Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on April 19th, 2014. 12 Comments
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This week I thought I would share a tiny house in a landscape that I was lucky to visit last weekend at a workshop in Tennessee. I attended one of Deek’s workshops held at Tiny Happy Homes sometimes know as Tennessee Tiny Homes and owned by Joe Everson.

This little home is approximately 12 x 18 and built on a foundation. Joe’s sister and daughter live in it. It is one of several tiny/small homes located on the property where Joe builds and sells tiny houses.

Many of you want interior photos of the Tiny House in a Landscape photos and this time since I was there I was able to get a few and I have included them. You can see more of Joe’s work if you are on Facebook by clicking this link.

Exterior

loft

living area

living room

kitchen

bathroom

Geodesic Houseboat Floating Waterfront Getaway

by Kent Griswold on April 18th, 2014. 9 Comments
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by Michael Richard Weekes

WHO

Michael R Weekes wanted to design and build a houseboat / shanty boat in weeks, not months, that cost less than $2,000 and could be made by one person without special tools, space / work center, or equipment.

INSPIRATIONS:

R. Buckminster Fuller, Bigelow Brook Farms, CT

CONCEPT

Fasten the required number of ultra-rugged yet light storage containers to a 10×16 2×4 deck to achieve a 5,000 pound buoyant capability, where containers act like a poor man’s inexpensive floating dock solution.

Use 2x2s fastened together with 8″ 3/4 plywood hubs to achieve a three frequency geodesic elongated dome (split the dome in half and add 6′ stringers to achieve a cocoon type shape) which weighs less than 200 pounds.

The project began as a bootleg/gypsy event by me at a local yacht yard, until I was kicked out at 4 PM by which time I had the pontoons in the water. I spent the next three weeks fabricating and assembling the geodesic cabin to the deck and then was towed to Canalside (ref. Buffalo Waterfront) from the Buffalo ship canal where I built the structure on the water by myself.

floating home

ref: shantyboatliving,com, Buffalo Rising Online, The Buffalo News, Buckminster Fuller Institute, other “geodesic houseboat” on Google.

The home has a splendid 7’6″ headroom and a 9′ width and by offsetting the dome on the deck, it added three feet for a propane grill and cooler, along with back porch.

I’d like to submit this solution for any contests to compete for most value for least cost, effort and time.

The boat build led to my writing and self publishing a book, Building a New and useful Buffalo (eBay – $17.95) which recommends a new kind of framework for communities to leverage their cultural capital to accelerate their transformation and economic development.

dome on car

I am interesting in joining like-minded urban pioneers to make the quality of life in the cosmos more sustainable while receiving the joy that comes with building your own tiny home with your own hands!

I am also looking for a key role in a company who might wish to commercialize / develop a manufacturing capability for tiny living / “deployment” shelters to help victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, or mud slides / earthquakes.

Michael R Weekes
michaellovesbuffalo(at)gmail.com

dome sign

floating dome

Susan’s Bear Cabin

by Kent Griswold on April 17th, 2014. 33 Comments
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by Susan Stacy

I love the Tiny House Blog. I came across it a few years ago when I was looking to downsize and I fell in love with the “Tiny Texas Houses.” I dreamed of having one on my five acres one day here in Texas. I was looking through Craigslist one Saturday about two years ago and came across a small house to be moved.

I decided the idea was crazy at first, but kept going back to look at the picture house so I called to go see it. It is 400 sqare feet and sat in a pasture about a mile from where I grew up. I never noticed it although I passed it each day on the bus. I bought it and had it moved to where I live about 15 miles away.

old house

Before

house now

After

I put a tin roof on, a porch, and painted barn red over the pepto bismal pink. I tore out a lot of stuff in the kitchen and bathroom, but left the upper kitchen cabinets, painted them, and removed the doors. The exterior doors were in bad shape so they had to go. I love living in my little “Bear Cabin” as I call it now since I have it decorated with bears inside!

Keep up with Susan’s house on her blog: http://susansimplified.blogspot.com/

house2 house3 house4 house6 house8 house9 house11 house12 IMG_1162 IMG_1163

April 17th, 2014and filed in Your Story
Tags: cabin, small house, Texas
33 Comments

Where Will I Put All My Stuff?

by Kent Griswold on April 16th, 2014. 61 Comments
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By Michelle Boyle

If you’re a Tiny House Enthusiast, you have no doubt heard about all the benefits of downsizing. And if you think about it purely from a logical standpoint, having less stuff means having less stuff to worry about, store, clean, pay for, and maintain. And that makes sense, right?

Have you ever considered the other things that clutter our lives? Like relationships? If you think about it, our lives start out pretty simple and then get increasingly complex as we mature. With maturity comes relationships and, literally, the same logic can be applied to those as well. The more relationships you have the more people you have to worry about, store (keep a roof over their heads) clean (or, rather, clean up after) pay for, and maintain (can you say “New shoes for my growing son, every three months!?”).

simple

Question: So, why is downsizing our possessions touted as one of the first steps towards an increased emphasis on relationships; if they both yield the same end result?

Answer: Emotions.

