Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Tiny House

Building A Tiny Business Survey

A few months back we did a Tiny House Chat on building a small business in tiny houses.  The concept was on The Tiny Life, we talk about how you live tiny, how to live in a way that inspires you, in a way that you follow your passion.

What I realized one day that it was important for me to begin to match my career or how I earn an income to the way I want to live in my tiny house.  It’s been a big shift in thinking for me because I’m about to move into my tiny house and not having rent or a mortgage has changed my financial situation so positively that I can now live and work in a way that suits me more.

takeoursurveySo it got me thinking about working with a few awesome people that specialize in making an inspired life, living/working in a location independent fashion, building a business that suits me and then also sharing my own experiences and know-how.  We are kicking around the idea of running a destination workshop on how to do all this and wanted your input.

So today I have a quick survey that I’d love your help with its just a few short questions and I think tiny house people would be interested in not only learning to live tiny, but how to match the rest of their life to tiny houses, follow your passions and live life as an adventure.

 

Take the survey here:http://bit.ly/1b4ktcP

 

Reporting Tiny Houses To The City…. There’s App For That

Today I was researching codes and zoning when I discovered Charlotte now has an app for reporting public nuisances.  You can snap a photo, mark the location on a map, then send it the complaint anonymously.  You can see it at    http://charmeck.org/Pages/MobileApp.aspx

Capture

photo

For those of you who don’t know, I blog to you from Charlotte, NC; A decent sized city in the south with around 2 million people.  It’s a great place, it has a lot to do, not a lot of traffic, good jobs, and while ranked 17th largest city in the US, I can still find a multi-acre lots here.

Well Charlotte is also a very difficult place to be a tiny house person, with the city growing by 40,000 people every year, our code enforcement and zoning are very busy, leaving little time to entertain the idea of a variance for tiny houses.  Between strict codes that are difficult to get variances on and a most of Charlotte’s housing under HOA’s, its a tough place for tiny houses.

So I thought I’d share this new innovation that cities are taking up.

If you want to know more about how codes affect you, check out our ebook: cracking the code!  here

 

Your Turn!

  • What do you think of this app?
  • Have you talked with your local code enforcement about tiny houses?

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.

Today Is The Last Day To Get Your Early Bird Tickets

earlybird640Alright, the time has come, we’re getting down to the wire, my email box has been flooded with excited emails for the upcoming conference.  Today, 9/30, is the last day to get your early bird tickets, after today they will go up to regular price.

Get your tickets and all the info here: tinyhouseconference.com

Also here are some of the common questions we have been getting:

Q: Where & When is the conference

A: The conference will be in Charlotte, NC April 5th & 6th, 2014

Q: What will happen at the conference?

A: We have 12 tiny house experts that will teach you everything from building to living in a tiny house, plus a ton of tiny houses to tour in person, plus so much more!  Our schedule

Q: How much are tickets?

A: $250 for early bird, $300 for regular

Q: Where will I stay?  Are there campsites? hotels?

A: We are holding our event a McDowell Nature preserve, they have 60 campsites and there are 3 hotels within 5 minutes drive. Reserve your site today, details here

Q: I can’t afford tickets, can I volunteer?

A: Yes, we have 15 “pay what you can” volunteer tickets.  These are reserved for those who truly can’t afford full price, they pay what they can afford and then volunteer their time to make up for the rest.  More info here  We also have a carpool forum.

Get your tickets and all the info here: tinyhouseconference.com

The Conversation We Haven’t Had…. Until Now

There is something that hasn’t been talked about on the blogs yet, something that is THE topic of conversation for many of the Builders, Bloggers and others.  It is that of tiny house safety.  At first it started out as small one on one conversations, but in the past few months what once was side conversation has grown to serious discussion with most of the Builders and Bloggers coming to a single table.  We have been meeting to try to figure out how we can take tiny houses to the next level, to make them universally legal and to make them safe.

CaptureIt came about when some began to notice instances where we saw tiny houses being made in an unsafe manner.  In most cases it wasn’t out of malice or unethical behaviors, but of not knowing any better.  Honest mistakes that could have fatal consequences.

So as a group, both Bloggers and Builders, came together to discuss how we could empower tiny house people to be safer and to be more informed.  We knew starting out we didn’t want to do anything that would hinder tiny house folks, DIYers or Professionals, but we also tried to balance that with the need for safety.  How we do that is something we have been wrestling with as a group and also as individuals.

Tiny Houses have long lived in legal limbo in some places, some people have found solutions that worked for them, but others still struggle with it.  There is a large part of the Tiny House Movement that never wanted to become legal because they see it as their protest, civil disobedience or other things;  Some don’t really care either way, they just want to live in a tiny house;  There are others that want to be fully legal.

At the end of the day, you can live in a tiny house, it is absolutely possible, right now, in your own town; I have no doubt in my mind that it is possible.  However this group is working on a different level, we are seeking a universal legal solution, which is tricky.  If we can achieve this, then you can choose to participate or not, it would be up to each individual to make their own decision.

Beyond legal issues and frankly way more importantly, is safety.  We want you all to be safe, we want you to be informed, we want you to be empowered to build the best house you can.  The Bloggers and Builders do what they do because they love tiny houses, because they care about the movement, and most importantly because they care about the people.

So when it comes to safety we realize that many people want to build their own tiny house, that’s a given, but the question then becomes how can I teach you to build it safely if you have never build anything before.  There are plenty of people out there that don’t need my help at all, in fact I could learn a lot from them, but there are others that do need a helping hand.  Coming together as a community is what makes us strong, it’s what makes this a movement.  Viva La Tiny Revolution!

 

Your Turn!

  • What are your thoughts on Tiny House Safety, how can we address it?
  • How can we at The Tiny Life help people to become empowered to build amazing and safe houses?

 

 

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