It’s the Little Things (Updated)

After discussing the Tiny House movement back in June, let me bore you with my tiny house design!

(This is copy has been adjusted to proper measurements, as well as being much cleaner.)

Jenny’s Tiny House Design

This designed for a 24 by 8 foot trailer, however, trailer can possibly be made to 8 feet, 6 inches wide depending on state laws. The total height can only be 13 feet, 6 inches, but I am assuming that includes the trailer. I fully acknowledge the traffic choke point between the couch and the stairs. That’s why I am hoping I can build on an 8′ 6″ trailer.

Stairs my dogs could climb and a big comfy couch to read and watch TV on were two necessities. The couch fits over the wheel-well of the trailer and so can be built right into wall and have drawers underneath it for extra storage. On the opposite side, the wheel-well can provide the basis of a shelf for my Blu-Ray player, iPod dock, etc. The couch and folding coffee table designs I am working on. I have built furniture before, and fortunately I like Shaker design (Mission is about as elaborate as I can go), so it’s relatively easy. My desk (in the back) is portrayed as fully “deployed,” but it’s an antique flip-top desk (and I will be using on a laptop) so will be a space saver in the long run. All the clothes will be kept downstairs in the sideboard and under-stair closet. With the low ceiling, there really isn’t any room to dress in the sleeping loft.

I’m trying to figure out the windows in the sleeping loft. The common wisdom is “dormer windows” which would go over the head of the bed, but I have had skylights in my studio bedroom and they are a pain in the ass when you want to sleep in mornings.  I think I would rather have a window in the back wall for airflow. Put LED sconce lighting in that wall at the head of the bed.

Everything is electric, and I would have solar panels separately mounted outside. There are some very safe and effective heating units, and compact A/C/ units as well. (A/C is a necessity in NC.) A tankless, on-demand, water heater would be housed outside at the “front” of the trailer (which is the end with the bathroom). In the kitchen, instead of a stove I would use portable induction burners which can be stored away (under the convection oven) when not in use.

Drawer refrigerators are hella expensive! But energy efficient.

My boss has a corner sink in her kitchen, it is an awesome space saver.

I don’t make much money beyond what I can subsist on, so this would be a very long term project. However, given how expensive it is becoming to live in some parts of the country, including Maine, having my own roof over my head is probably the wisest choice to make in the long run. Even if it is a tiny roof. So this is not only a good decision environmentally, but financially. I can’t keep spending 1/3 of my income on rent. I would have to take a second job to build it tho’, or move up the administrative chain (which I really do not want to move out of the department level). 😦

So that’s my “I swear, it’s not a pipe dream.”

P.S. Part of me feels like I’m 10 and dreaming of building a club house.

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11 thoughts on “It’s the Little Things (Updated)

  1. I love hearing about your tiny house. It doesn’t sound like a pipe dream just, as you said, something that will take a while. It’s actually a very practical plan for an affordable house. Only thing is, where would you put it? Do you have some land?

    • I don’t. But I can rent a lot in a mobile home park for $170-250/month while I save to buy one. I would look for a lot that already has water, electricity, septic, etc, and there are plenty of those in rural areas where someone put in a mobile home on that it now old, run-down and ready for removal. I don’t think I would develop a open lot.

      When my parents left Maine, they sold only the half of our property with the house on it. The other, undeveloped, ten acres they kept. Shortly before he died, my father sold it to ensure my mother was she was cared for. The new owner razed ten acres of pristine pine grove for a “view” and slapped a house in there. It broke my heart. (The meagre comfort is without the trees acting as a wind break, his heating bills must be through the roof. You never see a house in Maine that, unless it is on farmland, is out in the open like that.) So even if I bought an undeveloped lot, but I would keep it wild.

  2. I love the idea of buying a bush block and just putting a tiny house on it. The only two things that worry me are snakes and bushfires. I assume in Maine you’d have different things to worry about. Snow and bears perhaps?

    • Snow and shitty driving conditions. 😉 The vast majority of the bears in Maine are Black Bears, which are pretty mellow to outright timid. You wouldn’t want to corner any bear of course, but given the choice Black Bears will almost always run away. They aren’t much of a problem so long as you have locking trash bins. Now racoons and skunks on the other hand…We had one racoon that was getting into a chest freezer in our barn and stealing frozen meat.

      And if you have pets, porcupines. In variably every pet we had in Maine went after a porcupine and ended up the worse for it. Mind you, they never went after a porcupine again.

      • The bit about the racoon raiding the freezer cracked me up. Porcupines, however, are no laughing matter. I googled and apparently those things can get up to three feet long. Aussie echidna’s are spikey but they’re little and cute. As for skunks, well, people make a big deal about Australia’s crazy wildlife but we don’t have anything that will spray stink juice all over you. That sounds incredibly not fun.

      • My brother drew a cartoon of the racoon, wearing a beret, walking about the barn door with two packs of meat under their arms, leaving behind the freezer surrounded by burglery tools.

        Porcupines are no joke. They are slow and clumsy, which is why so many dogs and cats try their luck with them, but those spines can inflict a lot of damage. Fortuntally, none of our pets got nailed so badly they required veterinary care, but they all came home with a facefull at one point and it was a family project to hold them still in order for Dad to pull the quills out. (Believe it or not, the cats actually proved the most patient with the process.) Porcupine teeth are no laughing matter either.

        Our dog, Rocky (shepard/collie mix), did come home sprayed by a skunk once. Even after the tomato-juice bath it still took a couple of days for the smell to fade. But while skunks are punks who know they can go anywhere and everyone will back off, they usually give clear signals that they are there and getting nervous. (One of which is they stamp their feet.) They are pretty easy to avoid.

      • I had to look that up!
        The tiny houses site is now one of my favs, I think if I do move out to NZ, I’ll have one at the back end of the kids garden. I like to fantasize about watching the sun go down from my tiny porch…

      • Hmm, probably the southeast corner of the country. Too far north and it’s too hot to grow my favourite fruits, like apples. Also, the further north you go, the bigger the insects get. *shudder*.

  3. I love your design it’s simple yet functional. My wife and I are still designing our tiny home. Although we are hoping to build on a custom 3 axle trailer and have a total length of 34 feet. We won’t be moving it much and by keeping it within tow spec of 8’6″ width and 13’6″ height we can’t still move it legally on the road. I will be posting our design very soon for others to see and provide input. Following for future updates!

    • Very cool. I can see with kids why you would certainly need more space. I look forward to seeing your design and reading your updates as well.

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 It’s been a work in progress. I reworked the design and posted it yesterday here: https://kiplingkat.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/updates/#comments (Still futzing with those stairs for the dogs, the next version will move them two feet back so that they don’t cut into the sleeping loft.) I’d like to work off a Tumbleweed trailer. I won’t move it much, but it will have one long haul once I am able to move back up the East Coast.
      .

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