Today we have a guest post written by Andrea Tremols of Charleston Tiny House who talks about their journey to building their very own tiny house:
Cedric and I’s interests in tiny houses began while volunteering on organic farms in Spain back in 2009. We stayed in all manners of small living spaces. From a yurt dwelling on an organic olive orchard overlooking a classic white Andalusian village to a 800 sq. foot apartment we shared with two other volunteers in a remote village bordering the Pais Vasco. These experiences, especially the yurt, increased our interest in the possibility of owning our own small dwelling.
Besides learning horticulture, we were exposed to an alternative lifestyle that expressed intent on lessening the fossil fuel footprint and reusing resources wisely. This led us to a place dear to our hearts in Belgium called The Bereklauw. Also called ‘The Ideas Factory’, it is a community that strives to reuse material, reduce resource consumption and encourage experimentation concerning energy alternatives, gardening techniques and cultural enrichment. It was the influence of Gosse, the fearless leader of this community, that would later inspire us to create a tiny house with 90% reclaimed building material.
Once back from our trips we went to living community style in Charleston, SC. We lived in multiple bedroom apartments with several other people and tried to re-create the sense of comfort we had found in smaller dwellings. We also began volunteering with Rebecca O’Brian of The Sustainable Warehouse, a deconstruction business with aims to re-sale and re-use material that would otherwise end up in landfills. We helped take down a 19th century southern country store and we were hooked.
When we started designing in Fall 2010 we took painters tape to our bedroom floor and designed what we deemed would be a sufficient space to meet our shelter needs. For Cedric this meant a home with a sizable kitchen and a queen size bed while for me it meant lots of windows and a loft. We began construction Spring 2011 and come the new year we were moved in to “La Casita”. Our goal was to build a structure that was 90% reclaimed making it 100% unique! Every piece of wood has a story. The maple floors downstairs came from a cigar factory and the cypress siding came from a home in Awendaw, SC. Deconstruct to reconstruct is our favorite motto!
We love downsized living. We are outdoors people and La Casita forces us to move beyond it’s walls and be active. From gardening to biking to having a b-b-q with the neighbors, our home defines our lifestyle by pushing us out into our community.
Learn more about their great house at: