J.T. Answers Your Questions!

Recently, we posted an article about J.T.'s modified Walden. It started a great conversation- blog readers responded with over 160 comments! J.T. has done his best to answer some of the questions you asked. 

J.T. in Chair


Waste water:

Alexis asked: When the septic tank gets full, is there somewhere to empty it or does it go to one of those sewage processing plants?

J.T. says: Black water is collected in an 18 gallon waste water tank by Thetford. They make a lot of RV supplies. The tank is on wheels and sits directly below the toilet under the trailer. This can be dumped at any RV park that offers a sewer dump station. For the grey water  I use a separate waste-line which collects and drains daily onto topsoil/mulch pit and vegetation.

Rain Water:

Peatstack asked: Can the house harvest rainwater, does it have a tank/filter, does it generate electricity or use a battery system with solar/ propane generator? Can it accomodate a composting toilet that the house needs no septic system? I would like a house that can sit on open agricultural land without any systems connections, the occasional propane tank and grey water drain accepted.

J.T. says: The roof's surface area is quite small, but you could divert rainwater into a collection tank for irrigation: a standard rain barrel would be overkill, but a 10 gallon tank would work. I have a 25 gallon drinking water tank onboard with a water pump. I can also hook up to a 3/4 inch garden hose. Make sure you put an RV/Marine drinking water hose or your water supply will have an off plastic odor. Water heater and pump are powered by 12v batter. 120v comes from a 20 amp extension cord into a 30 amp circuit breaker box using around .5 to 1kw per day.

Solar Power:

Annette asked: This looks like it would be the PERFECT portable office for our mounted drill team. I do have a question regarding using solar power as an energy source. Has anyone installed a solar set up and if so, what did they use and how is it working to help out with their energy usage? 

J.T. says: A Solman Action Packer System could run this house easily. A plug and play system is the solution for a tiny house- something for sure in the near future. I am considering A. 2 fixed panels on the roof of the tiny house. Orientation to the sun could be limited when a new location is found. The Solman Action Packer could easily fit in the loft area above the front door or B. 2 fixed panels on the top of my truck with the Solman system in the back of my truck. It could be parked daily in different spots to optimize sunlight, then plugged into my house daily to charge on board batteries. 

Stove and Oven:

Erica Gott asked: In mine, I want a full stove, with range AND oven, even if it's small. I love cooking and need one. I can't wait to have my own tiny home.

J.T. says: I have a 2 burner propane stove by Suburban. No oven, though a typical RV oven would fit in nicely. I use a 20 gallon propane tank under the trailer, which runs about $6 a month.

Refrigerator:

Libertymen asked: Is the refrigerator too small? 

J.T. says: I have a 3.1 cubic foot fridge under standard counter height. A 9.9 cubic foot fridge takes up the same foot print and stands around 50 inches high. You would lose useable counter space, but gain storage space

Packing Up:

Bethany asked: How does he keep things from falling off the shelves when he is moving? As well as the furniture sliding around? 

J.T. says: It takes about 10 minutes to pack everything up, and it all goes in a box! 

Front Addition: 

Jan Dregalla asked: Love the customization, especially the up-lighting  towel window shades, kitchen shelving and Ikea shelving. I'm curious, does the 2' addition on the front affect towing?

J.T. says: The extra 2 ft and added weight is on the rear, actually distributing the weight more evenly. The standard design has a lot of the weight on the towing hitch


Thanks for your great questions! 

Written by Nara Williams — December 11, 2012

Filed under: appliances   floor plans   home design   plans   small house   structure   Tumbleweed   walden  

Jonathan Black: Tiny House Builder, Grandson Extraordinaire

I try really hard to be a loving granddaughter: I visit my grandma as much as possible, take her out to lunch as often as she'll allow, and occasionally even help clean out her basement. So naturally, I've always had reason to believe I was the model grandchild.

That is, until I met Jonathan Black at the Tumbleweed workshop in LA.

