Tiny House For Three

Family posed on the porch of their "big house" (above) and their barn raiser (below).

Meg, Brandy, and their 2-year-old son nicknamed "R.A.D." are about to dramatically shrink their idea of home. Having just received a Tumbleweed barn raiser, the family of three will be shedding approximately 3,000 square feet!

“Somewhere between growing to despise our huge mortgage and realizing we would never be able to take my mother on the Alaskan cruise she dreamed of, something just snapped in my mind.” Meg explains why her family has decided to downsize from their 3,193 sq foot home and nearly $2,000 a month mortgage payment.

“Losing my mom made us realize the ‘American Dream’ of the big house with the white fence was really just a pair of shackles preventing us from doing the things we really wanted to do.” Sadly, Meg’s mother recently lost a 17-month battle with cancer. Before she was diagnosed they had planned on moving the whole family from Texas to Washington. “The more I thought about the plans I was making with my mom, the more resolute I was that I needed this change. I was sick to my stomach with the knowledge that I let the big house weigh us down." It was then that Meg and Brandy finally made the decision to drop the big house, and travel around the country with a tiny home before settling in Washington for R.A.D to start school. 

With Brandy attending college and Meg working two jobs, the couple quickly realized that finding time to build was going to be a challenge. That’s when they stumbled upon Tumbleweed’s barn raiser - a professionally built skeleton of a Tumbleweed tiny home secured on a Tumbleweed trailer. The family chose the Cypress 24’ Horizon model, which will allow a private bedroom for their son as well as a loft bedroom for themselves.  

“Having the professional builders do all the heavy lifting and, most importantly, the strapping and securing of the structure to the trailer was the decision maker in the build vs. buy debate for me.” Meg explains. “I’ve had nightmares of the house sliding off the trailer, so the peace of mind that comes with having professionals secure my house is worth it’s weight in gold!" 

Meg and Brandy ordered their barn raiser in mid-March and received a notification it was ready on April 22nd. The family set off to retrieve their new home - one that is equal in size of their current master bathroom! When they first stepped inside the tiny dwelling that would one day carry them off on an adventure, Meg remembers thinking it felt huge and tiny simultaneously. Check out their height charts: 

“Our son calls it his ‘Biiiiigg Hooose’, and it (the tiny home) will probably continue to feel big to him while he is little.” - Meg

How will this family cope with this dramatic downsize? Check back in for updates on Meg, Brandy, and R.A.D. as they finish their house and prepare to travel around the U.S.A. 

------------------------------------

All photos provided by Meg and Brandy. 

Follow this tiny house family on their blog here. Like them on facebook here.

-------------------------------------

Jenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

 

 

 

Little House on the Ferry

Once upon a time, Arianne and Sean lived in two separate houses in Las Vegas. Between the two dwellings, the couple had over 4,000 square feet combined. So how did they end up spending “happily ever after” in an Alaskan abode surmounting to no more than 150 square feet? Well, it all started with a newspaper clipping… 

Arianne had always considered downsizing and living tiny, but it wasn’t until her mother sent her a crinkled photograph of a Tumbleweed featured in the Denver Post that she truly fell in love. “I used to dream about it.” Arianne admitted. “Sean and I wanted to live a greener lifestyle.” Her partner is an engineer in sustainable and renewable energy. Minimizing would help open other doors for the couple as well, including a big move to a certain beautiful and adventurous state. 

With an Alaskan tiny house on the menu, Arianne and Sean teamed up with Tumbleweed’s Meg Stephens to design their perfect abode - a modified Elm. The couple knew the main course of this particular tundra was best served cold, which meant a higher R-value insulation and electric heating in the floors. They also customized their house to have a galley kitchen, four skylights, and two lofts!

But once the house was complete, Arianne and Sean faced another challenge – getting their house from the Tumbleweed build site in Colorado to Anchorage. Their journey began with a cross-country road trip, including a stroll up the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway.

Next the couple took to the sea, as they boarded the Alaskan Marine Highway Ferry.“Most people were boarding cars, but we pulled up towing a house!

The workers were surprised to say the least.” Arianne chuckled, remembering. “They said it was the first house they ever loaded onto the ferry, and it barely fit!” She recalls seeing numerous whales along the swaying careen up the west coast of Canada and Alaska. Finally, they docked in Anchorage, and set out to begin their new life.

