April 7, 2009

Mini-Mobile Cottage

Jeff & Arlene build a mini-mobile cottage!

Jeff and Arlene are a happily married couple who revel in being creative, working with tools and working together.

Arlene is a professional CAD drafter and artist (blacksmithing, coppersmithing, welding sculpture, wood working) who enjoys hiking, reading, anything do-it-yourself and has an odd fetish for old cars.


Jeff is an ex-Software Quality Assurance Engineer turned return student who will be starting a PhD program for Information Science in the Fall of 2009. When not working on his wife’s crazy projects (this mini-cottage being one of them), he enjoys reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic.

Arlene and Jeff live in an apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area. They needed a place to build their tiny home. After a bit of looking around , they successfully secured a small commercial space to build their tiny house. The space they rented is 20 feet wide and 50 feet deep. Plenty of space.

One of Jeff and Arlene’s long time dreams has always been to build their own house. But they have never wanted a big house (though, this one is pretty small). They like camping and feeling closer to nature. They are also concerned about treading lightly in the world.

So what are they building? We’re building a ‘Fencl’. This is one of the tiny house designs from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

. We’ve altered the floor plan, and will use different materials in some places, but otherwise it will basically Jay’s Fencl design.

Our foundation is a $3124.70, Iron Eagle, 7000 Series trailer. It’s gross (trailer and load) vehicle weight is 7000 lbs. It has a tubular frame, electric breaks and a longer tongue than many others in its class. The longer tongue gives the trailer a bit more stability on the road and means that we could distribute the weight a bit more evenly.

We’ll be looking for a place to park our tiny house in Seattle, starting in August. If you have any leads for us, please let us know!

To follow their progress bookmark their blog Mini-Mobile Cottage.





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jeff - April 7, 2009 Reply

Interesting that they rented space for construction.
I am in NYC and I think it would be difficult for most people here to be able to build most of the tiny houses, even in the outer boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn.
I’ll have to check out their blog and see how they figured out what sort of place to rent.

Kent Griswold - April 7, 2009 Reply

Hi Jeff, yes he gives more info on the blog and I’m sure he would be happy to communicate with you about this.


Construction Begins - Mini Mobile Cottage - April 8, 2009 Reply

[…] If you’d like to follow the construction of a Tumbleweed Tiny House online now’s the time to begin watching Jeff and Arlene. They live in an apartment in San Francisco and have rented a warehouse space to build their tiny house. Kent over at Tiny House Blog has the complete story. Read more about the Mini Mobile Cottage […]

chris kieneker - June 20, 2009 Reply

wouldnt it be more environmentally responsible to buy an already built used Camper/trailer? not to mention more cost effective?

Tim - March 20, 2010 Reply

Jeff and Arlene wonderful job on your new home here!!

Janet Marsden - May 12, 2015 Reply

Hi Jeff & Arlene,
I love your cottage! It reminds me of when I used to live on boats for a big part of every summer (grew up in CT & RI). I see there is even a mini houseboat – I may need to do that!

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