Author Archives: Carrie

Other Tiny Housers going the way of the Vacation Cabin

our tiny house

[This is a repost of a post from Tammy Strobel’s Rowdy Kittens blog.]

by Tammy Strobel, October 12, 2015

“During 2011, our tiny house was designed and built by Portland Alternative Dwellings. Being part of the design and building process was fun and exciting, but it was also nerve-racking because we didn’t know where we were going to park our tiny house once it was finished. Thanks to our friend connections, we were able to rent a small yard in Portland, OR before we moved into the house. Knowing we had a place to park the house made everything a lot less stressful.

Prior to buying our tiny house, we knew about the challenges of finding a parking spot and the uncertain legal status of tiny homes on wheels. Knowing about these issues intellectually is one thing, but living with the uncertainty is a different experience.

Over the years, we’ve moved our tiny house multiple times, and we’ve lived in multiple cities. Overall, we’ve been fortunate because we haven’t had many issues with local planning departments. The one exception was in Chico, California, where we had to leave the city because of zoning issues. The folks at the city were nice, but we weren’t willing to make the changes they requested.

Our experience in Chico changed my view of tiny house living. Home is an important construct for me, and knowing that I could be uprooted from a community because of my housing choice didn’t make me feel happy or secure.

Moving away from Chico, with our tiny house in tow in September 2013, and back to Siskiyou County was the best option for us because we can legally camp on my in-law’s property. I am extremely grateful for my in-law’s support and help. However, we never intended to live in our tiny house in a rural area. Our intention was to live in a city so that we could access amenities like the local library, coffee shops, parks, the laundry mat, and more. When you’re 15 miles from town, accessing those amenities is challenging, hosting guests is hard and experiencing feelings of isolation isn’t fun.

Logan and I feel like we’ve outgrown the tiny house, not in the sense that we have tons of stuff, but in the sense that it’s time to begin a new chapter in our lives without full-time tiny house living. We are turning our tiny house into a tiny getaway retreat, and we moved into town. (“Town” is Yreka, CA, and it’s about 15 miles from our tiny house.)

Being in town gives us more flexibility during the work week. For example, Logan can easily walk or bike to his office, and when Logan has the car, I can walk or cycle around town. It’s also going to be nice to have extra space to host family and friends, and I’m stoked that we have an indoor shower, bathtub, washing machine, dryer, and a big refrigerator I can fill with fresh food.

How We Found Our New Place

A few months ago, I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned, and I was telling my dental hygienist, Abby, and my dentist, Michelle, that we were thinking of moving into town for the fall and winter. I also told them that we were thinking of turning our tiny house into a vacation cabin. They thought the move into town was a good idea, especially as the weather gets colder. Abby said she’d let us know if she spotted a cute rental in town, and I left the dentist office with clean teeth and a smile.

In mid-September, it was Logan’s turn to go to the dentist, and while Abby cleaned his teeth, she told Logan about a rental she saw on her drive to work. Logan checked it out, told me about the 400-square-foot apartment, and we called the landlords and took a tour. It felt like the perfect space for us, so we decided to rent it!

Last week, we moved into the apartment. The apartment is in a cute triplex that’s behind a big house in Yreka. Our landlords are sweet people, and Logan even went to high school with one of their sons. Small town connections are awesome!

Parting Words …

I don’t have everything figured out, but I do know this: My tiny house won’t protect me from injuries, illness, grief, or loneliness. In essence, my tiny house is just a house. It’s kept us warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and we’ve taken wild adventures with the house in tow. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m so fortunate we’ve been able to live in our wee abode for over three-and-a-half years.

Owning a tiny beautiful home isn’t something I take for granted. Shelter is a basic need, and I’m grateful we had the resources to build our small house. I also recognize that my definition of home will change as I change.

One of the beautiful things about living small and simply is that we have the freedom and flexibility to make changes as our lives and needs change. I’m so grateful that we have choices and options. It’s an incredible gift, and for me, that’s the whole point of living simply.

With gratitude,
Tammy

Please note: Readers have inquired about renting our tiny house for weekend getaways. We will not be renting our home. This will be a vacation retreat for Logan, myself, and family.”

Categories: Tiny House Movement | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tiny House Coffee shop is going strong in Salida, CO

The tiny house we built for a client is now up and running as the best little coffee shop there ever was!  Really cute tiny house parked conveniently in Poncha Springs on Hwy 285 / 50 just west of Salida, CO on the way up to Monarch Mountain ski resort.

tinyhousecoffee - outside

the picnic table is a great spot to sit and sip your espresso while reviewing your map and planning the rest of your trip.

