tiny homes (466)

Tiny Home on Wheels from Recycled Materials in Australia

Dear Lloyd,

I’ve been meaning to write you this email for some time now, it feels long overdue.

I just wanted to express my gratitude for the inspiration that I have taken from your books (specifically Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter) which have helped lead me on a wonderful journey of DIY carpentry, natural building and constructing my own tiny houses on wheels from recycled materials. This book was the first time I’d ever seen a tiny house on wheels (8 years ago) and it blew my mind! I love the concept of being able to build and own my home without crippling debt, as well as separating land and home ownership. It has provided me with an ethical, soulful, affordable and flexible housing solution as a stepping stone to something bigger and more permanent in the future, as I know that I do not wish to raise a family in such a small space and am now getting into my mid-30s. Building my first tiny house took me out of the office as a left-leaning progressive town planner and into the world of creative carpentry and the DIY makers movement where I could lead by example and walk the talk. I’ve also now run workshops and helped on many other sustainable building and tiny house projects since taking the leap.

I designed and built my house in the eclectic woodbutcher’s style, which I know you were a part of pioneering in the ’60s and ’70s. A mix of recycled doors, windows and lovely cedar, Oregon cypress and Baltic pine, much of it old-growth timber reclaimed for free from old houses here in Australia. I even ended up with a beautiful geodesic dome lead-light window, a result of a carpenter mentor with a very mathematical brain who came up with the design and helped me to build it — but lesson learned, I don’t think I’ll be making too many more domes. Waterproofing them effectively is certainly a challenge…

Here is a link to some photos and a video tour of my first tiny house and recycled bathhouse in Byron Bay: www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/tiny-home-with-bath-house-made-from-salvaged-windows

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Learning to Build Tiny Homes in Prison

Dear Lloyd,

Well, the books you were kind enough to send to me, I put to good use, as I’m teaching a tiny homes class at the prison as an ACE class, which stands for Adult Continued Education program. I’m now on my second class. The first one had 16 guys and this one has 21 guys. It’s a 10 week class and each person has to design his own tiny home to scale and they have to pass two tests to get a certificate. The hope is that they will then be able to design a tiny home when they get out of prison.

Here in North Carolina, they just announced that they are building a whole village of tiny homes for the homeless. I think it’s a great thing and when I’m teaching, I tell these guys getting out of prison that it really is perfect for them also. If I can get even one or two guys to buy in and build one, I will be very happy that I’ll have gotten someone to improve his life.

I try and explain that when you first get out, you won’t have a good enough paying job or the work history for a bank to give you a home loan. Nor do you have a credit score that’s high enough. And with homeless rates rising, most people are a paycheck or two from being that way. I go on and explain that if you rent a one bedroom (the average rent here is about $550 or $600.) In 10 years that’s $66,000-$72,000 and if you spent $10,000-$15,000 on your tiny home you’d save over $50,000 in the 10 years.

So I thank you for my teaching gig now my friend.

Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, North Carolina

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Tiny Home in Scottish Highlands

Hi Lloyd,

Just a quick email to update you, and send a photo of our small house in the NW Highlands.
We spoke a few years ago, when you were over in Scotland, heading up this way see Bernard Planterose. Sadly we could not meet, but I thought you would like to see our tiny, but much loved home.

It is approx 40msq (about 430 sq. ft.) – the exterior is larch timber and ‘wriggley’ tin. The interior is CLP – heavily insulated with sheep’s wool.

We have a small office, a compost loo, a main living, cooking and sleeping area with a climb up bed and a compact bathroom. There are floor to ceiling windows to the front of the house – we feel like we are sitting on the deck of a ship – watching the ever changing sea loch and the birds and mammals that call it home. Heat comes from an old Jotul wood stove, power from 6 solar panels, a battery bank and inverter (we have a 24 +12v system) and we use bottled gas for a cooker and boiler. In the summer we run a small freezer and camping fridge, in the winter a hole in an outside wall!

“Twoflower Croft” has been our home for almost two years. We are still finishing soak aways and retaining walls, planting trees, planting gardens – but we are getting there.
… Our friend Sam Booth from Echo Living made our plans a reality, and it is to him, and to you we owe a huge debt. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there celebrating the fact that that simple, small houses – designed for the life that the owners live – make the most perfect homes.

Huge respect and best wishes from Scotland, hope you find yourself here again soon.

Sara Garnett

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Cordwood Cabin on British Columbia Island

Cordwood cabin built by Gary and Marlene Cooper on a small island in British Columbia. All the cordwood came off the beach. It’s a double-wall technique; there is an inner and an outer wall, each 4″ thick, with the cavity in between insulated with cedar sawdust created when cutting the blocks. More photos in Builders of the Pacific Coast.

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German Tiny Houses from the ’50s

Dear Lloyd,

I enjoy your books and your blog very much! Thanks for that!

I just found the German book Kleinsthäuser, Ferienhäuser, Bungalows from 1959. I have never heard the term “Kleinsthäuser” which means tiny houses, so I was surprised to see that.

I attach a few pictures because I thought you might find it interesting. The first ones are showing a portable house and the second batch “Heidelberger Wochenendhaus,” i.e., Heidelberger weekend home, shows an interesting tiny house designed by two Germans.

The last picture shows two houses that were built according to a method developed in the USA in which the car is parked under the house, which is on stilts.

Kind regards,
Petra (Hegenbart)

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