Construction in the Dark

I’m pushing hard for a living room. It’ll be a while longer before it’s ready but I can already tell it will signal once and for all the end of tiny living.

I didn’t open the windows or run lights yet, so I’m working with a flashlight. It’s surprisingly a non-issue.


Construction baby doesn’t let a few nails get in a the way of a good nap.

Chimney work

I’m pushing my luck a bit here, getting the 2nd chimney ready in November. It’s not quite there yet but I made good progress. We’re at a phase in our adventure where we do not do temporary arrangements anymore. While I’ll have to redo the first chimney, this one is built for a lifetime and so it takes longer to do.

11′ of insulated flue, cement board in the casing

Closing it up foot by foot, siding first, then cement board added with spacing.

From the bottom floor

I’ll make the top removable to keep an eye on things, it’ll just be open for the first few stove firings. I love the crazy angles in this house.

Thermosiphon a success

I built the house with 2 flights of stairs, pretty overkill for a 1200sqft house and I’ve often gotten this feedback. There’s a couple of reasons I went through the extra trouble and extra wasted space.

  1. I like 2 ways out the first floor for safety. You never know when the government ninjas will come get you, but more seriously: fire safety. You know, for when the government ninjas set the house on fire.
  2. It provides the opportunity for a thermosiphon. Hot air from 1 stove rises up 1 side, cools down, and circulates back down the other.

With lower temperatures upon us, we have finally tested it and it works beautifully. I was worried that practice and theory would diverge, such was not the case and so we heated the whole house for the first time with one stove and awesome passive circulation keeping every nook and cranny warm.

Standing at a choking point such as a doorway, you can clearly feel the air moving. I’m super happy this is working.

Candle test

Now the one thing we still need to get used to is how much more wood we’re burning. We more than doubled our living space going from the tiny 450sqft to the more appropriate 1185sqft, circulate all you want it takes a lot more wood to heat it all up :).

I’ll be using thermosiphons to heat water too at some point.