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Shipping Container House Q&A - Living Tiny Project Episode 025 Part 2

Well, today is time to answer some other questions. The first is one that many people are wondering about.

How did we meet? We had a common friend and one day we went to the beach together. So, from that day we started our friendship. We became really good friends and we used to spend hours and hours talking about life. One month later we noticed that we could be more than just good friends and it was in October 21st 2006. We've been together for almost 12 years and we're still each other's best friends.

Where is the location of the house? The house is located in Brazil. To be more specific it’s southern Brazil in a island called Florianópolis. But it’s an island that is connected to the continent for 3 bridges, but just 2 of them are on use. The third one is the oldest one. It’s suspension bridge that has been closed for 1991. The restoration of it started in 2006 and it’s not concluded until now. For now the bridge is just our city’s postcard.

Where do we live now? Since the beginning of April 2018 we are living at Duca aunt’s apartment. As she has an apartment here in Brazil to spend the Brazilian summer here and she has been living in Germany for around 40 years she asked if we would like to take care of her apartment here in Brazil as she was going back to Germany. Before April we were living with Duca’s mother. Now we are halfway to the place we are converting the shipping container into our home, that means that now we spent less time in traffic to commute every day. Since we came back to Brazil we have the plan of not spending money with renting. After all we need to save money to finish our project of building our house.

Are we gonna leave the exterior the container as it is? In the south side we will just paint with a shade of gray. On the east, the outside wall of the kitchen, we are were thinking about having some climbing plants do create a shadow on that wall. On the north and west wall, where is the bedroom, we are going to have some stripes of wood (we call it brise in Brazil) to create a shadow, this way the sun won’t heat to much the wall.

How many kids are you planning to have? Long story short, nowadays we are planning to have just one or 2 kids. We have some different plans about fitting them inside the house. We could have a bedroom on the top of the dining table, we could have a bedroom in front of the office area, we could buy an extra shipping container and some other ideas. Duca always say that when the kid is 12 years old the kid is gonna build his/her own house on the land.

Are you gonna to remove the floor? No, we won’t. We are planning on having a aluminum foil to seal the floor and then to put cinnamon floor on the top of it.

How much weight did you guys loose? We actually don’t know. IIt has been years since we have been weighing ourselves. I would guess I have lost around 3 kilograms. We really don’t know. What we do know is that we have been working almost everyday all day long, so we have been exercising a lot. We also gain some muscles during the process of the building.

How can we afford? Remember that I said that we went to Australia in order to Duca start a master degree in Structural Engineering and he dropped the master? Well, we have saved money for the master and then we have enough money to build the house. So, we are living with our savings. If you are wondering if youtube is paying us, the answer is no. We apply for a partnership with youtube in November and until now, May, we aren’t earning any money from youtube. They are analyzing our channel since November and it seems that they have until the end of June to give us an answer if we can monetize our channel. Meanwhile we are creating our Patreon page. So, if people want to help us to finish our project they can found us on Patreon and choose a value to give to us and we are gonna give some perks in exchange.

Do you ever get frustrated when things go wrong? I cannot say no. Sometimes we do get frustrated, but it doesn’t take to long. The thing is… we don’t have time to be frustrated. We always need to think about something we need to do.

When are you planning to finish the house? Everybody is asking this question. When we thought about the house and did our first plan we imagined we would finish the house in July 2018. But, for sure we were wrong. The new and realistic plan is to finish the house until the end of this year. We hope so!!

Why English if you guys are in Brazil? It was something that we discussed a lot before starting the building. In the end we decided to do in English to reach more people, from all over the world and not just from our country. We know Brazil is big and a lot of people would like us to speak in Portuguese. The reality is that we don’t regret about doing it in English. We are getting in contact with people from soooo many countries, there are even ones that we never heard about. According to youtube 230 countries are watching our videos! That is amazing!!!

Are you going to build all the furniture? Yes!! We are pretty anxious to start it!!!

