The Duck Chalet

My husband, Jeff, and I wanted to share our latest summer side-project that is now for sale – the Duck Chalet! It stemmed from our love for small, intuitively designed, and cost effective dwellings.

We are both green home designers and builders here in Northern New York, and lately we have been building smaller and smaller homes with higher energy efficiencies and more attention to the everyday feasibility of the living space to minimize wasted space and energy.

A tiny house was right up our alley and the next eventual step in our progression. Ever since the beginning of the movement we have fallen in love with tiny houses, but never had the time to build one. We started designing the tiny house a year and a half ago, and finally built it these past 4 months.

living room

In order to get the maximum width and use out of the trailer, it had to be modified to provide load baring portions for the walls outside of the trailer frame rails. This gave us a maximum width and allowed us to save every precious inch of space we could.

loft view

In addition to the excessive attention to detail and space management, we tried to supplement it with bits of custom handmade cabinetry, cedar trim and accents, and a warm interior. Along the way we both came up with our funky little living room/dinette set system and fell in love with the idea as well. Is it feasible to switch around every day for different uses? Not necessarily, but it’s great to have options – especially when you have a few unexpected visitors for dinner.

side table

One pet peeve we both had with tiny houses is the fact that everyone has the trailer tongue hanging out of the front or back with little to no use aside from some propane tanks or A/C unit mounts. We’ve seen a few drawbridge style chain supported decks, but never one that completely covered, concealed, and took advantage of the trailer tongue’s strength to support a deck. We think our porch deck gives you that feeling of being in a cute country home in addition to discouraging theft of the home πŸ˜‰

loft bed

My husband and I have really enjoyed the entire process and therefore, we’re hoping our tiny home receives a warm reception so we can further justify delegating more of our time to these wonderful humble abodes. We have so many more ideas ready to go for the next one! πŸ˜‰

The link to our listing on Tiny House Listings is:

Thank you so much!

-Jeff and Kalie Brady

kitchen cabinets

kitchen storage


the duck chalet in the evening light

38 thoughts on “The Duck Chalet”

  1. Nice design and execution! I like the idea of using the tongue as a deck support – so now where did the propane tanks and other ephemera go?

    • The propane tanks are intended to be mounted remote from the building..

      This is to allow for larger tanks for a more permanent setup + SAFER !!!

      We had a lady that was interested and was interested in towing it back and fourth as a snow bird. She was curious how she would carry a propane tank and I explained that she should have a local propane company set a tank at each of her locations πŸ˜‰

      -Jeff πŸ™‚

  2. I see that you have incorporated a mini-split for heating and cooling. What I didn’t see is the outdoor unit for the mini-split. Would this be set up free-standing or somehow mounted to the house? I also assume that the house would have to be permanently wired to a power source in order to use the mini split as the power requirements are more than a standard power cord to the trailer could handle.

    • Actually….
      This Mini split unit is 110 volt!!

      We heated the tiny home with it the last 2 nights to a cozy 68 and it ran off our 15amp GFCI protected porch outlet πŸ˜‰

      So no…
      It was designed with the intention of plugging into any 15/20 amp outlet πŸ˜›

      And the condenser unit is mounted up high on the back of the tiny home!

      -Jeff πŸ™‚

  3. wish i could fine a place like this to cheaply rent to own being handy capped sucks ….you have a great place u should injoy it a lot ……

    • This is true; it uses 4 bolts to attach to the trailer tongue after the home has been “seated”

      Its intended to be carried by the tow vehicle during transport.

      -Jeff πŸ™‚

  4. where abouts in northern new york- rochester here- see so much on the west coast and some down south- but certainity not many in new york- would like to see in person if ever near you

    • We are about 2.5 hours from Rochester in Carthage, NY (30 min from Watertown). Feel free to contact us if you’d like to come see it!


  5. Love it! If the rest of you would click on the link for the listing with Tiny House Sales, all your questions would be unnecessary.

