I covered Ted Fort and his scrap house back in 2009. This is a home he built for free while in high school. You can check out his blog thescraphouse.wordpress.com and learn more about the project. Yesterday he sent me an update on how it is holding out so far through Hurricane Sandy and I wanted to share his note and photos with you.
I thought I’d send you a photo of the scrap house fighting off Hurricane Sandy. Currently about 55-60 MPH winds, with 6 or so feet of flooding. That’s about two feet deep where the wood is floating. During Irene the water was half way up the door, so this is a lot better so far. Proof that tiny, and in this case freely built, houses can withstand some serious weather!
This will be the fourth or fifth major storm it’s been through. I also attached a photo looking towards Pamlico Sound, about 100 feet away from the Scrap House. Hope you’re doing well, I still read your blog regularly. -Ted Fort
I also asked about the scrap house and here is a short update from Ted.
No, I haven’t really worked on it much since high school back when I was updating my blog. I’ve done some more interior work, but nothing substantial. The last update to thescraphouse.wordpress.com was April 2011, which is a bit sad I must admit. Overall, though, I’ve been extremely pleased how well it’s held up considering it was built for free. Nothing leaks, etc. It is eventualy going to be moved, likely several hundred miles, so I’m hesitant to put too much more effort into it until it’s in a permanent location. I’m starting to see why building on a trailer is a good idea.
Thanks Ted for the update and keep us posted if you should move the home, etc.
Here is a tiny house I saw recently while I was traveling in the Sierras in California. No one lives in it. It’s built right into the side of a cliff. I don’t know that it was ever inhabited actually and might have been some kind of utility shed for the river. Nearby they route to the lower valley for water. It was padlocked, but otherwise looked intact.
Have a great day, Jennifer Nicholson
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.
Environmental designers have used cork to create eco-friendly flooring and walls before, but Portuguese designer Gabriela Gomes might be the first person to build an entire tiny house out of the natural material. Her Shelter ByGG project is an experimental, habitable, cork module that can be placed in an empty public space where it will obtain its energy from the sun’s rays.
This futuristic caboose-like structure is insulated, weather-proof and lightweight. It can be delivered by flatbed truck to any location and contains a living area, a bedroom for two people and a small bathroom. Gomes intended the design to be a totally private space placed in a totally public arena: something comfortable in an unexpected location. She also wanted the structure to be made of 100 percent sustainable and recyclable materials topped by solar panels. Currently, the Shelter Bygg can be rented by the night for 100€ ($125) for two people. To learn more, visit the Shelter ByGG website and reservations form. Continue Reading »
There is no simple way to go about the task of selecting windows for your new Tiny House construct. By the time choosing them comes around you will have heard multiple times that the key to making a smaller space look larger is to incorporate lots of natural light and to use windows and mirrors to give the illusion of a larger, less boxy, space. But with so many brands on the market, so many styles within those brands, and so many ideas about sustainable building, eco-friendly building, and budget-conscious building, the selection process can very easily become a frustrating one. It helps though to become familiar with a few of the most popular styles of windows available as well as debunk a few of the rating myths.
I am not sure how a large, bay windows could find a suitable place in a Tiny Home. A bay window it typically rather large and more times than not involved a window seat. The most common style is one that has a flat piece and two slated side pieces that attach to the home. It is important to remember though that with a bay window, you are essentially changing the shape of your home (which is already a very limited option in a tiny house), so you may need to rework the flooring, siding, and roof of the house as well.
Many of us are familiar with awning windows because they were the window of choice for most commercial structure post-WWII including many of our public schools. Awning windows swing or crank outward from the bottom assuring they could stay open even when it rained as well as making it most difficult for students to use as a means of escape from the dreaded world history class! Today these style windows are most commonly used in basement settings. But in a tiny house they may just what you need in a sleeping loft to assure proper cross breeze despite weather conditions. It is important to note that if an awning window is chosen, you won’t be able to use a wall air conditioner in it.
As the name implies, sliding window open by using two sashes that slide past one another. In my opinion these are a nice, contemporary looking window that is free of pane glass and allows for a lovely breeze when a screen is in place. The one draw back is these windows are very easy to manipulate open from the outside causing a bit of safety concern for the less brave.
It is time for me to show my ignorance. I remember growing up my parents home had storm windows over top of their window-windows. They were literally a second pane of glass that helped insulate our home during colder months. Of course, this was before R-ratings, Low E ratings, and vinyl casements. I am not sure storm windows are even necessary any longer and if they are, the second pane of glass would either have to stay on year-round or they would have to be stored; not a forte of tiny home living.
An architectural mainstay, the transom window probably came to full popularity in the Elizabethan and Georgian styles of building. Used to describe both windows that open for cross-ventilation or for windows that only allow in light above the room door, the transom windows on the market today typically do not open and are meant only to be decorative. They can be decorated, customized, and fashioned as an incredible focal point of an entryway but in a living situation like tiny house when every pound [on the trailer, of course] counts they are not the wisest feature to incorporate.
For the smaller of tiny homes the skylight can be a real saving grace. While most Americans either forget about skylights or rule them out completely, the use of a skylight can greatly increase the overall feeling of size in a tiny house bed loft or even in the “great room.” They let in natural light without sacrificing privacy. And having a 10/12 (or steeper) roof pitch as many tiny homes do, the skylight may be the only hope of installing a substantial window for natural light and passive heating/cooling.
The possibilities truly are endless and while choosing “off the shelf” or “in-stock” windows from a box store or a window/door liquidator is the more budget friendly way to go you may also consider custom windows to match just the size and style you want for your tiny house! What windows are you using in your tiny house? Are you still designing and are curious what you should consider? Did you build and realize your windows were not adequate enough? Share your story with us. And as always, if you like this post consider sharing it on Facebook or putting the link out on Twitter!
Bigger does not always mean better. Progress does not always mean forgetting our roots in order to forge a new future. Blogger, photojournalist, and hobby farmer Andrew Odom has spent much of the last few years rediscovering the lost art of living, growing, and being truly happy. Visit him online, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.