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Frank’s Tiny House

We have a new tiny house coming to the Tiny House Conference!  Frank is a carpenter and cabinet maker who travels for work.  He built this tiny house so he can take it with him while he is on longer jobs away from his home in NC.

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Have you got your tickets yet for the Conference?

Our holiday sale ends soon!  Use code: TINY2013 for $50

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Top 5 Tiny House Commonalities

Recently I have been interviewing a lot of tiny house folks about their lives in their tiny house.  While I knew the story of many of these tiny house folks, I had never had a discussion to the depth as these interviews.  It was helpful that I knew a lot about these folks, their houses, and tiny houses in general because it meant we could skip the basics and get into nitty gritty.

Over the course of the interviews I realized that there were some things that were so similar it was uncanny; to the point where people started saying the exact same words.  Now in some cases these people didn’t even know each other, so I realized weather it was tiny houses or the type of person that is attracted to them, they have a lot in common.  It’s kinda eerie.

1. DIY Tiny House Builders Unusually Have The Worst Car For Hauling Materials

No this isn't me.

No this isn’t me.

Almost without fail tiny house people couldn’t be less equipped to haul building materials than the car they have.  Almost every single person I talked to didn’t have a truck, they often had smaller cars.  This is the case with me.  I drive a Smart Car, which if you didn’t know, it is the smallest road legal car in mass production today.  I quickly realized when I needed to figure something out when my boards were the standard 8 feet long, but my car only was 6.5 feet long tip to tail.

Despite having the least suited cars, we make it work.

2. We Are Over Saying We Live In A Tiny House

After building and living in a tiny house, most people are tired of having to explain what a tiny house is, then having to explain why, then having to defend the choice.  As Ella from Little Yellow Door puts it “its just a house, it just happens to be very small”.  Luckily for me I have gotten through that process with most of my friends and family.  I now just say I am building a house, never mentioning that its tiny or I’m building it with my own two hands.  The only time I feel it really necessary to explain is when it comes up that my houses is tiny or on dates (I figure they should get the heads up).

3. Everything Has a Place And It Needs To Go Back There.

il_570xN_184465424We don’t have a lot of stuff, but the stuff we do have has its rightful place in our homes.  Every tiny house person I’ve talked to has said this to me, that they have a place for everything and they have to put it right back when they are done.  They don’t have room for clutter and if something is out of place, you can tell because its such a small space.

4.  Buy A New Trailer

I have now talked to about 40 people about this particular topic and almost every time, almost without fail, they say that if they bought a used trailer, they had wished they had took the leap for a new trailer.  I already know there will be some people that disagree with this, I can see the comments now, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

Most of the people who bought a used trailer ended up spending days cleaning up their trailer.  They also spent money on fixing and replacing most of the trailer.  About 80% of the people I spoke to ended up replacing tires and axles on their trailer, which meant a lot of those people spent the same or more than what they would have if they just bought new.

Macy Miller of Mini Motives also pointed out that in your first few months you have a lot of energy, excitement and drive, buying a used trailer sapped most of that energy as she toiled on getting her trailer to a point where she could then start building.  I think this is a really good point, its better to use this energy getting building done, not days with an angle grinder trying to root out rust.  The other aspect to this is that when you buy new, you know exactly what you are getting.

5. Tiny House People Are Grateful

Without exception tiny house people are very grateful for the lives that they live.  They know the value of everything they have, whether it is a possession, a relationship or an opportunity.  I recently was reading a study that one of the biggest factors in people who were happy was gratitude and expressing that gratitude.  I think this comes into play in a major way with tiny houses, because they understand the value of what they have.

Horsefly Cabin

Recently I was emailed this post and beam cabin by one of our readers, thanks Greg!, that is located in BC Canada.  The Cabin is actually for sale right now, but its very stunning!  Their website is here     The cabin is 16’x20′ on main floor and 9’x16′ loft on 2.3 acre lot. Built in 2010 by Pioneer Log Homes Craftsmen.

Correction: It was brought to my attention that these photos originally appeared on Small House Bliss.  You can find the original post here

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Should Tiny Houses Have Bathrooms?

One area of my tiny house that I have come to think about a lot is the bathroom.  Now of course you need a bathroom, a place to use the restroom, a place to shower, etc.  It can range from in your tiny house flush toilet or composting, to an “outhouse” style with a properly designed system or even a flush toilet;  But I am beginning to wonder if a bathroom should be outside the tiny home.  It might be using the extra bathroom of the house you’re parked in the back yard of or it might be like Drew over at Tiny R(e)volution who build his “shower shack” photos at bottom of post.  I’m not saying you should do this, but I think it warrants discussion.

tiny-midwest-tiny-house-07-600x400The reason I’ve been thinking this is because while a bathroom of some form is a necessity, as it is in a tiny house, it takes up so much space and is used so little.  This is a really important factor when it comes to small spaces.  The amount of square footage should be directly proportional to the amount you use it.  So for example your mattress takes up about 30 square feet if you have a queen size bed, which is a lot of space, but you use it for 8 hours every day.  Compare that to the bathroom, about 22 square feet, I use it for maybe 30 or less minutes a day for showering, shaving, brushing teeth and going to the bathroom.  If you simply look at it like a return on investment a bathroom is not that great use of space.

Now you can reduce your space by building a wet bath (frankly I’m not keen on that idea).  You could also setup bathroom and shower outside, using an outdoor shower and bathroom, but there are a few months a year this wouldn’t work well.  You also could arrange for whoever house you park your tiny house behind that you can use their bathroom.   Obviously nothing will beat the convenience of having a shower and toilet in the actual tiny house, but I still struggle with how much space it uses versus how much I use it.


Marfa House

This is an interesting house that almost looks like a container home, but in actuality it is just a metal sheathed house.  While I’m not usually a fan of the rusted metal look, in the setting/landscape of this place, it suits it quite well.  Kinda of has a modernist Mad Max feel to it…  I guess I just made up a new style name, maybe its the next shabby chic.  Ha! Regardless of its hard exterior, the inside has very clean lines and simple furnishings in contrast to the outside.  My favorite part of this is the entire wall that opens up to the outside tying the kitchen with the outdoor sitting area.

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