Our Tiny Cabin

tiny cabin

Michael and I knew that we wanted something smaller, but even more so, we knew that we wanted our own land. Michael was raised on cattle ranches down in Alabama and Mississippi. He has many head of cattle that he wants to bring up to where we currently live. We always talked about buying a place or building a place, but neither of us are machine inclined. So we knew that we were going to hire someone that could build our tiny cabin for us.

We bought a historic hundred and four-year-old cottage in the antique district also known as Goodlettsville about 20 minutes away from downtown Nashville three years ago. Previously we were in a one bedroom apartment so when we bought this cottage we felt like it was so much bigger being that it has three bedrooms. After living in it for a while we realize that three bedrooms were not necessary for us we actually use the master bedroom as a den and media room and we sleep in a smaller bedroom and then of course the third bedroom has been used as a guestroom and catchall.

cabin delivery

Mike and I have always talked about gardening cattle and having acreage someday. I came across Tiny House websites and blogs about a year ago online. Even though we knew we wanted to downsize Mike wasn’t too keen on the small tiny houses that were 6 x 6 on trailers from the get-go. However through the past year we’ve done a lot of research and decided on the size that could work for us.

garden

Mike and I garden extensively. The whole backyard is a working garden. We grow our own food and we know how to preserve. We also have kept hens for years. We had the Mennonites in Dickson Tennessee build us a rather nice-looking coop, and we exchange our vegetables and eggs with the neighbors in our community. What we can’t eat, freeze, or can we give to family, friends, and Church folk.

unfinished interior

We found a company up the road in Greenbrier Tennessee at the Amish general store that builds sheds and small cabins. The company is actually just over the state line in Kentucky. Their quality of work and customization options were second to none. As soon as I spotted what they call a “vinyl Quaker cabin,” I immediately talked to Mike and said I think I found the cabin we’ve been looking for! It is 288 sq ft, not including the sleeping loft. At 12 x 24 it was very easy to have it delivered.

interior

Depending on their order load, your cabin will be delivered within 4 to 6 weeks. Ours took about five weeks, because we had fully customized it. We have windows in the sleeping loft, double glass doors on the back that could lead out to a deck, and extra height added.

Our goal is to be off grid as much as we can be. We are choosing no electricity, plumbing, etc. We will use wind, solar, rain water, propane, kerosene, composting toilet, and wood. Keep more hens and grow our own food.

tiny cabin

We are excited about our journey and we know that this is the right fit for us, it may not be for everyone, but Mike and I knew that this was coming, even before it was in front of us.

We are excited to insulate the tiny cabin, put up some sort of wall materials such as bead board, and we received leftover hardwood flooring from some friends.

Our plan: within the next 12 to 18 months to be fully off the grid on our own homestead, growing our own food, and looking for alternative fuel options.

Our next venture is finding a good used tractor! 🙂

Shon & Mike
Goodlettsville, TN

tiny cabin

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Deedee - April 3, 2014 Reply

Thanks for sharing your very inspiring story. Your home is beautiful. My husband and I are on our way to downsizing and enjoying tiny house living. I wish you both the best.

Victoria - April 3, 2014 Reply

Shon and Mike, that is awesome! It is what I hope to achieve in the not too distant future! When I got divorced, I moved from a 2500sq ft farmhouse on 10 acres to a 1100 sq ft house on 1.4 acres on the city limits so I could be closer to work and still have some space for gardening and hens etc; I failed to pay close enough attention to the fact that being on my own and carrying a hefty mortgage wouldn’t leave me enough to buy the equipment I needed for a big veggie garden and building a chicken coop etc; (I ain’t a spring chicken myself!). I have been in the house 2½yrs and desperately want to downsize to something like you have on a piece of land that is large enough for me to grow my food and keep hens and possibly goats. I would love to be as off grid as possible too and not have to work like a demon just to pay a mortgage! Kudos to you both! Would you share the info about the Amish who built your cabin? I am in Asheville, NC and so getting something delivered to this area would be feasible when I am ready 🙂

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Thx for your post! We are so excited about our journey. The Ky Co is called Beiler’s Amish.

