Well, it's almost the halfway point of 2011 and we are starting to think about where the workshop winds will take us in 2012. So, here's your chance to influence us. Where should we be planning to go in 2012? Often, we base our workshop calendar on demand and interest. Hence, what you recommend may be the deciding factor for us when choosing a city. So, don't just tell us where to have a workshop. Tell us why we should come to your favorite city.
Take a step back in time with us to the beginning of Jonathan Bellow's Fencl build. Many of you have asked about insulation with "Why do you need it?"' and "How do you do it?" being to of the most popular questions. I thought I would focus on this aspect of Jonathan's build for today's post.
Now, what you don't see in this first picture is the aluminum flashing that Jonathan applied to the bottom of the framing. You have to staple it really well, leaving no gaps for any critters to climb into. Then you flip the whole frame onto the trailer so that the aluminum flashing is now on the bottom of the trailer. The frame is them screwed to the trailer. Here's a few more shots of Jonathan's handiwork:
The instruction on how to do this can be found at the very beginning of our plans. For instance, if you have a copy of the Popomo plans, you will find the information on the 2nd illustrated page. If you don't have a copy yet, it comes free with your purchase of The Small House Book.
One more thing: We've added a Berkeley workshop to our schedule! Make sure to check it out; we'd love to have you there!
Well, you’ve seen the houses. You love the craftsmanship, the fact that its mobile and the idea of owning your own space. But, then you stop and starting thinking about that comfy couch in your living room. You know the one: it’s so cozy you hate to get out of it. It seems like it forms a warm cocoon of love around you every time you sink into it! Or, what about the armoire in your bedroom that’s older than your parents? I could go on, but you get the point. Inevitably, the question that seems to come up when considering a move to a tiny or small house is, what will I do with my stuff?
The first thing to consider is that many others have made the move to a tiny home without long-term withdrawal pains. How did they do it? Well, truthfully, many of our customers who have built a Tumbleweed were folks who don’t believe in the aimless acquisition of goods in the first place. You may say, “Hey that’s not me, I’m on my way to owning a second storage unit.” What can you do now? Here’s were the 123 rule comes in: If you’ve had it for 1 year, used it 2 times or less, then set it aside for 3 days, then get rid of it. I like this rule because it makes you stop and think about the things you own and helps you estimate their real value. If you use something less than twice a year, you probably don’t need it. It’s not that you shouldn’t have a sentimental connection to some precious items. The thing to remember is that the less you have, the more time you’ll have to be with those who are important to you. And the less space you’ll need to store it.
Another tip is to only use items that can serve more than one purpose. Remember this shot from Jay’s Epu:
The jars have been repurposed and make for a very attractive display. That’s not by accident. It comes from the mindset of a man who looks at an object and sees more than one use for it. You can do the same. One favorite of mine is to repurpose old luggage as a side table and to store my sweaters for the fall and winter in them.
Give these tips a try, It's not as hard as you may think.They’ll put you a few steps closer to having a Tumbleweed of your own. Remember, when you live in a tiny home, you’re living well while living with less.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
Every week I get hundreds of emails from people interested in our tiny homes from around the world. The level of interest swings rather wildly. There are those who have become swiftly convinced that living smaller is better, to those who like the concept but just can’t see themselves living in such a small space. After speaking to many from both ends of the spectrum, its become apparent to me that for many, the two biggest obstacles to living in a tiny home is a) the size of the home and b) where in the world will you put all your stuff. In this post, we’ll talk about the first one.
Space is relative I won’t try to kid you: moving from what most people call a normal-sized home to a tiny or small home is definitely a reduction of square footage. But is it really a reduction of livable space? Let’s define livable space as the area you need to take care of life’s necessities. With that definition in mind, look around your current location. How much space do you occupy at any given time? When you sit at your desk to travel the world wide web, the rest of your space becomes irrelevant to you. What I mean is this: your kitchen stands empty when you desk chair is full. What about the distance it takes to get from desk to kitchen? Outside of wall space to hang some artwork or photos, how much wasted space do you see between those two locations? The truth is that you have exactly the same usable space in a tiny home without all the vacuuming. The same is true when it comes to the bedroom. For most of us it serves a primary purpose: sleeping, which most of us readily admit we do not get enough of. When you come home from a long day of work, do you go into your bedroom and run from wall to wall, marveling at the space? Most of us don’t. We see out bedrooms as a simple and rudimentary location. It serves a basic purpose. The same is true with a tiny home, the main difference being that it is out of sight in most of the homes we design. As many tiny house owners will tell you, the small sleeping space works just fine for getting some needed shut-eye.
There is one benefit that a tiny home provides that no mini-mansion can: you begin to see the space outside of your home as another livable, usable space. There are no walls, there’s plenty of room to move about and wonders of wonders, there is so much to do out there! When I read the blogs and emails from happy tiny home owners, I always get the sense that they’ve discovered this simple truth and they are the better for it. When you step into one of our homes, the fear that you’re about to be confined to a claustrophobic space gives way to the overall sense of coziness and surprising openness of the home. That’s because they’ve been designed by someone who is a true craftsman. It’s real, livable space and it might just be all the space you’ll ever need.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
Summer is coming and it's the perfect time to think about starting your Tumbleweed. That's what Jonathan Bellows did back in the summer of 2009 when he started to build his very own Fencl. Thanks to his very comprehensive online journal, we get to see how he went from purchasing plans to actually living in a Tumbleweed home. Here's how his journey began:
"This summer I've decided I'm going to build a house. I've been wanting to build a house for a long time now but I've been putting it off... mostly because I've had nowhere to build it. With recent real estate prices reaching all-time lows, now would be the time to buy. Of course, I'm also paranoid that, as soon as I DO buy, I'll end up wanting to move. Hardly any of y'all live around here anymore, you know? I don't want to end up stuck with a mortgage - I'm very debt-averse and it just feels wrong to me. I'm also tired of living in "standard" houses. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice house... I just want someplace where I can live more in tune with my ideals."
Jonathan's mother pointed him to our website and he took a liking to the Fencl. The rest is, as they say, history. Here's some early images of the trailer being built. You can read the rest of Jonathan's first post here. We'll be featuring highlights of Jonathan's build in future posts.