Elizabeth Turnbull Update - Tiny House Blog

Elizabeth Turnbull Update

A few readers have asked for an update on Elizabeth Turnbull to see if she found a place to park her home and if she completed it. Visit the original post Elizabeth Turnbulls Tiny House here. I wrote to her and here is Elizabeth’s update.

I am happily settled in New Haven, though my host has requested I keep the site address private.  They are generously hosting me, so I am happy to honor this! School is great and I have attached a couple of the latest photos for you.

Turnbull's Tiny House

Elizabeth Turnbull
Masters Candidate
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Interior of Turnbull's House

Interior of Turnbull's House

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to our feed

Join Our eMail List and download the Tiny House Directory

Simply enter your name and email below to learn more about tiny houses and stay up to date with the movement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Mary - November 12, 2008 Reply

Been a while since she updated the blog, so wondered how things had turned out. Imagine she’s very busy getting settled into her new home and her studies.

Really like how she located her desk and storage area under the loft. Nice little place.

    Mary - December 31, 2012 Reply

    Mary, I saw your post before I saw the picture. I thought it was designed so the DESK TOP could be used as a step landing for the loft. I have seen a couple of houses where there was a place to stand next to the loft area and I thought it was nice because you can STAND UP while making the bed and not worry about falling off a ladder.

Ekistic - January 15, 2009 Reply

Looks neat as a pin and love the blue curtains. Looks like home!

Lauren Neher - January 30, 2009 Reply

Nice place, great job. Looks like they simplified things greatly using a shed roof, giving the loft much more usable space than the standard peaked roof. Is there more interior photos and a floor plan posted anywhere ?

Donna F - February 16, 2009 Reply

Nice job! I especially LOVE the ladder. This was mostly free, no doubt, just the cost of the fasteners. What did you use to hold the pieces together? You’re so very clever and this ladder proves it!

I would love to see how your kitchen turned out, and your bathroom, too!

Thanks! And happy studying!

mark - May 24, 2009 Reply

I like your little house. Small homes magazine a few hears ago had a small story on these types of homes. New England winter evenings are pretty cold. How do you heat it?

SalemCat - May 24, 2009 Reply

I’m trying to determine the present status of Elizabeth’s shed.

Apparently the Hamden Zoning Commission denied her request for a variance.


SalemCat - May 24, 2009 Reply

I hope she is using a real ladder these days.

I wouldn’t send my five-year-old up that rickety thing she built.

SalemCat - May 25, 2009 Reply

If you look closely at the “Ladder”, Elizabeth used ever smaller sticks for the rungs as you progress from the bottom to top. Apaprently for aesthetics. Sadly, that makes the top rungs the most likely to fail. Which actually maximizes the likelihood of injury.

If the weakest rungs were at the bottom, at least when the weakest rungs began to snap you’d fall the least distance.

Can you imagine the lawsuits if roofers and painters began to build their own Ladders from sticks and twigs instead of buying engineered and safe solutions from their local Hardware Store ?

SalemCat - May 25, 2009 Reply

The Hamden Zoning Commission denied her request for a variance. In most locales you can apply for a Zoning Variance only once every two years.

So unless Elizabeth has been successful in getting the Town Council, or Mayor, to pass special legislation for her, she’s out of luck.

Or maybe Yale is her new host. Often Universities and Churchs have Zoning loopholes.

SalemCat - May 25, 2009 Reply

The story seems to indicate all the Labor was freely donated.

That said, I sure can’t see how this Tiny House cost $14,000.

Can anyone explain how that much was spent on so little ?

Big Tomatoes - May 28, 2009 Reply

Did Elizabeth ever get her composting toilet? I have been composting for about 5 years in Massachusetts and the vegitables are great! I feel great that I am not spoiling Mother Earth and am actually making enough money from selling them that I can buy anything that I can’t grow!

holly - November 21, 2009 Reply

This is yet another example of a nice yet impractical, incomplete tiny house: more of an art piece than an actual residence. The exterior is pleasing admittedly, but where’s the toilet and kitchen? What is the water source and where can/could she actually park and live in it? These are the continually unanswered questions surrounding small houses on wheels. There are plenty of brilliant designs – but who is actually, REALLY, living in one? And by living, I mean cooking and bathing, not just sleeping. The day someone can tell the story from start to finish will be the day the tiny house on wheels becomes a practical solution for the affordable-housing issue.

