Timeline Photos

An updated quick look at my progress over the year.

More to come…

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46 thoughts on “Timeline Photos

    1. I absoutely love it, i love small places now that my kids are grown and i only live with a dog..right now i am in a small apt in my house..I think you are ingenious !!

  1. I can’t believe what you have accomplished, Macy. I am very moved seeing all the photos above. It’s overwhelmingly impressive that you have actually designed and built your own perfect little home to live in.

    You are free in every way, not the least of which is in your new ability to construct these complex spaces through your hard-won, hands-on experience.

    May you always live so empowered and free.

    1. Well thank you Shelley! Thank you so much for your kind words, you made my day! Life still gets overwhelming but it is nice to have little reminders like this to remind me how free I really am. It’s nice for things to become choices instead of mandatory, that is for sure!

  2. Hi Macy, I’ve been cyber stalking you and your progress. What a wonderful story. I have a few questions. Have you been successful in finding a permanent place to park your home? Do you think you might end up in an RV or trailer park? Have you had any success working with the Planning and Zoning? Could you buy a piece of property and move the home to a foundation (like one would do with a pre-fab home)? I am working on a tiny home design that utilizes containers so I am very curious about the zoning issues. Also, what do you estimate your cost per square foot is?

    1. Hi Lebron! Thanks for taking an interest, I hope you’ve enjoyed my site! Thank you so much for your kind words! As far as your questions, I have not found a permanent place just yet for my house but I haven’t really looked just yet either… I have been opening up to some new plans lately, my goal has always been to live downtown and I was planning on just knocking on some doors when the time came to see if someone would mind me parking on their land (backyard or whatever) in exchange for a couple hundred bucks a month. I have been STRONGLY opposed to financing anything at all. Since this process has taken so long though I have been able to build up some savings and I am thinking about putting 20% down on a property (with a house) downtown and renting it out while living in the back yard. There are plenty of options right now that I would be able to charge almost double the mortgage payment. I can’t see any reason not to use financing as a tool to make more money while simultaneously living in my tiny house for basically free.
      I won’t be living in an RV park, I am just not up for that.
      I have not had any issues to bring up with P&Z as of yet, I can tell you after joining P&Z, in my town they are VERY supportive and encouraging so far. I am looking further into the development side of things and there are definitely obstacles but I think it is all in the presentation, it seems to me that with the right story exceptions may be able to be made…
      Depending on how your tiny house is constructed you may be able to lift it from the trailer in order to place it on a foundation, I however cannot, my floor is integrated with the trailer frame pretty tight. It still would not necessarily make it legal to do that as the limiting factor is generally square footage (most places have a minimum that tiny houses don’t meet usually). I am very interested in container houses as well, do you have a design in mind? I would love to see more of your project!
      As for my square footage cost, I have 196 square feet and as of right now my budget (continually updated and located in a tab to the left) is $9,323.10 making my square foot costs $47.57. I have had some sponsors along the way, I would estimate that the standard square footage costs would be closer to $100-150 s.f as there are still the baseline costs for appliances and such that then to be specialized and therefore more expensive for the smaller versions as well as all the standard construction costs. The best part about building it though is you can really cut your costs by being selective about your materials and of course saving labor costs. Hopefully that is helpful, I really appreciate the questions! I would love to learn more about your project also! Best wishes!

      1. Dearest Macy,

        As a public high school teacher I have to encourage my students to write numerous essays in order to prepare for graduation, state exams & college. I had the students recently write on the topic of “The person I most admire” and some lovely pieces were created. When students were done sharing their masterpieces, surprisingly they turned the tables on me and asked who was the person I most admire. Well, to my surprise I had to think for a moment about all the people that have influenced my life, but I selected one person who has made an impression on me of late. And that was you Macy.