If you’re in the area stop on by!  I’m biased of course, but the tiny house looks amazing and the coffee is some of the best I’ve had.  Organic, fair trade, and all the great things coffee can be.  Great job Michael and Sabra!

tinyhousecoffee - faded photo

tinyhousecoffee-entry interior

the interior of Tiny House Coffee.

the honeycomb shelves are a nod to our original design for the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart.

the honeycomb shelves are a nod to our original design for the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart.

Our original design was for the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart and was going to feature local honey (which they still offer) and lots of honeycomb shelving.

tinyhousecoffee-sign on side

Categories: Beehive Mini Mart, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Collaborative Tiny House Project

we received an email from a group calling themselves ‘The Collaborative Tiny House Project.’  They are creating video curriculum instructing how to build a tiny house that will be used in high schools and trade schools as well as distributed for general public use.

The Collaborative Tiny House Project has a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create curriculum for schools wanting to teach how to build tiny houses.

The Collaborative Tiny House Project has a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create curriculum for schools wanting to teach how to build tiny houses.

check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

and the Tiny House Giveaway on their Facebook page here.

seems like building a tiny house would be an awesome project for students – hands-on, practical, useable information.  I hope they can make it work.

Categories: Tiny House Movement | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Tiny houses: The next big thing, or too close for comfort?

[this is a reprint of a feature article I wrote for our local newspaper, published June 1, 2015.]

Tiny Houses are built on dual-axle trailer foundations both for mobility and exemption from zoning and building codes.  In August of 2012 when work dried up in Arizona we simply hitched up and moved our house to Santa Fe, NM.  I blogged about our tiny adventures at http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com.    photo by Carrie Caverly

Tiny Houses are built on dual-axle trailer foundations both for mobility and exemption from zoning and building codes. In August of 2012 when work dried up in Arizona we simply hitched up and moved our house to Santa Fe, NM. I blogged about our tiny adventures at http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com.     photo by Carrie Caverly

by Carrie Caverly

In the land of “McMansions” where the average house size has swelled to 2,600sf, a petite countercultural version of home is rolling into the neighborhood: the Tiny House.

“Drawn by the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle and limiting one’s environmental footprint, more buyers are opting to downsize—in some cases, to space no larger than 300 sq. ft.”—Tiny House Nation reality TV show.

Small living quarters are not entirely novel, or inherently hip, but they are enjoying wild popularity.  No longer the sole realm of online bloggers, tiny houses are all over the media, featured on Oprah, in Forbes magazine, CNN, the BBC, and a slew of local news stations.  There are two documentary films now: Tiny: The Movie, streamable on Netflix, and Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary, with select screenings starting in April 2015.  There are three reality TV shows: Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Hunters, and Tiny House Builders.  Fortune magazine lists micro dwellings in the top 5 home trends of 2015, saying “micro and tiny are huge.”

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Categories: Opinionated Rants, Publicity, Why Tiny? | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Are Tiny Houses Legal? Yes. [Sort of.]

this is re-post of a great article written by Jay Austin over at Boneyard Studios.  [I added the photos.]

“Perhaps the biggest barrier to smaller living is the misconception that tiny houses are illegal. They’re not. Here’s why.

But first, a disclaimer on what I am and what I am not. I am an individual who lives (yes, full-time), in a tiny house in the District of Columbia. I am someone who has spent more time than I’d ever hoped trudging through DC zoning and planning and coding regulations. I am someone employed by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development who spends a lot of hours each day talking to—and learning from—housing lawyers and the very people who set federal housing policy. I have a penchant for taking risks, an insatiable urge to disrupt stale systems, and a graduate degree in government and public policy.

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Categories: Where to Park? | Tags: | 5 Comments

Country Living magazine features 44 Tiny Houses and Portlandia mocks ‘Microhouses’

click here to go to Country Living’s gallery of 44 tiny houses.  Macy Miller got front billing – congrats Macy!  Your house looks very beautiful.  Our house is buried in there somewhere…

and Portlandia’s skit mocking “microliving” is hilarious!  I especially liked the bathroom / home office.  Tiny Houses are just asking to be spoofed.

