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    Default Tiny Houses

    Tiny Houses

    The Tiny House movement has spawned many ideas about downsizing that may be useful to those who have need of a mortgage free smaller house. If food, water or electric shortages become severe it may be wise to consider an alternate location to live either temporarily or permanently. One solution is to find a farmer who is willing to lease a small parcel of land for a tiny house. Potable water can be transported, electricity can be made from the sun, greywater can be recycled and a composting toilet can all be used to create a very independent dwelling. Some living space options include:

    A tiny house on wheels from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
    A travel trailer
    A tiny house of conventional construction

    Some advantages of a travel trailer are:
    • Ready to be lived in after sewer, water and electric hookups are finished
    • Appliances are built in
    • Used trailers can be very inexpensive, and if the world does not fall apart the trailer can be resold. Until my small house was ready I lived in a 35 foot long travel trailer that I purchased for $10,000. Five years later, after saving enough money to build my house, I sold the trailer for $4,000. That calculates to be a monthly cost of only $100. If I had given the trailer away the monthly cost would have been $167 per month. Now that is frugal living.

    Some disadvantages of the travel trailer are:
    • No place to put a wood stove which is the most reliable source of heat during stressful times and long supply lines.
    • Walls and roof are thin and poorly insulated which increases energy requirements for heating and cooling.
    • A constant supply of electric power is needed in colder climates, more than can be provided by a reasonably priced solar electric system, to prevent the exterior water supply line from freezing.

    The combination of a travel trailer and storage building, or travel trailer parked under a roof shelter with a storage building at one end can provide many options. In situations where the local inspection department must be dealt with, it may be possible to get a temporary use permit for the trailer if an approved sewer connection is available.

    More tiny houses

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Hey, I've been checking out the Tiny House thing too. I lived in a small travel trailer and a sailboat as well. Once you get used to it you don't even miss the extra space and possessions. Great post.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I found that site a while back,
    Very cool indeed!!
    The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a
    midwife to the awakening of the Soul in another person.”
    ~ Plato

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Two houseboats

    In terms of sheer economics, houseboat living is very attractive. A houseboat like Brandy Bar can be built for anywhere between $8,000 and $20,000, depending on the details (in 1989). Moorage in the Portland area runs $70 to $ 100 per month for a vessel of Brandy Bar's size, and her license costs $30 every two years. Property tax is treated as it would be for any boat. Utilities run less than for an average house, since Brandy Bar is small, insulated and tightly built.

    Mother Earth News article

    More tiny houses

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Here's the other houseboat. Life on the Kentucky River.
    I got a really good laugh watching this one.

    The Moron Brothers houseboat.



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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I live in a 12X13 tent for six months of the year at a holistic institute I work at seasonally. I love it. It costs me 300.00 a month but I get electric and 3 meals a day. The food offerings are vast and varied, not to mention delicious and vegetarian, which is my year round diet. The other 6 months I live in a 3 story farmhouse with 3 acres. Very nice but more than 2 people need. My tent living comes with a lake I can use anytime and canoes and kayaks to use as available. Also, no cops ever. A community that doesn't require police. Amazing, isn't it?

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I left my life based on traditional American values, complete with a nice modern home in silicon valley nearly 2 years ago. At first I was homeless, which was not a problem, because I kept being invited to stay at many wonderful places by people who needed my help. After about 7 months I found the little place I now call home. My total housing cost is $340/month and that includes all utilities (water, electric, trash hauling, sewer). Living with such a small monthly requirement is very relaxing.

    I have a lot of free time in this lifestyle.

    I am in a small town on the beach, and am currently in a scruffy trailer park. However I've turned the little trailer space into an abundant garden, and am surrounded by flowers and the sound of water running over our little waterfall. My current living space is 220 sq ft, and I share this little home with my mate, and a home business. Fully 1/3 of our tiny home is a workshop, where we make healing devices that we send out all over the world (thank you internet).

    In addition to our tiny trailer we have also added an 8x10 ft metal storage shed. Someone was demolishing it, and we adopted it. We just did the work of take-down and put-up next to our trailer. This allows us to store inventory for our little business, and to do some of the messy fabricating jobs outside. It also makes a great cucumber trellis in the summer with the addition of some wire mesh.

    This life style is a deliberate choice, and allowed me to leave (for ever) the stress of the modern world.

    In order to make our life simple, we have removed the water heater. That allowed a little more room in the closet. Washing dishes, hands, and face in cold water isn't a problem. We have created a wonderful bathing situation. By adding a hose from the tub to a small aquarium pump and heater, then back into the tub, we can create a hot bath in about an hour. Once we get in the bath, we keep it warm by continuing to run the pump and heater if needed. This is both inexpensive, simple, and wonderful for long and luxurious baths. We have acquired a simple solar water heating system which we plan to install at some point.

