Tiny House Movement

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by osii, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Dave

    Dave Huh?

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,985
    Location:
    Front Range
    Don't know if you were aware, but Jay Shafer left Tumbleweed, and has started a new venture.

    It looks a little light on details, but it's getting there.
  2. cab591

    cab591 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Wow, didn't realize he had moved on!

    Looking over his new plans, here's what I have to say: he's basically dropped the "small houses" from his inventory, and only has tiny houses on plan (and one wide-load sized trailer). He's gotten better at efficiently using space, except for the overuse of bookshelves! I understand books make a place feel "homey", but a kindle is a lot smaller! :rofl: when space is at a premium, books are a lot of wasted space in today's world. I guess the shelves could find another use. :freaky:

    My original point still stands -- a majority of people looking to downsize to cut bills and live a simpler life aren't going to move into something THAT small. Jay himself even said in an interview, not too long ago, that he sells more books than actual plans / units.

    I love the idea behind the movement, but from a practical standpoint, I need a little bigger. Gotta have some place for tools, bike, snowboard, and dog! Besides, roommates make everything cheaper, so some place with at least 2 separate sleeping areas would be nice. That said, I like the use of space in "The Weller" plan. Somehow he fit a twin sized bed, and a king sized bed!



    I love the idea of the tiny house movement. I helped my parents move over the summer -- from a 6,000 sq ft house into a 27' travel trailer. With no more kids in the house, they didn't see the point in throwing away money in mortgage and utilities. I can say from experience, it really is as simple as "sell everything and buy a trailer".
  3. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,626
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    This link has probably come up before in this thread, but take a look at Ross Chapin's work, and small house plans:
    http://www.rosschapin.com/Plans/Cottage/1plansCottagespage.html

    I think he does nice work, and he has some houses in the 400-900 sq. foot range.

    I'm living in 950 square feet right now, with wife and baby son. It's a nice change from the 725 that we've been in the last 5 years. But it's not really a small house for around here, it's just a house that a middle class family might possibly be able to afford. Pretty much impossible to get more than 1,000 square feet for less than half a million in Berkeley.
    Lack of garage and motorcycle/bicycle/tool storage is the only thing that bugs me about this house (and the last one), the living space is fine.
  4. cab591

    cab591 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Not bad. I like the cottage plans, but his "small homes" get a little big! :eek1 1,000-2,800 sq ft? I think of a "small house" as under 1,000. His range of "small" is my definition of "mid-sized". The other thing, while odd dimensions make a space feel larger, and more exterior corners (and more complex roof designs) make a house look better, having so many corners drives up the cost of construction. The less corners in a plan, the cheaper it is to build. So, while plans like his "Gilann Cottage" are small (637 sq ft), they would be more expensive to build, which sort of defeats the purpose. I think he mostly hit the mark with the "Betty Gable Cottage" and the "Betty Sue House", though. Simple footprint, and a decent use of space. I feel like the larger bedroom in the Betty Gable Cottage could be moved right, allowing for a more rectangular footprint, though. Move the laundry into the hall closet, turn the bathroom 90 degrees, and you can loose the unused hall space by the bedroom entrance, move the bedroom back, and square off the footprint, making construction cheaper. Have a continuous roof that runs the length of the plan, and you can create useable loft / attic space down the length of the house. Same goes for the Betty Sue House -- square off the footprint, and work with your roof to create more practical space.



    Here's some more tiny house pr0n: http://tinyhouseswoon.com/ :clap
  5. lumpyrutherford

    lumpyrutherford Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    247
    and resale might have a limited market, so the overall success of investment is questionable.
  6. Dave

    Dave Huh?

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,985
    Location:
    Front Range
    I would agree. As has been mentioned here, tiny houses are more of a design exercise. They don't work for many people. If you're single, or are a couple with a good relationship, and want to remain mobile, then a wheeled tiny house would likely work for you.

    But, if you have a hobby that you need a room for, or if you have kids, the tiny house probably isn't going to work very well for many. A small house, perhaps.

    From what I understand, when Jay left Tumbleweed, it was over creative differences. He had a business partner who wanted to stick with the original premise, and Jay wanted to take things in a new direction. Personally, I think he's smart. He's seen the practical limitations of what can be put on a trailer frame, and has moved to a segment that will likely get more market appeal.
  7. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    22,219
    Location:
    Uvalde, TX

    Actually ... Uh ... No. Most of those houses weren't even as big as a conventional travel trailer. No slideouts and most were less than 30 ft. long on an 8 ft. wide chassis.

