Hawaii Build Daily Log (Oct.7 – 12)

Hawaii Build Daily Log (Oct.7 – 12)

    Digging a french drain
    October 7th

    Today we spent working outside. Ellis continued to work on the French drains. I hung up all the garden netting with a staple gun for the vines to grow onto.

    I also bought a couple 275 gal square plastic totes with a bar cage off craigslist for $275 each. Which seems pretty typical over here $1 per gallon.

    It gets dark at about 6:00 so it makes for a fairly short work day. We finished the day doing some market research and ate at the Volcano Lodge which has to be the best food I’ve had on the island but definitely had the price to match!

    Elizabeth Gilbert

    And then the most incredible thing happened! Elizabeth Gilbert posted a photo that I sent her and said the treehouse was exquisite! I’m on cloud nine right now.

    Rainwater Catchment in Hawaii

    October 8th

    Today we scraped the lava cinders from underneath the hanging bed area to accommodate the sand we’ll be putting there. We also got the water tanks moved into place.

    Kalipana Black Sand Beach

    Kristie at Kalipana's black sand beach
    We stopped work around 2:00 and we headed to Teds for some much needed showers. Then we headed to Kalapana and walked down to a small black sand beach and played around for a bit. At the end of the road in Kalipana there is a place called Uncle Roberts that opens every Wednesday evening. It’s one part luau, one part farmers market and one part hippie Fest. We grabbed some dinner there before heading to Hilo for supplies.

    sand delivery
    Oct 9

    I got my sand delivered today unfortunately it’s more like fine gravel. Not what I had pictured and since 6 tons was dumped in my driveway I couldn’t exactly return it. I was going back and forth all day trying to decide whether I should use it. It was $462 but I just can’t see it looking or feeling good. My plan right now is to put it on craigslist to see if I can sell it or use it to fill potholes on the road.

    I have plenty of time and mull it over since we spent a few hours running errands. I did get a shipment of my tundra cork bark from Calliebamboo which is absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to install it but first I want to make sure the shower works properly before sealing the wall. this will replace the corrugated metal wall I had in the shower temporarily. But I can’t test it until my pump comes which is lost in the mail.

    Oct 10th
    So there’s always so many things to get done, even after it gets dark and I need to look things up on the internet, track packages, plan for the next day that I can barely find energy or time to write. The following our my notes for today.

    New led vintage bulbs, gutter with water flow, trenches filled back in, moss under hanging bed.

    Oct 11th

    I had bought some straw bamboo fencing in 4′ x 8′ lengths that I thought I could cover my eaves in but pared with the thatch it looked really dumb. So I scraped the thatch on the two sides with gutter which was the real problem with hanging it and am going to try to do something else in the front and back with the thatch.

    treehouse downspout
    I made some adjustments on the downspout so it drained better into the tanks. Then I made my way through the jungle to collect more moss for under the hanging bed because the sand just isn’t what I wanted. Last time I was here is trying to incorporate a moss wall in the shower vertically. It proved too difficult given my time and cash restraints. And since I can’t use the sand I was thinking of just putting the red cinder rock back under the bed but then had the brilliant idea of using moss under there! I’m going to include a picture of Moss under trees in nearby Volcano Village.
    We also took some time to go see Thurston lava tube and watch some hula dancers at the Volcano national Park.

    Moss yard Hawaii

    Oct 12th

    Today we tried to get some supplies for the shower drain pipe and some rebar for the bamboo at the ace hardware nearby but they didn’t have anything. So we headed to the Sunday farmers market in Pahoa I did some plant shopping tried some interesting food octopus dumplings. Then we checked put the tidepools in kapoho until we got rained out.

    Pahoa Farmers Market

    Octopus Dumplings
    From there we did a Home Depot run where I got the things that I needed earlier. It rained pretty good this afternoon and it was excited to watch the water collect in the tanks. We played around with the bamboo pole position but I’m not really happy with the way it looks. I sketched it out of her dinner and I think I have a better plan now. I had Ellis put in the overflow in the water tanks well I went pillaging through the forest looking for Moss to transplant under the hanging bed area.

    Moss floor under hanging bed

20 Responses to Hawaii Build Daily Log (Oct.7 – 12)

  1. Hello Kristie! Wonderful post. You were one of my many inspirations, and I am moving to Kona from NYC this Saturday. I look to be purchasing land in the very near future, but towards creating a spiritual retreat center. I always look forward to your Hawaii posts, and it would be a wonderful opportunity if we ever cross paths. Thank you!

