Tiny Home Builders Blog

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So you want to build a tiny house? Join us September 24th and 25th for our hands-on workshop and learn how! Our hands-on workshops gain you real-world experience working with actual tools and materials. You also get to meet and hang-out with other tiny house enthusiasts in beautiful Cumming, GA.

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5 Tiny House Problems Which are Really Myths

Going tiny is a big decision and certainly not an easy one. As this niche industry continues to build, so do its naysayers. Don’t give up on your big dream to live tiny! Most of what they say isn’t true anyway. Here are a few of the most common tiny house problems which are really myths.

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A Tiny House Caboose

The Hobo Hilton

Home builders/owners: Bob & Lori Murrell

Everyone has a muse; a motivation or inspiration that changes our path. For tiny house enthusiasts, their muse is one of eco-friendliness or of financial freedom. Bob’s inspiration though was to remain single.  As fate and irony would have it, Bob met his real muse, Lori.

He still claims she would have lived in a cardboard box with him if she had to and at that point in time, you could very well say, she did.

In 2003,there were yet to be:

  • -interior walls
  • -Insulation
  • -electric with the exception of an alarm clock plugged into an extension cord from the garage.
  • -closets
  • -kitchen
  • -plumbing
  • -banks that would mortgage.

What there was,though, were:

  • -No zoning regulations
  • -A lot of drawings and plans
  • – Dreams
  •  -A County building code requiring 90 mph wind tolerance,a 5000.00 compliance for wind tie-downs in all for corners, and a yard of concrete in each hole in the ground.

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After complying, Bob, Dennis Smith, and Rudy Byler started building. The body was steel with bay windows which had been extended by 2.5 feet on either side making it 14’.

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The chassis of the Hobo Hilton was found in a Railroad magazine classified section and soon to be purchased from a private owner in Henry,Illinois. After sending the owner a disposable camera to take photos, the owner sent it back. The photos revealed it to be weathered and in need of a lot of love. It had been through a lot during its heyday along the Topeka, Peoria, and Western Railroad. 

Lori stuck around after all, helping Bob build and design the interior.

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The design inspiration came from LGB brand drovers’ Caboose called the Colorado and Southern. Fully completed, it is 390 sq ft.In addition,it’s heavily insulated, only requiring a 8” baseboard heater  (or candle!) to get through an Ohio winter.The Hemlock siding is from an Amish Mill in Atlantic, Pennsylvania.

In the photo, their granddaughter, Malia, reads her first book. Their favorite book to read together is “I Saw An Ant on the Railroad Track”. Who would’ve known!

Malia’s bedroom is in the most magical space: The Cupola.

With many warm visits from family and friends, it’s second roof, it’s withstanding of prevailing winds and winters for over a decade, the Hobo Hilton has proven to be the foundation of a happy life that Bob and Lori have made together.

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The Fallacy of the 5 Year Plan

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This is an email from my friend and Virtual Tiny House Workshop co-host Mariah, who wanted to share this with you today

As you probably know, I’ve taught at more than 25 tiny house workshops and events over the past 2 years.

My favorite part is talking with everyone at the workshops, hearing their stories, and helping them start their journey.

Every time we teach a workshop, I end up losing my voice answering so many questions! It’s always fun to stay up late with people who share your values.

(Psst – I’m hosting the first and only VIRTUAL Tiny House Workshop this weekend! You can register here and join us!)

One thing I’ve been noticing more and more while teaching and speaking at these workshops, is that people have long timelines for their tiny house journeys.

I definitely think everyone should follow their own path and work within a time frame that suits their unique situation and life story. I’m all about marching to the beat of your unique drum!

That being said, I heard a lot of the same thing at the most recent workshop we spoke and taught at. We asked the group, “When do you plan to move into a tiny home?” and went around the room hearing answers.

“Five years”

“Ten years”

“6 years – when my kids are moved out!”

People were at the workshop, getting all hyped up, learning awesome new skills, and gaining knowledge and momentum – but that wouldn’t be put into action for another five to ten years.

Hmm, I thought, that seems like a lot of planning.

But then I thought about me, a few years ago.

See, I had a five year plan. I was 18 and I was going to save up all my money for five years, I was going to purchase the “vintage trailer of my dreams” – which at the time was an Airfloat.

I wanted something in the 25 foot long range (OMG can you imagine? I’m so glad I didn’t go that big haha).

