Archive for the Design Category

Tiny House Guest Bedroom

So as I tell my family all about my plans for a Tiny House, my mother always asks “where am I going to stay when I visit”.  I didn’t really have any idea, perhaps a cot?  It got me thinking to how to handle guests in a Tiny House.  I love having people visit and spending time with family and friends, so this is something that I need to figure out.  Then I saw this and thought that it just might work.

What some people don’t realize is that in many Tiny Houses on trailers, if you have a open “great room” floor to ceiling height is actually 11.5 feet!  Now if you were to integrate a way to hook up the net on the sides you could instantly double your sleeping space!  When you don’t have guests etc then you can just pull it aside, perhaps into a cabinet so when pushed to one end, the door closes and hides the whole thing.

How do you plan to handle company?

All About Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs)

I have had several readers email me and other ask me about SIPs as of late:  What are they?  Why use them?  etc.  For one reason or another there seems to be some confusion, for some folks at least, so I figured I would talk about them today.

SIPs stands for Structurally Insulated Panels.  If we break down this name we have a structural panel, so a uniform part that can be load bearing, and it is insulated.

Here is the basic structure, nothing fancy, but your should get the idea.

So we can see that it is composed of two boards, sandwiching this foam.  Now there are not just any boards, they are OSB, which is a type of wood, often treated, that is made of strands of wood glued together with polymers.  OSB stands for Oriented Strand Board, meaning the strands of wood are somewhat organized into a particular direction.  You do need to be careful if you are wanting to build a environmentally friendly  house that is toxic free.  Depending on how the wood is treated and what polymers they used to bind the wood, it can gas off harmful fumes or transmit through surface to hand and hand to mouth.  So just remember to ask what they are using.

Next let us talk about the foam.  The foam is a very special mix that has to be cured under very specific conditions.  The foam is Rigid Foam Core , very similar to that of foam found in bike helmets.  The panels typical come in variations of 2 inch thicknesses (so 2″, 4″, 6″) and have some really nice properties.  Inherently the foam used is also a vapor barrier,  this of course means it servers as stop from water infultration.  It inherently also does not mold and is not liked by most bugs.

There is a few really important things I want to point out with SIPs.  The first being that it replaces studs, you do not build walls, you simply put these in place.  The second thing is that you now have to run the wires differently, because you can’t run wire in a pre assembled panel.  Finally SIPs are prefabed then brought to the site, this cuts down on over all cost.

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.