Kyle’s Gnome Dome

dome exterior

Guest Post by Collin Vickers

Kyle Yoder, self-taught builder extraordinaire, uses science and ingenuity to turn others’ trash into his own treasure.

Kyle’s visionary experiment, the Gnome Dome, is arguably the most unique abode at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. Orphaned by its prior owner and condemned to destruction due to a gnarly mold infestation, the Dome was nearly demolished several years ago, but Kyle recognized great potential in the structure and convinced the village to let him solve its problems. Now it stands as a testament to how, with a little tender loving care, even the most humble of experimental tiny houses can evolve to become a beautiful marriage of mad science and aesthetic brilliance. Continue reading

Lilypad Homes Converts Spare Bedrooms into Tiny Houses

What if a person wants to take advantage of the benefits of a tiny house, but wants to keep their own home? A junior second unit might be the answer. These tiny studio apartments are built out of spare bedrooms in an existing house and contain everything needed for small, simple living. Rachel Ginis of Lilypad Homes owns a LEED and general contracting business in Marin County, Calif. and lives in her own 230 square foot junior unit—built out of the master bedroom in her home.

Lilypadhomes-Sleeping

Rachel’s own tiny apartment includes an alcove for the bed, a desk and dining area, a tiny kitchen and a small deck.

“After my daughter went off to college and I started Lilypad I decided to cut my overhead by moving into the efficiency apartment I created from the master bedroom in my home,” Rachel said. “To develop the apartment I converted a walk-in closet into a small kitchen and added an exterior door leading out to a deck that looks out to the wetlands and Mount Tamalpias. The apartment is laid out so that it feels like a diverse collection of rooms all in one. There are five distinct areas: the kitchen, the bathroom, the seating/sleeping area, the office/dressing area and, what I call with amusement, the great room.”

Lilypadhomes-Bath

According to Rachel, Lilypad helps to create more efficient, sustainable and affordable homes in one of the most expensive places in the U.S. Rachel also mentioned that these types of apartments help to empower other people, particularly women, who are struggling to meet expenses.

Lilypadhomes-desk

Other benefits of this type of tiny house is that existing homes already have the infrastructure required to serve the needs of their designed occupancy. In the case of creating a Lilypad apartment, all the water, energy, parking, road use, etc. for the home has already been calculated in the original permit.

“By efficiently utilizing the spare bedrooms in homes we use resources more efficiently and do not create an additional burden on the existing infrastructure,” Rachel said.

Lilypadhomes-Deck

Various challenges do come along with this type of construction including the permitting expenses and county requirements associated with converting spare bedrooms. This can make the process four or more times as much the cost of new construction. The Lilypad Flexible Housing Initiative is in the process of creating a simple and inexpensive permitting track for the creation of second units made specifically from repurposing spare bedrooms. LilypadFHI is also creating a portfolio of lending partners who will provide funding for the development of this type of second unit.

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For Rachel, the process, the simple living aspect and the sense of community has been worth it.

“It has been an amazing experience pairing down my life to fit into a much smaller space,” she said. “The exercise deciding what was truly necessary and important to me was both insightful and freeing. I left my home furnished for renters, so not only did I create a wonderful small home for myself, but also I left a charming home behind to share with others. It is a truly rewarding experience to create affordable housing for people.”

Lilypadhomes-Kitchen Lilypadhomes-kitchen2

Photos by Jocelyn Knight and Lilypad Homes

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

A Tiny House Tour and BBQ at Yerdle in San Francisco

Tiny House Giant Journey

The amazing team from “Tiny House, Giant Journey,” Guillaume and Jenna (pictured above), are passing through San Francisco today, and have agreed to park their home in front of the Yerdle HQ for a little Sunday BBQ and open house.

So come on down to Yerdle HQ, this Sunday, March 29, from noon til 4 PM California time, take a tour of a real Tiny House, and learn more about how you can share your stuff and reduce your footprint with Yerdle.

Directions:

501 York Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Noon to 4 PM

Massachusetts Tiny House Building Workshop

Tumbleweed Cypress

Ian Anderson just contacted me and wanted to share with you an upcoming tiny house workshop.

Due to the overwhelming success of our last workshop, we are planning another one this June. We will be building a Tumbleweed 20 foot Cypress over two weeks.

The first week will focus on framing, sheathing, roof, windows and house wrap. It will be weathertight by the end of the week.

The second week will be all about the finish details- insulation, electricity, plumbing, propane, finish carpentry, etc. We will at least touch on every subject needed to finish the house.

Participants are welcome to sign up for either week or can attend both for the full experience. Camping is available and farm style lunches will be provided.

Here is the information:

  • Week one- June 1-5
  • Week two- June 8-12

Each week is $850 or you can take both together for $1575

Location: Leicester, Massachusetts just outside of Worcester

Full details can be found here:
http://www.worcesterthinktank.com/content/tiny-house-building-workshop-june-2015-ages-16

last workshop

Safety At Sea: Inside a Ditch Bag and Med Kit

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Now that the ocean is our home, it’s even more critical that Peter and I have the supplies we need in the event of an emergency. This is similar to carrying emergency supplies in your car and stocking up in your home if you live where “The Big One” could tremble the earth so much it knocks out all roads, power and water at any minute; or if you live where a snow storm could leave you trapped inside a car or home; or if you live where a hurricane or tornado could demolish your town.

Continue reading