Tiny House Magazine Issue 18

Issue 18 of the Tiny House Magazine has just been published. In this issue, Chris Aune takes us on a video tour of his converted garage in California.

Kriste Wolfe builds a unique treehouse on the big island of Hawaii.

Gabriella Morrison gives us a lesson on the different types of insulation used in tiny house construction.

Craig Dorsey converts an Airstream trailer into a unique cabin called the Adirondack Airstream.

Sicily Kolbeck shares how to budget for a building a tiny home and the common cents practices that make it happen.

Andrew Odom shows you how to pick out the correct tow vehicle for your tiny home and wade through all the different options out there.

Joshua Becker gives size good reason to embrace the minimalistic lifestyle. Check out these great stories and much more…

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Tiny House Dating Part 2: We Didn’t See That Coming!

On March 28, 2014 we posted about the new Tiny House Dating website under the title “Tiny House Dating? Really?” It turns out that the answer to our main question – whether the Tiny House Community actually wants or needs its own dating site – was a resounding YES!

Given the site’s unexpected success, we invited Kai Rostcheck back for a follow-up conversation.

Tiny House Blog: Welcome back. The last time we spoke your site had a couple dozen members. What’s happened since then?

Kai: Well, the site blew up, so there was that…

Tiny House Blog: Blew up? How so?

Kai: As you know, Tiny House Blog has a pretty big following. After your article ran we saw an immediate surge in registrations (about a hundred or so within a couple of days). But what happened next was totally out of control. Your audience includes editors from Treehugger, Outside Magazine and other related publications. They picked up the story and ran with it. Within 7 days Tiny House Dating had been mentioned by a dozen major outlets. We ramped to 650 members and generated nearly 1.4 million hits – the tipping point was when Yahoo! Finance mentioned us on their homepage – and our infrastructure broke.

Tiny House Blog: Ouch.

Kai: Pretty much, yeah. I think it’s like buying a crappy trailer for your Tiny House build. You are all excited until you go to move it for the first time and the wheels fall off. Not a great feeling.

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Tiny House Blog: Needless to say, you didn’t see that coming…

Kai: Not in the least. You and I had discussed in very real terms whether anyone would ever want to sign up. I had no idea Tiny House Dating would be so popular, so I built it on an off-the-shelf WordPress theme and $5/month hosting. Whoops.

Tiny House Blog: How did the community respond?

Kai: Unbelievably. I mean honestly, after the first few days the user experience just sucked. People couldn’t complete their registrations, uploads weren’t saving, sessions were timing out…it was a mess. So I did the best I could to communicate with people through email and Social Media. Their responses were so encouraging…I can’t tell you how many people said “Thank you,” “Keep at it,” and “It’s worth the wait.” I imagine that it’s like your own Tiny House build…when you get halfway through and realize you are in way over your head. At that point you might be ready to quit, but you’ve become part of a community that’s pulling for your success. They keep you going.

Tiny House Blog: And the Tiny House Dating community contributed financially too, right?

Kai: I don’t even know what to say…it chokes me up. The truth is that this site would never have come back online if early members – and people who wanted to join but hadn’t had the chance – had not stepped up and crowdfunded our re-development.

Tiny House Blog: So let’s talk about them. Who are your members? Where are they from? What are they looking for? Are they all Tiny House people?

Kai: In reverse order – no, they are not all Tiny House people…yet. Our site is is a community of people who care about their values more than their stuff. They might already live in a Tiny House. Perhaps they plan to at some point. Or maybe they just think that Tiny Houses (along with the kind of people who celebrate right-sizing and quality-of-life) are cool. This expands our community into related groups like Minimalists and Socially and/or Environmentally-friendly people. It’s an organic mix and they seem to get along really well! The actual demographics amaze me. Our members range from 18-70 years old. About 58% are women and 42% are men. The really thrilling thing is geographic dispersion – it’s primarily U.S. so far, but we also have community members from Canada, U.K., Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Middle East…even Bhutan (she’s looking for an online romance for now). I guess it’s true that It’s a Tiny World After All (did I really just say that?)!

Tiny House Blog: The relaunched site includes some differences, right? What’s new?

Kai: The main difference is the membership levels. When I had time (during redevelopment) to reflect, I began to understand how word about our site was going to continue expanding in a way that I can’t control. I mean, Yahoo! Finance? Really? I even heard from CNN and a Reality TV production company. I’m flattered by the attention, but first things first – I don’t want this site to lose the authenticity that is (in my mind) the hallmark of the Tiny House Movement. I recognized that many people would see a free dating site as an opportunity to exploit…and I don’t want “spam” profiles polluting the member experience. So we put paid membership plans in place as a filter.

Tiny House Blog: Paradoxically, are you worried that people are going to see this as exploitative?

Kai: I was, definitely. But I think we’re figured it out. Our new plans include a “Scholarship” option. It’s a full-featured 1-month membership for free. And it can be renewed as necessary without limits.

