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Tiny Houses

The Tiny House movement has spawned many ideas about downsizing that may be useful to those who have need of a mortgage free smaller house.  If food, water or electric shortages become severe it may be wise to consider an alternate location to live either temporarily or permanently.  One solution is to find a farmer who is willing to lease a small parcel of land for a tiny house.  Potable water can be transported, electricity can be made from the sun, greywater can be recycled and a composting toilet can all be used to create a very independent dwelling.  Some living space options include:

gray_tiny_house_web gw-greg201

Some advantages of a travel trailer are:

  • Ready to be lived in after sewer, water and electric hookups are finished
  • Appliances are built in
  • Used trailers can be very inexpensive, and if the world does not fall apart the trailer can be resold.  Until my small house was ready I lived in a 35 foot long travel trailer that I purchased for $10,000.  Five years later, after saving enough money to build my house, I sold the trailer for $4,000.  That calculates to be a monthly cost of only $100.  If I had given the trailer away the monthly cost would have been $167 per month.  Now that is frugal living.

Some disadvantages of the travel trailer are:

  • No place to put a wood stove which is the most reliable source of heat during stressful times and long supply lines
  • Walls and roof are thin and poorly insulated which increases energy requirements for heating and cooling.
  • A constant supply of electric power is needed in colder climates, more than can be provided by a reasonably priced solar electric system, to prevent the exterior water supply line from freezing.

The combination of a travel trailer and storage building, or travel trailer parked under a roof shelter with a storage building at one end can provide many options.  In situations where the local inspection department must be dealt with, it may be possible to get a temporary use permit for the trailer if an approved sewer connection is available.

hillbillyhighrise2 houseboat camper

Tiny houses and apartment information:

Tiny House and Apartment videos:

A 6×10 with a shower, composting toilet and more.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Portable Shelters

Turtle Tuff Survival Shelters

  • 200 sq/ft, 16′ diameter, 8′ height, or
  • 450 sq/ft, 24′ diameter, 9′ height

Really Small Shelters

The Camper Bike, 9 pics and drawings of a picup truck camper scaled down for a bicycle.

A shopping cart pop-up camper.

Shelter In A Cart

Cart

Shopping Cart Shelter for the Homeless

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Everyone Deserves A Roof (EDAR)

Portable Shelters

Building Permits and Inspections

New houses usually require a building permit and health department permit before a well can be drilled and before temporary electric service can be setup.   After electrical, plumbing and structural inspections have been completed a certificate of occupancy is granted.  It may be possible to avoid some of these permits and inspections if you:

Counties usually have a building permit exemption for outbuildings less than a specified size.  In my county that size is 150 square feet.

My projects are:

  • Sassy Lilac, a 621 sq ft small house, is my current residence.  The building permit with plans can be downloaded here.

Sassy Lilac 28apr091

  • Sugar Shack, a remodeled 140 sq ft storage building, is a future guest cottage.

IM000541  Sugar Shack Kitchen Cabinets

  • Design and build a root cellar with guest house above and outhouse nearby.

RootCellarConstA RootCellar