Category Archives: Tiny House

General tiny house ideas

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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Some Common Questions

I have been getting a few questions lately, some repeats some brand new, I thought I would take a moment to post this email and my reply here since this one was so well written and covered the big things!  I hope you don’t mind Brianna!

Hi Macy!
My name is Brianna and I am currently a college student. I found your blog while doing research for a speech on tiny homes. Your home looks lovely and I was wondering if you would be able to answer some questions I had? yes! :)

1. What are your monthly expenses? Ex: water, heat, electric… how much have you saved building and living in your tiny home? Not more than $50 a month on all utilities, slightly more in winter than summer.  Some summer bills have been as little as 4.50.  Total monthly expenses go like this, $437 for health insurance for my daughter and I, $200 for rent on the lot I sit on, $5-$50 for utilities depending on if I have the heat on or not and how cold it is. 

I have saved at least $800 a month on rent (I used to rent for $1,000/month) and probably at least $100 in utilities a month, I’ve lived here 20 months so I’ve saved at least 18k.  the house cost a total of $11,416 to build (I estimate it would have run 23k if I had to buy everything new, more if I didn’t do that actual building) so it’s more than paid itself off.  The goal was to build it for one year’s rent payments (~12k) and then live in it for at least 2 years, it’s definitely been a worthwhile mission financially.

2. Do you think tiny homes can be for anyone? Ex: families with kids.. I know you talk about your daughter in the blog.. do you have plans to expand the house at all when she gets older? If your life is right for them [tiny houses] then yes!  It’s not hard for ME to live in a tiny house but there are plenty of people in my generation that it wouldn’t work for, for any number of reasons.  I think that is true through all generations and family size.  It probably appeals to less families but there are some whom it works great for!  If the driving factor is fiances it’s probably not the right reason (IMO).

When Hazel gets older her dad and I will have moved on to other projects, we are both in architecture and both interested in alternative dwellings, we already plan to build a slightly bigger shipping container house in the future, for us it is about learning and the project of it, it is important for us to teach Hazel and any other kids we have the value of less, we will always be in a relatively tiny house (my ‘dream home’ is about 630 s.f. and includes two bedrooms and a home office for James and I to work from).

3. What made you want to build a tiny home? I wanted a real life construction project to learn from.  I wanted to save money.  I wanted to try out some ‘green’ technologies.  I wanted to never be dependent on a bank for financing and I wanted to do something cool (to me).

4. What would you say to convince someone who is apprehensive about investing in a tiny house? You can’t and shouldn’t ‘convince’ someone into a lifestyle they aren’t comfortable with.  The best thing you CAN do is take them to a tiny house so they can base their decision (whether it’s right for them or not) on reality, it’s really hard to imagine just how spacious a 200 sf house really is, it’s not bad :) 

5. What things about living in a tiny house have changed your life/views on the world/society/ideals I will never read a single media article the same way again,  I have seen SO much misinformation posted out there about me/my house/my story, I’ll never trust anything the same way again.  I have learned that bloggers are generally much better at conveying the truth than major media outlets, its simply amazing.  Also, composting toilets can be WAY better than flush toilets :)  

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I would greatly appreciate any help or opinions that you could offer on the subject! I wish you the best of luck :)
Sincerely,
Brianna

That’s all, thank you Brianna for the very nice email and being patient with me while I get  the answers together!   Be well everyone, tis the season!