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Getting Cold Feet?

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And interesting development over at Mini-Mobile Cottage.  They recently have moved into their new Tiny House and have run into an issue with Tiny Houses: cold feet!  Now I am not talking about second guessing themselves, no they seem to be quite happy, but I mean literally their feet keep getting cold.  This is a result from have a open air space below the trailer which isn’t insulated or closed off.

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If you have ever been in a trailer park or taken a good look at one you will notice people try to close off the gap between the trailers subfloor and the ground.  This hides the wheel axles, but also creates a air pocket of air, a barrier to the cold and heat of the outdoor temperature.  Most of the time I don’t like the look of how they do it, everything from fake stone to sheet metal.  But then again if you stay allot warmer I guess its worth it, just do some nice landscaping.

Jeff and Arlene…..or rather just Arlene came up with a approach to use Industrial Wool Felt, at $1 a foot its a pretty good steal and it’s 1/2″ thick.  Check out their post on it, which is rather funny, about their cold feet here

Back when I lived in my loft apartment it was really hard to heat – or rather pay for the heat – when you have 15′ ceilings and single layer exposed brick.  My solution was to warm it just enough to not freeze the pipes and I bought a pair of these

bootiesNow I got a ton of flack from my girl friend of the time, until she tried them out, but at then end of the month I was always happy to see that I had cut my bill in half.  However I am looking forward to only having to heat the space of a Tiny House.

Billboard Refit

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I have been preaching the need for us to live allot more locally, for a variety of reasons.   As we do the old infrastructure of our 1600 mile salad will no longer have its usefulness. I wrote about how retrofitting a grocery store was one example of this, well here is another.  Dornob talked about this great concept

There are nearly 500,000 freestanding billboards in the United States alone. What if any number of these could be converted en mass into functional, modular prefab homes that could be shipped and installed in rural and urban areas around the country – eco-friendly, cheap new housing from recycled old billboards.

Prefabrication and portability are nothing new in architecture and transportation, but world-changing modular and mass-producible visions  like this concept by Nocturnal Design Labs are few and far between. Unlike most conventional prefabs, these spaces are planned with interior layouts, sun paths and wind patterns in mind, giving the result a distictive and dynamic shape.

rom the curved modern shell and functional interior spaces to the high-up locations with varied views, there is more to this than simply a clever idea from a forward-thinking designer – these are best understood as prefab building prototypes, the potential start of an entire movement in adaptive reuse already being explored by various architects and designs.

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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

Mini Mobile Made It!

I wanted to let you all know that the folks over at Mini Mobile blog have finally made it!  They have finished building their tiny house.

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Here is what they said:

On level ground, from the peak to the ground, we are 13′ 4″. If you see an over pass that says 13′ 4″, find another rout. They generally mean it. We didn’t have any problems because we took a truck rout to Ballard (the neighborhood in Seattle where we settled).

So here we are. We still need to put trim on the door, hook up a shower, paint inside and out, along with many other tasks. But we feel like in a way, one adventure has been completed and another is starting.

Check them out here

200 Year Old Renovation

I have seen this approach several times, the collision of the old and the new in architecture is a lasting archetype and for good reason!  When done properly I really like the outcome and irony of the juxtaposition of styles.  This house is an 200 year old cottage that has an interior that is minimalist it is amazingly warm.  These two things are often at odds, but a good design can really show that both can exists together very well.

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The hut was renovated in 1997 in the Alps.  The construction made sure to maintain the exterior aesthetic all the while bring a modern convinces up to date.  I don’t have a firm idea on the size, but it is quite reasonable.

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Here is a rundown from the architect

A small two-hundred-year old Alpine hut near Gstaad that had not been in use for some fifty years was converted for an art collector. The aim was to expose the existing qualities of the anonymous and unassuming functional building and to show them to their best advantage. The wonderful, secluded location and the perfectly proportioned hut, standing on its timber supports, have a magical air that had to be preserved. In order to retain the beauty of the log block with its almost blackened timber beams, the intervention in the façade was limited to installing doors and windows.

The windows are a mixture of traditional and contemporary elements. They are divided horizontally into three and can be slid as a whole so as to improve the ability to furnish the hut despite the restricted spatial conditions. The small additional sliding window is made in the local carpentry tradition and serves to regulate the airflow when kindling the fire. The roof was re-tiled with new shingle and a chimney built in the traditional style. Seen from the outside, the spirit of the up-to-date conversion is hardly perceptible; the small ruptures are too subtle to catch the eye.

In the interior the plan corresponds the traditional division of kitchen, stall and larder. The ceilings and floors are new, but nevertheless constructed in the traditional manner: 14-cm thick wooden planks which make additional insulation superfluous. The kitchen and the bathroom in the former larder are built of massive stone blocks. The stone comes from a local quarry and its unpretentious appearance makes it an ideal addition to the two-hundred-year old timber. The furnishings were especially designed for the location and open up an exciting dialogue with the traditional world of the Alps.

Source here

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