Russ-Stick Farm Tiny Houses

Russ and Sherry may be familiar to anyone who reads the farming magazine and blog, Grit. The Michigan couple are known for the Russ-Stick Ramblings column which was named after their 40 acre Russ-Stick Acres farm where they live with their Alaskan and Siberian sled dogs in a small cordwood house named the Wee House. The 300 square foot Wee House has been their home for several years, but after last season’s harsh winter is due for a makeover, which they will cover in their blog.

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The Wee House in winter

Along with the Wee House, Russ and Sherry have an outhouse called the Wee Wee House, a summer kitchen, a meditation house named the Trapper, a guest house named the Bear’s Den and a small pump house—all built by Russ. All the homes are heated by wood stoves and The Bear’s Den is available for rent during winter months for $45 per night.

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Russ, one of his goats and the Trapper house

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The Bear’s Den

Russ plans to extend the Wee House to include an underground portion and even some space for their chickens and rabbits, who live on the farm with the couple’s lambs, horses, Silver Fox rabbits, goats, cows and pigs. Russ-Stick Acres also produces maple syrup, firewood and Amish made products including jams, rugs, bird houses and quilts. Their Grit column cover everything from animal husbandry to country recipes.

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Photos courtesy of Russ-Stick Acres

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Caravansary

The theme for this year’s Burning Man, Caravansary, might be one of the most perfect for how the event works. The Persian word means either an Asian or North African inn for desert travelers or a group of people traveling together in a caravan. Both describe Black Rock City and its tiny houses to a “T”. For the people “living” in Black Rock City for the week of Burning Man, their caravan shelters include tents, wooden structures made from pallets, colorful trailers, domes and wagons. This year, we were stunned to realize we were camped right next to Philippe Glade of the This is Black Rock City blog. The Tiny House Blog featured his book, Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Black Rock City last year and his new book is now in the works.

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Many structures at Burning Man are elaborate and take hours or days to erect. Sometimes the most beautiful are the most simple. This tent was located way beyond the city near the “trash fence” that surrounds the event.

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Other tents are still built from simple materials, but have more exotic shapes.

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Just a step up from tents are Costco carports and other prefabricated shelters. This is the Museum of Cultural Appropriation and Dead Things and the Museum’s bar — not open at this time.

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It’s always nice to get a little elevated above the desert. These structures are build with wood and wooden pallets and some are placed on top of truck beds or on top of RVs.

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Trailers are sometimes unrecognizable in Black Rock City. A cargo trailer becomes a conestoga wagon, a canned ham becomes part of the Nakked Zebra boutique camp and Jay’s eclectic Scamp sits in the middle of Kidsville.

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Domes are very popular and quick to erect. This one is a bar and nightclub reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.

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This interesting structure has windows to let in the fresh air.

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This patchwork yurt offers the gift of storytelling.

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The beautiful bunk tents at the Ashram Galactica camp can be won during a nightly lottery.

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The Hardly Hotel offers rooms for rent, a bar and a “Thriller” Flash Mob.

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This beautifully painted tiny house is located in the Department of Public Works neighborhood. The DPW are the people who build Black Rock City and live in the desert for sometimes eight to ten weeks.

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The Burner Ready, Burner Born group from Reno, Nevada decided to tow their entire sailboat out to the desert.

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Both of these camps brought the tropics to the desert.

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Two of the most beautiful structures in the City this year reflect the craftsmanship of many of the people who come to live here.

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While the steampunk house on stilts from the Lost Nomads of Vulcania was not a camp, it could be lived in.

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Welcome to Black Rock City. Wish you were here.

 

Photos by Christina Nellemann

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Cedarshed Industries

Cedarshed Industries in British Columbia has been designing and building shed and small structures for backyard use since 1992 and several of their designs could be used as tiny houses—or combined to be a tiny house community—without taking up too much space.

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All the Cedarshed Industries kits are made with Western Red Cedar for its endurance, dimensional stability, beauty and distinct aroma. The kits come as either precut kits that take 2-4 days to assemble with a professional carpenter or as panelized kits that take about a day to assemble. Each kit comes with all pieces including floors, cedar shingles and hardware. A level foundation will need to be installed before the kit is placed.

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The Cedarshed designs that could make potential tiny houses are the Ranchhouse, the Cookhouse, the Farmhouse, the Cedarhouse and the Haida Cabin. The Ranchhouse includes a 5′ wide double door and is available in four prefab kit sizes from 12 ‘x 12′ to 16′ x 14′. It includes a 4′ deep porch, two windows and decorative shutters and planter box. The Cookhouse is available in three sizes from 12′ x 10′ to 16′ x 14′ and has an enclosed gable porch. The Farmhouse has four sizes available from 16′ x 12′ to 20′ x 14′. It also has a double door and a porch. The Cedarhouse is available in five sizes from 10′ x 8′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door. The Haida Cabin is a panelized kit that requires no cutting and is available in 12′ x 8′, 16′ x 8′ and 20′ x 8′ sizes.

