Happy Simply SA in Pictorial/Photo Form

Hi Folks. So this blog site will be kept up on an occasional basis from here on but I thought it would be nice to dedicate the second to last post on a pictorial look at the Happy, simply build in South Australia…

The next post (on the booking process for the Happy, simply home in SA) will be a last one in a little while as I am going on a 1500km walk in Japan for an idea I call Teaspoons of Change… which are personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet one teaspoon at a time… http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/  https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange

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Happy, simply Left-Overs and Left-To-Do

Day 22 House warming (16)I’m very sorry I haven’t got any new photos to add since the last blog but I do have new information to pass on… Below are a couple of lists: the practical facts and figures of building the Happy, simply home; what still needs to be done; and a small list of needs and wants to finish it off.

In my next blog I will outline what will become of the Happy, simply home – especially now I have abandoned it and left Australia…

In practical terms the home took:

  • 3 days of deconstruction
  • 22 days of construction
  • Around $1000 spent on a few materials and other costs –  – the rest was salvaged, donated, gathered from leftovers, bits and pieces from people and more
  • Over 30 volunteers and around 10 builders
  • Many loaves of bread
  • Over 5000 views on the blog and probably similar on Facebook
  • Wide reaching support, resources, sponsorship, donations and generosity
  • Moved people from a group of people to the status of community!

List of tasks still to be done by anyone still keen to get in, interact and attribute their mark on the project. Plus I know there is very likely to be a solar workshop next weekend or at some stage to put in all the solar features:

  • fill gap in wall of toilet and shelter on the east deck
  • solar system
  • create a fold down desk
  • toilet to be built
  • paint polycoat on stairs and cedar wall, maybe stain or coat the bed – don’t use gloss finish it will make it too slippery
  • ¼ round the edges, door gaps, skirting, etc
  • Joining piece for the flooring
  • Door handles
  • Outside edge flashing if needed / wanted – important bits are done
  • Carpet tiles and/or black plastic under the home to stop weeds growing and so it can be used as storage space
  • Stabilise each corner of the home so not just resting on the original legs of the caravan – use the two axle stands and maybe get a few more besser blocks?
  • Tank stand reinforcement, cleaning and functionality set for human consumption
  • Fridge – I have a spare esky at my mum’s home that can be used but any hole dug in the ground covered will do the trick for the next few months
  • Fitting fly screens
  • Anything else you might want to contribute just check with Beau and Sam from the build and remember simplicity is the key!

List of needs (wants)  for the home:

  • Office chair
  • Compost bins
  • Door handle
  • Solar shower
  • Gas bottle
  • Double mattress under the thin top one we already have
  • Mosquito bed net
  • Wee container – something not see through and 2L is best with a big opening at the top and a lid
  • Fans 12v or small AC fan
  • …?

With all these jobs to be done and things needed (wanted) I personally prefer to live in a place and from that REALLY determine what is needed and then see what might be wanted and go from that basis – rather than guessing beforehand what I think will be needed and wanted (rarely the same list). Since I won’t be back at the Happy, simply home in Aldinga till probably Christmas it would be good to at least forecast a few of these things so it can adequately support anyone staying before then…

Day 22 House warming (7a)

Shelter to toilet in and hang a bike

Unfortunately I got held up at the bank this morning for a few hours in the city when really I didn’t give a crap and wanted to be helping build the toilet shelter… (enough of the bad dodgy uncle puns and jokes).

Luckily there were people who we hard at work this morning while I was sorting a few things out before I depart the country on Monday. Not only were they doing work they were building a toilet and bicycle shelter and giving the final coat of paint on the inside of the home!

Day 19 (18)

We also had a couple of very smart people who knew how to use computers that control machines that cut wood into great shapes on the router.

I’ll let the array of pics tell the story for today as things seem to be coming together nicely for a mostly finished product by Sunday.


Volunteers wanted and needed for the final couple of days if you are around!

Happy, simply Time Lapsing

No the title doesn’t suggest we are not doing anything or aren’t going to complete the project…

Only a brief update today and tomorrow as we had just a half day today and no building tomorrow as I will be giving a presentation at the Adelaide City Library in the evening – see details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427638847508663/?fref=ts

Tomorrow night I will be sharing the concept behind the poster, behind idea, behind the motivation, behind the learning, behind the practicality of why and how Happy, simply came to be, but mostly it will focused on building a tiny home with a group of volunteers from leftover stuff…!

For now enjoy the time lapse of the project so far to date – 14 days in 2 minutes – when it is only this long does it actually mean we have done anything…?

Warm and watertight!

The Happy, simply home is ready to move inside…

The roof was finished today with the flashing up and now making the roof completely waterproof (in theory).

We also added insulation to the inside walls and are halfway done wrapping the inside amazing layer of breathability and high performance interior wrap from Laros.

From this day forward the build can move indoors and hopefully rather quickly and lower skilled than all the previous tasks. Just two decks and a toilet remain on the outside for outside completion!

