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Old 01-13-2013, 07:37 PM   #751
a1fa
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Cool site! Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #752
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Originally Posted by freeflow View Post
I like the roof line of that - two simple planes - ideal for when your view is north but you want solar heating.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:48 PM   #753
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Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
I like the roof line of that - two simple planes - ideal for when your view is north but you want solar heating.
solar heating is one aspect. also, the use of natural light is vastly more versatile with that arrangement, which is one reason it's figuring into my own reno project.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #754
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I could be wrong since I do not know much about this one, but it looks like a house plan from popular something or other in the 70's drawn by Lester Walker. I love how this looks! Now I need some property with no laws based on a minimum square footage for a house.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #755
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and the house plans...
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #756
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Originally Posted by tbonestone View Post
I could be wrong since I do not know much about this one, but it looks like a house plan from popular something or other in the 70's drawn by Lester Walker. I love how this looks! Now I need some property with no laws based on a minimum square footage for a house.
http://alexscottporterdesign.com/

http://www.woohome.com/architecture/...and-mini-house
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #757
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Just read this whole thread, and have done a bit of research into the "Tiny House" thing. Here's my thoughts:

The tiny houses -- stick frames on trailers, made to look like little cottages and cabins, are basically a step up from a typical travel trailer. On top of being custom -- meaning you can add your own personal touches, there also appears to be a higher quality. While some travel trailers are designed well enough for 4-season use, their aluminum siding, flat roofs, and thin insulation means they take a lot to heat and cool, and are susceptible to strong winds / storms / etc. The tiny house, while being more visually-attractive, uses standard home-building techniques. Walls are better sealed and insulated, and the sloping roof does a better job structurally (also better for snow pile, if you were to park it in colder climates). Granted, they're heavy, and would suck to pull due to aerodynamics, but these things are mostly designed to remain in place. Their equivalent in the camper trailer world would be referred to as a destination trailer. Basically, a trailer that can't do much off-grid camping, and needs hookups to function. You tow it someplace, and leave it. My parents are actually living out of a 27' destination trailer for the time being.

Personally, I sort of like the idea. I've lived in small places before, and know how to do it. I don't own much, I'm young, and single -- it's an attractive life style for me. The low cost of utilities is just one of the benefits. There was a lot of talk about cost per square foot, however. Yes, when you calculate cost per square foot, these are more expensive than a regular house. Think about this, though. A well-fitted tiny house still has a kitchen and bathroom, which cost roughly the same, tiny house or not. Having all of the amenities of a normal sized house, minus the unused square feet, is obviously going to drive cost per square foot up.

Would I do it? Sort of. I'm planning on buying / building a house this summer, and this is one of my options. Where I'll be living is fairly expensive compared to the rest of the state, so my budget doesn't go very far. While I don't see myself living in a glorified trailer, there are plenty of small-house designs that are big enough for my needs, while still cheap to build. Check out the "cottages" offered by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (tumbleweedhouses.com). My personal favorite is their Whidbey plan. The 2-bedroom plan is around 560 sq ft. Personally, I'd modify the plan slightly, possibly with an attached garage; but it would still be cheaper to buy land and build one of these, than it would be to buy a house. And the end result? I wind up with a personalized, new construction home that fits my needs. Versus spending more to buy a larger, less efficient, older home.

So, the tiny-houses-built-on-trailers thing is a bit extreme, but based on a solid idea -- building smaller, more efficient houses that meet one's needs without wasting space.



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Old 01-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #758
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That is an odd layout. with the bedroom at the very front of the house just off the front door and with panoramic windows (ie: no privacy). And the access to the loft for a second/third, potentially master bedroom, is via only a pull down ladder?

I would push the kitchen and bathroom all the way to the front of the house with a real staircase over the toilet space, and the bedroom all the way back. But that is just me.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:44 PM   #759
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From the pics I've seen, the loft doesn't continue the length of the house (as it appears in the plans). Instead, there's a loft area over the bath / kitchen, and a second loft area over the front room, both accessed by ladders. The front room, while labeled "Bedroom", could really be used for anything. Or, put up a few curtains for privacy. They also have an "open" layout for this specific plan, where the kitchen is L-shaped, open to the living area. Much better in my opinion. More pics here.

EDIT: Here's the open version of the layout. Kitchen becomes more open. In pictures of the completed house, the vaulted ceilings and side windows bring in plenty of natural light to the main living area.

As I said, I'd probably change the plan around a bit. If it were me, I'd probably throw the kitchen up front, move the living area forward, and make the back of the unit the sleeping area, with 2 beds / 1 bath, and a sleeping loft up top. A single car garage, either attached to the kitchen-side of the plan, or detached, would be enough to hold tools, a bike, or a small car. I'd have to play around a bit to get the bedroom / bathroom layout right, but the idea is there.

