Tennessee Tiny Homes

Joe Everson started Tennessee Tiny Homes in 2012, but Joe has over 15 years experience building custom homes. He’s located near Memphis, Tennessee and in the last year has completed several homes.What I like about Joe’s work is the diversity of designs he’s exploring – no two houses are alike. They are all outfitted a little differently too, based on the buyer’s needs I assume. They also shows off Joe’s diverse skills.He is also working on offering financing in an attempt to make his homes more accessible for buyers. Unlike a normal mortgage, it should be possible to pay off a tiny house in the time it takes to pay off a car.You can find Tennessee Tiny Home on Facebook. Also check out their sister company Tiny Happy Homes. Photo credit to Tennessee Tiny Homes. Above & Below: Mendy’s tiny house. Below: Papaw’s Tiny HouseBelow: The ReedBelow: The Reed’s Interior Below: The Outhouse  Below: The Popojo  

Open Trail Homes

Open Trail Homes, a new tiny house company has been launched in North Salt Lake, Utah. They currently offer four models from 128 to 320 square feet.All of the homes are built on wheels and the largest measures 12′ x 24′ – which would make it better suited for a semi-permanent installation since special move permits are typically required to move 12-foot wide trailers. All the others could be moved with a full size pickup truck. They are all equipped as RVs with electric & water hookups as well as built-in fresh & waste water tanks.Three of their four models are designed with beds on the lower level and three have additional sleeping/storage space in lofts. LOW-E double pane windows and 12V LED lighting appear to be standard on all models.I’m very impressed with the packages they’ve put together and suspect this company could become a leader in the tiny homes market. They also mention a larger parent company, but don’t mention a name. I wonder if a large RV or home builder is testing the tiny house market waters with these homes. They appear to be highly refined and well sorted-out.To get a look yourself visit the Open Trail Homes website and Follow them on Facebook.Photo credit to Open Trail Homes.Top: Blue Sky model, 165 square feet. Below: Blue Sky interior.Below: Blue Sky Floor PlanBelow: Bunk House, 128 square foot modelBelow: Bunk House interiorBelow: Bunk House floor planBelow: Fieldhouse Floor Plan, 255 square foot modelBelow: Unita Floor Plan, 320 square foot model

The Advocate Tiny House Project

The Advocate Tiny House will be created through crowdsourced collaboration. In other words you can help design it, and the Advocate Tiny House team will build it. When the house is complete they’ll use it to share the world of tiny house living with others. The finished house will be available for touring, traveling, classroom learning, workshops, rental, etc.At this moment in time the only design decision that has been made is the size and source of the trailer. It will be built on top of one of tiny house trailers available through Tiny Home Builders. So it’s the perfect time to jump into the process. Andrew Odom from the Tiny r(E)volution is spearheading the project.To learn how to participate visit their website, follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Meet Ethan Waldman

Ethan Waldman is a technology coach who quit his corporate day job and took his future into his own hands. One of the steps toward his goals was to downsize and build a tiny house. His journey officially began about a year ago when he left his day job and started building his home. Here’s the short version of his story:“On June 1, 2012, I packed up the contents of my desk into two plastic tote boxes, left my ID Badge on my desk, and walked out of the office. It was my last day as a full-time, salaried employee.I got in the car and drove about an hour– to the Morrisville airport in Morrisville, VT. There, in an empty airplane hangar was a brand new 22′ trailer loaded down with about $1000 worth of lumber.I had done it. I quit my job and started construction on my very own tiny house on wheels. Of course, the real story wasn’t so simple…”Read the complete story about Ehtan’s Tiny House on his blog. Follow Ethan’s tiny house progress on Facebook. If you’re an entrepreneur and want a technology coach, follow Ethan’s Cloud Coach Facebook page. han

Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel

Located in the funky Alberta Arts District of NE Portland, Oregon (map) is the first tiny house hotel in the USA. There you’ll find three tiny houses that encircle a small courtyard.Each house is equipped with a bathroom (flush toilet & hot shower), kitchen (hot plate, refrigerator & microwave), electric heat, and sleeping space. Each of the three houses has it’s own unique character too.The Rosebud – Traditional style, 120 square feet, Sleeps 1-2 people.The Tandem – A larger tiny house, 160 square feet, Sleeps 1-4 people.The Pearl – Modern style, 90 square feet, sleeps 1-3 people.Currently it costs $125 a night to stay at The Tiny House Hotel but check their website for current rates.Below: The RosebudBelow: The Rosebud’s InteriorBelow: The TandemBelow: The Tandem InteriorBelow: The PearlBelow: The Pearl Interior

