Wishbone Tiny Homes

The Asheville, NC based Wishbone Tiny Homes has not only been making waves with their exquisite craftsmanship and interesting architectural details, but the Wishbone team have a three step process set up to walk new owners through and into their ideal home. It all starts with a dream and defining exactly what the tiny house will be: a primary residence, an office, a rental or a transition space.

“The dream phase is the most important,” said Teal Brown, the son in the father and son building team. “It’s where the inspiration for the ultimate design comes from. Nothing is off the table. We collect links, videos, images, screen shots, poems, emails—anything—and create our own version of a Pinterest board for each client. We also use a questionnaire. All of this information gives us a sense of the client’s unique aesthetics and design preferences.”

Next comes the design phase and the final building phase which is where the precision craftsmanship and locally sourced materials come into play.

“The design phase brings a healthy dose of reality to the situation,” Teal continued. “After an in depth interview about lifestyle and possessions, we draft a floor plan and exterior elevation. We then create at least two more iterations of the design before arriving at an agreed upon final design. Once a final design is in place, we get to work building the client’s dream tiny home! The entire process can take anywhere from 12 weeks to a year, depending on the client’s timeline and our production schedule.”

wishbone-tinyhomes4

Their current model home showcases the team’s woodworking skills (they love cedar) and their unique doors.

“Everyone notices our doors,” Teal said. “Since my dad has been honing his door-making craft the last 17 years, he knows a thing or two about them.

Along with attention to detail, Wishbone has listened to customers’ requests and realize that they want a place that feels like a home.

“We seek to incorporate as much of the client’s furniture and keepsakes as possible to provide familiarity and charm,” Teal said. “Most people like this design approach. Aside from that, people want stairs, downstairs bedrooms, off-grid capabilities, solutions for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and Universal Design concepts for ADA compliance.

wishbone-tinyhomes5 wishbone-tinyhomes2

wishbone-tinyhomes3

Wishbone is just finishing up a 24 foot modern shed-style home for a couple in Philadelphia. The house has a cozy den, two lofts and a large galley kitchen as well as a large shower and a climbing wall. A dog crate was built under the stairs and the house is powered with a 1 KW roof-mounted PV system with 4 6V 420 AH batteries.

Teal said the best part of building tiny homes is the people they encounter and work with.

“Almost everyone who wants a tiny home is at an interesting point of their lives and has a great story to tell. Getting to work with my dad is great too.”

The challenges the team has run into are the financing of tiny homes, legal gray areas and plumbing. Wishbone currently does not sell plans, but does create custom plans.

“We firmly believe that if you are going to live in a tiny home, it should fit you like a tailored suit,” Teal added.

wishbone-team

wishbone-tiny-homes

Photos courtesy of Chris Tack and Wishbone Tiny Homes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Envirohaven’s Haven

While not officially tiny, the structural design and energy efficiency of the Haven by Reno, Nevada based Envirohaven may make it the home of the future. The 1,550 square foot home package is designed to waste as little material as possible and can be completely off-grid—an addition the Envirohaven group calls the “Life System.”


The current Haven is a model built by Greg and Vicki Bischoff of Suncrest Builders, Inc. Greg’s vision was to create a smaller, simple, cost-effective and energy efficient home for more remote living conditions. The patent pending home prefab package, made of EPS foam and a green, water soluble exterior stucco coating, can be assembled anywhere for under $75 a square foot. The sphere-like house encloses the greatest amount of living area with the least amount of surface area and fewer materials needed for construction. The Haven is different from a typical geodesic dome in that it utilizes more interior space. Other unique features of the Haven include a centralized core mechanical area allowing for shorter plumbing and electrical runs which increases efficiency, and an optional space heating feature incorporated into panels in the structure.

envirohaven-desert

envirohaven-design
The Haven package includes the following:
•    Site specific engineered plans including site plan, floor plans and elevations, foundation and framing plans, electrical plan, etc. Plans are guaranteed for local building department approval.
•    Partially assembled wall sections, complete hardware package for assembly
•    Dual pane, low-e energy-efficient windows
•    Solid core exterior doors
•    Pre-cut metal roofing for long lasting durability
•    Exterior siding that will provide a fire, weather resistant and flexible coating
•    Siding and roofing materials
•    Detailed construction manuals, videos, and remote electronic assistance are available for owner-builders as well as licensed general contractors desiring to purchase unfinished packages.
•    Customized site specific options available for all customers.

envirohaven-build

The Haven’s Life System includes a Solar PV and Solar Thermal equipment for hot water, radiant baseboard or underfloor heating systems, an alternate heat source in the form of a wood burning or pellet stove, and a grey water recycling program.

C:ProjectsEnvirohavenExport1st floor.pdf

Photos courtesy of Envirohaven

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Allotment Sheds

The British concept of allotments might be foreign to most Americans. These small garden plots are temporary, but that doesn’t stop many gardeners from building their own creative allotment sheds—many of which could become a tiny house, as it happened to this man a few years ago.

lavender-leeks-shed

An allotment garden, or just allotment, is a small plot in a community garden given to a group or individual for growing food plants. The gardens are granted for a short amount of time and are rotated through different paid memberships. The term victory garden, coined in World War I and II, can also be used for these small (usually between 500-5,000 square feet) plots of land. Allotments are utilized in many countries including Denmark and Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Greece.

While allotments and their sheds are not for residential purposes, many sheds built to house tools and other garden implements become temporary homes for gardeners as they work on their land. These sheds will sometimes have small wood stoves to keep gardeners warm in some of the rainy, cold weather that plagues Northern Europe. Other sheds have seating and tables, cots for napping and small camping stoves or a storm kettle to stir up some fresh garden fare. What is also fun and unusual is how creative some people can get with their sheds by using recycled materials or whatever is lying around the allotment.

katie-lane-allotment

The lovely Katie Lane gardens, cooks and eats at her allotment with a storm kettle and a small gas stove and oven. She writes about her adventures on Plot 15c on her blog, Lavender and Leeks. She even gives us a peak into her “girly” shed on YouTube.

 

Robs-Shed-2

This allotment shed is made from recycled pallets. This website gives you tips on how to build an allotment shed.

cleve-west-sculptu_2000252i

Skansens koloniträdgård

allotment-shed

allotment-shed-greece

English-pride-shed

 

Photos by Wikimedia, The Telegraph, Mary Ellen Garden, Democracy Street, Rule Brittania

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]