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My wife and I are considering a few different housing options lately, so we started designing a Tiny House for us. This is nothing concrete, just some preliminary plans. I started with one in 1994, long before it was trendy, but now we got 4 young daughters so we have a lot of things to consider. We got too much "stuff" honestly, and after spending 24 years collecting it, we no longer care much about it, and want to get rid most of it.

One thing we have here is a pretty good view, so we wanted to go with a Firetower type Tiny House. It started out pretty low key, but as we started making it resitant to the wind, it kept growing in size, from a modest 10 x 10 feet (3 levels), in less than 12 hours it hit 800 square feet. It was only 10 x 20 feet in the end with some bump outs for stability and wind deflection. Now granted it is a lot smaller than our current home but 800 feet is hardly a tiny home.

It is just funny how archetecture, natural proportions, and the need for space (the girls each want their own bedroom) cause a home design to grow in size.
 
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Hmmm, I wonder if you could get around the each girl wanting their own room by making bunkbeds that have lights and curtains?

My dad made my kids bunkbeds out of pallet wood, with big storage-shelf-stairs on the side, and shelves at the headboard. I have a boy and a girl, and our house is a 3 bedroom, just under 1,000sqft manufactured home. The third bedroom is our office/family/hobby room, and so we really only have two bedrooms.  We're planning on turning part of the garage into a office/hobby/family room when the kids get older and puberty hits...and we save up money. (And, yeah, we should downsize a lot of our stuff...but we're kind of horders. I hate to get rid of anything I have or was given, and my husband isn't too keen on it, either. So, we've got TONS of kids toys, from both our childhoods, and from what was given to us. And lots of book. I can't toss knoweldge! I once gave away a math textbook, thinking I'd never need it, and now I wish I had it. I'm such a horder. Ack!)

Anyway, until we do our renovation, we've got bunkbeds. Our daughter still sleeps in our room, but when she's a bit older, she'll have the bottom bunk, and my son the top bunk. They'll have their shared toys in the room, and special toys on their shelves. I'm figuring if they want more privacy, we could put up a curtain rod with a curtain to enclose their beds, and put in some nice lights above both bunks so they can have private place to hide out.

Here's a picture of our bunk bed, right after it was installed.

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The stairs double as storage!
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Headboard shelves.
 
pollinator
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How about a treehouse or  tall water tower, for the veiw,and a one story open layout house for the tinyness?
I am strongly considering stacked IBC totes for a watertower/ playhouse.
A single telephone pole could hold quite a platform.
Three stories strait up isn't conducive to aging in place.
Sure, you might keep more function due to taking stairs everyday, but I wouldn't want to count on it.

Another approach is to build the kids rooms as outbuildings, so as they age, they become houses in their own right or revert to storage.
The central tower holds shared spaces, or maybe it's just your space, for you.
 
Travis Johnson
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Hmmm, I wonder if you could get around the each girl wanting their own room by making bunkbeds that have lights and curtains?

My dad made my kids bunkbeds out of pallet wood, with big storage-shelf-stairs on the side, and shelves at the headboard. I have a boy and a girl, and our house is a 3 bedroom, just under 1,000sqft manufactured home. The third bedroom is our office/family/hobby room, and so we really only have two bedrooms.  We're planning on turning part of the garage into a office/hobby/family room when the kids get older and puberty hits...and we save up money. (And, yeah, we should downsize a lot of our stuff...but we're kind of horders. I hate to get rid of anything I have or was given, and my husband isn't too keen on it, either. So, we've got TONS of kids toys, from both our childhoods, and from what was given to us. And lots of book. I can't toss knoweldge! I once gave away a math textbook, thinking I'd never need it, and now I wish I had it. I'm such a horder. Ack!)

Anyway, until we do our renovation, we've got bunkbeds. Our daughter still sleeps in our room, but when she's a bit older, she'll have the bottom bunk, and my son the top bunk. They'll have their shared toys in the room, and special toys on their shelves. I'm figuring if they want more privacy, we could put up a curtain rod with a curtain to enclose their beds, and put in some nice lights above both bunks so they can have private place to hide out.

Here's a picture of our bunk bed, right after it was installed.



