Austin's Open House: October 2012

He was only 15 when he decided to start building his Tumbleweed Fencl. I remember the day I met the bright eyed high school sophomore at a Tumbleweed event. He came right up to me and said that we were going to help him build a Tumbleweed and that he would blog about the process.

Austin has generously donated his time to come to our workshops and share his story. He reminds people that if a kid can do it, so can anyone else. Now 17 years old, he has just completed his Tumbleweed and is revealing it Saturday October 6th, from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm in Santa Rosa, CA. The event is open to the public.

 

See a clip of Austin on "Extreme RV"

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 28, 2012

Filed under: Austin Hay   open house  

San Francisco Considers Smaller Homes

New York, Boston and now San Francisco.

These cities are looking at their minimum size requirements and going smaller. So what does this even mean? Building code requires that houses and apartments meet certain minimum sizes for safety. That code is then adopted and added to at the local level. Most cities will place a minimum size on the "entire" unit or building that is higher than the original code requires. After decades of increasing home sizes, these 3 cities are looking to change their codes and reduce their minimum size.

San Francisco currently has a minimum size of 290 square feet. If the proposal is approved, that number will drop to 220. We're excited to see a move in this direction!

The Los Angeles Time has a nice article about it here.

Below is a clip from NBC with Brian Williams on the topic.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 26, 2012

Filed under: building codes   video  

Could You Live in a 120-Square-Foot House?


Susan Johnston of U.S. News recently wrote an article about a tiny home that landed on the front page of yahoo. It was fun to see our good friend and associate Derek "Deek" Diedricksen featured. I followed up a little on the news and found Sage Radachowsky's website gypsyliving.org. What are your thoughts on a gypsy wagon? Could you live in one?

Here is the article:

By Susan Johnston | U.S.News & World Report LP – Sun, Sep 23, 2012 9:54 AM EDT
When Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband moved from Kansas City to a 480-square-foot lake house in Northwest, Ark., they'd planned to build a larger house on the same property and use the existing house as an office and guesthouse.
Yet the recession convinced the couple to stick with the house they had and build another small space as an office and guesthouse. Fivecoat-Campbell says they're happy with a smaller footprint. "We live in an area where recreation is a big thing," she adds. "We like to be outdoors and spend time with the dogs and not have to maintain a big house. It's easier to take care of."
[See 10 Signs American Families Are Falling Behind.]
The constant upkeep and high expense of McMansions have made smaller homes appealing to many Americans. "People realize now if they live in a tiny house, they have more money left over to pay for other things," says Derek Diedricksen, a maker of small houses in Stoughton, Mass., and author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here.
Costs for tiny homes can vary depending on factors like the materials and complexity of the design. "There are people who've gone out and built a modest house for $5,000 to $10,000 using Craigslist or free materials, but there are some that are more high-end, like rustic cabins," says Diedricksen.
Margaret Webster, who moved into a 12 x 16 foot house on Echo Valley Farm outside Ontario, Wisc., a few years ago, says she paid close to $40,000 for the house, which includes solar panels, a wood stove, a wind turbine, and a water tank. "It costs more now," adds the retiree.
Some tiny house-dwellers who DIY their homes wind up paying much less. Sage Radachowsky, who lives in Boston in a 120-square foot house he built atop a car trailer, says the materials for his house cost around $3,000. (He rents a driveway to park it, but says the driveway costs less than a typical small room in Boston.)
... Read the Entire Article Here ...

What are your thoughts on a gypsy wagon?

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 25, 2012

Thanks Chicago Tiny House Fans

 

THANKS to all the amazing, friendly-as-all-heck, and enthusiastic tiny house fans/geeks/addicts that I was lucky enough to meet while teaching the Chicago Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop. Chicago (4th visit now) still remains as one of my favorite cities ever- and man oh man does that town have some amazing musicians and blues joints! 50 people, all about tiny houses- it was a blast!

See you in NYC next! Oct 20th weekend! -Deek

Derek "Deek" Diedricksen is the mastermind behind Relaxshacks.com and is the author of 'Humble Homes, Simple Shacks'. Deek also hosts Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshops around the country.

Written by Derek Diedricksen — September 20, 2012

Filed under: Chicago   Deek   Workshop  

J.T.'s Tumbleweed is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

It only takes a couple minutes to see JT's penchant for baking bread revealed in his Tumbleweed. His kitchen is adorned with commercial shelving and his living room blinds are brilliantly made from Flax linen, known as couche which is used to cradle baguettes when they are rising. They are rolled, then pinned around a 1/2 inch dowel. In total, JT's creative nature is evident in the details of his newly built Tumbleweed home.


JT started with the Walden plans, but ended up combining elements of the Lusby, plus some of his own creativity into his finished product. And what a beauty it is. He started with the recommended 18' trailer but then decided he wanted his home to be an extra 2' longer. His solution ... add 2 feet to the living room. But what about the porch? Well, JT figured that out too. He found some c-channel steel that matched the trailer and had a 2' section welded to the front so he could add his porch. JT like's the open feel of the porch and decided to keep it free from posts and railing.

Come on in

Inside JT used much of the traditional Tumbleweed finishing touches like the pine tongue and groove walls, the wood finished windows and the fir flooring (which he couldn't stop talking about). It's amazing how many Tumbleweed's include a trip to IKEA before they are finished. And this little home is no different. Rather than build custom shelving, JT bought pine shelving at IKEA and built it right in to the house. It blends in so perfectly, you can't tell the difference.

Small Bathroom Design

To mix things up a little, JT added a couple inches to the bathroom and put in a tidy sized sink underneath the window. Above the toilet he simply recessed shelving and a mirror to give the bathroom a much grander space with a unit from IKEA. The 6" bathroom vent quickly clears the bathroom of moisture from the shower.


Small Kitchen Design

A great way to save time and money, the commercial kitchen shelving was put underneath the finished wood countertop. These shelves can be found at stores like Ikea and Costco. 

The kitchen blinds are simply dish towels with small dowels inserted into the ends - and voila - window coverings made. Next to the kitchen sink, you can see how the space in the wall was used for extra shelving.


Good sleep in a tiny home

Take a look at the accent lights at the head of the bed. Known as "up lighting", it creates a warm glow without shadows that is perfect for bedtime reading. The mattress is a single piece of memory foam for a perfect nights sleep.



See more images of the Walden.

Update: JT has answered many of the questions people asked from this post. Read JT's suggestions and advice.

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 18, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   Walden  

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