Bill Thomas of Hobbitat Spaces in Maryland developed a passion for small spaces after 30 years of working in the historic restoration and custom home business. With the change in the housing market came a change in his focus of building and he began to develop small, custom homes that are constructed inside and out of the harsh Northeastern winters.
The first Hobbitat (or “Hob”, as they are affectionately called) was constructed using materials from Bill’s grandfather’s barn, windows from his childhood cabin and other reclaimed doors and materials. Hobbitat Spaces then built 13 Hobs for Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat in western Maryland. Each of the cabins were built with recycled, reclaimed and local materials, giving them a distinct look and feel.
Hobbitat Spaces is now in the process of taking individual orders for their small, hand-crafted homes. Each of the homes are built in a shop and all utilities are contained within the building envelope under insulation. The Homes are built to Maryland State building and energy codes and take about six weeks to complete.
Each Hobbitat contains the following:
• A complete structural framework, built to IRC code, with a Zip system exterior wall sheathing.
• An enclosed floor system that rests on six piers, installed before the building arrives.
• A roof system of hand cut framing or engineered trusses designed to carry a 40 lb. /sq. ft. snow load.
• A 30 gallon electric hot water heater.
• A 100 amp breaker panel and wiring to conform to the current code. Many outlets and light switches as per code.
• Andersen thermal windows. Your choice of 400 or Architectural series.
• A complete thermal cocoon of 2 lb. foam. R-38 for ceilings R23 for side walls and R30 in the floor system.
• A fresh air intake system with an Airetrak 1A control for indoor air quality.
• A plumbing system that allows you to very easily drain the building and walk away for weeks or months.
• Panasonic brand exhaust fans.
Photos by Hobbitat Spaces
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 »
For this Christmas Eve, I thought I would do a post on a couple of classic, red cabooses that have been made into the offices of the beautiful Osmosis Day Spa in Freestone, California. Osmosis is located in the tiny hamlet between Santa Rosa and Bodega Bay and features a Japanese-style retreat with bonsai, bamboo and Buddha. The spa offers massages, mud baths and their signature cedar enzyme bath.
Each of the recycled train cabooses are located in the backyard of the spa and hold storage areas and computer equipment. They are also nice places for the staff to hang out and have lunch. Over 25 years, the garden has grown up around each caboose, making them look as if they’ve sprouted out of the ground.
The Osmosis Spa is one of the greenest spas in the world. The spa recycles water from its own wetlands and uses the water for local irrigation. The spa is a founding member of the Green Spa Network and uses sustainable practices in its business.
Photos by Christina Nellemann
Inhabitat (one of my favorite sites) recently featured this rustic, but beautiful gypsy wagon (one of my favorite tiny houses) which sits in the forest near Kootenay Lake in British Columbia. The 8 foot by 20 foot wagon was built on a $100 salvaged 5 ton chassis, with 2×4 construction and curved rafters. It cost about $8,000 to build and took several years.
Most of the building materials for the wagon were recycled. The floor is locally milled hemlock tongue and groove and the windows were second hand finds from the local classifieds. The exterior shingles were cedar “seconds” split with a hatchet. The round window was ingeniously made from a 1970′s picnic table and is framed with rope for a natty, nautical style. The curved roof is covered with flexible metal sheeting and has two, curved Lexan skylights. The interior of the wagon is covered with stretched canvas, stapled into place and painted with white wash. Under the wagon is space for the storage of supplies and firewood. Continue Reading »