Aubergine: Living in a Converted School Bus

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Guest Post by Collin Vickers

Eco-artist and innovator in radical recycling, Katherine Hanson, is living her American Dream in harmony with nature.

Katherine’s tiny house is timid and easily overlooked amidst the lush greenery of spring or the thick snowfall of winter, but she is still my vote for the coolest house at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. Her name, (I’ve been told she identifies as female,) is Aubergine, and she is living out her golden years in peace and quiet following a long career in education – you see, Aubergine is a converted school bus. (I wonder what all those children would think if they could see the old yellow dog now?)

Katherine and Henry

At one time, Aubergine was the only running vehicle at Dancing Rabbit, (she even rushed someone with a broken leg to the local hospital,) but now she rests behind an earthen berm on a foundation of gravel-filled rubber tires. She is insulated with rigid foam, and apart from the thin steel framework of her body, she has a conventionally built roof that feeds water into a system of daisy-chained rain barrels, which Katherine uses to water her expansive garden. All told, the construction cost for Aubergine fell under $6,000 and she took several years to build with the help of many hands. Continue reading

Matt’s “Tiny House Tuesdays” at The Generator

The Generator, a maker space in Reno, NV, has given birth to several incredible art pieces that made their first appearance at Burning Man. Embrace 2014, the Pier and the Pier 2 (a giant, half-sunken pirate ship) were constructed by teams in the 34,000 square foot warehouse. Matt Schultz runs The Generator and was principle builder on many of the projects. He’s also building a tiny house.

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“I’m an artist,” Matt said. “Why would I live in a house that someone else built?” Continue reading

The Pistacia Cottage A.D.U.

Pistacia Cottage

Shawn Dehner of The Small House Catalog says that a client released rights to a tiny A.D.U. that we’ve added to our free catalog.

It’s being built in California but could be modified for other climates. Shawn was also thinking a kitchen could be added in the “closet” area for the right owner.

I am hoping we can get photos of the completed project and have an update sometime in the near future.

It’s called the Pistacia Cottage and here are specifications:

  • Bedrooms: None
  • Bathrooms: 3/4
  • Closet: Yes
  • Kitchen: Possibly, closet space can be converted, as desired.
  • Ceiling height: 8′-0″
  • Overall dimensions including porch: 16′ wide x 19′
  • Foundation type: Concrete slab
  • Plan includes basic electrical and plumbing
  • Print size: 18″ x 24″
  • Immediate PDF download with license to build

You can download the plans here. http://www.thesmallhousecatalog.com/pistacia

renderingfloor plan

Eagle Log Cabins

Eagle Log Cabins seems to have more cabin designs than you can shake a stick at. The company, which has been in the cabin manufacturing business for 75 year, builds and sells their various cabin designs in both Europe and the U.S. and will deliver and install their buildings anywhere in North America.

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The company sells larger residential cabins, but their smaller collections including the Cabana, Alpine, Sequoia, Clockhouse and the beautiful Peace Pod are making waves. The company even have their tiny Trailer Cabin on wheels that made its debut at the Portland Home and Garden Show. Eagle Log Cabins sells cabins from nine to over 20 feet wide in various configurations including backyard offices, personal sanctuaries and custom designs. Continue reading

Trophy Amish Log Cabins

Several years ago, while looking for a weekend getaway cabin, Jim Gega of Trophy Amish Cabins in Michigan was disappointed by what he found in the park model industry. What looked like an actual cabin, was just 2×4 construction with pine log siding. After finding an Amish craftsman in Ohio, Jim decided to build small log cabins made with Eastern White Pine and Eastern Red Cedar that truly reflect the classic log cabin—just a bit smaller and portable.

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“We started out building high quality solid log hunting cabins, then the business grew due to custom designs and affordability,” Jim said. “We are different because our clients can actually sketch their own floor plan. Our clients also send us a map of their property so our designers can custom design their cabin for their specific site and needs. In 2010 we started building furniture that could ship inside a client’s cabin and added rollout storage drawers beneath the bunk beds. We have evolved into a high quality custom log cabin company that will deliver to your property throughout the Continental U.S.”

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Jim said that log cabins have great thermal mass and are as efficient as the best insulated stick built homes. Log cabins are also build with natural materials without the use of fire retardant chemicals. The Trophy Amish Cabins are used primarily has weekend homes or hunting lodges. A few clients live in their cabins year round. The largest cabin is 12×32 feet, and the smallest is 10×16 feet with a small porch. Because of their weight, Jim does not recommend attaching the cabins to a trailer. Continue reading