Wishbone Tiny Homes

The Asheville, NC based Wishbone Tiny Homes has not only been making waves with their exquisite craftsmanship and interesting architectural details, but the Wishbone team have a three step process set up to walk new owners through and into their ideal home. It all starts with a dream and defining exactly what the tiny house will be: a primary residence, an office, a rental or a transition space.

“The dream phase is the most important,” said Teal Brown, the son in the father and son building team. “It’s where the inspiration for the ultimate design comes from. Nothing is off the table. We collect links, videos, images, screen shots, poems, emails—anything—and create our own version of a Pinterest board for each client. We also use a questionnaire. All of this information gives us a sense of the client’s unique aesthetics and design preferences.”

Next comes the design phase and the final building phase which is where the precision craftsmanship and locally sourced materials come into play.

“The design phase brings a healthy dose of reality to the situation,” Teal continued. “After an in depth interview about lifestyle and possessions, we draft a floor plan and exterior elevation. We then create at least two more iterations of the design before arriving at an agreed upon final design. Once a final design is in place, we get to work building the client’s dream tiny home! The entire process can take anywhere from 12 weeks to a year, depending on the client’s timeline and our production schedule.”

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Their current model home showcases the team’s woodworking skills (they love cedar) and their unique doors.

“Everyone notices our doors,” Teal said. “Since my dad has been honing his door-making craft the last 17 years, he knows a thing or two about them.

Along with attention to detail, Wishbone has listened to customers’ requests and realize that they want a place that feels like a home.

“We seek to incorporate as much of the client’s furniture and keepsakes as possible to provide familiarity and charm,” Teal said. “Most people like this design approach. Aside from that, people want stairs, downstairs bedrooms, off-grid capabilities, solutions for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and Universal Design concepts for ADA compliance.

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Wishbone is just finishing up a 24 foot modern shed-style home for a couple in Philadelphia. The house has a cozy den, two lofts and a large galley kitchen as well as a large shower and a climbing wall. A dog crate was built under the stairs and the house is powered with a 1 KW roof-mounted PV system with 4 6V 420 AH batteries.

Teal said the best part of building tiny homes is the people they encounter and work with.

“Almost everyone who wants a tiny home is at an interesting point of their lives and has a great story to tell. Getting to work with my dad is great too.”

The challenges the team has run into are the financing of tiny homes, legal gray areas and plumbing. Wishbone currently does not sell plans, but does create custom plans.

“We firmly believe that if you are going to live in a tiny home, it should fit you like a tailored suit,” Teal added.

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Photos courtesy of Chris Tack and Wishbone Tiny Homes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

SoulSurvivorX2 Tiny Cabin

Have you ever considered having an off-grid tiny house ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? Mike and Cindy of SoulSurvivorX2 are currently fixing up their own 12×26 foot home on wheels to have as a secure and secret hideaway from the walking dead and other nefarious people.

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While the SoulSurvivorX2 couple seem to be initially known for guns, prepping gear and sexing up SHTF, take a closer look at their videos on YouTube. They have a ton of useful (and fun) information on camping, backpacking, health and wellness, simple living and now—a tiny house tucked away in the woods. The couple work as real estate agents in Jacksonville, Florida and live with no debt while enjoying the outdoors and living on their own terms. They believe in being prepared for any situation, own the quintessential bug-out bags and are now fixing up their own bug-out cabin.

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The cabin on wheels was towed to their land surrounded by trees and inhabited by their free range chickens. Mike and Cindy’s off-grid survival retreat is now hoisted up on blocks and they are installing new doors and screens, building new stairs and installing a metal corrugated roof. The open floor plan will include new walls, a kitchen, bath and loft. Solar panels will be installed and water will be heated with propane. Cindy even painted the door with camouflage and palm frond stencils to hide it away in their forested prepper retreat.

Videos by SoulSurvivorX2

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

ArkPak Power Pack Review

by Kent Griswold

I recently received an ArkPak to test and review. The ArkPak is a power pack which can be used for a small back up generator or is great for camping, etc. off the grid.

A lot of power packs you see these days come sealed so you can’t change the battery when it is at the end of its life. The ArkPak comes without a battery and you can choose which type to put in and replace as needed.

arkpak and accessories

The ArkPak is the only power pack with a built in charger. It will also take a battery up to 130 amp hours or group 31+ for the longest output time. It works with both 12V and 110V power so that you can run just about anything you need to while out in the woods.

Assembly was fairly easy, the ArkPak has a plastic container that opens and you install your battery. Once the battery is in the enclosure, simply sinch it in with the velcro strap and attach the cables. Make sure you put them in correctly. ArkPak has a great installation manuel so be sure and follow it. Once the battery is connected you turn it system on and answer a couple of questions as to what type of battery you have and the amps so it will charge correctly and not hurt your battery.

connecting battery cables

My battery needed charging so I used the enclosed 110V adapter and charged it. It gives you a graphic that tells you the percentage of charge and lets you know when the battery is completely charged.

battery being charged and readout

As an option you can purchase an adapter to charge your ArkPak in your car when you are on the road. Here you see it hooked up in my Mini Cooper and charging. This would be great when you are on your way to your campsite or moving from one place to another.

12 volt car charger

You can also charge your ArkPak using solar panels and I will do a test with this option in the near future.

The ArkPak allows you run appliances on 110V power, up to 150 watts. It has a built in 150W inverter so if you try to run something that is larger it will alert you and shut the inverter off. This should be fine for running your computer, a small TV, and most lights. I hooked up my Ryobi drill charger and it worked great. Also my laptop worked fine, so I can recharge it while out an about or with a power outage at home.

charging drill

charging computer

The ArkPak also has 12V capabilities and that is where it can really shine. It can give you days of 12V power with a full battery charge.

12 volt power

The ArkPak also has a built in USB charger so you can charge your mobile phone, tablets, etc.

The ArkPak is quite affordable if you compare it to other power packs on the market. With my marine battery installed it weighed in at 48 pounds. With a larger battery I understand it can weigh up to around 70 pounds. So you are not going to want to haul this too far. The plastic latch has me a little concerned, but all in all it seems fairly sturdy for being a plastic enclosure.

This would work great as a supplemental power system in a tiny house or remote cabin. Click here to learn more about it.

Following is a video showing how it works in the outdoors.