Tiny House “Cooking Show”?

bungalow to go

You may remember Pepper Clark from our posts about her work on the Towhee or the Priya. Though she’s honored and excited to work for Tumbleweed Tiny House Company teaching workshops, she and Dylan Pankow are still bringing their unique skillset to the community with a new project from Bungalow to Go. After hearing many requests for it from tiny house fans, they’re planning to launch a live building education experience and they’re looking for feedback from the community.

Their idea is to present the sequential process of building a tiny house live, in person, in a similar format to cooking shows. First they would show you the materials involved and discuss terminology and theory. You’d watch the crew set up and perform some of the work in front of you, then see the project in a half completed state. Each section would wrap with up a Q&A session. It would be a seven day series, with a day devoted to each of the major segments of the building process. Attendees could sign up for individual days, or take the entire series at a lower daily rate.

Their questions are:

  • Would you be interested in taking this workshop?
  • If not, what format would you like to see?
  • If yes, which parts of the building process would you be most interested in seeing?
  • How far would you be willing to travel for this experience?

Because of insurance costs, having guests participate hands on makes this kind of event much more challenging and expensive. Would it be more compelling if there were some parts you physically did yourself, even if it only involved hand tools?

Pepper and Dylan want to serve up the best possible learning experience, and would be grateful to hear answers to these questions or any other input or ideas you may have.



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RAT - May 7, 2013 Reply

1. Yes, I would be interested.
2. I would buy a DVD how-to if available and reasonably priced ($20-$50).
3. All, but mostly Trailer selection, roof construction, plumbing/electrical, and considerations about where to park it (site selection and zoning considerations)
4. Within my state… western Montana preferred.

Rob Weiss - May 8, 2013 Reply

The people I have talked to ( and myself ) would like attend a FULL live building education experience. 1.Buy a Tumbleweed Trailer. 2. Show up to “Tumbleweed Live Building Education Camp”. 3. Tow home an enclosed shell that is Wired, Plumbed.

Some obvious factors: Near Tumbleweed Trailer MFG, must be dry weather. How much time is needed for camp..people work at different speeds and have different talents….etc.

alice h - May 8, 2013 Reply

Not directly related but my 9 year old granddaughter is attending a 12 week architecture course for kids 6-12 at a local art centre. The course description is “Plan, design and build structures while learning about scale, space, form and function. Use drawings and model-making to explore the relationship between people, habitats and the environment.” There’s a lot of kids signed up, it’s a great place to start.

    Patty - May 31, 2014 Reply

    That’s a great idea for kids! I would have loved to attend something like that. Maybe some future designers will come out of it.

Tracy G - May 9, 2013 Reply

I would definitely be interested. Could they also do this live via the web so it could be viewed from anywhere? Obviously that eliminates the hands-on part, but there is still the opportunity for live Q&A. Like RAT, I would also buy a DVD if it were reasonably priced. I would LOVE to see someone spend some time talking about building for cold climates! But I’m interested in the whole process. I live in Western WI and would be willing to travel within WI or MN. It would be nice to be able to go home every day and save the lodging costs, but would also consider travelling farther if camping was an option.

Tracy G - May 9, 2013 Reply

Other ideas for topics: I’m planning to build a small house that can be off the grid, so a discussion of those options would also be great. For instance, where to store a battery bank for solar electricity, which needs to be both insulated and ventilated, without taking up significant space from the living area? And have solar hot water systems been miniaturized for little houses? And would love to hear about the best appliances, RV systems people are using in little houses, etc.

    RAT - May 9, 2013 Reply

    You’ve expanded this a bit… but I’m really interested in off grid! A workshop just on off grid power would be great. Not just a presentation with a speaker, but a real hands-on where you open packages and install a system from the ground up.

    Regarding building for cold climates… check out the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. They have a cold climate research center with a series of home tours posted online that discuss off grid power, water heating, and insulation examples.

Andrew - May 9, 2013 Reply

I really like the cooking show analogy and I think many of us would like to see exactly that type of instruction. Like others, I would probably benefit most from a participatory workshop where we have access to tools. However, the inevitably high cost of such a workshop would make it less attractive to me. When you throw in travel costs and schedules, it adds another level of costs and complexity and ultimately limits your available audience. Either instead of or in addition to hands-on workshops, you might consider online “webinars” that feature a different aspect of the build process each week and still allow for Q&A. If done properly these could be very effective! These webinars would provide flexibility for attendees who might not have the time or money to attend a hands-on workshop. Maybe we pay to access online resources (videos, links, articles, etc.) and the weekly or monthly webinars are included in the package.

Mary - May 11, 2013 Reply

Would you be interested in taking this workshop?
— Yes
If not, what format would you like to see?
— If the workshop is far away, I would really love a video or something like that.
If yes, which parts of the building process would you be most interested in seeing?
— I would like to know about the materials, terminology and theory especially though everything would, of course, be preferable.
How far would you be willing to travel for this experience?
— I may be willing to travel up to 4-5 hours for such a thing. I would like it to be somewhere near my home state of Arkansas.

As for hands-on experience, that would be nice, but I’d go even if I just watched.

maranke@xs4all.nl - May 11, 2013 Reply

I would like a online course. I live in the Netherlands, traveling to you would not be very sustainable…

Navya - May 11, 2013 Reply

I am interested and in New Mexico. And have a 95 lb dog want to see if we could fit in one together with a doggie door for him.

Robert - May 11, 2013 Reply

I too, really like the idea of a well crafted muti-set DVD (with a information backup website). The workshops look great but, once again these destinations add time and money. (and who remembers everything.)

Robert Tombs - May 11, 2013 Reply

Would love the tumbleweed specific training. How to tie into the trailer frame, plumbing connection challenges shared with park model trailers, tip-outs and slide-outs, etc.

Lets face it, for general construction skills and techniques, my local community college, like most, has those classes listed under continuing education!

    Robert Tombs - May 11, 2013 Reply

    PS: They can also provide great local advice on off-grid power sources. For example, out here in Western Texas we are all about solar. Mi cousins in Michigan, not so much, as they have clouds in their skies.

Harry Symonds - May 11, 2013 Reply

As much as I would like to attend a hands on class, I live in Tualatin and travel to Sonoma for a class would not be possible. I have a large shed that I want to insulate, add windows to etc. A DVD set would be the best way to go for me.

Rebecca - May 12, 2013 Reply

Any workshops would be great to see in KY either Louisville or Lexington.

Anna - May 14, 2013 Reply

I would very interested in a workshop like this where each stage is broken. Online videos or a DVD would be fantastic as I am in New Zealand but I would still seriously consider going if my funds increased dramatically!

RAT - May 14, 2013 Reply

Here’s an idea… maybe it’s already been done… but I haven’t checked…

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company can produce a multi-part DVD set detailing construction of one of their plans step-by-step from start to finish. It could be purchased separately, or at a reduced price if purchased with a set of plans.

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