Another smaller kit that could be used as a tiny house is the darling Clubhouse. It’s available in six sizes from 8′ x 12′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door, three windows and a drop down window. The Clubhouse could be used in conjunction with another kit to create a tiny house compound.

Prices for the kits range from $2,884 for an 8′ x 12′ Clubhouse to $6,384 for a 20′ x 14′ Farmhouse. Shipping costs will vary by distance and take about 3-4 weeks. The company has a free online catalog where you can view their different designs.

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Photos by Cedarshed Industries

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Inaugural ADU Tour in Portland

Tiny house fans in the Portland area will get a rare opportunity to tour the interiors of 11 accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the Portland area next month. Kol Peterson and Deb Delman of Caravan-The Tiny House Hotel in Portland will be holding the first ADU tour in Portland, Oregon on June 1, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings and her vardo will also be special guests during the ADU networking event from 4-6 p.m. and participants will be able to view the new Caravan tiny rental — the Salsa Box.

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“Part of the goal of the tour is to connect people who want to build ADUs with other homeowners, builders, and designers, who can help explain the actual building process that they went through, so the process seems less daunting.,” Kol said.

ADUs are secondary living units on single-family lots. Portland has seen a six-fold rise in the number of ADUs built since 2010.  This dramatic increase is the result of a 2010 City of Portland waiver of System Development Charges, which reduced the cost of building permits for an ADU by up to $11,000. The tour will be held in partnership with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Portland, and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area.

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The self-guided tour will consist of 11 ADUs on the east side of Portland including 7 to 8 tiny homes on wheels. Along the route, attendees will have access to homeowners, builders and designers of ADUs and comprehensive, education case studies about the building and permit process of each building. Throughout the day, there will also be workshops presented by experts on permitting, financing, designing and building.

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At Caravan, attendees will also have a chance to tour four custom-built tiny houses on wheels and can earn a special $25 discount to stay at Caravan as well as enter a raffle for a free stay at the tiny house hotel. Early bird tickets for the event are $25 and tickets the week of the event are $30. For more information and to register, visit the ADU tour website.

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Photos courtesy of Accessory Dwellings, Caravan-The Tiny House Hotel and Portland Alternative Dwellings

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Cargo Cult

Another Burning Man event has come to a close and Black Rock City this year was jam packed full of interesting camps and structures. The city is the area where the nearly 60,000 people who come to the event live. Their “homes” are a selection of unique structures, trailers, buildings, tents, yurts and other forms of shelter that keep out the harsh sun, sometimes heavy winds and the dust that permeates the air.

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Last year, we camped by Tin Man and his fantastic metal pods. This year, we camped by him again and noticed the pods have been improved and they multiplied. Tin Man, a metal worker from Sacramento has been featured in Popular Science magazine with his walking pod, and his pod cabin is his home on the Playa. The bottom pod is a kitchen, the middle pod is a shower area and the top pod with the view is his bedroom. He even had a few guests staying in his camp and created a self-contained micro pod and some guest pods made of curtains.

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There were a lot of shipping container shelters out on the playa this year including this one with a constructed inner building that is air conditioned and accessed by a real door. This container was used by one of the Black Rock Rangers. Rangers are the city’s peacekeeping and helpful guides. They help people who are lost, work perimeters during various burns and stay in the city sometimes for several weeks.

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There were some very interesting domes this year including this structure that looked like an igloo.

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This dome was made entirely out of loaves of bread.

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These domes were kept full by constantly pumping air into them via a generator.

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This dome was built to look like a large bird of prey.

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If you come to Black Rock City in a tent, there are various structures you can place over your tent to keep it cooler and dust free. Our neighbor Kristal Light built a Monkey Hut around her Coleman Bayside tent (which even had a swinging door and a small closet) and our other neighbors built a custom sized post structure around their tent.

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Some very colorful structures were in the city this year including yurts, circus tents, Moroccan tents and even a tipi covered in silk scarves.

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Of course, there were some beautiful little trailers in the city as well.

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Some unusual structures included a teardrop trailer sans trailer built onto the bed of a truck.

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A castle called the Coo Coo Camelot.

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A yellow, or lello, structure built on top of a shipping container. This structure was used by members of the Department of Public Works, the group who builds Black Rock City.

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The Open Mind Zendo near Fractal Planet was built out of cardboard boxes.

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This treehouse structure was built and used by the camp Dustfish.

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Hands down, my favorite camp in all of Black Rock City is Ashram Galactica. Their extremely well run camp contains the Grand Hotel, a colorful yurt and a set of beautifully decorated canvas bunk houses that serve as the Ashram Suites. Each of the suites are gifted by raffle to denizens of Black Rock City in a nightly drawing. They each have a theme including the Shanghai Suite, the Cambridge Suite and the French Boudoir.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]