Here we go!

27 Feb

I’ve finally sorted out my design and have successfully met all my criteria.

I’ve figured out a way to package:

  • a full height apartment fridge
  • full size bathtub (actually… a longer-than-standard one!)
  • full height apartment fridge
  • living room that can seat 6 at a table… it’s 7-1/2 feet by 8-1/2 (The largest Tumbleweeds on wheels are 1 shorter and 1 foot narrower)
  • a changing room / laundry room (with stacked washer/dryer) with lots of clothing storage between the bathroom and the living room.
  • packaged all this in a house only 18′ long.

The changing room / laundry room / wardrobe was critical for me. I want people to have some privacy in the bathroom and not feel like anyone in the living room can hear every rustle of clothing or every noise, and stepping out of the shower into the living room or kitchen as in a Tumbleweed doesn’t work for me. Climbing up a ladder in a towel is a no go for most people (lol), and so is getting dressed laying down in a loft anyhow (ever try to get dressed in a car? It’s impossible) (on second thought, that may be incriminating, so don’t answer that ;))

Plus, in all the tiny houses on wheels I’ve ever seen, your clothes aren’t near the shower, so now what? And there isn’t room for many clothes. Every girl I’ve ever known needs to change clothes a couple times before feeling happy so I think a Tumbleweed would get old for them really quick.

The way I’ve solved these issues is completely different from what’s been done out there and very exciting. Can’t wait to unveil it! πŸ™‚

So now that I’m done planning, sourcing, and accumulating materials, fixtures, and appliances… it’s time to begin building!

I’ve decided to use SIP construction.Β  Lighter, stronger, better-insulated, more fireproof, less environmental impact, and far easier and faster to build. Habitat for Humanity erected a house in Idaho recently in 45 minutes! The home was finished in 4-1/2 days.Β  Obviously that’s with a crew, but the potential is clear.

I was able to negotiate a discount on my SIPs, but I need to buy the entire batch and it’s about twice as many as I need. So, I did a guest post on Tinyhouseblog looking for locals who might want to split the batch with me and get a serious discount.

I’ve already gotten some nice inquiries from locals, some who want in on the deal, some who lack funds or aren’t ready and want advice or help, and some who just want to come help me build it! So that’s very cool.

Because I’ve put a ton of time and effort into research and preparation, I’ve found many ways to save money and increase quality or at the very least, get the same quality for less money. I’ll post about this in the next couple days in hopes it can help someone build their dream.

Thanks for all the support and interest, everybody!


9 Responses to “Here we go!”

  1. Cindy February 29, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Hi. I live in Canada. I have less than 10 years to retire and don’t have a lot of income. I do work full time and recently quit smoking so that I will be able to put food on my table when I do retire. I would love one of these little houses on a little lot of my own. Is there anyway we could do something like that up here. I bet the market would be responsive. Although, it would have to be outside of Vancouver….too expensive here. But within an hour or two from Vancouver it may work. Also, I think developers may be interested. I have a cousin who is the mayor of a small town. He also developes properties. Their town is hurting for business and perhaps would benefit. Check it out on the web. Sicamous, BC, Canada

    • tinysunhouse March 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Neat stuff. I don’t know anything about Canadian zoning laws but if your cousin is interested, for starters he could check out Cottage Housing Development (CHD) laws in Washington. Also there’s a great blog out there written by one of the guys who actually establishes code. If you are interested let me know and I’ll dig it up.

  2. Diane Rowley March 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi! I just got an email concerning your post on Tiny House Blog. I love what you are doing here! I’m interested in your idea of sharing SIP panels & would really appreciate your contacting me. I’m in LA area. Thanks!

    • tinysunhouse March 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      Hi Diane,

      You can email me at my gmail, which is tinysunhouse.


  3. Kyle March 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Heya, quick question regarding your plans for mounting SIPs to the trailer frame. Currently in the planning stages and just want to get my head around this πŸ™‚

    Will you be building a subfloor and mounting the panel walls directly on top of it like in this image:

    Or will you be mounting the walls beside the subfloor and nailing into it like this video demonstratres (which I would imagine is a little more secure?):


    • Kyle March 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      For above video skip to 53 seconds πŸ™‚

    • tinysunhouse March 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Hi Kyle,

      2×4 subfloor covered with plywood. Then bottom plates fastened to that, just like the leftmost image you linked to.

      From below, the subfloor will have a 1/2″ gap underneath that plywood that’s on top of it. This is because I’m using 3″ rigid board insulation in the subfloor. I need that air gap because I’m doing radiant heated floors with PET tubing on the underside of the plywood, and to get a more even temperature across the floor, you need a 1/2 to 1″ air gap. between the underside of the subfloor, and whatever insulation is below it.

      • Kyle March 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

        Awesome, thanks! I’m yet another no-real-construction-experience flying solo so the answers definitely help πŸ™‚

        My current location can get down to -35C in the winter so the insulation properties of SIPs seem to be the way to go, and the easy/quick construction is definitely a bonus.

  4. Darian May 10, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I’m 18 and I’m just starting to save up for building my tiny house, I have decided to use SIPS after seeing a couple of others using it too =] I have already designed my house but will probably change it after I learn more. I had a question about using SIPS, I have zero construction experience do you think SIPS are easy enough to use for a novice? I will have people who know about this stuff but I’m sure they aren’t familiar with SIPS either. Also when do you unveil your plans? I’m very excited to see them =]


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