Shoebox Apartment

by Kent Griswold on August 20th, 2013. 21 Comments

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.com, has not only been working towards organizing his 5th hands-on Tiny House Building Workshop (slated for late October in New England…more info soon!) but has been doing some hosting work for HGTV.

Here are a few episodes he hosted in NYC, showing off some truly wild and inventive tiny apartments….

If for some reason the videos do not show up in your browser go to this link and view all three episodes:

http://www.hgtvremodels.com/video/life-edited-apartment-video/index.html

Deek has also been working on another tiny house/micro-dwellings book….one that will feature many new designs of his AND a few full-out plans sets for tiny structures. This follow-up to his “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” book, will also feature many other builders from around the world.

Deek's cabin

A Call for Tiny House Portraits, for “TINY”, A Documentary Film about Living Small

by Kent Griswold on July 10th, 2012. 17 Comments

Guest Post by Merete

Do you live in a tiny house? Send us your portrait to be included in a documentary about the tiny house movement!

For the past year and a half, my partner Christopher and I have been working on a documentary film about tiny houses called, “TINY: A Story About Living Small.” [http://www.tiny-themovie.com] At first, we set out to document our own process of building a tiny house from scratch, with no building experience, in the mountains of Colorado, but we soon realized that we could use this story to tell a larger story about the nation-wide trend to downsize.

As we wrap up the editing process and get ready to release the film, we want to be sure that we can include as many other tiny housers as possible. We’ve interviewed a few key characters (people like Tammy & Logan of RowdyKittens in Portland, and Deek Diedricksen of RelaxShacks in Massachusetts), but we know that the tiny house movement is a widespread phenomenon. We want our viewers to understand that there’s a huge demographic of people out there who find it more satisfying to live smaller and more simply.

If you live in a tiny house (we don’t have a strict definition for a “tiny house,” but are focusing mainly on homes that are less than 400 square feet), we would love to include you in our film.

Portrait Examples

To be included, please send us a photo portrait of you and your family with your tiny house.

Here are the specifics of what we’re looking for.

What the image should show: A clear view of your tiny house (front, side view, or interior—whichever angle you think is most interesting) and all of the people who live in the house, pets included!

Image size: In order for the image to show up clearly on the big screen, it needs to be a horizontal/landscape image, at least 1920 pixels wide. If you would like to send us a print photo, please make sure that it is at least 4×6 and we’ll scan it. (If you scan a photo yourself, please make sure that the setting is at 600dpi and that the file is saved as “Best” quality or as large as possible.) Feel free to email us at speakthunderfilms@gmail.com if you have questions or need help with the technical stuff.

Other info to include: Please also send us your names, the name of the town and state where the house is currently located, the number of people who live in your house, and the square footage of the house. If your house has a nickname, please include that too. And it’s not required, but if you’d like to tell us a bit about yourselves, how long you’ve been living small, and why you decided to downsize, we’d love to hear your stories!

How to send it to us: Please email images to us at submissions@speakthunder.com. (If the file is too large to email, we recommend sending it through this free website: wetransfer.com) You can also mail images to us at: 1320 Yellow Pine Ave, Boulder CO 80304

Deek’s Latest How-To Videos

by Kent Griswold on April 4th, 2012. 8 Comments

Derek Diedrickson (of RelaxShacks) or as he is better known, Deek has been very busy lately and has just completed two new videos. These are a couple of great How-To videos based off of his book Humble Homes and Simple Shacks.

In the first video Deek walks you through building a window from a cheap plastic plate bought at your local dollar store. In his second video he shows you how to recycle old windows that you can pick up free or for little cost.

Below the videos I have put a few still pictures of the building he built using recycled windows. You can go to RelaxShacks to see some construction photos. Enjoy and if you don’t have Deek’s book you can purchase it on Amazon. Thanks Deek!

Deek and the Horror Hut

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Building your own tiny/small house or dream micro-cabin for FREE/Nothing…

by Kent Griswold on April 3rd, 2011. 10 Comments

Guest Post by -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

(by example of a recent FREE CLUBHOUSE-SHED/Playground Set in the Massachusetts area (the following is a ROUGH excerpt from an in-the-works salvage chapter on tiny houses that will be in my follow-up book to “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks….” a micro-cabin design collection)

We’ve had quite a few posts on this subject before, from scrounging pallet wood for construction (which can be found at almost every turn), to dumpster-diving for materials, and finding/collecting them streetside (esp. windows and doors on daily trash routes/construction site debris piles)…..but Craigslist is the one often used and obvious place we have not discussed quite as much- at least in terms of pure salvage.

You’d be amazed, in YOUR area (well, unless you’re in the middle of nowhere Montana, etc) at what pops up under the search title “Free”- lumber, appliances, boats, campers, defunct mafia torture tools, and more- and alot of it is perfectly good stuff- you just need to ask a few questions, and check out the photos first, before hoppin’ in you car for the trek.

Today;s Example: Now here’s a free 8′ by 8′ by 8′ clubhouse (or guesthouse? if you tweaked it) that was recently up for “FREE” in my area just last week- it also came with the offer of an enormous swingset worth of pressure treated lumber (none of it that old)- so, with some time and a few simple tools, you’d have this free shack AND an abundance of lumber all in one trip with a smallish trailer or truck.

Beyond that, if you want more bang for your buck, and have no kids, or no need for a swingset, with a little research you’ll find that the slide itself (and various other swings and parts) are actually quite pricey as replacements. Therefore, there is a used market for these items on craigslist and ebay- making your trip even more potentially worthwhile….AND, potentially providing even the most “broke” of us with a means to acquire additional funds for that dream micro-cabin in the woods. Heck, in this case, the 8-foot-cabin cabin COULD already be that tiny dream cabin, writer’s retreat, or treehome/treehouse escape- it just needs some rennovating and t.l.c.

Now the sticklers out there will immediately think “Now Deek, tisk, tisk…you’ll at least need nails and paint to complete the tiny house task at hand, and those DO cost money…so your cabin quest really wouldn’t be “FREE”". Well, that is true, but its also true that with a little time and luck, pre-planning and searching, you CAN find a TON of free paint most anywhere as well- and if the colors aren’t up to your liking- mix ‘em until you get something more workable or palletable. As for the nails, especially with larger ones, I always have two small buckets on hand when I’m dismantling projects and salvaging (removing nails) from wood- one bucket is for nails that are still useable and good (or easily bent back into shape), the other’s for nails that are totally hopeless. This later bucket eventually goes to the metal scrap yard for recycling. The point is, though, that after a little salvaging here and there, you’ll be amazed at how much by the way of hardware (nails, hinges, hooks, bolts, lag screws) you’ll accumulate- and aside from the expenditure of time, yes, even your nails will be free…

In the case of the swingset I’m also assuming (if built properly) that its fairly loaded with galvanized carriage bolts- and sizeable ones too….and those things don’t come all that cheap….not to mention the other specialized hardware a playground-set harbors- which you just may find a use for…

As for the gas money to get to these free items- well, that’s where selling some of this stuff on the side not only covers that and evens things out, but brings you out far ahead in the end of this often fun and rewarding game. Also, after doing this for awhile, you may end up with an excess of perfectly useable lumber. If that starts taking up too much room next to your front-yard collection of garden gnomes, then there’s also the cash possibility of moving THAT as well.

And….be sure to pat yourself on the back while reminding yourself that you’re most likely keeping a HUGE amount of trash out of landfills by going this avenue of cabin building- it always makes for a nice backstory too…

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen Author of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks…”, Host of “Tiny Yellow House” TV on youtube, Honcho of http://www.relaxshacks.com