An Antique Tiny House on Wheels, From 1929

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses has received word that we're not quite the first house on wheels.  Today we learned about Charles Miller, who built and parked his very own Model-T home in Odgen, UT.  This 1929 cottage-to-go is a stunner!

Model T Motor Home built in Ogden, Utah (www.theoldmotor.com)
Model T Motor Home built in Ogden, Utah (www.theoldmotor.com)


In this classic farm cottage, we appreciate the roof line, finished porch, well-proportioned front door and over-sized windows.  This archetypal home... Read More

Written by Debby Richman — December 02, 2013

Filed under: 1920s Motorhome   Charles Miller   Cottage on Wheels   Home Design  

Sneak Peak at Linden Design

Hi Tumbleweed Fans!

Next week on July 1 ends the first three months that I have been working for Tumbleweed Tiny House Company as the new in-house Architect. It’s been an exciting ride so far – I love getting to meet you at workshops (hello to my friends from the Sacramento, Nashville, and Berkeley workshops!) and diving into the details of how a tiny house is constructed differently from regular construction. 

linden-framing-600

Working at Tumbleweed is a dream job for me. I wake up every morning excited to get to work and see what I can accomplish – and hopefully impact your lives for the better....

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Written by Adam Gurzenski — June 25, 2013

Filed under: Home Design   Tumbleweed News  

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  

Small Bathroom Design Tip: Showers

A popular small space shower design is an “open shower”. This design involves no shower walls or curtain – just the fixtures and a drain on the floor. It is a great space saver! Having used showers like these before, I feel it is important to note some serious drawbacks. Everything in the bathroom can now potentially get wet – your towel, your clothes and, my least favorite, the toilet seat. Safe, dry storage becomes nearly impossible. Successful open shower designs are possible, but most that avoid the above mentioned issues are in much larger spaces than those of our Cottage bathrooms.


If the goal is to keep the shower space from breaking up your already small space there are other solutions. Glass shower walls or curtains with ties that pull them back to the wall allow the eye to travel the full length of the room.


A glass shower wall inside a Tarleton
See more images of Will's Tarleton

Read our tips on baths and toilets

Written by Bernadette Weissmann — December 28, 2012

Filed under: bathroom   design   home design   tips  
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