Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Top 5 Tiny House Commonalities

Recently I have been interviewing a lot of tiny house folks about their lives in their tiny house.  While I knew the story of many of these tiny house folks, I had never had a discussion to the depth as these interviews.  It was helpful that I knew a lot about these folks, their houses, and tiny houses in general because it meant we could skip the basics and get into nitty gritty.

Over the course of the interviews I realized that there were some things that were so similar it was uncanny; to the point where people started saying the exact same words.  Now in some cases these people didn’t even know each other, so I realized weather it was tiny houses or the type of person that is attracted to them, they have a lot in common.  It’s kinda eerie.

1. DIY Tiny House Builders Unusually Have The Worst Car For Hauling Materials

No this isn't me.

No this isn’t me.

Almost without fail tiny house people couldn’t be less equipped to haul building materials than the car they have.  Almost every single person I talked to didn’t have a truck, they often had smaller cars.  This is the case with me.  I drive a Smart Car, which if you didn’t know, it is the smallest road legal car in mass production today.  I quickly realized when I needed to figure something out when my boards were the standard 8 feet long, but my car only was 6.5 feet long tip to tail.

Despite having the least suited cars, we make it work.

2. We Are Over Saying We Live In A Tiny House

After building and living in a tiny house, most people are tired of having to explain what a tiny house is, then having to explain why, then having to defend the choice.  As Ella from Little Yellow Door puts it “its just a house, it just happens to be very small”.  Luckily for me I have gotten through that process with most of my friends and family.  I now just say I am building a house, never mentioning that its tiny or I’m building it with my own two hands.  The only time I feel it really necessary to explain is when it comes up that my houses is tiny or on dates (I figure they should get the heads up).

3. Everything Has a Place And It Needs To Go Back There.

il_570xN_184465424We don’t have a lot of stuff, but the stuff we do have has its rightful place in our homes.  Every tiny house person I’ve talked to has said this to me, that they have a place for everything and they have to put it right back when they are done.  They don’t have room for clutter and if something is out of place, you can tell because its such a small space.

4.  Buy A New Trailer

I have now talked to about 40 people about this particular topic and almost every time, almost without fail, they say that if they bought a used trailer, they had wished they had took the leap for a new trailer.  I already know there will be some people that disagree with this, I can see the comments now, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

Most of the people who bought a used trailer ended up spending days cleaning up their trailer.  They also spent money on fixing and replacing most of the trailer.  About 80% of the people I spoke to ended up replacing tires and axles on their trailer, which meant a lot of those people spent the same or more than what they would have if they just bought new.

Macy Miller of Mini Motives also pointed out that in your first few months you have a lot of energy, excitement and drive, buying a used trailer sapped most of that energy as she toiled on getting her trailer to a point where she could then start building.  I think this is a really good point, its better to use this energy getting building done, not days with an angle grinder trying to root out rust.  The other aspect to this is that when you buy new, you know exactly what you are getting.

5. Tiny House People Are Grateful

Without exception tiny house people are very grateful for the lives that they live.  They know the value of everything they have, whether it is a possession, a relationship or an opportunity.  I recently was reading a study that one of the biggest factors in people who were happy was gratitude and expressing that gratitude.  I think this comes into play in a major way with tiny houses, because they understand the value of what they have.

Urban Eden

For those of you who have been following, the Solar Decathlon is going on right now.  The Decathlon features innovative homes that are solar powered built by universities around the US.  Its a pretty big production as a dozen houses are constructed on site to compete and showcase to thousands of visitors.

Well my home city of Charlotte NC has a team going to the Decathlon from UNCC.  Here is their house called Urban Eden.  Some of the neat features of this house is the rolling solar panel array that allows you to control the solar exposure in the summer months.  They also have an interesting polymer cement that reduces the buildings impact.  Check out the video below to see it all!

 

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Changing The Goal

Many people know about the video The Story Of Stuff, since its release it has been very popular.  Recently the same folks release a new video called The Story Of Solutions.  The video talks about how for a long time the name of the game in our economy has been growing the GDP, having more, buy buy buy.  I am preaching to the choir, but we all know while there are things we need, consumerism in America has become a little crazy.

So this video makes the assertion that that we shouldn’t focus on more, but instead better.  I think the one point they should have made stronger in the video is that in some cases more=better, but it often has a different twist to it.  In some cases more won’t be better and for an economy that is on a finite planet we need to grapple with that.

While the solutions they presented in the film are good ones, we also know we have a long fight ahead of us against those who have a financial stake in keeping the status quo.  It made me think of the project Christopher Carson (of Tiny House The Movie) was part of, a local campaign to fight Xcel Energies deep pockets campaign to prevent municipal sustainable energy program.

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Horsefly Cabin

Recently I was emailed this post and beam cabin by one of our readers, thanks Greg!, that is located in BC Canada.  The Cabin is actually for sale right now, but its very stunning!  Their website is here     The cabin is 16’x20′ on main floor and 9’x16′ loft on 2.3 acre lot. Built in 2010 by Pioneer Log Homes Craftsmen.

Correction: It was brought to my attention that these photos originally appeared on Small House Bliss.  You can find the original post here

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Today Is The Last Day To Get Your Early Bird Tickets

earlybird640Alright, the time has come, we’re getting down to the wire, my email box has been flooded with excited emails for the upcoming conference.  Today, 9/30, is the last day to get your early bird tickets, after today they will go up to regular price.

Get your tickets and all the info here: tinyhouseconference.com

Also here are some of the common questions we have been getting:

Q: Where & When is the conference

A: The conference will be in Charlotte, NC April 5th & 6th, 2014

Q: What will happen at the conference?

A: We have 12 tiny house experts that will teach you everything from building to living in a tiny house, plus a ton of tiny houses to tour in person, plus so much more!  Our schedule

Q: How much are tickets?

A: $250 for early bird, $300 for regular

Q: Where will I stay?  Are there campsites? hotels?

A: We are holding our event a McDowell Nature preserve, they have 60 campsites and there are 3 hotels within 5 minutes drive. Reserve your site today, details here

Q: I can’t afford tickets, can I volunteer?

A: Yes, we have 15 “pay what you can” volunteer tickets.  These are reserved for those who truly can’t afford full price, they pay what they can afford and then volunteer their time to make up for the rest.  More info here  We also have a carpool forum.

Get your tickets and all the info here: tinyhouseconference.com

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