Living In the Tiny House

Are Tiny Houses Too Small? Pros and Cons of Living in a Tiny House.

Well… I feel a little sheepish about not writing for so long!  But.  It is my blog.  ;)

Actually though, I feel more sheepish because we moved out of the tiny house in December… and I am just now posting about it!  Yes.  That’s right.  We no longer live in our tiny house.  What happened?  Well, ultimately, the Tiny House was just not meeting our needs.

We still have it, and will be using it as a guest house on our new property.  But it was just too small!  Both Shane and I agreed that we could live in a tiny house ALONE no problem.  Haha?  We lived in it full time from May 2012 through November 2013 – 18 months – a year and a half.  I’d say we gave it a good run.

We’re now renting a full size home with 24′-0″ high ceilings!  We could literally stand our tiny house on end in the living room of this new house.  Heating this big house does indeed suck and cost a lot, but it’s worth it.  And… we’ve purchased a piece of land and are in the process of designing our own home that we’re going to build ourselves debt-free.  We’re trying to keep it under 1,000 SF, which is surprisingly difficult!

I am very grateful for the opportunity we had to design, build and live full-time in our own tiny home.  It was an excellent design experiment on what is truly necessary in a home and how much space feels right.

Here are my observations on the Pros and Cons of Tiny Living:

CONS of TINY HOUSE LIVING:

  1. No home office space.  We both work for ourselves (a builder and a designer) and need space for filing, accounting, bidding, designing, planning, and creating.
  2. No personal space.  When a couple gets married they are still two individual humans with individual needs.  The book, A Pattern Language, writes that a house for a couple needs separate spaces for each individual (pattern 77).  A Tiny House just doesn’t provide this on it’s own.  Perhaps with a shop and a studio we could have made it work.  Perhaps our own train?  With 3-4 cars…
  3. Not enough storage space – for everyday items or for bulk storage.  Getting things out and putting them away was a complex puzzle.  We were always losing stuff, believe it or not.  Too tucked away maybe?
  4. Hitting elbows on walls… Hitting elbows on each other… tripping over the dog… Claustrophobic.
  5. No room for yoga… or just stretching out on the floor…  playing with the dog.  I’ve spent a lot of time laying out on the living room rug in our new rental house… feels so spacious!
  6. Really hot in the summer.  Mobile Tiny Houses cannot have large roof overhangs, allowing for too much solar gain in the summer.
  7. Small Kitchen = we started eating a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen dinners that only required one pan to cook.  Ugh.  Not healthy.
  8. No privacy.
  9. Toilets…  I’ve written about tiny house toilet woes and options a lot… and decided that flushing toilets are the nectar of the gods.  We’re going to be adding a flush RV toilet connected to a septic system.
  10. No bathtub.

PROS of TINY HOUSE LIVING:

  1. You’re always close to a window when you’re inside = intimate connection to the outdoors.
  2. Very cozy in the winter – easy to warm up and keep warm.
  3. Affordable to build – you can own your own home!  Freedom from a mortgage!
  4. Mobile.  Great if you’re not sure where you want to live.
  5. Very cheap to live in.  We paid $300 – $400 a  month rent for land + maybe $40 a month for propane and electricity.  Easy to save up money for…  a bigger house.
  6. Very efficient to clean.  And very efficient to communicate with others in the house – no intercom system required!
  7. Easy to renovate – you own it and it’s inexpensive to make changes.
  8. Small environmental footprint.
  9. Great conversation starter!  You live in a what?  How big??  Oh wow.
  10. Fosters community.  Claustrophobia will drive you out into public where you can sprawl out on the floors of cafes and coffee shops.  Also, you’ll develop a … memorable relationship with your neighbors when you fire up that incinerating toilet.

I decided that a tiny house could work for one (or two extroverted people) who work full time outside of the home in their own private offices, eat hot pockets for dinner, and whose only hobbies involve reading books on a Kindle or watching YouTube videos on their laptop computer…

Thanks for following along on our incredible journey – the people we’ve met through this blog have made it quite enjoyable.

- Carrie

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One Year Living in our Tiny House! Year in Review.

Can you believe we’ve been living in our tiny house for a year already?!  I went back and read the blog I wrote a year ago about moving our tiny house to our site, (you should read it too!)  what a day that was!  In the morning we had a news interview with ABC15 Phoenix, then we hauled the house from our rented shop space in Prescott Valley to our new rented home site in Prescott, AZ.

Here’s a little year in review:  (translation: get yourself a cup of coffee and a comfy chair and settle in for the longest post ever!)

Each section below has links back to the original blog posts so you can review our year with us!

 

May 16, 2012: Hauling the newly completed Tiny House from our shop in Prescott Valley:

Driving our Tiny House to our new home.

