How to Install a Mini Split : A DIY Guide

The Big Question is…..Where Have I been?

Since moving into our Cabin we have found a steady list of projects that need to be completed to make it more livable and comfortable, and get ready for the coming winter months. Besides working a part time job – which feels like full-time – I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I would like to my Blog!

Since today is a rainy day- and I need to get to work in a couple of hours, I’ll get started on my much needed catching up.

Why We Made Our Decision:

My wife and I needed to make a decision on how we would cool and heat our cabin during the summers and winters to come.  We purchased an 8000 BTU window unit from a local Big Box store in the beginning of the summer months to make some effort to keep us cool. We knew that we wanted to eventually purchase a Mini Split unit to provide both cooling and heating  when we needed it.  The window unit surpassed our expectations for keeping us cool and comfortable, but we knew we needed more.

Due to the affordability and ease of installation, we decided that a Mini Split unit was our best option for our size cabin.  We chose an AUX 12,000 BTU unit which both heats and cools. At less than 500 Square feet of cabin space, some would say a 12,000 BTU was overkill.  The particular unit that we chose is rated to heat and cool up to 600 Square Feet without any problems. This particular unit came with the installation kit which included both line sets, wiring, remote control, and the outdoor compressor and indoor air handler and wall mounting bracket for the indoor air handler.  Many of these units also arrive pre-charged with R410a Refrigerant.

Deciding where to put it —

After deciding where we would install the unit in our cabin the next step was to pour a concrete pad for the outdoor compressor. Sure, we could have easily purchased a premade concrete pad, however, they can get a little pricey. It was more fun just to level some ground and pour my own, not to mention- Cheaper!  I  used a couple of 80 Pound bags of Quikrete from our local hardware store.

I also installed four (4) 2 inch concrete anchors to hold the compressor in place….


After letting the concrete cure for a few days and removing the forms, I was ready to install the compressor outside. You can see below the compressor in place and bolted to the pad with the concrete anchors.

If you really don’t like the idea of pouring a concrete pad,  there are several outdoor wall mounting brackets for mini splits on the market.  Most are universal and will hold from 100 to 300 pounds. In the event you prefer the wall mount option be sure to purchase the rubber anti – vibration mounts.  Many times you will not notice any vibration from the mini splits, however, they can be purchased if you want that peace of mind of not hearing or feeling any vibration.  The image below are one of the  mounting brackets available…

Universal Mini Split Wall Mounting Bracket



Next Step:  Installing the Air Handler on the Wall inside the Cabin ——

First,  select a location on your interior wall closest to the outdoor Condenser unit mounted outside.  Many Mini Split units come with the complete installation kit which includes the indoor air handler wall mounting bracket, two (2) 7 foot line sets, condensation drain line, and power cable and unit cable.  You will want your cables and line sets to be able to reach the Condenser outside. For clarification, your line sets are the copper tubing that supply the refrigerants between your air handler and the outdoor compressor.

Second,  Mount the air handler wall bracket provided with your unit in the location you chose.  An Owners Manual and Instructions will come with your unit when you receive it. Follow the instructions for installing the bracket.  You will only need a pencil, tape measure, and a level to make sure the bracket is level.

On many mini split units your wall mounting bracket is attached by a single screw located on the back of the air handler. Remove the screw and bracket.

You can build out with 2 x 4 ‘s as in the image above or simply mount the bracket to the wall using your existing wall studs.   In the photo you will notice the template that comes with some units. Notice the circles on each bottom corner.  Depending on where your drain lines, line sets, and wires are located on your air handler, this is where you will drill your hole to run the line sets, drain line and cables outside to the condenser.  Check the back of the air handler to find where your lines are located on the unit.  Use a 1 1/2″ hole saw to drill the hole for all of the above.

Once you have the hole drilled from inside to outside, you are now ready to mount your air handler to the wall. Before mounting it on the bracket, pay careful attention to the back of the air handler.  On the back top you will find the tabs that your mounting bracket will slide into.

Before mounting the air handler, also locate the wires, plastic drain line,  and the two copper tubes folded into the air handler for shipping.   Being careful not to crimp the copper tubes, ease each one out until they are straight. You can use both hands to straighten them. Dont  try and force them as you may either crimp them or break them. You may also notice on the ends of the copper lines are caps. DO NOT Remove these at this point…The air handler comes pressurized at the factory and will be released once the line sets are ready to be connected.

