Tiny House Living Series: Q and A

tiny-house

 

This series discusses the “What”, the “How” and “Why” of Tiny House Living

The tiny house living concept raises a lot of questions for tiny house visionaries on their quest for freedom, simplicity, and personal fulfillment. In this series we answer some of their queries and explore the lifestyle a little more deeply.

We hope you find this series enjoyable, thoughtful and thought-provoking!

Tiny House Living: Cost Versus Lifestyle Value

At some point, people new to the tiny house living always ask the same question: “Is it cheap to build a tiny house because it’s so small?”...

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Written by Adam Gurzenski — April 25, 2013

Filed under: build it yourself   Tumbleweed Living  

Tumbleweed Tiny House Trailer: Designed Specifically To Improve Your Tiny House Build

tiny-house-trailer-slide-06

Introducing our latest innovation! The Tumbleweed Tiny House Trailer! Designed specifically for tiny houses on wheels.

Over the winter we’ve been asking our fans a lot of questions, wanting to know how we can improve your building projects. You’ve told us the most frustrating part of building a tiny house on wheels is finding an appropriate, usable trailer. First locating one, then negotiating a reasonable price and cutting and welding it to size. All this effort can be time-consuming and exhausting. And after all that, you may or may not have a trailer that meets the strict requirements necessary to carry a house on wheels. So we decided we should help you with this laborious process—we developed the Tumbleweed Tiny House Trailer!

The Tumbleweed Tiny House Trailer—designed specifically for tiny houses on wheels!

Made in the US, our quality-built tiny house trailer comes standard with brakes, lights, underside flashing and radial tires. These tires are a significant upgrade from tires usually found on utility trailers and one we feel is extremely important. The tiny house trailer is also available in sizes of 14 ft, 18ft and 20 ft. offering Full Porch, Corner Porch or No Porch and creates a perfect foundation for your home.

And when it comes to attaching your house to the tiny house trailer the techniques have improved greatly. We’ve taken advantage of the latest technology and added threaded galvanized rods which serve as anchor bolts to attach your framing to. Heavy-duty, they are made to withstand major wind-drafting when driving on the open road—after all, you don’t want to lose you house!

Additionally the tiny house trailer allows for an increase of 3.5″ headroom in the house interior. The trailers surface is flat so there’s no need to build up the sub-floor prior to framing—something you cannot achieve on any other regular trailer.

To learn more and purchase your very own Tumbleweed Trailer, click here

Written by Adam Gurzenski — April 23, 2013

Filed under: build it yourself  

Compost Toilet Outhouse

Why a compost toilet outhouse? We live on 50 acres with a one bathroom house on it – we use walkie talkies to communicate with each other on our land. We conduct 75% of our lives 500 or more yards from the house in a series of huge outdoor rooms collectively referred to as ‘the pond’. As in “Honey, when I get home will you be at the pond or at the house?” It’s where we work, play, socialize, park our guests, and have campfires, barbecues, and parties.
 
The more people we share these activities with, the more we need a handy bathroom facility. It’s equally obvious that there’s no way we can afford or justify putting in a second septic system. The entire property is a watershed and we don’t want to take any chances polluting, so we wouldn’t even think about doing an old school outhouse, where you just dig a pit and add lime to the cesspool. A waterless compost toilet was the only way to go, allowing us to return the nutrients and organic materials from our waste safely to the soil.
 
The dirty details; we were on a tight budget and had some materials left over from our tiny house builds, so we opted for an entirely DIY “glorified bucket” approach. I’ve watched quite a few compost toilet videos over time, and referred back to a couple to help us plan our project. Urine diversion is the best approach because it prevents smelly anaerobic conditions and allows more of the nutritional value from our wastes to be used by plants, but to buy aurine diverter costs about $70 – $100 and takes delivery time. I’ve ordered one now, so I’ll do an update at some point about how that works out. For now we’re removing the material to an aerobic microbe rich composting situation, and we always have a large supply of sawdust so we decided to just use larger amounts of it to soak up excess liquid and put everything in one container....
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Written by Guest Blogger — April 05, 2013

Filed under: Build it yourself   Home Design  

The Devil's in the Details

Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life website has been keeping us posted about his exciting plans for a modified Fencl. In addition for guest writing for Tumbleweed, Ryan has been blogging about simple living, tiny houses, and environmentally responsible lifestyles on his website: we think he's awesome!

