Sarana Park

Juko recently contacted me to share her progress on her tiny house build. Once it is complete she plans to move it to a 23 acre redwood forest. I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty awesome to me! I can only imagine waking up in that environment every day.

I’ve only just now started to read her blog but I am really enjoying it. I love what she has done with her house so far. In one of her posts she talks about her experience with various tiny house plans including mine. I absolutely love hearing about helping others and it is by far the primary reason I’m involved with tiny houses.

Check out her blog here: http://www.saranapark.com/

Tiny House Visit

My family and I traveled down to Lakeland this past weekend to visit my mom to see how she’s been since moving in to her tiny house a little over a month ago. I also invited Alex from tinyhousetalk.com to come up and see it since he had expressed an interest when he interviewed me a while back (check out his post and video).

Tiny Retirement Exterior

I must say my mom has done an awesome job (with lots of help from various people – especially her neighbor Bob and husband Rick) finishing off her tiny house. If you recall, due to pressure from my neighborhood association I was forced to move the tiny house to Florida a little less finished than I had planned. The exterior was complete with the exception of paint and the interior siding was up but not much else. Since then she has painted the exterior, had cabinets custom built, installed hardwood floors, and turned it into her own personal gallery.

Tiny Retirement Interior

Tiny House Kitchen

Tiny House Kitchen & Bath

Tiny Retirement Kitchen

Tiny House Kitchen with Dormers

Dining area

Family Pictures

Trash and Storage

36 inch shower

Upon entering the house I realized I had forgotten how roomy it felt (it’s been at least a year since the last time I was in it). When I spoke to my mom about us all showing up for the day, I said we could do a tour of the house but then spend the rest of the time outside so that we weren’t all cramped inside.   After all, there would be 6 of us (this is before I knew that Alex was bringing his fiancée Andrea and her dog). Well the heat and the rain spoiled that plan and we all spent the day inside.  Yet not once did the house feel crowded (even with a two year old taking up half the couch napping). My wife Beth even commented on how this experience had changed her thoughts on entertaining in a tiny house.

Party in the Tiny House

We all had a great time and haven’t stopped talking about it since. I want to thank Alex, Andrea, and Louie for making the trip up the see us. I really enjoyed their company and had a great time with everyone.

Group photo in the tiny house

As we left, Beth turned to me and said: “Your mom seems so happy now, I think you gave her a new lease on life”. That was the goal :)

Small house hapiness

One issue that did come up is that my mom said that the water heater always cut out after about a minute of use. She said it was always just as she got her hair all lathered up that the water would become ice cold. After investigating and experimenting I realized that the issue was that the compartment that contains the water heater isn’t ventilated enough and the heater burns through the available oxygen pretty quickly which then extinguishes the flame. The burning of propane produces Carbon Dioxide which is heavier than air so ventilating the bottom of the compartment out of site should fix her problem.

Also on a side note, I have decided to build another tiny house. I am working on the plans now and expect to begin construction in the next couple months. On this build I plan to post as much as I did on the first but also include a lot more video. I’ll provide more details when I know them. Talk to you all soon.

She’s living the tiny life!!

My mom has officially moved in to her tiny house. After a long while of saving and searching for the right person (knowledgeable and cheap) to help finish her house she has finally done it. I am planning a trip down there in mid May (14th) and I will take lots of pictures and maybe even a video or two. I will also be meeting up with Alex from tinyhousetalk.com so be sure to check his site as well.

Stay tuned.

Also, to celebrate I have temporarily dropped the price of my plans to $99 for anyone who is interested.

Almost ready to move in

My mom’s neighbor has been generously hard at work and her tiny house is all but complete. The only few tasks remaining before she can move in is the house needs to be leveled and the electrical, water and sewer needs to the hooked up. For these last items she is going to be relying on my brother to drive out and give her a hand (bob would prefer not to mess with the plumbing and electrical).

Here are some images of the finished (not decorated) interior of the house:

Fold Out Couch

Kitchen & Bath

Tiny House Kitchen

Kitchen Sink with Artwork

My mom is taking these with a point-and-shoot so the angle is a little tight and the color is a little off. I’ll post some better images when I get back from visiting her at the end of December. I’m also planning on meeting Alex Pino from tinyhousetalk.com who interviewed me a few months ago while I’m down there. It should be fun!

