Update added two new photos
David Bell from Australia has posted his story about his little house over at our Tiny House Forum. I know not everyone gets over to the forum so I ask David to let me share his pictures and story here. I’ll let David tell you “the rest of the story.”
Hi from my tiny 100sq ft house in Birchip, Victoria, Australia. My house is L shaped with a total floor area of less than 100 sq ft (10sq meters). Above the main arm of the L shape is a mezzanine floor where I sleep. The smaller arm of the L shape is my little kitchenette and it is open to the ceiling above. I can roll over in my bed and see what is cooking down below.
I started off with the idea of an L shaped building because I like having a little space off the side. I limited the size of the building to less than 100 sq ft because anything larger would have required a council building permit.
Through careful planning of my building I find that I can fit all my treasures (books, DVDs, and works of art) and still have room to relax.
The secret of living comfortably in such a small space is to have a recliner chair where I can lie back and dream, or sleep, or watch my movies.
The house has a single 85 watt solar panel, which powers my lights and radio, and charges up my mobile phone.
I live in a very hot part of a very hot country so I was extremely conscious of heating and cooling issues (cooling moreso than heating.) I designed a series of vents that encourage drafts to flow through the house on hot days. One of these vents is just above my bed and includes a wind driven roof fan. I also invested in double glazed windows to maintain heat retention.
I live on a half acre of land which cost me $7500 Australian (This when a block of land in Melbourne or any other big city is at least $100,000.) I built the tiny house myself, including the plastering and tiling, the electrical installation and the plumbing and all up it cost me about $10,000. So my total investment in a truly lovely little home is less than $20,000. Yet the people who think the city is great are paying at least $300,000 for a home and spending their whole lives attempting to pay for it.
The credit crunch matters little to me. I live like a free man in a tiny house which I built with my own hands and which costs nothing in terms of bills (electricity, water etc).
My inspiration for this way of life was Henry David Thoreau who in his classic book “Walden” pointed out how senseless is the life that is burdened by large houses, and large debts, and has little time to appreciate the natural world that is all around us.
A tiny house is the first step to escaping the charge that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
Yes, the inside is brightly coloured. My inspiration for this was the movie “Frida” about the life of the Mexican artist (and wife of Diego Rivera) Frida Kalo. I loved the fact that her house and garden were so vivid. I intend to create a similar palette of celebration here in the sunburnt country. I love vivid colours and hope to turn my whole property into an explosion of colour which is a celebration of life.
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