    I've posted this before on the forum but I'll do it again here. Here is a photo history of our tiny and productive garden, you can also see the little old-fashioned trailer I call home for now: www.ourtinygarden.com
    Last edited by Dawn; 11th December 2011 at 02:12.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Quote Posted by Dawn (here)
    I left my life based on traditional American values, complete with a nice modern home in silicon valley nearly 2 years ago. At first I was homeless, which was not a problem, because I kept being invited to stay at many wonderful places by people who needed my help. After about 7 months I found the little place I now call home. My total housing cost is $340/month and that includes all utilities (water, electric, trash hauling, sewer). Living with such a small monthly requirement is very relaxing.

    I have a lot of free time in this lifestyle.

    I am in a small town on the beach, and am currently in a scruffy trailer park. However I've turned the little trailer space into an abundant garden, and am surrounded by flowers and the sound of water running over our little waterfall. My current living space is 220 sq ft, and I share this little home with my mate, and a home business. Fully 1/3 of our tiny home is a workshop, where we make healing devices that we send out all over the world (thank you internet).

    In addition to our tiny trailer we have also added an 8x10 ft metal storage shed. Someone was demolishing it, and we adopted it. We just did the work of take-down and put-up next to our trailer. This allows us to store inventory for our little business, and to do some of the messy fabricating jobs outside. It also makes a great cucumber trellis in the summer with the addition of some wire mesh.

    This life style is a deliberate choice, and allowed me to leave (for ever) the stress of the modern world.

    In order to make our life simple, we have removed the water heater. That allowed a little more room in the closet. Washing dishes, hands, and face in cold water isn't a problem. We have created a wonderful bathing situation. By adding a hose from the tub to a small aquarium pump and heater, then back into the tub, we can create a hot bath in about an hour. Once we get in the bath, we keep it warm by continuing to run the pump and heater if needed. This is both inexpensive, simple, and wonderful for long and luxurious baths. We have acquired a simple solar water heating system which we plan to install at some point.

    I've posted this before on the forum but I'll do it again here. Here is a photo history of our tiny and productive garden, you can also see the little old-fashioned trailer I call home for now: www.ourtinygarden.com
    It sounds wonderful Dawn. People forget that they actually spend most of their time in their heads. Living in peace, largely making your own schedule allows us to spend quality time with ourselves and get to know who we might be. Your story makes me smile.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I built a 16 x 16 pyramid for less than $400 and lived in that for 2 years while I built my cabin. No electricity, no running water, and a dirt floor, it definitely teaches you things about yourself.

    The cabin was built by hand. No power tools except for the chainsaw. I felled the trees, seasoned them, peeled them with a drawknife, notched them with a mallet and chisel, scavenged the roofing and windows, and used a brace and bit to put it all together.

    I did this while paying off student loans and making $13 per hour.

    You can be happy with far less than you ever imagined, and the single most important factor to it all is...attitude. At every turn, people were coming out of the woodwork to tell me that it wasn't possible, it wouldn't work, I wouldn't be happy...

    The naysayers were wrong.
    Just because I took the red pill, it doesn't mean that I washed it down with the koolaid

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    There's a similar thread here:
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...ghlight=hobbit
    I've lived in small spaces too, and quite liked the freedom it affords.
    The little hobbity house in the thread above is really cozy looking.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Had I remained in North Carolina I would have been livin' in my TeePee on the hill...Her name is "Abundance"






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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    This just crossed my path.

    "Old School Bus Turned Into A Tiny House"

    http://tinyhouselistings.com/old-sch...-a-tiny-house/





    Well worth checking out that site, loads of cool pads...

    http://tinyhouselistings.com/
    Last edited by astrid; 11th December 2011 at 09:34.
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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    My Sugar Shack project (in progress): Convert a 10x14 storage building into a livable guest house with solar electric power, passive solar space heating, passive solar domestic hot water, shower and a composing toilet.





    Electricity will be available from three sources: commercial grid, a generator, and solar.

    Eight 6 volt Trojan T-105 deep cycle batteries will power an old 2000 watt Trace 2012 inverter. Batteries canl be charged from three sources: (1) commerical grid when available, (2) generator, and (3) two 50 watt solar modules recycled from a previous project. The higher power inverters usually serve two functions: (1) inverting DC power into AC power, and (2) a high capacity battery charger. Switching between the two modes is automatic. With external power available an internal transfer relay switches cabin power from batteries to the external source. Disruption of the external power source will automatically switch the source of cabin power source to the batteries. When external power becomes available again the batteries start another charge cycle and external power is reconnected the cabin.

    Multiple sources of heat will be available: (1) a 4000-18000 BTU portable Mister Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater ($130), (2) a 5000+ watt portable electric radiator ($39), (3) passive solar heat from two homemade solar hot air collectors. South facing door glass also assists with passive solar heating during clear days. During the summer months awnings will provide shade for all south facing glass.

