My “tiny house lifestyle” (aka. 150 free bagels)

I just got back from Safeway with a full freezer worth of free, day-old, “compost” bagels. I’m guessing that’s legalese for “don’t sue us if these make you sick” though they don’t look in the least bit sickening.

As I walked home with that slightly precarious load tied onto my grocery trailer, I got to thinking about the kind of life I want to live and how my tiny house will play into that. Intercepting a year’s supply of bagels on their way to the landfill is certainly consistent with my goal of making smaller environmental footprints, but what other tenets are important to me?

Google “tiny house lifestyle” and you’ll get over 20,000 hits, but is there really such a thing? Some talk about living in a tiny house for the mental health benefits of limiting one’s possessions, others for the improved ecological sustainability, the financial savings, the career freedom, or the geographic mobility. I care about all of those factors, but some are more important to me than others and they all mean something slightly different to me than they would to someone else. More to the point, discovering what my personal tenets are has been the most important step in my tiny house design process. After all, form follows function.

Amid the usual jalapeño-cheese and sesame were 3 slightly suspicious looking fluorescent pink ones that I think are maraschino cherry. Interesting...
Amid the usual jalapeño-cheese and sesame were 3 slightly suspicious looking fluorescent pink ones that I think are maraschino cherry. Interesting…

Continue reading “My “tiny house lifestyle” (aka. 150 free bagels)”

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My awesome door and the wonders of craigslist trawling

A month ago I made my first actual purchase towards my tiny house, a door. And not just any door, a Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Oak Accugrain Fiberglass Full-Lite Double Glazed door. Okay, that’s not particularly exciting… But I got it for $50 off craigslist (would be >$1000 new) and it’s perfect for my house so I’m excited!

Not quite this grand but certainly better insulated... (2002)
Not quite this grand but certainly better insulated… (2002)

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Two questions every tiny house builder needs to answer and can’t

Since starting to think seriously about building a tiny house, I’ve been muddling through two questions which put the brakes on this project for far too long…

Without answering these it was impossible to figure out when I might have both the time and the money to make this happen.

Sometimes this whole process feels like learning to swim... (2007)
Sometimes this whole process feels like learning to swim… (2007)

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Day one

It’s a little arbitrary to think of today as the start of my tiny house journey, but it certainly feels that way. If I were to start with the day I first sketched a floor plan on the back of a lecture handout then we’d be well into the triple digits on that timeline, by the date of my first materials purchase it’s day four, and by the physical build start date, well, we’re at something like day negative 162. But last night, while most sane people were drinking in the New Year, I was laying out a life-size floor plan in masking tape on my sister’s living room floor (to her great amusement that my house could fit several times into one room of hers). In the early hours of this morning I walked through my future home for the first time, albeit with a significant degree of suspension of disbelief required. So today is day one.

At 8.5’x20′ my tiny house floorplan fits comfortably in my sister’s living room with space to spare! And yep, those are my shoes right next to the door (where I’ll actually keep them) – gives some perspective as to size…

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