Used, Reclaimed & Recycled Building Materials: 10 Tips For Finding Salvage Wood

Want to reduce the environmental impact of your tiny house project? Reclaimed lumber is for you!

There’s no substitute for the warmth and ambiance of wooden architecture, especially when you’re using reclaimed lumber. Every knot, notch and nail-hole tells a story and adds to the richness of your project. Plus you get to tell your friends all about it when they come over for a visit.

(The natural builders at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village figured this out a long time ago. If you want to see some of the handiwork featured in this article firsthand, consider paying us a visit through our annual visitor program.)

The best part is: reclaimed lumber is environmentally sustainable because it doesn’t come with the baggage of embodied pollution, worldwide deforestation and species extinction. (The spotted owls offer their hearty thanks.) Not to mention you can often buy it at rock-bottom prices, on a barter-trade basis, or even for free.  In short, reclaimed lumber is the perfect compliment to other natural building techniques and materials you can incorporate into your design. Continue reading

Small House Design Ideas: 10 Simple Passive Solar Tips

Be on top of your tiny house building game with these ten tips for passive solar tiny house design!

These top ten passive solar design tips will give you a good starting point in designing your own tiny house by using the sun to your advantage for both heating and cooling your home. Often these techniques are low-tech, energy efficient and environmentally responsible.

(Many of the houses mentioned in this article are located at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. If you want to see them first hand, consider coming for a visit. You’ll be able to talk to several green builders, check out the houses they live in, and learn a lot about sustainable living in the process.) Continue reading

A Tale of Zoning Happily Ever After

RockledgeGroundbreaking Zoning Ordinace for Tiny House Communities

Documenting tiny house movemehistory in the making in Rockledge, Fl

Image from Tiny House Expedition, documenting tiny house movement history in the making in Rockledge, Fl.

Once upon a time in the small, forward-thinking city of Rockledge, Florida, some of the most progressive tiny housing zoning ordinances in the entire US of A were approved, in record time and with great ease. You see, the forward-thinking City Manager had an eye for viable solutions for the needs of his constituents and a knack for facilitating progress. A fair maiden, by the name of René Hardee approached him & the city planners one fine day with a few simple questions. The rest is history…

A little on the cheesy side? Maybe. But after a recent trip to Florida to witness tiny house movement history in the making, I realized maybe fairytales can come true. The city of Rockledge provides an astonishing example of how smooth the process of creating & approving brand-new zoning regulations can be. Of course every city’s approach to zoning is distinct, with many good reasons. The question is why do some cities make the process so complicated and drawn out? Particularly when presented with a viable idea that benefits residents and provides opportunity for economic development. Continue reading

Working From Home (with youngins at your feet)

The exchange of working at home instead of going in to the office is not one to be taken lightly. It goes without saying that a telecommuter or SAHW (stay-at-home-worker) has a number of issues to overcome that fall under the header of “self-disciplined.” Without going into great detail there is no one at your house to keep you in check; no time clocks, no supervisor, no dress code, no coffee cart, etc. What there is though are a ton of distractions including – but certainly not limited to – kids. While I have been a telecommuter for almost 11 years now and a father for just over 4, I would be remiss to say that I don’t still struggle. I want to be a great employee. I want to be a great dad. And I want to be happy doing it!

Working From Home

My daughter is the apple of my eye. She is my princess and no matter how much I swore she wouldn’t wrap me around her little finger, she has done just that. And at 4 years old I am sure it goes without saying that when I sit down to work she finds herself right up under me and full of questions and requests. It is as if she is hard wired to the laptop lid. When it opens up, she opens up! Continue reading