With the weather looks a little gloomy tomorrow and the next day it will be a pleasure to be inside – building and with 8 of us due to volunteer tomorrow the Happy, simply home will be filled with community! A good tester to see how many this place will hold…

The day started well with a beautiful sunrise...

The day started well with a beautiful sunrise… and finished well with closer to completion!

Piece by piece – it takes a community to build a (tiny) home

Day 11 (9)

Happy, simply is pulling together nicely. Each cut, hammer, screw, fierce-out bashing and piece by piece the home is moving towards the finish line (the outside at least!).

Progress is going along slowly but beautifully. We have a great blend of inexperienced volunteers all having a go and trying to make it work mixed with some people in the know who are wonderful at directing, advising, sharing and doing the finer points as well as actually knowing what they are doing – or showing that impression!

Happy, simply now has 2 out of 3 doors!, a little more cladding, an interior custom bed frame, the making of a back deck and is ready to receive a roof!

The photos are back down on the ground and a wonderful new set of volunteers about the place over the past few days, mixed with the old reliables!

Only a couple of days away from moving the building into the inside and looking forward to the students from Heathfield tomorrow…

Day 11 (5)

Earned another man badge today using an angle grinder – luckily I had my safety shorts on…

Happy, simply Goes DIY (and beyond)

AAEV Day10 (17)Happy, simply became DIY today… Unfortunately we didn’t have any recognised builders for the day so a band of around 8 volunteers decided to take an eighth of the builder’s role each – along with some special guest appearances and from MG, the builder from the past two days, Clem a guy in the village who has done a bit of building once before and phoning a friend, Paul our builder from Tuesday!

In the end we did very well to clad the whole back of the home, finishing framing around doors and windows as well as finishing the taping of the wrap to make the entire place to now be completely weather-proof.

While we are feeling proud of ourselves for the moment, we will wait and see how much of what we have done may need to be undone… 🙂

AAEV Day10 (18)

It was a wonderful day as we used common sense, guess work and general scratching of heads to get us through and in the end with a lovely sense of completion.

On with the iron cladding tomorrow and we might soon be on the inside to do the cladding there!

Day 3 – Community Comes Together

After a few days of being rejected by most of the calls and emails I have put out in the world to lighten the burden of landfill and get leftover materials for the build – today was a wonderful day!

AAEV Day 01 (1)
Around 12 of us came together to spend the day together and also do a bit of building and in the end we have a floor to build a home on!

AAEV Day 01 (9)

It was a brilliant day with a mix of learning, thinking, sharing, interacting, trying, conversing, helping, doing, watching and the perfect atmosphere of strangers coming together to learn and share.

AAEV Day 01 (8)

AAEV Day 01 (4)

For me at least this is primarily a community project than a building project and day was a huge success in that regard. A bonus was it was also a great success in a building sense!

AAEV Day 01Julian stepped into the frame as main builder and teacher who shared his knowledge and experience with others allowing them to use drop saws for the first time or for all us produce a sub floor on an old caravan trailer.

The photos tell a story as will the time-lapse cameras once we have extracted what they captured today!

For those following this from South Australia please note the build is postponed until Friday 30 May next week till we get more materials and I’ve had a chance to see if there is a big pile of leftovers out there waiting for us! The new timeline looks like we will finish up on probably Wednesday/Thursday 11/12 June not Monday 9 June as first thought so reset your clocks for that timeline.

It’s a beautiful day to be with a group of people building a Happy, simply home! Seeya Friday 🙂  ???

Big thanks to all the volunteers today and the cooks, donations, support, tools, advice and more!

Happy, simply home SA – FYI Volunteers!

An email to the people who have already put up their hand to help out or who might be keen to help out!

I am sad to be back in Australia after 5 weeks living in the wonderful Happy, simply home in Aotearoa New Zealand, but happy to be building another one in Australia!.

Here is the big update for the Happy, simply home on how the building schedule will look (more or probably – less)!

The essential idea of Happy, simply is not necessarily the end product but the process it is built so please see the schedule as a rough guide and an atmosphere of learning and sharing. This is not a professional workshop but more a chance for everyone to have a go and build a home together (with a few wise and experienced hands about the place).

Your efforts are going to be greatly appreciated and I can guarantee your learning and happiness will match your help and more! Plus once finished the Happy, simply home is open for all to experience a night or two in happy, simplicity!

See below for more details! Also keep in touch on the blog: https://happysimply.wordpress.com, the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/ and the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/382302941912081/

Cheers, d’Arcy. (Beau, Lindsay, Sam, Charlie and more!)

So here is the nitty gritty of the building component of the Happy, simply home in South Australia. However I do have to point out that the nature of a community project like this will mean materials will vary, plans will change and the outline below will probably not be exact to the day. But no matter what we will have some kind of home built by 8 June!

