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Poll - What's Your Tiny House Status?

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  • #16
    We built a small 10'ft x 12'ft wooden building on a concrete basement and later added a 8'ft x 12'ft enclosed sun-porch.The original building was our former wood shed which we moved before selling our big house and part of the farm. The total is 216 sq. ft. which is the maximum we are allowed to build on our resource/ farm land without rezoning for residential. We presently live a mile away in a 12ft x 45ft. house trailer with a half basement and acre of land . Our plan is to stay at the cabin at the farm from April to the end of November and then spend winter at the house trailer which is on a paved road that is plowed in the winter. The cabin and farm is off a dirt road and hilly and would be hard to navigate in the winter. My husband is 74 yrs and I am 72 1/2 yrs. . We were going to sell the acre property but decided to keep it so when family comes home there is somewhere for them to stay.

    The challenge is to make our little cabin comfortable to live in three seasons of the year. In the main part we built a 48" wide bed against the east wall. At the foot against the south wall is room for shelves. We have a tiny wood stove in the north-west corner and wooden rocking chair.. On the west wall is a kitchen utility cart with counter top and drawers. On the south wall a window opens to the sun-porch and there is a pantry cupboard next to the door. The sun-porch has a kitchen table ; an Ikea type bench, a large folding table to use for whatever. The cabin and the sun-porch have lots of windows and light as there is no electricity. We have an outhouse for a bathroom.

    We have always grown our own food is why we put a basement under the house for cold storage. My biggest problem is deciding what else to put there as storage is limited in the house.We did make the bed high to put storage boxes under for clothes. Biggest storage need is for canning supplies, cooking pots etc as I process all we raise. We are going to get a solar panel to run two small slow cookers to use when the wood stove isn't being used.

    My husband and I have been married 42 years come July but have known each other for 47 years. He grew up on a dairy farm. I grew up on two acres in the country. We both always had a garden. Our dream was to have a simple life and a small house and farm. We ended up with a passel of kids and a big farm house which we sold. I mean the house not the kids!! The kids are in their 40's and 50's and there are grand-kids who are grown and one great grand-child.

    Now it is our turn to do what we wanted to always do. I hope we are able to live there for a long time but one never knows at our age. But the important thing is our dream is finally becoming reality ! Sometimes it takes a long time to achieve your goals. The important thing is to never give up! have a nice day everyone!

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    • #17
      What a wonderful story - thanks so much for sharing it! You have done what needed doing over the years and kept your dreams alive - very inspiring. And the gardening, food storage and prep traditions you are also keeping alive are ones many of us I'm sure would like to master. One nice thing about growing & eating your own food fresh is you don't need a big frig! But yes, storage is a challenge. I went fr a normal frig to a 3.2cuft one & 3 months later am still figuring out how best to cook, shop for & store my food.
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      • #18
        I am currently in the process of researching and deciding exactly what I want in my tiny house. My boyfriend wasn't exactly sold on the idea when I first started the process. Now that I have been researching, explaining how I plan to fund the tiny house and build it, he's gotten more interested. Since's hes realized that this isn't a fleeting idea that I have but a real possibility, he's been more actively involved in the process. We are moving from where we currently live in the southwest of the US to the northeast in about a year and a half. We will both be going to school (using some generous benefits that we have) and will be limited on our income. After showing in why a tiny house would be best, he's finally on board. I had chosen a build plan that I liked (24 ft tow tow behind trailer for a 1 ton) however now that he's involved in the process, I think we are going with a bit different build. He really want's a gooseneck trailer for the fifth wheel he plans to buy. For now, I am just researching to understand all my options. I am avidly learning sketch up as that seems the way to go for designing a custom build.

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        • #19
          Im hoping to start my Tiny house build in the near future...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Betsy-TinyCircles View Post
            What a wonderful story - thanks so much for sharing it! You have done what needed doing over the years and kept your dreams alive - very inspiring. And the gardening, food storage and prep traditions you are also keeping alive are ones many of us I'm sure would like to master. One nice thing about growing & eating your own food fresh is you don't need a big frig! But yes, storage is a challenge. I went fr a normal frig to a 3.2cuft one & 3 months later am still figuring out how best to cook, shop for & store my food.
            Hi Betsy and thank-you for your comments. I had a tiny bar fridge smaller than the one you show in the picture. After ten years it quit two months ago and I haven't bought another one. I still have a small freezer and another small upright so freeze ice packs and put them in an insulated cooler which acts like a fridg. Usually I only have eggs from our hens; organic peanut butter or butter so don't really need a fridg. We don't have a milk cow or goat anymore so I don't need a big fridg to keep milk cool. At the cabin we won't have a freezer so will have to find an alternative to keep a few things cold. Eventually we will dig a well there and have a hand pump. A dug well can have shelves built inside near the top within easy reach. That is a cool place to keep milk, butter, eggs etc. Just remove the lid to the well and take out or put in what you need. It doesn't affect pumping water from the well to use. It is one alternative to keeping things cold both our grandmothers did before electricity was available.