Also, I am running a 40% off discount on my tiny house plans for the remainder of December. Just use discount code ‘40OFF’. Have a great holiday!

Interior Layout

My mom came up for a visit and revealed her interior layout to me. It’s not what I had imagined but in some ways it is better. She is having a lot of custom cabinets made which I’m afraid may close in the space a little (it is so open now and with the dormer it seems huge inside), but the fact is she needs the storage space. While the house was up here I gave many tours and would explain my vision for the layout. However, in my explanations I forgot one substantial thing: clothes. Both clean and dirty. Since my mom is actually going to live in the house she has spent a lot of time thinking about which of her belongings would be making the move with her, and where each would be stored. She did not forget about her clothes :)

Below is an approximation of what she has planned. The big difference between her vision and mine is that where she has a large wardrobe, I had a wall mounted TV and a table and chairs. For a dining area, she instead opted to add a countertop to the top of the narrow cabinet above the wheel well on the left and will use barstools for seating. Because of the barstools, she also opted for a convertible futon instead of a bed. The cabinet behind the front door will store two medium sized containers; one for trash and the other for laundry. I like the idea of the laundry basket but for trash I think I would still opt for a small trash can that I would empty frequently. No point in storing trash when space is at a premium.

Tiny House Floor Plan

Below is the countertop that will serve as both the dining and painting/crafts area. I suggested that the countertop be able to be lifted up to ease access to the storage below, but she believes that the countertop is high enough to not be an issue (the neighbor may want to reconsider this option after a few early morning calls to get her a can or jar).

Tiny House Custom Cabinets

Below is the cabinet that will contain the trash and laundry baskets. She is reserving the space above it for some art. Shelving can be substituted later if more  space is required.

Tiny House Custom Cabinets

For those wondering, the door was only primed on the outside and they made the mistake of painting it. So it needed to be sanded. Then again, maybe that’s a new style my mom is trying to pull off :)

Tiny House plans now available!

Tiny Retirement House Plans

I’ve finally finished compiling all the information from my tiny house project. It has been quite a few months in the works but it is finally done, and I am very proud of it.

During the course of building my tiny house I took many pictures and wrote many notes (in addition to what I posted on the blog). The idea at the time was that someday I would put it all together into a package so that anyone looking to recreate my tiny house for themselves, would have all the benefits of my experiences. That someday has come!

This package includes:

  • A 76 page book consisting of over 120 color pictures and 7100 words detailing all of the steps that I took to build my tiny house. Very little of this information is specific to my tiny house, and would be pertinent to anyone building a tiny house.
  • A 66 page printable set of plans organized in the order in which the work should be completed.
  • An electrical diagram showing how the outlets and switches are divided between circuits.
  • A materials list detailing all of the items that would need to be purchased to build my tiny house. Having this information alone can save you over a thousand dollars, which I explain how in the book.
  • The SketchUp model that you can navigate in 3D to take any measurement and see how every board fits together.
  • Free updates

I’m selling this package for $250 with the hope that I will raise enough money to design and build my next tiny house.

Thanks to everyone for their patience while I put this together. I believe that it will be extremely helpful to anyone taking on building a tiny house.

Dan

Update: See my tiny house plans page for more information at tinyhomebuilders.com/tiny-houses

Progress at a snails pace

tiny house with steps

I finally got a few pictures from my mom and I thought I would post them. Progress has been slow. I expected she would be living in her TH by now but it seems they have been staining for forever. The last time I asked her though she said she expected to be moved in by the end of the month.

I set her up with a blog over at tinyhouseandgarden.wordpress.com where she is going to post her progress from her perspective. I will continue to post design/building information and pictures while she will tell the story of someone making the transition to tiny living. I have also made a commitment to myself to wrap up my updates to my plans by the end of the month (something I have been saying I was going to finish for months now), so look for something around then.

tiny house stained interior siding stained interior siding

front steps