For their first tiny house, Green Valley Natural Builders in Sebastopol, CA decided to build something very small, but beautiful, using only natural, unprocessed and re-used materials. What they came up with is a delightful tiny structure on wheels that cost only $1,500 to build. Because the small company is used to creating houses out of straw bales, cob and wood, they didn’t want the materials for their first 6 foot by 10 foot house to come from the lumber yard.
The group used an old trailer frame, separating and recycling the aluminum and priming the trailer with metal paint. The walls were framed with rough cut 2×2 pieces of wood. The rough cut of the wood varied in thickness by up to a quarter inch and because of this the house began to take on its own dimensions and character. Various sizes of 1/8 inch plywood were used for strength and rigidity and the roof was decked with 1/2 plywood for strength and lightness. The exterior siding was rough milled cedar and fir and recycled blue jean insulation was used inside the walls. The windows came from the old trailer and the door was cut from a slab of 2×12 redwood. Metal roofing was purchased for the roof.
“It was fun to build, although definitely one of the more challenging and time consuming projects I have worked on, due to the variability in the raw material we used and the unplanned natural nature of the design,” said Ganesh of Green Valley Natural Builders. “Tens of hours were spent planning and edging and fitting non-standardized materials. What we saved in material costs we definitely made up for in labor, but the end result is unreplicable making it worth it for me.”
Green Valley Natural Builders is a local builders cooperative with over fifty years of accumulated experience in construction, carpentry, landscaping, heavy equipment operation and forestry. They construct and sell tipi poles, handcrafted furniture, play cabins and dog houses, floating cabins, sweat lodges, saunas, solar water heaters and they are currently working on several collapsible vardos.
The build process of the tiny, tiny house is available on Instructables.
Photos by Green Valley Natural Builders
The Tiny House Blog has profiled Dayton Taylor and his vintage trailer builds and restorations before, but Dayton also constructs small structures and introduced me to a tiny tea house he recently built for his decorator wife, Pam. After working on vintage trailers and “Man Caves” for himself, he promised his wife that her tea house would be a place just for the ladies.
The house, which sits in a tea garden in the couple’s Temecula, Calif. backyard, took three months to build and Dayton made up the design as he went along. The house is five-sided and 14 feet by 14 feet. Dayton said he built it as a pentagon shape for good luck and Pam has decorated it with soft colors, chandeliers, vintage hardware, a Dutch door and bead board on the walls. The house has air conditioning and a small sink.
“The women love it,” Dayton said. “Surprisingly, the men love it too. This was my first attempt at building anything “estrogen injected” so it was a challenge. For a while the pendulum swung WAY too far to the “girlie” side of the equation so then I had to reel myself back in and find that middle ground.”
The next issue of the Tiny House Magazine will be featuring Dayton’s Woodie Love Bug and you can view more of his trailer restorations at Vintage Trailer Crazy.
Photos by Dayton Taylor
by Wally Hofmann
A unique and luxuriously-nostalgic, lodging experience awaits travelers to California’s Central Coast. Ninety years of history have been resurrected with the restoration and reopening of the historic Santa Barbara Auto Camp located in the heart of Santa Barbara, just a 15-minute walk from the old Santa Barbara Mission.
For the past month, neighbors have been admiring the re-landscaped park entrance that features four smartly-renovated Airstream trailers. The SB Auto Camp is part of an existing RV park that houses 30 other trailers from varying manufacturers. Several dozen local residents live fulltime at the park – some have called it home for more than four decades. The Airstreams are now available for nightly rentals online at www.SBAutoCamp.com.
The SB Auto Camp is located a short bike ride southeast of Santa Barbara’s bustling Downtown shopping district. Major shopping centers are within a half mile, and quaint local shops, services, and eateries are next door and across the street on De La Vina. Continue Reading »
Cars have carports, why can’t a house have a house port? Designer Hally Thacher was looking to build an eco-friendly home and was inspired by the structures that sheltered hay, alfalfa and farm equipment in the area of northern California where she had grown up. Her House Port and PopUP House designs make for a very interesting concept in home building.
The PopUP House is available in several configurations which are prefabricated and shipped flat-packed to the building site. The PopUP House consists of interior/exterior insulated panels. Over the top of the PopUP is the prefabbed House Port (the large freestanding roof) that protects the home against weather, keeps a consistent temperature throughout the hot summer and offers a covered outdoor area. Several smaller versions of the PopUP, called Cubes, can even be purchased and placed like a small village under the House Port. Continue Reading »