My Tiny Cabin In Kentucky

by Amy Gregory

Our cabin is a tiny 10 x 20 located on property that has been in the family since the 1800’s. The cool part is that I was reunited with my family after being separated for 32 years. I lost both parents in a car accident as a child. They died a year apart. The tragedy caused the families to separate. I lost contact with my mothers side for 32 years.

Now I am lucky enough to own a piece of my family history! Family and history are everything to me. Especially after spending a life time looking for them. I’m including a picture of my cousins and I just to let you know how special this place is to me. :)

The area is just beautiful! The cabin is nestled in the woods and has a great view of a waterfall known as the Mill Dam. It got its name from our ancestors. There used to be an old mill there.

Our cabin is a dry cabin and it is off the grid. The Amish built the shell for us. It has a sleeping loft, kitchenette, cathedral ceilings, porch, metal roof, and a wood stove. Since it is a dry cabin, we plan to build an outdoor shower similar to the photo below.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Let us know if you have any questions. FYI our cabin is called JaCk’s Place. This stands for my families first name initials. Joe Amy Connor Keagan. (My husband, myself and my children!)

 

“JaCks Place” from KY

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Our land before we cleared it

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Our land after we cleared it.
The proud owners ;)

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Our view

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Our view of the waterfall

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The dam years ago when there was a mill. Our ancestors are in the picture.

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Our cabin before our front steps were complete. The husband built the firepit.

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Building the steps

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Us on the front porch after building
the steps

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Our kitchenette. Made out of a workbench. Shellacked , cut a spot for the sink, add fabric and it’s done!

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Landscaping

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The family pond

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The girl cousins aka “women of strength”

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Ahhh the field of wildflowers :)

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Our watermelon on our porch from the summer

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The latest look at our tiny cabin.

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Time for a break, until next spring. View from the porch!

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Next spring project 2015… To be continued ;)

Calling A Tree Home

“TREE HOUSE
A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.”

~ Shel Silverstein

Where The Sidewalk Ends

There is something magical about living in a treehouse. It is the idea of being so close to nature that it literally envelops you. Its trunk your foundation, its branches your steps, and its leaves your cover. There is safety high above the rest of the world and there is peace in the crown. It’s relatively easy to see then why if a creative mind is left alone in the canopy long enough he or she will want nothing more than to build a house amongst the foliage.

Treehouse 1

Treehouses can be childishly simple or they can be unbelievably ornate. For decades scrappy boys have been hauling misshapen scraps of plywood up rickety ladders to somehow attach to a tree, carefully balanced on a few beams taken from an old barn. Girls too have cobbled together their own versions sometimes decorated with “curtains” and ‘NO BOYS ALLOWED’ signs. And on the other end of the spectrum is the island home of the The Robinsons; a truly livable home built right into the natural lines of a tree!

Synopsis: A Swiss family en route to New Guinea is shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island. Luckily most of the cargo also survived. They are forced to remain on the island because of the damage to the ship and the pirates that are roaming the islands. They create a home on the island (centering around a huge tree house) and explore the island and its wildlife.

Swiss Family Robinson

photo courtesy of Kevin Kidney

Who didn’t want to build and live in a treehouse after seeing the gadgets and gizmos, secret hatches and pulley baskets, that the SFR home had? Whatever the case and whatever your fancy – to live in a quiet retreat or just have a bird’s eye view of your backyard – you may want to consider the following before starting your tiny house in the trees:

Ask Yourself Why. Treehouses can certainly be viable tiny houses. Just look at the near 300 treehouse listings currently on AirBnB for proof! They can include heating and cooling options, full electricity, Wifi Internet, satellite TV, plumbing, etc. But treehouses can also just be for fun; an after school escape to look at comics and have puppet shows. Before you start building anything though you need to figure out why you want to do it so you can properly assess the intended structure itself and your plan of attack.

Talk To The Neighbors. Sure, the tree may be in your yard. But unless you live on a large tract sans neighbors it is polite to talk over your plans with those next door. You certainly don’t want to build anything possibly garish directly in their view. Remember, proper communication at this stage can lead to a long and happy life in the leaves.

Building Code and Zoning Laws. This is an area tiny housers are all too familiar with. However, if you plan on spending even one night in your treehouse you have to consider the legal ramifications. You need to know what you’re allowed to build on your property. Your plans could be specifically thrown off course by things like intended size, distance from the ground, proximity to the property line, and even the inclusion of utilities. Failure to build to code or to have proper permits and inspections could result in hefty fines and unnecessary cease orders.

Treehouse 3

Know Your Anchor Tree. Like every tiny house a foundation is most important. When choosing a tree base for your treehouse you need to consider more than just size. Know the species. Take the time to check with your state’s Department of Wildlife or Department of Natural Services to find out if the tree is on any sort of protected list. Trees can be listed as endangered on the national, state, or county level so do your due diligence. You may also want to think about how the tree fills out and goes bare according to seasons and even if the tree is prone to die or lose large branches in its life.

Don’t Hurt The Tree. Adding the weight of a treehouse or even just a treetop fort can potentially damage the root structure of the tree. If a root system is damaged in any way it is more likely to become weak and prone to falling over. It is also important to think about drilling into a tree. You don’t want to stress the tree to the point it dies and can’t support your structure. Consider talking to a local arborist or nursery professional about the trees you intend to use.

There is no doubt that treehouses can be an incredible amount of fun for nature lovers of all ages. With proper planning, well executed ideas, and bigger-than-life dreams, one can thrive high above the rest of the world no matter how fanciful it seems.

Treehouse 4

photo courtesy of AirBnB

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tiny Camper

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by Jane Price

I wanted you to know that we are delighted with our Aspen Ambassador mini-pop up camper. We were looking for something that could be easily pulled by our car and not degrade our MPG too much, we found the perfect solution as it is designed to be pulled by a motorcycle (it weighs less than 400 lbs). It can sleep 4, has room for a table inside and it wired for electricity. We have a 1998 model that was made by TrailMaster http://www.trailmasterinc.com/aspen/asphotos.html (they did not produce any in 2014 due to a supplier change though the company says they plan to restart production in the spring of 2015).

While doing my research, I found some very innovative options out there, I liked the TimeOut Deluxe that can also be easily pulled by small cars. http://www.timeouttrailers.org/Pages/TimeOutDELUXE.aspx

These tiny campers are the perfect solution for those who enjoy camping while sleeping off the ground and want to maintain a small footprint.

I love the Tiny House movement and the work you do!

tiny camper upinside tiny camper