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Posts Tagged Tiny House

5 Reasons Why I Am Going Tiny

Freedom

Freedom from stuff, freedom from excess space, freedom of time, freedom from cleaning.  All of these things take time, energy, money, and resources, going smaller means these demands are reduced drastically.  You then have freedom to do what you want, what is important, what really matters in your life.  Tiny House image

Money

McMansions cost allot of money, I am sure you have noticed.  The average US house costs around $265,000.  But it doesn’t stop there!  In order for you to get into that big house, you have to get a mortgage, which by the time you pay for it; it will cost you two to three times that, so roughly $800,000.  Then add maintenance, insurance, furnishing such a large space, cleaning products, etc.

Then there is the risk that comes with a mortgage, even with buying a house that is conservative for your income, even if you save for 3-6 months of pay in case you get laid off (which 95% of Americans don’t budget for), you could still lose your home after paying it off for 28 out of the 30 years you have on it.  So factor the cost, plus risk, then consider the opportunity cost, you could be well in the hole close to 1.5 million dollars and then be left homeless.

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Land Sharing

Part of the issue of tiny houses is figuring out where to put them.  While building codes are so restrictive, it simply isn’t possible to legally place them on land in most states. landshare There is a county in my state of NC where the minimum square footage is 2500 square feet!  I continue to feel that the only viable is to buy a large chunk of land and have your house nestled deep within it.  But this presents a large barrier for some, including me at the age of 25.  Once I do get a sizable piece of land I have often thought of opening it up and sharing with other tiny houses to form a tiny community.  The group would contribute to a community garden, upkeep and improvements.  There would be public areas such as botanical garden, small park, perhaps a pool or swimming hole.  I apparently I haven’t been the only one thinking about this.

Reprinted Treehugger Bonnie Alter January 2009

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a national treasure–a writer, organic farmer, chef, t.v. personality and passionate believer in local communities. His latest venture is “Landshare“–a scheme which puts people with large unused gardens in touch with gardeners wanting space. He calls it a “food revolution destined to be the next great thing.” With more people wanting to grow their own food and allotments being harder and harder to come by, he just may be right.

It is a simple and optimistic idea. People register their interest as a grower, a spotter –someone who has seen land in their area that may be suitable for growing–or an owner. The register, once it is up and running, will put these people in touch with each other.

The facts are that 80% of Britain’s population live in towns and cities, Britain’s food travels 17 trillion miles every year to reach our plates and it costs four barrels of oil per person to feed us every year.

So there is a good reason why the concept is growing and others are proposing variations. “LandFit” is another group that is “encouraging local food production by matching would-be growers with under used land.” They too want to increase opportunities to grow good locally by bringing untended and ignored bits of land back into use. They see it is a way to not only grow food and encourage organic gardening but also as a way to discourage anti-social behaviour. It’s a variation on Jane Jacobs all over again: when you have a well-kept street with local people interested in what is going on then you have a sense of community and involvement.

It is complicated and political because it involves land ownership and the use of private property by others. The group is in the process of discussing matters such as ” governance issues, and developing a model agreement between gardener and ‘lead stakeholder’, and ways in which LandFit style agreements can be supported.”

These are two examples of groups trying to come to grips with sustainability in food production, taking control of food production and the growing numbers of people interested in gardening but without access to land. Landshare and LandFit

Great Video About Dee Williams

Great video about Dee Williams’ Tiny House.  This was one of Jay Shaffer’s first house he built, many of you know him from his company Tiny Tumbleweed homes.

Eco Pods

I have always been intrigued by creative solutions to housing, in our life the average person spend a third of all the money they make on housing, my question is, how can we change that third to a much smaller fraction?  I found this a little bit ago and what I really like about it is thatecopod

  • It is able to be transported via standard tractor trailer (18 wheeler) methods
  • It uses recycled materials almost exclusively
  • They are relatively inexpensive
  • It can be locked up and short of someone spending an hour with a plasma cutting torch, they aren’t going to get in

All of these things are really important to me because I don’t want to spend my entire life in debt, I want to be able to move my home if I find a great job elsewhere with minimal cost, and when I go on month long vacations I can without worry about my home.

Eco pods are 120 square feet of living area not counting the built in deck.  The floor is recycled car tires and actually looks really nice, plus gives some so you aren’t always standing on a hard surface, plus it cleans well.  Check out the video below and their website here

Effective use of space for a Tiny Kitchen

I love kitchens and I really love to cook, so when it comes to kitchen stuff, I am a sucker for it.  I thought I would share some innovative design ideas for tiny house when it comes to cooking.

I found this today when my copy of Dwell magazine landed on my doorstep.  The unit is made by Henry Built and while its a upscale custom kitchen designer, you could easily come up with your own version on the cheap.

hanging utility rack

hanging utility rack

The really interesting thing about this is that a rail is mounted right beneath the cabinets, flush with the wall, on this rail you can add anything you want, whether it be a cutting board, a picture, etc.  In this photo we see a knife block, cutting/serving board and a low profile colander.  The beauty of this idea is that first it gets things off the counter, it also can be slid from side to side and its it takes traditional large objects and maximizes the space by taking advantage of the smallest dimension.

Ikea has something very similar to this called their ASKER system.  The rail for this system starts a $8 and accessories hang from it start at

asker system

$3.99 and up.  The one I really like is the dish dryer, which folds to be an inch deep.

For those of you who haven’t ever been to an Ikea, I really suggest you do, you can find amazing things that are great for tiny homes, it looks good and they are cheap cheap cheap.

asker dish

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