by Laird Herbert
Leaf House has a new home in the Yukon, Whitehorse, Canada, and is back in the thick of tiny house construction. Plans for version.2 are complete and for sale on the website www.tinyhousing.ca, and Leaf House will be building one more custom tiny house this winter.
The company is testing a variety of innovative materials and technologies suitable for tiny house construction in cold climates. Leaf House is using this upcoming tiny house as a case study, incorporating extremely energy efficient windows, an innovative compact Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) for small spaces, a lightweight concrete finish for countertops, metal mesh rainscreen, aerogel insulating material, and lightweight panels and interior finishes.
The most exciting technology showcased in the tiny house, which is the subject of this post, is the vacuum insulated panel (VIP). VIPs are an insulating product that is not yet available in commercial construction but have incredible potential for tiny houses and the recreational vehicle industry. VIPs are thin (1/2” to 1”) yet have an R value of R30 per ½”. The extremely low pressure in the panels prevents heat transfer, and overlapping the panels means that a wall of R60 can be achieved with only 1” thick of material. The panels are filled with silica and are also lightweight. The space and weight savings mean that tiny house construction might just be the perfect application for VIPs. Continue Reading »
Guest Post by Scott Sidler
The Tiny House movement is a growing trend in home design today. You might be surprised to find that a Tiny House is the perfect answer to living better than you ever imagined. With a focus on quality over quantity the Tiny House makes the finer things in life more affordable and accessible than ever before.
Most people can’t imagine living comfortably in a 700 SF house. And that’s mainly because society tells us we need MORE space. As Americans we should buy the biggest house we can afford, right? It’s a status symbol. After all, you can’t let the Joneses get ahead, can you? But what if you flipped the whole thing on its head? What if you stopped focusing on how much square footage you can get and started focusing on how good you can make the square footage you have? That’s what the Tiny House has done. The movement acknowledges that people are happier when they are surrounded with quality materials that are incorporated into a design that uses space so efficiently that you don’t even notice it’s small. The cozy design makes us feel secure and relaxed, but small and poorly thought out makes us feel cramped (even in bigger spaces).
Sixteen-year-old Celina Dill (“Celina Dill Pickle” on her blog) of Whidbey Island is not only building her own tiny house from her own plans, but she’s cutting her teeth on architecture and building with Ross Chapin. Celina is an intern for the Pacific Northwest architect who is famous for his small homes and “pocket neighborhoods“.
Celina decided she wanted to build her own tiny house after living in 15 homes with her parents. Since she is close to moving out on her own, she figured a tiny house on wheels would be the perfect solution to having a place of her own at a cost and size that she could handle.
“I think tiny houses are in the future,” Celina said. “Living with less.”
Hi, I’m about to begin construction on a tiny house and I’m hoping to find someone in the Los Angeles area who wants a chance to build their own tiny house at reduced cost, and, if needed, to have someone (me) to team up with, lend each other a hand, or help guide them along.
I’ll be using SIP construction, which is ordinarily quite a bit more expensive than stick-built construction but much faster, much easier, much less work, and a lot more “green” (better insulation properties, less weight, and less consumption of natural resources).
However, I have a one-shot opportunity to get some SIP panels at a heavily discounted price (around the cost of doing a stick-built house!), but I need to buy the whole lot, which is twice as many panels as I need. If someone wants to split the order with me, we can each save a ton of money, labor and time. A tiny house built with SIPs could be put up in a weekend, whereas stud framing takes most tiny house people months of weekends and evenings. I’m talking about a house that’s at the exposed plywood stage; ready for siding, plumbing, electrical, windows, etc. Youtube has lots of videos showing how SIP construction works and how quick and relatively easy it is compared to stick-building. Here’s one I found:
As a bonus, if the person wants someone to team up with, or guide them, I’m knowledgeable about construction and very experienced at building things. So if the person doesn’t understand construction, or the ins and outs of building with SIPs, or even feel confident in how to do a project like this in the first place, I’d be happy to help. If they lack resources, I have all the power tools required (and then some), a garage workshop, and a half acre backyard with room where someone could construct their little house while I’m doing mine. I offer this assistance for free, partially because I strongly believe in helping others, empowering people to do things they think they can’t accomplish, and making new friends; and partially because I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get my SIP panels!
Visit my blog here: tinysunhouse.wordpress.com
This week’s Tiny House in a Landscape is a little different. It is a tiny house under construction in a landscape. The photograph was taken by Dave Stonehouse of StoneHouse Woodworks in the Rockies of British Columbia, Canaada. Dave says: I live in Golden, British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains. The picture of the cabin under construction is actually in my back yard. We have a couple of acres. My company is Stonehouse Woodworks. I build log and timber cabins, do finishing carpentry, and build furniture (pretty much anything with wood).
You have to wear a few hats to stay busy in a small town, but I’ve always managed to.
Thank you Dave. I plan to feature this cabin again when it is completed, so, readers stay tuned.
Photo Credits: Dave Stonehouse
Malcolm White contacted me about a new ebook he has written on how to build a new prefab he calls the TenYurt. I recently had the privilege of looking his plan over and it looks very doable for the average person. I am going to let Malcolm tell you more about it. (at this time this is only a concept, Malcolm is building a prototype soon)
For a long time now I have been interested in almost everything related to residential design and construction. If you looked at the bookmarks in my Internet browser you would find that category to have the most pointers by far. While most of my career has been in the semiconductor industry I have spent a fair amount of my spare time and occasionally my full time designing or building things.
More recently I have become increasingly interested in looking for ways to help ease homelessness both in this country and potentially abroad. Partly with that end in mind I have been thinking about how to build very simple structures that could be used for housing. I am also very interested in prefabrication techniques so I was naturally drawn to the idea of simple prefabricated structures.
My new eBook titled “TenYurt – A Simple DIY Prefab Shelter” details one such structure. A TenYurt is a simple 10-sided yurt like building that encloses about 118 square feet of floor space and is about 12 feet from side to side. In its prefabricated but unassembled for easy transportation in a pickup truck. I have included lots of drawings, accurate dimensions and complete how to build details. You can build a very simple basic structure or you can enhance it in most any way your needs and budget suggest.
For more information about my eBook and for information about how to order you own copy visit diy-prefab.com.