Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tiny living for two?

My youngest daughter just started the 10th grade today.  She's really bright & a very talented artist.  I'm wondering what secondary education & the job market will look like in 2 or 3 years when she graduates.  She may have to stay with me for a few years instead of going away to college.

I've thought about how I'll handle the housing situation.  Should I put my plans on hold?  Should I wait to live my tiny, more sustainable lifestyle?  NO!  I'm not going to wait!  

I've already discussed it with my daughter & told her I'll make room for her to stay with me but if she wants to keep a lot of stuff she has to rent a storage unit for herself or we'll discuss building a shed for storage for her.  

For this reason & a few others I've chosen the Lusby Tumbleweed Tiny House design for my final choice.  It's a practical design because as I get older I'm not going to want to climb a ladder to get into bed & my daughter & future grandchildren could use the sleeping loft & I could use the tiny bedroom that's on the main floor.

The Lusby also has a decent sized kitchen area, which I'll be using a lot!

I'm also going to encourage my daughter to build her own tiny house so she'll always have a roof over her head & a place to call her own!

Living tiny means owning less...

I'm starting to downsize my possessions to get ready for the reduced amount of storage I'll have in my tiny house.  I'm not a fashion conscious kind of girl so I really don't have a lot of clothes.  I'm ready to get rid of even more to pare it down to the bare essentials.  I'd like to buy my land somewhere here in Florida because I love it here & that also means I can wear most of my clothes for at least 3 seasons out of the year. 

My biggest problem is in my kitchen...  I love to cook & bake so I have a lot of cookware, bakeware & gadgets.  I think I'll go through serious withdrawal if I have to give up too much of my kitchenware!  I know I'm going to have a nice sized kitchen area because I'll still be doing a lot of homemade meals.   I enjoy it plus it's inexpensive & healthier.

Some things I think I'll use in the kitchen are; a hanging fruit/veggie basket, a hook & bar system, pot hanger, corner shelves, slide outs & I definitely want to figure out a pantry configuration for food.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Design & amenities I'd like to have

I've narrowed down my choices in the design of my tiny house to 4 sets of plans; 
Tumbleweed Tiny House's Epu which is 89 sq. ft.,
Tiny House Design's 8' x 12' which is just the framing & I'll design the inside, Tiny Home Builders' Tiny Living  & Humble Homes' JS Bell Porch designs.  Just click on the design names for a link to take you to the web page they're on.

I definitely want to use solar power & propane for my electricity, heating & cooking options; a wet bath similar to the ones in boats to save space; a composting toilet & greywater filtering system for sewage;  an on demand water heater; a real propane rv stove/oven; a roof mounted rv air conditioner; a ceiling fan & exhaust fan.  I want to use recycled denim for insulation & have a metal roof.

I'd like to use as many recycled & re-purposed materials & parts as possible.  I got several ideas from other tiny house builders.  One is buying an old rv that doesn't run but still has working appliances & electrical parts & taking them out to install into the tiny house because they run on 2 way or 3 way power.  2 way is 12 volt & 110 volt & 3 way is 12 volt, 110 volt & propane (for the refrigerator).  Solar power runs on deep cycle 12 volt batteries so that's less to run through an inverter that would convert 12 volt to standard 110.

I have more ideas coming so come on back & see my progress!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tiny house first ideas

I'm in the beginning stages of planning my tiny house & am surprised by the many options I have for every aspect of the design & materials.  It's a lot of fun deciding which type of tiny house I'll build.  

The amount of information & resources online is fabulous!  It's great to be able to look for my land, plans, trailer, appliances, materials, etc. sitting in the comforts of my living room.

I was pleased to see the there's an actual option for stairs to a loft area instead of a ladder.  I'm thinking that it would be a better option for me because I'm planning on living the rest of my life in my tiny home & don't think I'm going to want to, or be able to, climb a ladder to get into bed.  Then again there's always the option to have a daybed setup in the main living space for guest sleeping space & then switching it to the loft as I get creakier...

Lots of windows/skylights are a must for me!  I'm thinking about those windows that have the blinds or shades built into them.  I'll have to figure out if they'd be cost effective but that will depend a lot on where I purchase my land lot(s).  

We have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore where I live so I'll be using them as a resource for materials, fixtures, hardware & possibly appliances.  Our area has a lot of new construction going on & there are still lots of people who are remodeling so I'm sure I can do well finding lots of cheap materials there & in other places.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why I want to live tiny...

I'm almost 47 & have 2 daughters ages 15 & 24.  When my youngest turns 18 I will have been taking care of my girls for a length of nearly 28 years, mostly  by myself.  I'm a self  employed house cleaner.  I don't own a car now nor have I owned one for the majority of my adult life because I've mostly lived in cities with good public transit systems & ride a bicycle.  I moved here to Martin County, FL from Philadelphia, PA 5 years ago with my 15 year old.  
My 24 year old still lives in Philly with her husband of 4 years.

We've lived in several efficiency apartments as a family & I didn't mind so much because I've always felt that small spaces were very comfortable.  Maybe that's because I grew up in a tiny 2 bedroom rowhome in North Philly with my whole family.  Me, my parents, 2 older brothers, younger sister, grandmom & even a foster brother(kind of).  

We spent vacations in the summer at a 14 acre property in Montgomery County, PA on the Perkiomen Creek called Bluebell Acres that was owned by friends of our family.  We lived in 2 modified truck bodies, used an outhouse, had no running water & no electricity for a couple of years until we got power service.  We had no telephone there so we had to go out to a payphone if we had to make a call.  I adored "The Perk", as it came to be called, & have missed it since we stopped going when I was 18 or so.  Living simply was one of the greatest gifts my parents gave us.  Taking us out of the city like that made me a country girl at heart & I've been trying to get back to it ever since...
I believe that dream will be within reach when I build my Tiny House!!

First entry

Good morning everyone!  This is my first entry into my online diary about my journey of building my tiny house.  I found Tiny Houses by accident when doing some research for yurt living & decided that out of all of the options available I really love the Tiny House most of all.  I did a project in high school for a graphics class & designed a 10' x 10' house with a loft & always thought about it as an option for when I retire or semi retire.  I like the tiny house idea much better because I could take my house with me & just own small lots or rent a space.  It's the ultimate snow bird lifestyle!!  I'm in the planning stages right now trying to decide the size, layout, types of appliances, power, water & sewage option, etc...  

Thanks so much for taking this journey with me!  My next entry will be some background info about me.