Episode-6- Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Converting a Shed into a Tiny House
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Welcome to the better together life podcast, a full time family and building a Texas homestead from scratch.
All right, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the better together life podcast. We’re excited to have you. This is episode six, excuse all the background noise. The kids are doing homeschool. The dogs are going crazy, but this is just the better together live. This is what you guys have signed on for, for following Kelly. Now. It’s really funny. It’s really funny. Hey, so I want to be able to give you a little bit of a pre talk on today’s video. The topic of today’s video is actually gonna be from a video that I did over on Youtube is seven mistakes to avoid when converting a shed to house. The reason why I want to kind of revamp this content from a youtube video is I have for whenever we first started this podcast, I always knew that I wanted to put this content in the podcast.
Speaker 1: (01:05)
It has been so helpful for everyone over on Youtube. There’s been comments, questions, lots of Yukon has about 175,000 views, which at this stage in our youtube channel, that’s a lot. That’s a really good successful video and it just means that the content in the video is strong and it’s helping people and that’s where I wanted to be able to put it over on the podcast because there’s a different audience that listens to podcasts versus video. One thing I want to be able to add in here is there is a little spot on there. We’re talking about spray foam and really this has become a spray foam debate, not even should you use spray foam. It’s actually been about should you use open cell spray foam versus closed cell spray foam. I want to be able to add in here. Whenever we, whenever I did this video, we didn’t really know as much.
Speaker 1: (02:00)
We just knew how good spray foam was and I still think the jury is out in terms of depending on what climate you’re in, that if you’re in the northern part of the country, definitely you have to use close spray foam because you’re gonna have snow fall on the roof and then that’s going to create moisture and then lead to mold. But if you’re down south, we don’t really get any snow ever. We might get like one or two days of snow here in Texas in like three years. So it’s really nothing like northern climates. There’s just a lot there. And I would say in the video I say, Hey, I’ll leave it up to you in the comments. I’m going to add in there before we even start the video. That closed cell spray foam is probably gonna be your best bet if you just want to sleep better at night, close out.
Speaker 1: (02:53)
Now also say for me, I didn’t do that. I went with a licensed contractor and I believed what he, and I think we’re okay because we’re in the south. We did close spray foam underneath the house and then we did open spray foam on all the walls and in the roof. Sorry to be able to just jump right in there and not even warm me up a little bit on the video, but that’s something that I wanted to be able to record the right now and put that so that you know whenever you listen to me talking about spray foam, which I would say do spray foam over any other insulation, I wasn’t sure about open or closed sale at this moment. If I had to do it over again, I would do closed spray foam everywhere. All right guys, I’m super excited for you to be able to enjoy this podcast.
Speaker 1: (03:37)
Remember you can always support the podcast and the youtube channel whenever you do your Amazon email@example.com that is better. A M z.com sorry, my name is Bob Brotherton with better together life and I also created the shed two house Facebook group. So I have seen a lot since about the beginning of 2017 and people have been converting these sheds into houses for many, many years. But really the movement has really caught on and in 2017 and since then, I’ve seen a whole lot of mistakes that people have made and I have made myself with converting one of these buildings into a house. So let’s get right into it. We’re going to do this David Letterman style number seven is going to be found dation something that I made that mistake. I will say that out loud that I think that I made a mistake with my foundation.
Speaker 1: (04:34)
I think we did a decent job with having this, this crushed rock bed and then the cinderblock piers on top. If I had to do it again, I believe that I would’ve taken the time and not been in such of a hurry and done. True Pier and beam foundation where you get the cinders where you get those cardboard cylinders and you auger down about two or three feet and you put that in. You pour concrete in there so that you have something solid to the earth. It’s not going to be bad. It’s going to, what we have is the rock foundation. I would say that that’s going to be minimum something that you want to do. I would not suggest just putting it straight onto the blocks, onto the dirt by to do it over again. I definitely would’ve done a real pier and beam foundation number six.
