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

Cozy Home Plans

Kevin Harrington, a licensed realtor and home remodel expert in Colorado has created a nice selection of tiny and small home plans called Cozy Home Plans. The homes range from 288 square feet to 781 square feet and his plans cost between $99 to just under $700. Kevin also runs a blog where he posts articles on home construction and DIY tips. He has posted about how to mix concrete, installing electricity, useful household tools and tiny house Feng Shui.

A few years ago, Kevin downsized from a 2,700 square foot home, got rid of about 90 percent of his possessions and moved into a 280 square foot 5th wheel trailer. He was in the process of researching alternative building techniques and stumbled onto the tiny house movement. He decided to start a website and blog to showcase his small home plan ideas.

“This tiny lifestyle I was living gave me back serenity,” Kevin said. “This was something that had been sorely missing in my life for a very long time. I just wanted to share my experiences.”

His goal with Cozy Home Plans was to add a few more feet onto tiny homes to make them more livable.

“Can a person live in 100 square feet? Absolutely, but can they share it with guests or a partner full-time? How about a larger kitchen, washer/dryer capabilities and storage for extra stuff in such a small space? Answering “Yes” to these questions became more difficult in such a tiny space,” Kevin said. “My solution was to add a few more feet to each house.”

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Tiny r(E)volution on GardenFork

The Tiny House Blog’s how-to writer, Andrew Odom, was recently interviewed about his future tiny home and his Tiny r(E)volution website on Eric Rochow’s GardenFork Radio podcast. The interview includes Andrew’s stance on the mortgage crisis and sustainability as well as decluttering and making space for a new baby. While Eric does not live in a tiny house, he does advocate what most tiny house fans are enthusiastic about: buying local, growing your own food, and living more simply. GardenFork covers everything from how to build a raised garden bed and make pizza to how to raise bees and replace a damaged fender on your car. Check out his video on how to safely use a chainsaw. It’s hilarious.

GardenFork puts the fun back into chores. Eric’s unabridged and friendly style of presentation shows all aspects of a project, including the mistakes. Frozen hoop frames, seized chocolate, and getting whacked in the head by a homemade tomato cage all make the cut. Eric’s opinion is that done is better than perfect.

Eric is accompanied in his DIY projects by his tomato-stealing, ball-crazy, pond-swimming Labradors, and his “camera operator” spouse whose funny off camera comments are just as delightful as her husband’s on camera sangfroid.

The GardenFork name includes a TV show, a blog, a forum, the GardenFork Radio podcast, and the Real World Green videos.

 

Photo courtesy of GardenFork

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]