Bill Brooks Tiny Solar House Part 2 - Tiny House Blog

Bill Brooks Tiny Solar House Part 2

Here is part two of Bill Brooks tiny solar house. You can view part one here. I know I left you hanging in the last video as we were getting ready to step inside the house. It just seemed like a good place to break and than move on to the next stage.

In this video, Bill shows us the kitchen, his propane heater, water storage and some of the plumbing that was involved. There are lots of little details that go unnoticed because they are hidden and this helps give you an idea about the work involved.

Again, I am learning and the video is proof of that. I am getting a little faster at pulling them together so in the next post you will probably see 2 or 3 videos. Youtube limits the length so I am trying to give you over an hours worth of video in little sections so you can get the full picture.

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SoPasCat - February 9, 2011 Reply

Looks like a family of 4 can live in the trailer – it’s pretty big.

~~~ Where’s the refrigarator ?

~~~ What does the bathroom look like ?

    Kent Griswold - February 9, 2011 Reply

    Refrigerator and bathroom and shower coming in next video. Putting it together right now 🙂

Bill - February 9, 2011 Reply

Kent, it looks like you are getting pretty good at video editing.

Kay in KCMO - February 9, 2011 Reply

A couple of things: The bar sink seems woefully inadequate by virtue of its shear tininess; will a 10″ dinner plate even fit? What about a medium-sized pot? Also, having the heater positioned so it’s facing the end of the kitchen cabinets would seem to limit the circulation of hot air.

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    This sink will be too small to wash dishes in. Instead, I plan to use a couple of dish pans, one to wash and one to rinse in. The sink is mainly to get water, wash hands and act as a drain.

    The heater was placed on the back, because of its large vent outside. That would have been too big to place on the side, since the trailer is just under the 8.5 foot width mark as it is. The heater has no fan, so the heat will just rise up. With such a small interior, it is not too hard to heat the place up.

    Right now I have an oil filled radiator inside, and it only takes a few minutes to heat the place up to a comfortable level to work in. In other colder climates, this would take awhile longer. But it should work just fine.

    Also, using the stove/oven will warm things up too. Baking a loaf of bread might result in opening a few windows just to keep the temp down except in colder climates.

Margaret - February 9, 2011 Reply

Another cliffhanger. So cruel! It’s torture.

Jay Creighton - February 9, 2011 Reply

This is exciting. I’ve been watching Bill’s progress since last summer, and it has come quite a long way since then. I recently commented to him that if there were awards for storage space and useable countertop area, he’d take top honors in the tiny house category. Man does he have storage, and you haven’t even come close to seeing it all yet. It’s impressive. I also like the under-cabinet electrical chase. What I hadn’t seen “til now is the propane and battery storage compartments… I absolutely LOVE that solution. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this with us Bill, and thank you Kent for making this extensive and detailed documentary. It provides a lot of insight and I’m sure it will inspire many people. Great job!

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement Jay. There were a lot of trade offs in building the trailer. However, since I planned to travel a bit, storage was critical. The trailer had to be self contained and able to hold everything I needed. So, living space was sacrificed for the storage space. If I was moving the trailer to one spot to stay, I would have left more open space inside and built additional storage space where it was parked.

    The propane and battery compartment is insulated to take the colder weather. Placing them on the trailer tongue is basically the only way to have the connections without using up interior space. Plus, the compartments need to be vented for avoid buildup of fumes. The outside compartment allows for venting, without bleeding off the interior heat.

Grant - February 9, 2011 Reply

it would help everyone building a tiny house if they actually studied RV construction, boat construction , as they are in the business for best use of space and appliances .plumbing ,ac/dc distribution..

Craig Cianci - February 10, 2011 Reply

Why did you put the water tanks inside the unit and not under the trailer like an RV?

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    I put the freshwater tanks inside, as I am planning to go to colder places. Hopefully this will prevent them from freezing so I can have water. The grey water tank is under the trailer, so there is a possibility it will freeze up. I can add a little RV antifreeze to the tank to help prevent that. I can also wrap up the pipes as well.

liz - February 10, 2011 Reply

I cant wait to see the rest! He really is good at describing what he has done and why.
I agree with the person who said that we should all study RVs and boats, vardos too. People have been working on the problem of how to fit every thing in a small movable space for centuries, why reinvent the wheel?
That comment is not in reference to this guy or his work, which seem well thought out, just in general.
Looking forward to the next installment.

Anne - February 11, 2011 Reply

Bill, amazing stuff! Loving the patio idea (brilliant), large windows and separate area for electrics, etc.

I suspect the dislike of full tongue and groove has much to do with it being too ‘busy’ for a small space… Your white and pine gives rest for the eyes while still remaining somewhat rustic. I like. A lot. Thanks for sharing.

    Bill - February 16, 2011 Reply

    I am not sure if it is the look, the weight, the cost, or the amount of work to install that turns off a lot of people from the T&G siding. Probably some combination of all. I like the look, but the other factors weighed in more heavily for me.

    The patio idea is mainly to save trailer space for where it is needed inside. While the porch looks good on the tiny houses, I could not justify giving up that much space. My trailer would only allow 128 square feet as it was, giving up 9+ square feet for a porch seemed to be wasteful.

    Now I just need to come up with a nice design for the porch.

dave peters - May 24, 2011 Reply

the biggest mistake you can make in a “small house” is designing in hall ways. total waste of space. the japanese have the right idea.
one space with sliding doors of paper.
d

Dawn Burton - March 10, 2013 Reply

Is there a video of it totally finished?

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