My Yurt Project on Whidbey Island

Guest post by Eric

I recently bought a 1/3 acre on Whidbey Island in Washington. It was raw land, I cleared a driveway, put gravel down, and built a 16′ yurt. I did all of this myself, with help from generous friends! This is an off the grid, weekend getaway. I have a vintage ice box for refrigerator, sink with 5 gallon tank and valve (drains in a bucket), futon, recliner chair and a 12 volt lighting led strip which uses a 12 volt battery.

This is the first part of a three section of my yurt build. This is the 12,000 square foot lot, approximately cleared 3000 square foot for the yurt. This is the clearing process, all done by myself and two other friends.

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This is the yurt building job. 16′ yurt, 200 square feet, no building permit required as long as it doesn’t have a permanent heat source. $7,750 cost of yurt from Pacific Yurts in Oregon. Approximately $2,500 for cost of building materials and tools. included is the cost of generator, as there is no power on the property. Free labor from myself and gracious friends!

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Complete yurt….has a futon for sleeping, chair, vintage ice box, stainless sink and countertop with a five gallon container, drains into bucket, 12 volt LED lighting ran from AGM 12 battery (I charge it at home). As for facilities, a five gallon bucket, compostable bag lining, with toilet lid outside, enclosed in a 4’x4′ pop up tent. Uses sawdust, then is disposed of after the weekend.

This is mainly an overnight/weekend getaway….perfectly located one hour from Seattle!

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Lake Union Floating Homes

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My wife and I are on vacation and have spent the day in Seattle, Washington. We took the Duck Tour which is both educational and entertaining and I would highly recommend it if you are spending any time in downtown Seattle.

One of the perks of the Duck Tour is that you get to go out onto Lake Union and see the floating homes (view some interior photos at this link). Originally the cheapest place to live in town, no longer. It is now the most expensive place to live. Most of the floating homes cost over a million dollars. The exception is the barge homes that start around $150k and go up to around $800k if you can get one. Though out of most of our price ranges I think the designs are inspiring and I hope you enjoy the following photos. Unfortunately no interior photos as we were not allowed into the homes.

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Duck Tour

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Barge Homes

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Larger homes

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A Workshop Designed Like a Tiny House

We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs. That’s why a couple of the professionals involved in building houses at Boneyard Studios put together a tiny house design workshop for the DIYer who wants more technical information and planning materials for their tiny house build. Our first workshop this past fall was a success and a lot of fun to put on, so we are redoing it again this Spring at Howard University. Find out more details about the workshop and watch a video from our past workshop. Check out our photos and materials from the past workshop below and see why I, Lee, was motivated to help design a workshop with these professionals after my experience building a tiny house.

DC Workshop

 

 

 

 

Throughout my tiny house project, I have realized how much building requires project planning, understanding major decision points in the process, and a knowledge of building code and materials. I didn’t fully understand how one decision impacted another or what building decisions and techniques were unique to tiny houses. I had naively bought into some of the promotional materials in the tiny house world that claim you can build a tiny house with just 14 tools or that make it seem like building a tiny house is simpler and easier just because it’s smaller than a regular house. Our experience has been the opposite: a tiny house actually requires more planning, and a pretty thorough knowledge of building science, health and safety, and codes (International Building Code, RV code (ANSI/RVIA), and city code and zoning) in order to build a structure that is safe, durable, and is an efficient use of space. Come learn with us again this spring!

March 29-30, 2014 in Washington, DC

Location: Howard University
(two blocks from the metro, one mile from downtown and one mile from Boneyard Studios tiny house community)

We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs.

Join us this spring to gain the technical knowledge and the planning tools to start designing and building your small house project!

*Workshop limited to 30 participants to allow one-on-one time with architect and builder.

http://www.opensourcetinyhouse.com/

Big Ideas, Small Spaces: A Tiny House Design Workshop from Julie Espinosa on Vimeo.