2012 Workshop Wishlist

Well, it's almost the halfway point  of 2011 and we are starting to think about where the workshop winds will take us in 2012. So, here's your chance to influence us. Where should we be planning to go in 2012? Often, we base our workshop calendar on demand and interest. Hence, what you recommend may be the deciding factor for us when choosing a city. So, don't just tell us where to have a workshop. Tell us why we should come to your favorite city.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — May 19, 2011

Filed under: Build it yourself  

Insulated and ready to go.

Take a step back in time with us to the beginning of Jonathan Bellow's Fencl build.  Many of you have asked about insulation with "Why do you need it?"' and "How do you do it?" being to of the most popular questions. I thought I would focus on this aspect of Jonathan's build for today's post.

Now, what you don't see in this first picture is the aluminum flashing that Jonathan applied to the bottom of the framing. You have to staple it really well, leaving no gaps for any critters to climb into. Then you flip the whole frame onto the trailer so that the aluminum flashing is now on the bottom of the trailer. The frame is them screwed to the trailer. Here's a few more shots of Jonathan's handiwork:

The instruction on how to do this can be found at the very beginning of our plans. For instance, if you have a copy of the Popomo plans, you will find the information on the 2nd illustrated page. If you don't have a copy yet, it comes free with your purchase of The Small House Book.

One more thing: We've added a Berkeley workshop to our schedule! Make sure to check it out; we'd love to have you there!

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — May 16, 2011

Filed under: Build it yourself  

The Perfect Summer Project

Summer is coming and it's the perfect time to think about starting your Tumbleweed. That's what Jonathan Bellows did back in the summer of 2009 when he started to build his very own Fencl. Thanks to his very comprehensive online journal, we get to see how he went from purchasing plans to actually living in a Tumbleweed home. Here's how his journey began:

"This summer I've decided I'm going to build a house. I've been wanting to build a house for a long time now but I've been putting it off... mostly because I've had nowhere to build it. With recent real estate prices reaching all-time lows, now would be the time to buy. Of course, I'm also paranoid that, as soon as I DO buy, I'll end up wanting to move. Hardly any of y'all live around here anymore, you know? I don't want to end up stuck with a mortgage - I'm very debt-averse and it just feels wrong to me. I'm also tired of living in "standard" houses. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice house... I just want someplace where I can live more in tune with my ideals."

Jonathan's mother pointed him to our website and he took a liking to the Fencl. The rest is, as they say, history. Here's some early images of the trailer being built. You can read the rest of Jonathan's first post here. We'll be featuring highlights of Jonathan's build in future posts.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — May 11, 2011

Filed under: Build it yourself  

A Fencl in Puget Sound

And what a beauty it is! Brittany's slightly modified Fencl was built in just over 5 months. The home now sits on the shores of Puget Sound. We can't think a more perfect place for a Tumbleweed! Thanks to here ingenuity, some inspiration from the unstoppable Dee Williams herself and a love for small spaces, Brittany's story is sure to inspire you to take the next step in building your own tiny house.

"Over the internet I bought a set of plans, purchased a tiny fireplace online, and – having it shipped to my address in Olympia – invested myself my future building project enough that I couldn't chicken out.  I was going to do it.  I had made my mind and was going to build myself a tiny, mobile cabin so that I could live anywhere I wanted and whenever I wanted, wherever my future would take me. "

The inside of the Fencl is as individual as she is. Isn't it amazing how you can put so much personality into a small space?

Brittany's approach to building for her Tumbleweed is worth sharing:

"It took me roughly 5 months of building, planning, reading and mistake-making to finish my house.  Taking shop class in 7th grade just wasn't enough carpentry training, so I borrowed numerous construction books from the library and had many a meeting with Dee Williams and other construction-minded friends.  A family friend offered to help me do all the electrical, plumbing and gas work in the house – if only I would supply him with a 6-pack every time he came over.  My parents offered me space to build at the top of the property, so I set up shop and went to work.  I found an 18 foot like-new trailer on craigslist, bought my stove from the scratch-and-dent section at Dickinson, bought a beautifully painted ceramic sink in Mexico, and tried to find as many reused/recycled items as possible."

She sure seems to have made the right choice in building a Tumbleweed Tiny House:

"I have been living in the house for about a year now and absolutely love it.  It is perfect for just one person, with the occasional visitor coming over for a cozy dinner around my tiny table.  While most homeowners spend their own free time cleaning the house, my cleaning routine rarely takes 20 minutes.  I am happy to have as much free time, friend time, and happy hour time as possible to myself!"

Learn how to build your own tiny house at a Tumbleweed Green Building Workshop.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — May 09, 2011

Filed under: Build it yourself  

Jonathan Plays Wii in Tiny House

We love hearing from our customers, especially from those who've taken that big step and built a Tumbleweed Tiny House of there own. For our newsletter this week, I wanted to introduce you to Jonathan, who currently resides in his Fencl in Flint, Michigan.

Jonathan has kept a very comprehensive online journal, chronicling his build from the very beginning and subsequent relocation. One thing that I believe you'll really like is that he has taken over 400 pictures and has written over 100 entries. It makes for an inspiring read, to say the least. If that's not enough, he's also recorded some great videos of the interior and exterior of his modified Tumbleweed. Talk about maximizing a tiny space! He's even got a Wii in there and room to use it! You'll want to see his video about installing the electrical system. We get quite a few requests for information about plumbing a tiny house for everyday use and this video will answer a lot of those questions. If you've ever wondered how to live with a composting toilet, Jonathan even has a video about that.

I really think he's done a great job with this tiny house. Maybe he can inspire you to move from dreaming about tiny living to actually building the tiny house of your dreams.

p.s. You gotta read this post about his dog Barney. Hilarious!

Learn how to build your own tiny house at a Tumbleweed Green Building Workshop.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — April 15, 2011

Filed under: Build it yourself  
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