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Posts Tagged Tiny House

Katrina House

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I have seen these around, they are sort of similar to shot-gun style houses, which I have toyed with as an option.  This model is 308 square feet and can be built very quickly.  They were used in Katrina to rebuild or simply start from scratch,  some neighborhoods.   I like the simplicity of it and yet they are very attractive looking.  Here is what Lowe’s has to say about them:

Originally designed as a dignified alternative to the FEMA trailer, the Katrina Cottage has evolved into a nationwide sensation that is finding popularity as affordable housing, guesthouses, resorts and camps. Marianne Cusato and a team of designer have partnered with Lowe’s to bring the Katrina Cottages to market at plans and material packages. Cottages in the Lowe’s series range from 308 ft. up to 1800 sq. ft. Several of the cottages have grow options that allow the smaller cottages to be expanded over time.

The construction time of a Katrina Cottage is dependant on the style and type of cottage being built. A cottage can be done in as little as 6 weeks, but variables, such as weather, may come into play. Always talk with your contractor when working out build timelines.

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check it out here

Cube House

I found this great cube house which is a really interesting design, the photos during the winter of the exterior bring images of A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich.  Unfortunately I didn’t find many interior shots of this vacation home, apparently near New York.  The best part I think about the house is the view, they are amazing!

Here is all I was able to find on the house:

From a holiday house one has usually another conception – a unverputzter, simple Kubus from Bimsbetonsteinen is there rather the exception.  This house stands in the widths of the American continent, well 300 kilometers northwest from New York town center.  The dwellings are distributed on two floors;  The roof terrace is attainable over fliers.  (Literal translation from German website.)

It was Simon Ungers’ Cube House that pointed me to Cornell University.  He is a major source of inspiration for me, and living in this house makes that inspiration constant.

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More photos here

Living in a Shed?

When it comes to Tiny Houses, they come in all shapes and sizes.  CIMG1168Even the definition of a Tiny House isn’t all that definitive.  People who live in tiny houses live in areas that are urban to the most remote areas of the earth and everything in between.  Diversity of what Tiny is, is in itself, part of what makes it so fascinating to me.   As people take these ideals we share in the Tiny House Movement and manifest itself in so many forms, we find creative ways to live in small homes.

This richness of various forms allows us to rethink traditional housing in so many great ways.  I have toyed with building a Tiny Home a la Jay Schaffer, which I would venture is one of the most popular approaches today.  The other option I have considered is a prefab shed.  Today I was able to go see a model that I have been toying with the idea of purchasing and putting in the middle of a plot of land.

There are issues with this approach of course.  Like all other Tiny Home making this legal and to code is rather difficult by its nature of being Tiny.  One big advantage of the prefab shed option is that these structures will almost always pass code, are easily able to obtain building permits, if you even need one!  Of course officially this would have to be just a shed.  It gets a bit more complicated when you are not placing the shed behind a primary dwelling.  This is where I find myself.

When I was talking with the sales person at the shed store, she told me that they have had several customers live in these sheds.  They call these buildings “sheds” loosely, with models up to 1000+ square feet.CIMG1169

Why a shed though?  Well like I mentioned the ease of getting them legitimized of course helps.  Second they are cheap!  The model I show here is 192 Square Feet. Included are the windows, doors, installations, taxes, anchoring, site leveling and delivery all for the price of $4,200!  Figure adding in permits, running power, insulation and drywall (doing the work myself of course) I am looking at a sweet house for around six grand.  You could then deck it out with Ikea swag for another $500 and have a really really nice place!  The only drawback is there is no loft for a bed, so you have to deal with that, Murphy bed?

The other advantage to these houses is that you can move them!  Not as easily as a house on a trailer, but it’s possible.  The other advantage I see with this is that they offer payment plans of $70 a month, makes it pretty affordable, considering I have friends that pay over $1500 a month in rent.

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The difference between a tiny house a mobile home or trailer?

I have thought of this question, what is the difference between living in a tiny house and living in a mobile home/trailer?  It’s hard to put into words but I’ll give it a try.

First off a Tiny house doesn’t need to mobile, they can be built as a traditional slab foundation.  The purpose of having your home on a trailer, is that it allows you to get around many building codes due to the fact that people at city hall scratching their heads saying “its kinda like a trailer”.

Aesthetics:

I feel there is a much larger push for aesthetics than your typical RV, Trailer or mobile home.   The cost per square foot of tiny homes, is often much higher than your standard built homes.  The limited space means you much pain painstakingly maximize every inch.  The use of high quality building materials, meticulous design and some style are a huge departure from the quintessential mobile home.  I would even go a far to say they are often built with these tenant (materials, meticulous design and style) more so than most traditional homes today.  I live in Charlotte, NC which has see and continues to see huge growth.  Thousands of new homes are being built every year and they lack these things.

Philosophy:

A big driving cause for people wanting to live in these homes is because they want to downsize.  They have been buying into the notion that bigger is better for most of their lives and have come to realize, well maybe its not better or maybe it is not for me.  In our world of consumerism, our culture of ownership, we have come to see that materials things are not the most important things in our lives.  While we still  participate in this consumer economy, it is at a much lesser degree. We have changed the focus of importance from things to people, relationships and free time for pursuit of things which hold intrinsic value to us.  The key thing to realize is that we choose to live in a small house because of the lifestyle it affords us.

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