Elaine’s Lusby Update

Elaine who built a Tumbleweed Lusby designed by Jay Shafer awhile back and had originally put it up for sale, later decided to keep it and live in it. Here is an update on life in her little house.

I’ve moved into my tiny house. I love the house. It’s very well constructed. The wind here in the Delta is so strong that at first I was afraid that even though it had survived being towed from the east to west coast, it might come unhinged by the wind. It hasn’t. It’s solid, quiet and a tranquil shelter from the strong gusts.

The cats venture out when the air is calm, but stay in when it’s blustery. We negotiate seating. I have two cats and two dogs and all five of us prefer sitting on a chair or soft spot up off the hardwood floor. Misty, my elegant female cat, claims the cushiest chair when she’s home, and I sit on a small triangular wooden stool that I brought back from India.

Smokey, my big, brave, athletic hunter, leaps from the kitchen to the loft and sleeps on my bed. The dogs, Becky and Jenny, sleep on pet beds or the toddler sofa from Toys ‘R Us. There is just enough room for all of us, but we have to think before we move – there is apt to be someone or something else in the spot we’re moving toward. We have all the comforts of a traditional house: electricity, heat, hot water, air conditioning, toilet, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, satellite TV and internet. Things I don’t need for day-to-day living are in a storage unit in town. I’m renting the land I’m living on. It’s farm land – open, flat, spacious, so much better than an apartment.


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Christina Nellemann - June 16, 2010 Reply

What a pretty little place. Thank you Elaine for giving us a personal story of living in a tiny house. Beautiful stained glass windows too. Where did you get them?

    Elaine - June 16, 2010 Reply

    Thanks Christina! I got the stained glass from eBay, my favorite place to shop!

LeeAnn Balbirona - June 16, 2010 Reply

I really like this update…so nice to see how tiny house living is working out over the long term. Can I ask, what is the hot plate and microwave sitting on top of? Do you find it awkward to cook with that set up? I think your little fenced yards for the dogs is a great idea. Looks very homey!

    Elaine - June 16, 2010 Reply

    Thanks LeeAnn, yes it is homey! The hot plate and microwave are sitting on a stainless steel table that I had built to support a wood stove. Unfortunately, on this land the best spot for my house is right under a tree, so I’m not using the wood stove. No, it’s not awkward. My “kitchen” takes up a large portion of the house, but I like that.

Tim - June 16, 2010 Reply

I love hearing about people living in their homes and their day to day lives in them, hope to see more info on people making new lives for themselfs in their tiny homes in the future!

Matt - June 16, 2010 Reply

…looks like you have all the space you need, right outside your door!

Well done. I assume you were able to sell the house???

    Elaine - June 16, 2010 Reply

    Not yet, Matt. I’m renting out my big house. The real estate market is still depressed in my neighborhood.

Alex - June 16, 2010 Reply

This is a new favorite post. Thanks Elaine for letting us have a peak at what it is like. Did you use dry wall on the inside?

Elaine - June 16, 2010 Reply

You’re welcome, Alex! I did use dry wall. When I had it built, I didn’t expect to move it 3,000 miles. I was lucky that it didn’t crack.

    Alex - June 17, 2010 Reply

    That is exactly what I was wondering. I’m also glad it didn’t crack on you 🙂

Carol - June 16, 2010 Reply

I love your house! Love your fencing system too! Where did you get it from? Is it just pegged into the ground or staked? It is not permanent though is it?

Cheryl - June 17, 2010 Reply

I like this very much. Have 2 cats and dogs too so can relate. We are renting a room until we finally go to our home later. looking for something to put on the place that tight budget allows.
The delta…Sacramento? I lived in N CA a long time and know the north wind well.
The stained glass window and fencing great.

Laura - June 17, 2010 Reply

Thank you, Elaine, for sharing your a little about your life in your tiny house. My husband and I are currently working on a Tumbleweed house (the Tarleton) and it is encouraging to see one finished and lived in.