Well great minds must think alike, with a few minor details, our girls bedrooms currently have loft beds just like yours Nicole. I say loft beds and not bunk beds because ours are lofts, they do not have a bed on the bottom. We did that so the girls could get more stuff in their roof like their desks and stuff. Pretty crazy huh, like their 16 x 12 bedroom with adjacent 6 x 8 foot closet was not big enough for all their stuff as is!! Nope we needed to get their bed off the floor so under it we could pack in more stuff! It is a great design though I must admit.
 
Travis Johnson
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One of our problems is that we have so many options. We have (6) potential options, and we are not sure which to follow through with.

The best options we have are either to tear down my grandmother's old house and just use the septic system and well to build a new tiny-house. Because it is an existing house there is no building restrictions on what we can do. We are thinking of tearing down the building to the main floor (the deck) that way we can use the already built basement to house the utilities, support the building, etc. It has a pretty good view, but other parts of our property are better granted. But we just do not think we can make the existing house that effecient. It is a 1900 4 square so lacks of good wiring, has no insulation, and the floor layout is awkward.

Another other option is to build a Tiny House somewhere else on our property starting with an all new home, including septic, well, foundation, etc. (This is the craziest option as it is the most expensive to do).


Either one though would use the same tiny house design (if we can find one that really works)
 
Travis Johnson
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William Bronson wrote:Three stories strait up isn't conducive to aging in place.



No, not at all. There is another option though, as long as it is kind of calculated into the design, and that is having it so that a bedroom on the ground floor can be added onto at another time. In that manner, the Firetower House design would work until the owners reached an age where they could no longer climb stairs. At that point the bedroom gets added to the ground floor and the upper sections are no longer used in life. It would only work if all the living space (even if they were small) were located on the bottom floor (kitchen/living room/bathroom and bedroom). This is what my Grandmother did on her 2 story home, the latter years of her life she closed off the upper floor and lived out her days.

The biggest rub on this, is where I put the tiny house. If I use my Grandmother's Farmhouse I have no limits on what I can do, but if I build a new tiny house on a new area of my land, I can do anything I want as long as the footprint is 10 feet by 10 feet. That is too small, but I am allowed to build 10 x 10 every year, so I would start the 10 x 10 bathroom this year, then start the tower next year! That would give me a 10 x 20 footprint to build my tiny house up from. Sadly from the front it looked too thin and long (out of proportion) so I put buttresses on the bottom floor to anchor the home better, break up the outline, and deflect wind. (This is one of the most windy spots in Maine so I have to take into account the force of the wind...it can hit 92 miles per hour here).

I'll have to see if I can get a picture of what I am thinking about building on here for people to see.
 
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The bunk bed idea can work.
My aunt and uncle raised 4 daughters {my cousins} in a 2 bedroom house.  It wasn't a tiny house.
They had 2 sets of bunk beds in the girls' room until the oldest ones left for college.
People raised families in small spaces for centuries.  Having your own room is a relatively recent thing, except for the wealthy.
 
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RE: Every daughter wants privacy

Have you considered privacy divided shared bedrooms?

Constructing four bedrooms as two would let you shave off over 100 square feet (my first instinct is 200 sq ft but I haven't run the numbers.)
 
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I have lived most of my adult life in tiny cabins, boats (commercial fishing, not yachts) and travel trailers, so tiny living spaces are something I know well. I raised 3 kids in one. And I would say, beware the concept house, whether it is a geodesic dome or a "tiny home".

How about you start with "I need a house for my family and it needs to fit the patterns of our lives, and be small and frugal." Then your family's needs are central and the size is one criterion among many. It can rightfully take it's place alongside shelter from wind, access to water, septic layout, summer/winter sun patterns, the need for a home office, desire to age in place, privacy for teens, a writing desk, or solar heat--one aspect of your needs and desires.  With very small designs, the cabinetry and special stoves, etc. that I see in the tiny home books add tremendously to the cost--whether in money or in your own time. Lloyd Kahn actually addresses this in his tiny homes book, under the heading "why are such small homes so expensive?" the answer he gives is that the systems--electrical, plumbing, heat, etc are expensive no matter what, and square footage, within reason, is the cheapest thing to add.