    I would like one built and by far like your finishing touches the best. How may I contact you to discuss the possibilities?

    Thanks in advance and it is a beauty.

      • I am a heating contractor based on the picture and the modle hot water heater you used des the installation meet the
        Indoor Installation Service Clearances for this modle?
        Piping side (Bottom)
        Min. 6”

        Front (Maintenance space)
        Min 24”

        Back of heater

        Sides of heater

        Top of heater
        The post tonight of the RV fire is frighting.
        Sometimes tiny houses are built outside building codes and withourt an inspection My question is based on an observation and my skill set as a heating contractor. I want everyone to be safe in their tiny home.
        It may be fine and a proper install, from my view of the picture I had safety / install questions.

  6. Beauuutifully planned, details done to perfection and WOW…~this option, is opening up WORLDS for so so many. As boomer’s “retire”, (HOPEFULLY), this would provide such a wonderful option to those who arent able to “move to a retirement destination”. Snow birding, yessss…to your safe, economical,LOVELY get a way. Making them secure while you’re gone…that’s an issue my hubby and I grapple with. Any ideas on that?

    • We’ve realized that problem as well…

      As far as breaking and entering, they are no less impenetrable than a standard house.

      The thought of someone hooking up and taking off with your house and all your belongings is another though….

      That’s the secondary function of our deck πŸ˜‰
      bolt it on and padlock it to the frame.. good luck stealing that!

      -Jeff πŸ˜›

      • A neighbour has big yellow chunky things locked onto his trailer wheels to keep people from stealing it. Not sure how expensive or good they are. It might just be that they take too long to remove for a casual grab but might be easier for a thief with more time, like at a remote location. If you leave a trailer unattended someplace longer term it might be worth taking the wheels right off. Of course nothing then prevents a thief from coming back later with wheels. You can only prevent so much.

  7. I like this a lot because for once a woman was involved in the design. However, none are designed with seniors in mind or handicapped who may not be able to climb a ladder. It is also assumed that the only people interested in tiny homes have no pets or just a cat. So until all types of consumers needs are addressed I find it a huge shortcoming. I’ve already designed two of my own addressing these issues and will be building one for myself soon.

  8. There have been so many comments on which I would like to comment… but that might cause a discussion or worse. So, about the tiny house: best design I have seen so far. Washer and dryer. Amazing. First time I’ve seen someone address the fact that a tiny houser might live rurally and need clean clothes. A true functioning kitchen instead of a bottle of water, a salad bowl “sink” and a cooler. Not sustainable. This, however, is very well done. If I were forced to make a suggestion: shrink the sink base a bit to expand the drawers, rotate the sink so the drain is close to the faucet, it makes standing things in the sink easier while still allowing access to the faucet. In full disclosure: I am a kitchen designer and far too focused on these kinds of details. I also found a tiny dishwasher that could be installed instead of one of the drawers. I simply won’t wash a dish because dishwashers do it with less water and more sanitarily. BTW, I have no idea how someone with a handicap could consider a tiny home. Ladders and tight spaces cannot be made to be handicap friendly, and are inherent in tiny homes. A great alternative would be living in a lower-housing cost region of the country. If one gets disability income, it can stretch further there and is not affected by the normally lower wages usually found in lower-cost regions. Just a suggestion.

  9. Does anyone have plans that they could donate to our worthy cause where prisoners are building our non profit organization Bridges and Pathways of Courage a little house… I like this Duck Chalet… and I start programs all over the country in prisons were inmates train dogs to help the handicapped. At age 70, I am finding the long drive home in a lonely stretch of road going north out of Green Bay, I am just too tired to do it.. and don’t have much money to stay in hotels… so, I have a place to put a little house but no plans on how they can build it.

  10. Hi there fab house you both have designed and built.Everything appears to be in perspective and very functional .I enjoy all mail regarding these wonderful abodes ,So far as these abodes i wish we had them in Australia .Congrats and good luck in future designing and building .Brian[Melb-Australia]


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