March 14, 2013

Warren’s Tiny House

original home

by Warren Wood

I acquired a half acre of land in Taos, NM in 1976. I bought a pickup truck full of reject 2×4’s from a lumber mill and culled out enough usable ones to frame out my 8×14 home. In those days, in that area, there were no worries about permits.

I hauled water in 5 gallon jerry cans, used kerosene lanterns for light, and a tiny “tin lizzy” to keep the place warm in the winter. The kitchen sink had a 5 gallon bucket directly underneath to collect grey water, which I used to “water the sagebrush.” Being young and a product of the ’60’s, I lived contentedly like that for 4 years.

completed home

I then made some additions, transforming the cabin into a galley kitchen [with a heavy kerosene powered refrigerator]. I now slept in a low ceilinged loft, later came a bedroom and proper bath. Utilities had been installed by this time. The house is located at the far end of a dead end road and I still have a good amount of space surrounding the property.

PS: I would be happy to answer any questions if anyone is interested.

Warren Wood

completed home #2

RV cover

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Marcy - March 14, 2013 Reply

Hello!! I love how your home has evolved over the years. Your homesite is lovely as well, nice addition of trees. We’re down near Las Cruces.

Gary in Bama - March 14, 2013 Reply

Nice little set up did you manage to expand it with out any debt? Iknow utilities are nice but do you miss the days of it being off grid?

    Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

    Gary, those were the “good ol’ days” and I loved the fact I had no rent or bills other than gas for my pickup. Winters were a bit inconvenient, but I was in my 20’s. I managed the additions by not trying to do everything at once and keep the expenditure low key.my folks helped out a bit with some loans,but no bank loans.

Michael - March 14, 2013 Reply

Warren, very nice. I like how what was once new now looks like it has been there forever. The trees you planted in the late 70’s really make your home look anchored to the landscape. I see you have some neighbors now, I hope you can still keep your privacy and solitude. Do the coyotes still sing at night?

    Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

    Micheal,yes! Coyotes are still sneaking around and singing. always a delight that makes one pause and listen.Great present moment reminders.

steve - March 14, 2013 Reply

Nice way of sticking with a project and growing your skills to create a good looking small home. You can see in the photo of the trailer Shed that you have become an accomplished carpenter.

    Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

    Steve,Thanks for the comments. In all honesty,I had help laying out the roof with the help of “real” carpenter,and became The helper in this scenario. The original house was.a solo effort. The trailer roof is now finished, with a deck and a latilla fence making a small yard space.

MJ - March 15, 2013 Reply

Sticking with a good thing and growing it too. Good on you!

Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

MJ,Thank You! I was very fortunate the way things worked out and evolved. There’s no place like home.

Leslie - March 16, 2013 Reply

Nice work Warren! looks great! I too am a product of the 60’s & me & my husband(at the time) “homesteaded ” in British Columbia” building our own barn(lived in it for 3 years), than another barn & finally a log house(no power tools whatsoever, only a chainsaw & our own “human power”) – lived without running water or electricity for 12 years – really miss those days of kerosene lamps, washboards, wood cookstoves, etc. The evolution in the appearance of your work from start to finish is great!

    Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

    Leslie,two barns and a log cabin in BC.A lot of work but sounds very rewarding,especially without power tools. good memories. thanks for the compliments!

Sandra Allen - March 16, 2013 Reply

I love the evolution. I was hoping for some inside shots. Care to share those sometime? Sandi

Warren - March 16, 2013 Reply

Hey there Sandi, I have some interior pictures in an album somewhere but nothing in digital format to include in the post. The bath is spacious with sliding glass doors facing Taos Mtn. The bedroom is roomy too, but I skimped on closet space,

Chris - March 16, 2013 Reply

I love it! And, what beautiful surroundings.

Pierre - March 16, 2013 Reply

Hey !!
Warren’s house is so nice !
And he made all by his hands !

M’bbbbbbbrrrrrrrraaaaaaavvvvvvooooooo !!!

Pierre
Belgium

Jimmy Behan - March 16, 2013 Reply

If you don’t mind me asking – do you recall what you paid for half an acre in Taos, in 1976? Would be interesting to compare to prices nowadays, just curious….thanks!

Christine Ferguson - March 17, 2013 Reply

Motor caravan under a wooden canopy : so sensible, so flexible; so well camouflaged!Full marks!

    Warren - March 18, 2013 Reply

    Thank you Christine, It. Would be difficult to get the trailer out from under,I made a pretty tight fit and the porch is there now too,but it could be done.
    I my try a separate post on the evolution of the trailer project.Thanks for the “full marks”!

Shell - March 17, 2013 Reply

Wow, thanks for your story and pictures. Very inspiring. I dream of living simple like that someday. Namaste

Sami Noor - March 18, 2013 Reply

I own a lot in LA county, and want to build a TH
on it.
How do I draw permits, etc.? Do oyu someone in LA, who could build the house for me?
Your help will be appreciated.

Thanks

Sam

    Warren - March 18, 2013 Reply

    Sorry,I don’t know anything about LA permits. Maybe call the county clerk to get some guidance and directions. You will need clear drawings of what you want to build and have them approved by an official. If possible and have the time and possibility of actually building it yourself,that would give you a wonderfull life experience and feeling of accomplishment. You can always find help from a carpenter if you need help. Utilitys like electric are best left to a liscenced professional. It will all be inspected by a building inspected when finished.

B J Fisher - March 18, 2013 Reply

Warren, you are one smart guy! I love what you have done and the evolution of the site, also.
Looks like a great place to live and you have
built up a lot of equity with your labour.

ru - March 29, 2013 Reply

it’s so cold up taos way nights sand winters. what did you/ do for heat?

Alexis - May 6, 2013 Reply

Hi Warren, your place looks amazing! My husband & I have been debating property in or near Taos to live similarly. I spent quite a bit of the 90’s off grid on the other side of the gorge. I hear it has gotten a bit hairy out that way but that is probably just that particular “neighborhood”. Have they started enforcing codes? Can you still build yourself & small? I still firmly believe that the southwest is best for all of the days of sun. Taos (Taos county, Carson, Ojo Calliente ext…) is so full of amazing people I fear that if I do not purchase land soon I will not be able to fulfill my dream. Do you have any advice?

Warren Wood - January 12, 2014 Reply

Alexis,apologies for not seeing your question. I have not looked at Tiny House Blog for a while. The “two peaks” area on the north side of the Taos Gorge is basically the same. Definitely would need a 4 wheel dive in my opinion for any winter dirt roads. Carson would be worth looking into. There is a post office and small grocery store there . As far as I know you can build yourself, for yourself. From my hind site; don’t under build,and provide for closets and storage. The rim road from the gorge bridge to Carson is now paved,but you can still go through the gorge and Pilar to get to Taos. Hope you get this comment. Cheers.

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