 Jonathan Black Jonathan Black 

A former CalPoly student, 26 year old Jonathan chose to seek a different educational path after several unsatisfying years of school. He currently works as a server at a restaurant in San Luis Obispo, and says he's much happier dealing with "life stress" than "school stress." Now, he's setting out on a whole new meaningful adventure: tiny house building for a cause.

Jonathan's grandpa has stenosis, and is trying to plan ahead for the unfortunate possibility of needing to use a wheelchair. His house in Morgan Hill, however, is not wheelchair accessible. To solve this problem, the family has hatched a brilliant plan: Jonathan will build a wheelchair accessible wing on his grandparents' house.

There's only one problem: to work on the house, Jonathan needs a place to stay. His grandparents owned both a motor home and a shed, but neither was an option. The motor home needed too much work, and grandpa had already converted the shed into an office.

The perfect solution? A Tumbleweed Tiny House for Jonathan.

Jonathan loves the idea of avoiding debt, and is excited to integrate his tiny house into a larger meaningful project for his family. He purchased the Fencl plans before coming to LA. 

Brainstorming at the workshop 

Jonathan played around with many different designs at the workshop, getting input from his mom, Bethany, and other helpful attendees.

He will build the Fencl in January, hoping to use as many found and donated materials as possible. He will be blogging about the process as he goes, as well as checking in with us here.

After he completes his tiny house, he'll begin work on the wing for his grandparents. "My mom doesn't want it to look like a disabled wing," explained Bethany. "We want Jonathan to do something that doesn't look ugly, because it's a sensitive issue." Jonathan will be mentored by a local building inspector who is also an ADA inspector, seeking ways to make the wing both aesthetically pleasing and wheelchair accessible.

By the end of next year, he'll have not only blown me out of the water in the best grandchild competition, but will have completed a little house of his own. Two birds, one stone anyone?

Jonathan with grandparents and mom

Right now, Jonathan is looking for trailers in the Morgan Hill area, so please let us know if you can help!

 

Written by Nara Williams — December 07, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   home design   house plan   plans   small house   wheelchair accessible   workshops  

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  

Gina's Little House


There is nothing sweeter than a tiny house that finds a home. HT to Dee Williams for sharing.

Written by Brett Torrey Haynes — June 20, 2012

Filed under: house-to-go   See a tiny house   small house   video  

Tiny House = Tiny Office


We are very excited to be to owners of the Tumbleweed Tiny House that was part of the Small Worlds exhibition at the wonderful Toledo Museum of Art and we are thrilled to have helped the early childhood programming at the Museum. 

 
The Andersons and The Lathrop Company did an amazing job building and outfitting the Tiny House. Everyone involved at the Museum and Lathrop made the pick-up easy, painless and a joy.
 
I first saw a blurb about the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company on the internet back in the early 2000’s and immediately became a fan and began secretly dreaming of owning one. I started following the company website and researching other small houses. 
 
My family and I desire and seek simplicity, a mark of every Tumbleweed Tiny House. For us, however, this simplicity seems difficult to achieve in these busy days with 2 small children, 2 dogs, and regular gatherings of family and friends in our home, all of which unfortunately do not lend themselves to life in our new Tiny House. 
 
So, because living in our Tiny House is not at option at this point in our lives, we are happy that we now have a cozy, new office out of which to work. Our new Tiny House is now residing at Developer Town here in Indianapolis, IN. Developer Town is pretty amazing on its own. Software entrepreneurs work in mobile garden sheds inside a giant warehouse that was more or less abandoned. The warehouse is located on the Monon Trail, a great rail-to-trail in Indy that connects downtown to the Northern suburbs. 

The good folks at Developer Town allowed us to move in, set up and get to work. We are grateful to be there and excited to see what is next. We love our Tiny House and look forward to sharing it with our family and friends in the years to come.






The new owner of the XS-House wishes to remain anonymous. 

Written by Bridget Thornton — June 13, 2012

Filed under: home plans   house-to-go   small house   xshouse  
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
bodega loring nv
harbinger Whidbey sebastarosa
enesti b53 zglass

Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments


Free Catalog

Customer Showcase

Amish Barn Raiser

Tumbleweed Trailer

Olympia Workshop May 3-4. On Sale Now. Click here.