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!

  1. I think Jacob Ward mentioned some valid concerns here, but I don't feel they would deter me from a small house. Envirolet makes a small composting toilet that would work nicely and it wouldn't require too much additional space to have a fully functioning two-burner hob and toaster oven, but what I do think is a glaring red flag is the safety or fire issue. To get to the tiny loft one has to ascend the ladder from the kitchen … right next to the heater … a source of open flame. If one is in the loft bed sleeping soundly and, God forbid, a fire started down on the main level, how would you safely get out? Also, I wonder about the issue of monoxide? Jay's little cottage appears to be tightly insulated which allows him to heat with such a small heater, but what if you're up top and all the oxygen depletes? Yes, I saw the tiny window (for air and escape), but it appears to me to be fixed rather than operating (opening). I plan to downsize to ~400SF (down from 1,800SF) within the next five years and I totally enjoy these articles and blogs but … would anyone really want to compromise their safety? Just curious how other proponents of the tiny lifestyle feel about the fire safety issue?

  2. I think I speak for most of us when I say there isnt' really much of an issue. The upper window can be opened or even completely broken in an emergency. The burner is far enough away that hitting it with your foot while climbing or descending is a non-issue. After that, the carbon-monoxide threats are no more than in any conventional two story house. As always, there is no excuse to not have a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector.

    In short, there is no fire safety issue. At least not any special consern beyond any other structure.

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