Archive for the Local Category

I Built My Tiny House And Have All These Tools… Now What?

So a comment from one of my posts the other day got me thinking.  There are many people who have built their tiny home and now have all these tools that they acquired for their build, but don’t have a need for them anymore.  So now what?

Reduce-Resource-Consumption-Sharing-Corporate-Consumption-Tool-sharing-library_1There are those who are professional builders/craftsmen/craftswomen that will have them for their job, but that isn’t the case for many.  For others they just built a house (just think about that, they built an entire house) at that point they have learned some amazing skills and might just have caught the bug and start other fun project.

However, there are many of us who don’t need all those tools and it seems at odds to have a tiny house and a ton of tools. Up until this point I have suggested trying to recoup some of the money by selling them on craigs list, but what if we tried something different.

What if we took the tools that we used to build our Tiny House and passed them on to another tiny house builder?  Tools are expensive so I would think there would need to be some sort of exchange, perhaps a labor exchange or money.  How neat would it be if you helped out someone on their tiny house for a reasonable amount of time, which gave you the skills for your own home and in exchange, in lieu of a hourly payment, you were to adopt their tools?

I also thought about having a set of tools that I could rent out to people through this website for a small fraction of what the tools cost, but logistically that might be a nightmare because shipping would really expensive on it because of the size of some of these things, and if you get a bad apple who doesn’t take care of things.

There are of course website that have this concept where you can connect with local people who have things, some municipalities do things like this and then in Charlotte (and other places) there are tool banks that you can do this from, but I haven’t seen an option that would allow you to build a whole house by renting for less than the cost of purchase.

Your Turn!

  • What do you think of the idea of passing on tools to another Tiny House builder?
  • What do you think about a tiny house tool lending library?

 

Charlotte, NC Tiny Houses Meetup

So I have been thinking and thinking about this idea of a meetup for Tiny House people.  I have figured out a few things all of which are free or cheap, this is still in the planning stages.
What I have figured out:

  • Location to host in Charlotte, NC
  • Tour of an off-the-grid container home
  • Tour of first LEED certified Hotel in Charlotte
  • Green / Eco-Friendly expo with a series of talks
  • Possible tour of a micro farm
  • A short list of speakers (not yet approached)

What I still need to button down:

  • A Tubleweed style home brought to Charlotte, NC for tours
  • Print Materials / guides
  • Finalizing the above
  • Volunteers
  • Marketing / Promotion
  • Group to webcast talks and video tours

What can you do to help?

Have a Tiny House?

Want to volunteer?

Time To Meet?

So my friend Kent over at TinyHouseBlog.com has put forth a great post, he is asking about the next steps we need to take to start meeting face to face.  Now this is not an easy task, for many of us, we are far from others.  In fact, this blog is read by people in 150+ countries!

I did have a map going of where Tiny House people are located, but it recently was shut down because the website that ran it shut its doors.  The other bloggers and I need to come up with a replacement, I will be talking with them soon on that note.

Why should we meet?

First off, it is always good to socialize with people who are passionate about the same thing.  I have talked about how relationships are so important and how I try to drive a personal connection.  Next I see it as a way to gather and share information in a highly concentrated form.  The information gained in a few hours of talking would talk 10’s or 100’s of post on this blog. Finally bring a group together with a Tiny House bring press, press bring awareness to our issue and challenges thinking.

What will do?

What I propose – this can be changed and improved – is after locating people in a certain area, we determine a meeting place that is central.  The most successful meet will have at least one Tiny House which will draw people and the press if things go well.  The day will consist of:

  • Meet and greet
  • Tiny House tour
  • Sharing our story with press
  • Information sessions
  • Distributing materials
  • Exchanging contact info
  • Determining next steps (if any?)

What’s next?

In the comments please give me some feedback on what I laid out here.  Some questions you might consider in your comment:

  • What would you like to see?
  • What info sessions would be useful?
  • Where are you located?

The Case For Mass Transit

train
Recently one of the hot topics for our local political race for Mayor of Charlotte, NC has been what we call our light rail.  It has been debated heatedly on both sides and recently had some wins for it.  The big issue with the light rail and street cars is that it has been historically not very well managed.  Charlotte’s sprawl is pretty insane for the population it has roughly 1.8 million people in the “city” of Charlotte.  I put The word city in quotes because it’s about the looses use in terms of a densely packed city as you can get.  Our city or downtown area is no more than 10 block by 10 blocks, where everyone lives outside the city.  The sprawl is immense, going over a hundred miles in any direction.

It’s pretty funny when you are in Fort Mill South Carolina and you ask them where they live and they reply “Charlotte” but that is the mentality of the Charlotte area, we all want to live in Charlotte, but we want a full on house with a 2/3 acre lot.

I found these great videos about Cincinnati’s push for mass transit and it sounds like our own here in Charlotte in a way.  Now being from Charlotte, not Cincinnati I can’t really speak on house close these two scenarios are, but they do share some similarities and makes a case for mass transit in general.

First up is a viral marketing ad they made about their street car which is pretty funny.

What impact did/does mass transit have?

Here is a news report about the street car

What Office?

What is the best way to create a low impact office? To not have one! I have found several people that have done just that.

First lets meet Isobella Jade. She is a the new face of modeling: model, marketer, promoter, manager, make up artist all in one.   She has used the Apple store in NYC to write an entire memoir from start to finish. She setup and launched her own website, blog, and online portfolio by using the computers in the Apple store for free! Here is a video about her life as a the 5′ 4″ model / entrepreneur.

To find out more about how she works in the Apple store here is a great interview with her from Mental_Floss

Out next person is Nicholi. He is 12. What on earth does a 12 year old need an office for? Funny you should ask. Nicholi has shot numerous youtube videos right in the Apple store with their computers. He doesn’t own his own computer so he was forced to spread his creativeness through creative means. What is more impressive is that his videos and story ended up getting him spots on TV.

There are some of you out there that are asking, well I don’t live in NYC or near an apple store. Well you are not alone. David Lee King blogs about Libraries (I love how on the internet you can find people jazzed up about everything!) . In his post he discusses how Libraries are becoming the new office. With computers, wifi, fax machines, copy machines and a slew of research materials its no wonder these are hot spots for entrepreneurs. You don’t have to pay for lighting, heating, cooling. You don’t have to take time to clean the bathrooms, fix a leaky roof, etc.

Today libraries have come a long way. Many of them have conference rooms, food and coffee shops. Public transportation almost always has a stop at the libraries. The down side is that you have to walk outside to use the phone, but I will tell you that more and more things are just going to email; I rarely pick up the phone.   In addition to entrepreneurs using libraries, homeless use these resources to find jobs, find information about services for poor and homeless, stay in contact with family and friends.

coop office

Finally you have you shared office space Co-op’s which are basically non-profit business that have space, resources, materials, and sometimes a secretary for patrons. Co Work Chicago is a rental office, where individuals will rent a desk and work along side of others who just need office space. They each run their own business, but from the same space. A few times a week they all sit down for lunch, which is locally sourced. Rates run $20 per day, $90 per week and $300 a month, not bad! Their services are “T-1 Internet Connection, Kitchen & Bathroom, Furnished with Desk, Security Camera, Office Dog (included), Close to CTA & Downtown, Flexible Lease, and Most Importantly Good People. ”
Check out this great article about it and their website.