After carefully straightening the copper tubes, place those along with the wires and the condensation drain line through the hole in the wall.  You can use electrical or duct tape to keep them together to get  them through the hole to the outside. This may take two people to complete. Before placing the air handler in place, angle the unit to allow the condensation to drain while in air conditioning mode.  You may need to angle to bracket for this or install wedges when mounting the wall bracket. Many installers, using a level, will sometimes angle a 1/3 bubble depending on your needed drainage. Failure to adjust for condensation draining can cause water damage on your walls. Follow the instructions for your drain line.  Once your lines are through to the outside, you can mount the air handler to the interior wall bracket.  You will only need to lift it up slightly, tilt back just a little to make sure the slots in the air handler  slide down on the metal tabs on the wall bracket. You can push it towards the wall at the bottom until you hear a click.


Installing the Wiring for the Unit —

I decided to connect the Mini Split to a 30 Amp Double Pole breaker at the Main Panel Outside.  Our Unit is a 240 volt unit which would require at least a 30 amp breaker.  I purchased #10 gauge UF wire, which is commonly referred to as 10/2 UF-B with Ground.

I also purchased 1 1/2″ Schedule 80 Electrical Conduit to run from the junction box at the unit to the main panel.  Even though UF-B Cable is a direct bury cable, I chose the “for safety sake” route and installed the cable inside the conduit.

The above photo is the junction box i used to supply power to the unit.  The conduit at the bottom of the box is from the main panel outside.  I needed to run about 50 feet of UF-B wire and the Schedule 80 conduit between those two points.

I then ran Liquid Tight Flexible Conduit from the Junction box to the Service Disconnect Pictured above.

30 AMP Service Disconnect

As you can see in the above photo, the wiring from the junction box is connecting to this 30 Amp fused Service Disconnect Box.  The cable entering the box on the left side is the Power Cable from the Air Handler unit inside the cabin.   It has a Yellow/Green wire, Brown wire, and a Blue wire. That is one of the two wires mentioned previously when installing the air handler and feeding through the hole in the wall to the outside.

Service Disconnect Wired

In the above photo you can now see the Service Disconnect has been wired. Service Disconnects are normally required by Electrical Code for Heat and Air Conditioning systems.  The wires from the main panel outside ( red and black) are connected to the Line terminals in the Disconnect box.  Line is commonly known as the power source.  The Green wire is connected to the Ground Buss in the middle.  At the Main Panel the Red and Black wires are connected to each pole in the Double Pole Breaker at the main panel. That’s the reason Double Pole breakers have two switches on the breaker.  Each pole is 120 Volts which gives it 240 Volts to your appliance.  Green is always your Ground in electrical current applications.

The Grey cable coming from the indoor unit (on the left) supplies power to your Mini Split unit.  The Brown and Blue wires are connected to your LOAD terminals that are marked as well for easy identification.  Your LOAD is the power being supplied to the appliance. In the event one of the fuses are blown or the breaker is tripped, it will shut off the power to your appliance.  The Service Disconnect is also a means to shut off power to the unit in the event it needs to be serviced without shutting off the main power.

We do sell the 30 AMP Mini Split Disconnect Kits for $49.99 plus shipping. Each kit includes Disconnect Box, 2- 30 amp fuses, one 4 foot Liquid Tight Whip with wiring and connectors, and one 6 foot Liquid Tight Whip with wiring and connectors.  If you need one please feel free to contact us to order.

Wiring the Indoor Air Handler to the Outdoor Compressor—

The second Black cable you fed through the wall to the outside ( as you can see pictured) is permanently wired to the wall mounted air handler inside. You will need to connect it to the unit pictured.  As you can see in the following photo each wire is number coded for easy connection.  This Black cable is actually your control cable which tells each unit in your system what to do.  With this particular model of Mini Split, the indoor unit provides power and instructions to the outside compressor unit.

Each of the wires above have a sleeve attached with the corresponding number embossed.  Simply connect them to the corresponding number behind the cover located on the outdoor unit.  The wires at the top are connected when your unit arrives.  Its that simple!

NOTE:  Keep in mind that not all units on the market are  the same in wiring. This particular unit we installed may not be the same as other units, so follow your units instruction manual.  If you wire it incorrectly, you can cause severe damage to your unit. If unsure, consult with a licensed and reputable electrician.