    In the summer months a small one room air conditioner will be used when grid power is available.

    A simple solar batch hot water system created from a recycled hot water heater and recycled patio door glass will provide hot water. A backup system powered by propane or electricity will be available.

    Another option that I have successfully used was to heat 6 gallons of water (outside) in a propane powered turkey cooker. In about 6 minutes the water was hot enough for a shower. Bringing the warm water inside, the intake from a 12VDC Shurflo pump was dropped into the warm water. The output of the pump was connected to a common kitchen sink sprayer. A plastic stool sitting inside the cattle watering tub provided support while bathing. The process should work just as well in a common stall shower.

    Two versions of a composting toilet may be used: (1) a Sunmar NE ($1355) left over from a previous project, or (2) a very simple homemade composting toilet ($35).

    Water drained from the shower and sink will flow into a mulch filled trench as described by Chapter 9, Branched Drain Design, in the book titled Create an Oasis With Greywater by Art Ludwig.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Check out Cal Earth. Developed by an Iranian lover of Rumi in the California Desert, these buildings can be made of earth or concrete in a few days. If you live in the southern California area they have a tour the first Saturday of the month and classes on how to build them. The basic house is about 400 sq ft and theyʻre hobbit house cute.

    http://calearth.org/

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I've put this link in on another long ago thread about building your own home but it is worth posting again: http://www.richsoil.com/wofati.jsp

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    This is a great thread. Very interesting and informative.

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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    If one wants to live like a hobbit.

    Most of those houses are underinsulated. Those school bus ones are the worst!

    Right now we live in 500 square feet that has about a 35 sqft bathroom within it. I will say this.. it is difficult if you are highly creative people to live in such a small space... we are always tripping over the oil paints and canvases, the sewing and beadwork, the property development plans, the books and magazines, the computers and the dog. .. and when I cant sleep at night I have to sit in the dark so I dont awaken my partner.

    We are in the process of building a larger house that was suppose to be a smaller house but we just could not dIeal with being cramped... so it went from 1400 sq ft to about 1800. still not a large house by any means but if you like people around and dont want guests sitting in the middle of your dirtly laundry and want to work from your home and have a place for friends and relatives to stay, and grow food and do food prep and storage.. etc etc.

    I understand that small houses are the alternative to the money crip but if you can't creatively function whats the use? if you cant sustain yourself from your house whats the use? If the house is cold whats the use? If it cant hold children? if it cant hold your aging Mom?

    Im sure its just perfect for somebody... but not anybody I know.

    Once upon a time people lived in Tepees and caves and hogans.. They got out of them as soon as they could for both physical and mental health reasons. Every year I spend about 12 weeks in a 11 foot cab over camper with my dear one. Buy the end of that time we are too ready to get away from each other and spread out, get into our projects and just get uncramped!... and I also remember living in a 30 foot fith wheel with two little kids, working the night shift..etc etc..

    Yes. Please dear god.. Keep providing for me and mine lots of space.
    Last edited by Arrowwind; 26th December 2011 at 06:41.

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  35. Link to Post #18
    United States Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I love the idea of having a portable home but for me, the Tiny House is too tiny. I need more space. I found the Turtle Tuff Dome info on the Tiny Houses website. It will sustain hurricane winds and water running under the floor... also has solar panel and wood stove options.

    11 minute demo video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_MDU...layer_embedded

    List of options and prices (didn't work on the turtletuff website):
    http://www.safecastle.com/turtletuff-shelter.aspx

    So the dome got me thinking of other ways to have a home and be sustainable and I found this video...
    8 mins: (sustainable house - regular house)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgduN...eature=related

    The couple is clearly happy and it's comfy for a woman and babies. I think guys tend to forget that men (the majority of men, anyway) tend to be a bit more rugged in what they will bear for minimal living conditions... women just need a bit more when it comes to comfort. We (again, the majority) depend on the men to go get it for us (in this case, make us a home) because men are the hunters and women are the nesters. I "can" build my own home if I had to but that's why we have partnership.

    I love the idea of living in nature and I'm ready to start exploring this way of life, now I just need to connect the dots as to what is right for me!

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  37. Link to Post #19
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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    I can't handle small places , so I would probably use it as my personal library to which is growing rather quickly..
    Most of those tiny houses look like about the size of storage sheds. which i do need lol
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  39. Link to Post #20
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    Default Re: Tiny Houses

    Quote shadowstalker: I can't handle small places , so I would probably use it as my personal library to which is growing rather quickly..
    Most of those tiny houses look like about the size of storage sheds. which i do need lol
    We have a library of 3,500 books in our tiny 240 sq ft one room home. It is all digitized and has been scanned into both computers and a kindle, in addition it is backed up on memory sticks. If all electricity fails for ever more we will be in trouble. Meanwhile having a large library in a small home is no problem with the help of modern technology.

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