Introduction: Tiny Studio on Wheels... Tasmania Australia. OUTDOOR STRUCTURES CONTEST ENTRANT.
I made a Tiny Studio for use as a small weaving studio in Tasmania Australia.
In last 5 months.
My plan was to use secondhand materials or seconds from suppliers where available .
So the build is a mix of old and new..
Trailer itself is Road registered. 4 wheeler . Heavy duty frame. And towing system . Braked wheels.
Intended for local houseblock's use, not a road traveller.
THE FUN BEGINS...
A basic progress timeline follows, showing how it went. I could have shown loads more pictures, but readers would got have gotten bored.. I would!
Hope it inspires others to have a go. I might go bigger and build an actual tiny home in the future. For another challenge. Like any build, everything is debatable. No right or wrongs really matter. I "over engineered" rather than skimped. Just how I make things.Ths is my own project. I'm happy with it, considering as I made it up as I went along..The boss ( my wife) loves it..So do our 3 cats.
If nothing else, at least i've had a go at Tiny build.. Not many in Tasmania where I live.
Step 1: It Begins..
You have to start somewhere! For speed and cost an already road registered big tandem farm trailer suited my ideas. I can weld and build, etc, but wasn't a priority to spend a lot of time on trailer engineering..could have saved money--- maybe...
Step 2: Down to the Dirty Work...
Trailer headboard removed.. To be recycled into a gate later on.. Welded any loose metal, and added some stabilizer basic feet that telescoped, using scrap metal tubes. Wooden floorboard deck stripped. Primed and derusted. Replaced with 17mm ecoply green tongue flooring. Screwed down.. Framing I used was called Merchant grade pine. Non structural, but as not relevant to build specs it saved 2/3 on cost. I used units of 2.4 metres . That way I could choose all straight low knot 2.4m pieces. So the entire build based on modules of 2.4m which is a 1 man handleable unit. Helpful, as did 90% of it all by myself. I had no plans, Just used past skills to design it along the way.
Step 3: Basic Stabilizers I Made
Made these from scrapyard bits. Using a metal cut dropsaw and stick welder. Basic engineering. Many ways to make prop legs. Or buy caravan/ RV commercial props. Your choice. More $. As not a constantly moving caravan , only basic props needed.
Step 4: We Was Framed...
A friend helped me build up frame units..
I layed frame onto deck with plastic builder's stripping underneath for a moisture seal. Bolted frames together with galvanized bolts and nuts. And bolted frames down to decking. The frames were gas nailgunned together. With extra screws as a backup . I used the deck as a work platform at waist height which was helpful. Photos vary a bit, some done at night some in the day.. The frame was built just like a house. I varied noggins and studs to suit openings and to save weight. I used a commercial pressed metal door frame to make it strong and less flexing. Some areas I reckon easier to buy new parts and save a hassle. I was going to do a foam panel with render outside for lightness. But fire rating worries and render flexing that could crack if moving changed my plans.
Step 5: Standard Style Framing Used...
Did it like a standard house frame. Using standard materials. Suited my ideas. Many materials options and sizes can do this task. Do what suits your needs. Spaced framing to suit windows. Framing spacing a bit wider than house specs to save weight.
Step 6: Roofing on for Rain Stopping . Outsides Start.
The roof is corrugated colorbond steel sheeting . Random colours , as new seconds.
Turned it backwards to have grey face on all sheets outside. Who cares what colours are underneath?. Flashings from same roofing yard. Wide commercial grade for better waterproofing. Almost give away prices from their overruns . All metal roofing plus all flashing only cost about 150 bucks.. Used a new solid core door. Easier than bent second hand one which are hard to find. Scrounging has to be limited to practically get job done..Or you could take a while and get everything cheap. Am an old codger, life's too short... I couldn't store too much stock in the dry. I could afford some luxury re buying needed new parts.. The front of door has a recycled front loader see through washing machine door as a porthole. Looks good. Free at tip shops in my area. All of walls and roof were covered in blue/ silver builder's paper. Any rain leaks, if any, run away from insides. Taped joins and around windows and openngs.Only let paper be exposed about a week to sun to stop it deteriorating. I used ecowool insulation right through. A compromise. It's fibreglass but low allergy and no itch ..Made to simulate sheeps wool, even has wrinkly fibres look! FRAMING AND ROOF NOW ON.
Step 7: I Made My Own Double Glazed Windows ..Cheap...
I found a source of double glazed windows. New stock German glass. At 15% of built up/ framed window cost. Overruns/ size mistakes from hi tech window builder.The Studio isn't a road traveller, just for my own block of land. The extra window weight was a compromise to get nice air and sound insulation. I made my own wooden mount frames with a table saw, router, drop saw, and small buzzer. I made sills tapered for runoff. Some windows are fixed, some have hopper hinged frames. They run wideways plus longways .. I used bitumen rubber roll tape sealer strips to seal around overhangs on window frames. Hung windows outboard a bit, to suit the future Baltic Pine weatherboards that followed. I had a good run of dry weather for a few months.. It made backyard work life easier for sure.
Step 8: Tricky Windows...
I added some home made small louvre windows at rear. Recycled Tamanian Oak frames. Bought plastic / aluminium louvre sets from Ebay. They have an air "leak".. I thought would be good to have a some flow for summer and cooler times... As other windows all pretty airtight. A friend had a not wanted Myrtle wood framed round window. I mounted it on hopper hinges. I used new Baltic pine weatherboards. Lightweight easily available and plantation based. Came from Estonia of all places.. Hand selected from wood yard to get no knot straight ones. Found that best to pre drill the clout nails. Didn't have many splits, luckily.. I built some cross framing inside to lock walls. Like a caravan. A shelf and bed frame at either end were made from 90 X 35 framing for strength. Glass is standard plate glass on louvers. For road use you'd want safety glass. Not relevant here. Flashings details shown in photo FYI. Colourbond with slight turn down for rain drips ,and nice stainless head mushroom screws.
