Another of my jobs (besides writing for the Tiny House Blog) is taking care of my elderly mother’s five acres, located in the high mountain desert of Nevada. The property consists of a 2,000 square foot house, a large yard with hundreds of trees, a barn and a tiny house located at the back of the property.
The house was built in the 1980s as a guesthouse and has been used for numerous guests and visiting family members. It is 12 feet by 8 feet, single story, on a cement slab foundation, insulated, and has electricity and a wall mounted heating unit. The interior is a single room with a tile floor, three windows that look out on the nearby Tahoe Range and the garden and skylights that face south. The ceiling has charming rafters and is decorated with items from my mother’s native Denmark and Sweden.
However, the house does not have a kitchen or a bathroom. I’ve made it my Spring plan to add a bathroom onto the house, add a small kitchen unit and include more storage options and multi-purpose furniture. Future additions may be a back deck and a front cement slab and some landscaping. If the house is remodeled in time, it may be rented out to our neighbor’s elderly mother. She will then be closer to her daughter and can be around when my mother is home alone.
I thought I would get the Tiny House Blog community’s input on what they would do if handed this little challenge. The house does have room to extend out to the south, access to water is nearby and there is enough space behind the house to add a septic system if needed.
Here are some ideas that have been tossed around:
- a composting toilet can be added to save water and nix the necessity of septic
- greywater from the shower and sink can be used to water the garden
- a Yestertec kitchen unit, or something similar that runs on electricity, can be installed
- functional furniture such as the IKEA Norden table and the Hagalund sofa can be used
I have been consulting the book, In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House into Two Homes by Michael Litchfieild, on issues on dealing with contractors, inspectors and permits. In addition, I would love to get our reader’s suggestions on what other issues I should be thinking about before beginning the project.
Photos courtesy of Christina Nellemann