YahiniHomes: Tiny, mobile homes

by Christina Nellemann on April 7th, 2014. 13 Comments

Danny Yahini’s tiny house company, YahiniHomes, offers the best of both worlds in the small house industry. His various custom homes are not only small and portable, but they can also be set up on a trailer, or on your choice of foundation, and then added onto later to accommodate life’s little changes.

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Danny, who’s based in Athens, Ohio, has been designing and building small, energy efficient homes since the 1980s. He now concentrates on building smaller, moveable homes that are affordable for his clients. All of Danny’s well-insulated cabins are built with high quality materials and are designed to be moved easily. They can also be designed with detachable porches and decks. The cabins can include local and natural materials like natural edge poplar and bamboo flooring and Danny utilizes solar power and heating systems in off-grid cabins.

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He currently has four different designs: the 15′x20′ Cabin, the 8′x18′ Side Porch Cabin, the 8′x14′ Off Grid Cabin and the 8′x18′ Butterfly Cabin. His latest design is The Pod, a 12′x24′ skid mounted home that is designed to be added onto. The cost of the passive solar Pod was around $20,000 and the 2×6 walls of the home were finished with stucco paint.

The interiors of the YahiniHomes feature simple, beautiful designs, storage and versatile bed and living areas. They all contain kitchens and bathrooms. The 8′x14′ Off Grid Cabin has a interesting platform bed (like a sheep wagon) that accommodates additional storage and a pull-out table.

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Photos courtesy of YahiniHomes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Caravan’s Skyline

by Christina Nellemann on March 31st, 2014. 12 Comments

During a trip to Portland last week, I was fortunate enough to meet up with Deb and Kol of Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel in the cool and funky area of Alberta Street in the Northeast part of the city. Most readers know about the couple’s selection of tiny homes for nightly rental in the middle of the city, and now the hotel has a new addition. The 160 square foot Skyline is Caravan’s newest tiny house available for guests and reflects a rustic, Western style with a cozy interior and some great details.

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Skyline was built in the Portland driveway of Eric Bohne and completed this February. Eric works full time as a craftsman and also built his own house on the Oregon coast out of recycled materials. His company, Metalwood Salvage, sells salvaged metal pieces and his design and carpentry business, Alter Areas, focuses on re-purposing unique building materials.

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The Skyline does not have a loft, but a bunked sleeping and living area. The typical ladder has been replaced with a short, metal staircase. The main part of the house has a bar style eating area and a kitchen with a roomy farm sink and storage. One of the most unusual parts of the trailer is the bathroom. It includes a shower and angled toilet that fits just perfectly into the tongue of the trailer. An ingenious folding ladder sits above the toilet in a metal bracket. It can be unfolded for accessibility to a storage loft above the bathroom.

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Deb and Kol recently had an open house for Caravan and the line formed around the block.They estimated about 1,000 to 1,500 people from all walks of life visited the hotel. When I visited on a warm, dry evening (unexpected in Portland during the spring) we sat in the courtyard around a metal burn barrel (fueled with scrap lumber Kol gathers from around the city) and chatted about tiny houses, codes and laws, permits and opportunities. Deb and Kol’s own permitting process was “creative and long” but they feel that their hotel is a unique and legitimate staging area as to what is possible in the tiny house industry.

“With the tiny house movement, everything about it is good,” Deb said. “There is no reason not to make it happen.”

Portland is a hotbed of the tiny house movement and the excitement and possibilities for the dwellings are really catching on. During this warm night, the Caboose was filled with four young people, a young couple from Chicago were enjoying the Portland-themed Tandem and the Rosebud was inhabited by a travel writer from New York — all visitors curious about tinier living. The hotel not only seems to be a tidy selection of tiny houses, but a gathering place for interesting, like-minded people.

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Photos by Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel and Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann  for the [Tiny House Blog]

Flatpack House

by Kent Griswold on March 21st, 2014. 28 Comments

A flatpack house costing 6,500 pounds ($10,728) was given to a brave dad and he was given a week to assemble it. Is it as easy as an IKEA book case?

At £6,500, they don’t come cheap, but the company which produces the wooden cabins — tinyhouseuk.co.uk — says that homeowners have been snapping them up.

Mark Burton, the company’s founder, says the traditional wooden buildings are being bought by people desperate to acquire more space without moving house. Indeed, it seems there’s a growing market for ingenious ways to expand your home — without inflicting fatal damage on your wallet.

