32 million copies!

We're on the cover of Parade Magazine. This could be the biggest exposure for Tumbleweed ... ever! I'm frantically trying to optimize our website. Is it too late to upgrade our server? Probably. I wish I found out sooner.

Written by Steve Weissmann — April 30, 2010

Filed under: In the News  

Flooring

Buying Flooring was super easy. There’s a local company that sells excellent hardwood, and they have a discount center in Tillsonburg where they offer small amounts super cheaply. My friend who lives in Tilsonburg has offered to pick it up and delivery it to the school. Breezewood forest products http://www.woodfloorsdirect.ca/ I was able to get 213 square feet of hemlock, and another 60 of locust. The hemlock is like pine. Farmers sometimes use it for their barn floors.

It will be perfect for the downstairs. Locust is very hard, and I’ll use it in the loft. No one will be able to walk around up there, and the mattress will cover most of the floor, so it is a waste to have such a hard wood, but it will be lovely. The wood only cost $1.00 a square foot. I’ll have to stain the wood, but that shouldn’t be a big problem.

Written by Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School — April 30, 2010

Filed under: Houses  

Buying Windows

Buying windows Well, it’s not easy.

There are a bazillion companies each touting their own product.  I ended up using Golden Windows because I’m familiar with the product.  I’ve got a room full of those windows at home and they’re lovely.  I choose to go with casements, and because I’m cheap, I went with the vinyl clad inside and out. I know the wood interior trim would look spectacular, but I can’t justify the cost and since I’m thinking of painting the interior rather than leaving it knotty pine, I’m pretty sure the white trim will look okay. http://www.goldenwindows.com/ Harold, the salesguy, was wonderful. He was easy to talk to and he guided me through the process.

Some of the fencl windows are a bit smaller than standard windows, so going custom is necessary.   For the front bay window, companies don’t seem to carry the 15 “ windows, (even custom). I opted to go with a double casement instead.  This is the side that will face the lake and that’s where th e prevailing winds come from so it’s really important that these windows open.  It might not look quite as cute as the windows in Jay’s fencl, but I’m confident they’ll look good.  I was happy to buy local, and unlike the big box stores, they’ll deliver in 10 days.  Bonus.

Written by Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School — April 19, 2010

Filed under: Houses  

Logo Contest Finalists

Congratulations to the winners of the logo contest. Originally, we were going to pick our 3 favorite designs and test them on our website. This turned out to be a problem since we like so many of the designs. So, we picked 4 designs. It was certainly a lot of fun, and 2 of the top 4 designs were created by amateurs who learned about the contest from our blog. The other two winners are professional designers. When we selected the winning designs, we didn't know anything about the designers, and it was really exciting to discover that one of them has dreamed about owning a Tumbleweed Home. We also gave prizes to a few of the runners up ... many of whom were also amateur designers.

 

Vote for your favorite logo

Below are the 4 logos selected with our current logo at the bottom.

Logo #1

Logo #2

Logo #3

Logo #4

Deciding a winner

Deciding on the final logo will be a long and slow process. Originally, we were going to test all the logos against each other and award the top logo designer a set of plans. However, we decided to award each designer with a set of plans. Woohoo! We'll still test the logos on our homepage. But we also want to hear your feedback. Which is your favorite? You can vote above.

How testing works

Testing logos on the homepage is done with the use of Google Website Optimizer. With it, each visitor will see a randomly displayed logo on the top of the page. From there, we will measure click-through-rate (the % of visitors who will visit a 2nd page on our website). We test all types of things on our website, and in the past I've tested the logos that we designed ourselves. Typically, a logo on the top of the page might not make a huge difference, and it can take up to 1 month to find a definite winner. I'll keep you updated as the testing process moves along.

Written by Steve Weissmann — March 20, 2010

Filed under: Business  

Picking up the trailer

Today was eventful. The snow is almost gone which is unusual for Ontario in March.  It was probably one of the rainiest and windiest days we've had all year. Not a great day for driving a trailer 100 km (60 miles) but we managed.  Dave Cook the owner of Intruder Trailers was fantastic.  He had the 18 foot Suretrac trailer ready to go when we arrived.  The cost was 2895, with taxes it ended up being 3271.  Dave made sure we had the proper hookup for the electrical and a 2 5/16 trailer hitch ball.  They also filled out the paperwork for us to take down to the Ministry of Transportation to get the license we needed.  10 minutes down the road, $35 for the license plate and a quick trip to Tim Horton's for coffee and we were ready to head back to Intruder Trailers where Dave fixed up our trailer hitch and showed us how to hook up the trailer.

The one thing we found out was that most tandem trailers need to undergo a safety check each year if they are going to be on the road.  Hmmm. That was news.  The ministry sites I'd consulted didn't note that anywhere I looked.  They've got height, weight and length restrictions, and the Fencl conforms to all of these.  Whew.

It might be a pain to have to move the house each year for a safety, but it might be enough just to get the safety when we eventually move the house again which could be years after we park it the first time.

Dave was keen about the idea of our tiny house and had even been looking at them on line.  We'll keep him posted as the house goes up.  He also recommended that if indeed we are parking the house for years, we should consider taking off the tires for the duration. He says tires will deteriorate in the sun and be useless after a few years.

Since it was crazy windy, we decided to drive the back roads to return to  Kitchener.  It took about an hour to drive from Nilestown and then another hour just to park the trailer in the shop where the classes will do the building.  They're using one of the auto shops rather than the woodworking shop because of its access to outside.  They've set up workbenches and circular saws in the auto shop and it should work.  Bob and the students will tell you more about the challenges of this space.

All I know is it was very challenging getting the trailer into the space.  I'm sure my husband was ready to scream "Lucccy"  in exasperation.  He probably wanted to swear too, but he refrained. Although the automotive shop is huge, two metal posts that operate the car hoists block the space about 18 feet from the door.  We (and by we I mean my wonderful husband) had to back up the trailer so that it was centered perfectly between these hoists.  Needless to say, this took a long time.  Ultimately we (and again by we I mean my wonderful husband) ended up having to manually lift up the trailer and reposition it so it would fit between the hoists.  There are only a couple of inches of clearance on each side.

I can't believe it is actually happening.

Written by Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School — March 13, 2010

Filed under: Build it yourself  
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