Driving our Tiny House to our new home.

Setting up the house at our rented site in a neighborhood in Prescott, AZ where we lived from mid May to mid August, 2012:

Neighbor's kid checking it out.

Neighbor’s kid checking it out.

The tiny house was like the pied piper the way it drew the neighborhood children… I think they thought it was a little playhouse for them!  Nope.  Ha!

 

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Another article online…

wow, another story about us living in a tiny house and our website is going crazy!  almost 8,000 hits today.

this one was on “Mail Online” a UK online news website.  a really great story they wrote, click the photo below to read the story.

Article about living in our tiny house...

Article about living in our tiny house…

And I really need to do a post about progress on our current tiny house project underway, the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart.  Soon!  We’re just so busy working on it, I haven’t had time to blog.

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

NY Daily News Article about Clothesline Tiny Homes

The NY Daily News wrote a really nice article about us living in our tiny house.  Click the photo to read the article…

NY Daily News wrote a story about Clothesline Tiny Homes.

NY Daily News wrote a story about Clothesline Tiny Homes.

And… we’ve had over 200,000 hits on our website!  We created the website a little over a year ago, so I guess there is a lot of interest in living tiny.  We’ve been working on the Beehive tiny house and I’ll do an update soon.  Hope everyone is well!

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Making Fun of Tiny Houses…

I had to re-blog this video I just saw on Treehugger, a spoof about tiny houses and sustainability.  Hilarious.  Watch it through to the end, the last few lines are the funniest…

Tiny House spoof movie

by Dawn Jones of Heart + Spark Productions.

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

Tiny House Interior: Decorating

Well, seeing as it’s the fourth month of winter, I figured it was time to make some insulated curtains for our tiny house that we have been living in since May 2012.  Of course, I’ve been thinking about the curtains since… oh, maybe October of last year, but I was stalled because I couldn’t decide what color they should be.

Since it’s a small house, everything needs to relate, so I didn’t want to just add a new color or pattern.  I finally decided to go with a color scheme of gray and yellow throughout the house and I really like how it’s turned out!

Tiny house roman shade curtains in the closed position.

Tiny house roman shade curtains in the closed position.  Curtains are lined with quilt batting to provide insulation from the cold winter weather.

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Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Tiny House Design | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

Winter in our Tiny House – Big Snow!

Winter in our Tiny House

Winter in our Tiny House

Hooray, I think I am finally going to be able to post these photos!  For some reason wordpress kept deleting my totally awesome blog that I was writing with photos of our house in our first blizzard this past Sunday.  Grrr.  Technology.  Sorry for that blank blog post that went out.

Anyway, it snowed!  Quickly and coldly…  5″ or so in an evening and down in the single digits at night.  We stayed quite cozy inside with our propane heater / fireplace and our plants even survived out in the cold frame.  Amazing.

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Clothesline Tiny Homes on Huffington Post!

Huffington Post just wrote an article about our tiny house!  Check it out by clicking the link.

The reporter really went a different direction with this story, and I like it!  You never know what portion of an interview is going to be published, or if the journalists will mock you (like one news anchor with ABC15 in Phoenix did)….but this was a really nice article by Amy Marturana of Huffington Post.

(Happy Thanksgiving too!  In addition to our wonderful families, friends, and our sweet followers here on the blog, I am so thankful for my husband, who persuaded me to make drastic changes and start this tiny adventure that we’re on…)

- Carrie

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | 4 Comments

Winterizing the Tiny House and Other Outdoor Improvements

Hello everyone!  We spent this past weekend winterizing our Tiny House in reaction to the really cold weather we’ve been having here in Santa Fe.  In the 20’s at night…. Brrr!  Now it’s back up into the 70’s, which is nice, but we still needed to get set up for winter, which is different in a tiny house.

  1. Hook up our propane Newport heater
  2. Insulate our graywater tank and hose located under the trailer
  3. Install wind-block and insulation skirting under the trailer foundation
  4. fix the heat tape at our water supply hose (we had used some heat tape we found from an old trailer but turns out it didn’t work – we found this out when our water froze!)

Our propane heater:

we already had propane plumbed near the heater but we just needed to hook up the connection line with a shut off valve.

Newport propane heater provides a cozy fireplace effect.

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Tiny Vignettes and a New Page!

Hello everyone!

So.  We got iPhones.  I know, I know, I am a technology phobe and resisted getting a “smart” phone for so long, but at last, I’ve made the plunge.  And I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I LOVE it!  Like way more than anyone should love a … phone.  Haha!  It is so compact and beautifully designed and simple to use.  Anyway, I have a new app and wanted to share some tiny vignettes of this morning with you.  Now I can turn all of my photos into 1970’s house-fire survivors too!!

the view from the bedroom.

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