Step 9: Lime and Red ...
Insides are lime with red features. Back of finished porthole has some arty red surrounds. Crossbrace shelf under window is to lock walls together. Vertical direction window on side wall looks good and makes a modern look plus good to watch the cats and world outside. Other windows up higher for more of a privacy feel. Plus lets walls have space for shelves easier. On half of inside back wall above bed, used 100 yo recycled painted baltic pine eaves boards. Looks like inside an old railway goods wagon!... A folly, but who cares?
Step 10: Inside Specs..
I wired the Tiny Studio with a 12 volt solar circuit myself. Using low drain caravan lighting LEDs.
A licenced local electrician wired it for 240 volt. Using Oz standards caravan wiring . All double poled for earthing safety. Has a small internal fuseblock. Low drain LED 240 lights. WIth 3 colour switching LED options. They plug in, so if any issues, can replace in 2 minutes in future. Is wired caravan style .Outside inlet, with a 240v 15 amp extension lead to link it to a power supply nearby. Has a safety Oz Ampfibian adapter link in line for 15 amp to 10 amp conversion if needed.
Step 11: It's Finished.. PS Don't Forget to Vote for This Project in OUTDOOR STRUCTURES CONTEST .
The insides were a varied choice. Ended up using MDF sheeting. Why? Cheap . Easy to handle. Quick coverage. Good for future hanging of shelves etc. Easy to mount lights etc.Primed both sides then screwed to frames. Made any inside architraves out of MDF also. MDF makes for a dense , bumpable wall seal. I basically did insides like a shopfitters refit. Common practice these days. Plasterboard too soft, caravan panels too weak , and no good for screwing shelves, plus 4X more costly. Any add ons are a compromise between weight cost and usefulness. I painted insides lime green with red trim to suit the ideas of my wife for a bright cheery interior. The solar control gear and sealed battery sits under bed which has a single matress. ($5 in garage sale) Bed base is an internal door. Low weight plus strong and free in a local cleanup day. I added shelving as requested for storage of wool. All MDF made. Recycled an old bedroom mirror suite into a red rolling cupboard. Table has rolling castors as well. For moving around for different tasks. Got some new old stock remnant cool 70s style blue kitchen carpet that lays flat for easy removal in future .Easy to clean and practical.
Painted it with Solarguard Acrylic paint. For window surrounds used dark grey colorbond strips screwed in with stainless steel mushroom screws,. as a feature.
Is a pleasant quiet little studio. Heats up very quicky with a 240v small oil column.heater . Nice 'n cosy to lie in, a read a book or do some knitting or weaving. A bonus was a cheap second hand set of steps and awning for over door. Fitted a proper weather seal under door and sill that has a double lock seal. Dry as a bone in even windy rainy weather. I built it as a studio, hence no stove or toilet etc. They could be added in future. Compared to a second hand caravan it's great, High ceilings and a solid house feel inside. Cost me about $6500 all up. My labour was free. Will last for ages with basic painting every few years. Eaves are metal so no wear and tear. I metal flashed along points where walls meet trailer to run any water away. All up it took me 5 months part time. Its 2.4 m wide and 4,5m long. Ceiling centre point is 2.3m high. Of course costs could vary from nil with all recycled junk, to thousands with high end parts.
Hope it inspires others to have a go. I might go bigger and build an actual tiny home in the future. For another challenge. Like any build everything is debatable. No right or wrongs really matter. I "over engineered" rather than skimped. Just how I make things.Ths is my own project. I'm happy with it, considering as I made it up as I went along..
The boss( my wife) loves it..So do our 3 cats. If nothing else, at least i've had a go at Tiny build..
Not many in Tasmania where we live.
See lots on USA websites . Mega choices of materials. Restricted where I am a bit.
Sites like Instructables and You tube great for ideas and making skills of course.
HOW I COULD HAVE SAVED MONEY ON BUILD?
Use a lot more recycled materials. Takes time, have to backlog store dry, and not so plentiful in my area.
Ask around local suppliers.. eg sheetmetal shops. Roofing installers, builder's yards. In Aussie, a carton of beer is a common behind the scenes currency. Also cash and no paperwork makes people more happy. For paint, buy mistints from wholesalers. Often eg 3 bucks a litre vs 30 bucks a litre.
Lining could be eg old light internal house doors. Basically free everywhere. Just make framing to suit.
Secondhand rustic corrugated iron. Available but leak issues and fiddly to fit accurately on job.
Use a far cheaper old trailer base. Or eg skids instead. I wanted a use straight away , so found minumum mods base trailer.
It was registered. Unregistered maybe $500 cheaper. Could have made it myself from junk....equals more time though..
TOOLS THAT MADE IT EASIER?
I am lucky have shed full of tools from years of work and collecting.
Most useful gadgets? A $150 rolling scaffold with 3 tiers. Made life a lot easier.
Plus a gas nail gun I owned already. A real 1 man build time saver..
PLEASE VOTE FOR MY TINY STUDIO IN THIS OUTDOOR COMPETITION...
I reckon I've done a pretty good job..
Have a nice day....
2018 now...Tiny studio going great...
Dedicated to an old Irish friend Jim who passed away recently. Was my 2nd pair of hands at times and had many laughs building bits with me.. Life goes On.
HAVE A GO YOURSELF.. ITS FUN...TIME
Runner Up in the
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Please be positive and constructive.