Category Archives: Alternative housing

A Tiny House Addition!?

 

I am coming up on my two year anniversary of living in the tiny house, I’m meeting my goal, a little slower than I thought I would but meeting it none-the-less!  I thought it would be hard to live in a tiny house, but I was committed (I was going to ‘make it work!’).  Hahahaha!  It’s NOT hard at all, it’s PERFECT!  Except… 2 things…

First, I miss having a project to work with my hands on!

Second, now we have a baby girl… she’s getting bigger every day, that alone isn’t an issue but James and I are talking about having another (shocker family, the big reveal ;-)).  The house works great now for the three of us, and it will for at least a couple more years, but TWO babies, two adults and a great dane… we are looking at expanding. SOOOO I’ve been working up a design!

I’ve often mentioned out ‘next project’ which will be a shipping container house.  I don’t quite have all the money saved for that just yet so this is an intermediate step that will allow us more space while still allowing us to save cashola.  On top of that we get to try out a couple things on a very tiny scale before committing to them on a larger shipping container home (like DIY sprayfoam insulation).  I have always kept in the back of my mind that I COULD expand the house by enclosing the back patio if needed.  I thought about this with Hazel but decided it wasn’t necessary, and I like my patio.  If there was more than Hazelnut then that thought process shifts a little.  Also, Denver may like having a place to get away from the turkey(s) while they are tugging at his face (he MIGHT claim bottom bunk!).  Here’s what I have:

Option one, Exterior:

I will fill in the exterior window opening on the backside (not shown) add a 30″ door to the back and a window on the passenger side allowing a, about 5 foot by 8 foot room.  I don’t want to just continue the exterior material and completely lose the form of my house, I rather like the look.  Instead I am thinking about offsetting the walls about three inches to create a shadow line and also changing the material.  I show corrugated but that’s not necessarily going to be it.  I think it makes me feel better to be able to see the original form and the addition, even though removing the existing siding on the patio would give me enough to reuse on the addition.

Tiny House Plan (2)

Option One, Interior:

I will construct custom, toddler sized bunk beds against the short side of my house with a pull out bench (for reading the kid books) and a toy drawer stored below, cabinets up above for rotating toys.  There is a dresser below the window across from the beds to house all the cloths and store some of those said books!

Tiny House Plan addon

Option two, exterior:

This is a lot the same but a bit different feng shui, the door is on the same side as the entry door and an off center window out the back

Tiny House Plan add opt 22

 

 

Option two, Interior:

 

This would incorporate steps up to the top bunk that double as storage.  I don’t think I like this layout as well but it’s always a good idea to consider the options :)
Tiny House Plan add opt 2

ON TOP OF THIS,  I want to fix some stuff that hasn’t held up as well as I hoped.  I used 3/8″ plywood for all of the cabinet doors hoping to save a little on weight, they all warped, I will be redoing those out of the standard 3/4″ boards.  Since I will be adding all this weight I want to also take the opportunity to remove the tile I installed and replace it with hardwood (the same stuff I’ve been trying to give away :)).  The tile is awesome in the summer, it really helps to keep the place cool but since its such a small area and I have two exterior doors there is a lot of thermal bridging so in the winter, unless I have the radiant heat turned on the floors stay ice cold.  I love the radiant heat but its not as efficient as I had hoped for, I’d like to not HAVE to keep it on at the risk of freezing little toes.  I think a wood floor will be a good (labor intensive but) free change since I still have some of that!

So, this is my spring project!  What’s on YOUR agenda :) (of course thought on the design(s) and perspectives I may not have considered are greatly appreciated!)

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Get Involved! MeetUp!

As this tiny house thing gets big you may want to get involved more, or at least show your support!  I encourage you to do so by starting or joining a group on Meetup.com.  This is simple and easy to do, go to MeetUp.com, search ‘tiny house’ in your area.  If there isn’t a group in your area start one!  Alternatively you can go to tinyhousemap.com, see if there is a group linked there (blue tab, social event) and join there!  If you started your own I encourage you to post a link there as well!

Meetup Map

The reasons to join/start a meetup group are as follows:

  • This can effect change on the local level.  It gets a group of supporters together whom can be contacted to come show up and show support at the city level if/when needed to push change in the building department.  (most cases you only need to show up to show support, not actually speak!)
  • It keeps the dream alive by getting contacts near you whom you can hang out with and talk tiny with.
  • You can have work parties where you can help others and learn skills for your own build!

If you are the organizer of one of these groups you certainly do not have to go it on your own, ask others to become co-organizers and open it up to all members to hold ‘events’.  If you need ideas here are some that we have used and that I’ve heard of from others:

  • Have a movie night, there are a couple Tiny movies out there now, TINY: A Story About Living Small (it’s currently on Netflicks). We The Tiny House People, on Youtube.  BYOB, movie/chatting is a great event you can do even without a build!
  • Meet at a local restaurant to talk about tiny house plans and mingle!  Talk about challenges, plans, inspirations, dreams, goals, timelines, etc.
  • Have a BBQ/house party, doing the same things.
  • Organize a tiny house tour in your city, or even a small house tour.  I’ve noticed people living in small/tiny houses seem very open to sharing their lifestyle and opening their door to those interested.  Knock on a door and ask if they’d be open to having a group come through.  worst they will say is no, but they will still have been flattered!
  • If you have a tiny house near you organize an open house!  I personally do this 3-4 times a year, its a great opportunity to let others see and get a feel for if a tiny house is doable for them!
  • If you have  tiny home builder near you organize an open house with them when they complete their current build.
  • Have a build party, at various phases of your build, let others lend a hand in exchange for getting to borrow their hands!  (other hands come in handy at times!)
  • Organize professionals to come and talk about their profession as it applies to tiny.  Have an electrician in your group, let them talk about their field as it applies to tiny homes, plumbing?  Roofing? Framing? etc.?  We can learn a lot from one and other! Organize an opportunity for that to happen!
  • What other ideas do you have to do with a bunch of possible ‘strangers’ for a MeetUp get together?! (leave your ideas in the comments!)

Eventually one of us will need the support of many to be able to alter codes to allow a tiny house lifestyle.  When that comes up it will be invaluable to be able to ask for help from your known supporters to just come and show up, to show others in the position of power that there are a LOT of people behind this movement and that things need to change to incorporate this option.  Why not have some fun along the way with like minded people!

Reach out, locally!