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            • #21
              I bought a tiny house on wheels in October of 2017. It was used and I bought it for $17,000. wanted to upgrade it to be off grid as much as possible and to rearrange it to be more suitable to my needs as I bought some land in Nova Scotia and was planning to live in it 6mos out of the year. I hired a local young man who assured me he had done this work before and because he is a person who is known in the community I live in and he has a young family,I gave him the job.Long story short,after $13,000 and 10 mos,I demanded it be returned to me and when it was,it was destroyed. The walls,floors,even the siding was gone. My tiny house dream was dying. I'm a woman approaching my 60's working 60-70 hours a week to get by and this tiny house was to be my "retirement" into a simpler life. I am devastated mostly because I was so taken advantage of and I allowed it. This man has nothing because he has an addiction problem and taking him to court would not only be fruitless but expensive. So,I'm looking to try and put the siding on myself and finish the floors and walls,etc...using youtube. I spent all my money on this house and it's failed renovation so I'll need to go slowly as money for supplies allows but I do have all the insides. I have a composting toilet,propane stove top,hammered copper kitchen sink,blue glass bathroom sink,bamboo flooring ready to install,solar panels,refrigerator/freezer and a tiny wood burning stove. The problem is I've never even held a hammer! It's all well beyond me. I guess what I'm looking for here ( other than moral support ) are tips from any other unskilled people who have managed to build/rebuild a tiny house.Especially women and women in my demographic ( later in life). Any help anyone can offer is greatly appreciated. I don't want to give up.It took me years of saving and planning to get a tiny house. I'd like to see it through to the end. Thanks so much for reading this!

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              • #22
                I am so sorry this happened to you and I don't want to rain on your parade because we live in Nova Scotia too, The laws are different in different municipalities. Even if you have your tiny house completed check municipal by-laws before trying to live in it. Some municipalities require septic systems put in first and others allow out house or chemical/ composting toilets. Others require the land be zoned for a house lot and some don't. It varies. Yarmouth municipality treats Tiny houses like travel trailers which you can't live in year around. I heard they want to change it so Tiny house have to abide by the same building code as regular homes. I guess we will have to wait and see on that one. Goof luck!

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                • #23
                  Dana I'm very sorry to hear you were taken advantage of in such a manner. It's unfortunate that there's people like that young man in this world. This may be a shot in the dark but it definitely can't hurt to try. I'm not sure if you get the A&E network where you live but they have a show called Tiny House Nation where the hosts of the show basically rescue those who have attempted to build a tiny house on their own and gotten in over their heads.

                  On each episode they essentially come in and take over the project and complete the build of the house on behalf of the owner. Perhaps they'd be sympathetic to your situation and would want to take on your project for one of their upcoming episodes. I couldn't find a contact for a producer of the show itself but I did manage to find one for the A&E network in general. You can use their contact form but remember since this is for the entire A&E network be sure to reference the actual show Tiny House Nation when submitting your story.

                  I'll also put some more thought into this and see if there may be another way to get in touch directly with the producers of the show itself.

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                  • #24
                    Thanks so much Chuck. I hadn't thought of anything like that. I admit to having wished there was a "Tiny House Crashers" show along the lines of "House Crashers" and " Bath Crashers". I currently live on Cape Cod and it is so expensive and rentals for year round people are few and far between as well as extraordinarily expensive. I would have to continue working 60-70 hours a week forever to stay here,even with a roommate( which I have). I also work for a non profit ( ASGCC) as my full time job,which I adore but will never make enough money at to work just one job. I clean houses for a couple of second homeowners as well and I dog walk and pet sit. So money is tight! I so appreciate your interest and kindness. I will use that contact form tonight.Thank you again! Peace.

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                    • #25
                      Chuck,I forgot to mention that last year I started to bring tiny houses in to the conversation as a solution to our town's housing crisis,which is why I bought mine and brought it here. I wanted to redo it and use it as a prototype for the town and to allow people to go through it to take some of their fears and distrust of tiny houses away. After a long battle and three articles a friend and I wrote for last April's Town Meeting ( two of which passed) our Board of Select have okayed the year round opening of the camp grounds here for year round tiny house living! It's a start, however there are some extenuating circumstances. This is an extremely affluent community comprised by 75% second ( summer) homeowners and the Select Board members have no idea that $80.00 a night at the campground makes tiny house living unaffordable. I let them know last week that $80.00 a night is what the town's campground charges and they seemed surprised. I had been advocating for tiny house villages to be built on town owned land with affordable rents and rent to own options.

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