Deek Diedricksen and Tiny House Builders HGTV

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Boston, MA resident and long-time tiny house designer, blogger, author, and youtube host Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, will be the host, designer, AND part of the building crew for an upcoming new HGTV show entitled “Tiny House Builders”. The show will debut as a sneak peak on Sunday, December 14th at 1pm. Deek, whose design work has been featured from The NY Times, to The UK Daily News, will also be featured (his second time), on a tiny house edition of ABC’s “Chronicle HD”, also slated to air soon.

“I think people are going to dig the HGTV episodes, or at least I hope so”, said Diedricksen, “We’re doing things the hard way, and at break-neck speed, and all off-grid too, in just four days- so its just absolutely grueling- but the end product in each episode is something I’m pretty proud of, and the builds and approaches are pretty darn unique. Best yet. I’m doing all this with a team I got to hand pick- all guys local to me. My brother Dustin is on my building crew and plays the occasional part of co-host, I have two long time musician friends and tradesmen in Jim Shippey and “Creature” (from the musical act “Woodland Creatures”), and I brought in this guy Phil Laplante, a New Hampshire resident, who is just as positive and entertaining as they come. He was my back-up carpenter on another string of online episodes I did for HGTV and The DIY Network in 2012. He never got ANY screen time, per contract, and I thought it was insane- the guy’s just great- so I brought him on board. Melissa Teper, aka “DJ Melissa”, from my FM radio dj days at 104.1 WBCN Boston (Deek’s CBS co-host for two years), and this guy we call “Johnny Milwaukee” (Jon Lyman) round out the cast. I told HGTV that I didn’t want any wimps, supermodels, or high-maintenance mirror addicts, and they were cool with it. So if you’re looking for Brad Pitt attempting to wield a hammer with slow-motion hair flips, or Heidi Klum prancing on a beach, sorry, we can’t give you that.

“Tiny House Builders” is a one hour program and the initial episode was filmed in Lunenberg, MA, with, as Deek reports, deep, deep, in the woods. “If they pick up more shows, beyond the pair we’ve delivered so far, I certainly would want to build something in my own town, and my hometown in the Connecticut, so that’s something I would push for. I have a few ideas I want to pitch already, as honestly, if it were up to me, I’d build and shoot everything very locally- less of a commute, I love my town, and I wouldn’t have to be away from my family for long periods of time. We’ll see where the show takes us though, and heck, if it doesn’t take off, I have so much going on with my next book (“Microshelters” via Storey Press- Sept ’15), custom tree house and backyard office builds, and my hands-on design workshops around the US, that I’ll just focus more on those instead. I also want to do more with my painting and art, in fact, I have a few long-brewing ideas for the ailing downtown center of my town and even started up a facebook page to try and spread some of these possible revitalization approaches.

In episode one, as Deek has shared with us, “We’re building a seasonal cabin in the woods for a family, but one that’s part tree house, that straddles a stream, and that has a glass floor, among other things. Episode two will move into a more traditional tiny home in that it is fully insulated, and with all the amenities.

Deek currently has a book out titled “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” available on amazon.com, and runs he blog www.relaxshacks.com, as well as the youtube channel “RelaxshacksDOTcom“.

Deek will also have a small, intimate, hands-in workshop in his art studio (hands-on), in mid January- a one-day workshop focusing on tree house building, but with tiny house design and discussion worked in. This will be a full day workshop, with another to closely follow. For more information, check out his blog www.relaxshacks.com for upcoming details, which will be posted soon. This workshop will be limited to twelve students.

tiny house builders group

Boat Life Isn’t Easy

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Our first year of living on a boat has pushed me both mentally and physically, more than I ever could have imagined. Peter and I love the life we have chosen, but we definitely have our challenges too.

“You don’t know your strength until you know your limits”

-Peter Pieschel, 2014

It took us awhile to get over the initial exhaustion of becoming liveaboards. It takes a LOT of work to live on a boat and for the first month we were just plain exhausted every day. We knew it would get easier and as the weeks passed by, everything eventually did get easier. A year later we are still dog-tired every night but we work and play even harder than before.

Here are just a few of the things that make life on a boat more challenging than it was for us on land:

  • Our muscles are constantly working to keep us balanced since the boat is always moving.
  • When we buy groceries, we have to take a taxi to and from the store, unload the groceries into the dinghy, transport everything out to where the boat is anchored, pass everything from the dinghy up and over the lifelines into the cockpit and down the 5′ vertical ladder into the depths of the boat, then try to make everything fit in the tiny and awkward storage spaces.
  • Sometimes we spend all day catching our own food from the sea.
  • We must be weary of real-life pirates and properly secure our boat, dinghy and belongings.
  • Safety is a priority and the utmost care must be taken to inspect every single component to ensure everything is in working order. Even something as small as a hose clamp could have catastrophic consequences if overlooked.
  • Making sure our anchor is properly set determines how well we sleep at night.
  • Squalls can be on us in a matter of minutes whether we are prepared or not.
  • We need enough wind to sail, but not too much so that it’s dangerous.
  • Our 150 lb dinghy  and outboard motor has to be hauled up on deck for long passages, and returned to the water when we are anchored.
  • Internet in foreign countries is often unreliable and weather reports may not be available.
  • We have to lift a ladder up onto the bed to get the dogs in and out of the cockpit.
  • We haul a 5-gallon bucket of salt water up on deck every time the dogs go potty to rinse the astro-turf.
  • Every time we want to get something out of the fridge we have to stretch our Gumby arms way down to the bottom, take everything out to get to what we want and then put all the other items back in.
  • When we want a pot or a pan, we have to get down on our hands and knees to get it from a locker underneath the stove which extends way down against the hull.
  • When we want to use the kitchen table we lift it down from its latched position against the bookshelf.
  • Taking a shower requires us to jump in the ocean to rinse, lather and repeat before we do a conservative final rinse with fresh water.
  • Power is needed for LOTS of things we once took for granted: lights, fans, radio, cell phone chargers, computers, hot water heater, dehumidifier, navigation instruments, coffee makers, microwave and air conditioning. We have to generate our own power with solar panels, a wind generator, or by running the engine or diesel generator.
  • We make our own water with a machine that converts salt water into fresh water, but only when we have enough power to run the machine.
  • If we need to supplement our water supply, we lug 6-gallon jerry jugs to and from shore, then lift them up onto the boat from the dinghy and slowly pour them into our tanks.
  • When something goes wrong, we have to be very innovative and creative to figure out how to fix it with the tools that we have at hand.
  • When we’re done using something, it has to be put away because there’s no room to leave clutter out and we don’t want it to roll away or break when the boat rocks from a passing wake.
  • When we use dishes, we have to wash them by hand every time we eat.
  • We have to be plumbers, electricians, mechanics, navigators, chefs, fishermen, sailors, excellent communicators and fun-havers.

Living on a boat is much different than living on land. There was a lot to get used to, but it has all become normal to us now. We absolutely LOVE our little home and we say it out loud to each other every day. Its hard work but SO worth it at the end of the day. We maintain our home in such a way to be able to travel across oceans, visit far off lands, and discover beautiful tropical beaches and crystal clear waters. We’re going Where The Coconuts Grow and the wind in our sails will take us there!

This journey has been an incredible education too. As the months go by we continuously learn so many new skills and we learn how to live with ‘less’ all around. We need the basics, safety equipment, gear, a few personal effects and all the rest is just stuff. Our priorities have definitely changed as we work on the boat every day and keep everything in ship-shape. We appreciate the little things we didn’t even notice before. We take a lot less for granted and our happiness increases by the minute.

We do get frustrated sometimes but I think we’re getting better about understanding that we’re both doing our best. Our patience with ourselves and with each other is growing too. Everything we do, we do it as a team and it seems much easier that way. We’re helping each other figure out how to do things we haven’t done before and it’s actually really fun! It’s hard at first to step outside of your comfort zone, but when you do, that’s where the magic happens :)

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After the initial exhaustion wore off a little, Peter has been my primary source of inspiration. His quote about strength and limits really did get me thinking and even though everything we do seems so hard, he always helps me to see things in a positive light instead. We really are stronger than we think we are, and as a good friend once said to me, we have to BELIEVE in ourselves!!

Peter and I have set sail on an adventure of a lifetime with our two dogs and we both feel so lucky that everything has just fallen into place.  It’s one of those moments where we know we’re in the right place at the right time and now is the perfect time in our lives to follow our dreams. We’re young, we are finding strength we didn’t know we had, and we’re throwing our fears and doubts aside in exchange for this amazing opportunity. What better time in our lives than now to travel and see the world? There’s so much beauty and joy out there just waiting to be shared.

We hope our adventures will inspire others to take a leap of faith, step outside your comfort zone and find out where the magic happens. Dreams really do come true, if you believe!!

By Jody Pountain for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

Andrew’s TEDx Tiny House Talk

Andrew Morrison

Click on Video Below Article to Watch

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Andrew Morrison for over seven years now via the Internet and personally the last year. Andrew is known for his fantastic Straw Bale videos and workshops and in the last year as a tiny house builder and designer. I had the opportunity to introduce Andrew and his wife Gabriella to the tiny house world through the Tiny House Blog.

They have become good friends and Andrew has a talent which I sometimes envy. He is a natural speaker and at ease in front of small groups or large crowds. He also is a talented musician. Andrew recently was featured at TEDx and I wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to view his speech.

Learn more about the background of this speech here.

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Andrew and his wife, Gabriella, are the creators of “hOMe”, the 207 SF (+110 SF in lofts) modern tiny house on wheels. They live and work in hOMe full time, off grid, and debt free. With the extra time and money that they have they travel and enjoy time together as a family.

Watch the video below.