I don’t think I quite understood just how expensive those rare beauties really are! In my mind, I would have my own place to park it, my own land with my own garden, and everything would happen at exactly the right time just the way I’d planned it all out.

Then, my entire five year plan of saving/researching/designing and planning went out the window when the COMET Camper (originally just a scrappy little 1969 Avalon) landed in my proverbial lap.

At 3 AM on a Tuesday morning (I’m not kidding – it was really that early and crazy), my friend from NYC dropped off what would become the COMET Camper and told me to do whatever I wanted to with it. I figured I’d sell it and use the money to put towards my imaginary “dream camper” – you know, stick to the plan.

Turns out, that scrappy little trailer WAS my dream camper, I just had to let the opportunity take shape and realize it’s potential.

Here’s the thing:

I’m really glad that the camper I live in now ended up in my driveway at 3 AM on a Tuesday 5 years ago, instead of 5 years in the future.

I’m glad because even though at the time it wasn’t in my “life plan” and that really freaked me out, I probably would have waited and waited and postponed making my major life change into camper life much longer than I had even planned. And since taking the leap, you know I can tell you it’s the best freaking thing that’s ever happened!

There’s no perfect time, and the sooner you get started, the better. That’s why we’ve put together the Virtual Tiny House Workshop. So you can get started now, take some action steps, and stop waiting.

We made it super affordable so that you don’t have to save up for years  to attend, and you can start sooner rather than later.

Planning is good – trust me I believe in good planning. Planning can lead to a lot of good stuff! Planning is smart.

But don’t be afraid of opportunity. Remember that it will NEVER be “the right time”, and there will ALWAYS be reasons (excuses) not to dive head-first into a new lifestyle and new way of living.

Things will never be “perfect” – so roll with it and if something amazing comes your way, allow yourself to say yes and let it work itself out.

If you’re ready to start taking those steps now, Dan Louche and I are excited to be bringing you the first and only Virtual Tiny House Workshop, called “Design/Build/Downsize”. We’ve got 8 trainings and lessons, step by step tutorials, live discussions and Q & A sessions, and more.

You can see the entire curriculum and register here >>>

We hope to see you there!

Latest Tiny House

We just completed our latest tiny house for a young couple in Gainesville FL. This house was by far our most complicated build with many custom built-in’s and some unique options.

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The owner plans to build a deck in the front the length of the house. The large window is an accordion window which fully opens up and will provide a nice opening, joining the inside and the outside areas.

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This is the interior view as you enter the house.

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This L-shaped shelf under the accordion window is for storage, with the larger portion also acting as a seat for a table (not shown). An extra chair will also be placed at the table so that two can dine.

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With the accordion window fully open it feels as though you are outside while standing in the house.

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Next is a cabinet that holds the range, oven, and additional pull out shelves for storage.

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Each of these shelves fully extend to hold a ton of stuff.

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The stairs lead up to the main loft. Under the stairs are open cubbies as well as a pull out pantry.

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The pull out pantry extended.

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The stairs also hold a drawer and well as a storage pocket.

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Across from the oven and the range is the refrigerator, dishwasher, and kitchen sink. There is also additional storage under the sink.

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Looking back towards the door, there is a washer/dryer combo unit in a separate closet. The bench seat wraps around the corner of the house to create a huge sitting area (where the owner plans to add custom cushions). The table can also be moved over to this area to create a larger dining area for additional people. The bench seat also opens up on hinges to reveal a very large storage area.

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The main loft has 2 windows and a skylight that provides a large amount of natural light. There is also a mini-split air conditioner to ensure the temperature is just right while sleeping. Finally a custom built shelf provides additional storage.

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The view from the lounge loft

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The view of the lounge loft. Since this loft is above the front door it is a little higher than the sleeping loft, but still comfortable to move around on. There is also an air circulator located on the top right of the back wall which periodically refreshes the air in the house.

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The bathroom has a bump-out over the tongue of the trailer that makes room for the bathroom sink. To the left is a toilet and to the right is a walk-in, tiled shower with a glass butterfly shower door.

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Under both lofts the owner wanted a more industrial look for their lighting. So we took track lighting that they liked and created this lighting solution.