Categories: Publicity | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A Tiny Step in Our Journey Home (Tiny House Magazine Article)

By Carrie Caverly. October 30, 2014 (an article I wrote for Tiny House Magazine…) When we built our Tiny House in 2012 we wanted it to be temporary – a stepping stone toward owning our own self-sufficient home, mortgage free. And even though I struggled with living in 200 SF for a year and a half, I feel so much gratitude for our tiny house because (two years later) it actually did enable us to buy land and start building a modest home of our own, without borrowing money. DSC01689     Our first rental lot in Prescott, AZ. Set up for an RV, this site was tucked into a residential neighborhood and I cropped them out of this photo, but there are neighbors 50 feet away on both sides.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

New Views – Same Tiny House

We’re back in the Tiny House after 10 months of renting a big house. It feels really good- small, sure- but good. Cozy, clean, bright and light.

Tiny House interior - we added some plants and artwork and it's feeling quite beautiful and homey.

Tiny House interior – we added some plants and artwork and it’s feeling quite beautiful and homey.

I might be over personifying an animal, but I think Rio is totally BUMMED to be back in the tiny house!  haha.  He doesn’t have any carpets to roll around and play on.  Sorry buddy, you’re at the bottom of this totem pole.  Maybe if you learned how to hang sheetrock??

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Tiny House in Place on Our New Land

Friday we placed a concrete pad for the Tiny House on our new land and this week we moved the house onto it’s new slab.  The tiny house will be used as a guest house and is now connected to sewer (flushing toilet!  hooray!)

The front entry courtyard with the tiny house in place.

The front entry courtyard with the tiny house in place.

We obscured the view of the gooseneck hitch with a dry-stacked CMU wall that can be disassembled when we want to move the tiny house.  Shane will add a little shed roof over this masonry wall and it will be outdoor storage area and there will be a wall connecting the main house to this masonry wall.

The south side of our new house and the tiny house entry.

The south side of our new house and the tiny house entry.

The tiny house is an integral part of our new house design – we were able to make our new house smaller (only 1 BR 1 BA) because the tiny house will serve as a Guest House.  It also blocks wind and creates an outdoor courtyard shielded from the adjacent road to the west.

In the photo above you can also see our hot water solar panels in place!  These will heat our domestic hot water and radiant floors.

We ended up orienting the Tiny House with it’s entry facing away from the main house entry because the views were better from inside the tiny house – we wanted the full height windows in the Tiny House living room to look at the mountains to the east, not the road to the west.  It’s more private inside the tiny house this way.

Really amazing views from inside the tiny house.

Really amazing views from inside the tiny house.

The tiny house is connected to water, sewer, and electric and we’ll be moving into it at the end of September while we finish the inside of our main house.

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

Moving the Tiny House to Colorado

We moved our tiny house up to our land in Colorado!

leaving Santa Fe, where we lived in the tiny house for 18 months. it was bittersweet leaving our family’s land, we really enjoyed living next door to Shane’s parents.

Welcome to colorful Colorado!  the tiny house was in great shape after being parked for 9 months in Santa Fe.

Welcome to colorful Colorado! the tiny house was in great shape after being parked for 9 months in Santa Fe.

trying out different locations for the tiny house... it will be parked 180 degrees from this phot0.  it creates two nice outdoor courtyards and shields our house from wind and the road.

trying out different locations for the tiny house… it will be parked 180 degrees from this phot0. it creates two nice outdoor courtyards and shields our main house from wind and the road.

It’s going to be the sweetest guest house!  except no guests yet, because we’ll be living in it!

starting October 1st we will be living in the tiny house again full time while we finish building our house. We’re both excited to be back in the tiny house, though I’m sure it will be an adjustment after being in a large house for 10 months…  Rio’s really stressing.  haha.

We will finish out the office and the utility room in the main house prior to moving into the tiny house so we’ll have work space and laundry, as well as the pump needed to get running water out of the well.

the south view of our main house and the tiny house.  we decided to rotate the tiny house 180 degrees from the placement shown in this photo, allows for great views from the tiny house living area, and we can obscure the gooseneck hitch with a wall/gate connected to the main house porch.

the south view of our main house and the tiny house. we decided to rotate the tiny house 180 degrees from the placement shown in this photo, allows for great views from the tiny house living area, and we can obscure the gooseneck hitch with a wall/gate connected to the main house porch.

 

check out the progress we’ve made on our main house!  stucco is done, rough plumbing and electrical are done so we can get it spray foamed in a week… living in the tiny house again will allow us to save about $1,100 a month that we would be paying in rent and heat at a rental house.  we’ll put that into our main house that we’re building out of pocket.

Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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