Here is our little house story in Spokane, Washington.
In the spring of 2006 I was walking through my neighborhood, as I had done so many times over the years and for some reason I really noticed this small, tired and neglected building with its Mission Revival architecture, very unusual for Spokane. As an Albuquerque, New Mexico transplant, I was automatically drawn to its style. It turned out the owner was a local contractor preparing to demo the building and construct a duplex. My partner, Val, and I made an offer and were soon the new owners of the North Hill Substation, built in 1930 as the local utility power distribution site with a mere 374 square feet and 13ft ceilings. We started ever so slowly, huddled in a corner with an electric heater, pen and paper and tried to wrap our heads around our vision for this great piece of history. It has evolved to what it is today affectionately called “The Little House.”
One big obstacle to this adventure was learning to let go of all my stuff. As a dealer and collector of antiques I had a daunting task ahead of me! For 4 years with the help of eBay, Craig’s List, thrift store donations and the dump I was able to whittle things down. Two years ago I was ready to vacate my 1500Sqft apt and see if I could really be happy in one fifth of the space. I made due with a woodstove for heat. I also had a propane cook top and refrigerator I used previously for camping. I found not only was it do-able, but soon realized that less is truly more. After 13 years, Val and I decided to move in together into her house. But with 2600 sqft, 3 bathrooms and kids grown and moved away plans have changed once again. Together we are diligently working towards the “small move” back to the Little House. Continue Reading »
by Paul and Shari Roten
We are the former owners of Kaizen Tile & Stone in the Seattle area, although are both originally from small towns in the Midwest of the USA.
We spent years renovating others homes as well as our own cottage in West Seattle prior to starting our tiny house outside Newport, Washington. We’ve gone from 10 acres of woods to having an “Ideabox” inspired home well underway with the burgundy metal roof due to be installed in just two weeks!
We’d love to include some pictures and would love to share our story. Because of your site, we have been inspired by others walking a similar path, and made changes to our footprint after seeing some of the plans from Ideabox. As parents of 5 and grandparents of another 5, we’ve decided to make our Roten Retreat a two story to accomadate our lives and loves, with option as we age to be able to live on one level only. The foot print is 500 sq ft with 1000 total for both floors. Continue Reading »
It’s fun when family and friends get involved with the Tiny House Blog. My sister and her husband are up in Alaska on business and my brother-in-law Geoff saw this sign while traveling and snapped a photo with his iPhone and sent it to me. Here is what he says:
Shelley and I have been in Alaska the last few days. There appears to be lots of “small houses.” I saw this posted on a post office board and thought you might find it interesting. Geoff
Maybe someone up in Alaska will see this and turn it into their own small home.
Guest Post by Deb Durham
Deb Durham here again. Yep, the tall broad with a penchant for small spaces and little automobiles.
When you can’t afford or don’t want to expand a home’s footprint, here are 2 remodel ideas for transforming existing space to best advantage. This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,200 sq. ft. home I renovated outside of Santa Fe, NM. I call it Asian Adobe.
by Daniel Combellick
*New Photos added
The house began with ordering 60 logs from the forest service, which they delivered to the site. Common Fir. Some of these I used to build a small hut, which were all hand-hewn, along with some Birch logs taken from my forest. I lived in this small 12 X 16 ft hut the entire time I was building the house.
The foundation was dug by hand, and filled the same… this was one of the three procedures on the house I had help with – the other two were installing the metal roof, and hanging the drywall – besides these all work was completed by me. In my shed there was no electricity or water – the water I brought in containers in a wheel barrow, or on a sled in the winter – from a nearby farmers well, the old kind, drawing the water with a bucket on a chain and dumping into the old milk containers I used for storage. My light was from headlamps, and kerosene lanterns. I had a propane stove, an outhouse, and an outside bathing shelter.
When I had completed my lumber take-off I sent the logs to a mill and had them sawn. Then, I commenced building. I was alone almost every day, this is a very remote spot, it is very quiet. Sometimes the loudest sound above that of my tools was the flap of a bird’s wings overhead. Did you know crows are very noisy fliers? Continue Reading »