Are you interested in learning more about tiny houses? We have several workshops coming up, including a new online workshop for those who can’t travel to Georgia. Get the full list of all our upcoming workshops at https://www.tinyhomebuilders.com/tiny-house-workshops

Lily’s Tiny Living

Lily attended one of our workshops last year and left determined to build herself a tiny house. So she bought one of our trailers and got to work. Now, as I say in our workshops, she gets to live in a temple of her awesomeness every day :) Congrats

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Tiny Investments are a BIG Payoff

The idea of living simpler has inspired homeowners and homebuyers of BIG houses to evaluate their quality of life and desires. As appealing as it is though, getting involved in the Tiny House movement may seem unattainable, or dare we say, “unrealistic”.

“Have you ever heard of Tiny Houses?”

 “Oh! The ones that are like 1000 sq ft. I could never do that! “

“Actually, most are under 200 sq ft.”

“What!! That’s crazy!” 

…………………………………..Sound familiar?

 No doubt, downsizing to those parameters barely seems possible. Entertain these thoughts though; What if letting go of a lifetime of possessions could be replaced with liberation? What if your partner, who doesn’t have the same tiny dream, could find a reason to accept yours? What if you owned your home and your home didn’t own you!

Well, with some creativity, those inhibitions can be swayed! No matter what your situation is, there IS a way to get involved in the tiny house movement, increase your income, and ultimately, get closer to living debt-free.

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Income property. For the person who loves the idea of tiny houses, but not actually living in one; they, too, can still reap the financial rewards. There are three options;

     1.   Backyard Rental. Generate steady income year round by renting it out to long term  tenants, in laws, or college students home for the summer.

  1. Bed & Breakfast/Hotel . Many Tiny Homeowners, like Nashville’s Music City Tiny House, use Airbnb.com to rent their Tiny Homes day by day.If a Tiny House is rented out daily for $100, that’s about $3,000/month.The best part is you can choose to rent it out as little or as much as you want. This is a win-win because budget travelers are looking for a local pit stop and Tiny House enthusiasts are looking for a trial run of the Tiny lifestyle. See some Incredible Tiny Houses available on Airbnb to get some ideas! download (2)

  2. Apartment To-Go. OK, so you don’t have much of a backyard, not even for a 16 foot trailer.  Rent it to a trustworthy tenant who will care for it on their own property or an RV park/campground. To avoid any problems, do a background check and install a GPS locator on the trailer just in case.

 

Temporary Housing. With such an unpredictable economy and all the foreclosure signs lining the sidewalks lately , its no question why homebuyers would be disromanticized and homeowners would find a way to payoff their mortgage ASAP. There are two options for these folks:

       1. Live in a Tiny Home temporarily as you build the BIG home of your dreams debt free. Ever hear of the Berzins family? They moved their family of four into a Tiny Home so they could save for their pay-as-they-build, “right-sized” home.

  1. The Berzin's Tiny Home (left) and BIG home (right)

    The Berzin’s Tiny Home (left) and BIG home (right)

  2. Rent out your BIG home while you live on premises in the Tiny House. Whether it’s avoiding foreclosure or doubling up on mortgage payments, simply enjoy someone else paying your mortgage with the outcome of owning a home.

 

Backyard Office. Tax write off! Work from home and use your return toward your mortgage.

1.  Working from home, but not AT home is a way to keep family life and career separate. Not to mention, less gas,wear and tear on your vehicle , and no traffic.

2. Be a traveling merchant. Use it as a concession stand for coffee and baked goods, sell roadside art,flowers,or antiques, or offer services like a mobile hair and nail salon.The possibilities are endless to earn an income with a Tiny House.

 

Home Sweet Home. Live in your dream tiny house full time.

  1. With a roof over your head and no mortgage bill in your mailbox (or P.O Box, for that matter) , take pleasure in knowing you won’t have to lug around that ball and chain for 15 or 30 years. Have more energy to enjoy your family and more time and money for experiences.

Whether you are current homeowners or looking to buy a home; hosting a tiny house can be an opportunity to get a BIG payoff for only a tiny investment.

THB-Banners-s-2With debt-free living within reach, it makes sense to ask questions. Tiny Home Builders understands the unique needs of every customer and offers quality customer service.

For a free consultation or to inquire about plans,trailers, and guides found on our website,please email us at support@tinyhomebuilders.com. For updates and special promotions, LIKE Tiny Home Builders on Facebook!