  2. Kimberly says:

    Good evening. We have a unique property in Papaikou. We purchased land that was once the railroad flume. We have 40 foot berms on either side which we were trying to figure out how to cleverly build up to be level with neighborhood. Your structure is incredible, ingenious, AWESOME!!!
    Will you be accepting visitors to view your wonderful hideaway? We have a local contractor we’d be thrilled to share your ideas with to create a similar living arrangement where we are for our teenager to have her own space while we wait to build a family dwelling. We are super excited by your pictures. Thank you for sharing.

    All Our Best,

  3. Dan says:

    Hi my wife and 2 kids are interested in relocating to Hawaii and would like to buy land build a shack and grow food, could you recommend a safe area with no lava flows thats affordable, thanks Dan and Janice..

    • kristiewp says:

      Hi Dan & Janice,

      You know lava flows turn put to be quite unpredictable so you can never be too sure. We have had flow here since July thats been moving towards tge ocean but still hasnt threatned any homes. It most likely will though and while sometimes it does take peoples property but no ones life is in danger since you have enough warning to make other arrangements.

      On what they call the rainy side of the big island or the Hilo side lots are quite inexpensive. Around $10,000 is common.

      As to the safe part, Im pretty well traveled and I have never met a people so polite and friendly as Hawaiians.

  4. Carol says:

    Aloha Kristie, Love what you have created. We live on the north end of the island next to Paauillo and what to put something like this up as a guest house for our caretaker gardeners at the other end of our property. Do you have any plans for sale? Is there anyway we can connect up? Carol

    • kristiewp says:

      Hi Carol – I love that area of the island it is absolutely stunning. I don’t have any plans – I’m sorry.

  5. Charles says:

    Hi Kristie,
    My girlfriend and I were on the Big Island last Christmas and fell in love with it (we actually stayed with a lady near the Kapoho Tidepools through AirBNB). Like Dan & Janice above, we are considering moving there to start a small farming enterprise and live simply. I would love to hear more about how you found your place. Did you go through a realtor or was it a FSBO? How big is your lot? You bought it sight unseen … how did you determine it was what you were looking for?
    Maybe we will be neighbors some day!
    Best, Charles

  6. Robbi says:

    Hi Kristie,
    would a Tiny House on Wheels be required to use pressure treated (or any kind of treated wood) for pest control purposes? What about shipping a Tiny House on Wheels to Hawaii? Will agriculture inspectors refuse to allow the house of the boat unless specific wood is used? Thanks for any info you can provide!

    • kristiewp says:

      If your going to have it in Hawaii you would want all the wood to be treated & I’m really unsure about the shipping requirements for something like that

  7. Tracie Weaver says:

    Impressed with your work and wished I could do the same but I am disabled and live on a meager income.I had dream of having my own built and having a community of them for low income disabled people like me but doesn’t seem to be a way to get it of the ground. I helped remodel a house I bought in a resort mtn town but i lost it,in the economy crash in 08. Keep on going your an inspiration to all of us out there.

  8. Hannah Henry says:

    I don’t know if my other comment ever posted but my friend and I are moving to Hawaii in July and would love to build our own Tiny home like this. Do you have any tips or how to get started. Advice really. If you could email me back that would be amazing. I love this little house you have built.

  9. Maranda Murphy says:

    Hi Kristie, my partner and I just bought a little country store and farm in the San Juan Islands to raise our 7 yr old in a new fun way and we’d really love to build some tiny houses for guest accommodations. Is there any chance you share plans for your design on Hawaii? We have the elbow grease and mechanical sense but our attempts at design have not born pretty designs. I’ve searched the net and couldn’t find them so thought I’d ask directly. Thanks for having the talent and guts to make something so beautiful!

    • kristiewp says:

      What an amazing adventure! & such a cool experience for your child. I don’t have any formal plans unfortunately just a lot of napkin sketching 😉

      • Maranda Murphy says:

        It would be cool to see some of your sketches if you ever post them!

      • Maranda Murphy says:

        Hi Kristie, I was wondering for your hawaii build which water filter system, pump and solar systems you worked. We’re starting on our energy design! Yeah! We’d like to do a very similar setup.

  10. Andrew says:

    Hi Kristie,
    Your BI house is inspiring. How did you deal with switching for your lights? Did you have a conventional wall switch next to the door of each room to control chandelier in bedroom and overhead lights in kitchen? How about bathroom? Were you able to wire these back to your 3 breaker box? Or did you use switch on each light fixture? I assume you used LED lights since you only have 300w PV panels.


  11. Aaron says:

    I had sent an email about this, but how was it getting a building permit? Did you have to hire an architect to draw up the plans, or did you draw them up yourself?

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