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:
- 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.
- 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…
- 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?
- Hitting elbows on walls… Hitting elbows on each other… tripping over the dog… Claustrophobic.
- 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!
- Really hot in the summer. Mobile Tiny Houses cannot have large roof overhangs, allowing for too much solar gain in the summer.
- Small Kitchen = we started eating a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen dinners that only required one pan to cook. Ugh. Not healthy.
- No privacy.
- 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.
- No bathtub.
PROS of TINY HOUSE LIVING:
- You’re always close to a window when you’re inside = intimate connection to the outdoors.
- Very cozy in the winter – easy to warm up and keep warm.
- Affordable to build – you can own your own home! Freedom from a mortgage!
- Mobile. Great if you’re not sure where you want to live.
- 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.
- Very efficient to clean. And very efficient to communicate with others in the house – no intercom system required!
- Easy to renovate – you own it and it’s inexpensive to make changes.
- Small environmental footprint.
- Great conversation starter! You live in a what? How big?? Oh wow.
- 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.
We finished and delivered the Beehive Mini Mart tiny house a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share a few more photos:
I think I already posted this photo in the recent post about moving the tiny house… but I love it! So I am forcing you to look at it again! Because I can. The ominous clouds… the irony of the “colorful” colorado sign on a gray day…
The tiny house on the move: at the Colorado-New Mexico border.
the finished tiny house at night…
Look at the beautiful symmetry and wonderful oversized steps that make this porch a fabulous spot to sit and hang out.
the adorable tiny house porch railings!
the tiny house from the … front? back? the hitch end anyway.
A utility closet built on the trailer tongue houses propane tanks, etc. The large window on the side slides open and will be the serving window for customers looking for the perfect cappuccino. Or pint of local honey. Or… t.b.d.
the finished interior of the tiny house. beetle kill / blue-stain pine. engineered wood flooring.
What would you use this mobile tiny store for? A community reading room? A coffee shop? I’m curious! Let me know in the comments below.
Just a quick post to tell you we’re moving the Byer Beehive Tiny House / Tiny Mart to Crestone, CO today! I’ll do a more thorough post of the finished details later… but we’re hitching up right now….
Clothesline Tiny Homes is moving our latest project – The Beehive Mobile Mini Mart Tiny House – up to Crestone, Colorado today!
Hitching the Tiny House up to the truck. Clothesline Tiny Homes is sad to see our client’s tiny house leave.. but we’re happy for him and know the tiny house is going to a great home!
Hope all is well, and I’ll talk to you soon!
Well, here is a long overdue update on our progress building the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart for our client in Colorado. The last post I wrote about it we were doing exterior siding, staining and painting and we’ve now finished out the interior.
Shane found beautiful beetle kill / blue-stain pine siding for the Tiny House interior walls at our local lumber yard.
We ended up using EcoTouch fiberglass insulation. Zero voc’s and almost the R-value of foam. I went to a lecture on foam insulation and while it performs, it’s hard to feel good about putting a chemical product into the world that will never go away… Have you seen the film “Garbage Island”?? It’s sad. Plastic never goes away, it just gets smaller and smaller.
I can be such a bleeding environmentalist… here’s a quote from Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold:
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
Good morning, happy monday!
I am so happy to be working from home again this week after an ill-fated venture into substitute teaching. (what was I thinking?!) Does everyone pretty much know that substitute teaching is horrible?! yeah, well, now I know too. fortunately, pain is the touchstone of all growth, so any awful experience is bound to be highly instructive, and the past two weeks have indeed been revealing. I am just not suited to teaching – any group larger than about 6 people causes a noticeable amount of anxiety, and ideally, I prefer to interact with 1-2 people at a time. so. until I find a school with class sizes of two students! I will stick with design work.
I wanted to share a few interesting tiny house related links with you…
first: tiny house for rent! this would be a great way to feel out if a tiny house is right for you. I like how this place painted the walls white but left the ceiling natural wood.
Tiny House for rent – interior view.
secondly, I wanted to share a blog of a friend of ours who lives in Crestone, CO – a notoriously rugged and self-sufficient community in an extremely beautiful environment in southern Colorado. Continue reading
As promised, I have exciting news to share. Last weekend Shane and I were very busy water-witching (did you know this actually works??) and digging holes in rock-hard clay soil.
Why? Well, we were putting in the infrastructure (water and electric) to move our tiny house to Shane’s parents’ land near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Digging trenches for water at our new house site.
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.