Installing the Copper Line Sets —-

Two (7) foot copper line sets are used with your unit. Purchasing a Mini Split unit with the installation kit provided will include the line sets.  They will arrive with foam insulation covering the outside of the tubing and the proper flair fittings.  While the installation of the Line Sets are simple, we chose to have a licensed HVAC Technician install them. Most units, as mentioned previously, come precharged with R410a Refrigerant.  Once the lines are connected between the indoor unit and the compressor, the lines need to be evacuated with a pump made for this purpose. These particular pumps, with the gauges and the proper adapters can be quite costly.  We actually couldn’t justify spending money for a vacuum pump that we would use only once.  A good pump is around $300 or more.

As you can see in the photo above the HVAC Technician curled the copper tubing before connecting them to the Compressor  ( as shown).  By doing that it saved him from having to cut the copper tubing and not having to flair the ends of the tubing again.  The fittings are then connected to the unit.  Each copper tube will be a different size and will connect to the corresponding size on the unit. One line is for refrigerant and the small line for heat.  The Tech also connected the line sets to the line set tubing attached to the indoor unit and fed through the wall to the outside. As Mentioned previously, this unit is pressurized at the factory. Once he was ready to connect the line sets, he removed the caps from the ends and you will hear air bleeding from the indoor unit.  This simply means that the unit will hold pressure and is nothing to be concerned over.  He then connected the outdoor line sets together with the supplied flair fittings.

The vacuum pump is connected to one of the fittings on the end of the Compressor to remove any moisture in the lines and also to remove any air or contaminates.  The process can take a few short minutes or can take longer if refrigerant needs to be added. Once the system is “evacuated” or “drawn down” as they say and  the proper microns or pressure is achieved, a valve in the end of the connections is opened to release the refrigerant into the system.   Not doing this properly can also cause damage to your unit or cause you to lose the refrigerant.

Hiring a Licensed HVAC Technician gave us the peace of mind that it was done correctly and our system would work properly.

Once we had it installed, connected,  and the HVAC Tech connected the lines, we were ready for the test.  Our unit came with a Remote Control to set the temperature and operate the system.  We can say the unit has worked flawlessly and we are happy with the results.  Installing Mini Split units are very easy and anyone can do it if you follow the instructions.  It can save you alot of money doing it yourself.

We also chose to purchase a Line Set Cover which you see pictured below.  They do a great job of covering the lines and wiring and make it appealing to look at.





Using Salvaged or Reclaimed Materials – Setting Up A PSO?

The first question I am sure you are now asking is – WHAT THE HECK IS A PSO?

A PSO is nothing more than a Pure Salvage Outpost – Just a place that you can collect and store salvaged or reclaimed material to help others build their small house or cabin on their own land.  Many people prefer the Big House with a Mortgage with all those bells and whistles screaming at the neighbors to Look at Me!  This lifestyle of living small isn’t for everyone as much as living in a large house with immaculate landscaping isn’t something many minimalist want either.  Regardless of who you are,  choose what makes you Happy!

In my Business – by that I mean the Homesteading Website and Facebook pages that I publish – I see people who want to get away from big banks, Mortgage companies, and have a small house that they can buy or build themselves without spending a fortune. They also don’t want to worry about the ever increasing costs of new building materials and off-gassing from treated products.  Sometimes we just cant help that we need to buy these things that are so new and expensive because they aren’t available anywhere else.

Those things are available anywhere else – and its called Reclaimed Materials. They have been used and abused and lasted the test of time. Farmer Joe down the road may have built a barn many  years ago that wasn’t treated with harsh chemicals that make you sick.  I have seen many abandoned old houses on tobacco farms that were used a pack houses. Those sometimes have a great supply of old wood, doors, vintage light fixtures, or a good ole cast iron sink.

Reclaimed Material

Sometimes, a good place to start is a local Goodwill or Habitat Store to see what they have available.  Many times they have reclaimed materials, but they are still treated in some form with harmful chemicals – I don’t advocate not buying from them.  They are a great cause to help people find less expensive items that they can afford or build a house from donated materials for affordable housing.

Photo Credit: Roma Frank

What I do advocate is this – – Get with your like minded neighbors and community and start a PSO in your community. Pool together and find reclaimed items to sell at discounted prices like old lumber,  windows, fixtures and the many things you can use to build a small cabin or house.  Barter or Trade materials, tools, wisdom and advice.  You can find many items for FREE on social media or other websites that people are itching to give away. Take that money and use it to buy more reclaimed materials.  You may have something that a neighbor can use and they may have something to trade.  Best of all, help them build with your knowledge and they help you.  You will be much better off using reclaimed materials that look really cool, than buying new materials which can harm you!

My wife and I found a great business this past weekend in the Mennonite Community about a two hour drive from our place.  We were specifically wanting metal underpinning for our cabin. The local Sheet Metal and Roofing fabricators wanted $2.29 or more per foot . The shop we found sells it for .55 per foot, and in the color that we wanted.  It’s not impossible to find these deals if you look.

If you have some available property on your homestead that you aren’t doing anything with – this would be a good place to start a local outpost for reclaimed materials. It may take some time to accumulate things to make it worthwhile. You can also be a drop off site for those who are throwing things away instead of taking it to the landfill.

Personally, I would like to see these places pop up all over the country.  A great example is one that exists in Texas.  You can find it here and meet the creator!  Pure Salvage Living  

Photo Credit: Tiny Texas Houses


Wherever you plan to build your small house or cabin from reclaimed materials- with a little help from your friends – be sure to check your local zoning laws and codes to make sure its allowed.  If not, pick a place where it is allowed and get started!

Writers Note:  In this Post I have included photos submitted from Followers of our Facebook Page   Shed to House Conversions: A to Z .  Photos Credits are Given.


Guest Post- Conserving Energy at Home : What You Can Do!

This Guest Post is from Andrew Dang – Andrew is a DIY’er and founder of Simply Home Tips

He likes to share his experience through detailed guidelines with pictures on home improvement, Do- It- Yourself projects, around-the-house fixing, woodworking, etc.

Conserving Energy At Home – What You Can Do

People nowadays are constantly looking for new and improved ways to save energy everywhere they go. They frequently try to save energy at work. They frequently try
to save energy in the comfort of their own homes as well.
If you want to be an energy conservation champion in your residential space, these helpful
strategies can change your daily existence for the better.
Refrain from Dishwasher Use for Washing Your Dishes
If you want to save a pretty penny at home, you should refrain from using your
dishwasher to dry your dishes whenever possible.  Just say No to the drying cycle feature
that’s part of your household appliance. Take the hassle-free air drying route.
Wait Until You Have Plenty of Dirty Clothes Items and Dishes
If you want to save a significant amount of energy, you should avoid doing laundry
until you can fill your washing machine completely. Do the same with your dishwasher.
Steer clear of filling your dishwasher up halfway with a handful of plates, glasses and forks.
Switch Your Incandescent Lighting Off Any Time You Get The Chance
Be mindful of your presence in certain parts of your residential property. If you’re not present in a specific section of your home, switch all incandescent lighting off as soon
as possible. These Lights mostly release heat, after all.
Adjust Your Temperature at Home in a Gradual Manner
People who are serious about conserving energy should always tweak home temperatures in a gradual manner. Refrain from doing so rapidly and abruptly.  If do do so rapidly, that
changes the temperature of your heat pump speedily. This can encourage the associated strip to take action and employ significant amounts of energy as well.
Swap Out Any and All Household Appliances That Are Getting Too Old
If you have any household appliances that have been in your life for a long period of time,
consider swapping them out with new and fresh options as soon as possible. Outdated
household appliances tend to be nowhere near as energy  efficient as their new counterparts are. That’s the reason that operating them is generally alot more expensive.
Swap Out Your Furnace Filters on a Regular Basis
Replace or clean the filters that make up your furnace on a routine basis in order to keep things running smooth and easily. You should try to do these things in intervals of three months, if at all possible.
Filters that are soiled and full of debris have the ability to make the flow of air more
sluggish and can put alot of pressure on your system.
Focus on Your Curtains at Home
Open the drapes in your home in a manner that looks toward the sun during the daytime. Shut any and all blinds and curtains in your home in the evening when things are darker.
Depend on Central Heating
Central heating use tends to be an economical route in many situations. It can be a lot more economical than employing a gas fire to make a single part of your home warmer.
Assess the readings that are on your utility meter to confirm this.
Install a Dehumidifier
That’s because with a lower humidity can make you feel cooler, thus decrease the need
for cranking down on the thermostat. It also helps improve HVAC efficiency on older AC systems by removing extra moisture from the air and less load on the system itself.
Employ A Water Heater Timer
Invest in Water Heater installation as a means of reducing your costs. Timers have the
ability to shut water heaters off in the evening when people are sleeping. They are capable
of shutting these household appliances off when people are away from their residences, too.

