Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged DIY

To Build Or Buy A Tiny House – Experts Share Their Advice

I sat down with the top tiny house experts to ask them a bunch of questions, today I am sharing their responses to the question: “What advice would you give to someone trying to figure out weather to build a tiny house or buy from a builder?” The question weather to strap on a tool belt and build your own tiny house or hire a tiny house builder is a tough one. Hopefully thoughts from those who’ve been there can help.

kristie-wolfe

Can you afford to buy? If not I’m certain you can acquire the skills to build!

steven-harrell

Focus your due diligence around money and time. Building yourself will cost less money and LOTS of time. Having one built for you will cost more money and much less time. Which is more important to you? Where does your gumption lean towards, spending time or money, saving time or money?

alek-lisefski

If building, ask for help and hire help for stuff like the electrical work at the very least. If buying, really do your homework on the builder you choose. There are so many new builders popping up each day and many are in it for the money and nothing else. Make sure you really get to know your builder and talk to people who they have built for in the past. If there are any red flags, find someone else.

ryan-mitchell

It really functions on budget and time.  I’m convinced that almost anyone can build a tiny house themselves with enough time and hard work.  A tiny house that is built by someone else is going to cost 2 to 3 times more than a DIY tiny house. Understand that when you hire a builder, they have to pay the wages of staff, tools, overhead, insurance etc.  If you do go with a builder, make sure you have a very solid contract in place.

dan-and-jess-sullivan

I would say, look at your reasons for doing this, and what kind of tiny house market is in your area. If it’s about simplifying your life and reconnecting, it could go either way, you could build or buy. If you are in a location like NC, where several tiny house companies provide some pretty great options, and you have the budget, then buy. If it’s about financial freedom, independence, self-reliance…I absolutely recommend you take on the build!

deek-diedricksen

IF you have the time, the space, and the knowledge that you WILL make mistakes along the way, and that the build will take AT LEAST twice as long as you think it will, do the DIY route- you’ll then have a chance to craft the house to your specific needs, and will addition know you home inside and out, when it comes to future fixes, tweaks, or needs.

ella-jenkins

Building one takes FOREVER. Like way longer than you think. And then longer than that. No, really (mine took me 13 months). But it is also extremely gratifying. Buying is of course more expensive and you typically get less opportunity to make changes along the way if you come up with new ideas, but it is faster and the logistics are someone else’s responsibility. If you’re physically unable (or unwilling), don’t have the time, or are the kind of person who has trouble finishing projects, buying is a great option.

ethan-waldman

Decide if you have 800+ hours to devote to building your own tiny house, and also decide whether your body can handle 800 hours of hard labor.

gabirella-morrisson

Time is money. If you don’t currently have employment and have a lot of free time and the desire to DYI, then a self build is a no-brainer. The decision becomes murkier if you do have a paying job because your time away from your work will obviously mean a decrease in pay assuming all other aspects remain the same.

jenna-spesard

Consider the time, money and resources it takes to build a Tiny House versus buy one. It’s a commitment, and you need to be passionate.

laura-lavoie

Make sure everyone is on board before you start. If you have a partner who is uncertain about tiny living, you need to have a longer conversation about it. If you think you can “convince” someone to live tiny, you can’t.

macy-miller

DIY, you are capable even though you may not feel that way. You can learn the things you don’t know. You don’t have to know how to do everything, just know how to find answers.

kent-griswold

Take a class or work with someone to get an idea of what construction is all about. This is a house and it needs to be built correctly and if you don’t have the skills it is better to hire someone who has them.

andrew-odom

Would you put your mom in a house that you built? Would it be safe enough for even your mother? If not, buy one that is.

 

A very special thanks to the folks who participated:

Your Turn!

  • What tipped you in favor or building or buying?

Big Mountains. Tiny House. Living In The Alaskan Bush

Thanks to Pinterest we now all have a way to keep track of inspiration photos, links of interest, passing image thoughts, and more. Prior to March 2010 though we had to use an RSS feed aggregate or browser bookmarks or (gasp!) just be comfortable with the knowledge that after an initial viewing of something we may never see it again. Such is the case for me when I came across Devon & Melissa’s tiny house in Alaska.

Devon 1At just 168 sq.ft. this one room tiny house (seemingly NOT on a trailer) initially captured my attention as it was posted in 2011 which makes it a predecessor of the modern tiny house movement. Located somewhere east of Mount Foraker in the Denali National Park and Preserve area in the Alaskan Range. As Melissa welcomes us in she immediately notes that not only is the house small but also quite cozy. If the rough cut siding on the outside didn’t communicate ‘rustic cabin’ sufficiently the sparse details yet functional inclusions inside lent to her assessment. Cozy, it is.

Devon 2The kitchen has little more than a small fridge and a propane cooktop with a recent addition of some drawer units. The cooktop runs off a 1 lb. propane bottle and there is no sink evident so one is left assuming there is no running water or plumbing available in the tiny house. No matter though as at just 0:00:19 you see a blue water container which indicates a sort of grey water, off-the-grid, system.

