By Carrie Caverly. October 30, 2014 (an article I wrote for Tiny House Magazine…) When we built our Tiny House in 2012 we wanted it to be temporary – a stepping stone toward owning our own self-sufficient home, mortgage free. And even though I struggled with living in 200 SF for a year and a half, I feel so much gratitude for our tiny house because (two years later) it actually did enable us to buy land and start building a modest home of our own, without borrowing money. Our first rental lot in Prescott, AZ. Set up for an RV, this site was tucked into a residential neighborhood and I cropped them out of this photo, but there are neighbors 50 feet away on both sides.
Posts Tagged With: living in the tiny house
Friday we placed a concrete pad for the Tiny House on our new land and this week we moved the house onto it’s new slab. The tiny house will be used as a guest house and is now connected to sewer (flushing toilet! hooray!)
We obscured the view of the gooseneck hitch with a dry-stacked CMU wall that can be disassembled when we want to move the tiny house. Shane will add a little shed roof over this masonry wall and it will be outdoor storage area and there will be a wall connecting the main house to this masonry wall.
The tiny house is an integral part of our new house design – we were able to make our new house smaller (only 1 BR 1 BA) because the tiny house will serve as a Guest House. It also blocks wind and creates an outdoor courtyard shielded from the adjacent road to the west.
In the photo above you can also see our hot water solar panels in place! These will heat our domestic hot water and radiant floors.
We ended up orienting the Tiny House with it’s entry facing away from the main house entry because the views were better from inside the tiny house – we wanted the full height windows in the Tiny House living room to look at the mountains to the east, not the road to the west. It’s more private inside the tiny house this way.
The tiny house is connected to water, sewer, and electric and we’ll be moving into it at the end of September while we finish the inside of our main house.
Can you believe we’ve been living in our tiny house for a year already?! I went back and read the blog I wrote a year ago about moving our tiny house to our site, (you should read it too!) what a day that was! In the morning we had a news interview with ABC15 Phoenix, then we hauled the house from our rented shop space in Prescott Valley to our new rented home site in Prescott, AZ.
Here’s a little year in review: (translation: get yourself a cup of coffee and a comfy chair and settle in for the longest post ever!)
Each section below has links back to the original blog posts so you can review our year with us!
May 16, 2012: Hauling the newly completed Tiny House from our shop in Prescott Valley:
Setting up the house at our rented site in a neighborhood in Prescott, AZ where we lived from mid May to mid August, 2012:
The tiny house was like the pied piper the way it drew the neighborhood children… I think they thought it was a little playhouse for them! Nope. Ha!
Hooray, I think I am finally going to be able to post these photos! For some reason wordpress kept deleting my totally awesome blog that I was writing with photos of our house in our first blizzard this past Sunday. Grrr. Technology. Sorry for that blank blog post that went out.
Anyway, it snowed! Quickly and coldly… 5″ or so in an evening and down in the single digits at night. We stayed quite cozy inside with our propane heater / fireplace and our plants even survived out in the cold frame. Amazing.
Hello everyone! We spent this past weekend winterizing our Tiny House in reaction to the really cold weather we’ve been having here in Santa Fe. In the 20’s at night…. Brrr! Now it’s back up into the 70’s, which is nice, but we still needed to get set up for winter, which is different in a tiny house.
- Hook up our propane Newport heater
- Insulate our graywater tank and hose located under the trailer
- Install wind-block and insulation skirting under the trailer foundation
- fix the heat tape at our water supply hose (we had used some heat tape we found from an old trailer but turns out it didn’t work – we found this out when our water froze!)
Our propane heater:
we already had propane plumbed near the heater but we just needed to hook up the connection line with a shut off valve.
So. We got iPhones. I know, I know, I am a technology phobe and resisted getting a “smart” phone for so long, but at last, I’ve made the plunge. And I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I LOVE it! Like way more than anyone should love a … phone. Haha! It is so compact and beautifully designed and simple to use. Anyway, I have a new app and wanted to share some tiny vignettes of this morning with you. Now I can turn all of my photos into 1970’s house-fire survivors too!!
Check out a tour of our tiny house on HLN / CNN’s Headline News!
(sorry I can’t embed the video directly, but if you click the link above it will take you to the video tour and article)
they also wrote an article about the mortgage crisis and Tiny House living: click here.
Shane was live (via phone…) on the show “Making It In America” today at 4pm ET and I’ll share the link with you when HLN posts it on their website.
Also, we watched a really great movie last night: Surviving Progress. (with appearances from Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Margaret Atwood, and No Impact Man.) It really encouraged us that we ARE on the right path with living differently, living simply, and living smaller. Props to everyone else who is trying to make a change and treat our home planet with care and respect. It’s not easy to change the way we are used to living, but it is paramount that we all do so.
Almost two months ago I participated in a CNN “iReport” about tiny living. Today, the full article came out featuring all of the contributors’ stories. So inspirational to read about all the people embracing smaller living. And so invigorating to see myself quoted in an article for CNN!
Read the full article here on CNN. I’m quoted at the end of the story, along with several others in the tiny house community.
If you scroll through the photos at the top you can read the whole story we wrote about Clothesline Tiny Homes for CNN. Or click here.
I also really enjoyed Andrew Odom’s report about Tiny r(E)volution. You can find that by scrolling through the photos at the top of the main story, or click here for a direct link.
I read a really great post this morning by Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens and I wanted to re-post it for you all to read. She discusses her and her husband’s journey toward downsizing and I was surprised to find out that it was actually her husband that pushed for living in a smaller house….and she was initially very resistant to the idea!
Here’s the article: How to Negotiate Downsizing – On Becoming Minimalist
My story is similar: Shane and I were living in a two bedroom house that we were renting – paying about $1,200 a month after utilities (which is relatively cheap in the housing world). We were spending way too much of our income on mere shelter and kept hitting a wall when we talked about our dream of building our own house on some land. (and raising chickens etc.) How were we ever going to save enough money to buy some land outright and build a house? Given the unlikelihood of winning the lottery, and our failure to win big at the slot machines, it was not going to be possible if we were spending all of our income on our current shelter.
When Shane suggested living in a Tiny House I instantly bristled – “how many square feet is it? so it’s the size of some people’s closets? where will I do yoga? where will I work on my projects? where will I put all of my furniture? how will we get enough space so we don’t fight all the time!?” And finally… “NOOOOOOOO!”
After I realized Shane was NOT letting go of this idea, I spent about a week researching tiny houses, minimalism, and voluntary downsizing. I found so many people (including Rowdy Kittens) who have found great happiness in paring down their belongings and getting back to a basic form of shelter.
I was inspired to try something different and get back to basics.
Wishing you all great courage to follow your dreams…
well, it’s been three weeks of living in Santa Fe now, and we are loving it! it’s great to have the house out on some land that provides some long views from the interior and a lot of exterior spaciousness.
- Shane spoke on Tiny r(E)volution’s podcast about Tiny Living yesterday… you can listen to the podcast by clicking this link.
- My brother and his family visited us over the long weekend so we got to try out “Tiny Hospitality”…
- And a recent addition to our tiny house was a swiveling table…