An 11×14 foot former vegetable patch eventually became the home for this tiny backyard house designed and built by sustainable building advisor Megan Lea. Since her veggies were not getting enough sun, she decided to bite the bullet and build an environmentally friendly house out of salvage 100-year-old barn wood behind her main home in Portland, Ore.
Her 154 square foot retreat, which was built in less than six months, contains salvaged lumber from three barns in Oregon, a salvaged copper roof, natural plaster walls and a wood stove. The salvaged barn wood on the exterior is from Barnwood Naturals, a company that sells reclaimed vintage wood. The loft contains a comfy sectional sofa and the floor of the loft and its supports are exposed to show the structural elements. The little living room has seating for several people and a large sliding door. The building does not have a bathroom or kitchen. Continue Reading »
Charles Finn might just be the ultimate tiny house Renaissance Man. He’s a self-taught woodworker, an author, freelance writer, editor of the High Desert Journal, a literary and fine arts magazine, and his custom microhomes also allotted a full color spread in Lloyd Kahn’s “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter” book.
Charles is originally from Vermont, but lived in Japan for a few years and admired the Japanese tea house designs. He eventually found himself in British Columbia living in a 7×12 foot vardo made by a woodworker friend. The vardo had no electricity or plumbing, but did have a 3-burner propane stove, a Jøtul woodstove and a set of deep-cycle batteries to run his laptop. After his first experience in a tiny home, he built his first “microhome” in Potomac, Montana out of lumber dismantled from old barns. The 8×12 foot cabin with a five foot loft became known as the Potomac Cabin. Continue Reading »
Named after a simple, yet valuable commodity throughout history, Spice Box Homes is the vision of Colorado residents, Edwin Lindell and Chris Curry. They wanted their tiny house company to reflect their own love of the outdoors and concern for environmental impact, and felt that they could create a similar commodity through building, living, and educating.
Spice Box homes started in 2010 as an alternative to renting. When Edwin was finishing up college in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, he got tired of paying rent and decided to construct a tiny home on a trailer that could be moved every six months.
“Chris Curry, my business partner, had built a similar dwelling for himself a few years back to combat the same issues, just not on a trailer.” Edwin said. “Once our prototype was constructed and tested for seven months, we decided to hit the ground running to build a company, lifestyle, and adventure for our community, friends, and our environment. We work to construct custom homes that resemble our clientele and create better living patterns.”
The homes are built from reclaimed materials and include passive solar heating and efficient appliances. The company subcontracts all the electrical, plumbing, metal stud fabrication, insulation and roofing to ensure quality construction. Continue Reading »
Andrea Tremols and Cedric Baele of Charleston, S.C. spent a year researching tiny homes at their local library and on the web before they decided to actually build one. Then they tore it down and started over. The couple is attempting to build the house out of 90 percent reclaimed lumber and materials while still utilizing every bit of space they can in order to obtain their ultimate goal of more conscientious living on the Earth.
After graduating from college, the couple lived communally as organic farm volunteers in Europe. As a child in his native Belgium, Cedric lived on a 38 foot steel sailboat, and after school he lived in a re-built 27 foot sailboat in Charleston Harbor. So the 200 square foot home they are building will not be a far stretch. The couple (Cedric is a seasonal bicycle tour guide and Andrea is a Spanish teacher) also knew that they did not want to go into 30 years of debt for a home during an uncertain economy. Continue Reading »
Take a look at that window. That glorious window was the catalyst for the design of Laurie Halse Anderson’s cottage in the forest. Laurie is the author of several young adult books and historical thrillers and she writes in a small cottage in the forest. She expressed her need for a “room of her own in which to write fiction”, and her video from 2009 recounts the conception and building of her writing cottage. It was built over the course of a year by her carpenter husband and several of his friends. Laurie and her family wanted it to be off-grid, made with reclaimed materials and easy on the environment.
That amazing window (which Laurie called “a magic window”) was found lying up against a barn and turned out to be a church window from the 1800s. Custom glass was made for each round section of the window. She and her husband also perused the salvage yard and found old growth pine boards to use for the floor and chimney pots for the roof. Soybean based foam insulation was sprayed into the walls and the roof is Vermont slate. The house is powered by wind and solar. Continue Reading »
Sarana House is named after a word in Pali, an ancient Buddhist language, that means “safe place” or “refuge. It will be the ultimate refuge when moved from its current location in Los Angeles, where it’s being built, to its final home on a private 23 acre forest retreat, named Sarana Park, in Northern California.
The tiny house on a trailer is being built by Juko and Jerry, not only as a new home, but as a way to respond to the Great Recession. Following the foreclosure of their home in Santa Monica, the couple decided to downsize and live more simply. Their first tiny house, the Huling Halfway Hut, was featured in a Tiny House Blog “Tiny House in a Landscape” post. During this time, Juko and Jerry became stewards of Sarana Park and wanted to make this new land a place for reflection, restoration, and transformation. They think of it as a “re-boot camp” – a place where their friends and guests can take some space to recharge, rest, and be inspired.
Sarana House is being built with as many reclaimed materials as possible. They are using reclaimed white pine from Ohio (Juko’s childhood home) and Pennsylvania; and Juko is building a larger kitchen by re-furbishing an IKEA freestanding kitchen. A long bench will be the focus of the dining room. It will be large enough for several people to sit or for one person to sleep. Bamboo flooring has been installed and a stock door from Lowes has been cut down to fit the entrance. Continue Reading »