John’s Tiny House

tiny house

I’m currently 20 years old and in pastry school. Im located right outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I started my journey by buying a used RV that I demolished and saved the trailer underneath.

Then I started building my home and my uncle came up with the plans for me. As being a pastry chef I needed and wanted a large kitchen, so I made that a main priority. My home is eight foot by twenty-four feet. I have a stair case with a large living room which will also have a projector, as I don’t want to mount a TV, because I don’t want to make the TV the center point of my home. My room will be in the loft. Right now the loft isn’t complete. My plan is to move into my house around the end of April. The bathroom will have a stand up shower sink and composting toilet. The front of the house once I move it will have a deck attached to it. Continue reading

Gooseneck Tiny House

A River Runs Through It

Greg Parham from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses let me know about a recent house he custom built for a customer and asked me if I would share it with my readers. It is called “A River Runs Through It” and is built on a gooseneck trailer. I’ll let Greg tell you all about it.

A gentleman that I went to college and used to race bikes with back in my days of collegiate cycling contacted me last year. He and his wife Krissy were interested in having me build a tiny house for their young family to live in so they could simplify life, pay off their debt quicker, and start saving up for their ultimate dream of buying a sailboat and sailing ’round the world. With a toddler, a dog, and a cat comprising this family, as well as a second child on the way, they knew they would need something on the larger end of the tiny house spectrum, preferably 32? or longer. Continue reading

Simple Stairs For The Tiny House

When we were building our tiny house I remember several sets of makeshift stairs. In fact, they were so makeshift I would hardly call them stairs (or steps). In fact, the first version was just some old cinderblocks stacked on top of each other. The first fall I took not only hurt my pride but also my shins as I stumbled and caught myself only by my shin skin. The second version involved an old set of mobile home steps that had no real cross-bracing and seemed like a state fair fun house if you didn’t walk up them at a very slow speed and in a straight line. Our travel trailer has proved no different.

Steps

The metal steps on this rig are literally suspended by four bolts. They are not at all designed for the wear and tear of a full time nomadic family. In fact, if I go outside before my wife and daughter wake up my subtle shaking will surely alert them of my absence. It is awful. That is why I decided to cobble together a set of steps that were affordable, easy to break down, and reliable.

I invite you to spend the next 3 minutes watching this short video on how to make a simple set of tiny house steps. Just click on the standard YouTube play button to view.

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By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

Teardrop USA & Minimizing for Life

Issue 25 of the Tiny House Magazine has an article about Austin and Nicole Barkis, a Southern California couple who sold nearly all their belongings, purchased a teardrop trailer from Craigslist and hit the road with Bowser and Yoshi—their rescued Pomeranian Chihuahuas. All four of them are now enjoying life in 4×9 trailer towed by a Mini Cooper S.

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While you can find out more about the couple and their teardrop trailer life from the magazine article or from their website and Tumblr blog, this post covers their minimizing and simplification process and how they live their life out of 36 square feet—with a few thousand miles as their backyard.

Austin and Nicole decided to simplify after questioning their lives in Southern California. High rent and bills were draining and unused stuff was piling up. After viewing a TEDx video by Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt, the couple put their personal belongings on Craigslist and looked for a trailer that could be towed by their Mini. Austin runs his own business and Nicole telecommutes for her software job, so both knew they could make money on the road.

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When minimizing their belongings to maximize their lives, the couple realized that the process of getting rid of things had to have a forced deadline. Storage units and cabinets were still full until the very last second before hitting the highway. That’s when the virtual fire was lit and stuff began to get tossed.

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“When we first began, we had a ton of stuff sitting in the teardrop trailer (which is just the bed inside) and we had bags and little boxes of stuff overflowing everywhere,” Nicole wrote on their blog. “It got to the point that when we were loading the last few things, we just started throwing stuff away in the nearby Dumpster of our old apartment complex. It’s fascinating, you plan and you plan, but once it’s finally there and you have your trailer and you see the reality of the space vs. what you thought you could keep, you stop caring. All you want at that moment is to get on the road.”

It only took until the second night to realize what they really wanted to keep on their journeys. Along the way nonessential items like throw pillows, extra shoes and even a potted plant were given away.  They kept a few items for comfort and fun, tools for the teardrop and Mini (located in a storage box on the front of the trailer), computers, food and cooking items, and some bins of clothes that will be minimized even further. The Mini trunk and a storage area under the teardrop bed hold items not immediately needed.

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Austin and Nicole’s mission is to live minimally yet to the absolute fullest degree possible. If you are struggling to minimize your life, just imagine having to pack it all away into a teardrop trailer and a Mini Cooper.

 

NicoleAustinBarkis

Photos by Teardrop USA

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Handmade Matt’s Truck Camper

The December issue of the Tiny House Magazine has a story about handmade, wooden truck campers in it and one of most talked about versions on the Web is the whimsical truck camper designed and built by Handmade Matt. Matt is a craftsman and tiny house enthusiast from Surrey, England and is currently available as a consultant for anyone looking to build their own tiny house—on or off a 4×4 truck.

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Matt’s step-by-step process of the camper build is available on his website, and while the camper has been sold to a new owner in Sweden, Matt has recently finished up a new design. The vision for the first camper was to create a traditional looking removable camper with modern comforts. The camper is fully insulated, has solar power with 12v outlets and inverter. It contains a full kitchen with running water from a 13 gallon tank and a refrigerator, a two burner stove and a heater. There is an emergency composting toilet for when a public bathroom is not available.

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“I wanted a four wheel drive camper and I have woodworking skills. It was the cheapest and most stimulating option,” Matt said. “The design was inspired over the years by all the things I have seen, a lot from Lloyd Kahn’s books. I am actually featured in his latest book, “Tiny Homes on the Move” with another cabin that I have built. I make no real plans when building, it all comes from my imagination. I make it up as I go along, no drawings, limited forethought. The projects just evolve.”

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Matt said his favorite part of this particular build was the finishing touches.

“It’s when the magic happens and the whole vision comes together,” he said. “It’s finally when other people can see what was in my imagination all along. It’s a way of getting something that is inside me to come out into the world.”

Matt and his girlfriend took the camper all over the UK, through the southern English counties and into Wales. It did just fine in the mountains and also served as a home for his girlfriend who worked at various festival events.

For future builds by Handmade Matt, keep an eye on his website or the Tiny House Blog.

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Photos by Handmade Matt

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]