Tahoe Tiny Houses and Trailers

by Christina Nellemann on April 14th, 2014. 7 Comments

For those of you who have fallen in love with the Rustic Way cabin on the cover of Issue 15 of the Tiny House Magazine, owner Dan Pauly is collaborating with Marvin Dinovitz of Tahoe Tiny Houses and Trailers to bring the structures made from old barn wood to the West coast of the U.S.

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Marvin owns Tahoe Tiny Houses and Trailers and has built a few of the Rustic Way designs for homeowners in the Tahoe area. Marvin plans on providing several configurations of the Rustic Way houses to be used as extra bathrooms, saunas, dressing rooms or bunk houses.

“Dan Pauly is an incredible craftsman who lives and breaths old barn wood,” Marvin said. “I’m excited to be working with him.”

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Marvin worked for years restoring both large and small boats and has his own company restoring Airstream trailers for use as small housing units. He said that many people have Airstream shells that have fallen into disrepair and don’t know what to do with them. Marvin said he asks vintage Airstream owners to hang onto the interior parts of a trailer because even those can be restored.

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His Airstream housing units can be used as guesthouses, art or yoga studios, small homes or backyard getaways. They are still mobile, but need to be connected to the house septic system if they have a bathroom. He incorporates green building techniques, LED lighting and solar panels.

Marvin also plans on restoring a few Airstreams with fun themes—his first is a Gene Autry/Roy Rogers/1950s cowboy theme with barn wood. He estimates a restored Airstream will cost around $25,000.

“I think tiny dwellings in the 300 square foot range are where people are going to head toward in the future,” Marvin said. “Once you downsize to the basics, you don’t need very much.”

 

Photos by Rustic Way and Marvin Dinovitz

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

YahiniHomes: Tiny, mobile homes

by Christina Nellemann on April 7th, 2014. 13 Comments

Danny Yahini’s tiny house company, YahiniHomes, offers the best of both worlds in the small house industry. His various custom homes are not only small and portable, but they can also be set up on a trailer, or on your choice of foundation, and then added onto later to accommodate life’s little changes.

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Danny, who’s based in Athens, Ohio, has been designing and building small, energy efficient homes since the 1980s. He now concentrates on building smaller, moveable homes that are affordable for his clients. All of Danny’s well-insulated cabins are built with high quality materials and are designed to be moved easily. They can also be designed with detachable porches and decks. The cabins can include local and natural materials like natural edge poplar and bamboo flooring and Danny utilizes solar power and heating systems in off-grid cabins.

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He currently has four different designs: the 15′x20′ Cabin, the 8′x18′ Side Porch Cabin, the 8′x14′ Off Grid Cabin and the 8′x18′ Butterfly Cabin. His latest design is The Pod, a 12′x24′ skid mounted home that is designed to be added onto. The cost of the passive solar Pod was around $20,000 and the 2×6 walls of the home were finished with stucco paint.

The interiors of the YahiniHomes feature simple, beautiful designs, storage and versatile bed and living areas. They all contain kitchens and bathrooms. The 8′x14′ Off Grid Cabin has a interesting platform bed (like a sheep wagon) that accommodates additional storage and a pull-out table.

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Photos courtesy of YahiniHomes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Caravan’s Skyline

by Christina Nellemann on March 31st, 2014. 12 Comments

During a trip to Portland last week, I was fortunate enough to meet up with Deb and Kol of Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel in the cool and funky area of Alberta Street in the Northeast part of the city. Most readers know about the couple’s selection of tiny homes for nightly rental in the middle of the city, and now the hotel has a new addition. The 160 square foot Skyline is Caravan’s newest tiny house available for guests and reflects a rustic, Western style with a cozy interior and some great details.

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Skyline was built in the Portland driveway of Eric Bohne and completed this February. Eric works full time as a craftsman and also built his own house on the Oregon coast out of recycled materials. His company, Metalwood Salvage, sells salvaged metal pieces and his design and carpentry business, Alter Areas, focuses on re-purposing unique building materials.

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The Skyline does not have a loft, but a bunked sleeping and living area. The typical ladder has been replaced with a short, metal staircase. The main part of the house has a bar style eating area and a kitchen with a roomy farm sink and storage. One of the most unusual parts of the trailer is the bathroom. It includes a shower and angled toilet that fits just perfectly into the tongue of the trailer. An ingenious folding ladder sits above the toilet in a metal bracket. It can be unfolded for accessibility to a storage loft above the bathroom.

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Deb and Kol recently had an open house for Caravan and the line formed around the block.They estimated about 1,000 to 1,500 people from all walks of life visited the hotel. When I visited on a warm, dry evening (unexpected in Portland during the spring) we sat in the courtyard around a metal burn barrel (fueled with scrap lumber Kol gathers from around the city) and chatted about tiny houses, codes and laws, permits and opportunities. Deb and Kol’s own permitting process was “creative and long” but they feel that their hotel is a unique and legitimate staging area as to what is possible in the tiny house industry.

“With the tiny house movement, everything about it is good,” Deb said. “There is no reason not to make it happen.”

Portland is a hotbed of the tiny house movement and the excitement and possibilities for the dwellings are really catching on. During this warm night, the Caboose was filled with four young people, a young couple from Chicago were enjoying the Portland-themed Tandem and the Rosebud was inhabited by a travel writer from New York — all visitors curious about tinier living. The hotel not only seems to be a tidy selection of tiny houses, but a gathering place for interesting, like-minded people.

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Photos by Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel and Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann  for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Shire of Montana

by Christina Nellemann on March 17th, 2014. 15 Comments

While the film version of the Shire sits in New Zealand, a real accessible version of the home of the Hobbits can be found in Montana. However, if you come to stay in this small house you’ll have to share it with fairies, trolls and dwarfs. The Shire of Montana includes not only a 1,000 square foot house built into a hillside, but also a Troll House and several fairy homes built into tree stumps.

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This whimsical 20-acre property owned by Steven and Chris Michael is located near Trout Creek, Montana and is available as a private rental for lovers of Tolkien and the outdoors. The property contains a monolithic dome Hobbit house built into a hillside, a troll house in an old stump and various fairy homes dotted throughout the garden. The main house is 1,000 square feet and contains modern granite counter tops and etched glass windows, two bedrooms, a cozy kitchen, rustic woodwork and even the One Ring hanging from the ceiling.

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When the home was being constructed, the owners found a 700 year old cedar stump with a roof and door in a nearby town and decided to make it into a home for trolls. Steven said that once the word got out about the Troll House, other residents of Middle Earth decided to move onto the property which includes the Elven Village and homes for dwarfs and fairies. Various regional artists worked on making the property a haven for these otherworldly creatures which includes waterfalls and creeks, murals, bird houses, a wishing well, a troll bridge and mine as well as a 2,000 lb. carved stone bench made from a rock from Bali that is rumored to have once been a troll.

Guests can stay in the Shire of Montana from spring to fall for $245 a night.

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Photos by the Shire of Montana

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]