Monthly Archives: May 2012

T.H.A.W. – Tiny House Awareness Week

Our friends over at tiny r(E)volution.us are featuring different tiny housers on their blog, including giveaways.  Today Clothesline Tiny Homes is featured and we are giving away a free 30 minute design/build consultation.

tiny r(E)volution

tiny r(E)volution is a very informative site with instructions, thoughts, and advice on tiny house building and design.  Andrew and Crystal Odom are the power couple behind tiny r(E)volution and are in the process of building their own tiny house.  Their design includes a long term plan to add several other pods onto their tiny house, as they are the proud parents of a tiny… child.  You can check out their progress on their facebook page.

Andrew is one of the many people we’ve found via this blog who have become a supportive community that we’ve shared our journey of building a tiny house.  Andrew also interviewed us a month ago and will be doing another interview in the near future, now that we’re settled into living in our tiny house.

take care,

Carrie and Shane

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Living in the Tiny House: First Week

We’ve been living in our new tiny house for a little over a week now and are really enjoying it!!  The last few days have been great as we’re officially all moved out of our former rental house and our schedules have slowed down a bit, providing time for much needed SLEEP and SITTING AROUND.  :)

I did a blog post a week ago about what was working and what needed… improvement.  Now I have photos to go with that post!  We have already learned SO much about what works and what needs improvement.  If I could live in all my designs… they would become perfect!  This process is allowing us to learn and refine future designs for Clothesline Tiny Homes, which is great.

Things about our Tiny House that work so wonderfully well:

  1. The Bedroom: our roof designwas based on aerodynamics, but also on creating a spacious and useable interior bedroom space.  And it works SO well.  The ceiling is tall enough to walk up the storage stairs and get into bed, the white vaulted ceiling creates a spacious, yet cozy (it’s less than 8′-0 wide) sleeping nook.

    The Bedroom with vaulted ceiling (with closet under the bed platform)

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , | 51 Comments

Clothesline Tiny Homes on the Morning News

We saw ourselves on the morning news this morning – ABC channel 15 in Phoenix did a story on us building and living in our new Tiny House, which we moved into a few days ago.

Click here for the story and video on ABC’s website.  Kirk, the anchorman, did a really nice story, and the whole process was very fun.  I tried to embed the video… but I guess ABC has copyrights on it.

Stay tuned as we work to refine our Tiny House plan and create more plan options available for purchase and construction….

Also, just for the record, our reasons for going small reach beyond just economics, though it does seem like most people are driven by what their bank account will allow them to do.  We also chose to go small in order to tread more lightly on our planet, as I can’t help but feel guilty for using in excess of what I need.  I wrote more about “why tiny?” in my nervous breakdown blog too.   Other awesome side effects of having a small home include:

  • Community: we go to coffee shops and the library and are out in the yard visiting with our neighbors more
  • Connection to Nature:  at night the crickets and the sound of the breeze in the trees are so close, it feels like we are a part of everything natural, even though we are inside our home
  • Anti-consumerism:  if it won’t fit in the house… we can’t buy it!  or we have to adopt a “one in, one out” policy.

I’m sure there are many many more benefits of living small too… I’d love to hear other thoughts on this topic!

take care,

Carrie

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

We’ll be on the News tomorrow!

We just found out from our news anchor that we’ll be on the morning news tomorrow – channel 15 ABC in Phoenix – between 6 and 7 am – PST.  Exciting!  We’re going to go over to my great-uncle Stew’s house to watch, as we don’t have television.  Early rise… but it will be worth it!  we’ll post the segment video on here too as soon as we get it.

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Categories: Publicity | 9 Comments

Simple Sunday? Soon…

Hello everyone!  wow, are we tuckered out.  yesterday was moving day – we moved some of our furniture into a storage unit, donated a truckfull of stuff to Goodwill and also moved everything into our tiny house. utilizing all our hidden storage spaces.  the storage under the kitchen cabinets is awesome.  Shane built the kitchen cabinets above the wheel well enclosures, so they’re about 7″ off the floor – enough space for storage tubs I have.  So that’s where writing and drawing supplies are stored, extra toiletries, tools, and cleaning supplies.

yesterday, the icing on the cake after a ten hour day packing moving and cleaning was trying to re-build our incinerating toilet… in vain.  we had bought a used Incinolet off craigslist and it needs a new motor and new fan, and probably a new catalyst.  they’re complicated.  we were fried after working on it and finally realizing it wasn’t going to function.  I drove to Safeway to use the bathroom.  Shane ran out to pick up cat litter and a bucket.  It was an impromptu toilet solution.  that actually doesn’t smell at all!  which is a relief after the stench from our smoking Incinolet.  I was laughing hysterically because Shane selected the “Multi-Cat” cat litter.  That might be the new nickname for the house: Multi-Cat.  I think that is just so cute that he selected multi cat.  Shane and Carrie – multi cats.