The shower system is quite crude in that it is little more than a circular frame that holds a net or shower curtain for privacy and to keep the water in with the downward runoff being collected in an aluminum water trough that – when not in use – hangs on the wall. The duo also seems to wash their faces, their hands, and take care of other hygiene needs right at the kitchen. This was always interesting to me because as we built our THOW we were often asked where we would brush our teeth even though we incorporated an oversized, double basin sink into our build. The last time I checked brushing teeth ends with “brush and spit.” Who cares what sort of vessel you spit into or if you even use a vessel at all! (NOTE: At 0:01:11 Melissa shows us the 5-gallon water bucket) Further down the wall is the rest of the “kitchen” which features an electric tea kettle, a toaster oven, a small microwave, and more storage.

Devon 3The pots hang from the ceiling as well as some other tools and knick knacks. The entire space reminds me of a birth in a boat or even just a great sheepherders wagon or something similar. The coziness, I think, comes from everything being within reach from one place.

As the tour continues around the downstairs we see a countertop with stools which is presumably a spot to work and eat. Melissa points out it is a storage unit as well. We get our first glimpse at the stairs to the sleeping loft which is clearly used as a great dog bed. The footage even allows us to see that the walls are sheetrock and painted and that the windows are trimmed in pre-scrolled, DIY-type window trim.

The stairs are nothing fancy and, in fact, the rise is quite steep. However while being simple the stairs serve great double duty as storage areas for gear, shoes, and books. The steps are like a deep ladder that lead up to a nice sleeping loft that runs almost the same dimensions as the “downstairs” yet offers tremendous storage (through a closet rod, some storage boxes, etc) for both Melissa and Devon. The best part is yet to come though.

Devon 4The mountains out the loft window! WOW! Now I remember why I mentally bookmarked this video in the first place.

Devon 5No spot goes unused in this tiny house. To view more and to hear just a couple minutes more about the tiny house you really owe it to yourself to visit Devon & Melissa’s tiny house in Alaska on YouTube.

Your Turn!

  • Would that view be enough to convince you to move to Alaska?
  • Are your stairs pulling double duty or do they have designations?

 

Via

 

Raising The Roof

Ooohhh aaahhh!  Look that that fancy roof!  I just got the roof up and wanted to share this video with you all.

The roof has proven to be the most difficult thing with the tiny house so far mainly because I made the decision that the roof was best left to the professionals and now that I had it installed, I’m very glad I decided to hire someone.  I’m sure I could have pulled it off but the roof costs a lot and to be done wrong would spell disaster and cost a lot of money.

The roof is a standing seam roof, which means that the seams are in a vertical part that makes up the “ribs” of the roof.  I love the look of it and what is even better, the color (though hard to tell in photos and videos) matches my windows exactly.

There are a lot of parts to the roof that frankly were overwhelming to me when it came to purchase.  What makes it worse is that if you forget a part, you have to wait for it to come in (major delay) but if you order something extra, it costs a lot of money and can’t be returned.

All in all, I’m very happy with how the roof came out check out the video for more details.

Capture

Why I Have To Buy More To Live Tiny

It seems counter intuitive, but for me to live tiny I have to buy more stuff!  One of the things that I am not having in my tiny house is a laundry.  Despite trying to work it out, there just wasn’t a great place to put it, even if I got one of the washer and dryer in one machines, there wasn’t a great space to tuck it away.

laundry-serviceSo this leaves me with having to look for options outside the tiny house, namely laundry mats, friends places or a service.  I have decided my splurge is going to be having a laundry service come pick up the clothes, wash fold, then bring back to me.  I decided this because of one truth I know about myself.  I loath folding laundry and I’m terrible at it.  It’s not that I can’t do it, but frankly at this point in my life, its worth the money to have someone else do it.

This leads to my predicament.  Clothes.  I don’t find enjoyment the act of shopping and clothes, while necessary, as long as they suit my life well, I could care less about them.  This has lead me to just not have a lot of them.

Currently in my wardrobe I have:

  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 belt – reversible
  • 7 shirts
  • 20 pair of underwear and socks
  • 1 polo shirt
  • 1 button down shirt
  • 1 pair of dress pants
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 pair of flannel sleep pants
  • Shoes: 1  black dress, 1 sneakers, 1 hiking boots, 1 crocs

So while my clothes are off at the launder I need to have something to wear and this means buying more clothes; which I don’t like doing.  So I have decided I’m going to pick up another pair of shorts, a pair of pants and 3 more T-shirts and another pair of sleep pants; at least to start, we’ll see how this works and go from there.

I am also making decisions around my closet to meet these needs.  I will only have three things to hang: dress shirt, jacket and dress pants, I figure I’ll allow a little extra room in case I want to hang more, but still, keeping it small.  I am also going to locate the hanging rod at the least accessible space in the closet because I don’t use these things but a few times a year.  The rest will all be shelves and for the socks and underwear I’ll have them in little bins on shelves.

Another thing that I am making considerations on is how to handle wrinkles in clothes, because right now I’d just throw a shirt in the dryer if it got really really wrinkled, but I won’t have one anymore.  So I need an ironing board and a something I can iron on.  I was thinking of making one of these   DIY direction here

IMG_8210

One Simple Way To Hide Your Router

I’m a tech geek, it’s true.  So my tiny house is going to have a fair amount of gadgetry in it.  I found this neat idea for hiding your router for those of you who want to have wifi in your tiny house or where you live right now.  Using an old book you can hide your router in an attractive way!

 

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