Speaker 1: (05:20)
The next mistake that we had a little bit of experience with is we did not know that once we got our building here, this is a shit. It’s made by shed building companies. We’re happy with ours, but there was some things that we needed some extra caulk around the windows and the door frames. One thing of how most of these buildings are designed, especially the barn style buildings, is there’s not a lot of eves that come out. So the w where the, where the building comes that that wall is really, really close to it as opposed to a normal house where you see the eaves that come out and where here’s the wall so the rain would come and just come down. So on these barn style buildings, it’s really, really close up there. So the water wants to hit and it just wants to run all the way down the wall.
Speaker 1: (06:05)
Water, we’ll find cracks and crevices is anywhere and that’s something that can happen. So you want to steal this place up with all the windows and then once you start bringing all of like your mini splits in and your electric and all that, they’re going to be drilling holes everywhere. You want to come back and you want to seal all those holes up. Preferably with spray foam. Sometimes it’s better to do cock or silicone, so you wanna seal any crack that comes in any window and make sure that your doors are sealed as well. All right, number five, moisture. Can troll guys. Oh my goodness. Moisture control is really, really big in these buildings. For us, we have six people living in this house. We came from a typical 2000 square foot suburban house, and with that we still had two bathrooms. We still had one kitchen.
Speaker 1: (06:56)
We still had four kids that needed to take baths every day that we still needed all the cooking. So you might think that it doesn’t matter, but that this is, this is where it comes into play. You have all of the same moisture that you’re creating because it cooking and bathing and the humidity itself and air conditioning and all that, but it’s all in a tighter space. So you really need to think about moisture control because you guys, you do not, you do not want to mess with mold. You don’t want to mess with mold. This is it. Mold is a nasty thing. We came from Houston where mold was so bad. It is still kind of bad after hurricane Harvey. You want to really be planning on moisture control, especially if you’re in a humid climate. You want to have vents in your bathrooms so that anytime you take a shower, you have a vent that comes through.
Speaker 1: (07:51)
We have green building technologies, that’s where we got ours. It’s specifically made for small spaces. It is, it’s, it’s very low profile. Fits right up into a two by four. You want to be able to get that moisture out. Also, I highly suggest vent hoods for the kitchen. We need to get ourselves our vent hood. We did the wiring for a vent hood, but we just haven’t purchased a kitchen vent hood yet. So that’s a mistake that we’re doing right now. But the next thing to do is you really need to have at least one, I would say hopefully two dehumidifiers and you just want to be running those things constant. Uh, you want to be able to make sure that you get all of the moisture out of it, your house, you really want in there. You know, 35 45% humidity inside the house because what these things don’t have is they don’t have attic space.
Speaker 1: (08:42)
Typically in a normal house with an attic space, you can allow the attic to breathe and so any kind of moisture, any kind of humidity can get it kind of likes that attic space. It can vent out so you want proper ventilation. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about that with my top, my number one mistake that people make, but that is something that without having a proper attic space, you really want to do your best and keep control of the moisture. So have dehumidifier, fires have fans. You want to be able to get proper ventilation. Alrighty. Number four is going to be dead wood. Some people call it deadwood or blocking or some people say backing. It is so boring. It is completely boring and expensive because you’re just literally wasting wood to nail up into your house that you’ll never see and you’ll never have any kind of benefit except for the benefit.
Speaker 1: (09:44)
Stop hitting the camera. Family. Deadwood is something, I even made a whole video on it whenever we did it. I’ll put the link right up here. Deadwood. You either your sheet rock or your ceiling or your shiplap something. They, whenever you have the studs, they can, they can screw into that or nail into any kind of study. You understand what that is, but it’s a lot of people get confused about the backing is sometimes there is a corner, but there’s not a ne a place to nail. It’s an a, you need a nailer there. So if they put up the sheet rock on a corner and you have a stud here, but you don’t have a stud right here, then you can’t get to that spot. A lot of it is we had it in our ceiling that you’d need to really take that serious, take your time.
Speaker 1: (10:25)
Don’t be in a hurry. I would suggest trying to get as much of your blocking done before you run your plumbing and your electric because then you don’t have to like make weird cuts and go around your electric. Deadwood is how we were able to do our volt cathedral type ceiling. It’s not really a cathedral ceiling, but how we were able to do our shiplap ceiling with the exposed beams just dawned on me. That is pretty easy to be able to wrap the beam with deadwood so that then we could run shiplap and nail it in between both of those beams. Figure out the design you want, know that and be able just to take your time and know that you’re probably going to miss some deadwood. You can never have too much deadwood. Alright, we only have three more. Stick with me. Here we go.
Speaker 1: (11:13)
So number three is gonna be guys don’t get in over your head. I got in over my head with several things, but then I was able to make the quick decision of Nope, I do not want to be a home builder. I want to live here on my property and I want a homestead. Since we started the shed to house group, I’ve seen a lot. A lot of people that try to do this, they get in over their head and then they don’t know what to do and they’ve wasted a lot of money and they have a dangerous home. So my suggestion then, if you’ve never done these things before, especially if you have kids or if you’re in some sort of a tight time, you need a place to live. I highly, highly suggest that you hire professional contractors for your rough plumbing and your rough electrical, those things, rough plumbing, rough electric, rough plumbing, and your rough electric.
Speaker 1: (12:09)
Those things you, it’s just so worth it to be able to do that. Like the drains in plumbing, you do not want to do your drains and be having septic come up into your house. So you want licensed plumber, licensed electric. You don’t want to burn your house down with bad electrical or unless you have years to do this, if you have a year or two years better, trust me, there are so many things. If you’ve never done it before and you just want time freedom, you want to be mortgage-free. There’s lots and lots of skills to still learn with doing this. If you’re nervous about it, hire out your rough electrical and rough plumbing, get that done and then work on your skills after that. Number two is gonna be budget at least minimal, 20% increase of your expenses. Again, unless you do this, unless you are a contractor that knows what you’re doing, you know how much stuff is going to cost.
Speaker 1: (13:11)
Minimal, 20% additional meaning that if you make a budget and then put everything out of all the things that you think you’re going to have to spend money on, then do another line item in that excel spreadsheet for what it’s going to increase, what you think that 20% so you’ll add all those things up into excel and then the last line on them is going to be, you’re going to take all that. You’re going to times that total by 20% and your that’s going to be an increase. I only did 10% and it was way low. I would say 20 to 25% is probably what you want to be able to put in there for increase. That lets you know a little bit before cause you, it’s like a Dave Ramsey. You want to spend your money on paper before you actually spend it. You don’t want to be done like we were and then like all my, how did we spend $30,000 in two months and we even spent more than that.
Speaker 1: (14:07)
So that’s one thing for your budget for the let you know how much this is costing us. I’m going to put a link down below right up here so that you can go and get our income expense report so that you can see how much this house is costing us. All right guys, here is the number one mistake that you need to avoid when converting a shed to a house. You’re ready for it. It’s not going to be all that exciting. For some reason. I see this over and over again in the shed to house group. People always say, I wish I would have done spray foam. I wish I would’ve done more insulation in my house. Guys, listen, this is a wooden box that is made for a store. Things in, it’s just recently that people started doing this for houses and cabins. Whenever we did the spray foam, the spray foam found cracks everywhere and it doesn’t matter what company you do, they’re not going to completely seal this place up.