If you are living a rural life, and trying to do a lot of things for yourself, you will need space to do things in and space to store the tools you need. Not just carpenter or mechanic tools, but books, craft supplies, cloth& sewing supplies, electronic gear, musical instruments. In most climates, to live the homestead life, you need a workshop of some sort, and a kitchen that can handle serious amounts of food processing. It doesnt take much space to eat and sleep, true. But to wash and butcher and can and freeze and store a sizable amount of food and food-processing equipment does. (A pressure canner and cases of jars takes a large closet. Crocks for fermentation take even more room.) I was lucky that I lived on a beach and could fillet fish or butcher deer outside and wash down with salt water. But will your tiny home have a sink that can handle that?

I notice that when I read about satisfied tiny home dwellers they are often in places like Portland, with a vibrant urban culture. Lots of spaces outside of your own home to hang out, meet friends, do projects. Food from the grocery store, and some fresh stuff from the garden for salads and stir-fry. With that situation, a small space is a good fit.  If your vision includes more self-sufficiency than that, you'll need space to work, to create, and to store things.

I have noticed that the "tiny home" name seems to mesmerize people. Folks lived in small spaces before; they were just small. Often they were poor. No big deal.  Now they have a name and have been marketed aggressively. So--beware, just as you would beware of anything that's been marketed and become chic. Perhaps living in a very small space will fulfill your needs. Perhaps not. My point is, what are your needs?.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Jamie Chevalier wrote:
If you are living a rural life, and trying to do a lot of things for yourself, you will need space to do things in and space to store the tools you need. Not just carpenter or mechanic tools, but books, craft supplies, cloth& sewing supplies, electronic gear, musical instruments. In most climates, to live the homestead life, you need a workshop of some sort, and a kitchen that can handle serious amounts of food processing. It doesnt take much space to eat and sleep, true. But to wash and butcher and can and freeze and store a sizable amount of food and food-processing equipment does. (A pressure canner and cases of jars takes a large closet. Crocks for fermentation take even more room.) I was lucky that I lived on a beach and could fillet fish or butcher deer outside and wash down with salt water. But will your tiny home have a sink that can handle that?



How much of this sort of work really belongs in the kitchen, especially considering how much of it is summer time work that would be heating up a house.

'Tool Storage' and 'workshop' should be thermally isolated from the home rather than contribute to heating and cooling needs, though sharing a wall for electrical access and convenience isn't a bad idea.
 
Travis Johnson
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I see both sides on this. Here in Maine where we spend so many months under cover of snow, having things covered is indeed nice. Having that area heated is great, but making a building that can be heated is an expensive building too! The biggest thing I have found is to have it covered so things can be found, once a covering of snow is on the ground, it is hard to find things. Since snow in the fall is still here until spring, it means a lot of covered storage.

We are kind of fortunate on storage though because we have a barn that we can put stuff in, along with a sawmill that is not being used, and a tractor trailer truck trailer.


 
Jamie Chevalier
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Granted. And a summer kitchen on a screened porch is an excellent thing. But then how many outbuildings are you going to build, each with its own roof, foundation, walls, and for some, heat? We run our business from a tiny cabin, and live in a trailer next to it, and believe me, the reasons why you'd rather not go from building to building instead of room to room are legion, starting with two stoves to heat an area that one could handle easily, and going on to larger environmental footprint, not to mention putting on your shoes and getting wet and muddy just to go check something on the stove.  Then there is the trek to the shed every time we need supplies, and to the shop if we need a tool. Rooms/porches  that can be closed off, and a shop building on its own, would be ideal I think.

But the specifics were not my point. I would just say that if you have the luxury of building from scratch, build around the actual patterns of family life, rather than letting a concept, and interesting shape, or a theory shape your daily life forever after.
 
Travis Johnson
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Jamie Chevalier wrote:I have lived most of my adult life in tiny cabins, boats (commercial fishing, not yachts) and travel trailers, so tiny living spaces are something I know well.



I did not spend a lot of my adult life on boats, but I did work on Sea-Going Tugboats for awhile. That actually was a lot of fun which was a Tiny Home Afloat to say the least. We kept our bunks, galley, and engine rooms spotless. No joke, you could eat off the floor. We even took off our boots when we went in the galley and bunk rooms!

My career path took a wird path in life, first doing some contsruction work until I got on the raillroad where I spent the majority of my career, then because tugboats used locomotive engines, i went aboard tugboats as an engineer, then when I realized I was not born with web feet, I stayed on land building US Navy Destroyers. That was where I finished out my welding/machinist career.
 
