We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs. That’s why a couple of the professionals involved in building houses at Boneyard Studios put together a tiny house design workshop for the DIYer who wants more technical information and planning materials for their tiny house build. Our first workshop this past fall was a success and a lot of fun to put on, so we are redoing it again this Spring at Howard University. Find out more details about the workshop and watch a video from our past workshop. Check out our photos and materials from the past workshop below and see why I, Lee, was motivated to help design a workshop with these professionals after my experience building a tiny house.
Throughout my tiny house project, I have realized how much building requires project planning, understanding major decision points in the process, and a knowledge of building code and materials. I didn’t fully understand how one decision impacted another or what building decisions and techniques were unique to tiny houses. I had naively bought into some of the promotional materials in the tiny house world that claim you can build a tiny house with just 14 tools or that make it seem like building a tiny house is simpler and easier just because it’s smaller than a regular house. Our experience has been the opposite: a tiny house actually requires more planning, and a pretty thorough knowledge of building science, health and safety, and codes (International Building Code, RV code (ANSI/RVIA), and city code and zoning) in order to build a structure that is safe, durable, and is an efficient use of space. Come learn with us again this spring!
March 29-30, 2014 in Washington, DC
Location: Howard University
(two blocks from the metro, one mile from downtown and one mile from Boneyard Studios tiny house community)
We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs.
Join us this spring to gain the technical knowledge and the planning tools to start designing and building your small house project!
*Workshop limited to 30 participants to allow one-on-one time with architect and builder.
Build a Yurt Workshop
Local Living Ventures group in Canton, New York
The group has brought me in to teach a 3-day workshop where we will install a 20′ yurt for the members of the group whilst concurrently building a 10′ yurt from scratch to encourage students to build their own. Yurt building, camping, food, art projects, and long term off-grid living discussion will all be present for this weekend of camaraderie!
Come help make this thing happen! You will learn about the history, uses and realistic expectations for yurt living, and “how-to” build one yourself!
There are lots of projects that need helping hands – planning, building, decorating (beautiful arts project for Mongolian designs!) and much more.
Join us to create beautiful, sustainable, and move-able housing we can all love!
A full weekend of camaraderie, Date To Be Announced. It will be late in May
Construction Supervisor is master yurt builder Steve Reed of Surely Yurts
- Two levels of participation:
- Camping on site, meals provided: Amount to be determined
- Day Tripper rate: Amount to be determined
Please indicate your particular skill level with construction, arts, etc. (all levels welcome!) and your dietary and camping preferences.
Go to this link to register and scroll down.
by Michelle in Oregon
If you were to ask me why I am excited about living in a Tiny House, I would tell you that the list is so long we’ll have to sit, and chat for a bit, for you to understand how perfectly perfect the idea is, to me. You see, the answer isn’t simple.
The answer is my life’s story…
I have worked since I was 15 years old. Most of those years have been spent in front of a desk, and a computer, and working for someone else. Problem solving and resource management has always been my strong suit and I enjoy my work, but I have no intention of sitting in a cubicle till I’m 70 years old. (or even 60!) I want to explore more creative, active, and social career endeavors. Having a paid-for Tiny House will give me the flexibility to do just that. It’s finally time that I put my problem solving skills to use for myself.
And I can’t wait to get started!
I have been married and divorced twice. Each time, I designed and then supervised the construction of “our” home. I landscaped, and painted, and stenciled, and mowed, and put all of my emotional and financial self into our new space. With each divorce, the house was left behind, in the pile of carnage, that was once (twice) the plan for my life. I have, since then, vowed to never let the success or failure of a relationship dictate my domestic security. I’ve been on my own, dependent on nobody but myself, for over ten years now. My Tiny House will finally fill that void, the hole in my soul, it will be my emotional security blanket. It will be the end result of my creative and financial efforts.
I’ll finally have my own space in this world that nobody can take from me.
Words can hardly express how excited I am to be moving on to the Empty Next phase of my life. I am a single mom and sole provider and have devoted my life to raising responsible, respectful, children. My youngest is going off to college next year and, as such, there will no longer be a need to maintain an expensive, suburban, three bedroom, two bathroom, yard and garage lifestyle. So far, however, this transition hasn’t exactly been easy for me. Redefining my role with my children (my oldest is already 18 and in college) and redefining my role to the world has been harder than I thought it would be. Who am I? What do I do? “Mom” has always been the answer. Granted, I will always be “Mom” but to a much lesser extent than before. They won’t need me. My job is done.