Prioritize the Insulation of Hot Water Pipes
Hot water pipe insulation can go a long way for people who are looking to decrease their costs dramatically. This insulation can minimize the loss of heat greatly, first and foremost.
It can boost the temperatures of H2) considerably, too, and that can help people who wish
to decrease their water temperatures and lessen their expenses.
Test Out Pressure Cooker Use
Go for pressure cooker use in your kitchen any time you get the opportunity.   Using a pressure cooker tends to slash cooking duration by roughly 50 percent or so.  If you are
in the mood to enjoy a fast and tasty meal,  pressure cooker use can save you from wasting
energy and money.
Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug Things
Look around your home and concentrate on any and all household appliances and chargers you spot.  Switch them off if you are not employing them in any way, shape
or form.  These things can use precious energy at any time they are simply plugged into
the wall, believe it or not!
Dry Your Laundry Using the Air
You can aim to minimize dryer use after you do your laundry. You can save a lot of money simply by the air drying approach.  It’s a piece of cake, too.

PEX Plumbing Kit- My Personal Experience

When we were planning our Shed to House Conversion it was a necessity to have running water. We decided that we would use PEX Plumbing over conventional PVC for the ease of its use and affordability. While in the process of shopping for supplies and the items that we would need, I came across a Pex Plumbing Kit that gave me everything I wanted in one place without having to shop around for the various parts.

These kits were put together to be used in Tiny Houses, Cabins, or Shed Conversion projects such as ours. I began by purchasing a roll of 3/4 inch PEX I wanted to use as my main water line from the water meter to our cabin. It worked out perfect as the local water company installed a 3/4 inch meter at the roadway.

After we ordered and received the kit I couldn’t wait to start the installation. The day we received it I opened the box in anticipation of seeing what was inside. These kits included one hundred (100) feet each of Red and Blue PEX 1/2 inch rolls of tubing, Twenty (20) 1/2 inch brass elbows, Fifty (50) 1/2 inch metal crimp rings, Tubing cutter, a Crimping Tool for 1/2 inch and 3/4 Inch Metal Crimps, and Two (2) 1 Inch Copper Manifolds with 4 Valves. I still had some reservations if this Kit would be enough to plumb our 12 by 40 foot cabin. You can see in the image below the items included in each kit.

After I installed the main water line going to the cabin as you can see below, I began drilling holes in the studs to install the PEX tubing.

3/4 Inch PEX Water line into the cabin with Ball valve for shut off.

During the installation I found it much faster and easier to run the tubing to where i needed it to go. It’s flexible and very easy to put into place. One quick measure with my measuring tape and cut to the desired length with the provided Tubing Cutter, it went by pretty fast! No need for PVC saws, Couplings, Elbows, 45’s, or Glue and Cleaner.

For the remainder of the materials that were not included in the Kit, I visited our local Hardware Store and purchased SharkBite Brand Products. I found a couple of places that wouldn’t allow me to make connections with the elbows or crimping tool provided or the connections for the One (1) inch Manifolds to the water supply for hot and cold water. You can see below the Manifolds that I installed using Sharkbite Connectors from the Main Water Line and my Outlet to my Hot Water Heater.

Pex Manifolds for Hot and Cold water

By using the Manifolds with the four valves going to our shower, Bathroom sink, and kitchen sink I would be able to close any individual line going to an appliance without having to shut off the water at the main water source and make any necessary repairs. Another great thing that we have learned about PEX is that if it freezes it will expand to five (5) times the normal size of the tubing before it will rupture. PVC will rupture every time if not properly insulated. I would still recommend insulating PEX where possible for that added protection from freezing.

The installation of this particular kit took about two days to install considering I had other projects I was working on at the same time and my employment. Ideally, it would have been a one day project if I had worked in one day. Of Course, having a plan laid out speeds up the installation. I also had enough tubing, crimps, and elbows left over to install plumbing in another project.

Now that our Plumbing is installed, I became very impressed with this particular kit. After many searches I found this kit without having to spend my time and numerous searches locating each part that I would need.
A Complete Job-In-One Box shipped to my door!

In order to help my readers I decided to offer these PEX Plumbing Kits on my website for purchase. In case you are interested in giving them a try you can find them Here

Until Next Time – Happy Plumbing!!

Our Homestead – The Plumbing – Part I

In our planning we had to give much thought into where we wanted our water line to come into the cabin, where our bathroom shower, toilet and vanity would go, and particularly the kitchen. We built our interiors walls to allow for size and where we needed things to go. Not only for functionality but for ease in installing plumbing and drain lines. We also wanted it within a reasonable distance of our septic tank and leech field.