    Brenda - April 6, 2014 Reply

    I live approx. 52 miles North of Asheville in TN. There is a place over this way who build this small cottages. They are built by Mennonite craftsmen. You might be interested in driving over and looking at them. It would be easy to transport them to Asheville,NC. They are probably 20 miles off of I-26 at the Erwin, TN exit.

Devon in VT - April 3, 2014 Reply

Good for you! Would you care to share how much the customized shell cost you, and maybe how much you think the overall cost will be? Also, how’s the zoning folks down there – are they hard-nosed or open to tiny houses? Here in Vermont, it’s getting ugly:(

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Hello and Thank You! Codes/Zoning have been ok since we have no plans for plumbing and electricity connection. We stated we would have the cabin moved when we find acreage, so a one time lic cost us $43.

Kilby Hanna - April 3, 2014 Reply

Wow! You’re little cabin is so cute! I love the fan-shaped window above the door. And your garden is inspiring. Good luck to you both in your new house. I would love to see your home when your have it all finished.

caroline stilwell - April 3, 2014 Reply

Enjoyed looking at your tiny house and garden. Beautiful! My husband and I have a similiar house featured in “little house in the potato field” on the Tiny House blog. Ours was a shed built by an Amish company in Lancaster Pa and we modified, french doors etc. You did not include square footage and how you have designated areas on the inside. Are you living there full time? Caroline

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for your questions and kind words! It is 12×24, 288 sq ft not including the sleeping loft. We are currently looking for acreage, so for now its on the back lot of our current property. The kitchen and bathroom will be under the sleeping loft the rest will be living quarters!

Diana - April 3, 2014 Reply

LOVE this tiny home! I’m a KY girl myself and would love to know more about the place in KY that this building was acquired from. It’s my dream to one day be off grid or at least as much as possible.

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much for your post! We are close to yall up there! Buy your cabin from Beiler’s Amish! Base price starts around 4k. Goes up from there with custom plans & sq footage selection. Windows and taller walls extra$.

      E.J. Wilson - April 3, 2014 Reply

      Shon and Mike,

      Do you have a phone number or web site to share on the company you bought the shed from. I have found several but not in Tenn.

Marsha Cowan - April 3, 2014 Reply

So cool! Your home is beautiful already, from the little I have seen, and I admire that you know so much about gardening. Where I grew up, we used mules instead of tractors, and these days, hay and oats and vets probably cost no more than gasoline, oil, and machine mechanics. Just a thought. Oh, and by the way, mules are not stubborn, they are just more cautious than a horse, and if you treat a mule right, he will follow you anywhere and even protect you with his life. Our mules loved us and we had no trouble asking them to harness or work, and if ever they balked at doing something, we had the good sense to stop and look around to see what the problem was because our mules would not let us lead them into an unsafe situation. Well, I lived with the same mules on two different farms for about 20 years before I went off to college and became a “city dweller”, so I guess I am just partial.

connie - April 3, 2014 Reply

Thank you for sharing …I am so glad we have a site to share our small space stories! I bought a 624 sq. ft home a couple of years ago and still want smaller. I share the same goal of being off the grid. Less is definetly more. Thanks again!

Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

Thank you Mr. Griswold for sharing our story. Your platform is changing lives everywhere.

Happy to help in any way we can. We are very new to “Tiny”, but glad to share what we know so far.

Rebecca - April 3, 2014 Reply

I have been thinking about buildin, I already have 5 acres of mountain. I lived off grid in Texas on 14 acres with 660 square feet. Too hot for me without A/C.
I just found some Mennonite buildings here in NM that are well constructed and I am rethinking since finish out is easier and the fun part. Your story is inspiring.

Sally Broessel - April 3, 2014 Reply

How do you get a hold of the company that built your building?

Wendy - April 3, 2014 Reply

I hope you come back when you have the inside finished and it furnished so we can see how it turns out. It looks great.
What will you do for water? Sadly, where I live the cost of (city) water is so high it makes gardening a wash.
Did I miss somewhere how much the basic cabin cost?
Good luck with it and I like the idea of the mule too! 🙂

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Oh thank you so much! We catch rain water. Also, read other replys for price info. Purs starts at 4k!

Robin Irvine - April 3, 2014 Reply

Will you share the contact information for the company that build your Tiny House? It looks like this would be a great house for us, too!

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Hello Robin, all the info is posted in the other replys, just em out! 270-874-4577 Beiler’s Amish Ky Co.