It’s time for me to find, me, again.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing in life goes according to plan. My ability to roll with the punches, and get up after being knocked down, is one of my best attributes. I don’t even think about where I want to live when I retire because I know that no matter how I see my future now, reality will be very different. I don’t know if I’ll live in a bustling city where strolls to the coffee shop or farmers’ market will be a part of my everyday life. I don’t know if I’ll live on a farm, and raise animals again, or next to a lake where I can greet the sunrise over the water with my pen and paper in hand. My Tiny House can go where I go, it can be where I need and want to be.
Whether I am alone, or with my love, I will be where I want to be.
My love is one of my biggest fans. While he occasionally feels the need to inject reality into my Tiny House Fantasy (“You have over 50 pairs of shoes! Even they won’t fit in a Tiny House) he also understands that once I get something in my head I won’t be talked out of it. And although the exact logistical details of our future together remain a mystery, the Tiny House will provide us both with options we had not yet considered. Maybe we’ll rent out his houses and pull the Tiny House to another state where we’ll live for 6 months, then move again. Maybe I’ll live with him and we’ll park my Tiny House on his lakefront land for use as my personal escape space or a place where the kids can stay when they come to visit. Maybe we won’t last long enough to know the details but we’ll part knowing that I didn’t put undue pressure on him to take care of me.
Life is full of maybes, but with my Tiny House, I’m not afraid of them anymore.
It has been a few months since the idea of building my own Tiny House struck me, and although I am still in the planning stages, I can already smell the cookies baking in my vintage oven, in my tiny house, in a quiet lot, where ever I land.
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.
by Kent Griswold
I recently received an ArkPak to test and review. The ArkPak is a power pack which can be used for a small back up generator or is great for camping, etc. off the grid.
A lot of power packs you see these days come sealed so you can’t change the battery when it is at the end of its life. The ArkPak comes without a battery and you can choose which type to put in and replace as needed.
The ArkPak is the only power pack with a built in charger. It will also take a battery up to 130 amp hours or group 31+ for the longest output time. It works with both 12V and 110V power so that you can run just about anything you need to while out in the woods.
Assembly was fairly easy, the ArkPak has a plastic container that opens and you install your battery. Once the battery is in the enclosure, simply sinch it in with the velcro strap and attach the cables. Make sure you put them in correctly. ArkPak has a great installation manuel so be sure and follow it. Once the battery is connected you turn it system on and answer a couple of questions as to what type of battery you have and the amps so it will charge correctly and not hurt your battery.
My battery needed charging so I used the enclosed 110V adapter and charged it. It gives you a graphic that tells you the percentage of charge and lets you know when the battery is completely charged.
As an option you can purchase an adapter to charge your ArkPak in your car when you are on the road. Here you see it hooked up in my Mini Cooper and charging. This would be great when you are on your way to your campsite or moving from one place to another.
You can also charge your ArkPak using solar panels and I will do a test with this option in the near future.
The ArkPak allows you run appliances on 110V power, up to 150 watts. It has a built in 150W inverter so if you try to run something that is larger it will alert you and shut the inverter off. This should be fine for running your computer, a small TV, and most lights. I hooked up my Ryobi drill charger and it worked great. Also my laptop worked fine, so I can recharge it while out an about or with a power outage at home.
The ArkPak also has 12V capabilities and that is where it can really shine. It can give you days of 12V power with a full battery charge.
The ArkPak also has a built in USB charger so you can charge your mobile phone, tablets, etc.
The ArkPak is quite affordable if you compare it to other power packs on the market. With my marine battery installed it weighed in at 48 pounds. With a larger battery I understand it can weigh up to around 70 pounds. So you are not going to want to haul this too far. The plastic latch has me a little concerned, but all in all it seems fairly sturdy for being a plastic enclosure.
This would work great as a supplemental power system in a tiny house or remote cabin. Click here to learn more about it.
Following is a video showing how it works in the outdoors.