        I shared with my students about your journey, your blog, your photos (they loved the colorful broken foot-LoL) and how you have influenced us in a positive way to step out of our comfort zone & move forward with our heart’s desire to live in a tiny home of our own. Your blog & posts have encouraged us to do our own planning & designs to make our dreams come true on a tight budget. My journey is one that has been influenced my many in my life and you, our new friend, have made an impact on the next chapter of our life.

        This year is about downsizing for us, selling our home, building our very own tiny home that we will call our “Sleek & Sassy Structure” with surprises that will incorporate modern tiny design for the modern couple. When final exams are completed & school is done for this academic year, my beloved husband and I are beginning a blog for our contemporary tiny home with hopes to share our step by step process with any interested viewers.

        One day we’d be honored to have you visit the home of our creation that was influenced by our desires to downsize & to live simply instead of simply living. Thank you for fueling the fire in us Macy.

        Kindest regards,
        Rowena & Jonathan
        Houston, Texas

        1. I can’t possibly tell you how much that means to me. Thank you. That was the nicest compliment I have probably ever heard, seriously, you made my whole week better!
          I am so happy to hear you are going to continue to pursue your passions, I am excited to follow along and get to know you better through your next chapter. Thank you so much for taking the time to write me. [I also think it is awesome that my project was talked about across the country in a high school classroom! Pretty amazing!] :D
          All the best!
          Macy

  3. Really Really NICE. Beautiful finishes and great details. And, I like the whole idea of building well, but not paying up to 20% in fees for plan review and permits. YIKES!

    Whenever I start to think about building this way, it always comes down to where it’s parked. Did you know where you were parking it before you built it? How did you find your lot that allowed a “trailer” to be parked on it? Some of the zoning in my neck of the woods (Bay Area) is very anti-trailer, so I’m always wondering – how do you do that?

    Also, in terms of moving, do you plan on moving it much and did that decision affect your material choices? (The potholes are so bad around here, the tile floor would end up looking like a mosaic!)

    Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I did not know exactly where I would park it nor do I know for how long I will be able to park it where it is currently located, part of the plan has become to challenge these zoning laws and find a middle ground. I have built my house completely counting on facing some friction. To date I have faced absolutely nothing, for the most part I have only ever received very positive comments, I can’t think off the top of my head of any negative reviews, but I suppose people may keep those to themselves. Not to say I didn’t get funny looks in the beginning, I got lots of those. I have gone so far as to become a Planning and Zoning Commissioner in my city and have not run into a single conflict yet. Of course these are not legal in 99% or places so that bad stuff could happen all at once I suppose. I have taken it as a personal mission statement to challenge those paradigms though so it has become less of a concern. It is sad but had I not taken that mindset I would not have built, there would be too many unknowns. That is the part I want to make easier for others. I have read that the Bay Area is actually one of the better places to be for this lifestyle. Ella (http://littleyellowdoor.wordpress.com/) is someone in your neck of the woods who is living this lifestyle, she may have more specific insight to your particular area and zoning issues.
      As far as moving and materials, I don’t plan on moving much, just a handful of times hopefully. Because of this I picked the materials based mostly on what I wanted to live around rather than how well it would travel. At this point I built the whole house, I don’t think there is anything in it that I couldn’t also repair or fix (I would NOT have said that two years ago :) ). For what it is worth though it all traveled amazingly well! We didn’t have the smoothest road, nor the longest trip but nothing at all even cracked or shifted. Drywall and tile were both pretty big concerns of mine. :)
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and passing on your kind words! Very nice to hear from you.
      ~Macy

  4. Wow! I was thinking about just buying plans, but you’ve totally rekindled my desire to come up with my own design. This house is gorgeous.

    Was it difficult to put the third axle in?

    Also, do you think I should approach the Planning Department or be sneaky? I’m a little apprehensive about being very forthright because I have zero experience with all of this, but now I’m starting to think I ought to get involved somehow.

