Our tiny house successfully crossed the border, and Guillaume and I began our two week open house tour through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, before returning to the USA via ferry.
Canada was breathtaking. The autumn leaves gave us a colorful greeting and an even brighter farewell, as if they were saying: “Come back soon!” We were tried desperately to see as much as possible in our 17 day trip, and I intend to post detailed stories of our Canadian adventures very soon. In the meantime, be sure to visit our Instagram page for up to date photos of our journey.
Our Canadian open house tour was sponsored by our beautiful roof, made from Onduvilla 3D shingles. We showcased our house at Materio (St Jeromme and Terrebone) and Kent Supply Stores (Fredericton, Moncton, and Halifax).
Each of these stores were extremely accommodating, including knowledgeable staff members that bent over backwards to make sure the events went smoothly. Not to mention that Materio and Kent stores are stocked full of wonderful materials for any home building project! We even ended up purchasing a few items to improve our home.
We opened our tiny door and tiny curtains, and people lined up to tour our home! Some visitors had been interested in tiny homes for years and were so excited to step foot in one, others were just curious: “What in the world is this small structure in front of my local hardware store?” Hundreds of people walked through our home at each event and we happily answered thousands of questions.
As always, the MOST frequently asked question about our house was: “What kind of roofing is that?” Well, it’s Onduvilla 3D shingles, made by Ondura, and we love it!
Below are other FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS we were asked on our Canadian tour, just in case you missed us!
Can your roof endure high winds?
Yes! Our roof is made to withstand intense wind uplift. We’ve tested it going 75 mph down the highway, during a hailstorm, and it’s still going strong!
Can your roof get scratched?
Yes, all roofing can, but if it does our shingles are still weatherproof! Because our house is mobile, our roof has occasionally taken a hit from low hanging branches, and it has weathered these scratches without a problem. It also resists corrosion and cracking (unlike metal roofing). To top it off, the roof has a limited lifetime warranty!
Can you hear the rain on your roof?
Yes. We have a tiny home and we sleep in the loft only inches from the outside world. But, we find the dull drumming sound to have a calming effect. A metal roof would produce a louder, higher pitched rain song, one that I personally would find less appealing.
How do you heat your house?
We purchased a Kimberly wood burning stove made by Unforgettable Fire and plan to install it in the next few weeks. It burns on dry wood, creates 42,200 BTU/hour of heat and could burn a log for up to 8 hours. The air intake is through the floor, so it won’t burn up our oxygen. It’s one of the cleanest burning stoves available and it’s all stainless steel. It can use a 3 inch double wall chimney pipe (cheaper than regular piping). We our confident the Kimberley will be PLENTY to heat our 135 square feet.
What is the insulation?
3-1/2” of rigid foam board insulation in the 2×4” framing, with “Great Stuff” to fill the gaps and cracks. Read our post about insulation here.
What is your roof made of?
Our roof is composed of recycled organic fibers (about 50% of the product is made from recycled materials) and the company uses natural pigments for coloration. The company also maintains a low carbon footprint and reuses some 200,000 tons of post-consumer recycled material each year.
How much does your house weigh?
Our tiny house weighs 9,700 lbs.
How do you avoid bridges?
Our house is 13’4” tall. It can fit under any interstate bridge, and we use an Rand McNally RV GPS to navigate, which alerts us of any low clearances.
How much did your house cost to build?
We have spent about $30,000 USD, but the average builder using these plans and basic appliances would spend approximately $23 – 24k. If you use many reclaimed materials, you can save even more. It all depends what you want and how resourceful you are.
Is the roofing a proven product?
While new to North America, it’s a proven product. Onduvilla has been used around the world for more than a decade and is made from the same materials as Ondura which has been around dozens of years.
Is the roof easy to install?
Yes! We did it ourselves and we had no experience. See our post about it here.
How does the toilet work?
It’s a composting toilet and it doesn’t require the use of water, which makes it very eco-friendly. Our toilet is called the Nature’s Head and it has two chambers: one for urine and one for… solids. We use peat moss in the chamber for solids and we aerate the compost using a crank on the side and a 12V vent. It doesn’t smell, at all. We empty the urine chamber every three-four days, the solids is rated for 90 uses. Find out more by visiting the toilet’s website.
How does your tiny house tow and what do you tow it with?
Our house is a tank! We haven’t had any problems in over 5,500 miles of travel. It’s heavy and not exactly aerodynamic. We get about 10 mpg driving at 49 mph on average. We tow our house with a 3/4 ton 2006 Ford F-250 6.0L Turbo Diesel truck, but we are looking to upgrade to a 1 ton dually truck.
Your roof has an interesting look, what is it based on?
The design is based on Spanish tile, so it’s eye popping and comes in a variety of colors. It’s also much lighter than tile because of the lightweight materials used.
We hope this FAQ list is helpful. More information, including a list of our materials used, can be found here.
As always, thanks for reading!
Beautiful home! As a Canadian myself, I was curious to see your Canadian tour……….sadly you missed 3/4 of the country! You’ll have to come back 🙂
Just passed you and was curious. What a wonderful advnture. Drive safe.
Had a look at the Kimberley wood burning stove. Neat and well-made but yikes! It costs more than some Tumbleweed trailers! Propane may be more in the long run but we’re talking the REALLY long-run here.
Indeed it is expensive. But it’s not just about the cost of propane vs wood. Wood is dry heat, which is a huge help in a tiny house, especially when it’s cold outside. Those small insulated spaces are prone to lots of condensation and wood heat helps fight that. Propane heat is humid heat that would contribute to your home’s condensation issues.
Therefore, if you made a choice between one or the other’s type of heating, you’d be left with a few choices for your stoves. In the case of wood, the Kimberly is one of the most efficient burning, light, small footprint stoves that you can cook on top of. Other highly efficient stoves are usually cast iron (heavy) and just as expensive. On top of that, they have to use much more expensive flues vs the Kimberly, which only requires 3″ pellet stove double-pipe flues.
Also, i’d be wary of any new 20′ trailers under $3,995 🙂
I hope this helps answer some questions!