Nov 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm #1310276
John HarperBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Another story about tiny houses:
"The world gets a lot bigger when you're living small because I can afford to do a lot more things now in terms of cash and time. The whole world is my living room."
I thought this would appeal to many of you out there. I certainly agree that simplifying your life at home lets you get outside more. And simplifying/prioritzing your financials lets you do more.
Part of me wonders, though, why not just buy an RV? And where do they store all their tools? :)Nov 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm #2048398
Angus A.BPL Member
Definitely something I would do if I didn't have any kids. This idea seems more feasible, in my opinion, with someone who is either single or partnered with no kids…or a retirement plan?
I agree, what's wrong with just an RV? Maybe they wanted it to "feel" like a conventional home?Dec 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm #2049831
I follow Kirsten Dirksen's channel on YouTube and subscribe to the Tiny House blog; I really enjoy reading stories like these.
"Maybe they wanted it to "feel" like a conventional home?"
I'd say yes or maybe just the pride of building it from scratch. For me, the largest benefit of building it on a trailer is the ability to circumvent housing code. I like the idea that I can run my lights and most of my appliances off of DC which would be better for solar off grid living than losing some efficiency by converting everything to 110v.
I really like this story:Dec 2, 2013 at 4:50 am #2049877
@leighbLocale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
@ian, I LOVE that, and I love her philosophy on "stuff". Think what the world would be like if more people felt that way! Thanks for sharing.Dec 2, 2013 at 7:32 am #2049902
Glad you liked it Leigh. As the OP suggests, there are some similarities of mindset between UL backpacking and the Tiny House movement. Kirsten's channel is well worth subscribing to.Dec 2, 2013 at 7:50 am #2049909Dec 2, 2013 at 8:04 am #2049915
John S.BPL Member
You can buy composting toilets for the home.Dec 2, 2013 at 8:12 am #2049916Dec 2, 2013 at 8:25 am #2049923
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
I'd need two… one to live in and one for all my outdoor gear :)
er… maybe two for my outdoor gear!
BillyDec 2, 2013 at 8:30 am #2049925
If you like, I can put you in touch with Tom Cruise… apparently he can help you with whatever is going on here.
These tiny homes can be wired like an RV or traditional home. Either way is perfectly safe if done correctly.
As always, your input is appreciated and I can't wait to read more of your opinions on the topic.
Have a super duper day sunshine.Dec 2, 2013 at 8:33 am #2049927Dec 2, 2013 at 8:38 am #2049928
"You can buy composting toilets for the home."
The Sun Mar composting toilets look pretty slick. I've looked at a couple but if I were to build one of these, I'd probably opt for the 12v version. My largest concern would be the footprint of the actual unit and then not being able to utilize the entire bathroom as a wet bath which would make it twice as big.
I followed the build of a family who just used a box and some sawdust and according to them, they didn't suffer from odor problems. I personally wouldn't use that compost on vegetables but it'd be fine for trees and flowers.Dec 2, 2013 at 8:39 am #2049929
You are my sunshine
I feel a bromance forming. Lucky me!Dec 2, 2013 at 8:42 am #2049934
"It's probably because it's Monday and I'm grumpy at work, but my crabby claws are out."
Awww, Dodge, here's one for your crabby little self: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGt5H3_ygdQ
Feel better now?Dec 2, 2013 at 8:44 am #2049935Dec 2, 2013 at 8:45 am #2049936Dec 2, 2013 at 8:56 am #2049939
Great for them but I'd need a little more square footage for guests during football season (plus a larger guest bath that's capable of handling the typical American "load" – just too many friends and family get-togethers where the host needs to hunt for the plunger/snake/etc… In terms of sewage and composting toilet, I saw an article on eco-homes on treehugger.com which questioned why are we paying to have the modern sewage system to haul it when it's probably valuable enough to sell. Should an interesting entry into "Gear Swap" .. but more about modern agribusiness can use these "raw materials" after various treatments. Think most sewage services treat the "sludge" and sell it anyways.Dec 2, 2013 at 8:57 am #2049940
John S.BPL Member
You have a point about safety as it relates to building code. I won't be surprised when communities begin to get more restrictive in attempts to curb the tiny house movement. They could easily change the requirements and cause large problems for those living on flat bed trailers.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:09 am #2049948Dec 2, 2013 at 9:22 am #2049953
"You have a point about safety as it relates to building code."