William Bronson
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A basement and utilities in place is hard to beat.
I would be inclined to build there no matter the view, and build even higher with the savings.
 
Travis Johnson
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Jamie Chevalier wrote:But the specifics were not my point. I would just say that if you have the luxury of building from scratch, build around the actual patterns of family life, rather than letting a concept, and interesting shape, or a theory shape your daily life forever after.



I know what you are saying, but if that were the case, then we would just stay here in our current home. But all this is kind of like going to church, I never want to go to a one where I am comfortable. I want me and my family to be constantly challenged to do more!!

Since we have always owned our home outright, by taking the equity we have in this home (around $200,000) and selling it, we can do so much more; for our community, our church, even my own family.

But I think a common fallacy is, the thought of "forever housing". I have only lived in two houses my whole life; my parents (517 feet away) and mine, but my house is constantly in flux. I have added walls, subtracted walls, moved closets, kitchens (4 times), living rooms (4 times), and swapped bedrooms around, but even now as my parents age, upon their passing I might have to go to their home to take care of my mentally challenged adult sisters (who could not live anywhere else). I cannot predict when that will happen, and who knows it may not even happen, but if this place sells, my family has to have a place to move to. As I tell my wife, "it is so ironic, we have all these houses and no place to go". (We have 3 houses and an addional house lot).


The biggest thing for us is building a home that is buildable. Since I saw my own lumber I have no desire to log and saw on the sawmill thousands and thousands of board feet of lumber. And of course living in Maine, having the ability to heat it effeciently only makes sense as well.


 
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going back to your grannies house.
I think working with that building would be your best option.
Can the place be insulated even if the walls are rebuilt?
Can you rebuild the walls and design it in such a manner the design is altered as you get around the building.
You can always run elecricty though exposed conduits inside or run them around the outside and poke them in as needed.
Then if you add thickness to the outside those cables/ conduits can be built in.
The basics you said you have are the hardest and often costly to get.
Rebuilding that place may really be the quickest.
 
Travis Johnson
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John C Daley wrote:going back to your grannies house.
I think working with that building would be your best option.
Can the place be insulated even if the walls are rebuilt?
Can you rebuild the walls and design it in such a manner the design is altered as you get around the building.
You can always run elecricty though exposed conduits inside or run them around the outside and poke them in as needed.
Then if you add thickness to the outside those cables/ conduits can be built in.
The basics you said you have are the hardest and often costly to get.
Rebuilding that place may really be the quickest.




Yeah that is what my wife says too, as rough and tumble as it will be. It does have a new kitchen and bath with new appliances, but the room layout upstairs, poor construction of its stairs, and exposure make me question that.

Myself, I think an RV would be cheaper to buy (used) and just tap into the well and septic and go from there, and my wife is okay with that short term, but wants to set a date when we move out.

Anyway, I fought with my computer long enough, but finally was able to get a screenshot of the Tiny House design I have been working on. I just drew it up quick in Excel so there is some detail issues, but basically a Four square home, 18 feet on the bottom floor housing bath, kitchen and living room. The second floor is also 18 feet length by width for the kids beds and toys. The third floor tapers to a 10 foot by 10 foot room for the master bedroom, then the 4th floor would be 10 x 10 feet as well, just housing our bed and night stands, with access to the outside deck that is 6 feet wide all the way around. This is not the final design I am sure, but what I am noodling with for now.


Tiny-House.jpg
[Thumbnail for Tiny-House.jpg]
 
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I love towers! One limiting factor in my area is anything 3 stories or more requires an automatic sprinkler system. I guess the thinking is if a fire starts on the first floor, escape from upper storied could be cut off quickly.
 
John C Daley
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Kitchen and bathrooms are big $ items
Can the upstairs walls be moved around with a few beams hung in the correct space, or even steel portal frames?
Mayne you need to ask, do I want accommodation or a mausoleum?

sorry, somebody had to ask!

 
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Travis, a couple of questions.  How do you plan on heating a multi-story building?  Do you plan on retiring in this house, because stairs become a real issue for mobility.  A lot of new housing design includes a master bedroom on the first floor so everything is accessible with the least amount of mobility.
 