See below for timeline, logistics, skills you will acquire and more… and please keep in touch with the blog the Happy, simply Facebook page, share this with others who might be keen to join in on the Happy, simply Facebookevent page and see the short youtube clip from last year’s Happy, simply building project in Aotearoa New Zealand : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl8safGwXhQ

What people will learn! An outline of what people will learn and what they walk away with. What can they expect?

Keywords and interests here are: building, design, architecture, sustainability, simplicity, community, self-sufficiency and where less is more and just enough is plenty!

But really this is a building and design project to learn why and how to design and build a house in the most simple step-by-step way with maximum sustainability.

Proposed Schedule Day by Day Outline of the Build (subject to change)

Day / Date Build Stage Description
Fri 16 May Meeting Get together the core team to thoroughly plot out the course for the build and get it happening! All invited – just let me know so I can pass on details
Fri 16 May – Fri 23 May Sourcing materials It will be an action packed week sourcing all the materials for the build! Help here is greatly appreciated…
Tues – Fri20 – 23 May Caravan Deconstruction We are building on an old caravan trailer but at the moment there is still an old caravan on the trailer! We need to get it off, salvage as much as we can and prep the trailer to be the platform for the Happy, simply home!Keep in mind school students are involved on Tues & Wed
Sat / Sun24 / 25 May Start Building! Days 1 & 2 Starting from scratch – site prep, set-up platform on trailer for homeStart plotting frames, doors, windows and roof
Mon – Fri26 – 30 May Skeleton Finish framing, stand framing and join, weather-tight, insulate & prepare for cladding. Keep in mind school students are involved on Tues & Wed
Sat / Sun – 31 May / 1 June Big Build This is crunch time to get as much done with lots of folks on a fun w/end!Finishing jobs from weekdays, prepping cladding and solar, lots of little projects and tasks to keep everyone busy
Mon – Fri2 – 6 June Finishing dwelling Filling in all the bits – inside lining, interior aspects, outside additions, solar, eaves, decks, all structural work mostly completed. Keep in mind school students are involved on Tues & Wed
Sat / Sun7 / 8 June Outer & final touches Very important weekend to get a good idea of all the work involved.Outside and finishing touches – attach & adjust. Hook up solar, water capture, eaves, compost toilet, interior planning
Mon / Thurs9 / 12 June Final bit & clean up Last remaining touches (if any – I’m hoping not), the clean up and last polish! Painting, interior sourcing and designing, the little touches
Fri 13 June Happy, simply home PARTY Come see the final product, cheers to all involved and a community celebration!

Logistics: Date, times, location, etc

  • Location: Aldinga Arts Eco Village, Aldinga (40km south of Adelaide), South Australia map: https://goo.gl/maps/jlRvp
  • When: Anytime from planning this Friday 16 May to party 13 June (with the major building period 24 May – 8 June)
  • Days are 9am-5pm as much as possible
  • Cost is free, thanks to generous builders and carpenters and donation might be welcome to them if you feel you want to…
  • Food – we will try and get donated food as much as possible but please be self-sufficient as well
  • Accommodation: we have a few spots for longer-term volunteers at homes and caravans in the Village – so let us know if you need, spots for camping, a few spots away from the build site in Willunga and surrounds, and local caravan park, etc…

What you need to bring

  • Gloves, hat, covered shoes, eye and ear protection if you have them
  • Warm clothes if cold; suncream if hot! Lots of layers to transition from cool mornings to warm afternoons
  • You will need any tools you might have access to (plus makes you look legitimate) – hammer, powered tools like a powered drill, etc
  • Fun and learning attitude! – Happy, Simply.

Learning and Skills You are Sure to Gain:

Depending a little on which stage of the build you choose (or ALL of it!) you will learn/do:

  • Tiny house: Pros and cons of a small dwelling
  • Passive design concepts: how to get a better energy efficient dwelling
  • Choosing the right spot and orientation
  • Starting from scratch: adjusting design according to recycled materials available
  • ‘Set-out’ of the dwelling: Obtain reference point, boundary lines, site levels and understand ground conditions
  • Learn basic timber-framing: measure, cut, squareness, level, bracing, fixing, etc.
  • How to erect a wooden structure
  • Install openings in walls (windows and doors) and seal the joints
  • Third Skin: How to achieve a breathable, insulated and waterproof dwelling
  • Install your own solar system and water collection
  • Handy tricks for DIY – like stair making, eaves, toilet and shower shelter, bike shed, etc

Then you’ll be ready to build your own Happy, simply lifestyle model and 10m2 studio!

Contacts: d’Arcy https://happysimply.wordpress.com/

And finally…

Support and a little wish list…

We are looking for the following if possible to help the project along:

  • Materials! I will send a list of specifics but in particular at the moment we are looking for: plywood sheets, internal cladding (gyprock, etc), structural beams, structural timber and screws
  • Food – anyone who might want to help in making and donating food to volunteers or leftovers from bakeries, cafes, restaurants, etc
  • Media outreach – papers, radio, online, etc…
  • Sharing the project with others so they can come and have a look and interaction with the concept and reality – community groups, schools, anyone!