Month: January 2011

Reduce. Reuse. Re’coop’

Back in early May 2009 Crystal and my daddy and I wrapped up work on our first chicken coop. I had been wanting to raise chickens for some time and it seemed like the time was right. Now folks with a minimalist mindset are familiar enough with reduction. We reduce. We recycle. We repurpose. We refine. And so when it came time to build that first coop I knew I wanted to spend less time at the box store hardware and more time finding materials with as much character as the chickens they would soon house. So I put an ad in the local newspaper asking for reclaimed  wood and other building materials. Within a day or two I was contacted by a gentleman who had recently taken down an old hog house. It had been standing for nearly 102 years as best he knew. Coupled with some 2″x6″ lumber picked up at a local jobsite (the woods first life was as batter board for a concrete project), some corrugated metal from a chicken coop buried on the back of the farm, some hardware from a gate that had long since fallen, and some fencing that has been laying around as long as I can remember, we built the “Coop de Ville” – a subtle play on words indicative of a chicken coop located in BarneVILLE, Georgia. In the...

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How-To Choose Windows For Your Tiny House

There is no simple way to go about the task of selecting windows for your new Tiny House construct. By the time choosing them comes around you will have heard multiple times that the key to making a smaller space look larger is to incorporate lots of natural light and to use windows and mirrors to give the illusion of a larger, less boxy, space. But with so many brands on the market, so many styles within those brands, and so many ideas about sustainable building, eco-friendly building, and budget-conscious building, the selection process can very easily become a frustrating one. It helps though to become familiar with a few of the most popular styles of windows available as well as debunk a few of the rating myths. Bay Windows I am not sure how a large, bay windows could find a suitable place in a Tiny Home. A bay window it typically rather large and more times than not involved a window seat. The most common style is one that has a flat piece and two slated side pieces that attach to the home. It is important to remember though that with a bay window, you are essentially changing the shape of your home (which is already a very limited option in a tiny house), so you may need to rework the flooring, siding, and roof of the...

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Another Man’s Revolution-Squeeze a Buck Lately?

There’s nothing tiny when it comes to our family. There are two adults and three children in our home along with two dogs. Being the sole monetary provider for our family a good amount of stress is added when needing to pay the bills each month. We have all the amenities the typical working “American Dream” should have, and we pay dearly in monthly usage fees which can take a toll on the budgetary wallet. Well, we used to anyway. We look at our monthly money as a business would their Net Operating Income (NOI) This is one of many of our answers to Drew’s November 3rd, 2010 post “What Does Unmoney Mean?” In his writing he gives reference of inspiration to Lynn Flagstead Hollomon at Family of Movers dot com and the push to add another chapter of minimal living to he and Crystal’s quest for a better life. Communications-We have one of those bundle packages for our communications needs which used to cost us roughly $150.00 per month. Now, before you get all crazy it included our phone, cable (TV), and internet services. Our service provider offers different levels of usage for the cable and internet only while the phone service remains standard and unchangeable. For our TV, we have basic cable with High Definition service minus the movie channels as that is where the largest cost comes in....

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How-To Read Window Ratings

There is a certain amount of anxiety that takes hold when walking through a store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. First there is the notion that perhaps by even purchasing something there you are forsaking your eco-friendly, sustainable ideals. Then there is the thought that perhaps if you held out long enough and scoured carefully enough you would find the same item at a second-hand supply store or on Craigslist or at a liquidator. And lastly there is the feeling that while you are willing to purchase a new product (even despite its carbon footprint that will surely cause you to lose sleep over) you have very little clue as to whether it is a wise purchase for your needs anyhow. Such is the case recently when parusing the window aisles at our local builder box. It is a given that as a tiny houser one knows that windows are vital to the overall aesthetic of the house as well as the energy consumption. But how? We have already talked about different styles of windows but within each of those styles there is a contractor hieroglyphic that is known by few. It involved letters and numbers and codes and You probably already know that if you are building a new home or remodeling your current one, the windows that you choose will significantly affect the overall look. What you may not...

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How-To Defeat Epicurious Clutter

As we spend more and more time working out details on Tiny House we tend to find reason after reason for needing full-size appliances, storage room, pantry space……… Okay. Confession time. I have temporarily lost my tiny mojo. Since visiting my folks’ house (roughly 3800 sq. ft.) this month I have lost sight of our normal, reduced way of life. I have begun to spread my belongings about and generally just take up far more room than I need. I have enjoyed their deluxe washer and dryer. I have marveled at the number of beverage offerings in their commercial fridge. And the list goes on. Crystal? Well, not so much. In fact, if I hadn’t put her clothes away in the closet she may very well still be pulling from our one suitcase we brought with us. But something has happened to me and now when we talk about Tiny House I find myself forgetting that we don’t need cupboard space for 15 coffee mugs. In fact, we only own 4 coffee mugs so much of the aforementioned space would go empty. So a conversation we have recently had revolved around the size of the the fridge we want for Tiny House. Considered an apartment fridge, it stand just barely 5ft. tall, is 2ft. wide, and has 9.9 cubic feet of interior room – a combination of the freezer...

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