Tiny House Design http://www.tinyhousedesign.com Design a More Resilient Life Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:16:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://i0.wp.com/www.tinyhousedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-cropped-thd-header.gif?fit=32%2C32 Tiny House Design http://www.tinyhousedesign.com 32 32 5299331 HoneyBox Shipping Container House Tour http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/honeybox-shipping-container-house/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/honeybox-shipping-container-house/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:20:45 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14891 Mat & Danielle at Exploring Alternatives get a tour of a small shipping container home in British Columbia. It was built by the folks at HoneyBox, a home builder and shipping container supplier.

This house was made from three 20-foot containers that have been attached using standard container connectors. It’s completely off-grid, has a small solar system, a wood stove for heat, and uses propane for cooking, water heating, and the refrigerator.

It’s foundation is simply large concrete footings to which the center container is attached with bolts. The outer two containers are cantilevered using large diagonally mounted lashing rods which lock into the containers’ corner fittings and tighten down with large turn buckles. So the structural design of the house actually leverages the built-in strength of the containers. The house can also be disassembled and moved.

For more great tiny home tours follow Exploring Alternatives on YouTube. To learn more about the builder visit the HoneyBox website. Image above by Mat & Danielle at Exploring Alternatives.

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Redefining The Cubicle http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/redefining-the-cubicle/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/redefining-the-cubicle/#comments Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:30:59 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=2499 This tiny building was the home office of Peter Frazier which overlooks Chuckanut Bay in Bellingham, Washington. A couple of years ago it was featured on Lifehacker. Peter now works from a sailboat in Bellingham! Today this cabin is available as a vacation rental on Airbnb.com!

Ironically, Peter Frazier’s story sounds almost like a mirror of my own. He works from home in the technology world and has worn many of the same hats that I’ve worn like user-interface designer, customer experience researcher, and graphic designer.

He also fell into the trap that the hours, days, and years of sedentary work provides and packed on the pounds. This seems to be a common result of desk-bound jobs. Instead of accepting things as they were Peter changed his lifestyle. In his own words:

“Recently I decided that working standing up would help me live a more active life. It’s worked. Along with meditating, running, hiking, and kayaking, working standing up (with hourly interludes of pushups, situps or yoga) I’ve dropped 30 pounds. My thinking is clearer for longer and you’re more likely to find me with things in perspective.” – Peter Frazier

I guess there comes a time when all of us realize that there must be a better way and begin realigning our goals and values. Some of us build tiny pallet houses; others build tiny houses on cliffs. It’s really inspiring to see success stories like Peter’s. Read the complete story on Lifehacker. Photo credit Peter Frazier.

For more of Peter’s work, check out The Heliotrope Hotel. To spend some time experiencing it for yourself, book it at Airbnb.com.

Note: This post was originally posted on August 4, 2009, and updated January 2, 2018 with current information.

peter frazier lifehacker tiny house view

peter frazier lifehacker tiny house interior

peter frazier lifehacker tiny house stand up computer station


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Off-Grid Scandinavian Style Tiny House http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/off-grid-scandinavian-style-tiny-house/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/off-grid-scandinavian-style-tiny-house/#respond Sun, 31 Dec 2017 00:27:43 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14874 Mat & Danielle from the Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel recently posted news of their visit with Kate & Simon Cabane, the creators of this Scandinavian-style tiny house. It’s a 20-foot tiny house on wheels that’s currently located off-grid in Quebec, Canada.

It has a fully functional kitchen with a full size sink, mini gas range, and apartment sized refrigerator. A tiny wood stove provides heat. In the bathroom is a small shower, sink, and composting toilet. Up in the loft is a queen size bed and it’s accessed by a fixed ladder with deep stair-like steps.

Kate & Simon also build tiny homes, so if you like how this looks and want one too, visit the Cabane Website. The website is in French, so if you need it translated try using the Google Chrome web browser. Chrome can translate it for you in real time.

Mat & Danielle have posted many tiny house tours and interviews on their Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe, you won’t want to miss an episode. Photo above via the Exploring Alternatives video.

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Tiny Vacation House in the French Pyrenees http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/tiny-vacation-house-french-pyrenees/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/tiny-vacation-house-french-pyrenees/#respond Fri, 29 Dec 2017 16:40:54 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14865 This tiny house is surrounded by forest in the French Pyrenees. From where you park your car, the cabin is a 15 minute walk down a path. The remote location gives you ample privacy, clean unpolluted air, and beautiful views from the large windows.

Ironically, even with it’s remote location there’s still good phone reception, making internet access via your smart phone possible.

While this tiny house is simple, it has all you need: a small kitchen with a gas stove, running water and a wood stove for heat.

The house is off-grid; there is no electricity – but the ample insulation and the wood stove make winter stays possible.  Outside is a shower and in a separate structure, a composting toilet.