This reminds me of the original Geo Metro, a car which was advertised under the old EPA guidelines to achieve 55mpg. I very much doubt you could build that car today as it wouldn't meet current safety requirements but I don't see how it's more dangerous than a motorcycle which is completely legal to ride down the highway.
Safety is always a good thing. As far as these houses go, one of the primary reasons that many of them are built on a trailer is so it will be treated like an RV instead of a conventional house. So what issues would these houses have that you wouldn't encounter in an RV? My understanding, and it's entirely possible I'm dead wrong, is that there are certain standards RVs are encouraged to comply with but there isn't an RV specific building code per se.
So the two sides of this coin as I see it 1) countless people live in park models and every kind of RV and never have a problem, and 2) when RVs burn, they burn quick.
I think it's easier to make a tiny home more fire resistant than an RV. For starters, you can add fire breaks in the walls and if you don't plan on moving it or are handy with mud, you can use dry wall.
As I previously mentioned, for going solar, I like the idea that I can run my LED lights off of 12v DC in this scenario instead of having to run all of my juice through an inverter to run it off of 110v AC thereby losing efficiency. If I wasn't planning on using solar panels, I wouldn't even bother and would just wire everything to conventional building code.
All of the mini houses I've looked at online seem to have plenty of windows so egress during a fire doesn't seem to be an issue.
If you don't put up a fire/CO alarm, you're obviously trying to become a future Darwin award.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:35 am #2049957
That's probably good advice for most but most rural households (as late as great-grandparents for the middle aged Gen X and Late Boomers here) probably had an outhouse uphill of their vegetable plots. What modern technology has done is to develop the sequester of nitrogen using fossil fuels on an industrial scale where modern people do not need to go through the fuss (and potentially cholera). What you are seeing now is technology miniaturizing everything for the home (electronics, appliances and now solar .. and potentially sewage).
I doubt the old methods would pass most codes if turned in by a neighbor to the municipal codes enforcement dept.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:47 am #2049965
Reading a few of these articles, mostly rural building codes are why these very small homes are on wheels – to get classified as an RV. Think they are called "occupancy codes" to keep people from putting these on a foundation but having been stationed in "tornado alley", any shelter with wheels really makes me worry. I'd think a "go-around" might be to append a large living room/den and aforementioned guest bath. Many traditional homes are now moved off a foundation if a person gets attached to a home but has to move (don't know the technical details though).
Worrying enough about leaving my vehicle at a trailhead for more than 2 nights, I'd hate to worry about someone driving off with my dwelling. I'm more the sort to let a lease expire and put my stuff in storage (insured) if taking a long term backpacking trip or international travel.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:51 am #2049967Dec 2, 2013 at 10:35 am #2049985
Well, for me personally, I realize that this wouldn't be necessarily as safe as my stick-built home but it'd be fine for me and I'd love to take on a project like this after my youngest is off to college. Life isn't risk free and I'm willing to take on whatever calculated risk that comes along with this to reap the rewards of less time cleaning and maintaining compared to that of a 2k square foot home.
Moving past the safety issues…
Another benefit I see of the tiny house movement is that you are not limited by the four walls and forces the occupant outdoors. I think the size alone is enough to motivate the average Joe/Jill to stretch out on a hammock in the fresh air to read their book instead of sitting on the couch, eat/cook dinner outside when the weather permits, etc.Dec 2, 2013 at 11:20 am #2049995
John HarperBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Their "house on a flatbed" is obviously an extreme example and is not practical/possible for most people (ex: you have kids), but I think Ian got the main points:
1. A smaller house requires less time and money to maintain
2. A smaller house forces you to spend more time outside
In addition to the above, a smaller house forces you to own less stuff. All of this potentially means more freedom (time-wise and financially) to go backpacking.
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