Now, half a year later, Arianne works locally for the Air Force piloting C-17s – a plane that could fit six Tumbleweeds inside! She and Sean are enjoying their new house, new location, and new neighbors – most recently a curious moose greeted them one morning, resting his head on their front porch!

Who knows, maybe he is interested in a tiny house with a little extra antler-room?

*All photos provided by Arianne and Sean

------------------------------------------------------

Jenna Spesard is a writer by trade. She is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

Written by Jenna Spesard — June 11, 2014

Filed under: alaska   Elm   green building   green living   Jenna Spesard   See a Tiny House   small house   Tiny House   travel   Tumbleweed  

Step Inside a Tumbleweed Cottage

Take a tour of this adorable 600 square foot home in Little Rock, customized from Tumbleweed Whidbey plans. 

Video courtesy of P. Allen Smith Garden Home

They might have the smallest house on the block, but one thing's for sure: Lyndsey and Tom's tiny cottage packs a lot of punch! As you float through the entrance, prepare yourself to be enthralled by a plethora of eclectic decor. From the vibrant couch pillows to the cozy lofted workspace, these tiny housers have created a feast for the eyes in this lovable little shelter. 

Notice how the white paneling elongates the room, while a clever use of storage gives the couple's home a wide open feel. "Little House in Little Rock" is colorful, quirky, and classy all at the same time. As Lyndsey describes her house in detail, with materials partly coming from salvaged resources, it's obvious that this tiny houser has a special connection with her abode. A bond that only few home owners will ever know. That's truly the spirit of tiny living! 

The house glows as sunlight beams through a multitude of windows and skylights. Storage was a priority for the couple, and the house has no shortage of cubbies and shelves. But the space that really steals the show, is the couple's gorgeous open kitchen

At Tumbleweed we're always amazed at what "build-it-yourselfers" can do with our plans.

Our homes come in two categories:

  1. Our "House To Go" is on wheels and range from 117 to 172 square feet. 
  2. Our "Cottages" (shown here) are built on foundations and range from 261 to 884 square feet

After seeing Lyndsey and Tom's customizations, we felt inspired! One of our Whidbey layouts now reflects their idea of an open kitchen, which we absolutely adore! 

While the average home is triple its size, "Little House in Little Rock " perhaps has the bigger heart. Thanks to Lyndsey and Tom for inviting us into their charming home and for inspiring us with their tremendous creativity. 

Catch up with the Arkansas tiny home couple on their blog

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Jenna Spesard is a writer by trade. She is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

    Written by Jenna Spesard — May 12, 2014

    Filed under: Build it yourself   cottage   design   diy   home design   look inside a tiny house   small house   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house decorating  

    Erin & Pete's Tiny Farm House

    Many tiny housers fantasize about being completely self-sustainable or “living off the land” but never have the resources to reach that goal. Enter Erin and Pete, a tiny house couple with a drool-worthy 40 acre dream.

    With backgrounds in wildlife biology and forestry, the duo spent several years traveling and living on the road. When they finally decided to settle down, they returned to their home state, Michigan, and began the search for their forever home. Erin remembers one open house in particular with an enormous basement. “If we live here, we’re gonna fill this basement with stuff we don’t need,” she recalls saying to Pete. The couple had been considering a tiny house for years, but it was only in that moment that they decided to make their dream a reality.

    In May 2012 Erin and Pete bought Tumbleweed Fencl plans (now known as Cypress) and began their build with little to no experience. Two years later, the build continues at Erin’s mother’s house, over an hour drive from their apartment.

    “We make the trip almost every weekend to work on the house,” says Erin, “But we have to be done by winter.” With the exterior complete, the tiny house just received a heavy dose of wool insulation - a necessity for Michigan winters. Erin hopes to have their interior cedar panelling up in the next few weeks, as long as the weather is compliant. 

    Erin & Pete with their tiny house after a snowstorm. Photo credit: Big Lake Tiny House

    But what the twosome is really excited for, is the next big move. Recently Erin and Pete purchased 40 acres in Chatham, Michigan. The plan is to move onto the property this summer with the almost complete tiny house, building as they go. The ultimate goal? A fully operational farm complete with: dairy cows, chickens, pigs, bees, a veggie garden, and sugar maple trees (which already occupy half the property)!

    The couple also aspires to build a barn for the animals and a structural bath house. “We love to cook.” Erin explained, “A separate bath house will free up space to accommodate a large kitchen.” Plumbing in the tiny house will be minimal, the stove and heater will be propane, and electricity will run off solar power.  

