Share Your Work-in-Progress


Hey, it’s the first WIP Wednesday post! What are you working on in your home and in your community?

Come share your stories, your pictures, your visions, your victories and your failures! We’re here to cheer you on, share our suggestions, commiserate in your woes, and celebrate your victories!


When I moved to Tacoma, I knew the weather was going to be tough for me. I told my community that I would need somewhere to be warm ALL THE TIME and they agreed to build a sauna on the property with me!

After looking at every corner of the yard for a good place to put it, and searching online for saunas and kits, we realized the solution was right in front of us: this roughly-finished shed attached to the garage.

)

The plan is to:

  • Move that door to the opposite corner of the building
  • Build an 8’ x 6’ sauna in the corner where the door currently is
  • Finish the whole room with insulation & drywall
  • Install sitting & laying benches along the walls
  • Put in lots of windows, skylights, and lights
  • plus one thousand minor details

Here are the rough (always changing) plans, and some of the pile of scratch paper I’ve been using for the BOM:



It’s been “exciting” so far… we learned that our house electrical box was an out-of-date fire hazard, and we would have to replace the entire panel (and have it moved!) before any electrician would run the 240v supply out to the sauna. I’ve learned a lot about power, insulation, ventilation, framing, and moisture control without having actually DONE anything yet. Not to mention the universal struggle to find lumber, especially nice cedar.

BUT! We found a lumber source and we’re getting cedar this weekend! We got an electrical quote that’s actually quite reasonable! And the community approved the sauna expenses as an equity contribution!

So things are slowly coming together… just in time for summer :rofl: :sob: :rofl:

If you’ve built one of these, god would I love to hear from you… or if you’re generally just handy. I have SO MANY open questions. If you’re curious about this project, I’d be happy to share the more detailed plans, BOM, and whatever else I know.

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That’s so cool! Definitely keep us updated on this project. My community almost decided to built a cedar sauna this year. The only reason we won’t is to focus on other major construction projects first. I’d love to hear lessons learned from the experience!

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What are the in-progress construction projects at your community?

Thanks @KimKanney! It’s actually been easier than I expected to design (he says, before having actually done any construction). At this point I’m definitely happy I am doing it myself vs building it from a kit. I used this ebook extensively:

Honestly this whole website has just been a great resource.

So excited for you and your community members Daniel! I haven’t built a sauna, but have similar dreams. I’ve used barrel-style cedar sauna’s that I’ve really loved. I’ve also never been in an (home built) insulated sauna, although it sounds like a good idea.

This is my first winter living in a tiny house / converted school bus my partner and I built last year. We’ve needed to leave a few weekends and shut down the house. We are learning a LOT about water and frozen/damaged pipes. We have insulated and heat tape wrapped pipes, are using pex for flexibility, and have several drains in place, but have still had ongoing issues. This weekend we replaced our cracked faucet and a few other items and have running water once again! It’s a joy.

This experience has been a lesson in the importance of being intensely mindful and detail oriented with house building / caretaking. Water and ice are not forgiving.

I’m currently staying at Plankton House in Buffalo, NY, and like any older house there is a LONG maintenance list with many projects, and many smaller to-do items. One of the items on the list is to fix this crack in the kitchen ceiling. It’s been here for years, and hasn’t gotten any bigger, and doesn’t seem to pose any immediate concerns as compared to some of the other urgent maintenance fixes that have been needed in the past, so it keeps getting bumped down the list. At one point (before I ever lived here), a housemate cut out a picture of the ceiling cat meme, and posted it over this crack to make it more noticable, and remind us that it still needed to be repaired. It would be a simple repair, and wouldn’t take too long, but there has just always been higher priorities. Back in the beginning of COVID, that older cutout of ceiling cat fell into a bucket of sanitizing solution that the community was using to clean touchpoints. It was then dried off, but it never quite stayed up on the ceiling after that.


When I arrived in Buffalo for my visit, I saw that “Restore ceiling cat” was written on a small to-do list up on the house white board, and I took the opportunity to replace the meme with a picture of my own cat, Howie as a joke, and to call attention to the crack in the ceiling once again. Both of the houses at Nickel City Housing Co-op are continuous works in progress, but I hope that even after the crack gets fixed in the kitchen ceiling, that they’ll tape the picture of the cat back up there. It’s very much a part of Plankton House’s history at this point.

@BogataSumaCroatia can you share something you’ve been working on recently? It sounds like you are doing a lot of exciting work!

I feel this would be the place to mention something I found while searching for my “planting grounds” (a place to plant my feet). I’ve found that there are free land still yet to be claimed throughout the US, much of it is in Alaska! Below is a link about it. I hope this helps establishing communities with the where portion. Don’t be discouraged if your [desired] state isn’t on this site’s list. I don’t recall the other sites I saw larger lists on for free/homestead land. I’ll add the links if I find them again.