Monthly Archives: February 2012

first step – the foundation… our trailer

we searched for weeks to find a trailer for our new house.  at first we were thinking we wanted to buy a used RV, demo it, keep the trailer platform and all the holding tanks, reuse the electrical, plumbing, fixtures, etc.  but then we looked at a few of them…. and they’re only rated to carry 3500 on each axle, so 7000 lbs.  we wanted more strength than that.

so, new car hauler flat bed trailers go for $3,000 to $9,000 for the gooseneck variety.  we wanted to find a used one.  we finally did find one in Phoenix.  and the price was decent.  of course, it’s one of those deals where you show up and it looks like crap, and you think, uh-oh, guess we didn’t find it.  but then we realized the frame was fine – it was just the deck that was bad, and we don’t need the wood deck anyway.

Carrie and Rio on the trailer bringing it home from Phoenix

and the wheels wells need to get replaced too….  good thing it was a lot cheaper than new!  we got it for $1,900.  after we bought it and brought it back to our shop we realized how committed we are to really doing this thing.  no more cold feet when I start thinking about how tiny it will be!

here’s our rig:

the whole rig - the new tiny house foundation

our trailer in the shop after we removed the rotted decking

it’s rated for 11,250 lbs, so that should carry a tiny house!

next, decking it with plywood, then framing the floor….

Categories: Tiny House Design | 14 Comments

tiny house design progress

so we want the tiny house to have a more modern aesthetic – most of them out there are sort of Victorian / dollhouse / 1800’s mountain cabin.  and most of that is dictated by the need for a loft bed – makes the roof need a steep pitch.

with the gooseneck trailer we found that the bed doesn’t have to be stacked over the living space, keeping the profile lower.  (not so scary to tow)  it does make it a lot longer though….

here’s the model now.  exterior cladding has us stumped a bit.  needs to be….. almost free in order to keep our budget low. this is some sort of wood T&G or just plywood roughsawn with siding-esque grooves, stained a dark gray.

some of our inspiration photos:

I wish we could do a flat roof – looks more “modern”.  but the gable really creates the needed head height inside, and flat roofed options we looked at ended up looking like a mobile home – a “single wide”.  which is not what we’re going for!  when you put a house on a trailer much of the design process is focusing on how to make it NOT look like a house on a trailer!  ha.

Categories: Tiny House Design | 7 Comments

designing our tiny home

we have spent about 3 weeks now dreaming, researching, planning, sketching, and  modeling the house we want to live in.  it’s a puzzle!  trying to fit a two bedroom, two bath, one garage, one tool trailer, two car, one motorcycle, and two bike lifestyle into an 8′ x 20′ space!  (we still need to pare down our belongings…stay tuned…)

we finally arrived at a design that we can move forward on:

exterior finishes are “TBD”…   when you’re contemplating a house can be towed down the road it raises design issues that don’t exist with regular architectural design!  for instance, are all those shingles going to blow off as soon as we hit 50 mph?  we’ll see!  ideally it will have metal roofing, but we need to price it out.

here’s the current plan:

the trailer we got is a 5th wheel / gooseneck (easier for towing and super heavy duty – ie can carry a house) so the bedroom is above the gooseneck and accessed by stairs.

fun!  now for the cost estimating and figuring out what we can actually use for materials…

Categories: Tiny House Design | 16 Comments

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