Carrie scrubbing the Incinolet’s fan wheel. It’s corroded and bent and needs to be replaced.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: | 6 Comments

Tiny House: Settling in

Hello everyone!  we’ve been in our tiny house two nights now and it is so wonderful!  we are also learning a lot and finding areas for improvement.  this whole process from designing to building to moving into it to living in it has been so informative.  All in all we love it!

so many funny things have happened since we’ve moved it in.  first, the neighbors were standing outside when we first parked it.  one neighbor said “and I thought I had the smallest house on the block!  not anymore!”  kids flock to the house like it’s the pied piper.  they seem to think it’s some sort of playhouse….  one little girl literally tried to crawl across the deck and over a storage crate and into the house when we were unpacking.  Shane (kindly) told her she couldn’t come into our house right now and she burst into tears and was still crying (being comforted by her mummy) a half an hour later!  Tragic.  So, we’re just trying to communicate clearly so the house doesn’t turn into the neighborhood playhouse for the kids!

I still don’t have all my stuff moved in, or cleaned up at our big rental house because I have some work deadlines, but I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.  I can’t seem to get the pictures off my SD card… so it will be a list for now, but I’ll do a better post with photos soon.

Wonderful things that work so well:

  1. the bedroom: the roof gable over the bedroom is turned perpendicular to the main space and this creates the most wonderful, spacious, yet cozy sleeping area.
  2. storage stairs in the bedroom:  the stairs work great!  they are full of storage drawers and cubbies and work great for walking up onto the bed.  the turned gable roof mentioned above also provides enough head height to use these stairs
  3. the kitchen: it is laid out so well and such a nice small size that it is so easy to cook and wash dishes, pull food from the fridge, etc.
  4. the kitchen dish rack: we bought stainless steel shelving from ikea including a folding dish rack.  it hangs over the sink and works perfectly for drying dishes.  then it folds up and away.
  5. the front porch: so great to have a walk-out porch attached to the house
  6. the lighting: I used 60w CFL’s and they could easily be 40w or even less.  I am thinking of switching to LED bulbs.  the white ceilings and walls really help spread the light.

Room for improvement / lessons we’ve already learned:

  1. the incinerating toilet:  I could write a (humorous) short story about this toilet already and we’ve only been using it for two days.  the first night we had smoke coming from all seams on the toilet and filling our lovely space with the smell of burning urine.  not sure I’ve ever smelled THAT before!  the next morning we went to Starbucks for our toileting needs.  :)  we bought the toilet second hand off craigslist.  buyer beware.  I wish people were just honest and would say “it’s really shiny and looks good but it needs to be completely re-built” when they’re selling a non-functioning item.  because the toilet needs to be completely re-built.  and Shane, bless his heart, is doing just that.  there are about 5 things listed on Incinolet’s trouble-shooting guide, and we have all of them.  First, it was the fan not working.  hence the acrid smoke coming inside.  He fixed that and now the fan is working but extremely loud, so that needs work.  probably needs a new fan.  there are bad smells on the exterior now (at least not inside) but the toilet is supposed to be odorless, so apparently the liquid catalyst (?) is not working.  that needs to be fixed.  so.  we’re not sure about the incinerating toilet idea.  Incinolet has been very helpful and hopefully we can get it to work.  but I can see why traditional porcelain toilets with gallons of fresh, clean water in them are so popular!  a composting toilet would also have odors, as would an RV toilet with a sewage tank under it.  stay posted for our adventures in re-building a toilet!
  2. the pocket doors: go ahead and take an extra 4″-5″ from your interior living space to use pre-hung pocket doors that work smoothly and silently.
  3. the sink in the shower: we need to re-work the plumbing somehow because the sink is so small and the faucet is directly over it, so it’s almost unusable right now.  (like some people have commented here on our blog.)  in order for a small corner sink to work the plumbing needs to not be directly over it.  which is hard in a 32″ x 32″ shower, because you really want that faucet in a corner so you don’t hit your elbows on it.
  4. the site: it’s beautiful but we’re really close to our neighbors.  and when your house is small, it would be so nice to have some breathing room outdoors.  Of course, I am rather anti-social, so I’d need about 20 acres.  haha.  they’re nice neighbors, it’s just adjusting to a little more proximity than we had at our last house.  once distinct advantage of mobile living, is that this can actually be changed!  it’s not like we just invested our life savings in building next door to … fill in the blank.  :)
  5. the couch: a comfortable seat height is 18″ to the top of the cushions, which will compress when you sit down.  if you’re smaller, 16″ might even be better.  measure yourself or measure some couches that you find comfortable.  of course, the higher the couch, the more storage underneath.  right now I picked up a futon mattress to use on the couch (due to the high cost of foam and lack of time for upholstering cushions) and it is too thick, making the couch 23″ above finished floor.  too high to be comfortable.  I think with some thinner foam cushions it will work.

