Kirsten’s Small House

by Kent Griswold on May 21st, 2013. 27 Comments

I see a lot of “new build” stories lately, and I wanted to share our small house with your readers, since we took a different path.

Our municipality has a minimum size requirement for new houses. At 44 square metres (roughly 475 square feet) it is not too bad compared to some places, but it still scuttled our plans to buy a lot and build a Tumbleweed New Vesica (289 square feet) on it. Homes on trailers and RVs are also specifically mentioned in the Property Standards and not allowed. Instead we bought a two-story 1907 farmhouse in the cute “Ontario cottage” style that is prevalent on the Island.

our small house

However, this old house has some important benefits that we’ve found. It’s two stories, but the upstairs is closed off with a door at the foot of the stairs, which we keep closed. There is a bedroom on the main floor which we also keep closed off and don’t use, meaning that we’re living in just 325 square feet after all! The main room is 14′ by 14′, and contains our bed/couch, the woodstove, table and dining chairs, a comfy chair, and a wardrobe for storage. The kitchen is bigger than I need at 9′ x 9′, but does provide lots of extra storage. We do go upstairs to use the existing bathroom, which is 6′ x 8′. Continue Reading »

True North Log Homes Pictou

by Kent Griswold on June 28th, 2012. 17 Comments

True North Log Homes designs this log cabin for a secluded hideaway and for hunting and fishing weekends. It’s small stature provides a down-to-earth respite for the whole family. From sports adventures to quiet soul-searching to intimate weekends away, the cabin helps to keep life simple. There are two bedrooms and one bath, and the floor plan is simple and compact enough to fit on nearly any property. Though this is not considered tiny it is a small cabin worthy of checking out.

log cabin

Amber provided me with photos of the construction of that home, as well as the floor plan showing the modifications. This home is 864 sq ft with a full basement and a flat ceiling. There is a timber frame entry porch on the front. The overall dimensions of the cabin are 34′ x 24′. The modifications are internal. Now, there is only one bedroom with an ensuite. The plan on the True North site allows for two bedrooms, but according to the company they are fully customizable! So, this plan works for everything from a hunting retreat to a retirement home and everything in between. This particular log home is made from 8″ logs. Continue Reading »

Craig’s Ontario Cabin

by Kent Griswold on September 15th, 2010. 21 Comments

Craig from Ontario, Canada shares his story with us today.

I bought the place 3 years ago. Originally I was just looking just for land with the mind to build a 10 x 10 cabin. But I got lucky the real estate add was for 19.89 acres with a dilapitated 14 x 16 cabin. There was also an out house, shed and 12 x 8 sauna which were not mentioned.  All the buildings  did need re shingling some paint and a good sweeping. But otherwise everything was fine. It just goes to show ya that some peoples lack of vision is some else treasure trove.

This all cost me less than $20 000 Canadian. I turned the out house into a composting toilet, which by the way has no smell what so ever when used properly which cannot be said of the majority of traditional out houses. It is located in northern Ontario west of Sudbury. There was hydro but I haven’t bothered to hook it back up. It’s more fun without it. Continue Reading »

Bunkies in Lake Ontario Canada

by Kent Griswold on November 12th, 2009. 28 Comments

“These “bunkies” are in the Thousand Islands area that forms the border between south-eastern Ontario and New York State. The area has been mainly farmland since it was first settled during the mid-1800′s.

The bunkies face south across the lake. Because of the setting, with open fields, limestone shelves along the shoreline and open water, there is a very east-coast feel to the land.”

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Karen is planning on building a bunkie on her property on  Simcoe Island shown in the last picture but she has some concerns. Continue Reading »