Ecology of Colour

While this building is not a home, it’s filled with inspiring ideas. Ecology of Colour is located on Ecology Island in Dartford, Kent, on a previously neglected corner of their Central Park. The building has many uses.“Our proposal is comprised of organising a programme of events and workshops based around dyeing and wildlife; a small building that provides flexible accommodation for these activities; and planting a meadow of flowers and vegetables that yield natural dyes and beckon wildlife.The timber-clad structure is an outdoor classroom, dyeing workshop, art studio, bird-watching hide, tree house and park shelter all rolled into one.”The exterior is painted in a pattern of natural dyes. Inside the wood boards are left unfinished to allow a natural aging and stains that come with use. All the lumber was sourced from the UK.The upper level has simple doors, but when closed the exterior surface blends together to form what appears to be a windowless geometric form. When open they transform the space’s function and feel.For example on one side there are small bird watching openings that open inward and form a small shelf. On the opposite wall there are large doors that open outward that open the room with the feeling of a balcony. At the end of the room the wall opens up completely allowing in the most light. So the upper level can be transformed from dark to light depending on the needs of the current set of users.For the tiny house owner-builder this design carries with it some good ideas.Transformable Space – As the seasons change imagine a tiny home with interior or exterior shutters that conceal glass windows behind them.  This could allow a tiny home some advantageous passive solar advantages as well as allowing the altering of the use and feel of the home and it’s role in the place it occupies.Simplicity vs Minimalism – In the video, Je Ahn from Studio Weave points out that simplicity doesn’t necessarily require taking things away – a good reminder.Alternative Finishes – So many tiny homes are finished in wood inside and out. While many prefer this aesthetic the options are endless – so explore the alternatives if you’re looking for something new.Elevate Views – A tiny home would be easier to raise off the ground than a big one, so if circumstances allow consider going up.It was designed by the architects at Studio Weave. Photo credit to Studio Weave, Jim Stephenson, and faircompanies.  

Homesteading in Thailand

Owen Geiger is well known for his work in earthbag construction. He lives in Thailand and is building a sustainable homestead on a half acre of inexpensive low lying land that was once a rice field.During the rainy season the rice fields flood so to stay high and dry they brought-in about 200 trucks of cheap fill dirt to raise the property above the neighboring rice fields. The dirt came from a spot about a quarter mile away so even with so many trucks he reports the cost was low.The disadvantage of using cheap fill dirt to raise the property is that it has almost no value for gardening. To remedy that and keep everything low cost, they are making their own fertilizer and compost from fermenting food scraps, composting, and worm castings. Over time they should be able to breathe life into that sand & clay fill dirt.The house they are building is made from mostly recycled wood from an 50-year-old house they tore down. Some of the wood in the old house had been recycled from an even older home, so some of the hardwood beams are about 100 years old.The house was mostly designed by Owen’s girlfriend. They decided to divide up the various projects between them to speed things along. Owen took the garden, pump house, and barn – she took the kitchen garden and house. While the house looks fairly large it’s mostly porch. When complete it will be easier to see just how small it is.The pump house is an earthbag structure – actually a prototype for an emergency relief shelter and cost just a few hundred dollars to build. Earthbag structures can be built quickly and inexpensively from local materials and are strong enough to resist earthquakes and high winds.  These attributes make earthbag construction better than tents and prefab shelters for emergency relief.Even if you have no plans to become an expat in Thailand, Owen’s work here shows how cheap land can be transformed into a homestead for very little money and a lot of hard work. This model could be adapted for many parts of America and beyond. It wouldn’t be easy and might be the biggest do-it-yourself project imaginable – but as you can see, it can be done.They’ve started a new Natural Homesteading YouTube Channel to document the project. You’ll find a new tours of the property that show the initial stages and progress to date. You can find more updates and ask questions at the Natural Building Blog.Below: A view of the pump house.Below: Surrounding rice fields.

Phantom Ranch

Located 4,600 feet below than the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a community of eleven tiny houses designed by architect Mary E. J. Colter back in 1922. This is Phantom Ranch – the only lodging facility below the rim of the Grand Canyon.You can’t drive there. The only access is by mule train, foot, or rafting down the Colorado River. It must be a welcoming site along the Bright Angel Creek with its bunks, fresh bedding, towels, and toilets. Showers are located centrally. It’s open year round but very popular so advance reservations are recommended.Inspiring little design with the robust rock corners and slight tilt up of the shed roof over the door. Lots of windows in the wooden walls must make the interior light and still connected to the surrounding beauty.Learn more about Phantom Ranch. Photo credit to the Grand Canyon National Park Service. View Larger Map

Uncut Tiny House Preview

The other day someone commented on Facebook and challenged tiny house designers to design houses with fewer angled cuts. They had spent the day cutting angles on their own tiny house.Since so many tiny homes are owner-built fewer cuts would make construction faster and easier. I found the idea was so compelling, I decided to attempt a tiny house design that required the builder to make no cuts – use no saws. In other words, a house design that just used material right off the store shelves.This is what I came up with; it’s only conceptual – I’ve not tried to build it. The tools you’d need are: a drill & bits, hammer, utility knife, level, measuring tape, ladder, and shovel (or post hole digger). In addition to the wood you’d need some building adhesive, foam insulation panels, nails & screws, lag bolts, plexiglass, hinges, door latch, metal roofing, roofing felt, flat roof membrane, wood finish.The plans for this concept will be available in the next few days. Below are the step-by-step assemble illustrations.