    With that said mobile homes and portable buildings go up to 16-18 ft. wide in many states. Even park trailers that aren't meant to be as mobile as travel trailers often go 10-12 ft. wide. You are perhaps best off getting a professional to move something like that but mobile home moves are generally dirt cheap.

    I keep thinking that there has to be some scope for a truly modern, truly mobile home that is livable and affordable. Alas, I haven't found the ideal yet.





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  8. cab591

    cab591 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Pretty much exactly my point here. It's a cool design exercise, but a design exercise nonetheless. Which is why I'm more into the "small house" idea. Something sub 1,000 sq ft would still have some market / resale value in a college town. If anything, if I move elsewhere I could hold on to the property and rent it out to other students. But I have addictive hobbies that take up "space" at home... Mostly tools and car bits. Definitely couldn't do 8'x20'.
  9. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Awful Kanauphyl

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,203
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    An unfinished basement with "walkout" french doors make our 1200 Sq. Ft. home perfect for my small business and working on motorcycles. That's a lot of fairly cheap storage space plus it keeps the house more comfortable year round.
  10. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,946
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    Unless you put your tiny house on 12' posts and enclose the bottom. :D
  11. blacktruck

    blacktruck Wanderer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    A little southwest of Middle earth
    I've lived in a less than 750 sq ft home for many years. It's just me for now but I have been there as part of a couple and it still worked well for us. You do have to figure out what you really need and use your space wisely. I see two substantial benefits from it along with many other smaller or almost intangible benefits. First is low utilities, I can heat and cool it very inexpensively, second is that my upkeep is very easy due to it's size. When I'm done here, I'm thinking about building an even smaller home just to take advantage of newer techniques and technologies. It ain't for everybody but I sure like my small home. If you come over thinking you want to stay for a night, I have no problem with that but you'll be on the couch. If you think you can't do that or want to stay longer than a night or two, the motel is down the road just a little ways. Not trying to be an ass but I see no reason to pay to keep extra rooms in my home for an occasional guest. If I did want to do that, I would have a hotel.
  12. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,929
    Location:
    Sydney
  13. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,802
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Goshen, NH
    Very clever!
  14. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    31,950
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    Saw these folks on a show called "Extreme RV."

    http://www.andersonmobileestates.com/

    If you had the ability to tow a trailer (ie, owned a semi rig) I'd think you could puchase a used trailer and do something pretty nice for far less than the cost of what they sell. 8x50 would make a pretty nice platform to work with.
  15. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15,316
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    Another approach to the small home that I think is ripe to be exploited are the SIP's. Come up with a decent basic footprint and exterior walls, floor, roof package, designed to drop onto a foundation - the foundation designed as dicated - slab on grade, crawl space or full basement, etc.

    Interior layout could be one of several variations.

    I would imagine that a pretty decent sized house could be delivered by two semi-loads of SIP's. They go up in a few days, then you finish as desired.

    A 600 SF basement foundation holds up a two story 1,200 SF house - basic but you could have 3 bedrooms if you needed it.

    And yes, the savings on utilities, construction materials and ease of maintaining a smaller home all pay off. My neighbor has a big house and spends upwards of $2,000. month on heat in the winter. I spend less than $1,000 on the entire season of heat and I buy wood and pellets retail. There are two people living in each house.
  16. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,946
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    Here's another Faircompanies one where she built a mobile tiny house from recycled materials (junk). Yeah, she's cute in that kooky hippie kinda way.

    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/UB-MhZkYVo8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/UB-MhZkYVo8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  17. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,976
    The open floor plan version is imo nice. I'd have no qualms putting the bedroom up front, as it seems irrational to me to be worried about visitors in the middle of the night (I suppose I live in a nice enough neighborhood). I'm not exactly envisioning people dropping this house right next to a sidewalk in the city. It would be simple enough, imo, to just swap the sizes of the larger bedroom and smaller, and have the master in the rear.

    The lofts are not functional as a master, per se. Sloping roof line would relegate standing height to an area about 5' wide in the center of the loft. It's storage--something any small space will need.
  18. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Awful Kanauphyl

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,203
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    Dormers are your friend in those spots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,626
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    I've been in that tiny house, that girl is the daughter of some family friends. Nice girl, and it's a cute little house, well thought out, and a lot of time and labor went into it. Like a lot of little jewel-box type places, you kind of wish for a chunk of solid colored wall without things on it somewhere, just to give your eye some place to rest.
    I think she sold that house to go off to art school on the other side of the country.
  20. Tinfish

    Tinfish Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,052
    Location:
    Eastern Washington / Utah
    That's the nicest place I've seen in this thread, I think. I'm not sure I like the squeeze around the back up to the stairs, but I have wide shoulders and tight spaces like that make me feel a bit trapped. Good stuff.