how to go forward. Just have to choose one and make it work. Thanks to Greg, so nice to have more than one head on the obstacles. Even if those heads complicate matters, it's better than forging ahead blindly.

13 January 2010

Help from DAnielle

making the day so much better. Thank you for helping me get the ceiling orange-oiled & bees waxed.

Moved oven/stove in.
Did fire show for mom. (Propane in the face, unintentional.)
Rearranging floor.
First meal in the house.
Taping along studs to prepare for inside wall, still unknown.
Pigtails and other electrical guesses.

07 January 2010

Still at it still

Drilling out the holes for the light boxes.

Specialty piece I rigged up for nailing wood floor into, set in groove between pieces of "subfloor" (old 6" refrigeration wall)

Ongoing project alone, actually helped a great deal by the Andrews Sisters and the Mills Brothers.


04 January 2010

Great Day

Lots more of the siding up. Working with Evan today, great fun. Thanks Evan.
The photos show the progress mid-day, not including what we got done up till sundown clipped our activities.

02 January 2010

Still at it

Working on trim today. Lots of rabbeting and nuanced pieces. Mom helping out with the top triangular insulation pieces. Women at work! Back up!