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Posts Tagged Tiny House

Space Saving Washing Machine

I have always wondered how I was going to tackle washing clothes in a Tiny House, I loath laundry mats and my time is much better spent elsewhere then pack up, driving down, paying a chunk of change all to do it.  Well I think I have found an interesting option that I think has a bit more promise than those egg looking counter top washers.  Here is a concept that seems to fit the bill just right.  It is designed to be a top loading washer, to need no power, no water hook ups, it is the size of a hamper, and can be stored just about anywhere.  With the power of your foot, you press the peddle and through a gear box, you gain some mechanical advantage.

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PACO Tiny House

This interesting Micro House is an interesting approach to the needs of day to day life.  Taking space utilization to an extreme, the designers have taken very practical approaches to meeting the needs of the resident.

From the outside, the micro compact Paco House is a tiny cube, measuring three meters square. The contemporary prefab home boasts a minimal white facade devoid of details, yet it’s oddly intriguing. Designed with space efficiency in mind, Paco House was created with a minimal footprint – both physically and environmentally speaking – in order to blend into its environment with little impact to its surroundings. Because of its small dimensions, Paco doesn’t require an infrastructure. Eighty per cent of the home is manufactured in a plant, allowing for customization to the home and virtually endless possibilities for geographic placement. Paco House packs alternative energies into its small but oh-so-sweet design. This eco-friendly self-contained accommodation features solar and wind energy, water recycling and a biodegradable toilet.

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Not Safe For Work (nothing too bad, just not work appropriate) More photos / Via

Safe for work here

The Pod

Here is a camping pod that could easily take the form of a Tiny House. It reminds me a little bit of a Vardo. With simple lines and a interesting roof line, The Pod has several locations through out England, these are designed to be mini cabins. Many are not even tied into the grid, making for an inexpensive mountain getaway. There isn’t mention of cost, but I would venture a guess between $5000-$10,000 to have one built for you and delivered.

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Well it’s a rather well built, insulated wooden hut that provides basic accommodation much in the way of a tent. They are of a modest size with good headroom, an interior floor area some eight feet wide by nine feet long and a forward projecting porch to provide some shelter if the doors are open. In most cases there will be a raised area of timber decking extending the ‘living area’ and providing somewhere to sun-bathe, prepare food or when the weather is bad, lose the wet gear before going inside.

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Organizing small spaces: 10 tips to make the most out of your space

1. Use vertical space

After talking with lots of Tiny House folks, I have seen this as a trend: maximize the vertical. Everything above 8 feet is all dead air if you don’t use it, so capitalize on that. You could have a small chest that takes up 2 square feet of floor space. If it is 4 feet tall, you will have around 8 cubic feet of storage. Take that to the ceiling and suddenly you have doubled or tripled your volume, but haven’t given away any more floor space which is a scarcity in a Tiny House.

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2. Everything has a place and is in its place

When working with a small space I know that everything needs a place. Without it, your house goes from quaint to cluttered. Make sure every item you have has its own resting place and be sure that it finds its way back once you’re done using it. One lady who lives in a 90 square foot apartment said to me “if it doesn’t have a place, do you really need it?” and that’s a good point. Things that matter and are used are important enough to demand a place.

3. Double duty on items

There are those items which are by their nature, multi functional. You need to capitalize on these types of items. When you consider an item, you should always think if there is something else that can do it already. A perfect example of this is the end table, which transforms to a chair for extra seating. Check it out here.

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4. Purpose built – built ins

Built-ins are nice, but built-ins with a purpose are even better. Think specifics. When paring down your possessions, you will identify the 100 or so items that will be contained in your house. Take stock of those items and let them dictate the form of your storage. If you are a ski patrol member, your closet should be able to fit your skis. If you live in colder climates, you will need more room for larger jackets than others might.

5. Go digital / paperless

As if being greener isn’t motivation enough, going digital, as I call it, means that you are able to reduce the tangible items you need. Digital files take up no space if you have them stored online, with the added advantage of being able to access them from anywhere. Combined with backing the files up, they become safer than real world things. The IRS officially accepts all scanned copies of receipts and bank statements. This extends beyond receipts: books on your Kindle, movies on your Roku, music on OpenTape, or recipes in a wiki.

zen rocks

6. Less is more

At this point I am preaching to the choir but, the question is not how to organize all your stuff, but on how to reduce the stuff to organize. The mentality needed is the same as you had if/when you went to college. The dorm rooms were tiny and you were broke. You only had what you really needed. Studies have shown that more stuff does not lead to happiness, so focus on the important things in life.

7. One thing in, one thing out

One principle that I like to pull from the Zen/Fung Shui school of thought is this. If you want to add a new item, consider adopting the rule that for every item you bring in, you must give up something else. Now, no cheating – like giving up a pen for an arm chair, but you get the idea. 8. Be intentional Living with intention will have a profound impact on your life. Be thoughtful in your actions and choices. This extends to your organization and stuff. When you consider purchasing an item, you must first evaluate it and decide if you really need it. I often don’t buy it right then, but next time I am in that store (in a week or two). If I still want it then, I usually go for it if it makes sense.