Tiny House Blog: Scholarship plan? That sounds like an interesting idea. How does it work?

Kai: It’s simple; if someone wants a free membership, all they have to do is ask for it and tell us why they want to join the community. We are never going to exclude people who really want to belong, based of their inability to pay. Period.

Tiny House Blog: So I presume that the flip side of that is what you call the “Pay-it-Forward” plan?

Kai: Exactly. That’s a 6-month plan (for $9.99/month). It helps offset the costs for scholarships. Our goal was to provide a way for the community to give and receive. Let’s face it – sometimes life lifts us up and sometimes it knocks us down a rung. I just think it’s good karma to give when you can and be open to receiving when you need to.

Tiny House Blog: We do, too. So what’s next for you, and for Tiny House Dating?

Kai: We’re working on additional feature enhancements while listening very carefully to user feedback. Besides Tiny House Dating, I am also building out Tiny House Lending. We are committed to finding low-cost, short-term solutions for tiny house financing. I’ve talked with dozens of potential lenders so far, and have a few promising leads already but I think it’s kind of like Edison inventing the lightbulb – I’ll find 1,000 ways not to do it before discovering the right formula. But there is a light at the end of it.

Kai Rostcheck is the founder of www.tinyhousedating.com, www.tinyhouselending.com and www.ilovetinyhouses.com. He considers himself exceptionally fortunate to have Tiny House friends all over the world. To make Tiny House friends (or maybe even meet a romantic partner!) join Tiny House Dating.

Tiny Transition E-Course June 2014 Announcement

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Registration is officially open for the next session of the Tiny Transition E-Course, which has had two incredibly successful graduating classes so far! We’ve had people sell their houses and move into small apartments through the Tiny Transition process. I’ve had students transform their lives by downsizing their belongings. It has been a powerful experience to support these incredible groups through such life-changing decisions (big and small!). I’m always impressed by everyone in each class, it’s amazing to see people make such big changes in their lives and find more happiness. The next class begins June 15th, so sign up now to save your spot. I could tell you about how much students enjoy the course, but I’ll let them tell you!

Here are some testimonials from the last class:

“I found Lesson 2 worth the price of the whole course. Being given permission is ridiculously powerful. I’ve carted off a bunch of stuff to the thrift store and started to see clearly some of the mindset that keeps me holding on to things.” – Patty

“I loved the course, it was extremely helpful to me. I have been so busy with garage sales and getting the house ready to put on the market (in two weeks) I sold over $2,000 at the garage sale, have enough to have another one. Gave away a ton of stuff to friends. And if someone makes an offer on the house that includes furniture, I am giving it to them. Because of this course, I was able to let go of everything…I have gotten rid of old clothes that I have been holding on to for years, in hopes that I could wear them again. Art supplies I know I will never use. And I have begun to see myself differently.” – S.

“I am so glad I ran across the Tiny Transition e-course. I have made such progress, and peace has come into my life that wasn’t there this time last year, I am very grateful.” – Troy

“Yes, there was huge progress in my life. I downsized from two houses to one small one-bedroom condo and have taken boxes and boxes out of it. I’ll be listing it shortly to move into an apartment to get ready for my tiny house. I am already feeling so much lighter and more carefree. Thank you so much for your guidance and support.” – Carey

“I’m in the current course and am so glad I signed up for it! My husband and I have been preparing for about 7 months to downsize to a converted bus and were unsure if this course was really gonna have anything new to offer. It not only had new ideas and resources for us to explore but gave us a kick in our giddy up to start or finish projects we already knew needed attention. I highly recommend this course.” – Suzanne

“I signed up for the course several months ago. I started reading the intro to the course and felt I met a kindred spirit. I began selling things that I knew I didn’t need, knowing I wasn’t alone in this new journey. I am currently moving into a tiny home. This is a liberating change for me! …It feels like the most healthy thing I have done in a decade. Thank you for the inspiration! Just knowing I have support made all the difference in the world! “ – Jeanne

“I not only downsized to a 17ft travel trailer but moved to Utah to start a new life!” – Michelle

“Love. Love. Love this! Absolutely Brilliant.” – Janis

“Thank you, Mariah, for one of the best experiences of a lifetime!” – Lisa

As always, you will have access to the exclusive forum of other people in the group when you sign up. Many people say the forum is one of the best parts: the connections and friendships made through the course group motivate and support each person. Making connections to others on the same journey as you is important to staying on track, and it’s also great to be a part of such a fun group of friendly tiny-house people serious about changing their lives.

The next class begins on June 15th, so if you’re ready to change your life and downsize your belongings, your bills, and declutter your mental space, join us! You can start your tiny journey right now. Even if a tiny house isn’t your ultimate goal, this course will help you feel happier in your life and your home. You can read the full details here: Comet Camper E-courses