    Keep up the great work! :)

    1. Hey Justin! Well thank you for your nice words :). All in all the third axle was a big undertaking, but like everything else it wasn’t ‘hard’ persay, just had to take the time to learn about it and figure it out, and I had a lot of help with the welding because I didn’t trust my new-found hobby that much ;-)
      Personally if you are asking me, which you are, I think everyone should just ask the planning department only for the fact they will hear that people are wanting to go this direction. They are the first lines to changes being incorporated into codes. When you do, particularly if you have wheels, they won’t know what to do with you. They will probably try to pass you around a little and then eventually find out that they have no jurisdiction over houses with wheels (it’s helpful to bring in examples/pictures of others so they know what you’re talking about). I think if you are forthcoming it will only help the tiny house community, that being said, so does just doing it! :) If you are on wheels you will probably find yourself working with the Department of Motor Vehicles more (I only had about 3 conversations with them over the course of my whole build though too, one at the beginning and two to get licensed). Hopefully that helps! Thanks again for your kindness, please let me know if you have any other questions, I am always happy to share what I have learned or learn more with others! :)

  5. Macy,
    It has been a while, but I have been meaning to ask you about how you determined the ‘how and where’ you would reposition the initial dual axles while adding a third on the frame of your gooseneck trailer? Did you determine the center of effort of the total load the trailer would be carrying? Were there any resources you used to determine this? Thanks. I’m glad I finally got that out of my system (lol!).

    1. Hi! Yes, long time! How are you doing on your journey? I went down and talked to the trailer shop about positioning the axles, I sort of worked my design around that, positioning the heavy stuff over the axles. I believe for their formula (don’t quote me, i’m going from memory from over a year ago!) I think it was to take the distance of the trailer, the part where weight will be (I didn’t include the dovetail or the gooseneck on mine because I just figured they would cancel each other out, though I think mine is a little front heavy honestly), in my case 24′, divide it by three (8′) and that is the distance from the back end that you would center your axles in a triple axle trailer, it is a different calculation for dual and single axles. So I have one set of wheels at 8′ from the back with another in front and one behind, if I remember right my tires are at 30″ on center, that dimension is determined by the leaf springs though. Which I just used basic single leaf leaf springs because I wasn’t concerned enough about shocks and bouncing with the minimal amount of times it will be moved. Hopefully that makes sense Bruce? Nice to hear from you, I hope you’re doing very well!

      1. Macy, thank you. You have a way of explaining things that make it very easy to understand, and develop ideas from. I found that your article titled, “Tiny House Weight Debate”, in February if memory serves, held me in good stead. Additionally, I took your advice and checked out Andrew’s calculations at “Tiny r(E)volutions, a great read. Between your information on individual weights, and his on definitions and how they come into play when working up a layout I have been able to slowly evolve a layout that works for me. Of note, I just purchased a Ford F-250 Super Duty, Turbo Diesel…every journey begins with a first step.
        Macy, thank you, for being such an inspiration.

  6. This house is so great! I love it and am super envious. did you have prior design and contraction experience before hand? I would love to do something like this, it is very inspiring. I have dreams of owning my own place but a big house just isn’t for me.

    1. oh sorry, I came to these pics from another website and missed the “about me” part before I typed my question. Still, I find your work inspiring :)

  7. Bravo!!
    Having my own house and having my own little farm and live off the grid as much as possible is my lifetime dream.
    Reading you and looking at all your pictures (thanks for putting so many! it gives a very good idea of what it really is) just did something to me.
    You just got me more motivated and mostly, makes it more accessible.
    Thank you so much for being so generous about sharing your experience… it certainly makes a difference.
    Congratulations and wish you all the best in your beautiful cozy house!

