Posts Tagged Tiny House

The Search For New Land – Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted about how I suddenly had to find new land to put my tiny house, the land that I was going to be on was suddenly sold by the owners I was leasing from, you can read it all in this post.

I wanted to follow up with the next stage and share how things are coming along, plus I got some new photos and spring has sprung here!  I recently met with the local power company and determined where I could get power run to.  At first I had wanted to be much deeper into the lot, but it would have cost thousands of dollars to get the power lines run there.  So I settled for a nice spot where I could have to power run for free.  The company would install up to 200 feet of underground line to my power box for free if I stayed a customer for 1 year and paid their minimum, which was $15 a month.

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The next thing that I went to check on was water connections.  I was afraid that the water line would be at the other end of the property and would have left me having to choose water or power, otherwise I’d have to pay thousands to get one of the extended to where I needed it.   Well I think I might have lucked out because the closest water line is 300 feet from where my house will be, so while I’ll be spending several hours hard labor digging a trench (even with a trencher) I’ll take it over spending thousands any day!

Step one was clearing a path for the power company to dig the trench and then the area I’m going to park my house.  So I had someone with a chain saw come through and cut a path that didn’t have to take out any large trees, but maximized the 200 foot extension deep into the woods.

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Next up is having a temporary power pole service put in.  It will be a 200 amp service (the smallest they’ll put it).  The panel will be mounted on two posts, with a ½” piece of plywood between them.  From there the box and the meter will be installed and then a 20 amp plug has to be installed (I don’t know why, but it’s required to pass code).  Additionally two copper grounding rods will need to be driven into the ground.

The trick here is that this will need to be inspected by the city, but my house isn’t there yet (on purpose), It will be pretty tricky because they might start asking questions.  I’m just going to have to come up with a story of why I need power at that site, then cross my fingers.

Right now I am getting quotes to get the 200 amp service panel put in, if you know anyone around Charlotte, NC that would be good or may be willing to do a barter of some sort (me building them a website/free advertisements/etc), let me know!

 

Read part three of this series by clicking here

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Read part three of this series by clicking here

 

 

Cracking The Code: Tiny Houses And Building Codes

So many of you have heard about my ebook that I have been working on, I have been putting it together over the past few months and it is finally here!  You can check it out here

tiny house building codes

This guide is designed to help you navigate all the red tape when it comes to tiny housing. I have designed this manual to help you quickly familiarize yourself with some of the key bureaucratic road blocks, suggest possible pathways to building your home from the legal perspective, and several strategies to make it a success.  If you are hoping to build a tiny house, this is information that you will need.  For those who purchases this they will also get and additional 180 pages of reference materials and free updates on future versions!

This ebook came out of me trying to figure all this stuff out, after hours of working with local code enforcement, zoning, builders, trades people and tons of research we have this book.   This guide also helps you navigate getting all your utilities setup, which is more complex that many think.  The real strength of this is that I have actually been there and done this, so I grappled with the real world issues of tiny houses for you and shared them here to make living in a tiny house a success.

For anyone wanting to build and live in a tiny house, in the city or the country, this is a must read.

  Check it out here

 

Off-Road Tiny House

I’d love for this to be my tiny home away from tiny home! This rescue vehicle, previously used by the German fire brigade, was converted into an off-road tiny house! Rugged but with all the amenities to make it a home including radiant floor heating, a heated towel bar in the bathroom and a floor fitted on custom made swings to keep the living space from tilting during travel! Who wouldn’t want to travel in this! A great option for folks who want a tiny house that has more of a camper ability to go anywhere anytime but doesn’t have the feel of an RV. Definitely a step up!

MAN FAE 1.36 Truck

Custom floor built to handle rough roads without tilting the living area.

Heated floors…a luxury we don’t have in La Casita but wish we did!

Truck after being sanded, primed and re-painted.

 Water and waste tanks hidden under dining area.

Kitchen comes with electric stovetop, fridge, storage and double sink.

The skylight is a great touch in the bathroom. Light in, condensation out.

 

Dining area with room for 4 to eat comfortably.

Additional awesomeness includes roof rack and hydraulic elevator mounted in the rear for carrying heavy gear. The vehicle has been tested in Italy, Albania, and Macedonia with great success. You can check out the travelogue here.

Your Turn!

  • What would be your dream trip in one of these?

 

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Fixing Warpped And Twisted Boards

During the building process, no matter how meticulously you select your lumber, it will never be perfectly straight.  It is something that first time builders don’t consider, that your materials will be imperfect, which can result in your house being off.
The longer the board, the less straight it will be.

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Another common first time builder assumption that is incorrect is lumber dimensions.   To add to the confusion lumber is milled smaller than their names might indicate.  A 2×4 isn’t actually 2″ by 4″,  it is actually 1.5″ by 3.5″ and this is the case for all milled lumber.

What I hadn’t realized when I started is that lumber isn’t all milled the same.  For example I picked up some 2×4’s that were the higher grade studs to find that they were in fact 1/8″ smaller in each dimension.  Also 8 foot boards are often longer than eight feet.  When it comes to ply wood, usually the thickness is the same thickness indicated, but the 4′ by 8′ panel isn’t always 4 feet by 8 feet.  Plywood is also seldom flat, it often has a bow to it, I found digging into the stack of plywood and pulling out the middle sheets of the pile are often flatter.  Also the thicker the board, the flatter it stays.

So today I wanted to share these video on how to handle warped and twisted boards.

 

The Search For New Land – Part 1

So a while back I had posted about some land that I was planning on living on in my tiny house.  I am sad to report that spot isn’t going to work out well because the owners have since decided to sell the property.

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So this meant I have to finish up building and then move on, which left me in a tough spot.  I had quite a few sleepless nights over the whole thing while I searched frantically for land to get my house on.  I pursued some properties to purchase, but they didn’t work out for various reasons.  I looked for farm land to rent, but people aren’t keen on this.  I tried for trailer parks to setup up shop in, but they wouldn’t let me in even if I got designated as a park model, RV or mobile home.   My search lead me father and farther out of the city to the point where I was considering the next state over!

This is the story of tiny houses that isn’t told.  It’s not a glamorous one, it frustrating, its stressful and it will keep you up at night.

The fact is that getting tiny houses to work in a big city like Charlotte is tough, while I could easily move to the country, I’d leave behind friends, family and good paying jobs.   So I decided to tough it out here in Charlotte for many reasons.  Luckily I have found some land to live on, but now I need to get all the utilities setup without raising any eyebrows.

On my to do list is the following

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Cable internet
  • Trash service

So in the next few weeks I am going to be chronicling my journey in getting these things setup.  So stay tuned!

So now some photos of the property that my house will be on, it is quite big for being in the city and I can’t wait for the spring because there isn’t much green after the winter!

See part two of this series here

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See part two of this series here