William Bronson
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Heating a vertical house like that (nice design btw!) might be easy, with stacked bells, running a conventional smoke stack through the interior, or just convection via stair wells.

 
Travis Johnson
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Cristo Balete wrote:Travis, a couple of questions.  How do you plan on heating a multi-story building?  Do you plan on retiring in this house, because stairs become a real issue for mobility.  A lot of new housing design includes a master bedroom on the first floor so everything is accessible with the least amount of mobility.



My plan for heating this house is based around my out-of-control radiant floor heat fetish. I have a 130,000 btu wood/coal boiler kicking around not doing anything, so I thought I would use that, in a seperate building, and run my tubes underground to heat the individual levels. That seperate building would house a wood/coal shed as well. The unit can operate about 8 hours per loading with wood, and 12 hours if I am burning coal.

I am not sure how easy or hard the tiny house designed would be to heat though. In some ways easier as heat rises, especially with the chimney effect, but harder too because with elevation gain, you have more exposure to wind drawing that heat out of the structure. Words cannot describe how hard the wind blows here. Add in the numerous windows to take in the views, and I think it would be rather a hard thermal draw on the upper two floors. I want to go in this direction though with the boiler in a seperate building because a chimney would take out a lot of usable space inside the tiny home, but also be a fire danger. Still a solid fuel appliance is not the only thing that starts fires, so a sprinker system might not be a bad idea. It is not required here, orginal structures at my Grandmother's place were higher with its five story bar, so I am grandfathered by building codes and could build anything I want without permits.

...

As for aged living, I touched on this earlier, but being 44 years old, with a wife 39 (her last birthday ever according to her), I think we would just add on a bedroom to the ground floor as we reached the threshold of old age, or a car accident should that happen. In that way we could just close off the upper floors if we had too. Bedrooms are cheap to build. It may be worth to build one anyway for a guests or a master suite with additional bath. But there in lies the problem. Everytime I design a tiny home I add a lot of fertilizer to it.

The boiler I would use to heat the Tiny House...



DSCN1713.JPG
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Travis Johnson
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James Whitelaw wrote:I love towers! One limiting factor in my area is anything 3 stories or more requires an automatic sprinkler system. I guess the thinking is if a fire starts on the first floor, escape from upper storied could be cut off quickly.




I wonder if a work around would be to have a rope ladder able to be dropped from the deck on the uppermost floor? It is not ideal as flames would be licking upwards, but it is a secondary means of escape. The tower deck does extend past the outside of the bottom portion of the house, except for a small portion over the porch roof. We love porches so that is why we added it.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:
I wonder if a work around would be to have a rope ladder able to be dropped from the deck on the uppermost floor? It is not ideal as flames would be licking upwards, but it is a secondary means of escape. The tower deck does extend past the outside of the bottom portion of the house, except for a small portion over the porch roof. We love porches so that is why we added it.



There are commercial escape ladders available that might work for a variance, but I suspect a more robust means of egress would be needed such as a stairway or slide would be required.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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A slide as 'emergency egress' would be Very Cool (and score huge points with any youngsters)
 
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I like the tower plan, but remember how much floor space stairs take up.  You end up needing more floors to make up for all the space the stairs took up on the lower ones!
 
Jan White
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Travis Johnson wrote:I am not sure how easy or hard the tiny house designed would be to heat though



I know a few people who have problems keeping the middle levels of their houses warm with their heat source in the lowest level.  Top and bottom floors stay toasty, middle floors are cold.  I think your idea of heating individual floors would be the most comfortable.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Jan White wrote:I like the tower plan, but remember how much floor space stairs take up.  You end up needing more floors to make up for all the space the stairs took up on the lower ones!


There's no requirement for stairs to be inside. Outdoor stairs do require a bit of care to ensure they retain their grip, but they really aren't that much more hassle than indoor stairs.
 
Travis Johnson
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Jan White wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:I am not sure how easy or hard the tiny house designed would be to heat though



I know a few people who have problems keeping the middle levels of their houses warm with their heat source in the lowest level.  Top and bottom floors stay toasty, middle floors are cold.  I think your idea of heating individual floors would be the most comfortable.



I think so too. One of the wonderful things about radiant floor heat is that the heat does not reach the upper floors because you are not heating the air, you are heating the contents in the room. Typically it does not go over 8 feet so with radiant tubes on every floor, it would heat a tower better.

