Envirohaven’s Haven

While not officially tiny, the structural design and energy efficiency of the Haven by Reno, Nevada based Envirohaven may make it the home of the future. The 1,550 square foot home package is designed to waste as little material as possible and can be completely off-grid—an addition the Envirohaven group calls the “Life System.”


The current Haven is a model built by Greg and Vicki Bischoff of Suncrest Builders, Inc. Greg’s vision was to create a smaller, simple, cost-effective and energy efficient home for more remote living conditions. The patent pending home prefab package, made of EPS foam and a green, water soluble exterior stucco coating, can be assembled anywhere for under $75 a square foot. The sphere-like house encloses the greatest amount of living area with the least amount of surface area and fewer materials needed for construction. The Haven is different from a typical geodesic dome in that it utilizes more interior space. Other unique features of the Haven include a centralized core mechanical area allowing for shorter plumbing and electrical runs which increases efficiency, and an optional space heating feature incorporated into panels in the structure.

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The Haven package includes the following:
•    Site specific engineered plans including site plan, floor plans and elevations, foundation and framing plans, electrical plan, etc. Plans are guaranteed for local building department approval.
•    Partially assembled wall sections, complete hardware package for assembly
•    Dual pane, low-e energy-efficient windows
•    Solid core exterior doors
•    Pre-cut metal roofing for long lasting durability
•    Exterior siding that will provide a fire, weather resistant and flexible coating
•    Siding and roofing materials
•    Detailed construction manuals, videos, and remote electronic assistance are available for owner-builders as well as licensed general contractors desiring to purchase unfinished packages.
•    Customized site specific options available for all customers.

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The Haven’s Life System includes a Solar PV and Solar Thermal equipment for hot water, radiant baseboard or underfloor heating systems, an alternate heat source in the form of a wood burning or pellet stove, and a grey water recycling program.

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Photos courtesy of Envirohaven

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Bruce’s Airstream Overlander

Bruce Czopek is a muralist, artist and avid backpacker who decided about two years ago to stop paying rent. While the costs of home ownership were out of his reach—he still wanted to own something that he wouldn’t have to worry about losing should he not be able to pay the rent. Enter a 26-foot 1966 Overland Airstream.

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Bruce found the trailer on the Denver, Colo. Craigslist and had it shipped via uShip to his friend’s home in Northern Nevada. He then spent over 80 hours stripping out old caulking and sealant from the exterior seams and resealing the skin of the trailer. Bruce spent even more time removing insulation full of mouse droppings, painting the frame with rust inhibitive paint and re-insulating the inside, refinishing the original cabinets, pulling out old plumbing and gas lines, installing a new heater, new propane regulator and new wood floors.

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Bruce lives in the trailer most of the time and rents space for it from his friend. He does utilize his friend’s house for the bathroom and kitchen.

“Having access to the house meant I wouldn’t have to worry about plumbing and kitchen till Phase Two,” Bruce said. “Doing it on a budget also demands saving money for the next phase.  That will be installing new plumbing, a new water heater and finishing the bathroom.”

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Bruce purchased the Overlander for only $4,500, but suggests if anyone else wants to attempt to restore an older trailer to be patient and accept that the amount of work will be more than originally considered.

“While repairing one thing you will find two or three other items to take care of,” he said. “The alternative is to pay a lot more for an Airstream that has been thoroughly inspected. There really are no deals out there any more. I had first thought to gut the trailer and do a modern interior but even though the cabinets were pretty tired everything was there and I decided to stick with the original look. The interior now feels like a first class cabin on an old ocean liner. Classy and comfortable.”

Bruce also plans to spend more time making the trailer more insulated for winter weather and appreciates the various Airstream forums and friends will skills who helped him along the way.

“I love the round quality of the Airsteam. Not being all angular, it has a calm feeling inside,” Bruce added. “I have found that using it as a bedroom while having the advantage of a separate bath and kitchen is actually very nice.”

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Photos by Bruce Czopek

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Backyard Guesthouse Redesign

Some Tiny House Blog readers might remember the backyard guesthouse project I was working on last fall. Well, the Tiny Guesthouse Challenge is complete and my mother’s backyard guesthouse now has a new bathroom and a few other additions. A 5 foot by 7 foot addition was added onto the existing building by a local builder who lives right up the street. The bathroom contains a shower, sink and cabinet, and a low-flow toilet.

We bit the bullet and decided to have a 300 gallon septic tank and leach field put in behind the house. We do not have any neighbors or facilities within 5 miles from the back of the house and the property is adjacent to a county wilderness area. The water for the shower and sinks was run from our pump house, which is right next door to the guest house. Because the addition was so small, and we live in an unincorporated area, we did not need to get a permit. Continue reading