In August of 2017 we had a local contractor to clear the land and the same day install our new septic system. Since no public sewer exists in our area, we were required to seek approval and install a septic tank from the State.

Instead of repeating after myself, my prior Post from February will bring you up-to-date on the plumbing. You can read it Here

My wife also recently ordered this great little portable washer which should arrive in a few days. Once its here and working we will give a review and show you how we use it.

Stay Tuned for my next Post on the Electrical Installation.

Our Blog is Back, Now to Catch up!

Welcome Back!

What a long trip it’s been since my last post in February. It was my intention to keep you posted on my daily progress throughout our transition from Florida to our property in the mountains of Tennessee and our subsequent build to our Small Homestead cabin. For many reasons it just didn’t quite work out that way. It took a few weeks to adjust and get settled into our rental cabin and get organized.

I also decided before our move that I would semi retire and hopefully find something part-time to supplement our income and help pay for all this stuff. The retirement income was the easy part – The part-time gig took a little more time than I had hoped with the usual background checks, training and waiting.

Our special ordered cabin shell arrived from the factory about three (3) weeks after we arrived. We knew it would be better to take the plunge and try to live close by to finish the cabin and make it somewhat livable. We had about three (3) months to do just that! We were fortunate that great neighbors in these mountains knew somewhat of our plans and helped us find a rental cabin around the corner from the property we would call home.

While we had to balance paying rent and utilities along with funding our interior construction of our own place, we were finally able to get started. Dealing with delays from working that part-time job, the cold days, rain, and an occasional snowfall, we began with the interior framing for the master bedroom and bathroom. While cutting 2 x 4’s, measuring and nailing, my wife and I built walls that would make our rooms.

Bedroom framing begins

The Interior walls as you can see in the image are for the bathroom and entrance and the wall for the bedroom. We sourced most our materials from a local hardware/lumber supply yard. At this point we wanted to buy local and keep it local as much as we can. They have been great to work with and we ended up getting some great deals on many items that we needed. Our nearest big box stores are over an hour away from our place in the woods. It’s just not practical or economical for us, however, we did purchase some items from the Big Box store ( who i will leave nameless) that we really couldn’t get at the local store.

Once the framing was complete and we decided on our layout, the first step was installing the plumbing for our bathroom.

In my next Post I will fill you in on how the plumbing went and a few “How To’s”!


Blogging…Hopefully, sometime soon again!

We sure haven’t had the opportunity to post since February as we have been busy working on our new Cabin and making it livable. Having it positioned into place, the installation of plumbing, electrical, insulation and sheetrock, we have been super busy trying to get ready. With a couple more big projects to complete ( like flooring and add ons) I should be able to resume the blog and updates very soon. You can bet we will post about our progress with pictures and show you how far along we have come. In the meantime, we have added some new shopping features to the Homestead Store so be sure to check out the great buys we have for your Homestead including our TreeTribe link. For every purchase made of those Eco Friendly products Ten trees are planted and we get a little extra for selling them. It doesn’t cost you anymore than your purchase.

Many updates are normally posted on our Facebook Page of the same name so be sure to take a look and see what we have been up to. Also be sure to visit our sister Facebook page Shed to House Conversions A to Z and join us!

Until very soon!

We Finally Made the move….and then….

Finally, the Move ——-

After many months of planning and a  few delays we finally made our move from the suburbia of the Gulf Coast of Florida to our new homestead in the mountains of Tennessee.

What a ride it has been and one of many reasons why I haven’t been able to post an update since we moved.  Now that many rainy days have come it has given me the opportunity get Up-To-Date..

During the first week of January we rented a Penske truck and loaded all of the belongings that we wanted to take with us. In our attempts to be as minimal as possible we still ended up with a truck full.  Many of our  things we donated to Salvation Army and Goodwill that we really didn’t want or just decided against taking it with us.  We did have  things that time just didn’t give us the pleasure of doing anything with or getting rid of. With those things we made the decision to deal with it later, either by trying to sell it in Tennessee or donating to worthy causes.

With over 700 miles and a full day of traveling we finally made it to our rental cabin that we would be living in while we finished our own small cabin.   Between our efforts to settle in, arranging for mail delivery, our cabin shell delivery, frigid days and snowy nights it took a couple of weeks just to get the hang of things.  Our cabin shell was finally delivered at the end of January and we immediately began buying materials and starting  on the interior construction phase of our homesteading reality.

Our Cabin is FINALLY HERE……

We finally received that call from the delivery company that our building was ready and we scheduled the delivery date.  We had hoped to have a couple of dump truck loads of gravel delivered to make the driveway more solid and wait for the wet ground to somewhat dry up.  Unfortunately, the Dump Truck broke down and they were unable to deliver it before our cabin arrived.  We could only hope that the ground would dry up enough to get it setup without any issues. It seems that is it that time of the year in Tennessee for constant rain or snowfall.. The snow really hasn’t been that much, BUT THE RAIN!

With the mud, rain, and sometimes cold it hasn’t stopped us from working inside to start on framing, plumbing and wiring.  There were days when Cheri was able to work outside clearing brush, briars, vines, and small limbs hanging in the way.


And Now the Work Begins….

Once the cabin arrived, Cheri and I took the time to decide how the interior floor plan would work for us.  We started with sizing a bedroom  that would fit our furniture  and knowing where receptacles and storage would need to be.  After buying the needed materials the framing began.  At the same time we would need to measure for a bathroom to accommodate a shower, sink basin, toilet, and hot water heater.

Within the first three weeks we were able to get the interior framed, PEX Plumbing installed, and receptacle and light wiring installed.  Our main water line from the water meter at the road to the cabin is about 100 feet of 3/4 inch PEX.  We had that trenched in August along with the underground power line to the cabin.  We also installed a freeze proof in- line Yard Hydrant to give us a water source outdoors. The rest of the 3/4 goes into the cabin to provide us with  water. I really like to use PEX since it’s very easy to install and normally will not freeze and burst like PVC will.  PEX will also expand if frozen without rupturing..Who really wants to cut and replace broken water pipes?

You can see the Yard Hydrant and the Supply line we have going into the cabin. I have installed Pipe insulation on the PEX line going into the cabin for added protection during cold months.

3/4 Inch PEX Water line into the cabin with Ball valve for shut off.
Freeze Proof Yard Hydrant

Once the main water line was in, the interior framing begins for the bedroom and bathroom…

Bedroom framing begins. The 2×6 above the top plate will hold the rails for the sliding barn doors to be installed later.

And, then there is the beginning of a bathroom. Where to install our fixtures and designing how to run the plumbing was fairly simple since it was more convenient and cost effective to keep the plumbing and drains to the septic tank on one side.  We also chose to install a conventional hot water heater in one corner of the bathroom. As with any small building and limited space this was the most convenient place for us. We had also purchased a Rainfall Shower Head that we wanted to use. After a little research we did learn that with most rainfall shower heads we would need a conventional hot water heater instead of an on demand wall mounted model. It seems that due to the large volumes of water with the rainfall heads, the on demand heaters cant produce enough hot water to keep up with the heads unless you decide to take quick showers.  They do make  heaters that will produce that result, however, they run into the thousands of dollars and just not in our budget to do that.

Pex Manifolds for Hot and Cold Water

In the above photo you can see two 1 inch Copper PEX Manifolds or sometimes referred to as Headers.  For Convenience, our 3/4 inch water service line ends at the lower manifold with the Blue PEX  tubing ( cold water). The flexible hot water heater tubing will supply the hot water heater. In the main supply  line ( which you can’t see) I have also installed  two 3/4″ x 1/2″ Shark Bite Tees which will supply cold water to the bathroom sink basin and a secondary supply line to the toilet.  This will save us about 50 feet of tubing for other uses.  The two downward blue tubes will supply the shower and kitchen sink. The remaining valves i have capped for future use.    The Upper Manifold will supply hot water (Red) to the shower, bathroom sink basin, and the kitchen sink. Each Manifold is equipped with shut off valves for each line.  This allows easy access in case of a leak or problem and we can easily shut off a particular line without turning off water to the entire cabin.

I also decided instead of investing alot of money into shower mixing valves, I would build my own from copper tubing and fittings, PEX barbed fittings, and standard faucet valves. I will give the details on that project in a later edition.

Main 3″ Drain line to septic tank

As in the photo above I am installing a 3 inch pvc drain line to our 1000 gallon Lowboy septic system.  I had to remove part of the sub-flooring inside the bathroom to install the fittings and line them up with the inlet at the tank.  Raising the cabin  and piping from underneath would have been a suitable option, however,  the slope for the drain line would have been too high and ended with  exposed pipe above ground. Digging a trench and lowering the pipe will create better drainage into the tank.  I need one more fitting and adapter before i glue it and attach it to the tank.  When finished almost all of the drain line will be covered.

I hope to have the plumbing finished sometime next week and work on buying a water heater to finish it and test for leaks.  Next, we will start working on the wiring and trying to get it completed.

