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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bethanyasked: 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!
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
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.