    E Dean - September 1, 2015 Reply

    To Holly
    clearly you haven’t seen the slew of Tiny House shows on reality TV!! That people ARE living in.

Christopher Zurcher - January 30, 2010 Reply

I live in the neighborhood and had heard about this house, but have never seen it in real life. Holly, what’s practical for you, might be much different from what’s practical for others, and what’s practical for the planet.

Bif - March 26, 2010 Reply

Christopher, if it’s not practical for ‘the planet’ for people to bathe and cook in their homes, then, I’m sorry, the planet is out of luck. I don’t think it’s asking too much to be able to bathe and cook in your home. $14,000 is too much for what is nothing more than a glorified storage shed. I couldn’t agree more with Holly’s comment.

jason - March 28, 2010 Reply

I love the house! and hope she is doing well! i have studied these tiny houses in great depth in the last few months. and will be building my own shortly.
practical? very much so. do your research. parking? not a problem here. i have checked with several people an they were all willing to host!
want people who live in them? you havent read much about them. dee williams, jay shafer, zoe, etc. they arent for everybody i will grant you that, but they are for me!
it is best for the narrow minded people to just keep paying way to much for way to much space, keep lauphing at small dwellings. but you will think of us when over half of your income goes into your bankers pocket! i will be eating out what ever i want. living where ever i want. and spending my income livin the way i want to instead of have to! cheers! take care!

Bif - April 13, 2010 Reply

Jason, just because I and others have pointed out some negatives in this story doesn’t make us ‘narrow minded’. I am a tiny house enthusiast but I think they need to be practical for every day living, not just for certain lifestyles where cooking and taking a bath at home are not a priority. After a while you’ll get tired of eating out all the time and taking a shower at the health club, school etc. and using public or your friends bathrooms every time you need to relieve yourself.

Brady - August 18, 2010 Reply

I am so weary of the negativity and assumption that an aspect of this home will take a toll on one person is presumed to burden another. Just as the person in the home grows and changes, so too can her home. At her age, why cast 30, 40 year old human judgments on her choices?

There is a ton of unused space in that home- blank walls and much space under the desk- add new shelves, rearranging and shifting lighter things up to the angled areas every loft has at sides, a wet bath could be built into this house easily, a one or two burner induction for cooking…endless positive possibility. This home is not static.

– and even if Bif is certain that ‘you’ll get tired of eating out all the time’ each small house has the option to be unique/not cookie cutter-you know that. I’m 42 and I still walk to buy fresh produce and other foods every other day minimum (to exercise my bum legs). I ‘cook’ maybe 4x a year.

As much as we are all similar we are equally dissimilar and I can’t understand why that bothers so many people- and in some (not Bif, quoted above) it brings out the downright nasty. We may all be snow, but we are all still snowflakes however subtle or minute our differences are.

I’d be honored to own this home, and even as someone with crippled legs who pulls myself up ladders- I trust her common sense & that of her friends and family…

Maybe it’s “these times we’re living in” – but everywhere I go: more and more judging instead of accepting- lots more nasty comments in places I’ve never seen them before! It just pains me.

And if towns don’t see the need for these tiny abodes is growing, America is going to have an explosion of shanty towns like never seen before in the USA. A $15-45,000 house is the most many of us will ever hope to have- and we are not all as fortunate as Jay and Dee to have a place to plant ourselves- nor as blessed as our home owner here- having people to help her assemble this. If I had her crew, I could own a Tumble for 20+ change, etc. (…and a puppy! /making fun of myself)

Our society and our laws need to change, we need to regain our freedoms without all-out mayhem. And I do thank you for ‘listening’ if you got this far. I’m fretting and I’m carrying on- I know, I do. I’m worried as heck -things are bad- and as I said, to see this sniping back and forth in our own little community just pains me.

Take care, everyone. And if Big Tomatoes ever sees this I sure could use advice on a composting toilet: maybe more than a bucket and sawdust and less than Ed Begley’s $2,000+ throne? (I love you Ed!) I’m saving & aiming to go off-grid in the next two years for reasons I won’t bore you with. THANKS!

Leave a Reply:

Get the Tiny House Directory... join our weekly newsletter