Speaker 1: (15:09)
We’re not going to do a house wrap around the ceiling of your house. They will do it all around the sides and that’s what they did for ours, but there was crap. There was spray foam coming up, all the where the wall met the roof, so you want to seal this thing perfectly. Don’t skimp out. Do spray foam insulation on the interior of the house. We did open cell spray foam and then we did closed sales spray foam underneath. That’s something that I’m not necessarily an expert in is between open cell and closed cell. If you know, put it down in the comments below of what you think is better for open cell and closed cell spray foam. Ali that up to you guys down in the comments too. Give me your thoughts between closed sale, open cell spray foam. I hired a contractor to do it and he explained it and it made sense and that’s why we went with open sale and then we went with closed sale underneath one.
Speaker 1: (16:09)
Also thing about this and on tying it back to moisture control. Again, I’m not an expert on this, but this is what everybody told me. When you are doing spray foam in one of these buildings, you do not need to install ridge vents in the ceiling, the interior ceiling because there’s not an attic. So you need to, if you don’t have, if you are not doing spray foam then you have to install ridge vents. Otherwise you can get moisture build up up in the roof, in the ceiling, in between the roof and the insulation where moisture builds up there can’t get out and then that’s where you get mold. But to my knowledge, all the research that I did, speaking to several people, what they said is when you do spray foam, you create a perfect seal of the home. So there’s not the moisture going in and out so it doesn’t need to breathe like that.
Speaker 1: (17:03)
That’s what everybody said is doing spray foam, so that allows you to have the full use of your ceiling. You don’t have to close things off to have a little attic space. That’s why you do spray foam, and again, I’m not an expert on that. The main thing is I see it so often in the group is people going back and saying, ah, I wish I would have done spray foam moisture control, but also for heat and ac it lowers your electric bill spray foam. Please don’t make the mistake. The only reason why I would say that you would not do spray foam in one of these buildings is budget and I don’t understand that. I really don’t. It’s kind of like Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey says the absolute worst time to use a credit card is in emergency. That’s what people do is they say, I’m just keeping that credit card just in case in emergency, just in case something happens, a crisis and I need that and what Dave’s response is, the absolute worst time to use a credit card is in an emergency is in a crisis.
Speaker 1: (18:04)
You don’t have money, you’ll just lost a job and then you want to go into debt. That’s just ridiculous. That makes no sense. It makes no sense of why you would do that and that’s what spray foam. If you don’t have the budget to do spray foam, then that means that you definitely don’t have the budget to pay higher electric bills for years to come, to have to use more wood. If you’re doing a woodstove for years to come to have to do your house twice because you get mold buildup for years to come and one thing that I’ll add is most people that are converting shed the houses, they want to put it in a rural area. They want to farm, they want to homestead. A lot of this. I just want to be out of the way because there’s no building codes. Guess what is in whorl areas, guys, critters.
Speaker 1: (18:53)
There’s so many critters here. There’s bugs and there’s rats and there are scorpions. There’s everything that wants to get into your comfy, cozy house. If you just do normal insulation or especially if you try to do, you know, wool insulation or something like that, that is a perfect home for them. They’re going to get up the rats and the mice are going to get up in there. They’re gonna make their nests in there. It’s going to be the best. You’re going to have so many critters living in your walls. And again, I know there are a lot of people are going to say, don’t do spray foam that’s toss toxic and is bad for you guys and gals. Hey, I get it. You can put that down in the comments, but you’re going to say that that spray foam is toxic and then you’re going to be on your phone all day and then you’re going to go eat McDonald’s and drink Starbucks coffee and nasty stuff and be stressed out in a nine to five job spray foam insulation.
Speaker 1: (19:47)
Alright, that is it. Those are my top seven mistakes to avoid when converting a shed to a house. Let me know what you thought about these seven mistakes down in the comments. Let me know if I miss something. Also, if you liked this video, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe. That helps and please share this. I know that there’s a lot of other groups then the shed to house Facebook group, so share it on Facebook and Twitter. If you think that this would be helpful because hey, sharing, you know it’s mean not to share so, so share this video with people that you think it could be beneficial for. Because remember, we’re only better together because you guys are here. So please comment down below and share and like, cause we need y’all here in the community. All right guys. See y’all in the next one. Bye.