Annette - April 3, 2014 Reply

Very cute little house. I have no idea how to put the stuff in the house so you could live in it. You know kitchen, bathroom, bedroom ( no loft sleeping) Are there any ideas on this?

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Hello and thank you for your comment. We had a sleeping loft added to our cabin so that gives you a ceiling base to add in wall units, 4xfours and bead board etc. See pic, under our loft we are going to have an ex-Amish gentleman who is a friend of ours put in an area for the bathroom & shower & kitchen area, the rest will be living area. Unlimited possibilities!

Susan - April 3, 2014 Reply

Thanks for sharing your lovely little house. My husband and I live in CO. We want to retire in the Asheville area in a few yrs and we want a small home. I have thought about an Amish build…worth looking into. Hope you will post pictures of the finished product. Your garden is beautiful keep up the good work!

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words! We enjoy gardening! We always have! Also like preserving our food, and sharing it with the people around us!

Shelley Noble - April 3, 2014 Reply

I’m totally confused, you bought the 104 year old cottage and moved it to your own land and then also had a custom “vinyl Quaker cabin” made?

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Lol no, just maybe re-read the story above again.

    We own a very old cottage now. Not sure if we will sell it or rent it out. So charming, but just too big for us. We wanted to down size and thought we found land, but our choice of land fell thru. So we had the cabin delivered to the back lot of our current property till we find the acreage of our dreams.

Tonita - April 3, 2014 Reply

What a charming little home. I can see how excited you are about your new down sized life and for good reason. I like the color choices of your exterior. Many blessings in the years to come to the both of you.

Tonita

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much Tonita! That was the sweetest comment yet. We appreciate you and blessings to you and yours as well. there’s nothing better than living in the Tiny home of your dreams, growing your own food, and living off the grid, and that’s what we’re pursuing!

    We are so overwhelmed by most of these comments! We didn’t think anyone would be interested, since we haven’t even started the interior! Guess we were wrong lol…..and we sure are glad that we have such a remarkable community to wish us well!

Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

Wow, Look what I found!

Check it out all yall!

Beiler’s log cabins:

http://portablebuildingshopkinsville.com

dawn - April 3, 2014 Reply

I love your home! may I ask how big it is and make a plan or show more inside. I would love to know were bedroom, bathroom and kitchen Is at. just beautiful,
thank,
Dawn

    Shon and Mike - April 3, 2014 Reply

    Hi Dawn!

    Thanks for your questions and kind words! It is 12×24, 288 sq ft not including the sleeping loft. We are currently looking for acreage, so for now its on the back lot of our current property. The kitchen and bathroom will be under the sleeping loft, the rest will be living quarters! We had a sleeping loft added to our cabin so that gives you a ceiling base to add in wall units, 4xfours and bead board etc. See pics, under our loft we are going to have an ex-Amish gentleman who is a friend of ours put in an area for the bathroom & shower & kitchen area, the rest will be living area. Unlimited possibilities!

Shell - April 4, 2014 Reply

You’re story is very inspiring. I have a dream to live simple, small place, off the grid as possible, have the garden, chickens, etc. too. Stories like these help me remember it can really happen. Thanks for posting this. : )

Namaste

    Shon & Mike - April 5, 2014 Reply

    Thx Shell! Don’t ever give up, you’ll get there! Thx for the kind words!

Shon Mike - April 5, 2014 Reply

Thx Shell! Don’t ever give up, you’ll get it all! Set up a “Vision Board”!!! Thx again for the kind words!

Sette Design - April 6, 2014 Reply

I love your story and wish you luck on your journey. I live in a big Gothic Apartment in Italy and am thinking dreaming to downsize to a tall tiny house.
Cheers

Candi Soll - April 12, 2014 Reply

What do you think about Maine winters ! Any chance ?

Deimos Apex - April 29, 2014 Reply

I was wondering what the ballpark cost of a unit like this one ran. It is a very neat little home! I only ask because I am up in the pacific NW so I think shipping something like this so far may not be very cost effective.. Any info would help! Thanks 🙂

Shon Mike - May 2, 2014 Reply

Plans start at $4k, plus add ons. See my prior replys above. Shipping is free up to 30 miles, after that cha ching$$$.

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