I’ve recently had the privilege of getting acquainted with Niall Burke from Humble Homes who has been designing tiny homes for about a year now and I have somehow managed not to cover his neat designs.
Niall sent some pictures from a custom plan, that Shawn Danley hired him to do. It’s a 24′ version of his McG Loft design, and features a staircase, with a space for a washer/dryer, mid-size refrigerator, and a stove. The shell for the home is currently on sale for $13,000 – for personal reasons Shawn and his wife decided that it just wasn’t the right time for them to go through with the downsize, which is a bit of a shame because the quality of the work up until that point looks fantastic.
The plans for this version of the McG Loft will be made available in the near future; Niall says he is currently working towards producing a 3D animation for the home as he thinks it’ll allow people to get a better feel for the layout. Continue Reading »
by Laird Herbert
Leaf House has a new home in the Yukon, Whitehorse, Canada, and is back in the thick of tiny house construction. Plans for version.2 are complete and for sale on the website www.tinyhousing.ca, and Leaf House will be building one more custom tiny house this winter.
The company is testing a variety of innovative materials and technologies suitable for tiny house construction in cold climates. Leaf House is using this upcoming tiny house as a case study, incorporating extremely energy efficient windows, an innovative compact Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) for small spaces, a lightweight concrete finish for countertops, metal mesh rainscreen, aerogel insulating material, and lightweight panels and interior finishes.
The most exciting technology showcased in the tiny house, which is the subject of this post, is the vacuum insulated panel (VIP). VIPs are an insulating product that is not yet available in commercial construction but have incredible potential for tiny houses and the recreational vehicle industry. VIPs are thin (1/2” to 1”) yet have an R value of R30 per ½”. The extremely low pressure in the panels prevents heat transfer, and overlapping the panels means that a wall of R60 can be achieved with only 1” thick of material. The panels are filled with silica and are also lightweight. The space and weight savings mean that tiny house construction might just be the perfect application for VIPs. Continue Reading »
A tiny house may not always work out as a permanent home for everyone. Shawn and Jamie Dehner of the Small House Catalog have lived for the past two years in one of their own designs called the Moschata Rolling Bungalow. This orange delight cost $17,000 to build, sits on a lot the couple owns and contains a full kitchen where they are able to cook and bake, a bathroom with a sink, an RV sized tub and a shower and toilet. The vaulted living room has window sills that are wide enough for their cat to sit on and the sleeping loft has a queen size bed. However, the building codes in their home of Point Roberts, Wash. requires that they build a permanent home within two years.
Their new home will be 700 square feet and the Rolling Bungalow will become their company’s office. The Small House Catalog designs, drafts and occasionally builds small houses and tiny “rolling” bungalows. Their designs are influenced by the kit houses and bungalows of the early 20th Century and are cozy, comfortable and stylish. Both the houses and plans are also affordable for the average person. Several of their plans include the Beekeeper’s Bungalow which is 680 square feet and costs $249 and the 200 square foot Tinka which is free to download. The Small House Catalog also has a great blog that covers a multitude of small and tiny house issues including design aesthetics, small house styles and reviews.
The couple will not leave their rolling home without some regret.
“We’ve met just about all our neighbors (and maybe even our whole town). We never would have met so many people here otherwise,” Jamie said in a recent article for CNN Living. “We’ve even become a landmark…”turn left just after that cute little orange house” is apparently a commonly offered direction! It was a simple, fun building project that solved an immediate need by providing us with clean and comfortable shelter. Furthermore, it saved us a ton of money as we were able to say goodbye to our rental and keep $1,000 a month in our pocket.” Continue Reading »
Despite several controversial issues with using shipping containers as homes, there are still many people who are interested in converting the ubiquitous metal structures into their own tiny house. My Home In a Box is a blog dedicated to shipping containers and how they can be used as the basis for a small or tiny home. With its various photos, videos, information on exterior and interior design, the blog is a great reference.
The blog covers building with both 20 foot and 40 foot containers, information on insulation, alternative energy, heating and cooling and interior and exterior ideas. The owner of the blog, Dean, has also designed his own conceptual off-grid shipping container home with a composting toilet, a living room with a hidden bed, water storage, a solar panel and wind turbine and a hot water heater on the roof. The design also has a two drawbridge sides that become decks, an aquaponics system and the ability to store up to 6 months worth of food. Continue Reading »
The lowly outhouse may be making a comeback. Some tiny houses being designed these days are not being outfitted with a bathroom or even a space for a composting toilet. While a specific design or structure may be sound and even really beautiful, it may not provide people with one of the most basic of human needs. A simple or more complex outhouse could be a viable solution.
The outhouse originated about 500 years ago in Europe, and was used primarily at inns or in public spaces. During this time, the ubiquitous symbol of the crescent moon on the outhouse door also began to appear. Since most people were illiterate during this time, the male outhouses were marked with the symbol of a sun, indicating masculinity, and the women’s were marked with a symbol of a crescent moon, which represented the feminine (also the Roman goddess Diana who was the protector of women). As time went on and the American frontier opened up, the men’s outhouses were not maintained as well as the women’s (since men tended to just go out in the woods), so the men’s outdoor commodes began to disappear, leaving the women’s (and their crescent moon symbol) behind. Eventually, outhouses became unisex and some even included several different sized holes for men, women and children. Continue Reading »
The latest issue of The Family Handyman has a beautiful house on the front cover that happens to be step-by-step plans on how to build an Arts & Crafts style shed with a front porch. I think with a little tweaking, and the installation of electrical and plumbing, it could make a very nice tiny house.
This particular shed is 8×16 feet with a large sliding door on the back that runs on a track, three windows that let in plenty of light and a front door with a wonderful front porch that brings the total area of the shed to 16×16 feet. The structure can be built in four or five weekends with the help of a few people. The cost (not including the concrete slab) is about $3,800, and the skill level needed is intermediate. Experience with framing is helpful, but not necessary. Because of the sliding door (that opens up the living area) this structure will probably work best in warmer or milder climates.