As you might imagine this tiny cabin is favored by people who love hiking & camping – and getting back to  basics. Use the house as a base camp for day hikes directly in to the surrounding mountains on the many trails.

The owner, Mike B, has made this tiny house available as a vacation rental too. Learn more about Mike’s tiny vacation house on TripAdvisor. Photos by Mike B via TripAdvisor.

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How to Install an Inexpensive Electric Heater http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/how-to-install-electric-heater/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/how-to-install-electric-heater/#comments Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:50:22 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14857 Derek ‘Deek’ Diedricksen shows us how to install an envi heater – a low cost electric heater for small spaces, like a tiny house. In the video below he instals one in a box truck project he’s working on with a friend. Electric heaters are typically best for on-grid applications. They are typically inexpensive to buy and operate.

Learn more on the eheat website and use Deek’s 10% discount code “Deek2017” if you decide to purchase one.

For more videos by Deek subscribe to the Relaxshacks.com YouTube Channel.

For off-grid installation you’d need a power system that’s properly sized to accommodate an electric heater. The eheat website says the envi is rated at 475 Watts (120V x 3.95 Amps = 474 Watts).

When you continue to do the math (475 Watts x 8 hours a day = 3,800 watt hours) you discover instantly that an inexpensive electric appliance like a heater requires a larger battery bank, and power generation (solar panels). The inverter and controller costs also go up. So in the end it may not be as economical to run an electric heater off-grid.

But it can be done. Over at DIY Homestead Projects there’s another Derek that explains how you can run air conditioning and electric heaters on solar. Derek explains in detail how to do the math and size your off-grid system for high demand electric appliances.

For more great DIY videos subscribe to Derek’s DIY Homestead Projects YouTube Channel.

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Build Tiny Earthen Buildings http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/build-tiny-earthen-buildings/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/build-tiny-earthen-buildings/#comments Wed, 27 Dec 2017 14:12:29 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14847 While I tend to focus on tiny houses on wheels, if you don’t need mobility and want 100% natural building materials, consider tiny earthen buildings. In the video below the folks at Exploring Alternatives visit with Bryce from Dreamweavers Collective to learn about cob.

Cob is just one of the earthen building options. It’s essentially a earthen mixture that is formed by hand into walls. In many cases the dirt on the land the house is being built upon is used to form the home’s walls. Sometimes, depending on it’s original consistency the dirt will need to augmented with clay, sand, and/or straw. Photo above via the Exploring Alternatives video.

Like other earthen buildings, cob houses naturally regulated the temperatures inside due to the thermal mass in the walls. So earthen homes can also have low energy needs, especially when built a with passive solar design, making them ideal for off-grid homes.

Cob differs from other earthen construction methods in that the walls are sculpted by hand from wet lumps of the earthen mixture. This gives cob homes the unique appearance of looking organically shaped with many rounded hand-formed details.

Adobe, rammed-earth, and earthbag homes have their own aesthetics.

  • Adobe homes are made by stacking dried earthen blocks, so they typically look more angular – but not always.
  • Rammed-earth homes are made by compacting earth between forms, so they also tend to have a more angular look too – but not always.
  • Earthbag homes appear more cob like in that curved walls are more common. They are also commonly covered in a cob mixture.

Since all of these building methods can be finished with cob inside and out, which will soften the appearance of the walls and surfaces.

This is just a quick overview of earthen building options. If earthen construction interests you I highly recommend starting by (1) researching the different types of construction and then (2) discovering which forms are typically understood and allowed in your area. You’ll find that some regions understand earthen buildings well due to their long history of use, so allow their construction. Other regions will not be as understanding – literally and figuratively.

If you’re ready to get your hands dirty and learn cob, check out the workshops at Dreamweavers Collective. If you want more videos like the one above subscribe to Exploring Alternatives on YouTube.

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The Sprout by Mustard Seed Tiny Homes http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/the-sprout-by-mustard-seed-tiny-homes/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/the-sprout-by-mustard-seed-tiny-homes/#comments Mon, 25 Dec 2017 15:15:24 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14824 Mustard Seed Tiny Homes builds high-end and affordable tiny houses near Atlanta, GA. They will also sell custom trailers and Tiny House Shells in various stages of completion to Do-it-yourselfers. So if you want to save a little money and complete the interior, they could build the house and finish the exterior before handing it over to you.

Mustard Seed Tiny Homes also gives a portion of the profit from each home they sell towards helping people internationally and locally with housing needs. They are currently partnering with Ground Zero Grace, which is a nonprofit that serves the elderly, disabled, and families in need in the Atlanta area.