    1. That is so cool to hear! Thank you for letting me know, i am happy my project can inspire others, please, feel free to drop me a line any time, I am always happy to talk tiny houses! :)

  8. Pretty amazing project! I just came across it on Adventure Journal and was flabbergasted! Really impressive to see so many details falling into place and building a marvellous patchwork of creativity and inspiration. Seriously, my mind just went for a stroll now and it may take a while until it’s back… :)
    Best wishes and curious to see the magic of this wee place growing and growing! Kind regards, Oliver

  9. My name is Grant. My wife Jacque has a sub. to Mary Jane’s Farm.
    She showed me your project int the mag and we were both dumfounded this is exactly like the way she has pictured our school bus (except for obvious limits of ceiling space)now that I have your website on favorites , Iwish to ask you a big favor. May we copy some of your design in the conversion of our bus? (They say immitation is the mot sincere form of flattery.) Please, Please, Please???

    1. Feel free to pull whatever you like from my design for yours, figuratively of course, don’t actually come pull out my light fixtures! :) I would LOVE to see pictures of your school bus conversion, if I had it to do over again I may go that way myself, awesome idea!

    1. Hi Brian, thanks so much! I am still putting those items together right now, I should have them ready soon. If you were to sign up here, http://eepurl.com/LeAUD I would get you an email as soon as they are ready. As for the costs those are all available under the ‘budget’ tab to the left.

  10. Macy, what an awesome young lady you seem to be. It’s so nice of you to respond to comments. I have been fascinated with small homes since very young. This is my first look into being serious about building one. I’m 62, have 3 children, am hoping to maybe park in their yards for 3-4 months each till I can’t any longer. Why build instead of a camper? Also If I used a bus, wouldn’t it be an issue of maintenance for mechanical parts that you wouldn’t have with a trailer? May be dumb questions, but i just wanted to communicate with you & tell you how wonderful I think it is that you had a dream & went after it!

    1. Well thank you for your very kind words! The biggest difference between a tiny house and a camper (aside from design and the feel of the space) is insulation value and the longevity of appliances/fixtures. Campers aren’t built to be lived in full time generally, you can get away with it in warmer climates but if you have a winter you’ll want more insulation. A bus would have added mechanical maintenance issues but there are some beautiful bus renovations, again insulation plays its hand though. Great questions and wonderful idea of coliving with your kids throughout the year! Best of luck!

  11. Macy Hello, my name is Alan and I am from Argentina Medina. I read your story in a local newspaper and the truth that it’s amazing what you have accomplished, you have inspired me to build something like what you’ve done your.

    I rent a small apartment and very expensive time, and the economy in our country is not quite right, as it is very difficult, almost impossible to buy land or a house …

    But your idea, your story is very encouraging and inspiring to get ahead and own their own.

    Congratulations on your beautiful home, now I’ll get back to save money !!!

    Thanks for having brought a smile and a hope for my future!

    Goodbye and thank you!

    1. Wow, thanks Alan, that is so nice to hear, I am glad you feel inspired, I have zero regrets about going this way with my life! I am nothing but encouraging of it, let me know if I can ever help you along your path! Good Luck!

  12. Hiya Macy

    You have inspired me – I started looking at 1600 lb my pod type trailers to pull behind my Nissan Juke, now I know it would need to be completley miniature, but, I think I could build something like this for a sleeping space while staying at the Lake. The cabin is generally full and most everyone else pulls 5th wheels. I could build my very own mini house, ok, very mini. Do you think it possible? I’m going to continue the investigation.

    I love all your pictures!

    Thank You for the Inspiration – You do Great Work!

    Your Friend – Trew Love

    1. Absolutely! That sounds like an awesome project! Look at container houses too for inspiration, there is some really cool stuff out there! Let me know how it goes, would love to see pictures!

  13. This is wonderful and inspiring, good for you! It’s my dream to be a homeowner and mobile at the same time. My husband and I have a vacant piece of land where we could potentially park a tiny house, but unfortunately, where I live (France), the laws are very strict regarding the differentiation between agricultural land and habitable land. All that to say, very happy for you and thanks for sharing your inspirational story.

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