“Dee Williams used to live in a 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom home. Then she traveled to Guatelama (to help build a schoolhouse) and when she came home her house felt too big so built herself a home that fit. That turned out to be a 84-square-foot foot home on wheels that cost her $10,000: $5000 for the materials (mostly salvaged) and the other half for the solar panels and low-E (low thermals emissivity) windows.”

More at the source: YouTube
Another great Fair Companies video by Kirsten Dirksen.


Comments

Micro-homesteading in WA with 10K microhome (84 sq ft) — 7 Comments

  1. Ron is right on target.

    However, the biggest advantage of the Tiny House concept is that it is so easy to move it to a new location if local authorities start throwing their weight around.

    In my humble opinion, if someone wants to try to “fly under the radar” this would be the ideal method for doing so. The risk of losing everything due to government interference is actually very low.

    Yes, you may be forced to move several times, but eventually with time, patience, and experience, one should eventually be able to find a nice out-of-the-way place to park your tiny house. I expect smart Tiny House owners quickly develop plans for alternative locations long before some bureaucrat shows up. They will tend to see and remember potential locations to park, should the need ever arise that they need to move.

    There is a certain security in knowing that you can pick up and move quickly, easily, and inexpensively if the need arises.

    I’m not trying to encourage people to break the law. Obviously it is best to park someplace legal.

    Let’s remember that many need to move regularly anyway due to employment changes, and other factors. Many jobs are seasonal, or shift around as project sites are started and completed. Instead of throwing money down the toilet by paying rent, and then moving on to the next job, this is a very practical alternative.

    I have often thought that the best Tiny House exterior cladding might be a system that is easily changed out. Instead of trying to create a beautiful appearance that stands out, it might be best to have a house that is easily and cheaply adaptable to allow it to blend it to whatever surroundings it gets parked in.

    If you need to park in an industrial area, then perhaps some easily attached metal siding might attract the least attention.

    If you need to park in a residential area, then perhaps having a type of siding that matches the rest of the neighborhood would be best.

    If you need to park in a remote area, then perhaps a wrap around netting trellis/pergola system would allow the tiny house to disappear in a blanket of vines and other locally appropriate vegetation. Kind of like a whole house ghillie suit.

    It shouldn’t be that difficult to design the exterior cladding system to accept any of those alternatives and be adapted within an afternoon’s work.

  2. The problem is being legal, or even the idea that personal housing has to meet any codes or requirements. Waivers and taking responsibility for self built homes would be a step up.
    Most of these small homes talked of. Your basically living on the edge and living with the concept of being told to move or being fined.
    There really needs to be some sort of national understanding about small affordable housing. The newer international building codes just make things even harder.
    Mexico and south America come across as much more free and having common sense about housing.

  3. Yes I agree with you. There definitely a need for these homes. The thing that really stuck out to me is what all she had to say about where she came from, went through and now feels. I guess my reaction to small places like this is I have been in small homes all my life and lived in a large home once or twice and I just have a love for bigger places where I don’t feel so quite confined. I like the feeling of freedom in the mountains in a large home where I’m not tripping over my own feet. That IS why I’m building my home just that way. Freedom and, like the mountains, open

  4. She has a nice “little” place of her own and she seems quite content with it. For me, it’s too small but, as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. She does seem to have a positive attitude and that’s what I take most from this story. Good post Owen.

    • Dee is in several tiny house videos. I think she was an early adopter of these type of homes and no doubt has been influential in their popularity.

      Tiny homes have a lot of benefits in terms of cost and flexibility. They may seem too small at times, but they may be perfect while building your main home or after a divorce, losing a job, moving and starting over, whatever. In other words, they can serve as transitional housing. Tiny homes can be moved, expanded or sold. You can make larger ones to fit your needs. You could cluster multiple tiny homes — main living space, studio/office, kids… They’re small enough that you can use high quality materials without breaking the budget. You’ll save a fortune on energy costs and save time cleaning.

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