Another benefit is how they are controlled. With a termostat on every level, and a zone valve controlling that floor level, the heat should be fairly consistent.

The bad thing is, it would take a fairly substantial circulator pushing flow to the manifolds in order to circulate water to the uppermost level.
 
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Jan White wrote:I like the tower plan, but remember how much floor space stairs take up.  You end up needing more floors to make up for all the space the stairs took up on the lower ones!



We were actually thinking about vertical ladders on the inside, alternating ends they are mounted on between floors so that if a person did fall it would only be 8 feet.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:

Jan White wrote:I like the tower plan, but remember how much floor space stairs take up.  You end up needing more floors to make up for all the space the stairs took up on the lower ones!



We were actually thinking about vertical ladders on the inside, alternating ends they are mounted on between floors so that if a person did fall it would only be 8 feet.



Definitely move space-efficient.  Ladders are a huge pain when you want to bring a mug of tea to bed, though.
 
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I considered hatches just because I climbed so many while aboard vessels at sea, which is a good combination between vertical ladders and stairs. More convient than ladders, but taking up less space then true stairs.

Outside stairs in Maine though can be really dangerous and a pain to maintain. We get a lot of snow and ice here. That is the only reason I would be REALLY hesitant to use outdoor staircases.

 
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Fair point about the local climate. Ice and snow are a rare concern in my neck of the woods, fungal slime being a more frequent hazard here.

Can you tell us more about the naval hatches? I don't feel very enlightened from my Google search.
 
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Ok, I'm a gonna say it.
You clearly need to build a full on windmill.
Height,wind,veiws, it has it all!
And then, clogs and traditional Dutch costume for the missus...
Everybody wins!
 
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William Bronson wrote:Ok, I'm a gonna say it.
You clearly need to build a full on windmill.
Height,wind,veiws, it has it all!
And then, clogs and traditional Dutch costume for the missus...
Everybody wins!



There is some interesting history behind that.

When you look at a wind chart of Maine, where I live, which is just off the coast, there is a small red spot when it comes to wind energy production. Wind power production has so much potential here that a few years ago they were going to put up (3) massive commercial wind turbines on me and plug them into the grid. Think 300 foot behomouths! The 20 year lease would have been $1500 a month per tower! Sadly the town denied the wind company permits to do so! But whether people agree with that size of tower or not, it shows that when I say "it is windy here", it really is an understatement.

I kind of like your thoughts on that though, building a Dutch-Style windmill. Considering they did so in the 1600's, we should be able to do so with the technology we have today. I would have to build the windmill so that the whole structure turned into the wind however at the foundation level. By having no windows on the windmill side of the house, that would eleminate flicker which would drive me insane otherwise!! It would be unique too in that your views would be constantly changing room to room as the wind shifted. Another thing would be to have a brake on it so that it could be locked into position so that in gusty, diverging winds; the home was not whipped around the compass!

A couple other problems that might be unsurmountable would be vibration and noise. just the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh every few seconds would be disturbing...or maybe a person would get used to it. Vibration in a building a person is living in would be a real concern though. I can hear it now, "Your kids studder?" "Oh no, they just live in a windmill tower!"

As for Katie dressed up like a Dutch Littlebopeep...I am sure she would do it, she has done Little Red Ridinghood, and while that was with her wearing high heels, she loves her shoes. I am sure she would love a pair of wooden clogs. That is one style of shoe she does not have yet. You laugh, but she has some 84 pairs of shoes and belongs to (2) shoe-of-the-month clubs if that says something!



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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Fair point about the local climate. Ice and snow are a rare concern in my neck of the woods, fungal slime being a more frequent hazard here.

Can you tell us more about the naval hatches? I don't feel very enlightened from my Google search.



No problem on the snow and ice. One of the things I love about Permiculture is their idea of waiting and observing; it makes so much practical sense. Living in the exact same spot for all of my 44 years means I know the location well! This is all good discussion, and to me no one has a wrong answer here, and I appreciate the input everyone has given.

Ships hatchways are kind of difficult to describe. Everyone has seen them because since 1880-2018 they are all the same, just a steep set of steps leading up to the next floor. Above, they have a hatch that comes down to seal off the levels should that compartment flood, thus making it water tight so the rest of the ship remains afloat. In my case, the "hatch" would just be a floor that could cover up the hole so no one would fall through.
 
