Another tiny house

Shades_of_idahoJuly 17, 2010

Video to watch.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tiny House

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Hi Shades. This guy, Jay Shafer, is included in one of my favorite books, LITTLE HOUSE ON A SMALL PLANET by Shay Salomon. His little house is featured on page 183.

I really enjoyed watching the video. Thanks for bringing it for our enlightment.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 7:20PM
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DH and I were just looking at this earlier in the day. How phenominal. His house is lovely, and the story is inspiring.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:39PM
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I can not really take credit for finding the link it showed up on my yahoo mail. Great place. I enjoyed seeing them sitting on the porch.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Well there I go assuming again. I mentioned Jay Shaffer in one of my previous posts thinking everyone here would recognize the name and sure enough, there are regulars here who didnÂt. Just shows you shouldnÂt take things for granted.

This installment to the Jay Shaffer story seems to show an updated "Tumbleweed". If you go on YouTube there is an older video clip where Jay seems to be implying that he lives in Tumbleweed with his girlfriend. In that clip, they have a stainless steel office trash can where they "do their business" and have to haul that out afterwards. Not very appealing. The new clip includes a quick image of an enclosed "room" with the walls and floor covered in shiny metal "diamond plate" and a stainless steel toilet in that room. However, you also see Jay going outside the hut to fill a water pot which implies Tumbleweed still does not have running water. So how does one take a bath without water? In this new clip, there also seems to be more "stuff" hanging off the walls, shelves, etc.

I applaud JayÂs quest to spread the gospel on the concept of downsizing, but I donÂt think many people can really envision themselves living in a space this small, or one without running water. ItÂs really impractical. I would think people like Jeff ( would be equally worthy if not more worthy of the media attention because JeffÂs 240 sf "Basic Personal Shelter" is a space that is real-world practical and would have wider acceptance. Or, how about KikiÂs 875 sf? What a charming little jewel box she has. I would site other members as examples but if memeroy serves, Kiki currently holds the Tiny Trophy. IÂm concerned that when you showcase something so small that most people could never consider it as a viable option then the concept ends up being nothing more than an oddity rather than an alternative.

ThatÂs just my two cents.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 7:25AM
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I could easily see my son quite comfortable in one of these homes (with electricity and internet). The issue though is where could one be "set" on ground. Most areas wouldn't allow this, so we are talking living in the outskirts where ordanances don't exist. Even with trailers there is a minimal size requirement. I'll take Ralph Lauren's trailer anytime though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ralph

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 8:38AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

shades, I couldn't get the video to play well on my PC, but I've seen the old reports on The Today Show, or other news shows, and I remember another report on a woman (whose name escapes me) who did the same thing.

Since I am already enamored of gypsy wagons, I'd love to have this in the backyard. But, to live in, I don't know...he really gives us something to think about, and some ideas to incorporate into our smaller homes.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:51AM
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I could 'live' in a tent if I had a big building nearby for all of my stuff! What is normal day-to-day living in the US simply requires a lot more room than 89 sq ft. Where do you store your winter clothes? Where's the washer and dryer? In a really tiny home, you are actually more dependent on the surrounding community, and would have to travel more to meet your daily needs. There can't be much food storage, so there would be more trips to the store. There's not room for a laundry room, which would mean trips to the laundromat. Unless you were willing to live off the land, and boil your few articles of clothing, and hang them out to dry, it's actually not as 'green' as slightly larger house that would enable you to be more self-sufficient.

And, since I'm an old curmudgeon anyhow, I'll bring up the fact that that dwelling violates a large number of zoning and building code violations. Sitting on a trailer skirts some of those issues, but in many places, you can't camp on your own land legally.

It's an interesting exercise in living small, but that's all it is- an exercise. There are many examples, such as the ones Scott noted, of slightly larger homes which are, in fact, practical places to live.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Sorry Scott I did not realize I was posting about the same person you were. I saw the article while working, at the city Yahoo address and clicked the link over here and went back to work. I will try to research better so I do not it again.I read and post here for enjoyment.I am not studying small houses I just live in one and enjoy it. I have so many other important things going on in my head I do not pick up on names or remember them well. Never have been good with remembering names even when I am not stressed.

I am totally with you Jay and others. Too small for me. Would make a nice hunting cabin or a warm up place when snowmobiling. But then it is only a glorified camper. Very valid points about the lack of washer and dryer food storage.

I think if it were not on a trailer the possibility for guest house in your yard would be fun. Like Mama-Goose gypsy wagons.Or the darling little Victorian cabin.

It is cute but not very practical. The other 240 SQ FT one is more practical.

There is a small single wide next to us Curiosity has me wanting to go measure it. It has to be at least 10 foot wide I would think I will check it out today.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Do a search for KATRINA COTTAGES.
This concept of living small is one my nephew preaches about all the time. If there are extended families involved, a cluster of such cottages built close together on a piece of land, and then a shared common space, would be a way of keeping the elderly close to their families while letting them stay independent.

The problem arises with land use requirements and zoning and building codes.

