Unique Floating Tiny Home Lifestyle
Sarah and Brandon are a North Carolina-based couple living with their dog Iko in an off-grid floating cabin on Lake Fontana in the Great Smoky Mountains.
They live fully off-grid with no cell service and they are only accessible by boat. They bought and fully renovated their 225-square-foot tiny home on floats about a year and a half ago and have been living on it full time ever since.
Open Floor Plan
It is an open floor plan without any doors inside. It’s all pretty continuous with a couple of dividing walls between the bedroom area and the bathroom area.
They do most of our living in a general area of the living room /kitchenette/breakfast room. Then back behind that is our little bed nook area and then back behind that is the bathroom.
The house itself, it’s anchored just like any boat that would be a little mooring. They are tied to the bank in the back of the house. And they adjust the boat forward and backward. Our lake drops 65 feet a year. So it’s a constant battle with the up and down.
Rent cost them about $1,800 a year which is essentially a mooring fee.
To get groceries and other essentials they jump into a dinghy and motor over to the marina. It’s approximately a quarter mile away and is one of their biggest logistical headaches living on the floating cabin.
Toilet and Gray Water Pumped
For a toilet, they use a macerating toilet that’s a for a vessel, and it grinds it all up, and it goes into a holding tank. Same with the gray water, they use water-saving shower heads, water saving sinks. That way they’re not piling up a bunch of grey water in their holding tank. The tank is emptied by a vessel that comes and pumps it out as needed.
Purchased Sight Unseen
Sarah and Brandon bought the house sight unseen and they had to do quite a bit of renovation. If you are lucky enough to find one of these they sell in about 10 seconds. So if you want one you purchase it ASAP.
They spent three months renovating it working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Working from daylight till dark.
The house is actually a 1975 home-built boat. Only 28 feet long. They pay around $100 a year on taxes for the floating cabin.
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In This Episode:
- How the floating house is set up
- What happens during storms?
- Legal requirements unique to floating homes
- Rent and utility costs
- The biggest logistical headache of this lifestyle
- How they deal with gray water and sewage
- Positive changes that came from their lifestyle
Links and Resources:
There is a 10,000-pound block holding the house in place, along with the two lines to shore
2 spacious decks and a covered porch allow them to live mostly outside
They bought the cabin sight unseen
And had to remodel the entire thing
Now it’s a beautiful off-grid floating home
Sarah and Brandon did renovations on weekends for months!
Iko is very happy with her life on the water, too
Lake Fontana is in The Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina
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