Living In the Tiny House

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??

We’re living next to our big house while we finish the interior and it is so great being on our land – out in the wide open prairie looking up at the 14,000 ft. Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Looking west at the open flat lands.  San Juans beyond.

Looking west at the open flat lands. San Juans beyond.

Views from the tiny house - I really need to do something about that scrap wood pile...

Views from the tiny house – I really need to do something about that scrap wood pile…

We finished out the office and laundry room in the main house, which really helps with the tiny house functioning.

We’ve lived in the Tiny House in three different places now – Prescott, Santa Fe, and now southern Colorado – and it is absolutely surreal to be inside – where it’s the same house – but we’re facing a different direction looking at different views.  It’s almost like a feeling of vertigo – imagining the old surroundings, but then opening your eyes and seeing an entirely different environment.

Clothesline Tiny House interior.

Clothesline Tiny House interior.  Dickinson propane heater, and an art niche.  I selected a cooler palette of Fiestaware and am really pleased with the selection.  ;)

Oh, I almost forgot!  We have a flushing toilet in the tiny house now!  That could be a huge part of why the tiny house is feeling so comfortable and homey.  If you ever want a new appreciation for sewage systems just try an incinerating toilet!  then when that smells like… burning poop, go back to square one and reinvent the wheel – what DO we do with this #!*&?!  A bucket?  Cat litter box!?  A flushing toilet.  I’m in love.

Flushing toilet in the tiny house - hooked up to our main plumbing and septic system.

Flushing toilet in the tiny house – hooked up to our main plumbing and septic system.

Hope all is well for everyone.  Happy flushing.

- Carrie

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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

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

Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: | 32 Comments

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!

 

Continue reading

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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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Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

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