photo by Guillaume Dutilh
Tiny house conversations have become pretty standard through the years. That isn’t all bad, mind you, but it is becoming rather calculated. Overall we talk about reasons for going tiny and tend to focus mostly on financial independence, freedom from “things”, and a rejection of the American Dream ethos. In the spring we talk about how to grow a garden in or around the tiny house. In the summer we talk about keeping cool in the tiny house. As fall comes along and there are less opportunities to get outside or to throw open the windows we talk about cabin fever and how to find alone time in a tiny house. We talk about poop and toilet options (stink -vs- non stink). When winter shows it face we turn our minds to staying warm and choosing the right insulation. And the list certainly goes on. But in all of this I rarely see conversations that revolve around the things that need to be purchased for a tiny house that add up in price but oft get overlooked. Below is a list of 5 things I remember thinking “Oh yeah. We need that too.” about.
Stack Jacks – What interesting about stabilizer jacks is how few people know what they really are. They are most often confused with scissor jacks. While scissor jacks are welded or bolted to the corners of the tiny house frame they serve only to stabilize the frame’s level once you have actually leveled it. In other words, they help hold the frames position. They are not to be used to adjust the height of the tiny house frame at all. Stack jacks are pyramid shaped metal jacks that go on integral frame points (on the frame sides under the entrance area, beneath high traffic areas in the tiny house, etc) in order to help stabilize or secure the THOW frame. They steady the house so that when someone walks they can’t be measure on the Richter scale.
Leveling Blocks – Unless your THOW is seated on a concrete pad there is a large chance that over just a matter of days those scissor jacks and stack jacks will begin to settle and even bury themselves in the ground. As you can imagine this allows the THOW to become un-level and shaky. A good set of leveling stands (or even wood) gives more solid footing for keeping the jacks firm and doing their job.
Air Fresheners – Whether you choose to use something pre-packaged and perhaps toxic or you make your own with essential oils or natural herbs, air freshener is something you don’t usually hear about in relation to tiny houses. But when your total interior space is less than 300 sq.ft. there is a pretty good chance that body odor, dirty clothes, soiled shoes, prepared foods, pets, or a combination of any/all of those, will cause some unpleasant and unwanted smells. That being said, air fresheners are a must.
A Welcome Mat – Besides just being to roll it out for guests a welcome mat plays an important role in keeping your tiny house clean. It is especially helpful to get one that is somewhat abrasive or has a boot tray to it. This mat allows a place for you and your guests to set shoes when entering as well as to wipe feet so as to eliminate extra dirt and germs into your house. For extra caution put one outside the front door and just inside the living space.
Window Treatments – Natural light is so important to the tiny house. It allows fresh air flow. It allows for natural light and even gives an overall sense of more room to the space. But at night a window quickly becomes a public portal into your life. Outsiders can easily peer in while you can hardly see out. The issue here is that most tiny housers pride their build on the number of windows. That same number of windows means you need that many window treatments. Whether they are cheaper, aluminum blinds or expensive silken, roman shades, the window treatments should not be overlooked. (Not for naught but they also help control air temperature in all seasons)
What do you think a tiny house needs that we often overlook? Was this list obvious or did it give you pause in some way?