Their homes are wood framed and use quality materials. Their shells are available in 20’, 24’, 28’, 30’, AND 32′. They offer several designs. The tiny house pictured here is The Sprout. I love the white walls – I’m a sucker for white walls and wood accents. The detailed shots of the cabinets also show their attention to detail. The website currently mentions that the base price of The Sprout starts at $45,000, but check their website for current pricing.

Photos via the Mustard Seed Tiny Homes website.

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Incredible Transforming Tiny House – Nicknamed aVOID http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/avoid-incredible-transforming-tiny-house/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/avoid-incredible-transforming-tiny-house/#respond Sun, 24 Dec 2017 17:03:59 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14818 In the video below videographer Kirsten Dirksen tours a transforming tiny house designed by Leonardo Di Chiara. He calls it aVOID.

Inside the house appears to be a white box. But as you discover the hidden functionality inside, you also expose the warm color and texture of wood grain. There are no windows on the longer sides, only on the ends. This allows it to fit into tighter urban settings like a row house. There’s even a roof deck accessed by climbing up a ladder and out a window.

The house is currently located on the Bauhaus Archiv campus in Berlin where Van Bo Le-Mentzel – the designer of the “one square meter” house – has organized a tiny living experiment. For all the details visit Leonardo Di Chiara’s website. For more great tours of innovative spaces and endeavors subscribe to Kirsten Dirksen’s Youtube Channel.

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How To Design a Tiny House with Pen & Paper http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/design-tiny-house-pen-paper/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/design-tiny-house-pen-paper/#comments Sun, 24 Dec 2017 13:43:42 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14806 This video shows how I’d currently tackle designing a tiny house with pen & paper. Normally I draw houses using SketchUp Pro, a 3D drawing program originally developed by Google. Google spun SketchUp off and it’s now available from a company called Trimble. They still offer two free versions, one called SketchUp Free which is a brand new browser based program, and the other is SketchUp Make which runs on Windows and Mac.

If you think you want to learn SketchUp someday I highly recommend that you immediately download a free copy of SketchUp Make in case they decide to make it go away forever. But I digress…

Most folks don’t want to learn software, most folks want to dive-in with Pen & Paper. I tried to make this video short but time got away from me as usual and it turned out to be almost 30 minutes, sorry. If you get totally bored with my video feel free to tune out… but I think for those that want to dive-in and design their own homes the information I share here will be worth you time.

By the way, you don’t need the stencils I show in the video. I made them to make it easier and they are a lot of fun to play with but a strait edge and a ruler work just fine. If you have any questions, tips, or ideas post them in the comment below. Thanks & Enjoy!

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Scott & Kayley Jaye’s Skoolie Bus Conversion Is Done and on the Road! http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/scott-kjs-skoolie-is-done/ http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/scott-kjs-skoolie-is-done/#comments Sat, 23 Dec 2017 00:13:57 +0000 http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/?p=14770 Scott & Kayley Jaye have been documenting their school bus conversion on YouTube for months at the Roll With It YouTube Channel. They had high hopes of finishing it quickly and starting their nationwide road trip back in the fall… but like many tiny house projects, things took longer than expected.

But Scott and Kayley Jaye took each challenge in stride and are now finally on the road in their amazing Skoolie. Their plan is to spend at least 72 hours in every U.S. State they can drive too… including Alaska.

The dream to build a bus and explore started a few years back. In July of 2015 Scott was in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident and was in a coma for 11 days – thanks to someone else’s illegal left turn. That experience was life changing.

Here’s what Scott said on the Roll With It Facebook Page.

I no longer want to waste a single day not doing what makes me happy. I refuse to put off my everyday happiness and worrying over future success and financial stability. I chose to be happy NOW. Throughout my recovery I started to consider all of the ‘things’ that make me happy…

I’ve always been fascinated by architecture and design. I worked on custom cabinetry and installation with my father–a master carpenter–when I was younger. I like making things, especially out of wood. I’ve been following the Tiny House Movement and am naturally intrigued by the idea of living small, and building small to facilitate that level of sustainability. And I LOVED the 6 months I spent living in a 31′ travel trailer!” – Scott

While Scott had some experience with woodworking from working with his dad, a full school bus build was challenging because it touched on all the trades. But with perseverance and the help of friends & family, Scott and Kayley Jaye knocked this one out of the park! Take a look inside.

You can (and should) follow them on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. If you love what they are doing consider helping them out via Patreon. Photos by Scott & Kayley Jaye.

Above: Scott has a little problem with coffee, and this is how he manages it. Nice!

Below: Kayley Jaye demonstrating the sofa. 

Screenshot from the video where Kayley Jaye gives us the Skoolie tour.

Below: Inside shot of the bus.

Don’t forget to follow Roll With It on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Do you have a tiny house story you’d like to share? I love sharing stories about tiny house design & living… so if you’re designing, building, or living in a tiny home like Scott & Kj, and want to share your story let me know. Just shoot an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required. Thanks!

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