Costa Rica Small Houses

by Kent Griswold on March 12th, 2013. 7 Comments

Over the Christmas Holidays my wife and two adult children took our family vacation. We headed south to the warmth of Costa Rica. This was our first visit there and we learned a lot about the weather and local customs during our two week stay in the country.

Of course anywhere I travel I look for tiny and small homes. Unfortunately, as with most of our travels we are dependent on public transportation and you have to grit your teeth as you drive by many great photos of scenery and homes. I was only able to get a few pictures of the local houses and a couple of the cabanas or cabins that we actually stayed in.

Costa Rica Cabana

In rural Costa Rica I discovered that the average house ranges in size from 400-600 square feet. Usually a simple rectangular home with a small entry porch. The interior is divided into two or three small rooms. Continue Reading »

Livin’ Large, Living Tiny

by Kent Griswold on March 9th, 2012. 33 Comments

Guest Post by R Blank (this is a repost from his original blog)

My wife and I have now been living tiny for several months. For those who don’t know, tiny homes (living units under roughly 200sq’) have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. When we researched many options for different types of tiny homes, we found a lot of information — but very few first-person accounts of the experience.

And, after all, that’s what tiny living actually involves — a fundamental shift in thinking about consumption and space utilization — the rest (what type of tiny home, whether its mobile, how its built, etc) is all just details.

Our Shipping Container from LEED Cabins, in Place, with the Completed Porch and Privacy Fence

Given the increasing popularity of tiny homes I thought it might be valuable to someone out there considering the same to read some of my thoughts on what this experience has been like for us.

In our case, this isn’t a tiny home, so much as a my home-office. But we decided to place this small office structure on the land first, before building our home. Our land is 30 miles away from the nearest town (where ‘town’ is quite loosely defined; we’re literally 20 miles away from the nearest service at all, which is our post office), which makes development quite challenging. So we started small, so we could establish a base of operations without too much trouble (that it took us a year to even get this far, is an entirely separate story). Continue Reading »

Claremont Small Houses

by Kent Griswold on February 27th, 2011. 20 Comments

Last weekend my wife and went south to visit our daughter who lives in Claremont, California. This is a college town in Southern California with lots of old class charm. One afternoon we went for a walk and I grabbed my little camera just in case we should pass some small homes.

These three homes are ones we passed along our two mile walk. Each is unique in its design and I am guessing they are one to two bedroom homes and around 700 square feet in size. This is a great size for a couple or someone with one or two small children to live in.

Photo credits: Kent Griswold

I would like to encourage you to check out the area you live in and look for the small or tiny homes. Take some pictures and share them with me. Once Spring sets in here in Healdsburg, I plan to take my bike out and shoot some of the local small homes to share with you. Have a great day!

Blankenship Small Homes in Alabama

by Kent Griswold on January 21st, 2011. 61 Comments

Royal one of my readers keeps me supplied with neat finds and this one is really neat and he shares some great advice too. Royal discovered these houses built in Ozark, Alabama and is going to give us a tour through them.

Last June, Mr. Blankenship of Ozark, AL constructed five small homes that are each only 500 sq. ft. They are 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a nice front porch, living room and kitchen. According to the people living there, they are extremely well insulated and they can have their dogs there without any additional charge.

These were all constructed as rentals. (The housing market being what it is.) Each small house has a concrete parking area out front that is sufficient for two vehicles each. They are conveniently located within a block of the downtown area. They can walk to City Hall, the supermarket, the dollar store, the Methodist church, a couple of restaurants, and an art gallery.

The builder poured all the slabs in one day and once they started framing, they had all five of them framed, drywalled, and painted within 3 weeks. They have silver-colored metal roofs. And each home is painted in a different pastel color so it is easy to find which one is yours. The homes all have very small yards for minimal upkeep. And, it took less than 3 weeks for them all to be leased out for the year. Continue Reading »