    With their outdoorsy backgrounds and ambitious attitude, we bet Erin and Pete will have a cozy tiny house cloaked in a beautiful farm before long!

    Look for updates on Erin and Pete’s tiny house here.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Jenna Spesard is a writer by trade. She is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

    Written by Jenna Spesard — May 05, 2014

    Filed under: Farm   Forestry   House   house plans   Lifestyle   Michigan   Sustainable   Tiny   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny Houses   tiny kitchen   Tumbleweed Cypress   Wildlife  

    Where's Nara's House?

    Wondering where this college girl's house is? If you haven't heard, Nara is in the process of obtaining a Fencl to live in for her last semester of school. Her plans have been delayed ever so slightly, but she's keeping strong. Read about her initial process here, and find out about how black ice, blizzards, and mandatory driving bans can be small impediments to tiny house transport below. 

    Last Friday, I learned one important thing about a housewarming: you need a house. Upon failing to produce one of those despite a good deal of self-promotion, I felt a little something like ashamed. "Is it so tiny I can't see it?" asked my supportive friends. A very patient staff stood by day after day, while I postponed the Facebook event not once, but thrice. 

    But it just so happens that when other things aren't warm, like say the roads in Ohio, pretty much anything can go wrong. In other words, some pesky black ice led to a minor hiccup with my house delivery. After already being behind schedule, the waiting game continued through the weekend as the trailer awaited repair some hundreds of miles away. Finally, I got word that it would arrive by the end of that week. And then....

    A blizzard hit the East Coast. 

    Window viewA lovely Saturday morning view 

    Yup. We got slammed. As much as I want to say "just my luck," I have enough life experience (and access to news channels) to realize that I'm far from being the only poor soul affected by bad weather conditions, and that ultimately my tiny house woes are very, well, tiny. I'm glad to be warm, safe, and kind of well fed. 

    As some of you may have heard, this whole state-wide driving ban thing led to a bummer of a weekend for everyone planning on attending the Tumbleweed workshop. Several Californians flew out on Thursday only to be cooped up in a hotel for a long weekend. I myself drove up from Western Massachusetts in the early hours of the snowstorm to find a ghost town. And most importantly, my apologies to all of the would-be-attendees. 

    On the plus side, all this time lounging around in a king sized bed has certainly given me the opportunity to think things over. 

    What can you doWhat can you do? Watch HBO, I guess. 

    It's hard to have things that directly affect you be entirely out of your control. I've come to peace with it, for the most part, but I won't deny that I've been going through a little bit of emotional turmoil. It's been over two weeks since I expected a delivery, and I still don't know when I'll see the house!

    I'm learning everyday that it's important to be flexible, and it's an amazing source of comfort to have a network of friends that will help you out. I will have squatted with my dear friends in Northampton, rent-free, for exactly a month. They've been incredibly patient and supportive, even if they think they're entitled to all of my groceries. I guess it's fair: my backpacks and suitcases have lined the living room wall, half unpacked, day in and day out, and my ferret has been eating everybody's headphones. 

    FerretWreaking havoc on personal electronics AND personal relationships 

    But as all of the older, wiser folks in my life have told me, it's a part of the experience. My mom's number one piece of comfort for me in darker days has always been "it will give you something to write about." So here I am, writing about it. (That said, my first attempt at 'writing about it', during which I was seeing red and occasionally punching the table, would probably make my mom disown me.) 

    The reality is, it's no one's fault. These things happen, and there's a certain risk involved in pulling any kind of trailer when the roads are icy- I knew that at the beginning. I appreciate the work of all of those involved, like the truck driver who went through hell and still sent me a very sweet apology note. 

    This is not so much a lesson about transporting tiny houses as it is about remaining patient. It's not the end of the world. It's important to keep weather in mind when you're attempting to transport a small house in the winter- just ask Molly- but it's also not inevitable that something will go wrong. You just have to keep your chin up, and be grateful that a better future is on it's way, storm or no storm.

    Thanks for your patience, everyone, and thanks for being so understanding about the workshop cancellation- we'll make it up to you! 

    More soon, 

    Nara 

    Written by Nara Williams — February 12, 2013

    Filed under: change in plans   Massachusetts   patience   snow   storm   stranded   tiny house   workshop  
    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

    Take a Video Tour