How did you come up with this idea? We have been talking about tiny houses since 2008, we found some emails that we have sent do each other about this since that year. We really like tiny houses! The idea appeared when we were in Indonesia in 2016 thinking about we we were gonna do of our lives. We needed to create a plan for life, as the previous plan was to stay in Australia for at least 2 years. Well, we thought about many things by that time: to build a boat, move to Europe (as Duca has an Italian citizenship), move to USA (we didn’t know under which visa we could stay there), move to New Zealand and so on. We decided that would be cheaper and easier to go back to Brazil. So, we needed to decide what we wanted to work with. As I said the other day, Duca always wanted to work with video and documentaries, so we decided to try to work with that one more time, after all nowadays we have the Youtube platform, and it’s a way for people to spread their independent videos worldwide. After deciding what we wanted to do we needed to decide a topic to talk about. As we were going back to Brazil and we didn’t have a place to live we decided to build something and document the process. And that’s how we came up with the idea of a Tiny House. Duca always wanted to learn how to weld, as he wants to build a metal sailboat one day. So, we had the idea of converting a shipping container house into our Tiny House!

Why a Shipping container and not a regular tiny house? Well, first because as I said Duca would like to learn how to weld. Secondly is because usually tiny houses are built with wood and where we live in some parts of the year rains a lot. On the other hand, a shipping container is already structurated, you don’t really need a warehouse to build a house out of a shipping container, there is no problem with rain. I guess these are the main reasons for us to have chosen a shipping container.

Did you already downsized in anticipation of finally move in? We already downsized in the beginning of 2016 when we went to Australia. By that time we sold and gave away a lot of things we had.

Are you going to ground the shipping container to protect against lightning? Yes, we will. There is a subscriber of our Youtube channel that is an electrical engineer that is doing the project for us. Then we just need to execute it.

How about the utilities? What are your plans? Are you going to have solar energy? When it comes to grey water and energy we have a city grid right beside the house, so there is no point of building composting system if the city system is right there as there is no point of using solar panels and a lot of batteries to stock energy. Sometimes I think that sustainability can be a myth. My uncle wrote a book about this subject and I don’t disagree with him. Usually this batteries that stock energy contain heavy metals, so I personally don’t think this is that environmental. Also to produce one solar board requires a lot of energy, therefore to produce one board you need to spend a lot of energy. On the other hand I do agree we could use some solar panel to heat the water for the shower. There is a vacuum system that not requires batteries do stock the energy, so this is more eco friendly. The other fact is price and volume. All the system is pretty expensive and also you need to use a lot of space to put them. Maybe if we find a better alternative production of energy we can use it.

Sometimes I think that just been tiny is already sustainable. We use less energy, less water and products to clean things, generate less trash, need buy less things, and so on.

Is the noise when it rains too loud on the roof? The temperature inside the shipping container changed with the EPS and the roof? No, the noise is not loud and yes, the temperature has already changed inside the shipping container since we built the roof and even more with the entire wooden deck.

How many hours a week do you guys work on the house? Well, I guess we can consider we work on the house around 5 days per week and around 5 hours a day.

What are you going to do with all the machines you have after the building? We have some plans, but most of them depend on what we will be doing next year. One of them is to build a shed on wheels to carry all the tools on the back of a car, for that we would probably need to sell the bigger and heavier ones. Or we can storage on the storage place in our shipping container or make it bigger and have a workshop. Well, we actually still don’t know.

How much did you spend until now? We’ve made a video about that weeks ago. We basically spent around 10 thousand dollars until now.

Which welding machine are you using? We also talked about equipments some videos ago. It’s actually a MIG 180 amperes Hylong brand.

It was great to answer all these questions. Some of them we have never thought about before and it was really good to take the time to think about. We hope we had answer all the questions people have, but if you have any other question you can send us a message and we are glad to answer.

See you!

Roberta