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9. Think inside the box

This is a technique that I use when I feel that a certain space is cluttered or if I start stacking stuff. Take a box, fill it up with everything. Then as you need the items pull them out of the box. Six weeks later, if you still have stuff in the box – no, let me rephrase that, you WILL have stuff in the box – you can evaluate what is left. There is rarely an item that I have that I don’t use within 6 weeks that’s worth keeping. Detailed box theory.

10. Most used items easy to access

This seems pretty obvious, but having the most used items in the front means you are able to access them quicker and without disturbing other things. This ties back to being intentional. You should be intense about organizing your items in this manner. If you notice that there are items in the back that haven’t been touched in a while, it’s time to evaluate whether you still need them.

Polymecca

A reader sent this into me and I really like how well he laid out each aspect of his housetruck.  I decided to quote his key points here for your review.  He has a lot of practical solutions to many of the “how do I do ______”  questions when it comes to tiny houses.  He is still in progress of building it, his craftsmanship is gorgeous!

Finished with siding, sitting in my driveway

  • Philosophy: My overall values in designing the housetruck were simplicity, durability, sustainability, and mobility, which combine to liveability. Although I’ve been inspired by the tiny house movement, the biggest breakthrough was discovering the long tradition of gypsy caravans and British ‘living wagons.’ You can peruse a sketch of the overall purpose, structure, and systems of the project at Overview, read a rumination on the values that direct the design at Philosophy, design, values, inspirations, and read the historical background of the architecture at On showman’s vans, living wagons, and gypsy caravans.
  • Dimensions: The house itself (not including the truck cab) is 14’ long, 8’ wide, and about 7.5’ tall. Mounted on the truck, the floor is about 3’ from the ground. I’m well under the maximum height for most overpasses and bridges (13’, if I recall), but I’ll still have to be careful on small country roads and the like. There’ll obviously be no parking garages in the housetruck’s future.

Finished frame, among the roses

  • Truck: The vehicle is an Isuzu NPR. This is a medium-weight commercial truck, often used as a delivery truck with either a box or flatbed on the back. I bought mine as a cab-chassis only, so I could build up on it. The NPR has an excellent reputation, has been made for many years, and is quite common around the world. It has a sturdy little 4-cylinder diesel engine, which can be run on biodiesel or even waste vegetable oil (with some modifications). My truck is a 2001 model, with 91k miles on it and a rebuilt transmission. It’s a total blast to drive!
  • Shell: The core frame is made entirely of 2″ square-tube steel, solidly welded together. Attached to that on the outside is exterior-grade plywood, for weather protection and added strength. The exterior siding is Port Orford cedar, sourced from local/renewable forests in southern Oregon. The interior is partly fir beadboard, also sourced locally, as well as Homasote (a recycled newsprint product) faced with fabric wallpaper. The finished floor is cork. The insulation is sheep’s wool. The windows are wood and glass.
    Read more about the theory of the steel frame that is the house’s skeleton at The skeleton dance, as well as The skeleton arises, Skeleton becomes structure, and Skeleton becomes structure for the process of building the frame.

Ceiling 2/3 done

  • Electricity: The electrical system is simple and flexible. The core is a set of batteries, a charge controller, and an inverter; this will provide me with enough 12VDC and 120VAC power to run lights, computer, phone, etc. The batteries can be charged in several ways: from the truck’s alternator while running, from a solar panel outside the truck (not mounted on the truck — if there’s a lot of solar energy, I want to be parked in the shade!), from ‘shore power’ (plugging in to the grid), and from other generative sources like wind turbines, human-powered bicycle generators, and even fuel cells.
  • Water, bathing, etc.: Two large storage tanks provide around 80 gallons of fresh water (and act as ballast to keep the housetruck from floating away). A simple brass handpump fetches me water. For bathing, I use the Japanese method (hot water, a bucket, a washcloth, and a tub) or a portable shower. Because everyone asks: yes, I have a simple composting toilet.
  • Cooking & food storage: A relatively large counter gives me plenty of space for preparing food, whether for cooking or preservation. Much of the storage space in the housetruck is designed for long-term storage of food & cooking tools. Cooking itself happens out on the porch of the housetruck, on a stove powered by either charcoal or propane. A small absorption refrigerator keeps the essentials (dairy, beer) cool.

Windows set in (working space)

  • Heating & cooling: A tiny woodstove provides sufficent heat without noise or dangerous fumes. During hot weather, the upper windows of the mollycroft roof open to vent out warm air. Finally, the wheels of the truck propel me to more comfortable climes.
  • Communications & electronics: While the emphasis is on simplicity, my hacking instinct is strong. The housetruck is a kind of mobile research station, where I can measure and analyze such things as the electrical system, water levels, weather data, and positional information like GPS. These are tied together in a small network of motes — tiny computers that each do a particular job. The data is aggregated and published, when possible, to a website where observers can view a ‘dashboard’ of the housetruck. Like the electrical system, the communication system is flexible, depending on setting: cellular broadband, opportunistic wifi, SMS messages, even the narrowband of amateur radio packet networks.

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