Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Uncategorized

Canopy Project

I have a canopy over the camper to keep out rain and the sun’s heat! It was quite a project and I’m still not done, but it’s up and functioning pretty well. I just happen to have a big cedar tree on one side of the camper and a big multi-trunk stump on the other. I wanted to somehow stretch a rope that went across the top of the camper so I dug a hole at the base of the stump and used super-strong cable ties and rope to hold a 2×3 it, with a piece of 4×4 block as a spacer so it stood upright.



Then I had to take it all apart because I’d forgotten to attach the rope to the top, and it was too rocky and uneven to set up the ladder so I could reach it. Oops!

The other side was harder, because I had to somehow thread the tope through a bunch of cedar branches in order to get to the trunk. I tied the end of the rope to a 1×2 and pushed it through and then got on the ladder at the tree trunk and pulled it on through. I didn’t quite get it high enough though, so I had to cut some branches with the reciprocating saw so I could get the rope high enough.


I have some big heavy metal fence posts I still need to hammer in, so the ends will be held away from the roof a few inches. I got one in and then discovered it was in the wrong place, and now I can’t get it out! Another one needs to go where there’s a rock so I need to get my pickaxe from storage and see if I can get it out. I hope it’s not gigantic!

I got cinders delivered last week! He did a great job of spreading it while dumping and it looks really nice. I hated to spend the money but if I want to be able to get in and out of here when the monsoon rains hit (early July?) I’ll need the gravel base.  One load was enough to cover the whole driveway loop, plus the 30′ part where  I park.


I have a guest! It’s a friend of a friend who is looking for property in this area. He’s been living in a tiny teardrop camper for the past 4 years! Wow there aren’t many people who live in something smaller than my own camper. He’s got a nice little setup though, with a 10×10 canopy for his “living room”.


It’s working fine having a guest; he pretty much stays to himself and so do I. I was hoping he’d be someone who could help me with the house, but Jeff has a back back and shoulder. Darn.

I got my car paid off! Then a couple days later it started making a weird sound in the front….ain’t the way?! I had to get new struts to the tune of $917.

I also got a couple quotes from carpenters, to build my roof. It’s just labor; I already have all the materials and I even have all the rafter angles figured and rafters cut. It’s just 5 sets of rafters, 8×11 structure. Both guys agreed that it would be about 12 hrs. for two guys. Well the first guy quoted $2000, which is CRAZY!! That’s $85 per hour per man. The second guy quoted $3000 ($125 per hour per man)! I don’t get it; carpenters here make $25-30 per hour!  I guess they just didn’t want the job. So it looks like I’m going to have to build the roof myself after all. I’m scared to death to be up that high on a ladder, toting 2×6 rafters & ridge board, and sheets of plywood! Heck I can’t even pick up a sheet of plywood any more; I have to drag it The only way I can see to get the plywood up on the roof is to cut it into smaller pieces. I cried and cried but now I’m OK, I can do this thing. I’ve decided to build the interior wall first, the one for the closet, fridge and bathroom. It’ll have a small storage loft over it, and if I build that now it’ll give me a more stable platform to work from than a ladder.

I bought the 24×40 shower pan that will be the bathroom floor; I wanted to make sure I build the walls to fit. I’ll have to do the drain plumbing first though. Instead of cutting holes in my floor & messing up the insulation and rodent-proof mesh, I’m going to put a second floor in the bathroom, on top of the existing floor. I’ll just have to step up a bit to enter the bathroom. It will be a “wet bath”; the shower pan is the whole bathroom.

Oh yeah, bad news about my Amazon Associates account. They kicked me out. There’s a really long Operating Agreement with lots of legalese and I did read it, but I guess I didn’t catch all the rules. They say I told people how to bookmark a link, and that’s a big no-no. People are supposed to use “live links”, not enter from a bookmark. They take a real hard line on not following their rules; I know a couple other bloggers who got booted out for doing something wrong.  That’s a real blow to the budget, I relied on that $150 or so extra income every month. They pay two months in arrears so I’m also not going to get the $363 that I earned for the past two months. So anyway if you’re using my links to order from Amazon, try to find some other deserving blogger to get the credit.



12 replies on “Canopy Project”

Was wondering what was going on been a while. These guys are charging quite a bit to just put the roof on, but I have no idea what it takes. Sounds more to me that maybe if I find some property I will either buy a trailer or one of those sheds to put on. Be careful with the roof and yes maybe doing the inside first may be easier. Good luck


Thanks Jo. I tried getting a Rent To Own shed first and couldn’t stand the lack of quality in the build. But I’m sure that varies according to the manufacturer.


Sorry about the Amazon deal. I always tried to make a point of going through your blog.

I’m afraid of heights, so I would never be able to tackle what your doing. I admire your grit and determination.


Janis, I’m sorry to hear about the roof. Whatever happened to that young man who was helping you. Maybe he would be willing to take $1000 for the work.

Your “neighbor” reminds me of another blogger that used to blog frequently. He had a long time dog that passed away and then about a year ago he adopted a new dog, an Australian shepard of sorts. His name was Jeff too.

So sorry to hear of the Amazon issue, do they allow you to come back again after a “parole” period?! Seems awful harsh when so many rely on that for their income. Amazon is so damn rich that they should be flexible to help out. What’s the big deal of bookmarking their link?


Renee, I wonder if this is the same guy! He had a beagle before getting Manny. I don’t know what happened to my lovely volunteer helper. The job should cost around $500 for 2 guys. I certainly wouldn’t pay $1000 for one guy’s help, not to mention the fact that I don’t have $1000 or even $500 any more, since I spent so much money on the car repair.


Figures you would get the car paid off and then something would go wrong…:(
You are one busy lady not sure I could even begin to do everything you tackle. Two steps up a ladder is my limit. Be careful especially if you decide to tackle that roof. Take care.


You are one tough cookie! I’m so sorry about the Amazon thing – so silly on their part. And the car trouble! When it rains, it pours. Maybe you could ask at a church (if any nearby) to see if they know someone who would help you with the roof? I hope you can find someone as that is a scary thing to do!


Thanks Jan. I kinda don’t want to hire someone “off the street”, so to speak, because I don’t have any liability insurance here. Id sure hate to hire someone who got hurt and sued me!


Janis, I just saw this post. Wow! I don’t have words. I second Jan’s idea of asking at a church. If they sued you, what is the worst that can happen? They can’t take your SS income. And maybe the church has liability insurance. Or maybe they could sign a waiver. Or maybe you could just pray for protection and take the risk. Something needs to happen soon!


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