Relationships pay us back by enriching our lives. We share with others, and they share with us. We teach others, and they teach us. We love others, and if all goes well, they love us back. Good relationships feed our soul, give us solace, teach us how to be patient, and how to be empathetic.

Does our stuff provide us with peace, solace, and love?

As people enter our lives they bring stuff. We then start to correlate stuff, to people; we assign emotional value to possessions. For instance, we become sentimental about a painting done by our first grade daughter, and we remember an important life event from a printed program or memorabilia. (This is not a bad thing, by the way.) It’s actually an easy and efficient way for our brains to recall that event. The “bad” part, is that we tend to then become indiscriminate about what possessions we assign value to. Perhaps we don’t trust our brains to remember the “important” events? Or perhaps we want to surround ourselves with things to remind us that we are living a fulfilling life?

The key here is not to assign any value to any things. They key is to use discrimination. And that leads us back to the difficult process of downsizing.

Question: If assigning discriminate value to our stuff makes so much sense, logically, then why is it so difficult?

Answer: Because we are forcing ourselves to re-learn to what and whom we should assign value.

clothing

After purging: I now have only two bins of offseason clothing.
(and three bags for donation!)

So, how exactly do you decide what goes and what stays when you’re trying to downsize into a Tiny House?

Frankly, I don’t know how it will work for you. After all, downsizing is so personal. It’s an entirely different event for each person, bringing with it an entirely new set of baggage (mine is in a bin, marked “LUGGAGE”). I don’t have the answers for you, but here are a few examples of the thought processes that have been playing, over and over in my head, for the last few months. Maybe they’ll inspire you to begin your own….

I had two small, handmade, clay bowls. They were both pretty, and earthy, and made by the students of someone with whom I once had a close relationship. I attended a fund raising event where I paid $10, per bowl, to fill it with soup and then got to take home the bowls. One, I used for pencils. The other one sat in the cupboard waiting for a purpose that it never ended up serving. As I looked at the bowls I realized I was keeping them because they reminded me of how giving I was. As I contemplated them further, however, I also realized they entered my life as a result of a relationship which was now a painful life lesson. Not wanting to be reminded of that pain, they were both recently donated to charity.

Good feelings return, lesson learned, now moving on…

I was raised in a less than affluent family. I did not have nice, or trendy clothes. I got by with the basics but, as a foster child, I was happy to have any at all. As I matured (there’s that word again) and earned my own money I spent a LOT of it in my early 20′s on clothes and shoes. Even if I didn’t need yet another white button down over sized shirt, I bought one because it was on sale, or because I COULD. In retrospect, I believe that the difference between age and maturity is understanding the difference between things you CAN do and things you SHOULD do. Nowadays, I don’t have nearly the stuffed closet and dresser as I used to; but the feelings still challenge me when I shop. “I deserve it.” “I work so hard.” “I want to look good, so I’ll feel good about myself.” These are all tough life lessons that reveal themselves in how we view our stuff.

These are the same tough life lessons that we are forced to re-learn as we downsize.

Is your stuff a reflection of who you are? A parent, a builder, a daughter, a son, a mentor, a gardener, or a philanthropic traveler? To what extent do you rely on things to remind you of who you are, or are your things on display so others will believe that you are, who you want them to believe you are?

Think about it this way. If you have a 12 foot long wall, full of pictures of your children and grandchildren, does this make you a stellar parent? Or does it reflect more on how you wish others to see you? If you have exercise equipment gathering dust, is this a reflection of the healthy person you want to see yourself as? Can and should you, instead, assign that same sense of identity to a pair of running shoes?

sketch of house

While sketching my elevations, I realize how very tiny my Tiny House really is!

Downsizing is really, really, really, difficult. It is sometimes not quite as easy as the “one bin for donations, one bin for keeps, and one bin for garbage” process. The process of even deciding that you want to, and need to get rid of, the emotions you assign to your stuff, and embracing the mental roadblocks; is what keeps most people from even considering a Tiny House.

After all, where would they (or you) put all their (or your) stuff?

My “stuff” (which is a rather thoughtless and crass description of the treasures that will be left) will be creatively and proudly displayed, and some of it may be stored. But in either case, they will be cherished and/or cared for, and a far more clear reflection of both myself and the relationships I have built along the way of building My Empty Nest.

My Tiny House and everything in it will be a reflection of who I am to myself, and nobody else. And yes, that’s a good thing!

Michelle is an outgoing single mom, published author, speaker, patented inventor, blogger, craigslist stalker, enthusiastic Glamper, and Northwest native. Her interest in all-things-tiny-and-old started when she was only 12 years old when she became fascinated with a tiny abandoned farm house near her parent’s home; and she’s been sketching floor plans ever since. With pencil and graph paper in hand she’s more than ready for the next phase of her life. Her Tiny House, aptly named “My Empty Nest”, is the culmination of a life spent dreaming of a tiny reclaimed space, all her own.

Facebook Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Empty-Nest/494081560700467

Blog link: mytinyemptynest.blogspot.com

April 16th, 2014and filed in Tiny House Articles
Tags: clutter, downsize, stuff
61 Comments