Russ-Stick Farm Tiny Houses

Russ and Sherry may be familiar to anyone who reads the farming magazine and blog, Grit. The Michigan couple are known for the Russ-Stick Ramblings column which was named after their 40 acre Russ-Stick Acres farm where they live with their Alaskan and Siberian sled dogs in a small cordwood house named the Wee House. The 300 square foot Wee House has been their home for several years, but after last season’s harsh winter is due for a makeover, which they will cover in their blog.

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The Wee House in winter

Along with the Wee House, Russ and Sherry have an outhouse called the Wee Wee House, a summer kitchen, a meditation house named the Trapper, a guest house named the Bear’s Den and a small pump house—all built by Russ. All the homes are heated by wood stoves and The Bear’s Den is available for rent during winter months for $45 per night.

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Russ, one of his goats and the Trapper house

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The Bear’s Den

Russ plans to extend the Wee House to include an underground portion and even some space for their chickens and rabbits, who live on the farm with the couple’s lambs, horses, Silver Fox rabbits, goats, cows and pigs. Russ-Stick Acres also produces maple syrup, firewood and Amish made products including jams, rugs, bird houses and quilts. Their Grit column cover everything from animal husbandry to country recipes.

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Photos courtesy of Russ-Stick Acres

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

ESCAPE Park Models

For people who love park model homes, but want a little more space and amenities, the ESCAPE Park Model & Modular Homes have been making waves with articles in the Wall Street Journal and favorable comments from HGTV, the Huffington Post and Bob Vila. A small size, beautiful wood details and mobile abilities are included in these tidy, little packages.

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Each ESCAPE is built on a wheeled chassis in the USA, and comes in various sizes and configurations including the Tiny Home, the King, Classic, Family and Studio. The basic ESCAPE Tiny Home is 288 square feet and features a tiny bedroom, a living and kitchen area and a full bath. This model starts at $57,400. There is also a two-bedroom version in 396 square feet. Amenities include bevel cedar siding, 30 year composite shingles, pine walls, ceilings and trim, 30 gallon water heaters, Energy Star appliances, vaulted ceilings and the ability to be off-grid. Each of the Escape models are on wheels, but can be placed on various foundations including gravel, concrete pads and concrete blocks.

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All the ESCAPE versions include built-in storage, options for fireplaces and washers and dryers and the larger Tiny Home Deluxe, King, Classic, Family Standard, Family King and Studio all have versatile screened and roofed porches that can also be used for sleeping, dining or a greenhouse. The Studio can be adapted to be ADA accessible and the ESCAPE company even offers furniture, appliance and financing packages.

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Two unique options that separate the ESCAPE from other park models are the panoramic windows that can be integrated into the rooms—making them seem larger than they are. Smaller, privacy windows are also available for use in bedrooms and bathrooms.

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Photos shown are the ESCAPE Classic “Limited” model and are courtesy of ESCAPE Park Models

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tengbom Micro Dorms

College and high school students are embracing the tiny house concept with gusto. One of the leading architecture firms in Sweden is right behind them with a series of affordable, portable micro dorms that are also environmentally friendly. The “10 smart square” dorms are only 107 square feet, but feature lofts, kitchen, living and dining areas and an interesting use of cross laminated wood.

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Tengbom Architects is working in collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons, real estate company AF Bostäder and Lund University in Sweden to develop sustainable and smart housing for students. The first unit was on display in the Virserum Art Museum in 2013 and this year there will be 22 units available for students to move in.

Cross laminated timber is an engineered wood building system designed to complement light- and heavy-timber framing options. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types. The process is popular in Europe and is growing in availability in the U.S. The benefits are fast installation, reduced waste and improved thermal performance.

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The units are made from cross laminated wood and are assembled on site. Each contain a sleeping loft accessed by wall-mounted stairs, laminated furniture, shelving and even a laminated kitchen counter. Each unit has a tiny bathroom/shower combo and strategically placed windows for light and privacy. The rent for these units will be about 50 percent less than larger dorm rooms on campus.

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Tengbom is one of the leading architectural firms in Sweden and the Nordic region, with around 500 employees at twelve offices in Sweden and Finland.  Since 1906, Tengbom has combined innovative and holistic design for present and future generations. Their additional designs include architecture, landscaping, lighting and historic building conservation.

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Photos courtesy of Tengbom Architects

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]