Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on June 9th, 2012. 5 Comments

This week’s Tiny House in a Landscape is of a floating cabin, my other passion, off the coastline of Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia and taken by “portland papa.” (see his website here)

I like the simplicity of the cabin and the rustic setting it fits so well into. Most likely used as a rental cabin, my guess is it would work quite well for full time living as well.

Do you have a favorite retreat? Where do you go to get away from the hustle and bustle of life? I am always looking for tiny houses in a landscape photos and if you have a special place you would like to share with me and the Tiny House Blog readers please send the photos to me at tinyhouseblog@gmail.com. Thank you and have a great day!

floating cabin

Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on June 12th, 2010. 10 Comments

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape is a floating cabin on Ouachita River. What a cool looking cabin and what a location. I could very easily visualize myself living in this neat little cabin. How about you?

The Ouachita River is a 605-mile-long river that runs south and east through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana, joining the Red River just before the Red enters the Mississippi River.

Cape Codder the Ultimate Tiny Floating Home

by Kent Griswold on December 23rd, 2008. 13 Comments

If you are looking for the perfect tiny floating home, take a look at berkeley-engineering’s Cape Codder. Built with a 10 foot beam and either 20 or 24 foot length this cool little home is neat to look at and very practical and easy to build.

The Cape Codder is the result of many requests for a liveaboard/cruising houseboat. The Cape Codder makes it possible to have you own private waterfront home.

Cape Codder

The Cape Codder is a home. It has a couch and end tables, a diningroom set, a complete galley and a head with a shower and toilet! There is plenty of cupboard and drawer space. The inside ladder leads up to the sleeping loft, which has room for full sized mattresses and more storage space. The forward wall opens up to enjoy your own private sundeck. A roof skylight lets you sleep under the stars.

Plans are available for the Cape Codder for $225 and you can buy them at the berkely-engineering site. Click on the Order Here link. Berkely-Engineering also makes a smaller trailerable houseboat called the Aqua Casa. I will feature this tiny floating home in another post.

Cape Codder Rear View

Cape Codder Rear View

Cape Codder Open From Dock

Cape Codder Open From Dock

Back Door

Back Door

Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room and Kitchen

Dining Room and Kitchen

Upstairs Bedroom

Upstairs Bedroom

capecodder24specsheet

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Our Little Cabin Up the Lake

by Kent Griswold on October 21st, 2008. 36 Comments

by Margy Lutz, Powell River, BC

My husband Wayne and I were vacationing in Coastal British Columbia when we discovered something unique and intriguing on Powell Lake, float cabins.  It was love at first sight.  We had been looking for a place to retire and knew this was it. We laughingly say, when we bought our cabin, it came with John.  This was very important. In the beginning we could only visit on holidays.  John (the previous owner and cabin builder) agreed to check on our place and help out with odd jobs.

Lutz's Floating Cabin

Lutz's Floating Cabin

Float cabins are a big part of Coastal BC history.  During the heyday of logging and fishing, they were used as support camps that could be moved from place to place.  On Powell Lake, float cabins were inexpensive hunting and fishing getaways for paper mill workers.  Today things are a little more regulated.  Cabins have registered water leases and we pay property taxes.

Cabin construction begins with the float.  John lashed huge cedar logs together with ¾ inch steel cable.  A winch and hydraulic jack tighten the cables and large railroad spikes hold them in place. Next the deck is added and finally the cabin is built on top.  John is typical of many people who live in Coastal BC.  He is self-reliant and a “Jack of all trades.”  And he has been very patient about teaching us “city-folk” along the way.

Float Construction

Float Construction

Cabin Foundation

Cabin Foundation

Our cabin is small (20×21 feet) but complete.  The downstairs has two bedrooms, one of which we use for storage and a bathtub.  The main downstairs area is a great room design including kitchen, dining and living areas.  The large upstairs loft is our bedroom.  It’s plenty of space, especially since we have the whole outdoors at our doorstep.  The main float is 40X40 and we have additional floats for a variety of purposes: a dock, a floating woodshed and my floating vegetable garden.  The garden is on a pulley.  I bring it in to tend my plants and then send it out to our log boom breakwater to protect it from hungry critters.  When Wayne wants privacy for writing, he heads out to the Gemini, a renovated boat that is his author’s retreat.

Cabin Walls

Cabin Walls

We live up the lake about 25 minutes from the marina.  Our power sources are solar and wind, with propane for cooking, refrigeration and additional lights. In winter we use a small generator to give our batteries an occasional boost.  Our wood stove keeps the cabin warm so we can live there in all seasons. An outhouse on shore may soon be replaced with a composting toilet.  Four flights of stairs up the cliff in stormy weather isn’t always fun.

Living Area and Stove

Living Area and Stove

Now that we have retired, we spend about 75% of the year living in our float cabin.  Our lives follow the seasons with wood gathering, gardening, swimming, fishing and enjoying our surroundings.  There’s nothing better than getting up early and having a cup of coffee on the deck watching the sun rise over Goat Island to herald in a new day.

July Garden

July Garden

In 2001 we purchased our cabin for $35,000 CAD which at the time was about $25,000 USD.  We figured we couldn’t go wrong with that.  Actually, because there is a moratorium on new cabins the values have risen quite rapidly.  John sold another cabin this year (a little larger than ours) for $100,000 and some are going for even more than that.  Even so, it is still within the range of many people.  Of course, that is because there is no land involved.  But we feel comfortable with our 20 year lease that is renewable from the BC government.  The lease payment is $500 a year and the taxes the same amount.

You can find more information about float cabin and off the grid living at http://PowellRiverBooks.blogspot.com.  For information about Wayne’s Coastal BC Stories, come to www.PowellRiverBooks.com.   Up the Lake and Farther Up the Lake have lots of information about our cabin life on Powell Lake.

Float Cabin Floorplan

Float Cabin Floorplan

Float Cabin Loft Plan

Float Cabin Loft Plan

View of Float Cabin

View of Float Cabin

View From Cabin

View From Cabin

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