Tiny House Fair

The Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont will be hosting the first ever Tiny House Fair June 14-16, 2013. The fair will include presentations on tiny houses from Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed and Four Lights Tiny House Company and Deek Diedrickson of Relaxshacks as well as workshops on how to design and build a tiny house, finish carpentry, using recycled materials, alternative power, composting toilets and creating a community.

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Registration is open to the first 100 people who sign up and the $300 cost will include all workshops, presentations and meals. Cabin lodging on the Yestermorrow campus will also be available for $50 for two nights. Participants may also camp on-site for $20 for two nights and the lodging will be free if you bring your own tiny house or camper. Off-campus lodging includes a hostel and several hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Yestermorrow offers over 150 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft including a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design and green building. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1980, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our 1-day to 3-week hands-on courses are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country.

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Photos by Yestermorrow Design/Build School and George Soules with David Cain.

Concession Trailers as Tiny Houses

On a fall trip to Oregon, I saw what looked like a tiny brown house parked in a truck and trailer rental lot in Klamath Falls. The owner told me that it was a summer concession trailer built specifically for serving coffee and sweets. It is 8×15 and about 3,500 lbs. and looked so much like a tiny house that I was wondering if other concession stands could also be turned into a small house on wheels.

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Concession trailers are created specifically for serving food or beverages on the road or in parking areas. They range from mobile food trucks to trailers towed by larger vehicles. The design of concession trailers will sometimes reflect what they sell and will be decorated with a tropical theme for Thai food or a classic 50′s theme for hot dogs and corn dogs. Most concession trailers are equipped with industrial and public food-grade equipment or sometimes they are stripped so you can install your own equipment. Many of them already contain the necessary plumbing for water, propane and electricity. Concession trailers can range in price from about $40,000 to about $6,000. Continue reading

Ode to the Outhouse

The lowly outhouse may be making a comeback. Some tiny houses being designed these days are not being outfitted with a bathroom or even a space for a composting toilet. While a specific design or structure may be sound and even really beautiful, it may not provide people with one of the most basic of human needs. A simple or more complex outhouse could be a viable solution.

The outhouse originated about 500 years ago in Europe, and was used primarily at inns or in public spaces. During this time, the ubiquitous symbol of the crescent moon on the outhouse door also began to appear. Since most people were illiterate during this time, the male outhouses were marked with the symbol of a sun, indicating masculinity, and the women’s were marked with a symbol of a crescent moon, which represented the feminine (also the Roman goddess Diana who was the protector of women). As time went on and the American frontier opened up, the men’s outhouses were not maintained as well as the women’s (since men tended to just go out in the woods), so the men’s outdoor commodes began to disappear, leaving the women’s (and their crescent moon symbol) behind. Eventually, outhouses became unisex and some even included several different sized holes for men, women and children. Continue reading