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Very nice used motorhomes are available for less than $10,000.  They are spacious if they have a slide out or two, easily moved, and are generally well built.  A motor home offers tremendous flexibility.

In my humble opinion, it makes more sense to buy a motorhome that you could live in for years and years, move when you want, and even take it on the road  . . . and then spend time and money building a solid and good sized shed from which you will work and store your equipment.  A well-built shed would offer additional living space when things in the motorhome get too cramped.  I've helped a friend build a shed large enough to park two vehicles for less than $2500 using used/reclaimed materials and free labor.  Most of that cost was roofing and some hardware. 

A tiny home makes sense for a single living in someone else's backyard.  But for a family with evolving needs and open-ended plans, I'd go with a well-built used motorhome.
 
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Marco Banks wrote:Very nice used motorhomes are available for less than $10,000.  They are spacious if they have a slide out or two, easily moved, and are generally well built.  A motor home offers tremendous flexibility.

In my humble opinion, it makes more sense to buy a motorhome that you could live in for years and years, move when you want, and even take it on the road  . . . and then spend time and money building a solid and good sized shed from which you will work and store your equipment.  A well-built shed would offer additional living space when things in the motorhome get too cramped.  I've helped a friend build a shed large enough to park two vehicles for less than $2500 using used/reclaimed materials and free labor.  Most of that cost was roofing and some hardware. 

A tiny home makes sense for a single living in someone else's backyard.  But for a family with evolving needs and open-ended plans, I'd go with a well-built used motorhome.



Motorhomes here are a little more difficult to live in because of the cold, but I am in no way saying it cannot be done; I have two good friends that are doing that very thing.

One lives just behind me, and has for several years. Her's and her husbands camper (no kids) is completely outside. But my best friend, he has a wife and 6 kids, but put their 37 foot camper trailer in a building, and have a sort of concrete patio in front of it that they live in. They heat the entire structure so the camper is always warm and dry.

My best friend's way is a might better because here the humidity is high and campers can rot out quick. My other friend, her's does not rot out because it is in a field and is not shaded, and wind gets to it. But if a person here stuffs a camper in the woods, in a few short years it is rotted and mildew-infested from the humidity.

The other issue is the sheer cold we get in Maine. They were never designed to be heated when it is -20 below zero (f), with skimpy insulation and small heaters. They are designed to take the chill off on a fall day, but that is about it. Septic and water problems can also arise when it gets that cold too, not to mention the septic systems working by chemical treatment which is not really permiculture in nature. It depends how they are hooked up. In my case, hooking a RV up to a well and septic system would eleminate that as our sanition would not be stored up like these two people; it just gets flushed into a system like a real house with unlimited water.

Again, people live in them here so it is possible for sure, and is something I am definately looking into. Somewhere I did a thread on putting an RV in a greenhouse/berm location and living in a way that I feel would be quite nice. It had only a few replies, but the consensus was it should work well. Myself, I loved the idea, but my wife had little interest in it. Since then, she has conceded to living in an RV possibly, but for a specific period of time, like 2 years and no more.

The interesting thing is, 23 years ago I built a Tiny Home with the intention of building a bigger home later. I never moved, and just kept adding on until my "Tiny House" is now well over 2000 square feet. But to my defense, we are at the apex of home size needs. We have 4 young children. In 5 years they will start to leave, even more important, as they near being teenagers, their toys reduce in number and get to be more electronic in nature. As they get boyfriends and such, they also spend less time in the house overall. So right now it seems bad, but life is always in flux.
 
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We have had some surprising news, and good news too I guess regarding all this.

We do an annual event called "Rock the Flock" which is where we turn our farm into a benefit concert to help fight the battle against the opiote epidemic. I have never been an addict, but lost my best friend, brother-in-law, and another person to drug overdose, so know the devastation that happens. Since we can see Mt Washington some 150 miles away from the top of the hill, we do this free concert (6 bands) with everything donated, to go towards drug addiction recovery.

We have had so many donations this year, but one interesting one is from a carpenter who wants to build a permanant stage for this event. It is pretty big (24 x 32) so with a pretty big stage and venue now, it will take that area off the agenda for a house spot for a few years anyway.




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I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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