by David Lacey
The X-Permit Cabin is an exercise to create a livable space that will be built on a salvaged travel trailer frame. It will be self sustainable, off grid, and will be built without building permits because it is a “travel trailer” and will be registered as such. The site is beside the ocean in Canada. The actual location will be revealed as time goes on. The point of this is to circumvent onerous permits and inspections that come with “permanent” structures. XPC will be an exercise in civics, construction, and innovation. I hope you follow us as we move forward.
Certainly, “tiny homes” have been built before and many are like the one we are building, on a trailer, for various reasons. This one is a personal experiment in building a livable space in a maximum of 135 square feet. There probably won’t be “grand innovation” involved, but the completed cabin on wheels must have the charm and friendly atmosphere of an old seaside cottage distilled into the space allocated. Continue Reading »
Mike Irish just contacted me with an update. He says, “Last year I bought a big house to remodel and it seems to take lots of money and time. I think I like the wee houses better.
The good new is I have another Wee Irish Cottage almost finished. It is 8ft X 26ft with 8ft X 20ft insulated living space with loft, and a covered 8ft X 6ft trek deck porch, insulated windows and door. The outside is covered with cedar bevel siding and the inside is T&G pine with bamboo flooring.
There is a small kitchen with a sitting area and under counter fridge, 36 in. shower stall and composting toilet. Downstairs there is a hide-a-bed if you don’t want to use the loft. I am advertising the Irish Wee House on Portland Craigslist for $12,500.
by Laird Herbert
Hi my name is Laird Herbert and I thought you might be interested in the tiny house I just completed.
This is my second tiny home that I have built. I lived in one full-time for a year over the winter and sold it last spring. I’m 28 years old and have lived in the Yukon for the past five. I am pretty happy puttering away building things. I’d much rather do this then sit in a cubicle! My passion is actually the design, that’s what I enjoy the most. So I’m diving into it full-time (hopefully) and will be building two more this summer (one for myself and another to sell), under Leaf House, which is my new company named after the famed Leaf House on Hornby Island which is where I spent my summers as a kid.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this northern rendition of a tiny house! It is much more challenging build tiny houses in an extreme winter climate. I’ve learned quite a bit about what you need to do when it’s -40 outside and your space is 160 ft2. I’ve also learned that it is a lot more expensive to build things in the North!
By Margy Lutz
Several years ago I wrote posts about living off the grid in our float cabin on Powell Lake in Coastal BC. You can read them here on the Tiny House Blog at “Our Little Cabin Up the Lake” and “Living on the Water.” Our float cabin, at the time, was 420 square feet downstairs with a 200 square foot sleeping loft under the peak of the roof. That is more than ample living space, but what it didn’t have was “indoor plumbing.” This fall we decided to trade in our trusty outhouse for a 60 square foot (6X10) bathroom with a composting toilet. The view won’t be as great, but the convenience will be appreciated. And instead of climbing four flights of stairs, we just have to go into another room. No rain, no wind – how civilized.
Our good friend John, who built our cabin, took a design I created and made it a reality. The bathroom addition is downstairs off our guest bedroom. He framed the walls, tied the roof into our existing one, made the old window into a doorway, added a window to the bedroom, and even gave us a side porch extension. He is a jack of all trades and was able to handle most of the work single handedly. Wayne and I worked on finishing touches like painting and furnishing.
We chose a Sunmar Excel NE for our composting toilet. The NE stands for non-electric. While it isn’t hooked up to our cabin’s solar powered electrical system, it does have its own panel to run a small fan within the air circulation pipe. That helps eliminate odour, and keeps the air moving around the compost as it processes. Six twists of the built in handle after each use keeps the contents in the holding drum mixed and working. The air circulation pipe rises above the roof line and has a built-in rain deflector. There’s also an overflow tube just to make sure there are no accidents indoors. With just two of us using the toilet, the capacity is excellent. We’ve had in operation for two months now, and are very pleased.
Our bathtub has been in our downstairs storage room for several years. Now it’s part of a real bathroom. The tub, however, isn’t connected for hot or cold water. Our bathtub is a cold weather luxury. In the summer, our natural swimming pool is all we need for a cooling swim or wash. We’ll continue to heat our water on the wood stove. I can fit four large pots on the surface at the same time, and a hot winter fire will get them almost boiling. Add an equal amount of cold water, and you have enough for a nice soak or soaping down. And there’s nothing like bathing with a friend to save water.
The bathroom also gives us some additional space for storage. A shelf built by John holds towels and toilet supplies, a recycled $1 end table holds toiletries, and a commercial pantry kit on sale for $49 provides space to store my canning in a cool place away from the sunlight. What a difference a little extra space makes when it is used wisely.
You can find more information about float cabin and off the grid living at http://PowellRiverBooks.blogspot.com. For information about Wayne’s Coastal BC Stories, come to www.PowellRiverBooks.com. Up the Lake and Farther Up the Lake have lots of information about our cabin life on Powell Lake.
John frames the 6 X1 0 bathroom addition and new side porch. Continue Reading »
As my husband and I began mapping out the interior of our rustic shed-turned-cabin in Montana, he knew we wouldn’t have plumbing, and I knew I didn’t want to deal with chemicals or smells. With two small children and weather that can range from -20 to 85-degrees Fahrenheit, we also didn’t want to deal with schlepping outside for potty breaks. Building our own humanure toilet turned out to be our perfect solution.
We get quite a few jokes from friends and family about our “lovey loo,” but I would take our lovely-loo over a honey bucket any day! It’s a bucket inside a wood box, and we cover – um – the deposits with sawdust. it has a real toilet seat on it for looks and comfort, but it is what it is, and it works very well.
Tiny Solar House part 3 by Bill Brooks. This video covers his storage area and refrigerator as well as some of the electronics in the unit to convert the electricity to the different modes available.
Also a tour of the shower and bathroom area and an introduction to Bill’s composting toilet. Again lots of little details that you may not have thought of. I appreciate Bill being such a great tour guide of his work.