by Mike Maydell
Why tiny houses? The reasons are many and most of the ones given on the Tiny House Blog hold true for me. As a kid I liked forts made out of card board boxes and staying in small cottages. This house just compacts and simplifies my life.
I wanted a larger tiny home for two people, with a real bathroom etc. I choose Tortoise Shell Homes because the steel construction allows for a larger home with less weight. Also I wanted to add a Dormer loft, and Bill Kastrinos customizes any model to your specs. My house is 230 square feet. (not including lofts) and weighs 11,500-12,000 pounds with everything in it.
This makes it harder to move than smaller models, but much more livable at the same time. I use propane for: on demand H20, range/oven, and heater. Cost is $15-30/month (summer vs winter) for gas and I take long hot showers. The Fridge and lights are electric, the LG washer/dryer all-in-one combo is also 110v. So far this has been less than $25/month and is included in my rent.
My friend rented me part of her lovely yard and charges me $450/month for rent/power/water. I pay a local septic company $85-100/month to pump my septic tank. Add the cost of propane and my monthly bill for everything is well under $600/month. The house cost close to $35k finished because I used higher end materials (cedar smells good) and chose nice appliances.
The whole process took about 6 months with two friends helping me out. There were many change of plans for the simple reason of: things that look good on paper don’t always transfer over well. After 6 months of real world use and fine tuning, I love this place. It has everything one needs and is movable. See the long slide show for start to finish photos below.