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It is obvious during our build that I am using PEX plumbing products.  We also have many plumbing products and kits  FOR SALE in our Homestead Store. Be sure to take a moment to  browse and find something you may be interested in buying to complete your own project. We don’t make alot of money on our sales, but we do use any proceeds to help finish ours and make our Blogs available.  Also, any purchases you make through our Amazon Affiliates links get us a little bonus from Amazon and doesn’t cost you any extra in your purchases.  Be sure to visit our Store Here  


Guest Post – Cool Coffee Tables for your Home

About the Author:

This post is made by Mark who has a blog called Foosball Zone. On his blog, he has many articles about foosball in light of the fact that he needs to show to individuals around him all how astounding foosball is. For some intriguing foosball articles including the foosball table and coffee table, visit his blog on this link:

Cool coffee tables for your home

Coffee tables should be seen as main furniture part of each living room since they are where the entire family sits together. You don’t want to have ancient coffee tables which will impress your grandparents and not your guests in your living room right? To save you from the boring and ancient coffee tables I am suggesting you new, cool designs of coffee tables which will brighten your room completely.

Paper Table

This is 100% green table and the designer, Matt Gagnon, wanted to make sure that it is good for the environment. Now, this is not the only furniture piece he has done because he has made an entire line of eco-accommodating furniture. What makes this table so special is the fact that it is made from the laser-cut reused sheet paper and it looks fascinating. The table is extremely straightforward yet stylish and you can see from the photo it has openings and cuts. Those are really stockpiling for magazines which is pretty impressive.

Paper Table



Foosball coffee table

This end table has two purposes, it is a coffee table yet it is likewise a foosball table. A table may not end in a living room, especially if your wife is the designer, but it is a perfect piece for a man cave.  Produced using hardwood, the table has playing surface, poles, and safety glass over the field. It is an extraordinary table for foosers and it additionally has a storage room in the base region.

Chicago Gaming Table

Alburni Coffee Tables

The tables make a special connection between nature and building. As should be obvious from the photo, the table best is really a cross-segment of a real wood and the legs are made of steel. With this table, you have a piece of nature in your room, a section that fits flawlessly in the present day, eco-accommodating encompassing.

Alburni Coffee Tables

Concrete Coffee Table

Concrete is getting increasingly famous in furniture industry which makes this table a standout amongst the most needed pieces of lounge rooms. The table doesn’t have legs and it would appear that 3 solid sheets, however, it isn’t produced using concrete. As should be obvious from the plan, the table has much room for things on its 3 levels. That implies you can sort out remote controls, magazines, books, and mugs on the table and you will still have space for things on it.

Concrete or Slate Coffee Table



Stone Coffee Table

It doesn’t make a difference whether we are discussing marble, rock or some other sort, stone tables look stunning without fail. Today I have picked a roundabout stone table made with incredible steel legs which transform the table into a mechanical piece. A round stone is straightforward yet silver metal legs are in charge of the “bling” factor. The table best is produced using common stone which gives it enhancement in your living room.

Stone Coffee Table

Our progress and our Christmas Wishes — Thank you!

In lieu of our monthly homesteading update in the “How To” Department, I really wanted to share with you where we are and what we are up to these days –

Our goal for almost two years now is to find our land and begin work on our homestead and cabin. As we shared earlier this year, we finally found that place in the Cumberland Plateau of Middle Tennessee surrounded by nature and mountains. Over this past summer we had our land cleared, along with water, septic, and electrical installed.

We finally decided to take the plunge, rent a neighboring cabin for a few short months and work on our cabin….My wife has been working at a steady pace boxing up the things we want to take and leaving behind things we really don’t have room for.  Afterall, we are downsizing from a little over 2000 square feet to less than 600 square feet when it’s done.

For our family, our upcoming move in the next couple of weeks will make it so much easier to have the ability to work on our cabin and move in as soon as we can.  It’s just not possible while still living in Florida.  Shortly after our arrival at the rental we will begin the process of having the cabin shell delivered and start to work…..We plan to keep you updated as our work-in-progress continues  over the next few months.

On this quiet Christmas eve- eve,  Cheri and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for following both our blogs and hope you will continue to do so in the coming year…Once she has some time in her busy schedule she will update you at her Blog here

In the meantime please feel free to visit my Homesteading Store and make a purchase. While we don’t make much of a profit, any proceeds keeps our Blogs running and helps us with our Homestead needs.

Until later, We Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2018.