I’m sure there are a lot more of these, but so far we’ve found that our design works great, and with a few tweaks it would be even better.  I’m really glad we’re living in it so we can figure out all these kinks.  our experience is really going to inform our future designs and builds for clients who want a tiny home.  they are just so unique that it’s imperative to get some first-hand experience with them to get all the space layout, storage, and MEP systems figured out.  to anyone who is building their own tiny house I would really recommend investing in it at the start by consulting with a designer or builder who has lived in one, or by taking a workshop.  or just by taking a tiny house designer/builder out to lunch.  :)

okay, hope everyone is well.  thank you so much for all your kind words and thoughtful comments!  it is really helping buoy our spirits in this time of transition and adjustment.

take care,

Carrie

Categories: Tiny House Design | 12 Comments

Tiny House Progress: Moving Day, News Interview, and Interior Photos

Hello everyone!

Today has been a big day!  this morning we had an interview with the ABC channel 15 morning show from Phoenix.  It was very fun.  I’ll let you know when the segment airs and I’ll post it here too.

Also… we moved the house to our new site!  So exciting.  Feels quite surreal.  All the work, all the time, now it’s done and we can move in.

First, the interview photos: (I was going to film the anchorman filming us… but that seemed awkward.)

Getting interviewed by ABC channel 15 morning show.

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Categories: Publicity, Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 49 Comments

Tiny House: Out for a Drive – Part II

We took the house out for a spin on Saturday and it was glorious!  Watching it pull out of the shop into the sunlight… I felt so proud!  For those of you new to our journey, we bought our trailer at the end of February, worked out the design at the end of February / beginning of March, and built our own custom designed Tiny House in ten weeks.  We’re moving out of our 2BR-2BA rental house into the new 200sf tiny house this week on Wednesday.  We’re parking it on a residential lot here in Prescott, AZ for $300 per month, including all utilities.  That’s a savings of about $800 a month.

Without further ado, here’s a photo of the house out of the shop:

Taking the house out for a drive.

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Categories: Tiny House Construction, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

Tiny Progress: Light Fixtures, finish plumbing

Happy Saturday!  Today is my sister Erin’s birthday.  26 years old.  Happy birthday Enna!

Yesterday we did more clear-coating of the wood (boo, I hate polyurethane.  but it works.)  Shane got some baseboard / trim installed (which I forgot to get pictures of!  dangit)  We installed our incinerating toilet!  So exciting.

Rio in the office.

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Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Tiny House Progress: Wood Flooring, Finish Plumbing, Finish Electrical

Well…  (I can’t seem to find another way to start a blog entry)  Good morning!

We’re wrapping stuff up on the Tiny House.  And we have an interview with a news crew on Wednesday, so that’s exciting.

I had a big shopping day on Wednesday and got all the rest of the little finishing touches: a ceiling fan, a futon mattress for the couch, a shower curtain, hanging rods for the closet curtain and shower curtain, the final light fixture components, and light bulbs!  Our plumber was out yesterday connecting all the plumbing for our kitchen sink, bathroom sink, propane cooktop, and propane wall heater / furnace.

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Categories: Tiny House Construction | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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