Part of living in a small space is compromising. Some rooms will have to serve multiple purposes. For example, I lived in a small apartment with a few friends over the summer. And by that, I mean sharing about 300 sq ft with 3 other people. The only chick living with us got the luxury of having the 10'x10' bedroom to herself (though, we had to go through to use the bathroom, and we all shared the closet). The main room, about 10'x15', was our kitchen, dining room, living room, office, and bedroom for 3 of us! That was one hell of a summer. :

Truth is, all of us were perfectly comfortable with the layout and the compromises. But, life moved me (and later, one of the other guys) out of state, and the girl living with us got a job as an RA in the dorms on campus and moved out... Leaving one person in a 300 sq ft apartment that suddenly felt huge. :

cab591 screwed with this post 01-20-2013 at 03:52 PM
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:46 PM   #760
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I agree with James. Besides, that kitchen would feel like being in a shoe box. Open floorspace and glass is the way to go with small spaces.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:52 PM   #761
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Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
While I don't see myself living in a glorified trailer, there are plenty of small-house designs that are big enough for my needs, while still cheap to build. Check out the "cottages" offered by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (tumbleweedhouses.com). My personal favorite is their Whidbey plan. The 2-bedroom plan is around 560 sq ft.
Don't know if you were aware, but Jay Shafer left Tumbleweed, and has started a new venture.

It looks a little light on details, but it's getting there.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:28 PM   #762
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Wow, didn't realize he had moved on!

Looking over his new plans, here's what I have to say: he's basically dropped the "small houses" from his inventory, and only has tiny houses on plan (and one wide-load sized trailer). He's gotten better at efficiently using space, except for the overuse of bookshelves! I understand books make a place feel "homey", but a kindle is a lot smaller! : when space is at a premium, books are a lot of wasted space in today's world. I guess the shelves could find another use. :

My original point still stands -- a majority of people looking to downsize to cut bills and live a simpler life aren't going to move into something THAT small. Jay himself even said in an interview, not too long ago, that he sells more books than actual plans / units.

I love the idea behind the movement, but from a practical standpoint, I need a little bigger. Gotta have some place for tools, bike, snowboard, and dog! Besides, roommates make everything cheaper, so some place with at least 2 separate sleeping areas would be nice. That said, I like the use of space in "The Weller" plan. Somehow he fit a twin sized bed, and a king sized bed!



I love the idea of the tiny house movement. I helped my parents move over the summer -- from a 6,000 sq ft house into a 27' travel trailer. With no more kids in the house, they didn't see the point in throwing away money in mortgage and utilities. I can say from experience, it really is as simple as "sell everything and buy a trailer".
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:38 PM   #763
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This link has probably come up before in this thread, but take a look at Ross Chapin's work, and small house plans:
http://www.rosschapin.com/Plans/Cott...tagespage.html

I think he does nice work, and he has some houses in the 400-900 sq. foot range.

I'm living in 950 square feet right now, with wife and baby son. It's a nice change from the 725 that we've been in the last 5 years. But it's not really a small house for around here, it's just a house that a middle class family might possibly be able to afford. Pretty much impossible to get more than 1,000 square feet for less than half a million in Berkeley.
Lack of garage and motorcycle/bicycle/tool storage is the only thing that bugs me about this house (and the last one), the living space is fine.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #764
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Not bad. I like the cottage plans, but his "small homes" get a little big! 1,000-2,800 sq ft? I think of a "small house" as under 1,000. His range of "small" is my definition of "mid-sized". The other thing, while odd dimensions make a space feel larger, and more exterior corners (and more complex roof designs) make a house look better, having so many corners drives up the cost of construction. The less corners in a plan, the cheaper it is to build. So, while plans like his "Gilann Cottage" are small (637 sq ft), they would be more expensive to build, which sort of defeats the purpose. I think he mostly hit the mark with the "Betty Gable Cottage" and the "Betty Sue House", though. Simple footprint, and a decent use of space. I feel like the larger bedroom in the Betty Gable Cottage could be moved right, allowing for a more rectangular footprint, though. Move the laundry into the hall closet, turn the bathroom 90 degrees, and you can loose the unused hall space by the bedroom entrance, move the bedroom back, and square off the footprint, making construction cheaper. Have a continuous roof that runs the length of the plan, and you can create useable loft / attic space down the length of the house. Same goes for the Betty Sue House -- square off the footprint, and work with your roof to create more practical space.



Here's some more tiny house pr0n: http://tinyhouseswoon.com/
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 AM   #765
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....more expensive to build, which sort of defeats the purpose....
and resale might have a limited market, so the overall success of investment is questionable.
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