Colin’s Coastal Cabin

Here’s a little bit of my tiny house building story and some of the things I learned in the process. I hope this information will help or possibly inspire a few future tiny house builders, in the same way I was greatly supported by all you guys who shared your stories before me. The best things about this project were the support I received from friends and family, and getting to learn so many new things this year.

completed cabin

Before I started I had a little bit of experience building. I’d built a shed or two and some homemade plywood furniture. Until a year ago, the stuff I built was almost totally designed from a functional perspective. But a few months before I started my project I had the good fortune to work on a backyard shed with my friend Steve, who taught me all about using salvaged and old materials. Continue reading

The HemLoft

by Joel Allen

Some people make a conscious decision to buck the American standard of living and shoehorn their lives into a tiny home. It didn’t happen to me that way. I ended up building a small home through a series of bizarre circumstances. I started off with a career in Software development at the age of 23. By 26 I had saved some money and I attempted a retirement stunt that went sideways, leaving me penniless. That’s when I began living out of my car and decided that instead of returning to software, I would test my aptitude as a carpenter.

The HemLoft

Photo Credits Joel Allen

While living out of my car I discovered that I quite liked the sport of compact living. I was in Whistler at the time and although I didn’t own a home, I enjoyed one of the biggest backyards in the world. I even began sleeping outdoors and got a kick out of finding places where no one else had slept before. I called it sport sleeping and it led me to the believe that my home extended far beyond the confines of my car.

That fall I decided to build a treehouse in my spare time. It was meant to be a simple sleeping loft that I could use as a secret camping spot on crown land in the woods. I felt compelled to build something more elegant than the average treehouse so I began consulting a couple of friends who were recent graduates from architecture school. Together we conceived of the egg-shaped treehouse. Continue reading

Looking for a Carpenter/Builder

Looking for a carpenter/builder to work with a chemically sensitive professiional author/journalist and her partner, who want to build a vardo travel trailer for traveling/living. I will have construction plans made and ready. Will probably be on an 8 by 12 or 14 trailer, with 2-3 by 8 porch.

Need to be on site for the entire build to test nontoxic materials for tolerance. Vardo will have compost toilet, outdoor shower on porch, simple sink setup inside with grey water tank and hose hookup, very small hot water tank, wired with shielded wiring for both 12 volt and 110, curved metal or very thin ceramic roof, tile floors, either dragon board or very low terpene wood walls.

If wood walls, they will be tongue and groove. Denim or wool insulation, a breathable wall system to minimize mold, and good ventilation including built in fans. No plywood, formaldehyde, laminates, styrofoam, vinyl, urethane, fiberglass, etc. Possibly some other features adapted from small rv’s I’ve seen. Take a look at Portland Alternative Dwellings’ Don Vardo for an example of a beautiful simple vardo.

I need to keep costs down as I have set aside funds but am planning to be frugal where possible. If someone has time and interest, please write me with your fees for such a project, previous experience etc., where you live, if you have land where we can build and a good metal shed to store construction materials, your schedule, and any other relevanr information.

Prefer southeast, Texas, or possibly southwest for the build, ie a climate that is warm and sunny, and hoping to start late spring. Don’t want to build up north. If you want to travel to live on site for the build I can possibly find us a spot. I’ve been told it can take 400-500 hours for the total build. Both some experience in carpentry/construction and patience, as well as willingness to work with all nontoxic materials, is important. Thanks!

Please email jenbooks13@hotmail.com if interested.