Pocket Neighborhoods” Author Ross Chapin to Speak in Asheville

by Kent Griswold on November 1st, 2012. 13 Comments

Sorry for the short notice, I get these up as soon as I can!

Author of the book Pocket Neighborhoods, Ross Chapin, will host a workshop in Asheville, North Carolina on November 5, 2012 at the Lord Auditorium in the Pack Memorial Library located at 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.

On his website Chapin describes pocket neighborhoods as, “clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around a shared open space — a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley — all of which have a clear sense of territory and shared stewardship. They can be in urban, suburban or rural areas.

These are settings where nearby neighbors can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby, and where children can have shirttail aunties and uncles just beyond their front gate.”

During this workshop, Chapin will offer a presentation on this topic for professionals and the general public, sharing stories of communities from around the world, their historic precedents, and the key design principles that give them vitality.

To get all the information visit the Local Plan website. http://www.localplan.org/2012/10/pocket-neighborhoods-author-ross-chapin.html

Danielson Groove Commons

Ross Chapin

Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on September 29th, 2012. 11 Comments

Last month Lori, one of the Tiny House Blogs readers sent me this link to this wonderful tiny cabin in a landscape. The photo is listed as creative commons at Flickr and was taken by anoldent (not a real name). Entitled “Old Home Place” with the following description. You can link to to the photo stream here and see more pictures.

The summer after I finished school I set off into the mountains of North Carolina to build a log cabin, armed with a few books, and hand tools, but no experiance or skills. I set up my tent and expected it to take six weeks to build. Six months later I still hadn’t finished the chimney or started the roof. But this is what it looked like on a misty November morning a few years later.

I lived here for about eight years, and owned it for about fifteen years after I built it in 1976 with local fieldstone and oak logs I cut, peeled and notched on the site, working alone with hand tools. It had no plumbing, I carried water from a nearby spring, and I heated it in winter with about half a cord of wood a week which I cut and burned in the open fireplace. Eventually I moved into Asheville and had to sell it, but it was a large part of my life, and I miss it more with each passing year.

old home place

Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on September 24th, 2011. 3 Comments

Steven from Tiny House Listings just got back from a weekend vacation up to the mountains of North Carolina, just outside of Asheville. They rented out an 1800′s log cabin and on the property was this little tiny house. It was originally used to homeschool the family’s 9 children over 100 years ago. Since then it has obviously been renovated and modernized, but it still has rustic charm. Today it’s used as a bunkhouse for the owner’s many grandchildren when they all use the house for get-togethers.

Thanks Stephen for this beautiful Tiny House in a Landscape photo.

Mike’s Tumbleweed Mulfinger

by Kent Griswold on May 13th, 2011. 40 Comments

Mike Moore recently sent me his story about his small house build, using a modified version of Jay Shafer’s Mulfinger. It is neat to see one of Jay’s larger homes built as most have never been constructed. I’ll turn the story over to Mike and he can explain the process he used to get his home built.

I found Jay Shafer in 2004 by googling “tiny houses.” I had been following construction techniques and architectural ideas since the 60′s, but it was Jay’s work that really resonated with me. I started with the Mulfinger plan, which Jay modified for me, enlarging it to a footprint of 16 x 20. It took me about 3-4 years to build it, with LOTS of help; you can see the results in the attached photos.

For those that are curious concerning codes, let me relate my story of dealing with the planning/building departments of Person County, a mostly rural area in central North Carolina.

There were several aspects that had to be addressed, some of which I discovered by researching county and state codes. This was in 2005, and codes change frequently, so some of these might not currently apply. Continue Reading »