Corby - June 17, 2010 Reply

It’s great to see a story about a tiny home in use. The images help me, at least, to see how I could thrive in a smaller space. I’ve always lived in less than 400 square feet; to make the transition to something more compact will require additional rethinking on my part.

On a completely different matter… How’d the cat in picture #6 get such a great job? I’m envious!

Peg - June 17, 2010 Reply

What a sweet little piece of heaven. You have done such an admirable job of defining and creating just what you need to make yourself (and those lucky kitties and dogs) happy. Delightful! Wondering – how does the toilet work?

    Elaine - June 18, 2010 Reply

    Hi Peg, the toilet is hooked up to my landlord’s septic system, so it works like a traditional toilet. It’s just smaller. It’s made for a day care. Fortunately, I’m only 5’3″ and 115 pounds, so it’s fine for me.

      Elaine - June 18, 2010 Reply

      And it’s not a toilet/sink combo like Eric suggests below. I just took the photo at a odd angle. They’re completely separate.

    Debra LeCompte - July 29, 2012 Reply

    One of the solutions that exists for toilets is the composting type, Sun Mar makes the best I think. My husband and I run a little retreat for the military, (he was in for 30 years,) and we have 3 little prefab storage buildings on our property. We use a common shower/bath facility, but it could easily be installed in each cabin. I love our little cabins, and they are easily livable. The little 10X20 has a king size bed, electric fire place, window unit air-conditioning unit, loft with two twin beds. 4 foot covered porch, under the bed clothing storage, and a tiny kitchen with a double hotplate, microwave, frig, and 5 gallon water dispenser with hot, cold, and warm water. I also have a little galvanized tub hanging on the wall that can be utilized for a tub bath! I remember taking a bath in my Aunt’s kitchen in a galvanized tub as a little girl.
    There is a 4 foot porch, 3 windows,and a little table and chairs. I have been interested in what it would take to install a solar panel to power the electrical. I love going down and spending the night in the little cabins, even though we have a 2700 square foot home with a 1100 square foot wrap around porch!

Carolyn MVaussies - June 18, 2010 Reply

Very Pretty. I really LOVED seeing this! & with all the pets! I owe 4 full sized Aussies! I too have been trying to sell a Brand new spec house. I had planned on renting the house I’m in along & waiting this market out. And have now started work on my own very ODD version Tiny House Trailer. WAY different than what been seen here.
Because of NOT selling anything, & owning out right a 31′ 2004 Travel Trailer(what I lived in with my dogs for over a year while building, as who would rent to someone with then 5 aussies!), that had a bad roof leak, so now almost worthless.
As mine will be built Gutting the Trailer right down to the 10+K GVWR trailer, & rebuilding in wood, & using most of the appliances & so “somewhat” the same foot print(Sleeping downstairs), Except I’m squeezing in an real “Office”, rainwater collection, some solar, V-nose, etc.
Loved to hear their are people willing to rent space to responsible pet owners.

    Elaine - June 18, 2010 Reply

    Good luck, Carolyn! Post pictures of your “odd” tiny house if you can. I’d love to see them.

Eric - June 18, 2010 Reply

Elaine, I think the bathroom is great. I’m building a tiny home and was wondering the best way to accommodate a sink without taking up a lot of space. Where do you find the toilet/sink combo? I’m also curious what the shower size is and where you purchased it. You have great house. Smart move!


    Elaine - June 18, 2010 Reply

    Thanks Eric, It’s not a toilet/sink combo, though. They’re completely separate, installed next to one another. I just took the photo at an odd angle. I special ordered the shower from product sheets at a local lumber/building supply place. I’m not sure of the exact measurements. It was the only one short enough. It probably would be pretty simple to get a taller one and have it cut down a couple of inches, though.

Deek - June 20, 2010 Reply

great stained glass (?) window in the front- very nice…


Norma - June 20, 2010 Reply

Just out of curiosity what kind of mileage did you get when you were moving it? I’m getting ready to make a similar journey with a similar home, roof is a little different, and am wondering how it affected your gas mileage? What did you pull it with?

Elaine - June 20, 2010 Reply

Sorry Norma, I don’t know. I hired a professional to move it.

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