by Matthew Wolpe
So, I’m designing and building a tiny house. Last year one of my students showed me a picture of the Tumbleweed houses and said she wanted to build one and wanted me to help out. I laughed and thought it was funny and intriguing, but inside I was like “Are you serious, you’re gonna move into one of those?” Okay, so fast forward six months, and the New Yorker article came out and I was reading it in bed. It was a rare moment of epiphany, aided by some lovely company.
It was the ideal next step for me.
There were a few considerations:
- I loved my housemates to death but don’t love my basement room, particularly in the winter
- I’d been building chicken coops for the past year, something I’m a little tired of, so it was like a giant chicken coop with new challenges
- I had been trying to buy a house with friends in oakland for over a year and am convinced this is my only way towards home ownership in the bay area, and
- After finishing the manuscript and seeing my sweetheart leave the country for a long while I had the compulsion to throw myself into a giant project.
Some people do drugs, some people drink, I do really ambitious projects I suppose: an attribute and sometimes a flaw. So, I designed it in August and started building on August 30th. I am using our advance from the book to finance construction, but being as thrifty as possible. I bought the trailer used, most of the lumber is salvaged, along with all of the doors and windows, and the siding is all reclaimed redwood fencing I am re-milling that were only $1 a piece!
The final design will have a full kitchen, composting toilet, outdoor shower, sleeping loft, living room, fireplace and eventually a porch swing.
The next phase is doing the interior finish work and custom furniture, that part I’ve been looking forward to most.