Tiny House Survey

by Kent Griswold on January 29th, 2013. 23 Comments

Ryan Mitchell over at The Tiny Life blog is taking a tiny house survey and he asked if I would  help him gather the information. If you live in a tiny house please take a few minutes and fill out the form below.

After the information is gathered Ryan will share the results with us and I will report back to you. The survey starts below the picture.

Thank you for your help!

little house on a trailer

Bringing a Surveyor On-Board Your Tiny House Project

by Kent Griswold on January 30th, 2012. 21 Comments

Guest post by David from David Moor Chartered Surveyors

(This information is for the UK not the United States)

Getting a surveyor on-board for your tiny house project can seem like a relatively daunting step. It can be the moment where your tiny house makes its first real steps into becoming a reality. That said, it can also bump up the expense of the project, so it is not a decision that will be taken lightly by those with grandeur objectives for their tiny home.

It should go without saying that it won’t be necessary to bring the technical expertise of surveyors into smaller micro-house projects. There are circumstances, however, where you will bring in the expertise of builders, architects, and indeed, surveyors.

With this in mind we’ll look at the value a surveyor will bring to your project and the circumstances that would predicate this decision.

This article will provide an overview of the role a surveyor plays in the construction of buildings and look at why they may add value to your projects.

There are three factors that will determine whether you will consider using a surveyor:

  • The size and complexity of your project
  • The budget for the project
  • Your prior experience building

Of these three factors, the size and complexity of the project is ultimately the most important. (These however, are often defined by the project’s budget.)

In any new building project, the design is likely to chop and change as the structure begins to take shape. Let’s have a look the responsibilities of a surveyor in a construction project.

Cost Management
The role of a surveyor from your point of view boils down to two words: cost management. On smaller projects, this task can straight forward to manage yourself, but with any job of a significant cost, it’s not recommended you go it alone.

Why?

At the start of any project, you’ll have an approximate idea as to what it is going to cost. There are always (always) unforeseen changes to the project that can cause its costs to escalate.

Whilst this deviation may not be a major problem in small projects, in larger ones they can add up and jeopardize the projects chance of completion.

An architect may have an idea about cost, but they are not qualified to account for the management of building costs as they change over time. The surveyor’s cost management role continues throughout the project,
particularly in accounting for the value of a builder’s work on a month-by-month (or week-by-week) basis.

This isn’t to imply your builders will pull the wool over your eyes, it’s simply a means of giving you confidence that the project is being completed on-time, on-cost, and to sufficient quality.

For example…
As the home begins to take shape, you decide to make a change to the home’s design; for the sake of argument, adding a window, which the builder quotes at $3,000.

A surveyor will audit this quote to ensure the cost is right. You may be adding a window, but you’ll be losing cladding, so money could be saved here.

Your surveyor will be involved in material procurement as well as the negotiation of the builder’s contract, ensuring a fair price as well as the completion of the work to a high standard.

By employing the services of a surveyor for help with the construction of your tiny home, you will introduce a series of checks and balances to the project, helping to fix the cost.

Anyway, that’s my overview of the value a surveyor could bring to your tiny house build. If you’ve any questions, leave them as a comment and I’ll do my best to try answer them.

Tiny House Community Survey

by Kent Griswold on October 7th, 2011. 35 Comments

The Tiny House Community survey and blog are designed to gather the thoughts of tiny house fans on creating a community of tiny houses.

The ideal is to create a village where size is not an issue but quality of life is. Beautifully crafted tiny houses of less than 400 square feet will form the core of the community but space will be provided for larger homes and temporary shelters as well. A community center will provide services such as laundry, showers, toilets, a shared kitchen, and individual storage units.

The vision is long-term. It’s likely to require a year or more of planning, another year or two of working through permitting issues, at least six months of fund raising, and years to build up the infrastructure and build the tiny houses, before it’s a true community.

In ten years when it’s done, some of us will be old. But if we’re lucky, we’re going to get old anyway, and how much more wonderful to be old folks who created a tiny house community! If you’d like to have a say in where it’s located and what it contains, please complete the survey by clicking here.

Photo Credit Jay Shafer

The Small Living Journal is Back

by Kent Griswold on December 8th, 2009. 6 Comments

The Small Living Journal was originally the brain child of Stephanie Reiley, at Coming Unmoored. The idea was to bring together some of the key thinkers in the small house movement and co-blog on specific topics in a bi-weekly journal format. A few months ago we lost momentum… but now it’s back.

We’ve made a few minor changes including moving to a monthly publishing cycle. Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design is also acting as webmaster and project manager with the goal of keeping the quality of content high and focused on topics people want to read. The December issue is focused on Technology and Simple Living.

The next issue will be published on January 1st, 2010 and the topic will be entirely up to our readers. Michael has posted 14 potential topics in a survey. Please take a look and vote for the topic you’d like to see next.

Vote Now – for the Next Small Living Journal Topic

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Photo credit to Tammy at RowdyKittens