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Many of these involve creating separate, fully furnished buildings that include everything from sinks to beds, and are big enough to provide accommodation for a teenager or two, but small enough to fit in a garden without the need for planning permission.

With three daughters aged four, eight and 11, space in my family’s Kent home is certainly at a premium.

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As we live in a traditional farm cottage, I eschew the modern mini-houses, and plump for a classic wooden design — I’m setting myself the challenge of whipping up a mini-home in just seven days.

Read how his seven day build went here at Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548375/Could-YOU-build-flatpack-house-Home-box-costs-just-6-500-But-really-easy-build-IKEA-bookcase-We-gave-one-brave-dad-week-try.html

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March 21st, 2014and filed in Stick Built
Tags: flatpack, IKEA, Tiny House Articles
28 Comments

Marsha’s Tiny House and Solar Setup

by Kent Griswold on March 19th, 2014. 70 Comments

by Marsha Cowan

Added inside photos.

My tiny house is only 6 x10 with solar lanterns that have their own tiny solar panels, propane heater, alcohol stovetop, and so I do not need much electricity. I am hoping this set up with a 100 watt panel, 1000 watt charge controller, 1000 watt inverter, and a 12 volt sealed gel marine battery. I am hoping to run a fan in the loft window, and maybe a computer for an hour or so each night. Anyway, thought I would pass along the picture. I am painting the cabinet the colors of the house.

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Here is a picture of the inside of the cabinet and the “stuff” inside. You can’t see the two plugs on the front of the red colored inverter in this picture, but you can see the air venting slit I left on the low side of the cabinet. There is an air slit under the drip cap in front of the cabinet, too, so plenty of air can draw through there, but both are protected from rain and other weather.

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The best piece of information I got on actually hooking everything up was on Grape solar’s own site. They have videos, and in one of them, a man with an Australian accent stood there and showed step by step how to hook up a charge controller to a solar panel, and then to the battery. The only thing I had to figure out was hooking up the inverter to the same battery.

As it turned out, I was able to loop the silver hoops (crimped to the ends of the wires) of the charge controller over the battery pins and bolt them down, then clamp the claw like things on the ends of the inverter (like on a jumper cable) onto the rounded nubs sticking up next to the pins, so they both did not connect at the same place.

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Those black things you see part way down the charge controller wiring are actually clips that can be undone quickly. I took off the inside of the controller to hook up all the wires and the grounding wire that runs under the cabinet into the ground through an electrical steel conduit pipe. Next, I made the adjustments to two controls recommended by the instruction book. Then, I replaced the back being careful that the tiny lightbulb went into its hole because it shows me when the battery is charging and when it is fully charged (blinking green when charging, solid green when charged).

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I can’t tell you that I wasn’t holding my breath! This was a first for me. I have never wired anything in my life, but there is now so much information on the internet that I honestly think that anyone can make a small off grid solar generator, even this 60 year old grandma!

By the way, there is an on and off switch on the inverter. When I first plugged up my TV and fan, nothing happened. Then I noticed that switch. Whew! I was so happy.

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Computer desk before I moved the computer out there. Screen attached to the wall on a swing out arm. Printer, keyboard, and mouse were all wireless. Composting toilet behind the desk. My printer set on top of my horizontal tower.

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Looking into the loft on the storage end. Barn boards were cleaned up and used to finish both the outside and inside of the tiny house.

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Kitchen area. Small electric cooler would fit below the stovetop. Water crock for water. Can’t see the bar sink in this shot.

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Wonderful cozy loft bed! Below are ladder back chairs with storage built under them. I had 4 chairs instead of a sofa.

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Alcohol Burners

In my state, you can not get a hose to connect an RV propane stovetop to propane without inspections and a contract for at least 120 lbs. of fuel at a time from a local dealer, so I converted my propane stovetop (took out all the insides) to use alcohol burners instead. I ordered White Box burners which fit into short small square metal canisters I found at Walmart, then sat them inside the burner space on the stove.

Today I did my first test run, and it worked great! I was afraid that everything around the burner would get too hot, but they did not get hot at all. It was a very controlled flame. I only used enough to boil about 3 cups of water, so it went out in about 20 seconds after I took it off the burner. The window was open because the weather is so beautiful right now, but even in cold weather, I would open the kitchen window a little for oxygen, and I would shut off the propane heater as well while cooking. Just safe practice.

Thank you for letting me share my tiny house experience so far.

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