I recommend that you read the book LITTLE HOUSE ON A SMALL PLANET for a discussion of the problems with codes etc.
You are a very informed person with a lot of good ideas, and if you have not read that book, it will give you many additional leads on people like Jay, who is now making a business out of building small.

Some of the "shotgun" houses in New Orleans are smaller than the 850 square feet. They are tiny. Like the houses in Key West, another bastion of living small. Many of those homes were designed and built by shipbuilders, who know how to make every inch count.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 3:58PM
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Shades - did not imply you stepped on my toes, I was saying I threw out Jay Shaffer's name like everyone knew who I was talking about. When I did tht, I should have thrown in a quick bio to make sure everyone knew who I was talking about rather than presume.

Emagineer - The Ralph Lauren trailer certainly is posh. But it probably comes in about the same price I paid for my house. I have a fondness for Airstream trailers. I've never owned one or even slept in one but I am fond of the design. My sons and I tent camp from time to time and I once thought about buying a pop-up camper or small camping trailer but never followed through. I did spend a few nights with a friend in his self-contained race bike hauler and helped him dump the holding tank (sewage) once. That killed my enthusiasm for any kind of self contained unit. I'll trot down to the public restroom thank you very much!

ML - I have seen the Katrina Cottages. I was quite intrigued by them when they came out and the internet was buzzing about them. I do like the concept of grouping. not just with little cotages but in general. I much prefer the village concept of urban planning rather than the chaotic urban sprawl that is so ubiquitous. Even in a vacation or retreat setting I like the concept of a larger gathering building with individual cabins or cottages clustered around.

Speaking of urban planning, it's too bad that Walt Disney's idea of cities and towns being built around a central public transportation system never caught on. Some cities have tried wiht varying success but it's not as common as it could have been. It's really cool riding the monorail into the Contemporary building in Florida and imagining a city where there were a series of such buildings along the rail line. Shops, restaurants, residences all grouped together in a common building along a central circuit. If you prefer the suburban or rural life, you could get off the main rail and take a spur line into the 'burbs or even further out. Too bad we missed that boat.

As I interview people today for mortgages, I am surprised at the number of people working from home via the computer. Telecommuting is the ultimate form of public transportation.

Did I drift too far?


    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:03PM
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emagineer would love a trip to Ireland. You can rent a gypsy wagon to travel.

Denver has a few of the clusters you mentioned along our mono rail system. They surround small shopping centers and designed them well. These are also areas where old, small houses were being let go, but are now remodeled/upgraded where they built the new. It certainaly has made a difference in old neighborhoods and doing it right with having to run a rail system through. Many commuters living well.

Yes, the RL trailer is pricey.....sold at auction for $150,000. I couldn't actually live in it as a permanent home, nor would I pay anything close to that price. But intrigued with his interior design. Just an example of what small can be with the right vision.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:16AM
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Montreal also has (or had, I haven't been there in years) a rail system in a circle under the city. Very convenient.

I didn't make the connection between the post Scott made and the Tumbleweed Jay either. I couldn't live in such a small space because it looks like so much of the real living is done outside, and I just can't do outdoor plumbing.

But I still got an idea from that video. I started a long post yesterday, but it took awhile typing one-handed and it went poof. I was too tired to retype it then. But did you notice the ladder he used, and tucked away in a slot by the cabinet? I think that would solve some of my problems too as long as my knees keep working.

There is a tiny house blog that I'm sure has been posted here before I like reading it for ideas on making some of my small spaces more workable.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:32AM
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Did you notice the U-haul truck?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:58AM
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Marti sez:"There is a tiny house blog that I'm sure has been posted here before I like reading it for ideas on making some of my small spaces more workable."

I have visited that blog before. Nice.
I watched some of the HGTV videos about the old program no longer on the air, SMALL SPACE BIG STYLE. I wish they put something like that back up and make it current. All the House Hunters shows with their multimillion dollar budgets are just to unreal for me. I suppose they are fine for a little comic relief though.

Oh yes, I must call the cable guys today and get them to give me the deal for more channels, because we've now changed over phone, internet, and TV to cable, and we should get the HD box for no additional charge for the next 12 months. By losing ATT home service, we are saving a net amount of $75/month. At least for the next year.

And I want to watch DIY network, Natl Geo, Hallmark, and maybe a few more movie channels. Although, I've now linked my Blu-Ray disk player to my wireless router and can stream real movies from Netflix direct to the TV, as many as I can stand to watch. Oh mercy me, I don't get much sleep any more.

Marti, I noticed the U-Haul, yeppers. But no portapotty.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:25PM
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You are too sweet! And do I really have the smallest place here?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:00PM
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Chris ~ I've seen and read about Jay's first Tumbleweed home. This one is nicely done as well. It would be a bit to tiny for us. Plus, like Jay here said, it would not be allowed with the zoning board.

Emagineer ~ Ralph's airstream was wonderful.

Our little 50's cottage is right around 700 sq.ft. We do have a work shop and some other out buildings, but our main living space is our cottage. We've opened it up so that it doesn't seem so cramped and we like it better. It is paid for.

These tiny homes do give one ideas for better caring for our own spaces, making them work even better for our needs.

One of the main things is decluttering. :-)


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:16AM
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