Tiny House on Blocks

Chris is an ex van and box truck dweller who is currently building a tiny house for himself, his girlfriend Kristin and her small dog, Daisy. Influenced and inspired by Deek Diedrickson’s , Lloyd Khan’s and Jay Shafer’s books, Chris has decided to chuck a “normal” life and live in the 8 foot by 12 foot structure on his parent’s wooded suburban land.

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In a humorous and grating way, Chris is documenting the trial and error he goes through while building his  abode. He knew that he didn’t have any prior skills before starting the project, so he doesn’t sugarcoat it and describes both the progression and the frustration in frank terms.

“Whenever something seems pretty straightforward, my brain translates that to “quick” and/or “easy.” I bet there are carpenters who could have gotten this job done in a couple hours. Maybe quicker. That’s not a realistic goal for me. What I need to focus on is staying sane and not ramming a screw through my eyeballs with an impact driver. Today was a success because I made progress. Let’s not talk about how much progress, but rather reflect on the fact that I’m a reasonably sane man with vision in both eyes.” Continue reading

A Shed with Shade

The latest issue of The Family Handyman has a beautiful house on the front cover that happens to be step-by-step plans on how to build an Arts & Crafts style shed with a front porch. I think with a little tweaking, and the installation of electrical and plumbing, it could make a very nice tiny house.

This particular shed is 8×16 feet with a large sliding door on the back that runs on a track, three windows that let in plenty of light and a front door with a wonderful front porch that brings the total area of the shed to 16×16 feet. The structure can be built in four or five weekends with the help of a few people. The cost (not including the concrete slab) is about $3,800, and the skill level needed is intermediate. Experience with framing is helpful, but not necessary. Because of the sliding door (that opens up the living area) this structure will probably work best in warmer or milder climates.

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Tiny House Builders

Many tiny house dreamers want to build their own tiny house, but may be deterred by their lack of construction skills. In addition, fully customized tiny homes can be more than many people’s budgets. Tiny House Builders builds and sells simple, fully completed, mobile tiny houses that allow the owner/builder to customize the house to whatever style they want at an affordable price. The company accomplishes this with three levels of each of their products. Level One is a complete set of building plans instructional narrative, and step by step instructional photos. Level Two consists of a complete modular building “kit”. It arrives at your door with the completed floor system mounted on its own mobile chassis and the building shell in “panelized” form. Level Three is a complete building shell that can be further customized by the owner.

The first product sold by the company is the Wallowa. This tiny house is 8 feet by 12 feet and includes 2×4 framing, a standard home size entry door, two windows, double wall construction, cedar lap siding with cedar trim, and metal roofing guaranteed for 35 years. The interior clear ceiling height is 6 feet 8 inches, and the interior loft height at the peak is slightly over 3 feet 8 inches. The overall height with the building on its mobile chassis is 13 feet 5 inches, just under the legal limitation. Level One ($429) includes a complete set of detailed building plans, actual photos of construction and an instructional video. Level Two ($9,850) and Level Three ($15,975) allow the owner to design and build their own interior including wall covering, floor covering, plumbing, electrical, appliances and cabinetry. Continue reading