Tag: Tiny House

Our Tiny Home Experiment – Chapter 2: Dealing With One Of Life’s Constants

If there is one thing you learn to accept, or blithely ignore, is that CHANGE will happen whether you want it or not. The timeline for building our tiny home has moved time and again. First, we were going to build it early in the spring so that we would have a place to stay when we remodeled our normal sized house during the summer. As of right now, we are over half way through July and so far we’ve got nothing built. Fear not though, a few of the things that have held us up, or changed the plans, may be good in the end.

First off, at about the same time as we reported Chapter 1 of our journey a friend told us of an open casting call for a TV show that¬† was looking for a family with children who might be interested in living in a tiny home. I didn’t think it would go anywhere but I followed up on a link to their site and submitted our basic information. The whole thing seemed like one of those moments when you send your resume off for a job and never get a response in return. That is what I was expecting, but the very next day we received a call from that casting company. We spoke briefly about why we were interested in tiny home living and how it would be a great learning experience for all of us. They said they would probably call back in about a week about setting up a Skype interview with both my wife and I.

That was cool! Getting a callback was more than we’d ever expected. Well, then there was a Skype interview which was recorded for an audition and follow-up messages and calls. Nothing has happened, but they’ve said things are still moving forward. Will anything come of it? Who knows, but the whole possibility is very intriguing nonetheless and the continued possibility of this being something has kept us from really embracing our build project. Can you blame us? Since nothing is for sure, all the major details of this casting thing are left out of the article and you will be neuralized upon finishing reading this so as to not in any way derail our chances.

Time waits for no man. This being the case, we’ve once again started moving forward on our tiny home project. After consulting with a trailer specialist, the cost to strip our 7×10 trailer down was about the same cost of buying a newly built custom and larger 7×12 trailer to our specs. The additional length and ability to spread the width out beyond the frame will give us approximately an overall exterior size of 8×13. BONUS! Also the trailer place said it should be built and ready for us by next week. Then it’s just a matter of changing our designs to accommodate the additional room.

We’ll obviously have a lot more to talk about on this front in the near future. Huzzah for simple living!

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Our Tiny Home Experiment – Chapter 1 : Planning is so VERY Important

While the weather has been a typical February in Central Minnesota(cold and windy), the planning for our spring build tiny home is heating up. Even if the end product only remotely resembles the original plan, the plan itself is a very important cog in the process.

Dreaming about what you want to build is nice and airy, but drawing up a plan will make it real. That is what we have been working on this week. After searching the internet of available floor plans, we have found one that we think we can develop with our own style and needs in mind.

There really isn’t a lot of variation when your size limit is a 7×10 single axle trailer. There is even less if you want a wet bath and toilet. Include a kitchen area and a common great room and then you have to put the bed up top in a loft. That virtually eliminated my dream of a gypsy wagon styled design. Sigh. Oh well, a traditional rafter supported roof will give us more headroom in the loft area anyway. A gambrel roof is still a possibility.

Keeping the gross weight at 4000 pounds so as to not destroy the trailer will keep us mindful of light weight building materials and equipment to outfit the inside.

Some things to consider:

  • Should we invest in a composting toilet? They are pricey but they significantly reduce the requirement for septic access.
  • What material would be ideal for the roof and siding?
  • How much space and expense would it cost to be full solar?
  • Gray water storage from the sink and shower?

Settling on a design will help bring all these options and their respective costs to light. It seems so much easier when someone else gives you directions, but this is much more rewarding. What do you think about the questions raised? Or do you have any other ideas that might help in this planning process? We welcome your input. April/May will be here shortly and that is time for action.

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Our Tiny Home Experiment – Prologue: Imagine the Possibilities

During my five year college career, I must have moved no less than 14 times. New experiences, new environments. The key to that kind of lifestyle is only having enough stuff that can be easily packed up and moved by yourself or a couple of friends you bribe with beer and pizza.  Only those things that were most valuable to you were allowed along on your life journey. Where your spirit took you was where you went.

Fast forward almost 20 years. Still moving around? Probably not so much anymore. Whether it’s kids, a spouse, a career, or all of the above, that rolling stone of your youth is completely covered in a thick jacket of moss now. Somewhere along the way we made choices and those choices came with the detritus of a culture of commercialism. See stuff, want stuff, get stuff. This collection of stuff outpaced the purging of stuff and before you know it your house is full of stuff and so is the garage…and the outbuildings…and maybe a storage locker. Here is where our story starts.

For years I have felt burdened by stuff. The things that I kept because there was value to them or I placed value upon them. Being the only child of a borderline hoarding father and a curator/collector mother , there was always a lot of stuff around. Both of them have since passed away and the burden of their stuff added to the burden of our own stuff has finally made me see that less is so much more.

In the last few years I have become intrigued with the tiny house movement because of the simplicity of it all. Using modern technology and a svelte structure to force simplicity on the burgeoning collection of things that will largely be underused, but yet continue to steal a piece of our spirits while we continue to carry their burden of possession. Will we ever pare down our possessions to live in it? Not probably while we have kids living with us, but the experience will help us to evaluate what truly is necessary and needed in our lives to be happy and free.

This series of articles is intended to chronicle our journey into building our first tiny home. As we have a number of friends also interested in this process, we are going to treat this a little organically through social media. Check out our Facebook page and get involved in the dialog on this and subsequent posts because your insight and ideas could very well influence our decisions.

We are waiting until mid-April to start building it, but so far we have this 7×10 single axle trailer which we only spent $300 on.

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