The devil is often said to be in the details, and this couldn’t be any truer than in a tiny house.  Many times I have made the argument over at my blog that tiny houses are more complex and intricate to build than your standard McMansions.  This is because in a small house, you have so little space to work with that the small facets seem to jump out at you. 

cornerCareful corners

When it comes to traditional homes, mistakes are easily covered through various tricks of the trade, but they have one major thing in their favor, lots and lots of space.  With that space you can easily hide the mistakes. Compare that to a Tiny House, and the tolerances are so small that sometimes being off by 1/8th of an inch means re-doing hours of work. 

levelKeeping level-headed

It is here in the details that tiny houses have made a name for themselves, because you have to be so intentional about how you use space.  Here are 5 tips to help you make sure the details given the reverence they deserve.

1.      Make a list of the most important activities your home must be able to handle, form should follow that list

2.      Tape out your floor plan to scale and act out a day in it. Be sure to have extra tape because you’ll be changing it a lot!

3.      Stop looking at other Tiny Houses, make your house for you.

4.      Consider storage for all your things, including often forgotten things like trash, recycles, and dirty laundry.

5.      Obsess over the look, feel and form of everything in your house to make sure it fits in well. 


Good luck! 

Written by Guest Blogger — January 29, 2013

Filed under: build it yourself   builders   building tips   diy   guest post   home design   house plans   small spaces  

Making Time to Build

Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life website has been keeping us posted about his exciting plans for a modified Fencl. In addition for guest writing for Tumbleweed, Ryan has been blogging about simple living, tiny houses, and environmentally responsible lifestyles on his website: we think he's awesome!

Like many of you, I have a lot on my plate.  So when it came time to build my tiny house, I started to wonder when I’d fit it time in to actually finish my house.  Right now I am juggling three jobs, running my blog over at The Tiny Life, writing a book and on top of it, building this Tiny House.  For many of you, children are part of the equation, but there are plenty of people building homes with kids.  So the question in your mind right now might be: how can I juggle everything in my life and build a tiny house? 

Ryan buildingMaking time 

The answer is actually part of what I call The Tiny Life; building a tiny house isn’t fix-all cure that some wish to believe.  In fact, in some regards building a tiny house is the simple part.  In a way it plays into our consumer culture, why go out and buy something in an attempt to fix something.  It is the lifestyle that many find difficult to adopt.  We all know you have to reduce the amount of stuff we have, but along with the small house and the sparse possessions we must bring focus to the life we wish to live in that house. 

It was at the point where I had decided to build my house that I sat down and wrote what was truly important to me, these were things that I felt were worthy of my time.  From there I ordered them in terms of importance.  It was this list that I then took and considered where I spend my energy and time. 

Through this process I realized that some things simply couldn’t be achieved right now because other things were more important to me; it meant that I had to say no to some things, which isn’t a word often in our vocabulary in modern society.  It was surprising to see how things that were a lower priority for me seemed to sneak into time that would be better used for more important things.

So take a few moments, even if it is on the back of a napkin on a coffee break, to write down your top 10 things that are most important to you and then consider how a shift if your time and energy might be needed. With this you will have to learn to say no to various activities.  In this list you can begin to see where building your Tiny House will fit in and what things have to go in order to make the time.  You might find that building your house is lower on the list, which means it will take a few years to complete, and that is okay because you are intentional about it.  In the long run you are able to focus on what is truly important in your life and begin living The Tiny Life. 

 

Written by Guest Blogger — January 23, 2013

Filed under: build it yourself   diy   lifestyle   resources   time management   tips  
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