5 Blog Post Worth Reading

 

Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on the latest happening in the small house universe. Here are 5 posts that you may have missed:

  1. How to Get Around Building Codes and Zoning for Tiny House Living - TinyHouseTalk.com publisher Alex Pino and Small House Society President Greg Johnson share their insights. You'll really want to note the cities that are beginning to allow tiny houses to be legal dwellings
  2. Have You Considered a Historic Neighborhood for Your Small House? - Kent Griswold, publisher of TinyHouseBlog.com explores an intriguing option for those looking to find a spot for their tiny house.
  3. Building a Tiny House on a Mountain - Laura LaVoie is currently building her tiny house and has shared some very informative information about the building blogging process.
  4. Virtual Tumbleweed Contest - Top 10 Finalists - Our fans are some super creative folks! Check out our latest Pinterest contest and get some ideas to personalize your own tiny house.
We've got a lot more great posts coming your way. We are grateful for our many quests bloggers and look forward to sharing the best information we can to help you get started on your own tiny house. Grab your own tiny house plans here.         

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — July 20, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   Downsizing   floor plans   green building   home plans  

Yahoo! Deek is everywhere!


That Deek sure is getting around, isn't he? This is a great video. Thankfully, we know plenty of women who are not afraid of a little old saw, right ladies? You can catch more Deek at his homebase. Get your own tiny house plans here.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — July 18, 2012

Filed under: cabin   Downsizing   In the News   off-grid   video  

6 Ways to Make Small Space Seem Bigger



When you live in a small living space, it can sometimes be overwhelming to try fitting everything you need while creating a home that is pleasing to look at. Luckily, there are many decorating tricks to help make your small living area appear much larger than it is. Here is some tips to use when decorating with limited space.

Use Multi-Purpose Furniture

The biggest obstacle in a small space can be fitting the furniture you need. One way to combat this is using multi-purpose furniture. For instance, a storage ottoman, is a great item of furniture every small space should utilize. It can serve not only as an ottoman for you- but extra seating for guests, and a place to store those extra blankets and books. Another great piece of multi-purpose furniture is a daybed. Daybeds can be dressed up to look and act like a sofa during the day and in the evening, it easily becomes a guest bed.

Be Smart When Arranging Furniture

Where you place furniture makes a big impact on the overall flow of the living space. In a small area, it's vital that you place furniture in a way that allows you to maximize every square foot. Better Homes and Gardens suggests placing a sofa away from the wall, it's a great way to make your living area seem large. This technique works even better using armless sofas to help open up the room. Console tables are a great item to place behind a floating sofa- they're very narrow, and provide you with a work space.

Occupy Every Space

In a confined area, it's important there is no unused corners or walls- built-in bookshelves is a great way to use empty wall space up. They allow you to easily store all of your things, and they're very easy to build on your own. You can even use floating tables next to your bed instead of nightstands so that you have more available floor space. A great idea from Better Homes and Gardens is using narrow closets as a work space. To cover up your space when not in use- simply hang a curtain in front of the closet.

Think Tall

Whether in the living area or kitchen, it's important to think like the tallest man on earth. Using cabinets or curtains that extend all the way to the ceiling will make the room seem bigger than it is.

Reflect On Artwork

According to HGTV, mirrors are a great way to make your room seem bigger. Place the mirror across from a gorgeous piece of artwork, you will create a unique view to enjoy from any angle. It's also a good idea to place mirrors across from windows to help bounce light around the room.

Assign Everything A Place

One of the quickest ways to make a small room look smaller is by having clutter everywhere. For this reason, you should make sure everything in the house has a place to go. You can use baskets or fabric-covered boxes to make shelves seem less cluttered. Just because you live in a small space doesn't mean you have to feel like you live in a small space. Using the tips above will help you feel like you're living in a home much bigger than it actually is- what other ways have you found make your small space seem larger?



Bethany Ortiz
Bethany studied culinary arts and later received a Master's Degree in English Literature. She loves blogging about her adventures in food, and is quick to correct both your tablespoon measurement and your grammar.
 

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — July 10, 2012

Filed under: Downsizing   general   small house  

Building a Tiny House on a Mountain

 

The iconic image of the Tumbleweed Tiny House is a little home on a trailer. While most people go this route to build their tiny house, it is precisely the opposite of what we did.  Our tiny house is built in a little clearing about 200 vertical feet up a mountain with no road access.  You heard that right – no road access. We had two main motivations for this process. The first was, of course, to have a tiny mountain home nestled in the woods off the beaten path. The second was to prove to ourselves that we could build this thing without instant access to power or water.  We are not professional builders in any way so we had to learn how to do everything before we set out to build. The house is done now and we live there completely off the grid.

We started the project about three years ago. Because we lived in Atlanta and were building in North Carolina we could only work on weekends.  We drove up to our land about two weekends a month during those years.  Some friends occasionally came to help us and it was a lot of fun and a lot of exceptionally difficult and occasionally dirty work. 


We primarily used rechargeable battery powered tools that we would then take back to Atlanta with us to charge up before the next trip. We also have a very small and efficient generator we use for larger power tools like the table saw. There is also a semi-reliable ATV that we could occasionally load up with supplies and building materials. When the ATV failed, we carried things up to the build site by hand. 

The single most difficult part of this process was pouring the concrete foundation.  Because we were building the house into a mountain we decided to go with post and pier but that meant we had to dig holes, pour concrete and set the hardware. We had to transport a small cement mixer, 30 gallons of water, and 2400 pounds of unmixed concrete up to the site. The ATV struggled and could only haul three bags at a time. And without any access to electric power, we mixed and poured concrete until the sun went down. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I figure if I can do that there really isn’t much else I can’t do. 

As I mentioned, we live in the tiny house now and everything is off the grid. I hope to share more about how we live this way in the weeks to come.  


Laura LaVoie and her husband live full-time in their Tumbleweed and blog about their experience at Life in 120 Square Feet. Get your own copy of a tiny house plan here.

Written by Laura LaVoie — May 30, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   Downsizing   small house  

Tiny Houses Are No Longer Exclusive To The Alternative Crowd


Living in a tiny house is often thought of as a lifestyle that appeals to the alternative types such as hippies, gypsies and everyone else who falls into the "eccentric" crowd. After all, who in their right mind would willingly live a life with fewer square feet and fewer possessions when both are so readily available? Or are they? Supply and demand is the most fundamental element of any economy and the short supply of money most people have has lowered the demand for square feet and all of the expenses associated with them.

The feedback I receive from the people I speak with daily is that they are no longer interested in exchanging their time working for a large house and filling it up with costly things. Another basic and fundamental economic term is scarcity, and the most precious and limited resource we all have is time. The growing number of converts buying into the tiny house philosophy are regular folks willing to look at their housing choices with a clear and open mind.

The Tiny House Listing website is geared specifically to the purchasing and selling of tiny homes which means it's not only visited by people curious about tiny houses, but actively seeking to purchase one for themselves. Here is a quick rundown of the demographics of people tha visit the Tiny House Listings site. This paints a clear picture of who is interested in living in tiny homes. You can click the image for a larger view.

As you can see, the tiny house crowd is a very diverse group of people. While the majority are educated with above-average incomes, all ages, races, male, female, with kids, no kids and so on are represented. So what is the message? The majority are educated with above-average incomes. That make the tiny house movement less centered around the eccentric and more mainstream. If you don't consider yourself an "alternative" type but are interested in tiny homes and the benefits of living in one, you're not alone.

Steve Harrell is the owner and founder of Tiny House Listings.

Written by Steve Harrell — May 14, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   Downsizing   general   small house  
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