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Posts Tagged Tiny House

Sustainable MiniHome For Sale

mini1Today the MiniHome was put up for sale, it is a prototype that I really liked.  The house is made form completely sustainable materials and is already setup to live 100% off the grid.  Its a interesting styling, almost akin to a box car and for some reason it brings images of a 50’s Dinner to mind.  I really like the inside, it is big, bright and well laid out.  The unit is a prefab unit which has many perks to it, but it being sold for $100k which seems a bit steep.

mini2The inside is laid out beautifully.  I really like the use of the stair case as a bookshelf.  The combination of light woods, white walls and windows galore makes for a really nice package.  The house is around 350 square feet and I know for a period of time the designer and his daughter lived in this unit very comfortably.

mini3One aspect I really like is that this house uses a combination of clear, gray and black water.  For some of you out there who don’t know, gray water is partially treated water, black is untreated water.  When I lived in Australia  every house had a solar water heater and two water lines, clear and gray.  The clear water line was hooked up for any source that you consume, while gray went to laundry, toilets and the garden hose.  This is a really brilliant concept that works very well in Australia, but has yet to make its way over here.  Combined this with a dual flush toilet (small flush for “number one” and a larger flush for “number two”) and the impact is so much smaller.

Loyd Alter sums up the house when he says this:

Designed for a 50-year life expectancy, the miniHome offers the possibility for year-round, affordable living on almost any site. It is equally at home in a remote, wilderness setting – completely off-grid – or in an urban trailer park. Its remarkably sustainable combination of energy efficient systems and beautiful finishes usually associated with luxury condominiums results in a home that sings the virtues of simplicity and conservation

source: here

Log Home

I stumbled across this from our friends over at Materialicious,log1 It’s a “Log Home”  haha get it? Ba-Da-Psssh – Clicky Okay corny jokes aside, the aesthetic of this is a really interesting collision of rustic extreme meats modern extreme.  With all walls except the one being entirely made of logs, I love the look!

It also brings about an interesting point.  Many of us want to take our tiny homes to a wilderness setting, an area that is untouched, that hasn’t been ruined by McMansions.  With the logs being on most of the sides, the house can easily blend into the natural surrounds.  This idea is interesting because you are minimizing the impact, not as we normally think of it as in renewable resources or recycled products, but in terms of Nature’s aesthetics. log2 You are essentially able to keep what we find so great about a forest intact even with placing a house in it.

The Designers website is in French, but here is what it roughly says when I ran it through a translator:

Flake House, house wandering with the road gauge, is conceived to equip the places where it fails and to thus transpose them in strange vision. A “madness” which Marie skilfully “low tech” and “high tech”. The treatment of this poetic shelter is connected more with one object found than with an artifact. The madness is presented in the form of a cast solid building, monomatière (natural wood) broken in her center. This definite irregular break the sequence of entry and delimits space serving as been useful space. The interior treatment of the madness contrasts with the irregularity of the made exterior facade of logs. This space is punctuated random openings arranged between the logs of the walls.

log3

Jay’s Old House

Found this video, its a lil bit old, but it shows Jay Schaffer’s first Tiny House, a spacious 70 square feet!

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

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